I said it before, I’ll say it again

I like to think that words hold each other’s hands like best friends, it seems like a reasonable explanation for the spasms that sometimes visit when I open my mouth to speak; the uncontrollable repetition of words joined side-by-side not unlike Siamese twins.

There are days when save for its reluctant shadow, I am convinced that my stutter has left me. Days when I am smug that I don’t miss it as much as it must miss me. Days when I am pleasantly surprised that our destinies weren’t as intertwined as they seemed after all.

Then, there are those days when it comes back and settles down comfortably onto the couch that is my tongue, like it never left at all, and I simply carry on with indifference. It is what it is.isad-ribbon-october-22

When I was younger, the repetitions made me self-conscious, the thought of addressing unfamiliar people made my blood freeze even before my vocal cords froze. I was anxious because I stuttered and I stuttered because I was anxious. If a snake swallows its own tail…

With age comes a confidence built atop a foundation of “I-accept-myself-as-I-am-so-take-it-or-leave-it”.  Now, though my vocal cords may sometimes freeze, my blood stays warm. I thrive, regardless.

When I was younger, there were words dancing in my head, all of them eager to deliver my message. Carefully, I’d string them together neatly but like children without home training, I couldn’t control their unruly behaviour when let out to play in the open.

And with age comes control. Now, I have learned to calm the whirlwind of words that get caught in my throat when I am excited, stressed, even at-ease or simply tired. I have learned to suppress my stutter by speaking quickly; the smooth rush of words that board a rocket ship and shoot past my lips.

Well, with my space travel comes the often-amusing realisation that I haven’t fully mastered the fine art of listening. Whilst stirring my pot of alphabets rapidly, I place the hat of presumption atop my head, positioning it at a jaunty angle, certain that I know what the speaker is going to say even before it comes out of their own mouth.

Quite frankly, it is on account of a sense of urgency to release the words just as I have mentally arranged them, before they snatch their tiny hands out my firm grasp and run off wildly.

Still, there are times when I lose control and feel somewhat obliged to apologise to the ones listening. I am mostly sorry that I’ve placed in their palms the task of plucking out the message swimming in the stormy sea of words.

Perhaps I should not be as sorry, for I am as I am, and unequivocally so. I suppose we all have the various facets that interlock perfectly to produce who we are; that person that no one else can be.

So, yes! I do know that I’ve said that “The” twice before, but I just might say it again and the heavens will not fall, the earth will keep spinning, the stars will continue to shine ever so brightly, and so will I.

Sign

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PS: October 22 is International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD)

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66 comments

  1. Oh, Nedoux! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ‘You’re a sage!’
    I miss you like crazy which feels weird. Maybe I wouldn’t be missing you so much if not for the bad gang I’ve joined.
    I love your words and the introspection. I tend to love flawed people even more particularly when they ‘own’ their flaws. It makes them unforgettable.
    You go girl, with your amazing self!

    Like

  2. Ah Nedu. This speaks to me as i have stuttered all my life and will most likely continue to do so.
    It did cost me some childhood dreams though. I remember going for some presenter auditions in the past and i’d speak fast and weird due to nerves and excitement.. They’d tell me to ‘do it again’ and ‘speak slower’ and ‘you sound like you have something on your tongue’ (when i would force myself to speak slowly). It used to crush me and i eventually gave up on that dream.

    I’m alright now. I speak decently well even in public and i have found other career paths that i like, so it’s okay.

    The control of the stutter has come with self-acceptance, time, practice and a what-the-heck-this-is-me attitude.
    I don’t see it as a flaw anymore. More like a trait unique to my speech.

    It still pricks a little when in the middle of speaking, i get stuck or when i can’t express myself properly when angry and any stutterer will tell you that this makes us even madder. lol

    We should all just be kind and sensitive to peoples’ supposed flaws, because it’s possible that i am able to manage mine easily because I’ve not had a lot of people mock me or anything like that. Maybe.

    Great write-up, as usual. I bow.

    20 Quesionts Tag

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sky,

      Oh, I enjoyed reading your comment so much, thank you for being so candid. This is one of the reasons that I enjoy blogging, we share with each other and learn from each other.

      I can relate with your experience, stuttering holds one back from doing certain things. Still, one must find a strength within a weakness and thrive.

      Lol @ “what-the-heck-this-is-me attitude.” Amen!!! 😄

      Thank you so much for reading this.

      Best wishes.

      Like

    1. Hi Inez,

      You are right, no one is flawless. In fact flawlessness would have to be a flaw all by itself. 😄

      Yes, confidence is one of the perks of growing up.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

      Best wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully written as always Nedoux.
    Don’t we all have that ‘one’ thing which seems to never leave us completely.
    Much like you and Paul we must learn to weave that niggling issue confidently into the stitches of our life.
    God bless you nwanyi oma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chioma,

      I couldn’t have articulated this any better! Indeed, don’t we all? It’s up to one to live the best version of their life, regardless.

      @”we must learn to weave that niggling issue confidently into the stitches of our life.” You know the Sewista in me loves the sound of that. 😄

      Very wise words, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

      Best wishes.

      PS: I sincerely apologise for not responding sooner, I’ve joined the bad gang of MIA bloggers. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Lady!

          I was so delighted to see your comment, I had to respond right away. 😀

          Lol… Ah, I am the Secretary, Absentee Bloggers Association, Lagos Chapter. I’ve been balancing quite a bit more recently.

          Thank you so much for visiting.

          Best wishes.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I am balancing so much stuff right now that I don’t think it wise to resume blogging. I’ve even drafted comeback posts but my hands are overflowing. I do hope to return to it soon, even if it’s on IG.
            *tightcyberhugs*

            Like

  4. Beautiful Piece Nedoux!

    There is absolutely no need to apologise.

    It boils my blood when I see “comedians” making fun of the stutter. I find it so insensitive. I guess I’m protective because a few people I care about stutter and I know how self conscious they feel when trying to express themselves. Nobody should be made to feel that way.

    I usually tell them its the passion with which they speak that causes it. You can’t rush greatness.

    Ummi’s Blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ummi,

      Ah, you’ve left me the best comment ever! Indeed, you can’t rush greatness. 😄

      Stutterers and drunks are typically tossed into the same comic basket in Nigeria. For those who understand the struggle, it’s not always amusing.

      You are right, absolutely no need to apologise. Anyone who can’t deal can go eat ice cream!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

    1. Hi ‘Folake,

      Lol @ “stalking”. Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Ah, a book? I should write that on my list of New Year Resolutions. 😀

      Have a happy rest-of-the-week!

      Like

  5. O boy, the way you write Nedoux! I’m giving you a cyber-hug right now. That was really beautiful 💗💗💗
    You have a way with words, whether those words like it or not. And you will continue to shine ever so brightly indeed!

    Like

    1. Hi Ike,

      Girl, the way you write inspires me!

      I love your kind comment, thank you so much. Oh yes! Whether those words like it or not amoshine when amoshine (a la Igwe Tupac) 😄

      Have a lovely new week.

      Like

  6. You know, Nedoux. I can gush and gush over your awesome writing and it won’t be enough.
    Lovely article as usual. The world doesn’t end my dear. We’ve all got our flaws and thanks for letting us know we can own them and flip our hair with pride. I kept checking on you for a new post, I’m shocked this one has been up for long. I have been super busy this period to check. Please don’t stop writing. I’m your number one fan.
    http://www.bubusboulevard.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bubu,

      I really appreciate your kind compliment, means a lot to me!

      Yes, we’ll flip our hair with pride, and also whip it back and forth with confidence. 😀

      Thank you so much for reading this, I’ve been a lazy blogger recently, I’ll do my best at the consistency hustle. Lol

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  7. You seem to have made a beautiful transition to more self-confidence as the years have elapsed, even when a stutter catches you unannounced as it were. Kudos. From reading your blog, I know you have run some workshops. What a great way to keep mastering what may have limited you.

    You have also identified the issues that come up as you make conversation. That’s 50% of the issue resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Timi,

      I sincerely appreciate your kind comment.

      A few days before my workshops, I actually recite the lessons that I plan to teach over and over, so that I can avoid “trigger words”.

      Also, about 2 years ago, I learned to do something that’s super effective, just before addressing a group of people, I let them know that I stutter occasionally. This prepares them mentally so that they expect it and I feel no pressure if it happens. I simply smile, they smile and I carry on.

      Honestly, I still pinch myself when I realise that I am now doing something that I could never have tried to do a few years ago. 😀

      Thank you so much for reading this, enjoy the rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Larz,

      Thank you so much for always being so supportive, I appreciate your kind compliment. 😀

      A news caster! That is so inspiring! Indeed, there are no limits when we choose to break free of our mental chains.

      Enjoy the rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diana,

      Yes, it is wonderful. Thankfully, written-down words are better behaved. For some reason, stutterers don’t stutter while singing either. 😀

      I sincerely appreciate your comment. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

      Like

  8. International stuttering Day
    Had no idea about this one, but it brings so much to memory
    I used to be so self-conscious not so long ago, and it showed in the way I spoke
    I rushed my words, and so they came out too fast and muddled up, and I’d end up stammering one too many times, until my dad who does professional voice-overs started to notice and force me to repeat myself until I spoke calmly and at the right speed.
    He actually thought it was some sort of fashionable way of talking for me at first! 😀

    Like

    1. Hi Imaobong,

      Ah, there seems to be an International Day for nearly everything. I like how they raise awareness for relevant causes.

      Lol @ “fashionable way of talking”. I can relate with words that get muddled up despite one’s best intentions.

      I’m glad your dad helped you through that. Well done for losing the self consciousness too! Confidence is like a shiny crown. 😊

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      Have a lovely weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Nedoux,

    I always enjoy reading you. “I was anxious because I stuttered and I stuttered because I was anxious.” Oh that feeling of anxiety and inadequacy!

    I’m glad you finally got to accept you. Your boldness and self-confidence shines through.

    P.S Is there an International day for Coconut??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lady P,

      Lol. .. Coconut definitely deserves an International Day. 😄

      Ah, you put it so aptly @ “feelings of inadequacy” that erode one’s self esteem.

      Thank you so much, I’m glad I got to this point too. Onwards and upwards!

      Have a delightful weekend.

      Like

  10. You have a way of painting words that’s not only beautiful but humorous as well. I guess maturity has taught me many things and one of these things is to look beyond perceived flaws of anyone most especially when they are not really flaws but just the way the person is built. That’s what makes them who they are, warts and all. Beautiful post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sis,

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      I agree with you, maturity comes with its perks. The wisdom that it carries with it improves our perspective of our own selves and others.

      Have a happy weekend! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. All hail the great wordsmith. Chai!!

    There seems to be international day for various issues these days. I think there ought to be International day for men with voice that betray their masculinity. I desperately want that because my voice clearly betray my age(feeling old already…Lol)

    Again

    Lol… I used to stammer so bad perhaps because my mouth was processing words delivery faster than my brain! The self consciousness of my speech deficiency push me deeper into my quiet nature cocoon. I had to learn patience by force and talk really slow which was personally annoying.

    It’s kinda embarrassing when people try to finish sentences for you, when they have no clue about the intent and content of what you are about to say. Those days I feel like punching them in the face.

    But now I talk faster than anything else ..Lol.

    I was just wondering, what happens when two stutters are to converse?.

    Thanks so much for sharing these part of yourself #respect

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Immanuel,

      You are far too kind!

      Indeed, there’s an International day for just about anything, all that’s left is an International Day for International Days. 😀

      I can relate with the self-consciousness that forces one into silence.

      Lol @ punch. I used to feel what can best be described as a mix of annoyance and amusement when people would finish my sentences for me. These days I am indifferent.

      I suppose when 2 stutterers converse, they understand each other. They know the struggle.

      Thank you so much for reading and also sharing your experience. Life becomes much more bearable when we learn from each other.

      Have a happy rest-of-the-week.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Good morning lady!

      Of what use are fears & supposed flaws when one has dreams to chase after? 😀

      I haven’t always owned it, but thankfully, I had my thunderclap moment and it defined this ownership. You’d observe that I refer to it as “My stutter” in this piece. One can only control what is theirs, not so? Lol

      Thank you for always being so supportive.

      Enjoy what’s left of the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lady!

      Lol @ “WWW thingy”. I know what you mean, it gives us a wonderful platform to share our experiences and we can learn from each other. I have made many virtual friends including you, and I am very thankful for that.

      Ese gan, have a lovely weekend! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kachee,

      I sincerely appreciate your kind compliment. 😀

      Lol… Thankfully, my written-down words shine as brightly as I choose to polish them.

      @ “no correlation and it shouldn’t be a hindrance”. You’ve put it so aptly. Indeed it shouldn’t, the show must go on!

      Have a happy weekend.

      Like

  12. Such a touching post! I can really relate, as my oldest daughter used to stutter. With lots of patience and working with her it got tremendously better. I will certainly share your story with her……things like this help build greater confidence in others. Btw…..I’m thrilled you have fully embraced all of you. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Timeka,

      It’s so wonderful that you’ve helped your daughter. Patience and understanding can go a long way in building one’s confidence.

      Please share this with her, we are all together in this life, learning from each other as we go along.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

      Have a super duper happy weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Oyinda,

      Indeed we all do. When one decides to truly live and thrive, regardless of their flaws or supposed flaws, they’ll soar.

      Thank you so much for reading this and for your kind comment. 🙂

      Have a great weekend!

      Like

    1. Hey Dami,

      You’ve put it so beautifully. Self acceptance, Self love and Self validation.

      I agree with you. It begins with one, other people will be fine whether they like it or not jare! 😀

      Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words.

      Have a lovely weekend.

      Like

  13. Words hold each other’s hands like best friends, aaaAAWWWW! Love that imagery. Guuurl, everynow and then I toootally stutter, I tend to speak fast you see, so it’s a product of that. I do try and remember to pace myself and breathe…my uncle has a bad stutter he never got fixed…my nephew has it now and again but he is a wee lass and getting speech therapy so I’m sure he’ll be better by the time he gets to his teen years.
    Happy you made it through the other end with yours. Have a lovely wkend hon ( :

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Biki,

      That imagery of words sweetly holding hands gives one a warm and fuzzy feeling, abi? Until they run amok, the little buggers! 😄

      I’m so glad that you could relate with my story, I also try to remember to pace myself. Eventually one learns to develop coping mechanisms and just get on with it.

      I really enjoyed reading your comment, thank you so much.

      Have a super happy weekend!

      Like

  14. From ages 19-21, I had a stutter and a severe case of word vomit. So I fully understand where this post comes from.
    But two of my cousins stutter and before I had the same problem, I’d help them with their words, with what they’d planned to say. But there is a great, untapped value in letting people speak the words they mean to say by their very own selves. That way, you can claim total confusion when they accuse you of putting words in their mouths.☺
    I got over my stuttering problem. If you notice, I tend to speak slower, enunciate my words properly and project my voice. And I’ve learned to listen.
    Lovely post Chi.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Uju,

      I read your comment carefully, you are absolutely wonderful!

      Lol @ “there is a great, untapped value in letting people speak the words they mean to say by their very own selves”.

      Recently, I was at a seminar and while asking a question, a lady felt the need to help me “find” a few of my runaway words. She later told me that she assumed I was nervous. I thanked her politely and in my most confident voice told her I was not nervous, but simply had a mild stutter.

      Yes, I noticed that you speak slower. I, on the other hand, speak faster. We all find a way to cope and get on with it. 😀

      Thank you so much for reading this and sharing your delightful thoughts.

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. This post is utterly loveable…so delightful, whimsical, creative, eloquent, imaginative…a combo of all my favourite things in a writing and connection….beautifully-delivered…so wonderful, it bears repeating…wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Esther,

      I agree with you. I’ve learned that life becomes so much easier when one learns to distinguish between the things that they can change and those other things that they are powerless to change.

      Thank you so much for reading this. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

    1. Hello Amarachi,

      Thank you so much for the kind compliment.

      It happens sooner to some than others, but eventually most people find self-acceptance. I suppose it’s a continuous process as we evolve on our life’s journey. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

      Like

  16. Thank you for sharing. Not always easy to open up certain parts of ourselves, reveal who we are or what we struggle with, but you’ve done it eloquently and sprinkled the words above with your special dash of humor and wit. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shirley,

      Indeed, not so easy to open up. Ah! old age has its perks, bolder and wiser. 😄

      Truthfully, I’ve become not so self-conscious about this supposed flaw. I’ve learned that sometimes one’s fear of other people’s judgement of their flaws surpasses their original fear of being flawed.

      Thank you so much for reading this, I sincerely appreciate your kind comment.

      Enjoy the rest of the week!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re right about the fear of judgment usually surpassing the actual flaw! As a good friend once said, we tend to worry about the bridge before we even come to it. Or something like that. 😂 You’re welcome, and enjoy your week, as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Nedoux, sometimes we find a way to look beyond what other people think about our flaws and carry on, focusing on ourselves instead.

    Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Florence,

      Indeed we we find a way to carry on regardless. For it’s much easier to live life on one’s own terms.

      Thank you so much for reading this. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the week

      Like

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