Stiliyan, Bulgaria

My name is Stiliyan, I am a 29 years old software engineer from Bulgaria. I have been stuttering ever since I was around 9. It started very mildly in the beginning but quickly grew to be quite severe as I had my first few very embarrassing moments in school. I still remember the utter dread I felt each and every time I knew I had to speak in class – there were times when we would take turns to read aloud from a book. I would scan ahead of the text to try and guess what I would have to read and would hope and pray to God even for the class to end before it got to be my turn. I shifted my whole personality around the fact that I stuttered. I would do anything to avoid stuttering in front of people which meant that I would come to avoid speaking 90% of the time. It affected every part of my life and turned me into a very secluded, anxious, and shy person. 

Around the end of high school, I decided I would do anything in my power to stop stuttering. I started doing jobs that involved speaking and approaching people all of the time. Despite doing this for a couple of years, my stuttering never disappeared, it simply got better for a time.

I remember a ton of times where I would read aloud at home and get consistently better at speaking, only to revert one day to the way I was before without any explanation, it was so discouraging to see months of efforts and progress gone like that.

Every couple of years I would go online and try to see if there is anything new on the theme of stuttering. One of those times was when I found Lee and his book. Having tried everything else I’ve thought could work I felt that I had to give Lee’s method a serious try. I joined WSSA, went through all of the courses, and followed their advice religiously. 

A couple of months in I started having coaching sessions with Coach Leah, an attorney from South Africa, who is an ex-stutterer herself and a Certified Speech Coach in Lee’s program. She was incredibly helpful and helped me understand the content in a much deeper and practical way. With her help, it took only a couple of months before I had more than 4 weeks without any stuttering incidents!  By that I mean that I did not appear to have a speech disability.

I now continue the daily regimen of reading aloud and affirmations and I am working on loving to speak. For the first time in 20 years, I believe that I could actually start to enjoy speaking and that I can become an incredible speaker, and I owe all of it to Lee’s book and WSSA and especially to Coach Leah!

I guess what I would like to say is that Lee’s methods work and if you are willing to put in the effort needed, you too can escape from the nightmare of stuttering and live a life of freedom in the fluent world!

STILIYAN, Bulgaria, October 2021

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