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Member guest blog: I'm Kenough

Do you feel like you are enough, knew you were a bit different, afraid to own your weird. I know that's how I use to feel... and it's a lot more common than you think!

In this blog Helen or 'H' explores the concept of being enough in a world that really isn't a Ken and Barbie carbon copy world!

So, I am not conventional… I knew I was different and thought differently to others. I didn’t always ‘own my weird’ like I do now!

At school despite ‘getting things’ quickly it somehow didn’t translate into my writing and grades. I spent nearly all my primary school years having additional ‘remedial lessons’ . My school didn’t like to ‘label children’ and so I/my parents didn’t seek further assessment. I often felt like I didn’t really fit in anywhere. But, I was fairly happy, relieved when I acted on being gay instead of pretending to be something I wasn’t. But, it took a while for me to feel safe enough to be ‘out’ at work as being Neurodiverse.

I am Dyslexic diagnosed in my 20s and have ADHD self-diagnosed in my 50s! So you’re never too late to work out who you are on the journey of life! I have had coaching for my dyslexia and more recently my ADHD which were a life changing moment!! But, the other significant ingredient has been increasing my self-awareness and focus on self-care and self-love.

My NHS career ended up rocketing and I went up the hierarchy, loving urgent care – drama queen junky – and, yes, riding in an ambulance with the blue lights is exciting! I do remember not always disclosing my Dyslexia straight away for fear of prejudice. In fact, I nearly didn’t get an interview because of my handwritten (in those days) application was so bad! Thankfully I did and this is when I became a ward sister level role. Later I went into more project management and then programme management, and even got to be Walk in Centre Lead for the South of England.

Later, I started my own consultancy firm, initially part-time, and did that for over a decade. But, shh don’t tell anyone, I struggled every single time I had a new form to complete!! Every day then and now I struggled to cope with my emails! Now I am the first nurse in the country to be a Clinical Director, openly gender fluid, still cover urgent care, but also trauma informed approach and transgender healthcare (first in the country for that role too)

Alongside this career, I became a lecturer at City university in London. I can’t tell you how much pride it felt to stand there as a lecturer. Me, that girl from the remedial class. Me, the dyslexic who could only dream of going to uni, and there I was! I got involved in charity work for many years, active in local sports clubs, even organising a masters swim competition for over 300 swimmers at the London Olympic pool. I got into waterpolo and represented my country at the Gay Games in Paris (OK so it’s about inclusivity more than skill – thank god – so a cuddly over 40 something got to go and play with pride). More recent years I set up my not-for-profit and have heaps of fun making a difference for others in a new way. (Spot the eclectic ADHD enthusiasm !)

If you have your own business, you will know that you really, really, learn about yourself even more as its vital for you and your business wellbeing! I learned what I am good at, what to delegate and what simply doesn’t add value to the business or me! At the same time, I have also learned to be kind to myself and my inner voice less critical. I explored my money story and make sure that I don’t get in my own way! I also learned more about manifestation, gratitude and found my tribe! For me co-women is one of my safe space to be, as is joyfully different.

Also, in more recent years I learned more about ADHD (and yes self-diagnosis is valid!). You know what, so many things make so much sense now! Like my timekeeping, low boredom threshold and my sensitivities. But I hold my head up high as they also have helped fuel my life, I have more energy than a Duracell bunny! My hyper focus means I really get into things, understand them and have become an expert – like in coaching, as people are my thing! Combined with my sensitivity, it means even though I am straight-talking, I have a big heart and won’t judge you, but will get you!

In fact, my whole business helps others just like me who are neurospicy through workshops and courses. I also spread the word that your enough though my various public speaking events that cover, neurodiversity, impact of trauma and trans/queer side of life.

So, I am not one thing, but many, not perfect and that’s ok too! I’m Helen with Dyslexia that gives me spider senses and intuition second to none, alongside my ADHD with more energy than a Duracell bunny, these are my superpowers. What are yours and you know what you are enough!?

Helen or ‘H’, is the founder of Practical Wisdom a not-for-profit organisation that supports neurodivergent adults and the organisations they are in at work and play! This also includes the intersections such as with the queer world and indeed overlaps with trauma. They are available for workshops and public speaking.

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