So I've been stuttering a great deal for the pass couple months. My stuttering has its phases though, sometimes I can speak well for a couple of months and then the next few months I struggle getting anything out. I've been quite frustrated lately and haven't been able to talk about it for obvious reasons. So I thought I'd write a note and get everything I need to out. This is probably more for me than anyone else really but maybe some people might find this interesting and learn about something they might not ever think about.
Most people who know I stutter say, "I really don't notice you stuttering when you speak too often," and that may be true, but this is how it feels when I speak and what takes place when I say any simple sentence. Even if I am not stuttering, that doesn't mean my stuttering isn't affecting me or what I'm saying. If I'm not stuttering it's because I'm constantly focusing on my words, saying them using fluency techniques such as saying "um" before and flowing into the words rather than just blurting it out. I also focus on proper breathing techniques so that I can use the right muscles while speaking. All of this goes into me just saying a simple sentence or response. Now of course I forget to do these techniques because it's only natural to try to say what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Another thing I'll do is literally change the words I want to say. "I just went to Winn-Dixie," becomes "I just came from the store." (screw you W's!). Or when I really, really want a Route 44 real fruit slush at Sonic happy hour and I can't say it, I'll just get a large cherry limeade. 🙁 (damn you R!) So yeah, I'm not stuttering but that doesn't mean it isn't affecting my speech.
I really think people take for granted how amazing it is to be able to say exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it. Stop and just think about it if you are someone who is able to speak fluently without ever realizing the marvel of it. Language in and of itself is amazing. Our brain can abstract some universal, unimaginable concept like love, grasp what it is, remember an arbitrary sound that we as a culture use to convey the idea of this concept, send a signal from our brain to our mouth that moves or tongue, lips, and jaw to say, with what seems like utter simplicity, "love."Love written by light trail at night
Language presumes the existence of another by its very being. Its purpose is for the other and calls you to go outside yourself. Specifically, hearing another speak can uplift the heart and arise emotions in the soul. It can inspire people in a very unique way. I doubt the words of Christ at the Sermon on the Mount would have cut to the heart of the people there if Christ had been using sign language. With sign language you can turn away or close your eyes and it would be as if nothing is really happening. But with audible language the words literally penetrate your person. The voice of the one speaking is unique, personal, and unrepeatable. It calls you to recognize the other and make a decision. You can close your eyes and cover your ears, but you can still hear the muffled sound of what you are rejecting. I think of Christ on the cross and the pain it was for him to utter simple words as he raised himself up to gasp for air, even to breath properly as the fluid was building up in his lungs. How am I ever justified in being frustrated that I struggle to speak? I think God has been trying to tell my entire life, "Jesse, just shut-up and listen!" He's teaching me humility and the value of sitting in silence with your own thoughts and contemplating life.
And even though I have this struggle, I am a very lucky person and am extremely blessed for everything I have. There are so many people in this world that have much more serious problems than me. But for anyone who took the time to read this, think of how truly blessed you are in so many ways and the simple things you take for granted. We are surrounded every second of every day by what should inspire us to wonder in the mystery of existence.