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Achieve your dream

Michael BennettLt(N) Michael BennettMy name is Michael Bennett and I’ve stuttered since I can remember, and I’m 57 years old! There’s been a lot said about how this condition can affect people and I truly feel for everyone who has to deal with it. But it shouldn’t be used to stop you from doing what you want to do. I used the term “deal with" instead of “suffer with" for a specific reason, because we can control the words that apply to us.

I know there are different levels of stuttering and some people have worse cases. 

Michael BennettMichael and his aircraftI’ve lived with stuttering forever with no chance of curing it (there is no cure), and instead I have learned to manage it. Yes, there are triggers -- like when I’m tired, or certain words starting with “W”, and “S”. They are the worst, they are really the worst! I’ve learned to control my breathing first of all and pause before I speak, and think about what I wanted to say prior to speaking.

The interesting part of this conversation is that I’ve been a Military Officer for 30 years, I was trained as a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Naval Weapons Officer and then I switched to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Pilot. This was my dream, and I achieved it. YES you can do it too! These are two occupations that are highly stressful with a ton of responsibility not to get myself or someone else hurt. People in the military accepted that I stuttered, you’re only limited by your own determination and imagination. I’m not here to tell you to join the CAF but to tell you don’t let this condition stop you from achieving whatever YOUR dream is.

 

Michael Bennett lives in Ottawa. This is his first article for the Canadian Stuttering Association.

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