Here is an inspirational dyslexia story that brings a lump to the throat! Share
Mairi Sharratt, poet from Edinburgh, is an exceptional woman who, armed with the memory of inspirational parental support, has fought against all adversity, taken on extraordinary challenges, and pushed herself through the dyslexia pain barrier to surface as an accomplished poet!
We hope you enjoy Mairi Sharratt story as much as we did and that it inspires you to the extent that it has us.
A Lump in the Throat – Mairi Sharratt Inspirational Story
I was very surprised when Goga from Dyselxic Brain approached me and asked me to write my dyslexia inspiration story. I do admit, that for other people looking in on my life, degree, home, husband, child, career and published poet it must appear as though I should be completely fulfilled. And I am, in so many ways. But I still haven’t achieved everything that I have set out to, I still have goals I am aiming to reach, and challenges I want to take. I in no way feel that my life is complete or fully developed. What I feel I can share with you is how I have coped with my dyslexia, what has brought me to where I am, and the challenges that I still face.
I was born the third of four children and grew up in a small village called Munlochy in the Highlands of Scotland. My father was dyslexic, and it appears that my Grandmother was probably dyslexic too. My Dad grew up in the days when no one knew about or understood about dyslexia. He left school with only one O level, having spent more time out of it than in. He now has a Phd. So in many ways my inspiration story is my father.
He wanted me to be able to achieve the things that he hadn’t been able to, he was a stickler for my spelling a perfectionist himself, and it was from him that I inherited my love of poetry. The advantage that I had, which a lot of dyslexics don’t was someone at home who understood exactly how dyslexia made me feel, and what I was going through, particularly living in an area where the local education authority almost blatantly refused to recognise the condition. It made the difference.
My parents also never limited me. They never told me I couldn’t do anything and they always encourage me to aim high, work hard and do my best. This was always typified to me in my fathers experience, he was dyslexic, but had achieved the highest level of academic award that can be reached. Through a lot of my life I only paid lip service to these ideas, but when times have been difficult they have stood me in good stead. I have become a person who relishes adversity (though not drudgery). I am always looking for another challenge, and like nothing better than proving someone wrong when they say I can’t do something. The document I have which carries my original diagnosis says that it will be unlikely that I would be able to get to the stage of tertiary education. I didn’t get the mark in my degree that I want, but I did get a degree.
After the birth of my daughter I decided I needed a hobby, but given the limited time I had it needed to be something I was serious about. I chose poetry. Two years in I am now beginning to be published, and write a regular blog which I really enjoy. I think dyslexia has actually helped me in my writing. All dyslexics reading this will know that we think differently, or brains just don’t work the same. In an artistic field where people are looking for new ways of approaching language a dyslexic approach will often appear new to those who are of a more nuro-typical mind.
This is not to say that I have overcome all the challenges that dyslexia has posed. I still and often struggle with it, especially in the work place. I work in public affairs, and I am often required to write at speed and with accuracy. Why would a dyslexic take this kind of job? Well, as I said, I relish adversity, and one of my many flaws is that I’m proud.
I have always concentrated most on what dyslexia gives me, my creativity, and the positives that it brings with it. However I still have days where I have to admit, a disability is a disability and there are just some things I will never be able to do as well as nuro-typicals. It is this acceptance which is the hardest part for me.
So how did I get where I am? An inspirational father, and more patience and sympathy from others than I have necessarily deserved. I sincerely hope it is not the end of my journey. I wish you the best for yours.
See also my blog: A Lump in the Throat