Stuttering and Not Stuttering

It’s been a while, so here again is a quick post on what I’ve been stuttering on lately. But this time with a little twist at the end.

I got a bike fitting, and so I had to tell people about the fitting … except I really dragged out that f. Forever. It’s even more annoying when you’re dragging out a letter while riding a bike and trying to talk to others. Traffic rolls by, makes noise, makes it hard for people to hear you when something does come out, etc., ugh.

For whatever reason, I was talking about May, and so well, dragging that m out quite a bit. There’s work related stuff happening in May, but also my birthday is in May. Usually on the phone (with the electric company or whatever) having to say my birthday is a true pain.

Those are the two big ones that I can remember lately. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been avoiding and substituting here and there which is still frustrating. I try not to, but sometimes I just get tired of it, and I don’t think it’ll make a difference for the listener. But sometimes I really get out of hand with substituting, and all of a sudden I don’t even make sense to myself anymore. Good times.

Ok, what I wanted to add to this today is something a little different. People who stutter often spend a lot of time obsessing over the words we do get stuck on. We see them from afar, start thinking, start switching stuff out, start changing the subject, whatever it takes.

But what about what we don’t stutter on? I know stuttering is random and can strike any word at any time. But I’ve noticed that well, there are some words that are mostly immune. Sure I get stuck on them once in a great while, but basically I know I can roll on through them usually.

For example, I went to school in Pittsburgh. When people ask, I can say “Pittsburgh” without stuttering at all. “Pennsylvania” is also pretty easy (where I grew up). There are also certain greetings — I noticed in France I never really stuttered on “bonjour.” I can say at least one (of three) of my kids’ names without any problems as well. (When I’m talking to others about them. When I’m just calling the children, there’s no stuttering.)

I could probably make a longer list — certain months, certain countries, cities, etc., But you get the idea. The point is that while we usually fear certain words and situations, we can still be fluent (reliably) in others. And that should help our confidence out.

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