Firstly, I'll start off by saying I'm thrilled to find that there's a dedicated forum for stuttering/stammering! I've been browsing boards.ie for a while now - always out of boredom - and haven't found a reason to make an account of my own until now. Do forgive me if a thread like this already exists, but I did have a little look and couldn't find one on the first few pages.
So, how do you stutter? What triggers it? Have you found your own ways to get around the stutter or the word-block? I would be very interested to hear your stories, tips and stutter triumphs!
To start things off I'll share a little about myself and my own experience of having a stutter.
I think my stuttering started when I was about 12, I don't remember it affecting me at all before that. Perhaps it was there and I never noticed it or cared, but I specifically remember having problems reading the word 'the' aloud. This, of course, is slightly problematic when you're 12 and every other word in your English book is 'the', lol. I'd have some trouble getting the word out, and my mouth would be 'in position' to say the word until I eventually spat it out. I don't recall having many problems with it again until I was about 16 or 17, at which point it started to bother and depress me. It has been a constant thing since then, and while I don't totally blame it for any of my social shortcomings, I think it's a big contributor.
So, I realise now that word-blocking is without a doubt my biggest problem. I can feel when the block will come so I frantically look for another word to bypass it and get over it, which doesn't always work. People often think I'm deep in thought or have little to say when I'm trying to get the word out or search for another. In this respect it definitely doesn't make free-flowing conversation easy at all. It makes it difficult to join in on group conversations, and it throws my comedic timing out the window, as by the time I can finally get the bloody word out the moment has passed and my great comeback is irrelevant. I find that there's so much I'd like to say, but at times I simply can't. It feels like I physically can't.
Like most things, when I dwell on my stutter or over-think it it's 10 times worse, but when I forget about it or don't give it much thought it's not as bad at all. I don't stutter when I talk to myself, nor do I word-block (don't worry I don't talk to myself that much) and I certainly don't stutter in my thoughts.
I know this forum isn't as fast-paced as others, but if you have a story or some tips to share, please do post. It's always nice to know that we're not in this alone and many others have faced the same problems we do and have even gotten over them.