What is recovery from stuttering?
Recovery from stuttering simply means that stuttering no longer holds you back from living life to the fullest. Recovery is defined by
• Having minimum feelings of shame, fear, anticipatory anxiety, etc. about stuttering;
• no need to avoid sounds, words, and situations;
• no real disruption in speech (only occasional effortless and forward-moving disfluencies);
• having natural-sounding speech (with some interspersed easy bounces);
• no obsessional thoughts about stuttering (the thoughts of stuttering are few and far between);
• never defining yourself as a stutterer or Person Who Stutters because you understand that people can’t be defined by any single trait of their many traits, especially stuttering (acknowledging that your speech may be peppered by easy repetitions, but that counting repetition frequencies is counterproductive—it is much more wise to work on eliminating the forcing and struggling and being stuck);
• the knowledge that communication skills or dignity cannot be severely impacted by occasional disfluencies; and
• having the courage to pursue any career and seek out romantic and social relationships of choice.
Remember that other people are not there to judge your speech and, based solely on your fluency, assign you a worth as a human being. And the rare occasions when a person may deprecate you because of your speech cannot make you a less worthwhile person. You have so many characteristics: some admirable, some good, some bad, and some neutral. You have both a past, present, and a future. You, as all of us, are very complex. There is no way to assign to you a single value. Calling you a name or assigning you a label just does not make any sense.
(Verbose explanation follows:) General Semanticists, followers of psycholinguistics, and especially REBTers rightfully contend that you are not a “butcher, baker, candlestick maker, or stutterer or PWS”. Sometimes you butcher animals, sometimes you bake bread, dip candles or have speech disfluencies (called stutters), but, since, you also sleep, eat, love, play and do a thousand things more, it is ridiculous to classify you by one label. In everyday speech we get sloppy and in order to distinguish persons use inexact labels to remind each other of whom we are talking: Rubinstein, the piano player; Monroe, the actress;… but it is only a reference to a person or thing. It is not meant to put people, animals, or things into categories. We know that piano player one does not equal piano player two. For example, Rubinstein and Billy Joel are quite distinct and different.