By Ivan Das

It all started at the age of 6. My mother thought my speech pattern was due to me mimicking my cousin and brother, who had a stutter, too.

Just like my mother, I used to think this "hesitation" would go away. The toddler age went by and my adolescence swept in, only to let me know that my stutter had intensified over these years. Halted speech, restricted social behaviour, anxiety, and most importantly, self-condemning behaviour rocked these early adolescent ages.

By nature I am confident, extroverted, romantic, yet I couldn't ask any girl out for a date. I knew the answer, but still chose to keep my mouth shut in the class.

And after all these, there came the unforgettable movement when I chose my career path. I wanted to cure my issue, I wanted to know myself. And in the process, I chose something which could help not only me, but all others around me. I wanted to be a clinical psychologist when I grew up.

Today, it has been 7 long years that I have been studying the subject. Every class presentation would increase my heart beat, every interaction with a client was a tense affair. But there were dreams in these little eyes, too huge to be contained by the forces of stuttering. I chose to fight back.

I used my knowledge of psychological therapy to decondition myself of speech anxiety, and gain confidence. Surely, I did take homoeopathy medicines to help me have a soothing effect on my nerves. The results were fluctuating and then I started to try reading aloud. A classical method, but it is scientifically proven to be very effective.

I practice various relaxation techniques to calm my nerves down before any tense situation. I practice mindfulness to grow the mind-body connections. Also, I got into bodybuilding to bring the all-round health in me. Today, this spirit has helped me be where I am today.

Still today, I stutter. But I am at peace with it. I tell my audiences that I stutter beforehand. I admit my flaw because I have accepted it. And I can proudly say, all these techniques didn't totally cure me of my stuttering, but it helped me improve a lot. I always told myself that, I may be a stutterer but I am not a quiter in life. And life did not quit on me ever since.

To all those people out there, if you can read or talk fluently when alone in a room, know that you can do it in other situations, too. You just need to unlock and condition this ability. So find out what is holding you back, because stuttering can’t stop you from speaking your heart out. If you aim to be completely perfect, that can be a hard thing to achieve, but if you accept and admit your problem, you can talk convincingly, in spite of a few hesitations on a few words, given the proper medication, therapies and most importantly, your mind set.

Posted June 19, 2018