Hi, I’m Sahil, I was 19 in late 2020, and I had been stuttering pitiably as long as I could remember. About a year later, after studying Lee’s book and being coached by him, I simply stopped appearing to be a stutterer. That was about a year ago. I have not relapsed. How did this happen?
Well, it’s a long story. I live in New Jersey. I started stuttering at the age of 9, starting with some choppy speech. My stuttering got worse, however, and by high school, I was struggling to say at least half the words. My stuttering prevented me from talking in school, with teachers and friends, from putting myself in new situations, and overall, being able to live life normally. I had done some research into stopping my stutter, but everything that I did only worked for a limited time; in a few weeks, I’d be back to stuttering as if nothing had happened. Nothing seemed to work.
When I got to college, I discovered Lee’s book and read it several times over during the start of COVID. I tried hard to apply his methods as I read, and I was amazed at how by just using 12 simple techniques, anywhere and at any time, I ended my struggle with words. I could talk without seeming to stutter, but massive fears plagued me and sometimes I messed up.
I reached out to Lee in late 2020, and we began Skyping for an hour a week, fine-tuning the crutches and slowly removing any residual speech anxieties I had. We kept Skyping many weeks for about a year. I became interested in the psychological aspect of stuttering and began to incorporate auto suggestions into my daily routine, something that Lee encouraged me to do. I started to train my mind in a different way, both to reduce stuttering, and to help myself in other areas of life as well. Reading aloud was also a key pillar of my journey, as doing so reaffirmed my belief in my ability to stop stuttering.
In only a few months of coaching, I saw immediate progress, as I was less timid and willing to speak in classes in college. I no longer struggled in more familiar environments, and I was making progress, but fears still plagued me.
A breakthrough came the following summer when I returned to in-person school. Talking to others over zoom or on the phone wasn’t the same as in person, as for me, in-person contact came with additional speech anxieties. However, I found myself subconsciously using the methods that Lee and I had drilled, and that year, no one who I had met that year knew that I had ever had a speech problem. Imagine that! That’s right; the guy who stuttered most words in most situations was, seemingly overnight, not appearing to stutter at all! Incredibly, it’s been almost a year now without a relapse. I could have posted this story in the spring of 2022, as I haven’t really stuttered noticeably since then.
I still read and sing aloud, for practice and for fun, doing auto suggestions, and maybe even using a crutch once in a while.
There is still work to be done to learn to love to speak: but stopping appearing to be a stutterer is a milestone on a path towards loving to speak in all areas, and being confident in doing so.
Overall, I’m now sure of two things. One, I know that I’ll be able to complete this journey and learn to love to speak. I’ve already been a year without a relapse! Second, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am without Coach Lee, his incredible books, and the program that is now offered by World Stop Stuttering Association. Lee and now WSSA (a whole community of ex-stutterers like me) have helped me more than I could’ve ever imagined – and Lee does all this out of the goodness of his heart. I’m grateful for everything he’s done, and I’m happy that I won’t be the last person he helps stop stuttering, as the tools and tips he offers are and continue to be invaluable to anyone who stutters.
This I know for sure: Whoever says that stuttering “must be accepted” simply has not read Coach Lee’s books or taken advantage of WSSA’s program, which makes it much easier to understand and apply Lee’s methods. Don’t waste another minute stuttering. If I can overcome stuttering on most words most of the time, so can you.
Sahil, New Jersey, April 2022 and March 2023