We held our second course for 2019 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands at the end of August with 3 new students joining our programme and 20 returning members, who came back to work on their own speech. No matter how many courses I attend, I’m still amazed at the transformation of people who stutter, who get to grips with their stuttering n such a short period of time. But it’s important to state here, that this is only the beginning of the process (a life-changing process) and that there is a lot of practice required, with dedicated time and effort required to maintain the gains achieved during the first course.
Again, it’s important to reiterate that we are people who stutter, helping people who stutter. We have all experienced various degrees of difficulty speaking, whether it was silent blocks with no words coming forth, or the struggle and distortion of the words and sounds we tried so badly to express while making no sense to the listeners (or to ourselves sometimes). Or we could be the covert ones, the ones who hid their struggles so well that nobody knew the BIG secret; OH, YOU STUTTER! SAID NO ONE EVER!
We were in the trenches and living it each and every day. We were once the ones living a life of avoidance and developed strategies over time that we thought helped us get the words out, no matter how weird it looked to our listener, and sometimes we convinced ourselves that we ‘got away with it – they didn’t notice I stuttered, but looking back they did know, but didn’t say anything or make an issue out of it.
We are action-oriented, and this is the only way to learn what we are really capable of and what we need to build on and improve on. If we are not making at least three mistakes a day, we are not doing enough.
We find situations to test ourselves, we seek opportunities to speak to as many people as possible per day. We can’t and don’t allow ourselves to procrastinate or overthink, we get up and get out, and seek connections. Each connection allows us to learn, improve, to build our confidence to a level we never thought achievable in our lifetime.
We are the people who show by example, we go where the people are, we ask strangers for directions, and we tell people what we are doing and why we are doing it. We are not afraid to show our true selves, we never give in to the out of control version of us, we battle on to win the war, we play to win, we see ourselves as winners, and we are no longer victims to our out of control stuttering. We can finally live a life worth living. Don’t tell us what works and what doesn’t work until we’ve applied it yourself. We’ve gained the experience to speak about it and share it with the world.