The Talking Traveller

Learn to know what to do, and then do what you know.

August,  2005

The day that changed it all

There I was, 24 years old, degree in hand, quite happy and satisfied, or so it seemed to be with my life and circumstances. I was a research-and-develop electronic engineer sitting behind a computer all day with the minimum need to communicate verbally. I've been stammering since childhood and have had all the ugly experiences that an out-of-control stuttering person usually has. This has developed into a chronic stammer and I have learned to avoid people, situations, words and sounds, and I was quite good at it. When I needed to speak, I struggled through. With friends and family, it was OK. I could at least somehow communicate my thoughts, but with strangers or in a stressful situation, I had huge embarrassing blocks. I've tried numerous things to cope or try to resolve my stammer. Many many years of speech therapy which did help me to desensitize my anxiety, books about stuttering, hypnosis etc. I thought that I was the guru and had tried everything. Some days were really tough, but I had always hoped that I would find something that would help me break that final barrier.

mcguire programme

Then one day, a very sympathetic work colleague brought me a newspaper article. It was about the McGuire Program that had come to South Africa recently. Of course, I was very very skeptical. I had the right to be! I discussed this "program" with my local stuttering support group. I had bought the book about the program and tried to discuss some issues with them. The technique and approach suggested in the book was ridiculed and I must admit, I even threw the book down once and shouted, "Is this McGuire person crazy!!!" But through it all I, in some way, decided to give it a chance. I phoned the regional director with the phone number I got in the newspaper article and found out about the cost involved and the next course date. I was astonished by the price, but when I heard that you only have to pay on the third day I decided to give it a go. There could only be one of two outcomes. I could waste two days of my life, or my life would change.

I did my first course and my life and thoughts changed dramatically. I left my safe world and started to travel.This is my story of the first two years since becoming part of the McGuire Programme.

starting March 2006

me..a few years ago