I spent a majority of this week wracking my brain, trying to figure out what I wanted to say to you all. I’ve received overwhelming support and love from people all over the world (in the U.S. and as far as Indonesia!) since launching this blog just a few months ago. And my heart is so full.
I’ve received many emails from both stutterers and fluent speakers. But one topic among the correspondence has remained constant: my journey to overcoming my stutter.
So, I want to answer that here and now: I have not overcome my stutter.
A lot of wonderful things have happened in my life in regard to my speech impediment in the last few years. I’ve learned that stuttering is okay (a huge revelation), I’ve learned that I can succeed in a society built for fluent speakers, I’ve learned that I can help people by sharing my stories, and so many other things.
But to say that I have overcome my stutter would be a huge misstatement. I’ve learned that what some (namely my readers) see as “overcoming” is something similar, but different: my journey.
You see, I view overcoming as a one-time thing— a destination, if you will— but a journey is continuous. I don’t view my relationship with my stutter in terms of getting to some magical place where it doesn’t bother me or hinder me in any way. Instead, I go about my life, managing my stutter on a daily basis.
The only answers I have are my experiences, and the positivity I have used to manage my stutter over the years. Thinking positively, pushing myself, being gracious and patient with myself and fighting for myself are all things I’ve done to flourish in a society not built for “disabled” people.
The thing about journeys, I think, is that the process is what is most beneficial— building our character and strengthening us— and, most importantly, sometimes there is no destination. Some journeys have no end.
This blog marks the first time I’ve shared my stories and insights in such a consistent, honest way; this blog marks another part of my journey. And I’m excited to see what life as a stutterer brings next, I’m excited for the next part of my journey.
So, I am enjoying this.
Much like any other stutterer, I have dealt with ridicule, shame, guilt, sadness and all of the other negative emotions that come with being different. But those experiences are part of my journey, and without them I wouldn’t be where I am now.
So, yes, I have some bad days where find myself wondering what my life would be like— what I would be like— if I didn’t stutter. But I also have good days, where I’m overwhelmingly accepting of my stutter and, in turn, myself.
And that’s the beauty of a journey, when you learn to embrace it, the good days outweigh the bad. And the bad days make for good blogging material ;)