Someone has sent me a sms: Sir, what can I do for hesitation I feel just before talking? I feel breathless etc…
I am sure this person is not expecting a one hour discourse by way of help from me! He expects a quick and brief technique sms-ed to him. I dont think he would be very happy if I send him a link to the 40 page self help manual available for free on the web! How about, just sending one of these one line sms:
Have faith in ourself!
Take a deep breath before you start..
Accept yourself and your stammer!
Just talk- dont think!
Just slow down!
Just phone my SLP friend in Chandigarh and Delhi (who charge only Rs 20,000 and give no effective guarantees) …
I am sure none of this is going to help him, since he must have been through all this on his own. What can I do to help him? There are many such instances. Another IPWS who knew me for more than an year, never asked for any help ever. Suddenly, he phoned one morning, just one hour before his visa interview in British embassy. He wanted me to tell him some technique to use during interview!
Why do we do this? The problem is: since stammering is not exactly life threatening, and keeps waxing and waning- we never take it as seriously, as we would High fever, Angina (heart) pain, loss of consciousness, attack of fits, giddiness, high blood pressure etc. etc. It is embarrassing – yes, but it does not stop the business of life.
Yes, over the years we accumulate lot of pain, embarrassment and other emotional baggage- but we deal with it by ignoring it, by brushing it under the carpet. To use a concept from Eckhart Tolle, we develop a “pain-body”, without being conscious of it. The only sign is- sometime this “pain body” plays up a little bit and we feel low/ sad / depressed/ frightened or irritated for no reason.
Some of us, wake up, when the accumulated frustration (or pain) becomes too much for us to ignore. But even then, we just want a “quick” solution for “my own” problem. We have no intention of getting involved with the whole shebang of the stuttering community, self help group etc. etc. Let “my problem” be solved and I have no time for the rest. This is how we deal with other above mentioned problems- high fever, fits etc. etc. This approach (private solution) works there but not here. Why? because stammering is as much a social problem as it is a neuro-biological, affective, cognitive problem. We dont stammer when we talk to ourselves.
Secondly, as long as “pain body” is there, we can not have a lasting cure. To dissolve the “pain body”, one must get down to the serious business of overhauling oneself completely. In my experience, few have that kind of commitment and temperament. But it can be done. Many have done it in the past and many will do it in future. Do a Google search for pain body: you will find some good videos on you tube and many articles…