You Too Can Be Thankful for Recovery from Stuttering
When it came my turn to tell everyone at our Thanksgiving dinner what I was thankful for, I mentioned that I was thankful that my son, daughter-in-law, and three granddaughters had the opportunity to vacation in Hawaii. Then I turned to the real reason for my attitude of gratitude. I told everyone that I was grateful that I had recovered from stuttering.
Definition of stuttering
As we all have seen, the full operational definition of stuttering includes:
Distorted cognitive/thinking habits that are self-defeating and propagate stuttering: 1) demands of any kind, including the demand for perfect speech; 2) belief that stuttering is awful, so awful that it should not exist; 3) that “I can’t stand stuttering”, 4) “stuttering makes me less worthwhile as a person”; 5) the always and never beliefs such as “if I have stuttered or reacted in certain ways in the past I will always continue to do so. I will never get better”; and 6) the people pleasing, the need to impress others and prove that we are OK.
Unhealthy emoting habits that include feelings of shame, feelings of inferiority, anxiety, guilt, time urgency, low tolerance of frustration and discomfort, anger at self or others, and the feelings of helplessness/hopelessness or never having learned how to not succumb to these feelings especially when the feelings are associated with stuttering.
The habit of avoiding words, sounds, situations and calculated risks in career/social choices. This keeps the person from career advancement and finding the right mate.
The habit of tensing, struggling, and forcing speech sounds and forcing speech including the secondary symptoms (accessory behaviors).
Recovery from stuttering
Recovery from stuttering mandates that we do not put the cart, working on stuck speech, before the horse, managing emotions. This I did using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
No longer do I get stuck in a block, but always have forward moving speech without accessory behaviors. I have practically no anxiety, shame, or guilt or other unhealthy negative emotions. I don’t use any avoidances. But above all I unconditionally accept myself, and would accept myself even if I stuttered. I have taught myself, toughened myself, so that I no longer need constant approval from other persons. I have taught myself how to tolerate frustration. And above all I do not think that stuttering is awful or can make anyone less worthwhile.
When I got done talking about my stuttering recovery, I was challenged to share my knowledge of the recovery process techniques, insights, and exercises. So I decided that I would do all I can to help you, the reader, recover from stuttering. Now it is up to you to decide if you want to try to improve your speech and manage your feelings concerning your speech. Just remember “This is it. This is not a dress rehearsal.” With my guidance, you can create a way to live more fully.