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Be your own friend

I guess this poem is about a few different things. It’s about those moments when you’re content to just sit in silence and think your thoughts and feel your feelings without feeling the pressure to say them out loud. It’s also about the importance of being your own friend, to listen your body and to your soul and making the conscious effort to look after yourself and to not feel pressure to meet the needs of others. Sometimes, breathing deeply is all you need to remind yourself that you are still living and that there is a whole world in which you are alive in.  Finally, it’s a reminder that even when sometimes people who stutter are forced into silence because we just can’t seem to get our words out, our thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas are still worth thinking about.  We are still worth a place on this Earth.  We are still worth living. Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya Be your own friend It’s in those moments, when I choose not to talk, to sit in silence, and let m
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Why listening is important

 Lets talking about the importance and the value of listening. And why it’s especially important to take the time to listen to a person who stutters. Photo by cottonbro What is listening? The basic definition of listening is to give your attention to a sound. Notice the word ‘attention’ and why its vital to recognize that listening to someone speak does not simply mean we are hearing someone speak but it also means that we should give our sole attention to them as they speak. In order for us to listen accurately, we need to make a mindful effort to not just hear what people are saying but to take it in, digest it and try and understand it. How do we listen? In order for you to be able to listen to someone properly, it is almost imperative that you have patience. We live in such a fast-paced world that patience seems to have fallen to the wayside for a lot of things. I believe that to truly be able to understand what someone is saying, patience is key. Especially when it comes

Life update; New role

Well, Hello!  It's been a while!  Here's a little life update... New role For those who don’t follow me on Instagram, which you can do so here  if you wish, I announced that I have recently been trained in for a new role in one of the places that I work. This role is in the Box Office which, as you’ve probably already guessed, is very much a customer facing job, i.e. when I’m working the Box Office, my face is the first face that people see when they walk in and I am also the person that they are speaking with over the phone. Yes, that’s right! The Phone!  For those of you who stutter, I’m sure at least half of you can relate to my anxiety that surrounds the phone. And if someone had told me three years ago that I would be answering the phone as part of my job, I definitely would not have believed them! Using the phone as part of work has always felt like a little dream of mine. The phone was always something that seemed very much out of my reach as a person who stutter

I am woman...and I stutter

This poem is inspired by the  Proud Stutter   podcast and more specifically what Nina G said about how women who stutter are often silenced by others and themselves.  'Women are socialised to make ourselves small and when you stutter you get extra small.'  Unfortunately, I have found this to be true. In my experience of being a woman, I have often felt silenced by some of the men in my life, be it at work, by the men I choose to socialise with or by what I see in the media, simply because I am woman. Furthermore, I have so often seen the men in the society that I live in make the decisions that affect the wider society. And because of this I have often felt like I have no voice within wider society, however hard I try to prove that I do.  And in relation to stuttering, four times more men than women will stutter. This automatically puts women who stutter in the minority, which can cause them to feel isolated. The idea being that if women are already seen as the weaker sex and a

Stuttering Shame

What is shame? And where does it come from? How does it manifest? Essentially, shame comes from 'the fear of being perceived as flawed...unworthy of belonging'. The feelings of shame we feel do not come from within us, but from society’s reactions to us. Isn't it crazy how the desire to belong in the world and within society can make us feel unworthy and rejected when we do things differently? And because someone is perceived to be different, society shuns them. To be rejected by the world you where everyone should belong and everyone should be treated equally, can often cause those who are rejected to draw away from society and stay on the outskirts of society. When you break it down like that, the idea of shame and being shamed for something that we cannot control becomes something almost criminal. Feelings of shame can often manifest themselves in the body and lead to a ‘sunken’ body posture ; a physical expression of wanting to disappear. And because it's a ty

Dear Younger Me

 A letter to my 13 year old self  (10 years ago)  Dear Bevin, I wanted to write you a letter to let you know that everything works out just fine. I know that's hard to believe just now because your stutter seems to be one of your biggest obstacles at the moment. I'm sorry you had to spend so many years feeling afraid of being called on in class or having to introduce yourself. I'm sorry you felt that your voice wasn't worth using because you didn't speak as quickly or as smoothly as the other people in your class. I'm sorry that you missed out on opportunities because your own voice felt so small.  But I'm writing to you to let you know that it does get better. You learn how to use that beautiful voice of yours. You become part of class discussions. You make so many new friends by introducing yourself. You take chances and they pay off. You use your voice to help others.  And you still stutter. Your stutter your way through. But not only do you stutter, you

Alex; the ISA Mascot

This blog post wouldn't have been created if it wasn't for a quick and, otherwise, simple decision to take a chance on a claw machine.  Photo by  cottonbro  from  Pexels A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend some quality time with some really awesome young people who stutter.  Myself and my colleague from the Irish Stammering Association, invited a group of young people, ranging in ages from 14 to 19, to an arcade to play some bowling and hang out.  It was so wonderful to see the group chat to each other, laugh with each other and cheer each other on. All the while their stuttering was not an issue.  They all gave each other the time and the space to get their words out; there was no interrupting and no one finished their sentence.  To say it warmed my heart would be an understatement.    The Claw There was a moment in the afternoon when two of the group participants wanted to play some of the arcade games and I decided to go

A Poem: Wait

'Our  willingness to wait reveals the value we  place on the object  we're waiting for.' - Charles Stanley I don't think this poem needs an introduction but it's essentially a request to all those who find themselves conversing with a person who stutters.  Simply just wait.  Wait for them to finish speaking, even if it takes 5 seconds longer than 'normal'. There is value in what people who stutter have to say, just like there is value in what fluent speakers have to say. Whether we're ordering at a restaurant or giving a speech in front of the class, we will get our words out, we just need a little extra time.  We're doing the hard part - the talking...all you have to do is listen.  Photo made with be-funky So, I ask you to...  Wait  A little patience goes a long way, holding out a few more seconds, while I say what I need to say. With all the rushing around, the timekeeping and plans that need to be met, the world has forgotten itself. What is a few

SAY: Look at the Moon.

 'We see the same moon...you and I'  A couple of weeks ago I talked about my  Stuttering Soulmate  and I got the chance to express how lucky I feel to have a Stuttering Soulmate. I made the point that my Stuttering Soulmate is a part of my bigger stuttering community - My 'Stamily' as I've heard a few people call it! This community is built on the foundation that stuttering is just another way of talking and the people within this community understand and embrace stuttering as part of a person. Not as a defect or as a problem that needs to be fixed. And one of the best things about the stuttering community is that if you stutter, or if you are a stuttering ally, you are already a member. There is no initiation stage, there is nothing you need to do to prove your worth. The stuttering community is all accepting and all embracing.  Part of the SAY:DC Space in Washington There are various stuttering communities that I'm apart of;  the one which I grew up with and c

We deserve to be heard.

Your words have purpose. No matter how they come out or why you speak them.  Your words have meaning. No matter how long they take to come out. Your words are worth listening to. No matter how they may sound. Your words hold power. Even if the fluidity of them is broken, Even if the fluency of them falters. Your words are yours and yours alone. You do not need to prove that your words are worthy.  I deserve to be heard.  You deserve to be heard,  We deserve to be heard.  Simply just by being alive.   

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