Battling To Eradicate The Stutter

Eradicating my stutter was one battle which I was determined not to lose. I like to see myself as somewhat of a fighter, not in the physical sense but more with the mental side of things. This was however far from easy as I believe that I am naturally a negative thinker – I always had voices in my head which often attempted to spread doom and gloom.

These voices would try to make me worry about the future, they would try to tell me that my life was not worth living, they would attempt to make me believe that I was the unluckiest person in the world and they would try to convince me that I would have the stutter until the day that I died. I would, in return, try to ignore these voices or demons as I called them. Or alternatively I would talk back to them and would say that they are wrong and that I am not listening to them. This however was far from easy to do and there were many many occasions where I just had no strength to beat them away – these were the dark days, days of depression and anxiety.

Very depressing times

One such day happened after I went to visit my local speech and language therapist. These therapists must have had a severe dislike for me as I would often question their approach and would show a real frustration at my continuing speech impediment. When you attend speech therapy for many years and you still have a stutter, or it becomes even more severe as was in my case, it can become rather frustrating. I so wanted these speech therapists to be able to help me to eliminate the stutter from my speech once and for all however both they and I knew they did not have the capability.

After leaving my appointment with the speech and language therapist, an appointment which yet again was rather disappointing, I made my way home. The stuttering demons in my head were having a field day and were seemingly laughing at me and mocking me. I could not muster the energy or will to fight them off or to talk back to them. I even started to think that they might actually be correct in the negative comments that they were making. I was walking back in a daze and with a sense of despair. I started to feel very down and depressed, and yet again asked myself the question “Why me?”

As I walked around one particular corner I came across a man walking on the opposite side of the road. He was blind and had one of those special sticks to help him to navigate his way. I looked at this guy struggling to find his way to where he was going and it was like God had made me cross paths with him – yes I do believe in God. It was like a message to say come on Steve keep battling like this guy. I then thought that this blind man has little hope of ever being able to see but I did have a chance to overcome the speech impediment as I knew that I could talk fluently at times – I just had to find the solution to enable me to be able to talk fluently in all situations. The battle was well and truly back on!

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Attempting To Kill My Stuttering Demons

After a lot of work and a lot of searching I had managed to develop a set of techniques, techniques which I now call the “speech rules” and the practice was now in full swing. I was very much aware that I would need to work extremely hard at the practice side of things to ensure that these speech rules became a natural part of my speech.

I did not want to have to continually have to remember them for the rest of my life as my aim was to achieve total fluency and to be able to speak with the freedom and confidence that the majority of other people in the world did.

What I had in my head were what I called my stuttering demons. These were basically voices that would often (and I mean extremely often) talk to me, telling me that I was likely to stutter in a particular situation. This will be described in a clearer manner later. I just had to find a way to kill or to eradicate these demons as they were, in my opinion, a major reason why I had this form of speech impediment.

Here is an example of how I went about this task of eradicating the demons:

I was in a McDonald’s restaurant for the sole purpose of practice. Going and ordering items in such a restaurant was something I had always found hard to do and I would end up ordering something I believed that I could say rather than something that I actually wanted.

On this day I was going to attempt to order a Big Mac. I had always, well ever since I developed a stutter at the age of four, had issues saying words beginning with certain letters including “B” and “M” words, therefore this would be a good test.

Ordering food at McDonalds

As I waited in the queue a demon in my head stated that there was no way that I would succeed and advised that I order a hamburger and fries instead. I spoke back to this demon and in no uncertain terms told him where to go. I was however rather nervous but was focusing on remembering the techniques. It was eventually my turn to order and I could not believe it – I managed to say it fluently. I was so pleased and proud of myself.

I sat down and started to eat the Big Mac but to my annoyance the demon once again started to talk to me and stated that I had been lucky with that attempt and to not be so pleased with myself. He continued by stating that I would not be able to do it a second time. So have a guess what I did?

Yes I went back into the queue and did it all over again. The result? Yet again no problems. That is one demon that was well and truly crushed!

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