It has taken me a long time to get to this point, to tell my story.
I have stuttered since I could talk. One of my very first memories of stuttering is when I had to stand up and give a speech to my class in primary school – if that wasn’t nerve wracking enough, throw in stuttering and it is a recipe for disaster. I stuttered on every word and the whole class laughed. I don’t remember how old I was but I remember feeling very low.
You would expect somebody who gets that reaction to run out of the room crying, but I didn’t. I sat back down at my desk and remained silent. Although I was crying on the inside, I would never let anybody see me cry, not about my stuttering anyway.
I have spent the past 29 and a half years analysing why I stutter, giving all of my energy to speaking fluently and thinking so intently about what I am going to say next. When you spend so much time and put so much energy into EVERYTHING that you say, you miss out on so much.
Growing up I felt lonely, I felt that no one understood my stuttering, or really understood me. I still thought that up until about 3 years ago when I dug deeper in the social media landscape and found Facebook support groups.
Even though I have stuttered my whole life, I have only come to accept my stutter the last six to twelve months.
Before I would tell myself “I’m going to be strong and not stutter today” and inevitably I would fail and I would get down on myself.
Now when I stutter I think, “Ok that’s not so bad, nothing bad happened.”
I have been going to speech therapy for awhile now and even though I enjoy the sessions and think my speech therapist is wonderful, I’m now starting to question whether it is of benefit to me. I am coming to the slow realisation that I will probably stutter my whole life, I will never speak fluently and that doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
The stress and pressure I would put on myself not to stutter took an emotional toll on me. It is time to simply…Let Go
It is time to let go of my fear of stuttering, of stuttering itself. I have let stuttering affect my life for too long, no more.
My stuttering has made me brave, has made me strong, is giving me purpose…it is simply who I am.