Acceptance – No Cure

I wanted to expand on a few topics regarding acceptance, and this is the first of eight. I gave a talk at TISA a few weeks back, and I was able to talk about these a little bit. Now that I’ve had more time to reflect, here’s what I hope will be helpful with regards to acceptance and what you can do with regards to how you think about stuttering.

Here’s what I said for the talk:

I have accepted that there is no cure for stuttering. The physical act of stuttering. I have come to terms with the fact that there may never be a medical breakthrough to cure stuttering. To fix that disconnect between our thoughts and our mouth. I accept this because of the simple reality of pharmaceutical companies. They will make drugs for what impacts the most number of people. We are not dying because we stutter, and our numbers are relatively small. We will still live. So it’s not a focus, and I can accept that. I understand the business of it.

When I was younger, I certainly held out hope that they’d come up with some kind of cure. Some pill or treatment for stuttering. You’d just go and do it, and the next day, boom, fluent as a tv commentator. As the years went on, and I learned more about how the world works, I realized that this was not going to happen. I also realized that there are many out there who are keen to take advantage of those in need. There are a lot of so-called cures and treatments out there. Some are more effective than others. I’ve come to realize that there’s a standard for treatment — going through a rigorous process, doing studies, seeing results. And that for the fly-by-night stuff, it simply isn’t there.

A “cure” to me means a full solution, full stop. Not something halfway that works half the time. I can do that. I can relax, I can breathe, I can be prepared. I can do none of those things and have a good day of being fluent. I can do all of those things and have a bad day and barely be able to get out a word.

Once the studies are done and the speech therapists of the world tell us there’s a cure, then I’ll be happy to get on board. But as I said in the first paragraph, it’s probably not just going to be a therapy thing, it’ll be a medical breakthrough. And the likelihood of that is very small given where we are in line with regards to other ills of the world.

So for me I choose not to spend any energy on hoping and dreaming for this cure. I’d rather use that to get myself in a better mental state of acceptance.

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