How My Stuttering Has Been an Unexpected Gift

Have you ever received a gift box that looked unappealing on the outside, yet the gift inside was beautiful? In its own beautiful, messy way, stuttering is a gift.

As author and stutterer Katherine Preston once said, “Stuttering has given me far more than it ever took away.” In one aspect, my stutter has taught me how to think before I speak. Whatever I say needs to be worthwhile and uplifting, because I have to fight for those words. My stutter has also taught me how to listen more than I speak. Listening to the amazing words of wisdom that others have to say has enriched my life beyond belief! Most of all, my stutter has taught me how to love people in their humanity… to love their flaws and imperfections, because true beauty is in the heart.

With every block, every repetition, every prolongation, stuttering can reach into the very depths of the human heart, giving the stutterer extraordinary insight into himself, and most importantly, insight into others. In a truly remarkable way, stuttering has given me more sympathy for the world around me. Over time, I have started seeing the world in a whole new way. Not just looking, but seeing.

When speaking doesn’t come naturally, speech becomes so priceless. Life itself becomes priceless. Stuttering makes you hug a little tighter, love a little deeper, and smile a little bigger. My stutter has given me a heartfelt gratitude for everything in life.

I truly believe that my long years of silence gave me a greater sensitivity to the small things that I used to take for granted. Stuttering has opened my eyes to the breathtaking beauty that fills every day and the incredible potential within every person. When I finally realized that my stutter didn’t have to define me, a world of possibilities opened up!

Stuttering is a daily battle to break free and to make one’s voice heard… but you know what? It is a worthy battle. Stuttering has taught me perseverance in a way nothing else can.

Is there an unexpected gift in your life that you haven’t opened yet? Accepting our weaknesses is all about redefining strength. Strength isn’t always doing something well. Sometimes, true strength is having the courage to try.

Follow this journey on Flawlessly Spoken.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Stuttering

little girl with pigtails looking away

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. 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 [...]
Dariel Martin

Why I'm No Longer Ashamed of My Stutter

I’ve stuttered ever since I was a kid. I grew up having really bad social anxiety, low self-esteem and depression because I didn’t see myself as valuable since society makes stuttering seem uncool. I hid myself from people and didn’t have a lot of friends because I wouldn’t open my mouth to talk to them. For years, [...]
woman looking out window

Why I Stopped Trying to Hide My Stutter After 35 Years

I have stuttered for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories of stuttering come not from the stuttering itself but to how people reacted to me. My father yelled at me to “Stop talking like that,” which I remember like a kick in the stomach. I couldn’t help it and didn’t understand why [...]

Why I See Myself as a 'Fluent Stutterer'

For the majority, speaking is as natural as breathing. For people who stutter, speaking can be an ordeal. Forget what the snake oil salesmen tell you: there is no miracle cure for stuttering. No magic pill you can buy with six easy payments of $19.99. Though some children grow out of it, a stutter into [...]