I stammered since I was a kid, I don’t remember the exact year. I came to know that I stammer when I was in the 1st standard and during this time other kids would tease me. I got a feeling that there is some problem with me. I would try hard to speak fluently, but it was useless. My parents consulted the doctor, but my family doctor said that the stammering will go away with age. So, my parents didn’t consult any other doctor as even my brother had the stammering problem, but it vanished automatically by the age of 5 years. I tried many ayurvedic medicines for stammering but they were of no use. I would feel embarrassed whenever I stammer as I was not able to express my thoughts. I didn’t dare to stand and deliver the answer to the question asked by the teacher as I was afraid that I will stammer. It hurts a lot to stammer, it was like a barrier that stops me from expressing my thoughts. I felt lonely many times. It was very difficult to speak on phone as the person at the receiving end would just repeat “hello hello…hello” as he/she would think that there is some connectivity issue, it was very embarrassing. When I was in the 12thstandard, I consulted a speech therapist and he was the first person with whom I opened up about my feelings concerning stammer. He taught me some techniques which were helpful during my regular conversation with friends or family members but during a stressful situation, it was very hard to implement these techniques. I was rejected in 6 interviews, every time I would think that it was due to my stammering problem. In my latest job interview, I disclosed my stammering problem to the interview panel and the interview went very well and I was selected. I realized that my main issue was overthinking my stammering problem. There was a very depressing moment that I faced in my final year of engineering. We had a visit by officials and I had to give a presentation on my project. I stammered during the presentation and one of the officials just demanded: “Is there anyone else who can explain this project?”. This had a very deep impact on me and I was depressed for a couple of days.
I joined TISA in July 2020, TISA gave me a platform to attend daily meeting and express my views. I was afraid in the beginning and my heart rate would increase as my turn came to speak but, after a few meetings, I became used to it. I started to host the meeting and lead the audience, it has improved my one-to-many communication skill, confidence, time management skills, and courage. I became extrovert from a shy introvert guy. I started to receive all the calls by the customer care and I stopped being dependent on my mother. At present, I am undergoing a TISA MOOC course. This course has improved my acceptance, courage, confidence, hopefulness, and freed me from guilt and fear. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Sachin Sir, Mr. Dinesh Sir, and Mr Bhupendra Sir for guiding me through this journey.
By – Chandan Shanbhag