Hi, my name is Adam and I am 21 years old. I am extremely happy to be writing this success story because it feels like I really accomplished something important in my life that I truly worked hard for that wasn’t lifting weights or running a far distance in a short period of time or reading a hard book.
My speech anxiety was such a barrier in my life that I couldn’t do any of the things I loved to do anymore and I slipped into a downward spiral of depression and mostly anxiety. I have had depression twice in my life and most notably severe anxiety over a 6 month period in the past year including being given 3 diﬀerent types of anxiety medication. I have been in the program for 2 months and have seen my anxiety subside a significant amount but still other personal anxieties creep into my life of course such as social anxiety but I am a work in progress. And finally, speech has always been a problem of mine especially the fact that every time I stuttered or blocked my mental state would proportionally decline. Since joining this program I have learned ways to avoid stutter/blocks and so as a result my mental health has improved triumphantly.
For my case, the most important consequence of taking this program is the eﬀect it had on my mental health. Reading aloud became enjoyable and I looked forward to it every morning. It would start my mornings and my speech oﬀ right and seemed to elevate my speech and even some fears for the rest of the day. Now I should note that I was probably a situational stutterer meaning I would block on a fixed word rather than repeat or be completely silent and I bobbled on 10% of my words. Suﬀering from severe anxiety and speech anxiety I thought about my speech 99% of the day and imagined so many diﬀerent scenarios of how I would fail to speak. Now I think about my speech 1% of the day and I haven’t blocked in 2 months. I read my autosuggestions aloud every morning and visualize which speaking situation I will be in for that week. I still have residual fears lingering but that is completely natural; that is, fear takes a while to die. My Coach Leah advises me that, as I continue to avoid appearing speech disabled and the more that I gradually increase my speaking under pressure, I will become more comfortable speaking.
From taking this program my anxiety has dropped significantly. Now that I have cured it is time to keep refining my speech while simultaneously healing the whole person. Now that I am not depressed or have anxiety 24/7 I can do the things I love to do again: read, exercise, and continuous self-improvement. I am still young so self-improvement is a big part of my life and the speech program was the first step. Being more fluent will help in every aspect of my life regarding communication. I can say that I certainly don’t speak perfectly, but no one does. I can say that I am extremely proud of myself for completing the program and I don’t plan on stopping it any time soon!
I want to give a ton of thanks to Coach Leah and to World Stop Stuttering Association. My advice to other PWS is to study Lee’s book and join WSSA. It’s a great community of ex-stutterers that help PWS. At WSSA you get all of Lee’s books and video courses, over 1,000 coaching videos, forums and more. The speech club is fantastic and every week we hear more success stories and fascinating discussions of speech and life in general. This program worked for me and many others. For your sake I hope that you’ll take advantage of it. As I wrote to Coach Lee, you are inspirational and have truly changed my life. Now it is up to me to keep improving.
So, yes, this program worked great for me and many others I’ve met at WSSA. For your sake, I hope that you’ll take advantage of it.
ADAM, Ontario, Canada, February 2021