Silver Linings

I’m sure none of us is enjoying the Coronavirus Lockdowns at the moment. Being stuck indoors while the weather is improving. Looking at the same four walls day in and day out. Being confronted with our family, rather than our friends 24/7. It’s all a grind.

But as I write this article, I must admit that I’m not suffering in the slightest.  And I’m forced to ponder ‘Why Not?’ Why am I perfectly happy being locked down, by myself, for over 6 months now?’ (I’ve been self-isolating since November for non-Covid medical reasons).

I have come to a surprising conclusion and I see it as a beautiful ‘silver lining’ for life in general and this current isolation…

None of us like to be mocked. Or shunned. Or even bullied.

As a young person with dyslexia and dyspraxia I was always an ‘odd’ child. Couldn’t read or write well, was clumsy and uncoordinated and came out with some ‘out of the box’ ideas.

For those who loved me, I was simply peculiar. I was considered the ‘absent minded professor’ and left to my own devices. It was an environment of benign neglect with plenty of food and shelter, but little engagement or even hugs.

For those who had no obligation to love me it was simply easier to ignore, shun or reject me. In extreme cases, different meant ‘threat’ and led to bullying and violence. I was simply better off keeping to myself… to self-isolate.

And there we have it… for whatever reason, I learned to be self-sufficient, on my own, from a very early age.

In retrospect, I probably did go through the loneliness, anxieties and frustrations that many are feeling today in the corona virus lock downs… but I would have done that when I was too young to recognise it. I didn’t know I was supposed to feel sad about it. Like dyslexia itself, it just was how it was.

In the words of the famous self-empowerment song , and my anthem,  “I am what I am”. Why not sing along with me… sing it to your family!

Now there is a danger in being self-empowered and dyslexic… and that’s ‘creative licence’.

Being dyslexic, I’m fairly creative and, for me, ‘out of the box’ is perfectly normal. And being empowered, I give myself permission to be and to think whatever I want. Luckily most of this stays in my mind and doesn’t leak out. I love my internal orchestra and I think it makes a beautiful noise. So what if other people don’t get it, or me.

That’s why being locked down during the pandemic is no big deal for me… because I’m dyslexic. After all, I’m being locked down with the one person in the world that ‘gets’ me most, who I’ve spent most time with alone and who loves me like no other. Who could have guessed dyslexia has such a fantastic silver lining? … What’s yours?


Mike Gordon is a life coach and volunteer with Dyslexia Scotland. Although dyslexic, Mike has earned 3 degrees in science and business and has had two best-selling self-help books published. Mike believes his dyslexia has been a genuine enabler in his life: Isolation opens up imagination and creativity to him; while struggles with words have driven a sense of ‘rightness’ in what he says and does. Words are a blessing.