Hey, my name is Mohamed, 29 years old, and I have been dealing with stuttering since I was around 9 or 10. It mainly consists of repeats and blocks, and under pressure, I tend to stutter around 70-80% of my words when talking to strangers or authority figures.
Despite my struggles, I have now found ways to communicate without appearing to be a stutterer. In the past, I cloud talk without stuttering when I was casually conversing with my friends or colleagues during lunchtime. However, I was struggling in formal settings like meetings.
Over the years, I have sought help from a therapist, visiting weekly for three years during high school. While it was an uphill battle, there were times when I was able to overcome my stuttering, but then I always relapse and it come back again even worse. I also got from my therapist a device to put in my ear that made me hear my voice’s echo, which helped to some degree, but I did not like being dependent on the device. It wasn’t normal speech.
I didn’t give up hope and continued to search for new approaches to help me overcome my stuttering. That’s when I came across Lee Lovett’s book third edition “Stuttering & Anxiety Self-Cures: What 1,000+ Stutters Taught Me” and started implementing the techniques that he recommended. I began practicing reading aloud with passion for at least one hour a day, mind training or affirmation twice a day in the morning and at night. To even improve my fluency, I started working with speech Coach Javier, who helped me to use crutches and speech plans in my speech. Over time I found that I could avoid appearing to be a stutterer.
It has taken a lot of hard work, but I have found that staying positive and never giving up hope has been the key to my success. Now, it’s been 6 weeks since I last appeared clearly speech disabled. For the first time in my life, I haven’t had any embarrassing speech incidents for more than a month! Imagine that. Today, I am confident in my ability to communicate effectively in any situation. I am grateful to Lee Lovett, Javier, the WSSA coaches and the community they have created for their support.
Despite all this success, I know that I am still not finished. I still feel anxiety and pressure in some situations. My next battle is against these fears. I don’t want to feel anxiety when I speak. Fluent people don’t feel it, I don’t have to feel it either. One thing is clear to me now: if I (and many others) can stop stuttering, you can also do it (why not?). It’s just a matter of time.
Mohamed, Sweden – June 2023