Adulting 2 - Why I choose to wear odd socks.

Every now and again people notice that I frequently wear odd socks.  Most of the time people who comment on it put it down to it being one of Mitchell's whimsical ways. An eccentricity that proves how ‘off the wall’ I can be at times. And this is not wrong, but as with many things there are deeper reasons behind why I wear odd socks. And today I will discuss them.

In one of my earlier posts (Stuff 6 - Empty Cardboard Tube) I discussed how over the years I have made peace with my struggles with Dyspraxia and Dyslexia.

I didn't expect my thoughts on this to raise any particular reaction, because I have been discussing this at length with my family and friends for many years now. So for me at times it can seem like an old issue. I'm lucky in that I am surrounded by people who understand it and accept me as I am. 

If I'm honest I suppose I'm tending to take the view that the things that I'm writing are actually a form of narcissism, because essentially it's just me talking about myself and my stuff.

But since I wrote that post I've had quite a few conversations with people asking questions because they feel they may have similar symptoms & experiences & others who are concerned about one of their kids who is exhibiting similar symptoms. So I felt I should expand on it & explain a bit further.

With these posts I'm generally trying to keep things lighthearted because we're all worried enough at the moment quite frankly. But this is something that has profoundly affected me my whole life and if sharing some of my symptoms and experience can help someone in their journey then I will share them.

According to the NHS website "Dyspraxia also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder or DCD is a common disorder that affects movement and coordination, but does not affect intelligence. but, it may make daily life more difficult. It can affect coordination skills especially tasks requiring balance playing sports or even learning to drive a car fine motor skills such as writing or using small objects are also affected"

For me as a kid this meant that I was very clumsy and attended to to fall over and lose my balance quite a lot. My Mum often reminds me that I had my own chair at West Herts Hospital. All my life I have found it difficult to order my thoughts and I have a fairly poor short-term memory. Social skills also took longer to develop than my peers and so for a long time even today at times I can be socially awkward

People who know me know that I can at times be quite loud and this is because I struggle with moderating my voice at times especially if there's alcohol involved.  Regulars of The Oddfellows Arms, Gorleston will recognise this. Most of the time this is treated as just one of my eccentricities and is laughed off. But sometimes it annoys me just as much as it annoys everyone else.

I have no way of knowing how easy simple tasks are for everyone else , because I've never been "normal" but I am aware that it takes a lot of effort at times to produce even the simplest of work because I struggle to to order them and express them.

My handwriting is terrible as is my hand eye coordination generally. Like many I am very sensitive to touch light and loud noises. Even simple things like how clothes fit can be problematic.

Those are some of the negatives but by no means all of them.

There are many positives and these days I suppose I have a tendency to focus on these positives because they are things that have helped me in my career.

In this I feel that I am lucky because I have been encouraged and enabled to embrace my uniqueness and I've learnt to recognise the positives and use them.

But I really don't want to minimise or downplay any of the real struggle and work it's taken to get to this point. I still consider my early education really until the age of 28 to have been a waste of everyone's time. It was characterised by bullying from teachers and fellow pupils & an education system that was actively working counter to my the needs and the needs of many others.  Low self-esteem, depression, lack of confidence, anger and overthinking are just some of the residual effects that  Dypraxic people deal with their whole lives . In a lot of cases my own included this can lead to many years of depression, low self-esteem & lack of confidence.

So why do I wear odd socks?

I wear them these days because why not?

As a kid I wore them to help me tell left from right this was the simplest way to remind me.

I've always been very lucky in that I've been surrounded by my family that understand & care.  

If you want to learn more about Dyspraxia/DCD there is lots of information at the Dyspraxia Foundation who are a charity dedicated to providing helpful advice. There resources on their website, including the Infographic shown below:

As I've said before these days I see my learning style as much more of a benefit. But I know that it's taken many years for me to get to this point. Some people don't get to this point.

I try not to be a “Badge Wearer” but, this is why I choose to wear odd socks.


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