I just emailed couple of pdf books to a young pws from Stutterville in Jambudweepe Bharatkhande. He promptly thanked me profusely. I too was pleased that I was able to help someone. It reminded me of my own youth. I was very “intellect” driven boy. I felt that if I could intellectually understand how a machine worked, I could operate it, repair it, fine tune it- anything! Of course as a child, I wrecked my fair quota of table clocks, perfectly working ink pens, and other household gadgets! But my orientation towards intellect, as if it were a pole star of my life, did not lose any of its enthusiasm. This extended to relationships, to people, to problems. It extended to my stammering as well. I read many books ( quietly of course, since I did not want others to know-) hoping that once I understood the problem and how to go about solving it- I will be able to cure it quietly- and suddenly one day, I will burst upon the world, totally fluent and free of my painful hesitations! Everyone would be so dazzled!
Many years later- I realize what a childish dream it was. It reminds me of the plot of a movie- Kickass. A child wonders why has no one ever tried to become a Superhero! why not? So, he decides to become one- and goes through many misadventures!! Now, with the advantage of hindsight, I can see the problem: speech was and is all about talking to others- which I was just not doing. At the first sign of trouble (meeting others) I would withdraw into my own shell with couple of hefty books, and with a disdain- why should I talk to these ignorant people?. It was like someone trying to learn swimming by reading books or watching youtube videos! But that is what exactly I was doing!
Now, at 52, I look back and realize that whatever little I have achieved, it came through “courage”. This quality of the heart, is one thing which gives meaning to our all other faculties. You can put water, fertilizer, good soil, provide sun and air- everything, but if you fail to put in the seed, will you ever get a plant? In case of PWS looking for solutions to their speech difficulties, courage is that seed, without which no amount of reading will be of any help. Now, courage for what? Courage to accept that I stammer; courage to reach out and meet other PWS; courage to experiment with new ideas- like walking to a stranger and asking him what does he think of stammering?
For quite sometime, I thought I am the only “madman” talking of courage, acceptance etc. But gradually I discovered that web is full of brave people who have helped themselves just through courage and acceptance- without any help from a therapist. Read this – to sample one.
Finally, put that book away for a few minutes, and take your Ti-ger out for a walk…