Ryan: - It’s just not my favourite thing - climbing ladders under pressure.
Doctor: - Can I just say? You are amazing.
Ryan: - Am I?
Doctor: - Think of what you’ve gone through to be here, and you’re still going. I’m properly impressed.
All this episode is amazing, you know - not only because the Doctor is caring and understanding, but because there’s also a support to a person with condition - and from what I can say, I’m seeing this very rarely in TV shows. Conditions or health issues are the ugly truth of our lives and generally no one wants to highlight them. People prefer to watch stories about those who are fit and achieving, or about people who stoically dealt with some hardship and went out of it in one piece, mentally and physically. Few of us can admit that heroic wins we hear about are just one lucky pick out of all lot. We can do that only if we lose our battle (and losing is being constantly shamed in our society). And of course no one wants to see the struggle that looks tiny from the side, like living with condition.
Unless you can relate when the life brings your tragedy upon you. And then… maybe once you were that fit and achieving person and felt pretty almighty, and now you have to confront difficulties every day. Or maybe you have been living in constant struggle since you were born.
In moments like these the encouragement from people around you is really important, because the condition of any sort changes your life to worse. Sometimes - once and forever, sometimes, if you’re living with the condition all your life, you reach out for the normalcy of life and may never get it. But you still try, you stand up and fight for it.
I’ve read full list of dyspraxia’s symptoms - and hell, even couple of them must be really depressing. Not just because there are obvious difficulties like knocking things over or tripping over your own feet, but because if you have some condition, no matter whether it influences your life hugely or in a tiny bit, you often feel like you’re missing out some part of life. You might feel that it’s unfair to have a condition while most of people haven’t it, that it’s unfair to go through difficulties most people don’t think of as hardship because that thing is easy for them. In some degree, in moments of despair, you might even experience some envy to healthy people - and you’ll feel terrible for experiencing it; but you’re in pain, if not physical then definitely mental, and pain brings up bad feelings towards the world or your own existence in it.
You might also feel like you’re born with some wrongness in you, in your body, and sometimes you’d wish to trade it for another body, a fully functioning one. But you can’t, and you are condemned to having difficulties for maybe all your life. Every day is a struggle, something that would be a small step for anyone living next door is a huge step for you. Sometimes you might even feel that you’ll never succeed in literally anything, you might feel that your existence is pointless. And then, gathering all your will, you subdue those thoughts and go out there into the new day to prove the world that you actually can achieve things, your condition-given restrictions be damned.
Now, you all have a minute of pride for Ryan: he wants to be a mechanic. It’s a job that requires good coordination and acting by exact order of moves. And he goes for it. Knowing that he may receive job refusals, or fines for mistakes, or mockery from colleagues (because dyspraxia can make him not follow the needed order of actions during assembly or do clumsy moves), he still goes towards his goal. Despite everything. With bravery and faith that he can succeed.
He’s hell of a fighter, an invisible hero of every day, and lots of people around you are those heroes too - you just might not know about what they go through every day.
I’m happy that this unobvious for most people, but really important lesson is there in Doctor Who. More than that, the idea also can have broader development and tell about each of us who ever did what was impossible for us. We are all amazing in different moments of our lives.
But let’s also be more supportive for everyday heroes who come through a big struggle we usually don’t see.