Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Inspiring Interview With Leys Geddes

I interviewed Leys Geddes-The Current Chairman of The British Stammering Association,and I must say it has left me deeply inspired.In this interview Leys shares with us his experiences as a person who stammers and the difficulties he faced in his day to day life due to his stutter.He tells us about his understanding of the word "Acceptance" and gives useful insights on how a person can achieve anything he has ever aspired for without allowing aything to come in between him and his dream.Plus he answers some questions based on his job experience,how hw got fired,his achievements as a chairman of the BSA.A must read guys :-)

Plz tell us a bit about Leys Geddes in high school?
I went to a public boarding school in Scotland from the ages of 13 to 18.  Although I had been born in Edinburgh, and spent long holidays with my Granny who lived in the South of Scotland, I was a little worried about leaving home my home in England, near London, and being 400 miles away, on my own, knowing no one else in the school, and only getting out to see my Granny on three Sundays in every term. But I very soon started to enjoy it, especially the sports and the friendships.  I did have difficulties because of my stammer: not really contributing enough in class (so it probably looked as if I was not interested or not trying) and some teasing, of course (but I seem to have forgotten most of the bad things) – but being good at sport definitely made people more understanding and respectful.  I only opted out of one thing which was that, when you became a school prefect, you had to read the lesson, to the whole school, in the school chapel, every morning for a week.  I still feel a bit guilty about chickening out of that!
I passed six ‘O’ level exams and three ‘A’ levels.  I sat the Scholarship exam for Oxford, but failed it – and decided not to go to any other university.  I was not really ‘academic’ and, in those days, the late 1960s, the general thinking was that only academic people went to university.
Share with us your “Enough is Enough” moment(s) which made you the person you are today?
I don’t think I ever had one of those ‘moments’.  I have always been who I am.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Worlds Only Stuttering Female Standup Comedian (Part-4)

In the 4th segment of this interview series,Nina G tells us a bit about "The Comedians With Disability Act",a group of 4 comedians (including her) with different disabilities and how they educate the audience while making them laugh.

Next Up-An inspirational interview with Leys Geddes,Chairman of The British Stammering Association(BSA)

Worlds Only Stuttering Female Standup Comedian (Part-3)

When asked about the stuttering mindset,Nina explains how the much talked about stuttering mindset is actually the fluency mindset in which a stutterer tries to be fluent at any cost and tells us about the role of NSA in helping her get out of the "Fluency Mindset" and into the "Stuttering Midset"

World Only Stuttering Female Stand Up Comedian-Part-2

In this video,Nina G tells us about some of the key moments of her life as a person with a stutter,not to mention the hilarious small penis joke :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cracking The G.D.

I am writing this post based on my experiences in Group Discussions and this post is aimed at helping people who stammer be better prepared for Group Discussions during Job Recruitments.

The first and foremost wrong belief that you need to take out of your mind is that,you need to be fluent during your G.D.

G.D.s are not about being perfect-perfect in fluency,perfect in your English,perfect in your knowledge,NO,NO,Absolutely Not.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Biggest Strength-My Stammer

I have heard lots and lots of pws say this time and again that their stammer has been one of the biggest boons in life.I too,most of the times try to see the positive side of my stutter(which does exist,believe me) but yesterday was the day when I couldnt be more grateful to this disability.I am in my final year of engineering( branch- civil engineering) and in India in the final year,you have companies coming in to your college,conducting tests,group discsssions,interviews,etc and on that basis select the candidates.So what happened was that yesterday,a reputed company which does financial analysis for top firms came to our college looking for suitable caandidates.I being a civil engineer,had no interest in the company whatsoever.I also dont know anything about finance and stuff,and am a litle weak on the technological know-how as well.The company was open for all the branches of the college,that meant that competition would be very fierce as it was a dream company for most.

Worlds Only Stuttering Female Stand Up Comedian


Yeah,you heard that right !!!!  A female  standup comic who stutters. Her name is Nina G Comic and she hails from California. She is also a disability awareness educator and a member of the “Comedians with Disability Act”. You can watch her YouTube videos at the channel ninagcomic  .They are all hilarious. Here I present the first part of the interview that Nina G kindly gave for our blog.In this part she tells us about a bit about her life when she was in high school.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dont Back Out After You Corner Your Stammer

The one thing that I have observed about myself as a person who stammers is that whenever I have tried to make changes in my life and attitude about my stammering,my stammer has always increased manifold.It increases to such an altitude that I start to block even in comfortable situations and with relatively easy words.And needless to say it  shatters my optimism and I again go back to square one in my comfort zone.The end result is that ultimately all the efforts I put in go in vain and my progress comes to a standstill.But now I realize that this is a basic nature of our body.Our body doesn't like change.For it,change means danger and our body never wants to be in danger as this would threaten its existence.So,whenever we try to take steps for improving our stutter,our body goes to its maximum capacity to prevent that change so we dont venture out in the danger zone and be confined to the comfort zone that our body loves.To do this it increases our stammer manifold to make our rational mind believe that whatever we are doing is only making the situation worse and sooner or later we return to our original ways.In my view,this is one of the reasons why a person's stutter increases after he/she attends a  stammering workshop.Those 3 days of change is too much for the body to take and it goes to its full length to resist that change and the only way it knows to do that is to make the person's stutter worse.So,what exactly should you do when this happens to you.NEVER LOSE HOPE.Don't give in to your stammering and continue your fight without thinking about the results.Do what needs to be done.Don't be afraid of the beast after you have cornered him.Another question you might ask is that "Exactly for how much time will this cornered beast continue to fight me ?????" I don't know the answer for sure, but if you dont give in to your fear and keep on fighting persistently,then that day is much near than you think.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Big Decision

As a child,I didn't know about the various stuttering treatments available to the pws and just though it was all about speaking slowly .That's it.As I grew up and with the introduction of internet in my life,I became more aware about the vast research being done in this area.It wasn't just slow talk,it was much more than that.But the more i researched,the more confusing it became.There were a number of techniques available like -Fluency Shaping,Stuttering Modification,Neuro-Linguistic,Yoga,Meditation,etc.etc.So the big question was-How the hell was I going to decide what approach to follow.So this article is dedicated to help you decide which approach is the best for you.Here are a few pointers:-

1)Awareness-Being aware on what is going on in the stuttering world is very very important.You cant just jump to a decision to go to any speech therapist just because he is promising you a cure.So before even thinking about therapy,you should research what stuttering is all about and then read about all the approaches together with their advantages and shortcomings

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Internet-The Best Tool For Recovery

As a recovering stutterer,the thing that without a doubt has been most helpful to me has been the world wide web.Let me explain it to you  precisely by telling my experiences with the net in terms of stuttering from about 6 months ago.I used to occasionally search for stammering cure on the net and this led to the my discovering the site http://t-tisa.blogspot.com/ and this proved to be the turning point of my life.Mind you,it wasn't like I went through the website and something radical occurred,the change was slow and gradual.The first time I visited the website I read various articles by other pws,some were motivating other pws to make a change in their life while some shared their experiences both good and bad.Then there was the comments section under each post in which other readers had the freedom to write whatever they thought of the article(Just like in this blog).For the first one month I didn't comment on any post even though I was reading every single article.This was due to my habit of not expressing myself even when inside I really wanted to and just be in my "comfort zone" .

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stammering-A Sure Cure

This is the name of the sure cure book written by Partha Bagchi which I ordered around 1.5 years ago (before my association with TISA). in search of fluency.The cost of the course was Rs 4500.So i naturally thought that for such a huge amount of money i would be getting lots of stuff but what came was this book(MRP-355 written on the cover),a spiral binded xerox sheets booklet and a cd.But then I thought,the lesser,the better.I wouldn't have to work too hard.My parents also read the course material and were very impressed and said they thought that I would cure my stammering easily with this book

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stuttering Benefits(Part 1)-Yardstick to know who my real friends are

Hi everyone,from today I will be starting a new series called Stuttering Benefits in which I will be discussing things which I have got due to my stammer.I have spent years blaming it on how it has ripped me of various things( though 99% of the time I was just imagining things) but now I clearly see the various positive aspects of this disability.So here is the first benefit:-
Right from standard one i have had the most amazing(read awesome) friends.Some of them are still very much in touch.The ones which are not are mainly due to my own faut.I am not good (actually very bad) in maintaining long distance friendship.I never call my old friends(I know,I suck)Anyways,i used to believe that having such cool friends till date was purely due to luck.But today I feel it was due to my stuttering.It always had a huge role to play in influencing me to be close friends with someone or not.As is with most pws,I was always repulsed by a person who frequently made fun of my stutter and wanted to be friends with ones who liked me the way I was(stammer or no stammer).Hence stammering became sort of a criterion for me to choose who my real friends were whom I could realy trust.Today,I feel really really lucky to be surrounded by such friends who genuinely like me and would go well beyond their capabilitiesto help me.I still have very old friends calling me and actually calling me by every abusive word known to mankind for not calling them or meeting with them.I really am trying to change this bad habit of mine but I know deep inside that even if I don't they will still be the same friends they were years ago.I guess I got such valuable friends because of my stutter which helped to judge people properly.Thankyou MY STAMMER for this precious gift.


I would also urge every reader to write one stuttering benefit and share it with everyone.Till then see ya,i will be back with another stuttering benefit soon.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My journey until now

Though Most of you know me by name but I havent really told everything about my stuttering from childhood,to adolescence to adulthood.So here I present my journey as a PERSON WHO STAMMERS.

As far as I remember when I was little(around5-6 years old) I never knew that i stuttered.It never was a big issue for me because I never stuttered when reading in class,or reciting a poem or giving answers to the teacher.What I vaguely remember is that my stutter was bouncing in that phase of life because I remember a kid making fun of me in a bouncing manner.But in my first school where i studied uptil standard 4,I had a great life.I used to stand first in class,used to participate in every extra-curricular activity and was active in sports as well.I remember in standard 4 I was the one in the entire school who took part in maximum number of events(I think around 6 events).So I was very successful and stammering never posed as a hindrance whatsoever.I changed my school in standard 5th.On my first day in school In was the first one raising my hand to give the answer and I remember blocking a lot but I gave the answer nonetheless.There also I was good in studies,sports and curricular activities and within 6 months was elected the head boy of the junior wing.Throughout this phase I was very popular and had a lot of friends.As a head boy I had to give speech in front of the entire school,I was tensed not bcoz of stammering but was nervous of forgetting my lines.So you see at that time i firmly believed that I could never block when giving a speech or when in a competition.And yeah,before I forget in standard 4th my parents took me to a speech therapist(Dyal Chhabra),I had no idea in the beginning that what was going on neither my parents ever told me,but going there everyday i took a wild guess that it might be because of me repeating words sometimes.I was instructed by my parents not to tell anyone about this and I guess from here the attachment of shame and guilt towards stammering started.In the middle of class 6 my parents shifted to Chandigarh(I was in Parwanoo before) and it was a much bigger city and a much bigger school compared to my earlier ones.Here the competition was also sky high(The topper in boards from the whole state was from our school only,so you can guess)I remember that when I first came to my class i handed my admission slip to the teacher which I had my name written on it,she asked my name and i said"Mam it is written on the slip"So I guess i had developed avoidance tactics at that time.The pressure was more but still I was always in the top 3 an within a few weeks made a lot of friends.i was comfortable in performing in class like reading ,giving answers,etc.But my extra curricular activities took a backseat.In standard 9 and 10 I didnt took part in any activity that required speaking whatsoever.During my 5 year stay in this school,I took part in such activities exactly 3 times.
1)In standard 7,I was a part of English Quiz team,I actively took part in the contest without once thinking about stuttering.But I do remember a team mate saying that I should tell him the answer and he will say on the mike as i was stuttering though I didnt pay heed to him.
2)In standard 8th i was forced by my teacher to take part in an English Recital competition.It was strange as I never thought stammering as an issue and in fact didnt stammer at all while reciting in front of the entire school.I actually came 3rd in that competition.
3)In standard 8th I again took part in the English Quiz but it was a disaster this time.We had to introduce ourselves and I tried to pass on the mike without saying m name but obviously I couldnt and then I blocked a lot when saying my name.I was silent in the whole quiz(partly because I didnt know any answer).
So this was the last time I spoke in front of the whole school.
I took up football as a sport and the rest was studying which I was still very good at.But i had a lot of friends and enjoyed thoroughly in my school life.I also remember the whole class sometimes laughing on my stammer.I remember the laugh not the exact situation.Then I remember stammering severely during a viva and a girl(which i was good friends with)asking me that what happened and I just completely ignoring her and changing the topic.I also think puberty played a big role in severing my stammering..The avoidance tactics were at an all time high.
In standard 11 and 12 I opted for non-medical and those two years were the toughest in my life.the pressure was immense,the syllabus was huge and i was competing with the whole country to get admission in the best enginnering college of the country.i also believe that buying a cell phone in 11th was a big mistake.Earlier I never used to have any problem on the phone.Having a landline ensured that i had to introduce myself,tell my friends name to his parents and all that and for every little thing I had to talk on the phone.There was no other option.So I was very comfortable on the phone.But when I got a cell,I found the easy way out of messaging instead of calling.This increased my fear of phone a lot.I no longer had to family members as every one of us had their cell phones.Also no need to introduce myself as my friend already had my number stored.As a result I just couldnt talk on the phone.I remember I used to unplug the landline when i was alone at home so that I didnt have to answer it.
2 months before starting college I went to the same speech therapist,Dr Dyal Chhabra,and took therapy for 2 months.I did get some benefits so i had a little problem of introducing myself during the start of college but still avoidance and substitutions were very high and within a week relapse was visible.I didnt join any club in my college as I just couldnt go to the GDs and the interviews.Though here also I had a good friend circle I kept to my circle not caring about others.So I kept strictly to my comfort zone.In 2nd year ,my friend circle expanded i was a little more known in my college.Today after completing my 3rd year I talk to almost the entire class and have no shortage of friends.But I never talked about my stammering with anyone.It was like a forbidden topic,kind of like an unspoken truth in my friend circle. 
i attended my first SHG meeting when I was in 3rd year organized by Jasbir Sir.It was an O.K. kind of an experience,but still i continued attending the workshops.I also met J.P. in one such workshop but didnt interact that much with him.i also occasionally started browsing the TISA blog and other stammering sites but my outside world was strictly the same.Avoidance,hiding,shame,guilt,etc etc.
Then started my 4 months training in L&T(January 2011 to april 2011).I havent blocked so severely in my life as I did during the first one week there.When asked to introduce myself,I just couldnt utter a word.Once I had to write my name down as I just couldnt utter it from my mouth.But as the time progressed ,the fear subsided.It was that time I thought that enough was enough.I joined Toastmasters to remove my fear of speaking.But it was very painful experience as others were very good speakers and i couldnt even finish a sentence.I was very uncomfortable so after 4 meets I stopped going there because no matter how much I practiced I blocked there a lot.
Then I attended an SHG meeting organized by J.P. and it really helped change my thinking a bit.He encouraged me to be more active on the TISA blog and slowly I was writing the SHG reports and was commenting on various posts under my own name.Another significant step was starting my own blog about stuttering.Slowly slowly it helped me to be more open about my stuttering.I even got emails from various pws which encouraged me further.Hence slowly slowly(very slowly actually)I was coming out.i was getting actively involved in SHG activities and in the online world.But in the outside world i never told anyone about these activities.
I also attended the one day workshop in Chandigarh but it didnt really make any difference.But I was eager to move forward.My training finished and I came home.I ordered Brahmavidya as you had told me about its benifits and started practicing it religiously.It has been little over a month but it has changed my thinking a lot.My attitude,response to external stimulus and my faith in self has greatly increased.Then came the Chandigarh Workshop which was a big push for me for getting out of the stammering mindset.In this workshop I was once again the 5th class headboy very eager to do things,to meet challenges,very excited to talk in front of a group and very eager to meet new people.Brahmavidya changed my perception  little bit to make me the child I once was and the 3 day workshop helped to put that child in full action.There was no fear ,no shame ,no guilt,just a want to do all the tasks given to me and not just do them but perform like a pro.
I now plan to again go to the Toastmasters but with a different attitude altogether.I now talk and talk and try to avoid substitutions and avoidance.Also am bouncing a lot.i am also being open with my parents especially my mom about stammering -a thing I have never done my entire life and feel is the hardest for me.My mom is still paranoid that i am stuttering more now but the truth is I have lessened substitutions and I am sometimes bouncing on purpose.I will also tell my friends about this workshop the next time I meet them.Also after the workshop i have put the link to my stammering blog mystammer.blogspot.com on my Facebook account,a thing I would be scared to even think about before.
About 6 months back I had quit the idea of doing MBA because of my speech as I thought I would never be able to make it but now i will do my MBA from one of the best colleges in the world come what may.i am also planning to post videos on my blog.Most of all I am in a very happy state of my life.I dont feel sad even when I stammer severely as long as I said what I wanted to say.
So to sum up my journey,I started from the highest point,reached an all time low but today I am going to that high point again.:-):-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Suchit,The Rockstar

I am writing this article after watching the finale of Roadies 8,a youth based reality show broadcasted on MTV in India.Suchit was a contestant on this show who went on in the Finale.And yes,he stammers.I saw him stammering when he was being auditioned.The judges grilled him mercilessly on purpose to test him and seeing his character chose him on the show.Now Suchit had all the qualities of a general pws-he could easily be bullied,had low self confidence and had  few friends in the outside world.But as the show progressed,he turned out to be the best performer in any task given to him without fail.Whenever a challenge came his way he did it like he owned the arena.Now when you are that successful,people tend to find your weak point.In his case,finding one wasn't that difficult-some contestants began targeting his speech.Two other roadies who had been voted out of the show(also voted two biggest losers by popular demand),on their return began making fun of him by calling him "Chuchit" and imitating him. But the guy took it like a gentleman and didn't say much at that time.But on the task that followed,he beat both them so brutally that they lost the tiny little self respect they had left on the show.Throughout the show,he maintained his dignity and went on to the Finale.Though he didn't win the title,,all the contestants and the crew agreed that he was the only one who had earned respect on the show.On Facebook,he was voted as the people's choice Roadie.And when he didn't win the title with no fault of his own,8 of the other 10 contestants were in tears as they wanted him to win.The guy who had earlier made fun of him,hugged him,apologized to him and said "You are my brother".
Suchit also won a Hero Honda Karizma bike as an appreciation of his conduct and his efforts throughout the journey.So,all in all,he came out to be the most successful and dignified person of the show winning respect of his competitors,the show producer and all the viewers around the globe.
We give a lot of examples of famous people who stuttered like Winston Churchill,King George,etc but I believe that there is a lot to learn from this ordinary lad from a small town who rose above all inspite of his stammer

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Have Stopped Taking Nonsense

This is regarding an incident that happened when I was at my training a month back.I was talking to a senior (not a senior really,he has done a two year diploma and hence started working 2 years before me,he is like 6 months older than me) about how I had to give a presentation at college after my training is complete.The senior jokingly replied-"You would be like this !!!!" and then started to imitate  my stammer.Now earlier if ever such incident happened ,I used to be silent and bear with it at that moment and then keep thinking about it for the rest of the day drenched in an amalgam of self pity and self loathing !!!!!But now I just replied-"Atleast I know how to give a presentation in English(he doesnt know a word of English) and better still atleast I know how to make a power point presentation !!!! Now for the record,I would never say such thing to him ordinarily but this situation was different.My senior went blank for like 5 seconds and another guy sitting next to me gave me a look that said-"Well done dude !!!"
The best thing I liked about the incident was dat I didnt allow myself to become a victim but instead took control of the situation.And it felt good,really really good !!! And the good thing was we started normally again after a while like nothing had happened.No self pity for me today,just a feeling that I can take care of myself.
Now a lot of people would say that it was a wrong thing on my part to reply back in such a manner but my motto from that day is-"Never make fun of anyone's problems or shortcomings but dont allow anyone to do the same to you as well !!!Face up to the few jerks you encounter !!!!"
One thing more that I desire to adopt in my life is that after facing a situation bravely I forget all about it and live in the present(just like our very own desi Eckhart Tolle J.P. Sir says)I am trying to work on that.

Well,I am open to criticism on my behavior whether positive or negative.So please feel free to leave any comments and better still leave suggestions on what you might have done in a similar situation !!!!! See Ya !!!

PS-Sorry guys I was out of action for such a long time,there were lots of reasons like my training,my hard drive crashing and my utter laziness !!!! But I am out of my hibernation now and will post more frequently.As always feel free to contact me at kathuria.dhruva@gmail.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mr A and Mr B

Imagine a scenario-Mr A and Mr B are both pws who go to the same college.At the end of the semester each student has to give a presentation about a pregiven topic.Now let us go and see both the guys' presentation:-

We will take up Mr. A first:
Mr. A wakes up in the in the morning feeling as abysmal as ever.First thought in his mind-"Can I bunk this ????"Deep inside he knows he cant but still he likes to keep the option open by coming up with various plans.He spends a large chunk of the day brooding and cursing  and then spends some more time cursing the professor for coming up with presentation idea !!!! How unfair,he thinks !!!!(Mind you,he hasnt started his preparation even a bit).He spends most of the day thinking about the various scenarios which could happen tomorrow.Finally ,late at night he opens wikipedia and just copies the content thinking why even bother with it.He already knows whats gonna happen tomorrow.When arranging it in a presentable format,the focus is not on the quality of content but on the maximum inclusion of words he can speak with relative ease(relavant or irrelavant,doesnt matter).He completes the whole exercise in less than an hour,practices it once just for formality sakes and goes to sleep.Oh I forgot-He curses God and the professor again before drifting off !!!!!!

Enough of Mr A,now lets see what Mr B has been upto:
Mr B wakes up in the morning with anxiety.He is also nervous,very nervous for tomorrow.He freshens up and tells his anxiety to give him some rest while he gathers the contents of his speech !!!Anxiety half heartedly replies-"OK FINE !!!!!"Mr B now leaves no stone unturned in collecting the data.He browses every relevant site he can lay his eyes on.He goes to the local library to get some ideas.He even calls the professor to clear some doubts.The Anxiety on the other hand is like-"Hello !!!! I am getting bored in here !!!!!"He finally finishes after arranging it in the desired format !!!! Anxiety is thrilled now to be back again !!! But Mr B says-"Please be patient !!!!I also need to practice it a few times !!!"Anxiety sighs and replies"Ok fine " all the while thinking how long could it possibly take.Now Mr B executes the final portion of his preparation.He practices,practices and practices some more .He practices alone,in front of a mirror,then with his dog,then goes to bother his mom and then goes to a friends house to practice with him !!!!Late at night he finally finishes being extra sure that he has done all that he could !!!!Anxiety,finally relieved says-"Can we play now ????? "Mr B just pulls the covers of his bed and says half asleep-"Are you kidding me ??? I am very tired !!! Let me sleep !!!!"Anxiety feeling very cheated decides to leave his long time friend for the night and hopes it can come some other day.But seeing Mr B's attitude it knows they will never be the friends they used to be and after some time it may have to say goodbye to him.Mr B on the other hand sleeps like a log not before praying to God for tomorrows presentation.

Now I wont tell you what happened the next day,you probably know that but I can tell you that after the presentation the expression on both of their faces were quite contrasting !!!!! Thanx for bearing up with such a long story !!! Before I forget I would like to share a quote with you which probably will have a long lasting effect on me for life-Success and Excuses never go hand in hand !!!! See ya !!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is there a part of me which doesnt want me to change ??????

Well what I am about to share is my own personal experience,if anyone can relate with it,do comment !!!!

There is a part inside me which loves my stammer and it feels good when I think about it including all the plans and stuff which I will supposedly take to improve myself.It feels satisfied when I constantly brood !!! But it feels threatened when I actually start taking steps like doing meditation or speech techniques !!! It does everything it can to stop me from taking corrective measures.It actually feels good when I get frustrated due to my stutter . And whenever I go against it with a strong will,it goes in silent mode for a few days and keeps waiting for that weak moment when it can again somehow persuade me to stop my practice by giving me millions of reasons like-"I think you should look for some other technique,Oh cmon just another movie then you can practice,are u kidding me its the cricket world cup you cant practice,you need to complete your sleep practice can wait !!!! "
And more often than not,this part of me is able to successfully persuade me.So the question is,what can I do ?????? I Have tried to go against it,but  after a few days it inevitably wins !!!

 I guess I should make this part my friend and try to persuade it that it shouldnt necessarily cling to my stammer and allow me to do what is necessary and actually help me in my endeavor.I should not push it aside but accept this part and try to make it help me,I dont know if it will work or not but one thing that I sure shot know is that fighting it is not gonna help me whatsoever.I also believe that this part is present in every pws,if you disagree just take a moment and think how much time you waste thinking about your stammer compared to the time spent in taking corrective action !!!!! Well ,if anyone has something to share even remotely related to this,do comment,it might help me and other pws !!!! See ya !!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Its time to do some introspection

Most of the pws are forever complaining !!!!! Life is very hard,people make fun of me,people think I am  not confident,people do this people do that,and what not !!!!! Well I am not saying that there is no truth in this,it does hurt when people make fun of you and life does become pretty hard sometimes but you need to realize that u need to get out of the "I am the Victim mindset" and take control of your life.Lets take a few examples.

Life is hard when you stammer.-to be frank,no one has a perfect life,every one has his own baggage of problems ,if it wasnt stammering,it would have been something else,God gave you a problem in the form of your stutter but   might have taken away several problems he gave to millions of people(take poverty for instance).

People make fun of me-To see this objectively,a very very few people are jerks who might have made fun of you,you should concentrate on the majority who understand your problem and dont bias (positively or negatively) because you stammer.And even when someone does make fun of you,my advice would be to give him a piece of mind then and there itself,this would show your self-assertiveness and take you out of the "victim mindset" by letting you take control of the situation rather than just be silent and let the person make fun of you.

People think I am not confident-Well people are not fault here,you wont agree with me on this but its your own behaviour which makes people think that you are not confident enough.The reason-You stay silent when you should have made a valid point,you let people take you for a ride,you think a hundred times before saying something radical about a guy even when you know he deserves it,you never raise your voice.All this because You might stammer.I want to tell you something buddy,you are stammering anyways,so why not still stammer but do it confidently,Just listen to your heart and say what you want to without having second thoughts and you will see a miracle change in how people perceive you.

I hope I have been a little bit helpful to you guys.See you later!!!!! :-):-):-) 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

An Amazing Discovery

A senior of mine in my training has a style of speaking which I like very much.Just for fun,I started to imitate his speech.To my surprise,my stammering  reduced quite a lot(though not completely gone) as I started speaking in his style.And the cool part is that I like speaking in this fashion,so I am having less difficulty to make this way of speech a habit .The problem one faces after a speech therapy is that he/she finds it difficult to speak in the taught style for longer periods of time as deep down he/she doesn't like to speak in the monotonous tone,so as time passes a pws starts speaking in the old fashion.But I ,on the other hand,am loving speaking like this.I don't know if the results are short term or long term but I am enjoying every bit of it. As my aim to imitate the speech was not for stammering point of view,I was really surprised at the fluency I am having right now.I am speaking feared words with a less difficulty,and am talking non-stop.So the feeling is great right now. And before I forget,I also want to thank my senior who unknowingly has helped me a lot and given me so much joy !!!!
So what do you think of my discovery,waiting to hear from you !!!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On The Lighter Side ( Part 3)

This is a continuation of the series where we try and see the lighter side of our stutter and chill out !!!!!

The first incident was posted by a reader of the blog and a good friend of mine.His name is Windstorm.

a)This is my experience regarding stammering.

I was having an evening walk once and my wallet fallen and I did not even notice it. But a girl saw it and stopped me and handed my wallet to me and told to take good care of my wallet.
I was happy and relaxed that it was not lost.
While she handed me my wallet , I wanted to say her "Thank you".
But I don't know why but I just stuck on word "Th.........."
And she was waiting for me to speak. And for me it was "th-th-th-th-th-th" instead of "thank you". And after waiting for few seconds, she just left smiling. I am sure her smile was not as a part of "fun-making" of my stammer.
And may be she may be knowing I wanted to say "thank you" but just could not get it out from my mouth. :D

She must have been aware that I do have manners of greeting. If I did not try to say "thank you" then she might have thought the opposite.

I said "thank you" in my own way !!!!!!
LOL


b)
From Russ Hicks
Several years ago I became convinced that one of the best "advertising" techniques to help me to begin to talk openly about my stuttering would be for me to post the famous NSP "If You Stutter, You're In Good Company" poster prominently on the wall in my office at Texas Instruments where I work. The poster has pictures of some famous stutterers, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Marilyn Monroe, and six others of notable history. It certainly is an admirable work of art.
Lots of people come in my office and it would help to break that thick ice of denial I had so carefully built up over the years. So with a great deal of anxiety, I put the poster up.
The next day I was talking on the phone when one of my crazier coworkers walked into my office. As I talked on the phone I saw him look at the poster. My phone call customer droned on and on while Wayne kept reading the poster with great interest. I thought the phone call would never end and good ole Wayne read every single word on that great poster. (And there are a LOT of words on it! I'm not sure if I'VE even read them all!) In any event, as the call dragged on and on, Wayne devoured every last detail of that poster, probably more carefully than any person on the face of this earth ever has. I've never seen such concentration.
Finally after an eternity, my caller finished and hung up. My heart was pounding in anticipation of the coming conversation. What was I going to say? How would he react? My heart was literally in my throat. Finally I spoke...
"W-W-Wayne," I stuttered. "What do all those p-p-p-people have in c-c-common?"
He looked at me, then back at the poster, then back at me. "They're all dead."
I nearly doubled up in laughter and Wayne, always loving a good punch line - especially his own - did too. When sanity finally returned to the office, we wiped the tears from our eyes and agreed that stuttering was EVENTUALLY fatal. But we did really talk about stuttering. He said, hell, he and everyone else in the office knew I stuttered, and it wasn't a big deal. But that, yes indeed, he really had read that poster very carefully and had learned a lot. And he thought it was cool. To this day, it hangs in the place of honor staring people in the face whenever they first walk into my office.


I hope you could learn something from these real life experiences and feel free to keep on posting your experiences on the lighter side . I promise I will post them !!!!
See u later !!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The more you progress the more will be your expectations !!!!!!

I am writing this post for three reasons.First a friend of mine and a follower of this blog (Rajesh) asked me two days ago-How much have you improved on the speech front ???? Then a few days back I had someone write in comments that he was improving but he is pretty depressed as sometimes things go pretty much out of hand.Then the last reason(major one as well)-I was going through a blog of a pws today which I can say was pretty de-moralizing.Actually I became uncertain about my future for a moment or two :-).I really wish he can change his mentality a bit.

Its human nature to expect more out of oneself as one keeps progressing.Its a human tendency to never be satisfied.If you speak well to a friend,you expect yourself to speak fluently to a stranger,if you are able to do that then you expect yourself to speak effortlessly with your boss,and whenever you fail in this hierarchy,you dont look at your past achievements but just see your failure to perform to your so called expectations. I too do that a lot but now I come out of that self loathing quicker than before because I know from experience that not only does this depression harm my speech,it also ruins the mood of me as well as others around me.So how can you really know "How much have you improved"???? Its simple.Compare yourself now to what you were lets say one month ago.Write down the habits you have improved, the new habits you have formed,the steps you have undertaken and the difference in your attitude in this one month.And if you have sincerely tried then you will be amazed at how much progress you have made and you will actually be proud of yourself. So go ahead, write it down and get the true picture !!!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Speak a bit slowly-Its music to the ears(Daily Assignment)

I am not saying this from a stammering point of view but in general.I will give you a real life example-I have a friend(not a pws),he speaks as if his aim is to finish 5 sentences in one breath.Most of the time we ask him to repeat what he is saying,as sometimes it becomes a mammoth task to understand him.Nobody likes talking to him,he is fluent,but its like listening to cacophony.On the other hand I have a school friend who speaks so calmly and without rush,I personally love talking to him.He is an ass in behavior for sure,but still it is a pleasure conversing with him.From a stammering point of view,it is the best technique if used in everyday life as it gives your vocal chords the time to relax.So why not speak slow ???? You will probably be saying"Yeah right !!!You dont think I know that already."I agree it is stammering technique101,but it is very difficult,trust me I have been trying it for so many years,but now I realize one can only speak slow if he first practices in non feared situation.So from today,you have to start speaking slowly for a minimum duration and we will increase this duration slowly.( but do not speak robotically beware).Today you will speak slowly for 1 hour during the day spanning the whole day in 15 minute intervals.I am starting it from today,I hope you will join me and support me.

PS-I will advise you to put alarms or reminders on your phone so as to ensure you dont forget and successfully complete the task.Adios !!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why we are not able to use a particular technique when its most needed !!!!

It really is frustrating,isnt it ???? You a know a particular technique is very helpful,you want to use it in stressful situations but you just cant !!! It happens with me a lot !! When in high stress situations I just lose control over self and it feels as if something has taken over and I am very helpless !!!! I cant do nothing else but stammer,no relaxation no prolongation,nothing !!! Due to this all of us feel that the technique is useless as we cant use it when it is most required !!! And we shun the technique thinking that it is not for us and start searching the net for some other miracle cure !!!! On the other hand we also know that the same technique has benefited a lot of guys and we think why its not helping us ???? 

I have some explanation based on my experience !!!! Anyone with a different one is welcome to write in comments.Okay, how many of you use the particular technique when you really dont need it,like when talking to a pet,when alone,with your parents,etc.In my case,I never use it when I dont have to !!!! So the technique  doesn't become second nature !!! As you dont use it in your daily life,it has not become a part of your system,so you cant expect it to help you when in distress as your body has not become familiar with it !!!! Your body is familiar with stammering,it knows that when in stressful situations,its stammering alone that can help you(I know you might find it weird but our sub-conscious mind thinks that stammering is actually helping us in stressful situations).So unless you use the technique all the time(I really mean all the time) you cant expect it too get you out of trouble.Look at it this way-You cant expect to swim in rapid waters until and unless you have practiced well in a calm pond !!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Heard a lot about meditation-So why not try it out

I have read a lot about the benefits of meditation on hundreds of sites but never really gave it a serious thought but now I believe its time I started it !!!! I wont to do it for the purpose to cure my stammer but just to calm self and be healthier more mentally and physically !!!! Right now all I know is to breathe deeply and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling to be more aware in the present moment and exhibit more control on self !!!! So anyone who intends to start it ,now is the right time !!!! Anyone out there with any useful information about meditation is welcome to share with the group !!!

PS-To reap the benifits of meditation you need to do it atleast for 20 minutes ,its scientifically proven !!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monitoring your most used crutch-Substitution(Daily Assignment)

For the next two days you will monitor yourself that how often you substitute one word for the other or stay silent when you want to speak just because of a feared word !!!!!
Dont forget to maintain eye contact and use pausing as much as you can !!!! And keep in mind to avoid using your first crutch !!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If you really want something,no-one can deny that thing to you !!!!

I had this thought yesterday as I was thinking about my school life and other such stuff.When I was in 4th standard,my mother wnted me to learn to play piano,I hated it but still had to attend lessons( as a kid,your parents can make you do whatever they want to :-)) I could never really play it inspite of attending lessons for two months and finally my parents called it quits !!!!

In standard 8th I developed love for soccer !!!! I remember my legs used to ache like hell ,I used to be exhausted at the end of the day !!!! I twisted my ankle twice !!!! But nothing could stop me because of my love for the game!!!!

Since childhood my handwriting was one of the worst in the class !!! It used to bother my parents as well as teachers but I never cared about it !!! They made desperate attempts to make me improve my handwriting but to no avail !!!! Then when I was in 11th standard,I closely saw one of my friends writing and liked it very much !!! Without anyones help I started to try and write like that !!!! I remember I used to write pretty slow and my knuckles used to hurt as if they had been hit by a ruler !!!! But I was happy to see myself writing like that !!! Slowly my speed improved and the pain started to lessen and today its all gone !!!!! I cant even write in my old style now !!!!


So to sum up,to learn a new habit you need to develop a deep desire to excel in it !!!! The desire should not be superficial but every cell in your body should want you to achieve it !!!!! There should be no retaliation from your mind !!!!! And  your body  will struggle as you make changes dont give in to these struggles keeping your goal in focus !!!!!Also if you want to become a better communicator just because of some reasons like getting a job,be more accepted,etc. then stop trying ,your efforts will be futile !!!! Only when your inner conscious really wants you to change,only then you will be able to move forward !!!! Take my word for that !!!!

As always I would love your comments and if you want to send any contributions or just contact me my e-mail id is kathuria.dhruva @gmail.com

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monitoring Your Behaviours(Daily Assignment)

Observing your first crutch

For the next two days we will take one of the crutches that we use while speaking and just observe how many times we use the particular crutch in the entire day !!!!! Note separately how many times you use it while on the phone !!!!!!

Your task is to just observe the crutch !!!! This will make you more aware of your stuttering behaviour !!!!!


PS- Dont forget to maintain eye contact and try to pause as much as you can . My crutch for the day is preformation !!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some things are just too special to allow fear to ruin them !!!!!

Hi all,the reason there was no blogging on my part for the past three days was that I was in IIT Roorkee where me and a friend of mine were to present a paper(We came third by the way).After that we went to Rishikesh where we had planned to do water rafting on The Ganga !!!!(Its an awesome place,do visit it when you have the time) !! I dont know how to swim but the life jackets make sure that you stay afloat !!!Only one more friend of mine was a non-swimmer,the rest knew very well how to swim !!! During a water rapid(this is a place where you experience the thrill of rafting),our instructor told us that we could jump in the rapid while holding on to the rope!!! Now the swimmers had no problem,but me and my friend looked at each other,he had no intention of going,I on the other hand was not able to make a decision as my fear was holding me back.When about half the rapid was over,I just said "Screw it,I am going !!!! "and I jumped while holding on the rope and that experience was the best one in the entire excursion !!!! Then came a point where we had to jump in the water from a very high cliff !!!! As I looked down from the cliff,my whole body froze and I wasnt in control anymore,I just couldnt move,I had lost control on my body !!!! I was just going to give up (like 2 other friends of mine) when I heard  a person who had just jumped, screaming with excitement and I thought "Am I going to ruin the awesome experience just because my fear is holding me back ???? Hell no !!!!" And I jumped !!! Those 3 seconds were one of the best 3 seconds of my life !!!!!I climbed again and looked down,same fear tried to overcome me but now I was much more stronger and was in control and I jumped again !!!!! Again the adrenaline rush was amazing !!!! As I came to the shore I saw the faces of the 2 friends who didnt jump,I could see guilt written all over their face just because they failed to do what all of us had done and missed the exciting opportunity !!!!!

Now why I am telling you this !!!!! Just take a moment and think that how many wonderful experiences in  your life you have failed to enjoy just because you were too afraid you will be exposed !!!!!! How many times you stayed silent when you really wanted to speak ????? How many times you let people take advantage of you just because of your fear ????? How many times you kept silent even when you knew that you were right ???? How many times you were nervous when all others around you were having a lot of fun ???? And finally how many times have you allowed your fear to ruin what could be the most memorable moments of your life ????Some things in life are just too special to allow fear to ruin them !!!! You can either take control and enjoy or you can let fear control you and be guilty later !!! Its your choice  !!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Daily Assignment-4

Note down the instances where you failed to maintain eye contact and note down whether your stammering increased because of this or not
write down 7 instances where you paused for 2 seconds before answering someone

ME !!! ME !!!! ME !!!!!

The inspiration to write this post came as I was going through some of the comments on various posts of a particular website.Many pws(by many I mean almost every) feel that God has wronged them.We believe that we have an excessive amount of problems because of our stammer and are either submerged in self pity or take to distancing ourselves from others.Whether it is giving an interview for a job,asking out a girl or just talking with someone,we feel that all our problems our due to our stammer.We keep on thinking"Life would be so great if I didnt stammer"!!! Its all about me and my hypothetical big problems !!!But just take a moment and think !!!! How many people in this world if given a chance would want to be you ????? The answer is billions and billions of people !! More than half of the populations daily goal is to have enough food for themselves and their family to survive for the day.And you say you are the cursed ones.I have seen rickshaw-wallahs sweating out from morning till night just to earn Rs 100 !!!! And you complain you have problems in getting a job !!!!There are people who are born deaf and dumb,people who have no legs-they cant even move without help and you are the one complaining that somebody made fun of you(And face it,it happens like once in a month)!!!!What will happen if you tell them that they could get everything you have,but they will just block while speaking sometimes !!!! Will they say no ???? No my friend,they will dance around in joy and thank God for his kindness !!!! I myself have been like this until a few weeks back,just thinking Why God did this to me ??? God has given us everything,come to think of it,even more than we deserve !!! But still instead of being thankful,we curse him and we start to develop a sense of hatred towards ourselves as well as others around us !!!!  So open your eyes and see the reality and start counting your blessings !!!And if you have trouble doing that-Just go out and see a 3 year old begging for a one rupee coin and then try telling yourself that you have been wronged !!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Toastmaster Experience (2nd meet)

Well as I told you earlier,I had volunteered to tell a joke this time.So,I went up to the stage,and yet again stuck on good afternoon(its really irritating but  I will keep on trying).But I told the rest of the joke really well.And I didnt just tell the joke,I also enacted it.The joke was-
Two guys are standing in front of an atm.The first one is entering his atm code.The second guy says-Hey dude,I saw your atm code,I know it is ****.The first guy says-No fool,it is not ****,it is 5421.
I really delivered it well.Then came the table topic contest.I didnt really speak well there.First of all the topic was very hard.I really started out confidently but then got lost up in the middle.But still I spoke for 2 minutes(the max time was 2 min 30 sec),much more than others.
So,what did I learn from the meet.First of all maintaining eye contact really helps.Second the louder I speak,the more confidence I get.The moment I get stuck on a word,if I dont close my eyes then the block is of very less duration but the moment I close my eyes and start forcing out,the block is very long.So,I will really aim to avoid blinking my eyes and speak as loudly as possible.I also want to release the block easily instead of forcing out.I really find that hard to do.So anyone out there with a suggestion is most welcome to comment.
But stammer or no stammer I feel really good after every meet,I really do !!!!!

Daily Assignment-3

Introducing some pausing

Today write down the names of 5  people you made eye contact with before speaking
Write down 10 instances when you maintained eye contact even when stammering
Write down 4 instances when you waited for 2 seconds before answering anyone






Monday, March 7, 2011

Daily Assignment-2

Maintaining Eye contact

We will be continuing the eye contact assignment
1)write down the names of 5 people whom you successfully made eye contact with
2)Write down 5 words on which you stuttered even while maintaining eye contact
3)Dont forget the weekly task given yesterday
4)Write down 5 instances where you made eye contact before you started talking

Counting your success and failures !!!!!


In doing your daily assignments I also want you to count your successes and failures as you go.But fluency doesn’t mean success and stammer doesn’t mean failure.Sheehan has described this as follows-

Success
Establish eye contact before beginning to speak.
Monitor well(observe exactly how you stutter)
Stutter,but bring the sound in immediately
Stutter Forward
Stutter with good eye contact
Go out of the way to enter a situation especially for your speech
Put the hardest word first in the sentence
Complete any feared word you started
Choose feared words instead of easy words
Mention your stuttering casually without shame
Stutter without one or more of your tricks
Cancel any failure

FAILURE
Substitute(I do that a lot)
Look away,up or down during a block
Use a starter
Stop halfway through a block
Do not have sound in the block(I do that a lot)
Back up and start over
Ruin an open stuttering assignment with fluency immediately afterward
Cover up your stuttering successfully
Stall a long time before entering a situation
Try to talk fluently at any cost
Show embarrassment which puts your audience  ill at ease
Perform an assignment half-heartedly
Respond quickly and automatically to every little pressure in the situation(i.e.without pausing and taking your time)(I do that a lot)
Give yourself the benefit of the doubt
Use a crutch to get the word out.

Well,I know it is a long list but I want you take some time and memorize both the success list and the failure list.Because you can improve only if you know every point.Although you need to note the failures in passing but your main focus should be on expanding the success list.For today I am aiming for a minimum of 30 successes.You can choose your own target.So best of luck,I will be posting the goals for today soon !!!! 






Its High Time We Start Taking Some Action(Daily Assignment-1)


Its almost a month since I have started blogging. I have written about 25 posts telling you about the various do’s and don’ts about stammering.I have shared stories with you,told you my past experiences and some basic facts.But there is one thing which I feel is still missing in my blog.And it is kind of the most important thing.Without this you can read every single word on stammering but still make no progress.That thing is action.All my blogging is futile if we don’t start doing some activities to improve ourselves.So from today we will all be performing some goals together which will help us a lot in our struggle to become better communicators.I will be posting goals almost everyday and we all will perform those goals.There will be no ifs and buts.Because if we don’t put to use what we learn then all this is just a waste of time.

Disclaimer-A lot of the goals will be from a book called Easy Stuttering by Sheehan which I read on scribd.So I am not taking credit for the design of the goals.I am just helping myself and others with the contents of the wonderful book.


Maintaining Eye contact
Points to keep in mind
Before starting to speak you have to make sure that you look in the eyes of the speaker and then start talking.You have to look in the eye of the listener even when you stutter and not look away.Try hard not to blink the eyes.Even if you stutter,it is okay.Just look in the eyes of the listener
Goals
Today write down the names and eye-colors of 3 people with whom you stutter
For 5 minutes,read in front of the mirror and maintain eye-sight and notice yourself
Write down 5 words you stuttered on while maintaining eye-contact
(To be done in the course of 5 days-Use your name with good eye-contact with 5 different people)

So if you are interested in joining me in my daily practice,just e-mail me and we will tread on the path of success together.And even if you are not still ready to do these daily goals,it is okay and natural.But whenever you feel you are ready just let me know.
I will also be posting the results of my daily assignments here and I encourage you to make a record for yourself as well
As always,I would love your comments and if you want to contact me,my e-mail id is kathuria.dhruva@gmail.com