Comm WS Pune: Q & A part 1

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Dear Friends, following questions were asked by participants in Pune Comm WS. We were so busy (and happy!) with so many activities that I never had the chance of answering them. As I promised then, I am offering my thoughts on these questions. I have lumped them together based on underlying themes. This is part one (of five, I guess). Keep on reading and discussing. Science behind stammering is evolving. Let us keep on learning (sachin).
Emotions and recovery
How to counter Fear, like Interview
fear? How to deal with anxiety & guilt during stammering? How to
overcome the deep seated shame and guilt related to stammering?

In my opinion, you
can deal with an emotion (like fear, guilt, anxiety, shame) by FIRST
bringing it to your conscious mind. Quite often, becoming more aware
will help you deal with it successfully. In the moment of awareness-
there are TWO entities- you as awareness and the emotion in question.
Once this separation occurs, you have choices: you can feel the fear,
the excitement, the thumping of heart, a hollowness in stomach and
STILL walk up to the stage and give your speech. Because, you know
that YOU are not your FEAR. You realize that it is just a passing
thought, which need not stop your day.
Now, how to bring
all that to your consciousness? Some of the practical ways are: write
about it, talk about it, do role plays based on those situations in
your self help group. Do many mock interviews with help from senior
colleagues in your SHG etc etc.
Remember the great
fear you had long time back, when you drove your bike or car for the
first time in a market? Where has it gone today? By doing repeatedly,
you have lost your excessive fear and gained mastery over your
emotions related to driving. Same applies to stammering and
interviews etc.
Many pws suffer
deeply from a lot of guilt: I have pained others by my stammering.
I have disappointed my employer, my colleagues, friends. I have let
down my parents, spouse or children by my stammering..
For dealing with
guilt, there are many spiritual paths too. In a deep state of
introspection you can let go of the guilt, by forgiving others and
forgiving yourself, truly and without conditions. Vipassana,
Brahmavidya, AOL, prayer, meditation etc. etc may help you. Find out
what works for you. Experiment, explore and share back.
What is acceptance and its role in
As we said above,
acceptance means acknowledging that there is a problem and I need to
do something about it. As above- bringing things to your conscious
mind rather than postponing it or brushing it under the subconscious
We often respond
sub-consciously: No, I dont stammer. I just hesitate a little bit.
I am OK. I dont need to do anything about it.. it is the world which
needs to change
Many of us spend
YEARS in this kind of denial. It does not help in the long run. Therefore there is a need for acceptance as the first step, in a
series of self-directed changes. Just the first step.
How do we maintain the feeling of
being comfortable with stammering?
How do we maintain acceptance when
we go back home?
How do we know we have accepted our
Are you comfortable
with your surname, your faith, your mother tongue? Do you ever
entertain conflicts about these things? Perhaps not. Try and think of
your stammering (you did not choose it) in the same light. If some
one asked you: do you stammer? And if you could simply say
yes – and stop, without feeling any need to qualify, justify
or explain your answer any further – THAT would be a very good
example of “being at peace with yourself”. This may take some
time, which is OK.
AHJ (pdf) gives many
examples of how this state can be achieved and maintained. In a
nutshell: running a SHG, physical or virtual is one of the practical
ways, which has helped many of us in TISA.
No one is ready in my college to
accept me as a pws; they think I am fine and a fluent speaker, but I
am not. What to do?
If you notice as above,
acceptance is all about your thoughts and feelings- not about what others
may say or think. Let them reach their own conclusions in their own
time. The bottom line is: are you comfortable with yourself? If you
are, only then, you will move on to and progress in other areas of
life. If not, you will be constantly battling with yourself- like a
country facing civil war.
Is my stammering physiological or
psychological glitch? I was not a stammerer till 6th standard; I had
conflicts with my school teacher. She got me failed. From that time
onwards, I stammer- till now. How has that event affected me?
If you still
remember it, obviously, the incident has acquired a psychological
importance for you. As far as we know today, stammering starts as a
neuro-biological glitch in the brain (caused by an inherited genetic
trait) but as we grow and interact with others (in class, playground,
shift to a new school etc.), we undergo a psychological change as a reaction, in our
beliefs (about others and self), emotions and perceptions. This is
what Dr Sheehan referred to as Stammering iceberg, because these
psychological changes are not visible. But they influence our life
and recovery in a deep way. 
Good news: you can come out of this complex phenomena, you can have full recovery, you can overcome it. Many have done it. Some of the ways are discussed in AHJ. Participate in your self help group. Give your self some time. Have clear goals. Help others.
Last thoughts: Humor is a good antidote to fear and sadness. Read a real and funny story from pws from this page every day! Your daily vitamin pill.
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Post Author: Sachin

1 thought on “Comm WS Pune: Q & A part 1


    (December 18, 2013 - 12:44 pm)

    Thanks sir for posting this

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