Because of My Stutter: Remembering the Positives

October 06, 2011  |  Posted in: Blog,Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |  By:   |   1 Comment

As a Person Who Stutters, my speech affects my daily life, even the most common of circumstances.  It has an affect on what food I order when I am out, if I feel like making an important phone call today, or pushing it off till tomorrow, or if I want to tell a joke or a story in a normally innocuous social gathering.  These seemingly common occurrences are challenges for those who stutter.  For me, these occurrences are sometimes a cause of stress or embarrassment.  It is common that I feel stuttering holds me back.  As much as I always try to not allow stuttering to shape my activities and my daily life, there is no doubt that it has, and still continues to do so.

It is often that I think to myself “because of my stutter…”. Because of my stutter, I am eating a salad instead of a Medium well hamburger.  Although a healthy choice, this isn’t what I actually wanted to have today.  Because of my stutter, I feel limited in social settings and I am not always my out-going self, until I get to know you.  Because of my stutter, I am not a phone guy, a lawyer, a stockbroker or a college professor.

For Persons Who Stutter, stuttering has affected us in different ways whether we like to admit it or not.  It may be big things in life, such as choosing a career path, or small day-to-day things like ordering food.

I am writing today to help both myself and the reader focus on the positives of stuttering.  We definitely have our stressful days, but on the road to acceptance, I find it useful to remember how my stutter has positively affected me.

I attended SUNY Cortland and, at first, I was a Physical Education Major.  While in college, I let the fear of stuttering get the better of me and I changed my major to Fitness Development, a career path I learned was not really for me either.  Now out of college, I took the FDNY exam and eventually got on the job.  While enrolled in the 6 month Academy, I refused to let stuttering get me down for a second time. I’m happy to say I got through it and I’m very happy with my career path now. I can honestly say that “because of my stutter,” I am where I am today.

I believe my stutter has literally shaped my personality.  I am easy going and I do not let most things bother me.  I am usually too busy wondering how I am going to speak clearly so I don’t have the energy to worry about other things.  My wife thinks my easy going ways are one of my better traits and it may have helped us get to where we are today.  When a hurricane literally cancelled our wedding ceremony, which we had planned for over a year, I was able to take it in stride.  As if led by example, she ended up taking the setback well and yes, the party has been rescheduled!

Because of my stutter I have joined the NSA family.  I have met a lot of new friends and interesting people from many walks of life.  I find that stutterers are usually pretty grateful to meet new people, especially when they share the same experiences.

I can honestly say I am happy to be where I am today and I know that my stutter has had an impact on getting me here.  I have only listed a few, major positive outcomes of my stuttering here but I would love to share my experiences and hear more from you at the next NSA meeting.  Besides, Nina has given me a one-page assignment and I think I am already over limit.

I implore you, as fellow Persons Who Stutter to remember the positives.  Self-acceptance is important, and every one of us has a reason to celebrate who we are.  If you are reading this in support of someone who stutters, I encourage you to remind them of how their stutter has positively shaped their lives.

I ask you, how has stuttering affected your life POSITIVELY?  On your days that seam a little bit more challenging or less fluent, think back on the positives and take it in stride.  Hope to see you at the next meeting.



-Paul F.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Blog section of the NSA Queens Chapter website do not necessarily concur with the views or beliefs of the National Stuttering Association (NSA) or the Queens Chapter of the NSA. They are the opinion of each individual contributing author who attends the Queens chapter.

1 Comment for this entry

  • Sabrina

    November 13th, 2013 on 8:09 pm

    this was beautiful !

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