Stuttering Hurts? Take the First Steps to Recovery

Stuttering Hurts? Take the First Steps to Recovery

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

                                                                                                     Tony Robbins

“Pain is mandatory, misery is optional.”

Alcoholics Anonymous

Season to be jolly

I have never been a fan of Tony Robbins or Alcoholics Anonymous, but nobody has summarized the state of people who stutter better. First of all as a recovered stutterer, I well know the pain that those of us who have stuttered have gone through. Yet, pain does not equal misery. We can through intense and systematic thinking, such as outlined in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy of Stuttering, admit to pain, but not succumb to misery.

1.      Stuttering is not awful; we can still live life fully and enjoy a lot of things.

2.      Yes, there is pain when we stutter, but we can toughen ourselves to stand the discomfort and frustration of stuttering and stuttering therapy.

3.      We can build the habit to focus on living live and not trying to prove ourselves to be worthy. And especially never down ourselves if we stutter.

4.      Above all, do not demand approval of every person you meet. Some people might not like you because of your nationality, height, color of eyes, or-God forbid, stuttering. Don’t act like a mind reader and assume that it always is your speech that turns other people off. And even if it should be so, the universe had to produce some jerks. Twisting the words of John Milton’s Paradise Lost “Those also serve, who serve as  bad examples.”

Your situation

Your stuttering may have made life seem different and confusing — and it’s normal to need some time to find out what you can do a bout it. But once you have learned to accept stuttering as part of who you are, it’s time to find out what you can do about it and trying to recover from it. Here’s how to get started.

Part of the grief process for an individual with stuttering is to create a new plan and build upon the talents you have and the plasticity of your brain.

Here are some exercises and questions I have borrowed from psychology. It is high time to address the question of recovery. Develop an action plan by answering the following questions:

What is your vision of unconditional self-acceptance, yet working your recovery plan?

With respect to reality what would you have to do to begin the process of developing that plan?

What would be difficult about doing this? What internal barriers might prevent you from taking action?

What personal strengths could you use to help you with this?

What new support could you put in place to help you with this?

What new information would you need to help you with this?

What is the first small step you can take toward creating learning how other people have recovered? But don’t take for granted when they say they have recovered. Find them and talk to them on the Skype.

When will you start this painstaking research?

When will you try to recover even if there are no guarantees?

What will you do if you get stuck?

Here’s what you need to do if you get stuck:

Plan a first step — the smallest first step you can. For instance, call someone for information or look it up online. (A step that may seem small may not actually be small enough if you’re having trouble taking it.)

If that’s more than you’re ready to do, start by looking up the email address in Facebook or by googling.

Next, ask yourself:

What would be hard about inquiring and comparing what to do?

Why can’t you start a comparative spread sheet of how people have recovered from stuttering.

Why does this spread sheet have to be the one to end all spread sheets?

You still can inquire about costs.

See if you can get a contact or two.

Can they point you toward someone who has recovered?

Why can’t you follow your instincts?

What would prevent me from starting to build this spread sheet of options? Is it the fear of being overwhelmed or of increased pressure?

What would actually happen if I did start this comparison?

What personal strengths of mine would help me investigate what I could do to recover from stuttering?


Tell your plan to one person who can envision your being able to accomplish it. Keep checking in to confide to this person any fears or resistance you may be experiencing. Remember that this individual is not there to judge your performance, but to help you stay focused on the meaning of your quest.