My junior year of high school was a whirlwind.
In a nutshell... I started dating my current boyfriend, my school volleyball team went to state for the first time in 17 years (while I was the lead setter), my uncle unexpectedly moved in with us, my club volleyball team was traveling to different states for tournaments, I was applying for colleges, and my grandma died suddenly the week before finals.
Trying to balance all of these different aspects of my life proved to be challenging.
I had some big choices to make. Choices like, was I going to pursue my volleyball career in college? What college should I go to that offers a speech-language pathology program? Or, should I go to a community college first? Should I date this cute and nice guy?
But the biggest question that I had to face was, am I going to allow my stutter to get in the way of all of this?
But before all of this mess started, I ironically told myself this cliche all of the time ... "Live Anyway."
I once read a long story about how really being brave is still feeling fear, but deciding to do it anyway. So "Live Anyway" became my mantra for the summer and for the impending school year.
I made up my mind to do the things that I was afraid of doing because I wanted to stop living in so much fear.
I started off my junior year with playing an insane amount of volleyball. But, all of the hours that my team put in had ultimately paid off.
Then, during those same months, I started to date my current boyfriend.
For these couple of weeks, my stutter would come into play more than I wanted it too. I was overly stressed with college applications, maintaining my GPA, proving myself on the court with seniors, and trying to figure out this whole "boyfriend" thing.
My blocks would be severe. When I had to talk to the referee, or to my other teammates, I felt like I had to forcefully push every single word out.
As the school year was coming to a close, I was excited to finally rest and enjoy the summer with my friends and boyfriend. But unfortunately, things don't always go as you planned.
My sweet grandma suddenly passed away a week before the last day of school. After all of this, I was able to enjoy my summer ... as much as I could anyway. My speech was doing okay. But later in the year, when I would see something that reminded me of my grandma, I would feel out of it for a couple of days. A couple of days turned into many months, and months turned into years. More hard times came and went, and my mantra ( "Live Anyway" ) was put on the back burner.
A year and half after I graduated high school, I sat back and flipped through my old planner. I looked at my doodles and notes. I smiled and laughed at myself when I saw that my cliche mantra was plastered everywhere in cursive writing. After such a rough year, I had forgotten about "Live Anyway" for a while.
I closed my planner and decided to take "Live Anyway" another go. But, this was going to look different than before. This time, I was gonna really focus on my stutter.
I decided to start speech therapy again. After looking up "speech therapy near me" on Google, I found a new clinic called "Circle Creek Therapy". I decided to give it a try, and I can honestly say that it's been one of the best decisions that I've ever made.
My speech therapist at Circle Creek Therapy, Courtni, always encouraged me to stand up for myself, and to do the things that I wanted even if was going to stutter.
I remember being so excited to tell her about how I decided to order exactly what I wanted when I was at a restaurant. I stuttered through most of it, but who cares! Watching the waitress bring me that steak salad with NO onions felt like I was being handed a trophy.
Sometimes I would have to get myself pumped up to do those things. I would think to myself, "Cmon you can do it. You will regret it if you don't. Decide to live despite how you are feeling. You know that Courtni is going to ask you about this later!" Then I'd take a deep breath, and say exactly what I wanted to say.
I believe that "Live Anyway" can not only be applied to those who stutter, but to everyone. Everyone is afraid of something. Whether that be public speaking, starting a new career, dating, etc.
I encourage you to sit down and figure out what is your "stutter". What is it in your life that is stopping you from doing what you want to do?
Then decide to live despite your fear. I have to tell you, doing exactly what you thought you couldn't do is addicting. Once you start, it is hard to stop. But like most things, the hardest part is the first step. If I can do it, so can you. :)
Call Circle Creek Therapy for more information about our speech therapy services. Our number is 253.237.3405.
We are always willing to help.