Christian, New York City

I’m Christian; I am 25 years old, and I live in New York City, and I will graduate as a Physician Assistant in May. I have been a stutterer for as long as I can remember. In a way it became a part of me; it became who I was. “Stuttering can’t be cured” was a phrase I heard at a young age and because of that I learned to live with it and accepted the fact that I would always stutter. In time, I became somewhat of an expert at hiding this issue. No one around me ever caught me stuttering, only my family. My family was supportive of me and that is why I never cared for them to hear me stutter. I knew they loved me and would never judge me because of my speech. So, when I was around them, I took down that protective barrier I constantly wore and just stuttered away. When I was with other people it was a whole different ball game. I was always so careful with the words I chose when speaking to others. Calculating the right moment, using the best words, and finding the optimal way of saying words were all part of my speech plan.  Avoidance and silence were primary tools, but of course they made me less social and less fun for others and for myself. Although very few people have seen me stutter enough to see me as speech disabled, it was draining for me to live like that. So, I decided to go to speech therapy as I was tired of feeling like I could not say what I wanted, when I wanted. My speech felt forced, and I often couldn’t get my point across to others. To my surprise, speech therapy only made the problem worse. I started stuttering more so that’s when I decided to find a new tool to stop my stuttering. Finding Lee Lovett’s book changed my life. The book alone helped me tremendously. I read the book cover to cover, multiple times, out loud every single day. I practiced the crutches and implemented mind training every single day. Then, talking to Coach Lee on a weekly basis cemented the fact that I could beat stuttering. He changed the way I approached my problem and guided me from the moment I approached him, and I will always be grateful. Quite frankly, I do not even remember the last time I had a bad stuttering incident. The crutches and the mind training practically make it impossible for me to stutter. Yes, sometimes I still fear stuttering, but I am slowly working on that. I know I can speak like a king, and little by little the by fears will go away. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what helped me the most but if I had to pick something it would have to be mind training. Flipping that mental switch was absolutely necessary to stop stuttering, as I felt more in control of my mind and my speech and, in time, of my life. I’m a very private person, and I asked Coach Lee not to make our coaching sessions public online, but, if you’re a member of SAC (now WSSA), you can find them under my name. If you stutter, you should know that you don’t have to do it.  Coach Lee’s methods worked for me and for countless others.  Get his book and get to work.  They have a growing army of ex-stutterers now who are helping PWS and a great program of services (videos, clubs, practice groups, blogs, you name it).  So, don’t live in the past.  Stuttering is an unnecessary burden. CHRISTIAN, New York, February 2022
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