Our First Post

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Ben Cohen, Jill Tipping · Comment 

John and Jill TippingHello everyone – this blog is going to be a bit of a joint effort between me (John) and my wife Jill who tends to be my reading and writing companion, amongst other things!

I am described as ‘profoundly dyslexic’ which is better than what I used to be described as which was thick and stupid! I am writing this blog (with Jill’s help) for two reasons – firstly to prove it to myself and others that I am not stupid, just different, and also I would love to think that my mad ramblings might be able to help others make something of themselves in this world. I am now 42 but up until I was 37, I just existed, although I didn’t realise it at the time. I spent most of my time depressed but I just thought that was how youwere supposed to feel. I was only confortable being a victim of society which just seemed to be full of words, words, words – my greatest enemy.

Then after some help from a few people that cared and understood me, I started to realise what life is all about and began to ‘live’. When you are dyslexic, every day is a massive challenge. If you can read and write you cannot possibly know the feeling of panic that can set in when you suddenly reaslise that you have to read something or simply fill in your address. The irony of it is that that feeling of panic can cause your mind to completely blank out which doesn’t help does it.

BUT, I now know that I just have to find ways around the problems as they arise, which they do all day, especially in my businesses – from road signs to parking meters, lunch menus to instruction leafleats, I have to try to read all day every day and that can be quite scary – especially when you don’t want to come across as a prat! I find the best way is to be totally honest with people – they normally help if they understand your problems.

I use software on my computer to help me send emails and research the interenet. It speaks to me and I can write by speaking into it. That is quite tricky though becasue I am not really sure what a sentence is shaped like, if you see what I mean, so I often end up asking Jill. It takes me ages to do things but at least I don’t have to constantly rely on Jill as this can be really irritating for her – especialy if she is in the middle of something.

I am feeling pretty knackered today. I have had only about 3 hours sleep. Last night we were up at TheA really lovely guy! He may be small but I wouldn\'t take him on. Dorchester at The Great British Boxing Legends. We met Henry Cooper, Barry McGuigan, Ricky Hatton and Frank Bruno. Jill works with rugby player Ben Cohen and it was part of his testimonial events. I drove up and back with Jill and Trish in the back of the car like I was the chaufeur – they were all glammed up and it was a great evening but I still had to get up this morning and make phone calls, put some signs up, clear out my van, do some estimates for my window film business and really I just wanted to crash out on the sofa. The old John would have done just that, but now I push myself forward the whole time and it feels great to achieve and make things happen whereas before I was just a quitter.

(Right – Jill and Frank Bruno and Ben Cohen’s testimonial event – Dorchester, Park lane)

I am just about to start helping out the researchers who are looking into Dyslexia. Should be interesting! This will be in a few weeks time so as I have never really been assessed officially it will be good to find out what exactly is going on in my slightly bizarre brain. Meanwhile, I will keep updating my blog (with Jill’s help). Leave me your comments and experiences – it would be good to know how other people cope.