My Different Brain

It’s very difficult for me to read a book.

To better understand the few I’ve read, I have to take notes on what it’s most important to remember in order to understand the story.

By Raymond Viger

A 250 page book can be summarized in 40 pages. That way I can condense a book, eliminating everything that would distract me from the main plot.

I became a master of short phrases, short sentences, short paragraphs… Little bites to be appreciated one at a time. Don’t give me the whole buffet. I’ll get lost.

Inside my brain there are a lot of detours. Nothing travels in a straight line. Sometimes I have to go backward to move forward. I have to respect my brain’s way of working.

I can learn a text by heart. But it takes enormous time and energy. I have to use imagery and other mnemonic tricks. That ends up making what I’ve memorized a heavy document to carry around in my head. That’s why the only way I can get by is through improvisation.

I’m also dyslexic. I don’t just reverse the order of letters in a word. No, that would be too simple. I also reverse the order of words in a sentence. A subject, a verb, a predicate, they’re all over the place. Reading is easy for a lot of people, but not for me.

Time: Dyslexia is a world unto itself. I’m also dyslexic in terms of time, a temporal dyslexic. I don’t know if it’s a difference recognized in the mental health world, but that’s what I am.  

On Monday morning, I’ll give you a week to carry out a certain task. I’ll come back to you that afternoon and ask if you’ve forgotten me. And you’ll reply that we’re still the same day. And that the week you have to complete the task actually ends… next week!

Time turns somersaults inside my head. It’s as if my head is filled with tumbling snow globes, bumping and grinding and flying around forever.

There are times that I feel like that little snowman on the bottom of his snow globe is me. Like an Alaskan seal stranded on an ice flow.

That which I am isn’t necessarily recognized in the world of mental health. That’s normal. We’re all different. Science likes to categorize people using labels. It seems almost delusional to create names to categorize what makes each of us unique.

I am different. I am proud of my differences. I need to be respected for who I am, but, above all, accepted as I am.

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