Ajay Shivdikar (AJ)Member
I live on a very simple but famous cliché – ” Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish “. Since childhood, I have been following a very simple protocol of living in moments and being satisfied in whatever I am. Always helped the needy without thinking of any consequences and sought no help from others. However, there was an open secret when it came to speaking – I had a debilitating stutter!
Everyday was a apocalypse for me and brought ultimate challenges in life in most speaking situations.
My family helped and supported me a lot but I could always see that expectation factor in them. They also tried their level best in finding a precise cure for my problem. Different experts gave me different solutions. I tried and consumed everything from weird home remedies to medical potions but it was just useless and a waste of my time and money.
I thus started looking for more help and found out that Speech Therapists are formally trained to treat people who stammer. It was encouraging for me and brought a ray of hope in overcoming stuttering and gaining fluency. I still remember my 1st therapy in a hospital in Mumbai where I gave my best and came out with a small but effective change in speech which was significant for me. It was no less than a BLISS.
But situations are so inevitable that you never know when you are up against the wall yet again. I was so-called fluent in that therapy room but whenever I was faced with real-world speaking situations, all the methods and techniques were irrelevant and my stammer would precipitate as if instantly! It brought me to a complete halt in my life. And that is the life I didn’t want to live. I started to live a lonely life and pulled out myself from my old gregarious life with so many dreams and ambitions. It was really difficult but i had to do it just to keep myself away from all that shame, tease and laughs. I thus started my journey like a drifter and started to help myself.
One fine evening in the Fall of 2014, I was watching some videos on youtube on stuttering. One co-incidence led to another and I ended up watching the video of Stammer School where they featured a short documentary of a boy who had a severe stammering/stuttering problem and now he was improving dramatically. The video took all my attention and built my interest in the McGuire Programme. I visited the website and found out that it is coming to India for the first time and has a course in Mumbai in the month of December. It was something I was amazed to see that things were patching like the Chaos theory for me.
I immediately contacted the head of the operation of India or the Regional Director of India of the McGuire programme – Mr Kaushik Valluri. He was very quick in replying to all my silly emails and solving my stupid doubts. The fees for the program was a bit high and was of big concern for me which made me think and email Kaushik: Are you sure this programme will work for me and it better not be a scam!!!! His response was very reassuring and I decided to give it a shot.
So here came 17th of December, 2014, within a blink, the first day of course. I was depressed in the beginning as this was something really not my cup of tea which I used to have daily but there was nothing that could have stopped me at that moment. The course started and ended after 4 days i.e on 21st December. Trust me, folks. It was a DREAM RUN for me – something that has no words to explain.
The 4 days on the McGuire course were the Best and Ace days of my life and will always be!!! I was so rejuvenated that I felt I am being given a new life.
Today, I have my tools and weapons to defeat the same stammer that pulled me down for so many years. I know I am not running after fluency like I used to. I am striving for something bigger, more meaningful – Eloquence. This feeling is really great. Thanks to this McGuire Programme, the worlds best programme to help overcome stuttering. Best support network after the course where you can practice with hundreds of coaches around the world. I am proud to be a stammerer and genuinely believe that Everything In Life Happens For A Reason! Now I meet people, call people, talk with people and believe I am getting back to my gregarious life which is awesome!! The daily practice and using techniques keeps my speech and me healthy, wealthy and wise.
Thanks to Dave for creating such a wonderful programme for PWS (people who stutter). My sincere gratitude and thanks to all the graduates, coaches and instructors on the McGuire Programme for helping shape me to become the individual that I always dreamed of becoming.
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