Status

The Death of a Blog: Neurodivergence and Self-Compassion

Hey all,

I’m so sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve learned something new about myself, and it’s taken me a while to really accept and understand it. And to be honest, I’m still figuring out what it means to me and my future.

I just found out a few months ago that I have dyslexia.

In some ways, it shouldn’t be surprising. I’ve always struggled with words; definitions, pronunciation, spelling. I’ve never really enjoyed writing; that’s part of why I started a blog, to get more comfortable with it.

But it is surprising. I’ve always been a good student, in honors programs and advanced classes. And I love reading, especially big, wordy, descriptive fantasy novels. But I’m mostly shocked that I’m only just now figuring this out. I’m 24 years old, shouldn’t this have been squared away when I was a kid?

Part of me is a little resentful. Why didn’t any of the adults in my life notice this when I was younger? Why didn’t they have me do some test in elementary school? It would have been so nice to have extra time for tests in college! I try to push these thoughts away. That’s all in the past, and it doesn’t matter now. I know now and that’s all I could ask for.

Mostly though, I’m confused, and a little scared. I want to write. I want writing to be a part of my life. I’m a scientist. Communication is essential. Writing, public speaking, teaching…how can you share what you know and what you learn if you have only a sub-par grasp of your own language?

Eventually, I want to have some sort of job in science outreach. Either teaching science at a small college, working at a museum, or doing science reporting. All of those positions require writing and speaking, to some degree. How can I do that if I have an actual disorder in using language?

Needless to say, I was a little disheartened. I didn’t want to touch this blog; what was the point? What does it matter if I keep writing, if I might always just suck at it, by the very nature of my neurodivergent brain? I may have started playing the victim a teeny bit. And until now, I hadn’t written much more than bullet points on a PowerPoint slide.

Ultimately, I’ve decided that that attitude was bullshit. So I have dyslexia. Possessing that knowledge doesn’t actually change me. I’m still the same person who I was before I had that diagnosis, and you know what? That person wanted nothing more than to communicate science for the rest of her life, to bring it to the masses in a simple, easy-to-digest form. And I still want that. I am still going to work towards that goal, learning disorder be damned. Maybe I give myself a little more time to write. Maybe I edit a little more carefully. Maybe I ask more people to edit my work. Maybe I can be a little more compassionate to myself when I make a mistake or write an awkward sentence.

The point I’m trying to make is that no, this blog is not going to die. Maybe my focus will change. Maybe I will try to be less afraid to publish something very rough, with a very few polished pieces sprinkled about. Maybe I’ll post way less often. Maybe nothing will change at all. But I’m staying. This little niche in the blogosphere is mine, and I’m not giving it up.

If you’re reading this, thank you. Thank you for the support that you’ve given me. Thank you for not judging. Thanks for being freaking awesome. And thank you for witnessing this journey with me.

Much love,
Allie

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Death of a Blog: Neurodivergence and Self-Compassion

  1. Hi Allie,

    You write very well, I don’t think anyone could tell if you’re dyslexic. I don’t think you have a subpar grasp of language at all. I think it’s amazing that you started a blog because you knew you struggled with writing: we should all be trying to do things that we shy away from, that we have difficulty with. I love your can-do attitude, and I would love to see more updates from you.

    Like

  2. I can empathise with you with a similar communication issue. I too am a scientist and currently involved in a research degree, and I have a speech impediment (namely, a stutter). It’s mild, and is exacerbated by nervousness and stress, but I understand that feeling of feeling almost like an imposter or feeling hopeless because I can *do* science, but I’m afraid that I might not be able to *talk* science, especially if I’m going to be graded on it. The idea of verbally defending my thesis gave me such intense stress and heartache, and I hadn’t even started! I almost talked myself out of pursuing research so many damn times because I thought my issue was going to cornerstone me forever. Same as you, I said fuck that, and just tried anyway. Somehow I’ve made it work, and I bet you will too 🙂 You’ll sort out what works for you, and clearly you’re already able to reach high academic status as well as write socially for your blog. Your blog = your style. Kick ass in any shape or form suits you best 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s