Opening up about my learning disability has not been a walk in the park. It is never easy being public about something that has affected you for so long. Sometimes I feel alone on centre stage blinded by the spotlight. Yes, there has been the share ups and downs but the adventure has been worth every moment. Two years ago when I decided to create Special Compass it was my mission to help other students with learning disabilities to be confident and comfortable with themselves. I realized, that although I have opened about my academic experience with my LD, I never really talked about the mental and emotional anguish associated with my learning challenges. Although my LD impacted my academics it has impacted my life outside the classroom as well.
For the last three years, I have participated in the RBC Run For the Kids, an event in support to raise mental health awareness and fund programs for children and youth. Today as we join together and have the conversation on mental health, I felt it was necessary that I also participate in this conversation and share the truth of my emotional and mental frustration with my learning disability.
The truth is I am constantly doubting my own abilities and always second guessing myself.
The truth is I am self-cautious about my writing skills, reading skills and math.
The truth is sometimes I worry that my LD will interfere with my work.
The truth is I am always quick to blame myself and think I am the cause of my failures.
The truth is I always worried that I am going to fail, and I become hesitant to even start.
The truth is I feel trapped within inside myself and most of the times suffer in silence.
The truth is I still have to coach myself to be confident.
The truth is I am not perfect, and I am okay with that.
The truth is I was afraid to go back to school.
The truth is I am learning how to overcome my challenges and not be discouraged
The truth is children and youth with learning disabilities grow up to be adults with learning disabilities. The only differences are the challenges they once faced in the classroom are not a part of their daily lives. Having an LD does not define who you are, and we need to help our next generation realize they are not bound or limited based on their ability. We are all capable of achieving our dreams without any restrictions. As Canada joins together on the conversation on mental health, I remind the adults to not forget the younger generation. If we want a generation of mentally healthy adults we must learn to foster the mental and well-being of the kids. It is time to have a conversation with everyone at the table.