Sunday, October 4, 2009

Focus and Stuttering

Last night I went out with 17 sorority sisters from my alumni Hofstra University. I hadn't seen many of them for 24 years. Long time. I was a little anxious because I find large crowds more difficult to talk in. I had a great time but noticed myself stuttering and blocking more than usual. I don't think it helped that I had diet cokes with caffeine (I find caffeine makes my stutttering worse). About half way through the dinner I excused myself and went to the ladies room. I stood in the hall for a few seconds and practiced some full breath breathing. I tried to envision the situation in my mind and how I would use easy onsets. Interestingly, I hadn't seen many of these friends in the last ten years when I have achieved a higher level of fluency and confidence with stuttering. I had to remind myself that I had the controls. I wasn't embarrassed about stuttering, but felt I wasn't saying what I wanted. I went back to the table and really focused. My speech became more controlled. I paused more and initiated conversation. What did I learn from this? I still stutter and have the potential to stutter with struggle. I have to focus on my tools, not be ashamed of stuttering and continue to practice. I woke up this morning and knew I would be in a similar situation today at the autism walk (great fundraiser). This time I practiced more in the morning and felt much more controlled. This is a good lesson for all of us. We still stutter, but should never give up. Would love to hear more success stories. tks for reading. Bye for now.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Great post, thanks for sharing. Funny, the main reason I did not want to go to my high school and college reunions is my stuttering. Becasue I am open about it now,and hid it then, I just don't want to have to explain it to old classmates. So I missed out on catching up with people.
Stuttering sure does impact us everyday, huh? I wish I had the self discipline as you to actually think about and try to use tools. It just seems to get away from me every time, because I am always so busy and in a hurry!