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.
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)
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
So as you know I have been worrying pretty much for the past three months how my stammer is going to behave whilst we are on our cruise. I can’t get past the feeling that I’m going to show not only me but Debbie up as well. This has led to more anxiety and as a result my speech is not great. Some of the comments from my previous post were quite helpful and I feel I am trying more to relax a little and as I am no longer working I’m hoping I can turn my head off a little and let myself go. I really am excited about this cruise and I know it’s going to be everything I think it will. I just need to let myself go and just chill!! What will be will be (no I don’t believe it either!!!)
I’ve been quiet blog wise for the past few weeks as I seriously don’t want to get repetitive but I am honestly going to give things a go. I have been trying to breathe a bit more and slow my talking down which I know does help. Hopefully once I’m on board I’ll be able to relax more and just try to focus on breathing instead of just focusing on getting my words out as quickly as possible
So here goes 4 days til we go you probably won’t hear from me until after we get back on the 26th when I will no doubt be showing my thousands of holiday snaps. Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg. Helsinki and Bruges are you ready for me!!!!!!!
As pretty much the same as my previous posts over the last few weeks, frustration is definitely creeping more and more into my vocabulary. I am really at my wits end at the moment and it’s really starting to irritate me. Debbie says that i am back letting my stammer control me and who am i to argue with her. I trust Debbie’s opinion alot more than mine when it comes to my stammer as she is the one who gets the brunt of it.. I sent her a video message earlier and i made the mistake of re watching it, and although i am hilarious in it (obviously) it was very hard to watch it. I was going to follow my twin’s lead (the depressed moose) and post a video blog but that will NEVER happen. The first thing i noticed about the message was the length it took me to start the sentence, this was quickly followed by blocking, twitching, more blocking and more twitching. It really made me feel stupid. I shouldn’t have re-watched it as i know what i am like but i was curious to see it , well we all know what curiosity did don’t we. My confidence is at a low ebb and probably the worst it has been since starting this blog. It’s been bad for a few weeks but two things last weekend have really knocked me.
The first one was a phone call i had with my mobile provider. To cut a long story short i had emailed them a question as i didnt want to ring them and they tried phoning me back but i missed the call so had to ring them back. However i find in really difficult talking to them as they are based in India and i find that they took really fast and i can’t always catch what they say. Anyway i was stuck on my words and this bloke kept interrupting me and then finally he said to me.” i can’t understand you as your voice is broken” i was shocked and furious, instead of apologizing he just placed me on hold then sent my call elsewhere. How dare he say that, i sent them an email complaining to which they said it’ll take ten days to get back to me!!! Ten days!!. Well already i know the outcome of this, it’ll get brushed under the carpet and just ignored. I hate phones at the best of times but this really has knocked me back. The second thing is that i spoke to somebody on my round today who has a stammer and who was obviously uncomfortable in the situation and i was trying to have a conversation with him!! He is only 14 or 15 and i wanted to ask him how he found the starfish project and whether it helped but both of us were stuck and it turned very very awkward for both of us. I just couldn’t stop myself from talking to him and it really was stupid because me of all people knows how awful these situations are.
I am finding myself becoming slightly withdrawn again and i didn’t want to be in this situation so close to the cruise. I really wanted to be able to help on the holiday and maybe even try some of the languages but i know this won’t happen on this holiday and it makes me cross. I had big hopes when i started this blog but now my confidence is shot. The worst thing for me is that i simply don’t know how to turn things around. I can’t stop myself at the moment, everything that irritated me about myself has returned. I know in my head that i need to STOP, BREATHE and START AGAIN but something is stopping me. In my head i am saying stop but i can’t. I’ve become very lazy when it comes to my stammer, i’ve still not tried the Tai Chi that i said i would give a go. I tried a yoga dvd the other day where i found out i was as flexible as a rock, honestly Debbie had to catch me a few times.
If anyone out there that still reads this has any advice or tips then now is the time to share!!. I’ve got two weeks until the cruise and something has to give. Otherwise it’s gonna be a vow of silence!!!
Forgive me followers for i have sinned, it’s been nearly two weeks since my last blog on my stammer. Please don’t feel that i am neglecting this blog because i genuinely do enjoy writing it but this past two weeks have been really frustrating My stammer has gone back full circle and it’s back controlling me again. I can’t do anything about it. I have forgotten all the techniques that helped me so successfully at the start of this journey. I am back tapping, making stupid noises, feeling stupid, blurting. Everything that i hated about my stammer is back with a vengeance. Prime example yesterday someone asked my how i was and i just froze, grinned back at them like a total idiot and walked off!!!. So embarrassing i wanted the ground to swallow me up . This week i have had a couple of confrontations with people as well and this totally threw me. I hate getting into these situations cos i feel like no-one takes me seriously, as soon as i start to block and stammer that’s it. in my eyes i have lost the argument so i might as well stop arguing and just agree. Debbie said to me that i have stopped trying and despite my protests i have to agree perhaps she is right and i suppose to some extent i have to admit this or i’ll never succed , i’m probably stuck in a rut as i am comfortable with my speech (although i’m contradiction myself by writing this blog). I can’t explain how i’m feeling actually. I am not depressed or anything like that i have a great life but these past couple of weeks i don’t know what has gone wrong. When i started this blog i had hoped that by the time we go on our holiday in June i would be fairly fluent, i know i will never be perfect but i had hoped that my stammer would be less noticeable on the cruise but now i know it’s going to be an issue
One of my big hangups is the feeling of being seen as stupid and the last thing i wanted whilst we were away is to be like this. I’ve got to talk to people that i don’t know, people with whom English isn’t there native tongue and i know i am going to be forever repeating myself, it takes such an effort to get my words out first time that once i’m asked to re say things i’m out the game totally. I wanted to be less of a burden to Deb on this cruise but the way things are going it’s going to look like she is my carer rather than my wife, every time i get stuck or block i just stare at her and she talks for me. For god’s sake i’m 34 i shouldn’t still be reliant on this. I simply do not know how to get out of this rut. In my head i’m saying stop but something is preventing my mouth from doing it!!
As previously stated in numerous blogs over the past few weeks, my stammer is becoming a little frustrating or more to the point I AM becoming frustrating. I know what to do but simply can’t correct myself. Debbie said herself the other day that i have become complacent and i have to agree with her. I know that i have accepted my speech as it is but i don’t know whether this is good enough. Should i be pushing myself more? Am i becoming too self critical again? I’m stuck in a rut with my stammer and i really don’t know how to get out of it. I have noticed that when i’m talking to strangers i put my techniques into practice. I take a deep breath, slow my speaking right down and feel in control, HOWEVER and his is the frustrating bit when i’m talking to family, friends and people i know i go to pieces and just resort to how I’ve always been. I start rushing, making noises, tapping, blurting and interrupting. I know i’m doing it but simply can’t stop.
I’ve got five weeks until we go on our cruise and i’m desperate to do more. I don’t want Debbie to be the one ordering everything and doing all the talking. In January when i started this blog and made the conscious effort to be pro active i was feeling very confident about where i was going with this, but now i’m holding my hands up and saying HELP!! This is where i’m asking for some interaction from you guys. Can you give any me and tips or advice as how to conquer this? All suggestions welcome