Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Chasing The Fluency god

I have always thought the phrase "chasing the fluency god" was too funny on many different levels. I will let you google the term and find out what it means - I just like to say it every chance I get.

Here is my backstory:

In the early 90's, I was a severe stutterer and struggling college student working 2 jobs to survive. One day while reading the newspaper, I came accross an article on Ross Barrett and the Precision Fluency Shaping Program(PFSP) at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. I requested some information from Ross, in addition to doing some research on my own, and kicked around the idea for a few more years. Back then, the program cost around $3,000 to attend, though to me at the time, it might very well have been $3,000,000. Whenever I would have a bad "stuttering day", I would go home, pull all of the research on the program I had out of a file, look over it, put everything back and wake up the next day and try to forget that my stuttering was a problem.

As 1994 drew to a close, my social life pretty much hit rock-bottom. Though most of my friends, and people I met, seemed to care less how much I stuttered, I withdrew from my circle of friends and worked as hard as possible to avoid all social situations. My life consisted of work, school and Sega Genesis. On New Year's eve of 1994, I made the committment to make a change in my life, and that change meant attending the PFSP program in 1995. When I made that decision, I had no idea how I was going to finance the trip. When I got back to work after the New Year's break (I was working the midnight shift loading trucks at Airborne Express), I was presented with a very unexpected promotion and raise - raise which would allow me to afford the tuition for the PFSP program. In my opinion, that was a "God thing" at work, if ever there was one.

A few months later, in August of '95 (just as my beloved Atlanta Braves were on the path to their only World Series title), I boarded a Valu-Jet flight to Norfolk, Virginia for my 3 weeks of therapy. The 20 days I spent in Norfolk that summer completely changed my life.

Fast forward 11 years, 1 beautiful and wonderful wife, 1 silly and amazing toddler, 3 college degrees, 1 CPA license, 4 cats, 1 beloved dog waiting for me in heaven, a home in one of the most sought after suburbs of Atlanta, a very good job and numerous wonderful friends who have passed through my life since then and I wake up every day and look in the mirror and ask myself, "What the f**k did I ever do to deserve all of this!"


Staci said...

Blogs! Secret Blogs! Shame on you!

Hey, I had a commnet from an actual reader. HA!

Oh, and here's a little happy for you that I think you'll enjoy.


shoes said...

Nice start! These things are certainly challenging to keep up...now you know why mine are just copied emails. But when I get a laptop I'll be much more prolific.

Know what you mean about sleep. Last year I was going to bed earlier, but it's hard not to fall into old patterns. Sleep good.

Dorkydad said...

"...and I wake up every day and look in the mirror and ask myself..."

I'm glad that someone else out there thinks so too. I feel like I'm the most fortunate person in the world. I often wonder if I'll ever get "found out"? And I often feel like I'm fumbling through life... not aimlessly, mind you, but with God at the wheel sometimes I feel bad that he's doing all of the driving.

Sorry it's taken me two weeks to notice, but I'm glad to see you've joined the world of blogging!