Dyslexia: It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It

(You can scroll down and click to listen to Sarah tell her story.)

I bet you have, or do, feel like just giving up. I mean, what’s the point? People say you can’t overcome anything. You’re too stupid and don’t understand anything. The last time someone called me stupid, I put him in his place. I told him, “You don’t know the first thing about me so stop it. I’m serious!”

Not one of my brightest moves, but I was sick of it. Walking into school every day and having the same people make fun of me was terrible. Stuff like that doesn’t happen as much anymore, because I’m respected, but I had to work hard for my respect, twice as hard as most people because of my disability. I’m a dyslexic.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was six. I got lucky that they figured it out so early. Reading was a struggle. It just did not make sense. When I did learn to read, it was half way through second grade. I was finally reading words: cat, fish, love, water. Not a problem, but I hated it. It hurt my head and frustrated me.

When I think back on it now, I could read, but could not at the same time. You see, I was reading the words; I just did not understand what was happening. I was really proud of myself, because I read my first chapter book, the first Box Car Children. I don’t know what happened in the story but…uh, I read it.

Third grade was terrible! We moved from Ann Arbor to Washington D.C. The kids there were horrible. They told me they could not be near me, because they would catch “dyslexia” or become stupid. It was the worst nine months of my life, but in a way the best. In those nine months, I started to enjoy reading, because it was a getaway. I found a whole new world where I could be whatever character I wanted to be. I was Nancy Drew, mermaids, princesses, dragons, etc. This also got me into writing, which introduced me to writing lyrics for songs. We will get into music later. If you don’t read, try to start. I promise it’s the best getaway you can find.

We moved back to Ann Arbor, which is where I am now. Teasing is not as bad anymore, and I swear to you, you will get through it. People that tease you are obviously just jealous. Not everyone can be as cool as we are.

Now, my main problem is math. I can only add and subtract with my fingers. I only have some multiplication memorized, and I can only divide with a calculator. Everything else is foreign. I can complete other things, equations for example, if I have a diagram on how to do it. If not, I’m like a drowning cat.

I know that dyslexia is a curse in some ways, but in other ways (more ways) it’s one of the greatest gifts you can have. If you believe in God, Buddha, or whatever your religion is, think about why he (or she) gave it to you. My answer to the question is that you have dyslexia to do something great, and that’s just what I intend to do.

My dyslexia gave me a special gift. Music. It is what my life revolves around. I sing. I sing every day, even if I am not thinking about it. One day, I'm going to do it profesionally. No one really can stop me either, which is one of the billion reasons why I love singing. It makes me feel alive. When I’m lost in a song, it’s only the music and me.

My dyslexia also “granted” me the ability to write songs. I have quite a few actually, which I would love to publish one day. Remember this: if you’re dyslexic, you have a gift. You just have to find it.

I have millions of friends now. Even in D.C I had a few. Well two, Colt and Mikaela. Now I have hundreds. According to Facebook about 370, but I know plenty of people that don’t have Facebook. It’s another gift. I am VERY social. Just ask my teachers. I have eight best friends (not in any specific order): Rosie, Madeline, Chardon, Katherine, Tasia, Bella, Megan, and Sabrina. Rosie is like my sister. She is the wise one. Madeline is the sarcastic one. Chardon is the funny one. Katherine is the hyper/moody one. Tasia is the preppy one. Bella is the sweet one. Meghan is the wise crack, and Brena is the quiet one. They’re not all friends, but I'm friends with all of them. I have so many more that I could talk about. Brianna, all my friends named Emily, the other Katherine, Brittany, Anna, Kelsie, Dunner, Bell. I also have a bunch of guy friends. Adrian, Anders (my dyslexic buddy), all of my friends named Tyler, Jack, Yoo-joon, Noah, and the list goes on. All my friends are amazing, and I would not change any of them.

I find that I always have a lot of energy. Well, sports are good for that. When you find a sport you’re good at, it helps you relieve stress. I swim, play soccer, and play tennis (I’m kind of bad at tennis).

My life now is splendid, but it would not have been that way if I had not [gotten help]. I can now speak properly, spell more, and just function all around. I would not have been able to do any of this without [help].

Reading over this, I have realized that you might not fully understand “the dream”. My goal in life (before I turn 14--six more months) is to become famous for singing and acting. When I was younger, I was always told I was the odd one out. I stand out, I guess. I hate being kept down. I speak my mind and expect to be listened to, not taken sarcastically. I have been told so many times by so many people that I will never achieve this dream. If any one thinks that, well, you’re wrong. Someday, I will be doing what I love and no one can say otherwise.

Another thing about being dyslexic and being a “child”, other people may try to take control of certain aspects your life. Don’t let them. You need to make your own decisions. They might test you, make you do all these things that mostly are a waste of your time and make you feel miserable about yourself. To sum it up…

Be the creator of your own fate.

Sarah's Story (MP3)2.13 MB