I now work in a GP surgery rather than a hospital ward. So my consultations are in the confines of a room with just the patient and me, and sometimes a relative. Maybe this is contributory but I don’t think it would be different if I remained in the hospital. I had already started speaking fluently in the last 4 months of my last hospital post which I left in August this year. And I had stammered a lot when I was in a similar GP setting in my first year of training.
My testimony is not much about my freedom to speak fluently, but more about overcoming my fear and anxiety around speaking and meeting people. Fluency came as a bonus. I found out that as soon as I began to let myself stammer without feeling shame or fear, I stammered less. Those who never met me stammering will find it hard now to believe that it used to be a problem.
I am very grateful to the people who introduced the concept of “It is okay to stammer” to me. Iain Wilkie, for your work with the practice interviews. I participated last year. All the authors of the book "Stammering Pride and Prejudice: Difference not Defect".
I am grateful to Dr. Sunday Adelaja for his YouTube series on Self Confidence and all the other teachings. I am also grateful to all who encouraged me when speaking was so difficult including my family, my husband, my church and close friends. Guys, I am accepting speaking invitations now.
On this International Stammering Awareness Day, I would like to encourage everyone to provide a supportive environment for stammerers. Most of our problem is the fear, shame and anxiety from encountering a hostile atmosphere - one that does not tolerate or accept the stammering speech. When stammerers are free to be themselves, to say what they want to without embarrassing looks, to finish their sentences without someone cutting them short, to be heard and appreciated for the content of their speech and not the delivery, they thrive and can attain to their full potential. Be a stammering ally today!
My message to stammerers is “It is okay to stammer”. Feel free to stammer. Permit yourself to stammer. Do not let it stop you. You may need to work harder than everyone else at developing your self confidence. If you don’t stand up for yourself, who will?
Happy International Stammering Awareness Day!
Radiant ~ October 2021