Make Room For The Stuttering

Reentry Can Be Hard

Posted on: July 16, 2013

Last week was the annual NSA conference held in Scottsdale, AZ. It was a wonderful week, filled with talking, stuttering, workshops, stuttering, socializing, stuttering, and keynote speakers who stuttered.

For me it was a great chance to recharge, spend quality time with good friends and revisit my relationship with my stuttering in a healthy way.

During the year, I don’t always engage with my stuttering like I do when attending a conference with hundreds of other people who also stutter. At the annual conference, I allow myself the time to think about my stuttering, talk about it with others, both the good parts and not so good parts, and I allow myself to stutter freely.

That is one of the strongest benefits of attending a 3 or 4 day conference about stuttering. We are free to stutter openly, free of techniques if we wish. With that freedom to stutter openly also is the freedom from judgment and fear that many of us feel during “everyday life.”

After returning home from the conference, I felt like I was on “cloud nine.” I still felt the energy of the support and camaraderie from the people at the conference, and the acceptance that is fostered at such an event. I watched all of the Facebook posts from friends who were posting that they were feeling the same way.

I messaged and texted a few friends and we “debriefed” a bit and talked about the recharge and energy we felt.

And we also talked about how the reentry was. Reentry back to the “fluent world,” and the world where stuttering is the minority once again, can feel like a huge letdown.  All of a sudden we’re back to reality and the “high” of the conference has dissolved and we’re back to the sometimes isolating existence of being the only one who stutters.

Reentry can be hard. It’s important to stay in touch with people from the conference, through social media, texting, phone or Skype. Staying in touch allows us to keep the positive feelings of support and acceptance longer. I have been in touch with friends Annie and Hanan, which has helped me stay grounded.

How do you deal with reentry after returning from such an empowering, affirming conference?

2 Responses to "Reentry Can Be Hard"

Hi again Pam,

Your post states that attending the NSA Conference allows ” … to stutter openly, free of techniques if we wish. With that freedom to stutter openly also is the freedom from judgment and fear that many of us feel during “everyday life”. This point resonates with how I felt before attending the Conference. I was saying to myself that the NSA Conference allows to have a ~4-day brake from the “fluent world” per year. I felt not too politically correct thinking like that, but a conference attendee told me that he thought that many of the conference attendees were there for exactly the same reason. I was expecting a sort of post-conference blues. Indeed, going back to work was not that easy. However, I feel that my eye contact is better whenever I get into a stutter. I wonder if this is a direct positive outcome from attending the conference. Indeed social media provide many ways to keep in touch with the numerous connections we make at the conference, and hopefully these interactions will allow to keep the NSA Conference spirit lasting longer than a few days or weeks.

Take care



I did kind of have the blues after getting home – I always feel so surrounded by acceptance and support when at the conference, and I miss is so when I get home. I don’t attend a support group locally so I relish the time I spend with people who care about stuttering, and me.
It is always easier for me too to keep my head up high immediately upon return, but it seems life swallows us up again so quickly.
I am glad you’ve been able to maintain eye contact better, and yes, that’s a direct result of doing it so effortlessly with all of us at the conference. I am already looking forward to next year, and also a trip to Canada sooner than that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Podcasts, Posts, Videos

Glad you're stopping by!

  • 713,317 visits

Monthly Archives!

Copyright Notice

© 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.
Follow Make Room For The Stuttering on
%d bloggers like this: