February/March 2013 Newsletter

March 17, 2013  |  Posted in: Blog,Newsletter   |  By:   |   0 Comments

With spring in the air, the members of the Queens Chapter of the NSA have gathered twice over the past two months to discuss the role that stuttering plays in their life. Although I have said this many times, I still find it rewarding and humbling to see the joy and relief in the faces of all of the attendees. There is a sense of peace and clarity at our meetings that is truly a once in a lifetime feeling. It is frequently captured during optional introductions. For example, one PWS shared that his “stutter buddies” often allow him to feel comfortable and conquer any stuttering situation that comes his way.

During our past two meetings, the topics of conversation have included discussions on fluency as a means of acceptance and the giant and chains complex. We also briefly discussed recurring topics such as acceptance and dating as a PWS. Although most of us may find it difficult to find a “fluent rhythm,” we must ask ourselves whether fluency or acceptance is what we are striving for. While I agree that fluency would allow you to order a cheeseburger rather than a steak, or make an important phone call rather than sending an email, is fluency the key to your happiness if you are not comfortable in your own skin as a PWS? This topic of conversation sparked the interest of several of our attendees. One PWS shared that there is nothing wrong with working on fluency to feel good about yourself but you shouldn’t wave the white flag unless you are comfortable with being a PWS.

On the dating scene, the attendees agreed that advertising on a date can be attractive. It may shock or confuse some people but if you are yourself and you are comfortable in your own shoes, others will be comfortable as well. Unfortunately we cannot control what the public “thinks” stuttering is. Therefore, is it important for the members of the stuttering community to educate them and show that with confidence, anything is possible!

Another intriguing topic that was discussed at the meetings was the idea of the giant and chains complex. The idea behind this theory is that unless the chains of stuttering (or any other important issue you are struggling with) are not weighing you down, you will struggle with finding self-acceptance and allowing your dreams to become a reality. Several attendees agreed that if you express the attitude that stuttering is holding you back from pursuing your dreams, it will. We may often use stuttering as a scapegoat, or an easy way out of difficult conversations or situations. In light of these hardships and obstacles, we must acknowledge the amazing gift stuttering has given to us. As one attendee beautifully stated, “stuttering has allowed me to be more compassionate, less judgmental and more understanding of others.”

The Queens Chapter of the NSA would like to thank their sponsors Starbucks and Fat Boys Pizza of Fresh Meadows for their delicious treats at their meetings. They are happy to share that the National Stuttering Association is holding their annual conference this year from July 3rd to July 7th in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information about this conference, please visit www.westutter.org. FRIENDS (The National Association of Young People who Stutter) is holding their annual conference this year from July 18th to July 20th in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information about this conference, please visit http://www.friendswhostutter.org. We hope to see you there!

Be sure to check the website for upcoming events and meetings. We are proud to announce that the Queens Chapter will be hosting a Friends and Family Night on May 6th. We hope to see you and your loved ones there. GREAT NEWS! The Long Island Chapter of the NSA has been reactivated! Please email stutter@nsalongisland.org for more details. Until next time, don’t be afraid to be a fruitloop in a world of cheerios. Stay strong and stutter beautifully!

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