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.

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progress ?

Sorry for my lack of blogs this week, nothing wrong just not been in a very writey mood that’s all, Been a struggle more last week than this but been difficult. I have been trying my techniques but have struggled coming to grips with it, which in turn leads to more frustration. My breathing hasn’t been very good and my chest has been getting tight so after visiting doctors he has sent me up the hospital for blood tests and an ECG. Had the blood test today and the ECG booked in for next Friday  Debbie thinks that i may be developing asthma rather than any underlining problem. God knows what the doctor thinks as every time i go and see this particular doctor he insists i am diabetic. So i should find out in a couple of weeks whats up, i know something is up because i don’t feel right, going up and down stairs and hills is becoming harder than it should, especially because i am in the peak of fitness and have the body of a god (Buddha) Seriously though i am slightly concerned about it, Debbie keeps reassuring me that it will be ok and she is much more knowledgeable about medical things than me, but still i am a natural worrier. Funny thing is that because i’m feeling slightly stressed about my breathing it is actually making it worse as i’m back rushing my words and sentences. It’s a vicious circle i tell ya!!

However i am being positive, i have started looking into Tai Chi and have emailed someone about the classes, apparently Tai Chi concentrates on deep breathing meditation type exercises and i think this is something that would really help me. Obviously if i can control my breathing i am 75% of the way there as its mainly lack of breath that induces the stammer as i’m so intent of getting my words out that i forget to breathe . Another recommendation was yoga  but i dont think i’m flexible enough to try that and i’m more likely to pull something. 

I am still trying to speak to more people and use the phone more with various degrees of success. At the blood test today twice i was asked my name and date of birth and both times i simply froze BUT where previously that would bother me i composed myself, let the moment pass then carried on as if it hadn’t happened. This is a big step for me as normally i would retreat and just give one word answers. I know that i’m having a bad time of it at the moment but this is different. It’s not self inflicted its because i’m not right. Once i can get helped with the breathing i know now that i am confident enough in the techniques i have learned that i can master things. I noticed in my comments that some people think that i’m too negative but honestly i do feel positive about how things are going to develop. People that know me will tell you that i keep my cards pretty much to myself anyway but i am being positive. I’m doing things now that I’ve put off most of my life such as ordering things at a bar, phoning people up, answering the phone etc etc, all normal everyday tasks but these are massive for me. Highlight for me this week was surprising Debbie on valentines night and pre booking a table for us. Also the reaction to MC STAMMER was very pleasing and i am looking into other parodies too, watch this space

I have also been working on a book today, i couldn’t reach the top shelf and had to stand on it and that ladies and gentleman is comedy gold 

MC Stammer – Can’t Say This

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 such a prat

I’ll let you know if it gets to much

And this is a word i won’t touch

Yo i told you man long words (can’t say this)

She sells seashells (can’t say this)

Sound the bell time for therapy (can’t say this)

Give me a song and i’m fine

Soon as i speak it’s way down the line

Now you all know

Talk about a stammer, i’m star of the show

I get stuck, chest feels tight

Fingers start sweating, i’m not alright

I’ve tried to learn

Whats its gonna take for me to earn

The right to speak

Pressured situations i just go weak

I tried to work hard but i just quit

Life with a stammer really is shit

That’s word cos you know

Can’t say this

Cant say this

Cant say this 

Stop!!!!!!!

STAMMER TIME 

 

my first week

Well its been a week since i took the plunge and first decided to do this, ok I’ve not written anything for a couple of days but that is purely because I’ve had nothing to say really. The difference in me i think is amazing. I can see a difference in both me when i talk and also in others when i am talking. I no longer feel that they are desperate to get away. I haven’t been fluent all week and sometimes i still stammer more often than not but i’m not letting it control me. If anything i’m suffering from a lack of breathe instead of a stammer. I am finding it difficult to get the first word out when i talk but once that has past i feel confident enough to slow my talking down and continue in full flow. Debbie has been SO supportive this week but then she always is but what has surprised me is the level of support i have received from others. My work colleagues have all been great David and Keith in particular have been very vocal in their praise both on my posts and to me and this truly means a lot but its not just these two, i’m very lucky to work with a great bunch of lads who (mostly) dont make an issue of my speech, i still accept one or two comments about it but i have made a conscious effort on my part not to take the mickey out of myself and this has been reflected by them. I have also noticed that on my round i seem to be talking to more people also, it always was the same old few and i did used to avoid certain people but this past week i have felt confident enough to just let the techniques that Gillian taught me and it has worked.My twin Garry has also been very supportive, he has been writing a blog for a long time now so he’s advice and encouragement also has been a big help .

Today probably has been my worst day but as Debbie pointed out to me i have been very breathless today and this always affects me, this may be because i put on weight over the Christmas period but my diet starts as from today so i’m hoping this will help. I have done well I’ve not eaten chocolate for two days (that’s good for me trust me). 

I also appreciate the comments and advice that people who are reading this blog are giving, the British Stammering Association got in touch with me and asked me to re post this on there facebook page and that’s been an eye opener as well, maybe now that i know i’m not the only person that goes through this has helped me too. Whats amazed me is the number of females that i have noticed who stammer, i was always told that females grow out of it (obviously told wrongly) and in my experiences i have never met a female stammerer but i would love to hear their experiences of stammering. Also fellow bloggers that read mine have all been very positive and again i do appreciate, i may not do a daily blog from now on but i will try not to bore you all!!! One follower who i have been reading is inspiring me to write a bucket list, which i am really keen to do although its mainly looking like  a travel bucket list it’s nice to have dreams now, my new found confidence is looking at possibly learning another language but perhaps i should wait til i truly conquer my speech 

I have noticed myself checking my stats on here too much though i get disappointed when its only 2 or 3 views which is probably defeating the purpose of why i am doing this. With all this blogging though i have been curious into what other stammerers go through, what techniques they use, what helps them, any other forms of therapy they use. I know that some have gone through treatments such as starfish project and maguire but do they really help?, should we have to pay for treatment really? I also interested to find out whether you class stammering as a disability, i think i did for years, as you can see feedback is important to me as i do want to learn more about it

speech therapy

So one of the lovely comments that i have gotten has been from a someone studying to become a speech therapist, who said that the hardest part was trying to understand how a stammerer feels as they didn’t stammer themselves. This was an interesting comment and it did ring true with me. I’ve been with 5 speech therapists in my life and it has been apparent that none of these have had speech issues and to me i think i found it hard to accept this. One of my big issues has always been the old “how would you know?” and “how could you possibly understand?”  and for to receive a comment like that has got me thinking maybe i was too closed mind. 

My dealings with speech therapy has always been the same, generally i am asked to read aloud either single words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs. I’ve never really understood why and what good it does, sessions were ok but i felt more like i was in therapy rather than doing speech therapy, as a result i was becoming more fluent in the sessions but as soon as i left back to square one. My latest therapist has worked on other things with me which i think has made a difference, we always start sessions with breathing exercises which at the time i didn’t get but now i realize the benefits, and although yes we did end up reading aloud i felt i was making progress, I’ve not had the opportunity to go back due to work commitments but i can honestly say she has made a difference.

What i would really like to know is :

What makes someone want to become a speech therapist?: Personally i know i could never deal with this myself, dealing with people’s hang ups and frustration must be hard, it really must take a lot of patience and understanding. I’d also like to know how difficult it is for speech therapists to deal with us stammerers

i would also love to know what different techniques are used in other countries, is stammering seen the same way we do?,  Are there more resources to deal with speech therapy?