I’m so clumsy, I used to think I had some sort of undiagnosed condition.

I wasn’t sure if I had no spacial awareness, or I couldn’t see obstacles, or I thought they were permeable… or that I was.

When I was younger, it didn’t bother me. I’d have so many bruises on my legs, people who didn’t know me thought I was being abused. I’d never remember where they came from, because bumping into things was such a common part of my day I  instantly forgot about it. I was just confused when people asked me if I was okay. Why wouldn’t I be? I just banged my elbow/thigh/head off a shelf/table/wall. I’m fine.

The concern of other people started to get to me and I realised that it wasn’t normal to have so many bumps and scrapes, unless you were a professional rugby player or an adventurous eight year old.

I started to assume that I had a disorder that made me bump into things or drop things or fall off things more than the average person. I convinced myself I had a dyspraxia at best, Parkinson’s or a brain tumour at worst. Web MD is always so helpful. I also considered I might have a new, undiscovered disorder whereby the patient is not only clumsy but also loses things and spends too much money on doughnuts. It could be called Caoimhe’s disease. We could have a benefit.

I exhibited symptoms of Caoimhe’s disease while visiting a friend in London, I can’t remember if I injured myself or dropped something but I do remember that she rolled her eyes at me and said “You’re not careful.”

Her European bluntness was a revelation.

I’m. Not. Careful.

It’s completely true. I don’t have a condition, I’m just not careful. With myself, with my belongings, with other people’s belongings… I just don’t take care of things. And that’s the way I am.

I’m not careful. I wish I was, I would save a lot of money on buying new electronics (there’s a very specific crunching sound when you stand on earphones that you will only know if you’re not careful). I  also wouldn’t have permanent bruises marking up my leg the height of all the tables I pass during the day – which isn’t as useful as you might think. But that’s how I am.

Not careful.




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