Everyone who stutters knows the impotence of wanting to say something and be diffident about it for fear of being laughed at.
The impotence of not being able to express ourselves fluently couldn't be described in a way that someone, that's not a stutterer, can comprehend. It is hard to make everyone else understand how we feel and how they can help us.
To me, my stutter was the greatest obstacle in life, a demon that kept me from fully developing in a social and academic level. I lived daily with stress, anxiety and pressure. The simple thought of going to buy something or participating in class, tensed me and made me sweat.
On the outside, I seemed like someone happy, but on the outside I was filled with doubts, fears and insecurities. Stuttering served as a form of pity, as a form of avoiding responsabilities. But there was a moment when all of that stopped pleasing me and started depressing me.
I came to the point of being resigned to live that way. I've tried therapists and psychologists. I thought there was no solution, and I had to spend my life asking everyone to speak for me.
I heard about the McGuire Programme through a university professor. At first I was insecure, but my parents insisted that I attended.
In the programme I met people with my same condition; up to that point I thought I was alone in the world, that I was the only one lucky enough to go through this and I found out that, instead of trying to overcome it, I blamed everyone for my problem, from God to my school teachers.
The McGuire Programme gave me the necessary tools to say what I kept quiet for so long, to talk when I wanted without being afraid of blocking, to express what I think and feel each time I decide to. I also learned to be quiet, pause and think before speaking. But the most important: I learned to accept myself; to do, what up to now has been my greatest weakness, my biggest strength; to better myself each day, to put myself challenges and face them.
McGuire gave me a family, a community that I'm now part of and where I've met wonderful people ready to help others.
I am happier now, my family is happier now. I'm no longer scared; when you learn to accept yourself just the way you are, all those fears vanish. It will be one year since I took my first course. I'm still in this road, each day stronger and determined.
Thanks to Alfredo, Jorge and all those people that took part in this process.
Broilan Jose Arenales.