PWSS

AMIRA, South Africa

 

I have struggled with stuttering most of my life. I thought that I would outgrow it, but I didn’t. Sometimes, I blocked completely, causing severe anxiety and depression. I have craved for days, hours and minutes when I did not stutter– and when I did not FEAR stuttering. It consumed my thoughts and me. After I graduated from law school, I tried to practice law, but I stuttered so badly that I resigned myself to a lesser job, but I had speech-problems there, too. My heart pounded when the phone rang, and, when I answered it, I couldn’t even say, “Hello”. I increasingly went into hiding.

No more. I am now admitted to the highest court in my country. I no longer stutter anywhere. How did this miracle happen? I found Lee Lovett’s book (“Stuttering & Anxiety Self-Cures”) online, and I couldn’t believe it. I still read Lee’s book most days and am so grateful for it, and for the Skype sessions, where I always learned new things, things that aren’t even in the book.”
I have tried various therapies and therapists. They gave me some relief, but didn’t solve the problem, and some of their teachings just weren’t correct. For example, they told me never to substitute words, and to “bounce” out of words- in essence, stutter out of hard words. Lee stresses the importance of minimizing “public stuttering incidents”, which sometimes requires substituting words and many other methods (including the long list of same in his book). I found Lee’s book on Google. It so stunned me that I read it twice. As Lee so correctly points out, in his beautifully written book, we do not stutter because we stutter; we stutter because we have a FEAR of stuttering. I was a hapless stutterer.

It’s strange, but I was already doing quite a few of the concepts Lee deals with in his book, and I couldn’t stop clapping or giggling when I read about the fact that he would leave out certain letters and syllables to avoid stuttering. This is exactly what I would do to get out of sticky situations, but I just needed somebody to tell me that it was okay to do so, and not “bounce” out of the word. I loved Lee’s weird and wonderful ways to create a memory bank full of positive images…and speak like an actor…and entertain, all helping me focus on my message and the listener and took my mind off of words and away from fearing stuttering.

After reading Lee’s book multiple times and Skyping with him a half dozen times, I no longer fear interviews, saying my name, talking on the phone, or even talking in court, and I will now be returning to the practice of law – where I will have no problem speaking in court, if necessary. I hope to help SAA as a Coach. I am proud of beating stuttering, as it wasn’t easy.
I only wish I had found Lee’s book and Skyped with him 17 years ago. I have been changed forever.

AMIRA, Self-Cured Attorney, September 2018

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