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June 19, 2024

You’re Not Doomed

Growing up with a stutter can feel like a series of doors constantly closing in front of you. You’re surrounded by fears that you’ll never get a job, never move out of your parent's house, never form real relationships. When your ability to communicate with

Facing the source of those feelings is an incredible challenge. It’s so much easier to hide and hope the pain goes away on its own. It’s so easy to feel like you are alone, and there’s no way out of this situation.

However, there is reason for optimism. The severity of these feelings, and the isolation they bring, only makes the discovery that you aren't alone more powerful. There is an entire community of people who’ve shared that experience and want to help. There are groups and meetings full of people that want to support you. There are researchers and SLPs dedicated to finding strategies and approaches that work. If you’re willing to look for them, there are resources available that can make your life better.

But embracing those resources means confronting the source of your suffering, and that can be a painful and difficult process. I know it was for me.  But with time and support, facing those challenges head-on will always lead to the greatest reduction in suffering. Facing the source of your pain makes it possible to accept the assistance and resources that lead to change.

Part of this feels impossible to write about. No one can tell you that you aren't isolated. No online article should try to tell you what you feel isn’t real and true. But finding something that works for you can offer a way out, a better alternative. 

Embracing, and maybe even accepting your challenges as a part of your life allows you to move forward and beyond them. Instead of being trapped in unproductive cycles of avoidance and fear, you can accept where you are today and look forward to a better tomorrow. 

It can only be a lived experience. No one can do it for you. Friends, family, and a support system make even the scariest things feel possible. Lean into the warmth you find in those around you and away from the cold fear of being other, of being different. There is much to look forward to. 

Zach Greene

Zach holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California Santa Barbara with a minor in the Classics and a specialization in Literature and the Mind. Zach is a freelance writer and creator, and is also a person who stutters.

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