Make Room For The Stuttering

Getting Through Bad Times

Posted on: July 17, 2009

All of us experience good times and bad times. Things change, people change, we have beginnings and endings, and our feelings sometimes get in the way. Those darn feelings can sometimes come out of nowhere to cast shadows, sometimes making the bad times seem even worse.

Those of us who stutter have good days and bad days regarding our speech, as well as everything else. When you are having bad speech days coupled with feeling bad about other stuff, it can sometimes feel terribly overwhelming and lonely.

So what do we do? I am in a patch like this. My stuttering has been changing and I have felt increased tension. My personal situation is changing and there is tension there. All of this tension has made me feel helpless. I need to surrender some of this, despite my desire to want to be in control. Sometimes we just cannot be in control. We have to recognize those moments. I have to remind myself to be gentle and kind to myself. And let someone else help or be in control. It is times like this when I have to let down my guard and just let go.

The Serenity Prayer comes to mind when I feel lost and out of control. It is widely used in 12-step addiction programs, and most certainly applies to stuttering and other feelings of helplessness. The Serenity Prayer has always held meaning for me, as I first heard it and really let it in when my mom was battling alcoholism and other demons.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

We need to be wise enough to look inward to our soul and ask ourselves what we can handle and what is outside of our control. We also need to be wise and brave enough to recognize when a change is needed, and go for it, even if it is incredibly scary. We need to connect to the people in our lives who matter and let them in. Being other-focused rather than self-focused helps us see the forest through the trees. Others have been doing that with me lately, and it has felt good. Affirming. Warm. Needed.

One thing that helps me tremendously is talking with others. As bad as I may feel about something, reaching out and sharing with someone else makes me feel better. There’s something to be said for honest dialogue, from the heart, shared between two people. Giving of oneself is almost a tonic for making the self feel better, full,whole, soulful.

So we can get through the bad times. We don’t have to do it alone. I don’t have to do it alone. We are a community for a reason. Let people in.

Do you agree? What do you do when you feel helpless?

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5 Responses to "Getting Through Bad Times"

When I feel helpless, I do two things, both courtesy of Martin Seligman’s “The Optimistic Child.”

1) I find what I *can* do. Some things are beyond my control, but many things are. Find that first step. “I can’t solve the problem, but I can lessen this part of it.”

2) I ask myself, “What is the worst that could possibly happen?” Then I ask, “What is the BEST t hat could possibly happen?”

Once those two spectres are out of the way, then I say, “And now, what’s the most likely thing that will happen because of this?”

Frequently the answer is somewhere between the two.

Yes, your post was like a mirror. I could have written that myself.
When speech feelings become overwhelming I try to reach out, and I try to remember that feelings are often different from reality. I try to be my own parent and give myself a hug. But sometimes it is too hard and the loneliness feels overwhelming. I have been feeling very alone last week when you wer all at the conference which I could not attend this year. Just knowing I am not alone and that other people who stutter (even those who don’t know me) know what I’m going through helps.
And finally, this might sound trite and it isn’t meant that way – but spending some time looking up to God helps me too.

Feeling helpless and alone can be so overwhelming. But when we have the support of others, even from afar, we feel supported. And we all share these expierences, fluent or stuttering.
I have been ubale to look up to god lately – still working on the whole forgiveness thing. But I feel more and more, I am walking in the right direction.

Of late when I feel helpless I throw a pity party. Before I would have the energy to look for what the situation is offering me and use it to forge ahead.

I dont know I guess I have been so weakened my struggles all my life that I am not finding the energy anymore to pull myself up by my bootstrings.

I am a Christian and is finding it hard to rely and God now as well becasue I feel he has had it with me.

I know it helps to have deep honest conversations with people when we are feeling down and out and helpless but I left those people who I used to talk to back home when I migrated and I have not had any new meaningful friendships since.

I wonder if it is because I have closed myself off in an effort to protect my lack of achievements.

Annetta,
I knew when writing this that it would be ok to be so heart felt. I guess I am getting more and more comfortable taking risks.

It makes sense that you feel isolated, since having left familiar surroundings, however, you have the power to change that.

And saying you are protecting yourself from lack of accomplishments is just as silly as when I say it. I know I have accomplished alot, but sometimes need to be affirmed and rassured, we all do. Your accomplishements are so eveident on your blog. My goodness, look a tthe lives you are touching by sharing your poignant story, pain, tears and now triumph.

Your a mom, and a good one. What greater accomplishment.

We keep promising that we are going to connect,and just havene;t b/c we are so busy. Lets do that – lkets find a time,coordinate the time difference and get to know one another. Sometimes just talking wit,and struttering freely, can be such a freeing experience.

I am off to Tampa this week, but when I get back, am relatively un-scheduled for August, except for trying to figure out personal stuff. So lets talk and share! You have a lot to say!

Thanks for your honesty – its beautiful!

Pam

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