Make Room For The Stuttering

Hold On And Let Go

Posted on: June 26, 2009

I talked with a friend the other day about skiing. I don’t ski – never have, and really have no desire to. I don’t think I was designed to have part of me on little wooden slabs, propelling  down a mountain. I am sure I would be holding on tight to the poles,  screaming all the way, much like I did one time I went on an amusement park ride.

I can remember riding on these big swings that turned you sideways and went faster and faster, higher and higher. I was holding on to the chains so tight that they dug into my knuckles. I was also screaming to the guy to let me off. He didn’t hear me, or chose to ignore me. Too bad, because unfortunately I got sick while flying through the air. I never did something like that again.

I was looking at pictures of Heather in her office of  her skiing hey-days. She was good. Could have skied professionally. She shared with me how it felt, the sheer joy and freedom of letting go and flying free. She described the balance needed to ski, and thrill of knowing exactly how to hold on and let go simultaneoulsy. It was like an art form, she said, the perfect moment, where she just knew when to let go and fly. She expressed such joy in the telling of this brief story, and I could see the exhilaration in the picture of her at that exact moment when she let go and took off.

I think stuttering is like that. I can hold on so tight sometimes when I should really just let go. I am talking about both the actual stuttering – what is heard and seen – and the emotions, that lie beneath. I have often held on so tight to fear of judgement, fear of ridicule, fear of punishment that I become paralyzed and unable to let go. So those feelings stay buried, and they get pushed deeper and deeper until I can no longer identify them.

Its all about balance. We need that. I need that in my life. My stuttering needs to balance with the rest of my life. It is better to let loose and let go, and just stutter freely. Holding on so tight creates tension and distress, which then has to be relieved somehow. I notice sometimes that I try to hold in a stutter and not let it out. Then, I get the unnerving tremor, spasm thing. My lips purse and tense, and I can feel my self  holding on when I should be letting go. The tension then moves a little bit, as I have noticed that when I am fighting the stutter, I have also been squeezing my left eye shut. I have mentioned this a few times before. It’s  involuntary – I don’t know I am doing it until I am doing it, and then I realize, “Oh no, I’m doing it.”

If I am tense and distressed, people around me sense that and get uncomfortable around me. If I am relaxed and in a good space, I send that vibe and those around me pick up on that. People react to me, to us, the way we are reacting to our selves. Profound, huh?

I know the answer – I should not hold on so tight and just let go, at the exact moment when it is right to let go. I have done it, and felt the joyful liberation of just letting go and being authentic. But stuttering is complex. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, something else comes along to muck things up.

Don’t hold on so tight to your emotions and your stutter that you don’t let them out. It easier and feels better to let go, with joy and grace. Like with crying. Sometimes I hold on so tight and force myself to not cry. When I finally do let it go, it’s like waterfalls washing over me. Its OK to cry. Its part of the balance we need.

Have you ever had the experience of holding on too tight? Letting go? Both? It doesn’t have to be about stuttering. It can be about horseback riding, or hiking, or riding a bike. Whatever it is, sometimes it is just right to hold on and let go. Funny, how that sounds, but it sustains the balance.

Copyright © 2009

1 Response to "Hold On And Let Go"

I’ll spare you the instances in this regard about stuttering because you know them all too well.

This has to do with my pregancy with my son. I had a couple of miscarriages, the worst the year before I became pregnant with my son, that pregnancy I lost at 7 months. My husband and I were devastated.

With my pregnancy with my son, I did not enjoy it because I was so on edge that something would go wrong and seem to have held on to that notion the whole pregnancy, and sadly I held on to that notion the whole pregnancy, little wonder it was such a difficult one.

If I had just let go and allow myself to think positive thoughts and relax I would have enjoyed this pregnancy more. My son is such a beautiful boy, Can’t tell him mommy did not enjoy the pregnancy.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2022.
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