All gone wrong

Seems like I have neglected this site since last year but the truth is as much as writing these blogs helped me immensely early last year I always felt if I started writing again maybe it meant that I had gone backwards. I had forgotten the purpose of why I started writing in the first place which was to give myself some reasoning behind my stammer. When I stopped properly writing my blogs in June of 2013 I had never been so confident with my speech. Debbie wasn’t doing everything whenever we went out and I felt proud of myself knowing that I could be more help to her. Debbie is such a positive light in my life that I feel so bad that i over rely on her. Simple little things on the cruise like talking to people were initiated by me and I ordered at the bar and at restaurants in front of complete strangers and never even thought about it.
Fast forward 12 months and where are we. All the confidence has gone from my speech. I feel like I cannot talk one sentence fluently. I’m blocking, blurting and rushing and the sense of stupidly is returning. SOMETHING is holding me back and I can’t think what. The past 18 months have been the happiest period of my life but I can’t get past the fact that my speech is awful. I honestly feel that my stammer is getting worse. Do I return to speech therapy where I’m fluent in the classes? or do I go along as I am. I used to think that my speech was dependent on who I was talking to at the time but it’s not, I’m really bad with everyone. I’m seriously considering a vow of silence!!!!
The most frustrating thing is when I went speech therapy two years I picked up some really good techniques that really made a difference and the voice in my head holding me back was gone, but something has changed. Whenever I block I tell myself stop, breathe and start again but I physically can’t do it, people,think it’s easy to stop mid block but it’s so hard, I know how stupid I look when I’m doing It and I feel myself twitching and tapping, I’m still trying to start conversations and join in but because I’m rushing my words I don’t make sense and end up having to repeat myself anyway which is totally defeating the purpose.
I’m hoping that returning to writing this blog again will help restore some clarity and maybe help my confidence, quite frankly I’m sick of feeling like an idiot, I’m 35 and I can’t even hold a sentence together !!!! I don’t know what to do at this point in my life speech wise?, maybe I’m just too old, too stubborn to learn more.
One thing I do know is that I’m very fortunate and blessed that I have a fantastic wife and kids who understand and cope better than me with my stutter, without Debbie kicking me up the arse every now and again I’d definitely be in a worse state than I am now.

MC Stammer – Can’t Say This

Loved doing this

Hi I'm stammer and I have a David

Ok I’ve finished my parody sorry if it offends anyone, if it helps picture me in MC Hammer style trousers dancing along:

My My My stammer hits me so hard,

Makes me so why dear lord

Why did you give me

A speech defect that needs therapy

It feels bad and gets me down

Words get stuck and i start to frown

And i know as such

That this is a sentence i can’t touch:

Any tongue twisters (can’t say this)

Any long words (can’t say this)

Look at my mouth man (can’t say this)

You can see i’m stuck (can’t say this)

Saying the sentence in advance

If i get it right its a happy dance

So stay on the edge of your seat

If i get it right you’re in for a treat

Whilst i’m in full flow hold on

If i get stuck it’s all gone wrong

Like this, like that

Stammering makes me feel…

View original post 141 more words

End of year struggles

So as we approach the end of year it’s probably time to recap how this year has gone, speech wise the first seven months were really encouraging and I was very pleased with how everything was going. The main goal for starting this blog was to build my confidence for the cruise and I felt that I was successful in that respect. I spoke to people on my own, ordered things at the bars and shops and generally was very happy with how the cruise went. I still had the odd moment but from January til July I was extremely content and pleasantly surprised with how well my stammer was under control.
Since July though things have sort of gone back to how they were before, I’ve not bothered with my breathing techniques and I have no one to blame for that but myself, maybe I am simply content being as I am, the cruise was just for show I suppose but I did think better of myself then. I wanted to fit in on the ship so as a result I definitely put more effort into breathing, stopping and starting again. July, August and September were acceptable speech wise but since then I feel like I have gone backwards. The past three weeks has been terrible, I’ve started feeling embarrassed about talking to people and little things that I thought I could cope with have started creeping back again. When people on my round give me Christmas cards I start stuttering and mumbling instead of simply saying thank you and on Friday I felt so embarrassed when someone asked me my name and I couldn’t answer,the person didn’t know where to look and started laughing nervously which made it worse, in the end he simply walked off. I haven’t felt that way for almost a whole year since I started this blog (hence why I am back writing today)
It’s a difficult one really because I am very happy in life generally and you would think that as a result my stutter would follow, but perversely because I’m content perhaps I don’t try as hard as I should speech wise. As always no one makes an issue of my stutter except me and without the support of Debbie and my boys I know I would be in a much worse state, so what do I do? Should I just carry on as things are or should I try again and redo what I did so successfully at the start of the year.
The year has had many ups ( cruise, first granddaughter and eldest’s wedding) but many downs. I have never known so many friends to have had such a difficult year and am hoping that 2014 brings in new luck for everybody. I’m very fortunate to be healthy and have so many good friends in my life and I am truly grateful for my immediate family. I may be a grumpy git some times but believe me there is nowhere else I would rather be. If I could ask one thing for 2014 it’s to continue to be healthy and have have the live and support of my family and friends (the lottery jackpot wouldn’t go amiss either)

Been a while

I can’t believe that It’s been nearly five months since my last blog, I haven’t forgotten this blog or neglected it but simply haven’t had much to say, I often return to the blog when my speech is playing up just to remind myself what it was all about and it really does help. I am nowhere near the person I was when I first started this blog in January, however although I am extremely comfortable with my life at the moment, my stutter seems to have taken a step back recently. It’s probably a combination of lots of factors but the main one for me is that I have completely forgotten the breathing techniques that were so successful in aiding me. I’m talking too fast again and trying to get words out quicker then I should. I have lost my paranoia though which was a massive achievement. I no longer feel that people are not approaching me to have conversations with me nor are they trying to finish conversations quicker to get away from me. I took advice from Debbie who basically said if people aren’t prepared to wait for you to speak then those people aren’t worth it.

It’s been a funny five months since the cruise really, lots of work, lots of looking at and reminiscing of the cruise too, in fact we have already planned our next one in 2015 which is gonna be awesome, I was very happy with how my speech was during the cruise and I need to get that back as at the moment I feel like its rubbish !!! I have noticed that I have developed a twitch in my eye when I am stuttering as well which I think is affecting me as I am more concerned about that showing then concentrating on my breathing. Also I can’t remember if I had this twitch before or whether it’s just developed, you’d have thought I would have remember something like this but I honestly can’t, and this is also annoying me. I’m very thankful that I have a great support network at home so it doesn’t really become an issue, it’s only an issue at work when I’m trying to talk to people as I’m rushing to get things out.

Hopefully by returning to my blog and rereading it, I can recall the techniques and get back on track

Post holiday blues

After coming back to reality from our wonderful cruise and going back to work this week has been incredibly difficult to get going. Both Deb and myself have picked up viruses since being back and it’s such a struggle to stay motivated. We looked forward to the cruise for nine months and for it now to have come and gone is quite upsetting. I have nothing to focus on to keep me going at work, I always work better when I’m looking forward to achieving something, I think I definitely need to look at booking another cruise soon!!!
I was so pleased with how my stammer went on the cruise, I was really worried before hand about showing myself and Deb up but it went much better than I could have ever expected. Really shouldn’t be surprised as the cruise was so calm and chilled out and that impacts on my stammer. I found myself talking to lots of strangers onboard and ordering drinks and meals from the staff. I don’t think at any point my stammer was an issue which was truly amazing. I think I only felt uncomfortable once at the dining room which was on the first day when the waiter first spoke to us. After this we stayed with the same waiters and all was fine. I really impressed myself especially when most of the time I was the one who initiated conversations and approached people. Since we’ve been back I have tried to keep the stammer similar to the ship and until I liked up the chest infection I was doing really well, I’m slowing down my speech and thinking, first trying not to blurt.
I do miss being on the ship though, everyday I’m checking through our holiday snaps all 4000 of the,, I do like a photo

Day 10 and 11 – at sea losing days

For the next two days we are at sea making our way back towards England and is it any coincidence that the weather has got really windy?, it is still quite warm and dry but my god the wind at sea takes your breath away. We had a relatively late start we woke up at 7!!, got washed dressed and headed down to breakfast. One of the things I had wanted to do on the ship was attempt the climbing wall and today was the day, strangely the most windy day but nevermind!!. After watching a woman in her fifties make her way half way to the first bell I thought I couldn’t chicken out of it now even though I had contemplated it!!, eventually I braved it and bit the bullet and got ready to sign up, sign the waiver (slightly worrying) and got my helmet and harness ready and after being shown wrist exercises and what path I was to be taken I started my ascent. I managed the first half quite well, got to the first bell ring it which I was chuffed about and started climbing again. By this point the hand and foot grab rocks were getting smaller and smaller and my arms were really aching and I was just a couple of levels below the final bell but I just couldn’t reach it and I gave up!! Got down to the bottom and realised just how close I was and after getting some encouragement from the guides and Debbie I decided to give it five minutes and go again,whilst I was resting my arms and other bloke in his fifties did it so I thought I couldn’t not. I started again didn’t ring the first bell just carried on and I was now at the same point as before, my arms were burning at this point and I just couldn’t reach, so I let go and was left dangling mid air as the blokes holding my harness said they weren’t letting me down until I did it!!, they encouraged me to let go off the rope and swing my arms and just try and relax !! I finally managed to let go, composed myself and set off again, right by the bell was the final grab rock and I had to somehow get both hands onto it then reach across and ring it, after two near misses I finally grabbed the bell and frantically rang the bell, I had done it, I could feel a smug grin spread across my face as I come down to the floor, it really was hard but I had conquered it. The two guides were so supportive which helped and Debbie was really proud, now for some vodka to steady me!!! I felt quite proud of myself actually as I could have easily given up but I managed it!!!! Unfortunately my arms ached for the rest of the day.
After this we headed around the ship had our usual nose at the shops and decided it was time for lunch, after lunch we headed to the pet at sea part where you make your own pet, it’s a skin of a cuddly toy that you fill with feathers yourself and dress as well and you make a wish on a yellow star and put it in the back of the toy with the stuffing, such a great idea, we choose a monkey who we named Norman the nautical monkey!!!!
Being at sea is very tiring which is strange must be the sea air but about 13:00 after lunch I was so tired that we had to have a nap!!! After waking at 3 we went back on deck after being blown around we headed immediately back Inside to the shops and cafe promenade for a warm drink. Tonight is the last formal night on board so we went back to get ready. I have to admit I have quite enjoyed getting dressed up much more than I thought I would. We sat down to eat, had our main and was tucking into our desserts when I noticed our head waiter Andy, our assistant Metho and the head of waiting staff heading our way with a cake and candle where the all proceeded to sing happy anniversary to us!!! It was really nice as all the tables around us joined in, including the couple next to us who think they are something special but when you hear them talk they ain’t!!! It was a really nice touch and the cake was delicious.
We headed to our cabin to get some bits for the evening show and we saw one of the animal towels greeting us in mid air, this time it was a monkey and it was really good.

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Day 9 – Helsinki

After the panic of the last 24 hours we had a more calming day planned in Helsinki. Absolutely nothing planned for here we were just going to catch the shuttle to town and simply mill about. When we arrived in the industrial port I wasn’t expecting much, when we looked around the ship we could see the aerodrome where the souvenirs were and all of a sudden out the corner of my eye I could see something waving at me, when we looked I was a Finnish woman dressed in native dress waving a flag and a husky dog soft toy at me, nice touch I thought. When we were allowed off the ship we got the shuttle and headed to town.
Once we got of the docks the first thing that struck me was the cobblestone roads which looked very nice. I only thought it was the little road we were on but it was most roads and it looked really nice. We got off and after spending ten minutes looking quizzically at the map we decided to head straight on. What we found was rows of shops either side of the road but directly down the middle running all the way along was this park which was really pretty and at the end of it was a fountain which lead to the harbours. Helsinki was what I expected Copenhagen to be like. I was very impressed by it all. At the harbour we found the local market which was really good and we picked up a few bargains, Debbie loves looking round local markets so she was in her element. We could see the Russian Orthodox Church in the distance so we took a wander round to find it, again it was very beautiful, we couldn’t go in as it was locked but the outside was stunning. I’ve noticed a lot of these churches are on the tops of hills and they certainly dominate the skyline, in the distance we could see another cathedral as well. We headed back towards market square and waited for the sea cruises to start running. These took you all around the islands surrounding Helsinki so we thought it would be a great way to see them, the weather was really hot so it seemed like a good idea. The cruise took an hour and a half and it really was enjoyable. The islands are very scenic and like little communities of there own, the postman must hate it unless on his round he has a speedboat!!!. The hour and half seem to go quite quickly as they took us past the island zoo, past the icebreaker ships that are docked for the summer. Helsinki truly is beautiful. When we got off we treated ourselves to a waffle and also tried some local biscuits.
Whilst walking through the market again we spotted a characture drawer and deb decided she wanted one of me done!! Turns out this bloke was Bulgarian and apparently best friends with dimitr berbatov and other famous Bulgarians,!! Bless him I didn’t buy it for a minute but the drawing was really good and something I had wanted to get for a while. We found the other cathedral which was at the top of about a thousand steps (50!!), Debbie looked at them and said she’d wait down here and quite frankly she was right, although it definitely was a rocky moment when you reached the top. What was quite amusing was trying to get money out of he ATM machine, it was inside the bank which was locked but outside by the door is a place where you put your card in and it reads it and let’s you in, however getting out seemed to be the trouble as we were faced by three American tourist frantically pushing and pulling every door trying to escape!!, Debbie had the bright idea of keeping the door open for me as I went inside.
Finally we headed back to the ship but we had had a wonderful day in Helsinki, the one port that I wasn’t expecting much from but got a great deal from. It really is an amazing place one I would highly recommend do all, like most places on the Baltic cruise.

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