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To My Younger, Stuttering Self

You’ve been diagnosed with a speech impediment by not one, but two speech pathologists. Brace yourself. You’re going to have several challenges throughout your life as a stutterer.

the author Some things you will have to fight harder for than other people. Don’t be intimidated. People will look at you as if something is wrong when you open your mouth. The trembles of your lips, blinking of your eyes, and your body getting tensed when you struggle to speak will throw some people off. Please, don’t allow for anyone’s response to your stutter make you feel less than. You’re not different in a bad way, for you’re different in a good way. Look at your stutter as a gift, not a bad luck charm.

You did nothing wrong, so don’t blame yourself for stuttering. Don’t feel guilty and as if you’re holding up your listeners time when you stutter during conversations. Stop thinking of the worst because whether you believe it or not, a lot of people will not care that you stutter, for they’ll just love your energy as a beautiful person inside and out.

I don’t tell you this to scare you, but you need to know this: You will not be favored by employers. Non-stutterer will be chosen over you due to their ability to speak clearly and quickly, but someone one day will hire you. Use the curveballs that will be thrown your way because you stutter as inspirational stories to inspire other people. Most importantly don’t hide yourself from people. You deserve to get out there and live life to the fullest.

I give you one last word of encouragement, Dariel. Whatever you do, don’t let others speak on your behalf. You’ve been letting your twin sister pretend to be you on the phone. I don’t want for you to do this in the future. You have a mouth, so use it, no matter how long it takes to get one or more words out. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. You’ll do just fine. I believe in you. Go out into the world and be brave.

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