Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to Therapy... Again

After 20+ years of off and on speech therapy with the same pathologist, I'm starting fresh with the folks at UGA. And I'm a little scared.
The reason I'm scared is that going back to speech therapy means that stuttering has gotten bad enough that I can't fix it on my own. It means that I have to commit time and money to focusing on the part of myself that I hate--the part that I try to ignore.

I imagine it's similar to a person with a drug or alcohol dependency admitting that they have a problem and that they need help. Admitting that I need help scares the shit out of me.

I've been asked why I talk so openly about stuttering on social media, and I think I have an answer. Stuttering is a very public problem. If I want to get things done, I have to talk. Everyone I talk to sees that I stutter and forms their own opinion and creates their own meaning. Some people, upon hearing me stutter, assume that I am a victim of head trauma or that I am otherwise disabled. Some people think that I am scatter-brained. Still others think that I am shifty or untrustworthy. By talking about stuttering often and without holding back, I hope to help people form opinions and create meanings that are more in line with the truth about me, whatever that is. If I choose not to talk about stuttering, I waive my right to state my case in a debate that I have no choice but to be part of.

To everyone who supports me and "gets it", thank you for putting up with all the stuttering talk in your FB/Twitter feed. To everyone else, I hope that I can positively influence your view of stutterers.


  1. Hey Mark! So i just went through and read a ton of your posts. First, I am sorry that you are struggling with your stutter. Having known you and spent numerous years in school and church with you, your character as a man far outweighs any speech impediment you have. I hope that the new pathologists at UGA will be able to help you reach the goals that I know you can reach. Tell your parents 'hi' for me and know you have a friend in me and I will pray for you and your family while you begin work with the great folks at UGA! You're a rockstar!
    -Meghan (Johnson) Fox

    1. Thank you, Meghan! You are (and always have been) very kind. Hope you are well!