My past year of school has taught me a lot, but one of the most important things it has taught me is to look at myself a little bit more. To try and understand what is going on with me. This blog has been a big part of that, and sadly I have gotten away from it. But I was laying in bed this evening thinking, just thinking, no one real thought going through my head, just a million little ones, and I decided to “pick up the pen” again and talk about something that bothers me:
Sometimes having my stutter really sucks. I was going to try and beat around the bush and come up with a clever, sugar-coated way to get to this point, but sometimes we just need to say things the way they are. So, ya, stuttering is shitty. I catch myself sometimes being angry at myself for not being able to say something in a better way, or the way I wanted to say it originally. I’ll walk away from a conversation or hang up the phone and scold myself for not being able to do better. My stutter is such a conundrum because there is so much of it that is out of my control and many of the parts that are in my control are parts that I don’t yet fully understand how to control. There are times when I feel it would be easier to just give up and let myself stutter all the time, but my brain just doesn’t let me do that. Whether it is my own competitive spirit or just a habit that I have gotten into, there is never a time when I am not actively trying to better my speech. And, honestly, it is exhausting sometimes. That exhaustion is what I’d like to focus on here.
Sometimes after a long day of school, or work, or just social events, I get home and I feel one of two things: incredibly irritable or just plain stupid. The irritability comes from having to deal with the inner battle I have going on inside my head of wanting to say something while my physical self insists on not being able to do it. The back and forth between my brain and body is draining. The stupidity part comes from my brain just throwing the white flag up and saying “that’s enough work for me today”. So to avoid having to really look at what is going on for me mentally, I try and distract myself with other things. Going to the gym, sports, cooking, television, hours of YouTube videos of cats falling off bookshelves, you name it, I’ll do it to keep myself busy. I have never been able to sit down and do nothing, it drives me crazy, and it drives me crazy because I consistently run over everything that has happened that day, or last week, or things that are going to happen next week, or a few months down the road. I set up these scenarios in my head of situations where I would need to say something and whether I believe I would be able to say it. It is such a damaging way of thinking but I do it every second that I don’t have something to distract me.
I have had the opportunity lately to get a better understanding and a more personal perspective of people diagnosed with their own challenges, whether it be anxiety, depression, hearing-loss, blindness, or any other struggle people deal with every single day of their lives. I have been able to empathize with them on a level of common ground. Getting home and revising every second of your day to see where you went wrong can be so difficult and seems so damaging. And if you meet someone who does that and seemingly upsets themselves by doing so, you tend to want to lend the helping hand of wisdom by saying: “well then why don’t you just not do it?”. I am guilty of this myself. It would be so easy if people who have anxiety could just not think about their anxiety, or if people with depression could just be happier, or if people with a stutter could just do things that make it easier to speak all the time, but we can’t always do that. If we could we probably would. And even though we try, doing this all the time would leave you with just enough energy to survive from punch-in to punch-out, if that.
So, stuttering sucks. I hate using the term “suffer” when I talk about my stutter, it makes it feel a lot more serious than it actually is. I don’t think I suffer from a stutter, I just have it. But what I do “suffer” from is an inability to rid my mind of thinking about the stutter that I have, and that is the most damaging part of it for me. I can’t shake it, it is always on my mind. It isn’t always at the forefront of it all, but it is always in there, somewhere, peeking its head into everything else I have going on.
I feel that if you go back and read most of my posts thus far I have had a pretty positive, fun attitude towards my stutter. To be honest, most of the time that is my attitude towards it, and towards life in general. But sometimes I just feel really crappy about everything. My biggest issue is that when I do feel crappy about it I never talk about it, I just let it stew until it passes, and I feel really hypocritical for doing so. I am such an advocate for people talking out and talking about their issues and struggles. I have seen how this can help people, but I don’t always practice what I preach, so, here I am. Talking. Talking about how shitty and exhausting it is sometimes to live with this stutter that I have and that I am pretty sure it is okay to feel like crap about life sometimes because, unfortunately, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies.
If you are done reading this and realize it really wasn’t a fun read, I highly suggest looking up some YouTube clips of people falling, because sometimes we need that in our lives.