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Effect of dyslexia on my social life

How did being dyslexic affect my social life in school? How did I see myself and how I thought others saw me.

Building my self-esteem was probably the most challenging during this process. I honestly don’t remember a time when I was confident, and to say that I had a poor self-image would be an understatement. I was extremely angry and frustrated with myself for the most part. As a result, I was always socially awkward. I thought that I would be looked down upon if, one were to know of my issues. I used to feel like an outcast because of it. I felt inferior. Making friends was really hard and I was willing to do anything just to fit in. I’d try my best to be nice to my peers even if it meant not being myself. Group situations are the worst because I’d have a hundred things to say but I wouldn’t know how to say it. The words won't form in my head. Now, I’ve got two options either to not say anything or end up sounding like I don't know what I’m talking about. So most often I choose to stay quiet. ‘You need to open up more, why aren’t you saying anything?” were statements that I constantly keep hearing. But to me, I’d think a hundred times before saying it. Let's say, I say something on an impulse. I’d spend too much time thinking about whether or not it was right of me to say it or if it were my place to do so. Social interactions were just too tiring. Somehow the picture at home was a lot different I was at ease. I come from a pretty big family so crowds shouldn't scare me so much yet most often it did. Especially in a situation outside of home.

Sudha ma’am had always encouraged all of us to write journals, I’ve always wanted to write but somehow with everything going on, I couldn’t bring myself to write anything. But I did start writing eventually but for the most part, I was criticizing myself for not being able to do anything right and how things wouldn’t go very well for me. I wanted to give up so badly. By and large, I thought I could carry on with this low self - image. But the implications of having a low self-image hit me when I had to go up on stage. I had moved to a school in class 11 where they encouraged a lot of individual activities meaning I had to do several presentations in front of the school. I still remember my first presentation. I was shaking so much that I couldn’t even focus on what I was supposed to say. Even some of my friends from the audience came up to me later and said that they could see that I was really nervous.

Going up on stage is still nerve-wracking to me. I’d avoid it at any cost. Now I am able to face it. At least I am, much better than I used to be.

What helped me here was a lot of self-talk. I reasoned out in my head that if I could explain/converse with an individual then getting on stage and doing the same thing can’t be too hard. So I used to think of it as a conversation between me and a larger audience.