Hiding in the background was an all too common behaviour as was saying ‘yes’ when I really wanted to say ‘no’ and foolishly believing that very few people knew that I was indeed a person who stammers.
I first heard about the McGuire Programme on The Late Late Show in December 1997 and for the first time in my life I could relate to people who had the same problem as I had. I knew that I was no longer alone and I was really impressed by how well each participant spoke and behaved.
They spoke so confidently without any sign of struggle or avoidance and I could tell that they were so proud of themselves.
Eventually I plucked up enough courage to hold onto the telephone long enough to book my place on the October 1999 course in Dublin and over the first year of my recovery I off-loaded most of the bagage that I carried for a long time.
Recovery was not as easy as I had imagined but by giving it my best shot, using the back-up support network and being honest in my recovery I continued to make further progress.
I honestly believe I could not have progressed without the support I received from my coach and all the other coaches of the programme.
The weekly support meetings kept me on track. Attending refresher courses provided me with more knowledge, stronger techniques and with that powerful feeling of empowerment in being able to help others.
In time I gave up my day job and began my role in July 2001as Regional Director for the programme here in Ireland.
Being a Regional Director gives unbelievable job satisfaction.
From hearing courageous applicants struggling with every word to hearing members using good, disciplined technique.
As RD I had to say “yes” to every opportunity such as radio interviews, newspaper articles, television interviews, group presentations and church readings. And at that time I needed to hear “yes” and I still do.
For those of you out there, who are thinking about joining this life changing programme, don’t waste anymore of your precious life thinking… take action!