Grab your disabilities by the horns and take yourself as far as you can.
We are a couple trying to figure out who we are outside of our disabilities and become location independent. We’ve chosen location independence because my Bipolar means that I have to change my life entirely every 4 years. Rather than pretending that it’s not going to happen and trying to settle down, only to face the agony of throwing it all away, we have decided to face it head on and redesign our lives so that changes become a natural part of it.
We both thrive on doing those things that people say we can’t do. I have Bipolar, Dyslexia and Asperger’s syndrome (high functioning autism) but this didn’t stop me from getting my PhD in Human Computer Interaction. James has Dyslexia and Asperger’s also but this didn’t stop him getting his Master’s degree in Interaction Design. We hate not knowing how to do something, and love learning something new.
Now that we know how to become good at the things they say we’re bad at, we want to go and find out all the things that are possible to us and we would love for you to come on this journey with us. We want to know what your Amazing Goals are – the things you’ve always wanted to do but stopped yourself because of something you can’t do. Let us help you change the things you ‘can’t do’ to things you ‘haven’t done yet’.
Dr. Akiyo Kano – I’m a thirty-something writer, who gets excited about efficiency and improvements. Although I trained as an academic all through my adulthood, I realised that my Bipolar would get in the way of being able to provide consistently high quality teaching to my students. So I quit, and am now trying to sculpt my life to suit both my abilities and disabilities. I love and hate having Dyslexia, Asperger’s and Bipolar, but they make me the person I am today, and I love that.
When I was at school, I was an average student. I knew I was more than that because I worked harder than anyone else. I was so frustrated with the fact that my grades did not reflect the work I put in. It was only when I was 24 that I found out I had Dyslexia. At 28 I found out I had Asperger’s and at 30, I was diagnosed with Bipolar. After each diagnoses, I refused medication, but read as many books I could get my hands on about each condition. I tried everything these books suggested. Some worked, some didn’t. I have discovered minimalism to be the best way to deal with the inability to tidy, not eating processed sugar to be great for my Bipolar and my own style of reading and writing. Still, I tried to ‘fit in’ to society – I struggled through my academic life, a house, a car, and all the trimmings.
When I met James, he suggested that maybe I needed to lead a life that was more adapted to the conditions I have. Not to give in to them, but make them cost me less in both financial and emotional terms when it decides to get in the way of life. If a complete change in lifestyle is what I need every four years due to my bipolar, then I should lead a life that makes that change easy. A job that isn’t tied down to a place, minimum stuff that doesn’t tie me down to a house and a partner that wants to come along for the ride.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor, a councillor nor a financial adviser. I am a doctor of computers. Therefore, the advice I give on this blog are entirely of my own opinion and should not be taken as or be substituted for professional advice.