As always, our Monday night meeting was a great one. There were 20 of us in attendance, 2 SLPs, 17 people who stutter, one very supportive boyfriend – and 4 first-timers – a very special welcome to James, Sean, Peter and Liz for joining us!
This meeting reminded us of the importance of support and what the National Stuttering Association represents – we welcome all those who stutters, regardless of your speech goals, and also that we are not alone in our journey.
We split the group into two, to keep things a bit more intimate.
We discussed the important weapon of resilience we sometimes forget we have in our arsenal. A member talked about how he had a phone call for a job application he had submitted not go as planned, as the person on the other line kept things very short and basically hung up on him. There is sometimes a benefit in analyzing and processing a situation, maybe learn from it, but sometimes it may be even more important to pick yourself up from a tough situation, and keep moving forward.
One member talked about how staying present when he’s about to talk to one of his clients on the phone helps to keep those mental demons away, and therefore struggle less while speaking. Most of us can relate to this, since stuttering is linked so closely to our emotional state. Similarly, for some of us it takes a bit of voluntary stuttering to get in that mindset, or just putting ourselves out there a bit more when we begin to get too comfortable. We’re talking about stuttering here, but this applies to most things in life if you’re into the whole personal growth thing.
One member talked about how his passion on a certain topic usually overrides most concerns related to how his stuttering will impact his speaking. This is an insightful perspective since many of us often place more attention on how we are going to say something rather what we are going to say.
As one of the co-leaders of our group, I don’t get to sit in on both groups, but I had the chance to talk to one of the first timers before the meeting, who was sitting in the other group. His message was a very important one, perhaps the most important for many of us. He encouraged the group to not only speak up, but to also remember to stand up for yourself – whether someone is confused and thinks it’s okay to laugh, or you get cut you off…or whatever the case may be.
As always, it was an honor to be able to help in making Monday night happen. Hope to see you all very soon, and if you haven’t yet, please go ahead and LIKE our brand new NY Chapters Face Book page. We are planning some exciting outings for the Spring, so connect with us to stay in the loop!