I started stuttering at 5 years old. My parents knew due to the facial contortions and word repetitions I used to have. I could make a list where my stutter; my biggest enemy, took it as a duty to make me feel the worst way possible, making me feel so useless and coward. The times in which I had to challenge myself and show everyone else that I was able and competent in situations as simple as making a presentation or reading, I ended up backing away and demonstrating that I was never going to be who I thought I was; a person with no limits.
It was curious, annoying and frustrating that everyone gave me advice to “cure” my stutter, and the typical phrases: “think what you’re going to say”, “don’t try to speak faster that what you can think”, “don’t be nervous”, “breathe”… Each one of those phrases instead of helping, made it worse, made me feel and confirm that I was some kind of weird person, too different and with unique problems. Regardless of all that, I never looked for specialized help. I accept that it was due to fear, due to lack of maturity, due to ignorance, due to arrogance… What will become of me when I find out that I was going to stay with this problem my entire life? Will I have to run away my whole life from situations that are so simple for everyone else? Will I have to accept that I was actually someone so useless? ¡Never!
My decisions, my words, my expressions, my character, my personality revolved around my stutter. I couldn’t do anything before consulting if I was going to be able to do it, if this time it would let me express what I actually wanted to… Sometimes it was too nice and it allowed me to enjoy what most people know as “fluency” and sometimes it took a grasp on making fun of me and making my life impossible, reminding me at every minute that I’m someone who stutters. It made me feel in the worst way, I was full of frustration, anger, self-hate, sadness, I was a knot of negative feelings that little by little were turning into a snowball that sooner or later ended up exploding and making each day worse, making me feel dumb, unqualified, that I was never going to be able to feel true FREEDOM when expressing myself.
At the beginning of April by a member of my family, I went to a speech therapist, at 20 years old, I finally did it, I went with a “specialist in the theme”. She talked to me about this “McGuire Programme”, she’d been told that it treated people with a stutter, and that they could help me in a better way. I remember that on April the 15th of 2013, I went to an Open Day of this programme, words cannot explain what I felt listening to each testimony but more importantly, hearing “I stutter but I’m in control of my stutter…” Could a person who stutters speak like that person was doing it? Is it real that I’m not the only one who stutters in the world? Is it real that I could give conferences without feeling a knot of negative feelings? When I arrived home, I cried and let out all the feelings that were accumulated for more than 15 years. I felt that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, that no matter how dark you see the view, there will always be a light waiting to be seen.
On Novemeber the 13th, 2013, I took my first course in the city of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Each second, each minute, each hour, each day inside that room was the elimination of negative beliefs, accumulating victories but above all, accumulating bravery, courage, confidence, satisfaction, acceptance and most importantly, SELF LOVE.
After my first course, I could accept that I’m a person who stutters, and that it is not a limit, that; in fact, it does not have a cure, but with hard work I can achieve control, following step by step what I was taught, and understand, accept and comprehend that everything that is worth it, is not easy, but neither impossible. With determination, hard work, discipline, and a lot of perseverance, the world itself is so small to achieve everything that we propose.
Today, after 3 years of taking my first course, being coach and instructed my first course with the McGuire Programme, it is completely clear to me, that the only type of limit is the mind, the one we put ourselves because of different situations, for listening to people that are not too healthy in our life, or just following beliefs that are trendy.
I understood that it’s okay to feel fear, fear makes us feel alive, but also that we can’t let that fear set limits on us.
I understood that a person who stutters can give conferences, can speak eloquently. That the word “stutterer” is not attached to me as a person, as it is not something that defines me. It’s just a condition that I had to live and that; with all possible honesty, I’d ask to have it in another life, as thanks to my stutter I am how I am, a more sensible and comprehensible person.
We came to the world to be happy, and to me happiness is expressing how I really want to, say the words I want to in the moment I want to. Feel that true freedom every time I speak, Play to Win, make comfortable the uncomfortable to be able to go Beyond Stuttering and if at any moment I feel scared, I do it with fear, but I never stop.
Today I don’t call my stutter “problem”, I call it a condition that made me see the best virtues I could have.
Thanks MCGUIRE FAMILY, because more than a community, we are a family that understands perfectly what I share here. THANKS FOR SO MUCH!
What are you waiting to go Beyond Stuttering?
Lilia Uc Santana