For 64 years, I lived with social anxiety and tried to hide my stutter. When alone, I could speak fluently, but with people around I would tense up and stutter. Why? I led an “outwardly” successful life with a wife, family and was active in community affairs. But nobody knew the depth of despair, shame and guilt I held inside!
At 50, I had a mental breakdown. I spent three months in a psychiatric hospital. My depression was treated with medication. The root cause of my problem, my stutter, was hidden and not treated. Voluntary retrenchment from my career job of 37 years was followed by a marriage breakdown. Such shame! By 2007, I had had enough! I started searching for a natural support system to help my stutter and to replace my dependency on medication.
The McGuire Programme has been the final and vital link in my recovery. I now publicly acknowledge I am a recovering “covert” stutterer. The daily breathing exercises and fortnightly support group meetings are now an essential part of my life. The telephone, formerly my enemy, is now my friend. With support from my coach, I enjoy the challenge of pushing through my comfort zones. I have joined a Toastmasters Club. I regularly ring talkback radio programmes and practice my new speaking technique with graduates throughout the world.
The McGuire Programme gives me the ability to face each day with confidence!