I’m a Freelance Writer With Dyscalculia
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat.
Unfortunately, I’m not here to offer you advice on how to manage your finances as a freelancer or how to navigate tax time or how to keep your sanity as you juggle those circumstances. I wish I could, but here’s my truth:
Though I try to be super organized and I’m pretty fastidious with tasks, I have dyscalculia (a.k.a. dyslexia with numbers) — so every tax season sends me into massive anxiety, even with the support of an incredible accountant.
What’s it like to manage dyscalculia? Imagine…
…not being able to add simple numbers in your head
…not understanding basic mathematical functions
…staring at simple pie charts and graphs like they’re ancient hieroglyphics
…struggling to remember important phone numbers and dates and addresses
…feeling overwhelmed every time you look at a bank statement, a receipt, or an invoice
…constantly checking to make sure you’ve added something correctly (because you typically don’t)
…questioning your ability to manage day-to-day bills and other numerical processes
I’m 53 years old and only recently learned there’s a name for all these challenges. Until then, I thought I was slow, thick-headed, and not trying hard enough to understand numerical figures.
Recently, the term “dyscalculia” came up somewhere in my reading — a term I’d never heard before — and I got curious. Could it be? Is there an actual name for what I’m dealing with? What is dyscalculia, anyway?
I did some research and found an online dyscalculia test that confirmed what I’d known my whole life — that my brain does not work well with numbers.
When I saw my score and realized this has been a learning disability and not just a personal shortcoming…I was overcome with relief — and not a little remorse that I’m only learning this now.
When I think back to all the jobs I’ve struggled with in the past, everything makes perfect sense.