Monday, 22 September 2014

Weight of the word on your shoulders....?

This is an old blog....but I thought I'd throw it on here as I'm going to do an update on my situation assess how things have changed, and they have.

So today I’m going to talk about speech and why is doesn’t come so easily to some. When I say some, I mean me! I can’t be the only one who suffers from this either. It first started happening around the age of 10. I’d be walking to the chippy and be rehearsing what I had to order so I wouldn’t look like an idiot and stumble across my words in front of the whole queue of people. I’d even say it out loud before I got there, just to prove I could do it and raise my confidence before the moment of truth! Sounds pathetic really but it’s quite annoying.

I also speak very quickly because of it, almost like I just want to get the sentence out of the way as soon as possible! I actually dislike talking, unless it’s about something I really like talking about. It probably explains why come across as really dismissive aswell, that’s my excuse anyway. This by no way dismisses the possibility that I may still be a complete tosser.

Ever since those early days, I thought I would have beaten it by the time I was an adult. How could I ever get a job, a girlfriend, order food if I couldn’t rid myself of it?

There have been stages of my life where I thought I’d overcome it, like my early 20’s when I spent most of my waking life drunk. Drink always gave me the confidence to speak freely, far too freely. My ego became an issue as I grasped the idea of saying whatever the hell I wanted, it was awesome for me, probably not for people around me.

The only reason I bring it up now is that it’s back and probably as bad now as it’s ever been. Whenever it’s come up in conversation, people always say they’ve never noticed. This is either because of the concious and painstaking effort I’ve made to disguise it, or they have noticed and just found it too awkward to say anything about it. It’s a bit taboo really, which is crazy as talking about it makes it so much easier to deal with and beat.

I don’t generally stutter as I avoid “problem words” that I know I’ll struggle with. I’ll even de construct a sentence before I say it sometimes just to make sure I’ll be able to finish, or else I’ll just edit it to make sure I can! It’s just mad. So debilitating and what makes it so hard, as I’ve said before, it’s a bit taboo and quite embarrassing, not only for the stutterer but for the stutteree! Nobody knows quite how to deal with or respond to someone who has a stammer. Plus there’s always that underlying feeling that either, people will take the piss behind your back afterwards (likely), or even worse, to your face (rare but it has happened).

All this worry just adds to anxiety, which for me is the root of it all. It starts as a minor problem and before you know it’s a massive problem that can haunt and dominate peoples lives.

I was keen to watch The Kings Speech for obvious reasons, but was left a bit cold by the film due to the fact he never really conquers the affliction, just finds ways to dampen the effect in order to get the words out.

The most infuriating thing for me personally, is that I managed to speak as best man for my brother, in front of 70+ guests…and it actually went okay! Okay I’d had a couple of pints but even so. Also annoying is that whenever I talk about the issue I can speak completely fluently, pesky irony!

Anyway, I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me. Just hoping that a few people might read this who suffer silently aswell.

The more awareness that is brought upon this issue might make victims feel better and not so alone. Maybe more research can be done in order to find a cure, tablets that manage peoples anxiety levels so they can speak freely. I haven’t looked into hypnotherapy or anything as I couldn’t afford it anyway.

If anyone else is affected by this too, feel free to contact me. Would like to hear about how people have dealt with it, struggled with it, beaten it?

Noel Gallagher has confessed to once having a stutter, I guess that expressing his words though his songs helped massively, I’ve always thought that Cast No Shadow was about this subject actually, but then we all take from music what we think it says to us, it’s all subjective and down to interpretation.

I never did find that Penguin advert amusing either.

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