This new year I have set myself a goal to try and do a doodle a day and also complete a writing prompt a day. Yesterdays writing prompt was quite an interesting one- “compare your past self to your current self”. My first reaction was a very negative one- looking just at the lack of change in self harming behaviours. Thinking they have had little change over the past few years, thinking that I’m not doing anything with my life and generally thinking very negatively. Taking another look at the question a little while later I have come back with a much more rounded answer to this prompt. In the comparison of 17 year old me to now 19 year old me you can see there has been a huge amount of change and progress. Although I am still struggling with negative behaviours, there is so many more things in my life that have changed in the past 2 years that I can be so so proud of. This time two years ago I was a month into a psychiatric hospital admission and was spending most of my day harming myself- to the point that I wasn’t safe to be left alone and was eventually put on 1:1 observations. This time two years ago I was 3 hours away from home, scared and struggling to eat. I had just turned 17 and was in quite possibly the darkest place I have ever been. Two years on, I am at home and have just celebrated my 19th birthday. I am still struggling massively with self harming behaviours but I am able to keep myself safe most days. Over the past two years I have made some amazing friends and learnt to let people into my ‘world’. To not automatically shut everyone out for fear of being hurt. I am still finding it hard to open up, but I know now that there are lots of people who want to help me and reaching out for them is always an option. I may have not changed as much as I would have liked to outwardly but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been change. I am proud of the progress I have made, it has been hard to get to this point but I have faith that in the end it will all be worth it.
In 2016 I set myself several new years resolutions. I wanted to try and make them achievable. I can now proudly say on the 1st of January 2017 I have achieved the majority of last years resolutions. One them was the read 10 new books, I kept track of this via the ‘Goodreads’ website. Most people on there have the goal to read, 50 books and upwards. So my goal is pretty low in comparison. But I am still very proud of myself for reaching last years goal a I struggle with dyslexia and reading can be quite a challenge. When I tell people that I have dyslexia a lot of the time they don’t believe me because I don’t come across as the standard stereotype. I enjoy english, I like reading and writing. I like being able to stitch a few chosen words together to make a beautiful picture in someone else’s head. Dyslexia does put a bit of a barrier between myself and the people around me who have similar interests in writing. I think the main thing for me that I use to combat my dyslexia is utilising the technology around me. I am a bit nerdy and I’m into tech anyway but I find it so incredible that modern day technology can aid anyone into achieving great things. I utilise voice dictation on almost all of my big bits of writing. I change the colour of the backgrounds on all of my screens to remove the issue of ‘black and white reading’ that a lot of dyslexics have trouble with. The font size on all of my devices are increased so it is easier to ‘chunk off’ words when I am struggling to understand them. All of these things help me to be a writer and enjoy literature. I was taught a lot about these things by the wonderful learning support teachers that I met in school, who really did go above and beyond to help each student achieve there fullest capabilities. I am really grateful for them because they were the first people to show me that if you have a talent for something, you should run with it and not let anything stand in your way. Because they will always be there to lend a helping hand to get you moving past your difficulties. This year I am aiming to read 12 books and finish writing my own. I cant wait for the challenge, bring it on!