For all of my life, you have been that one friend I did not want, but could not see my life without. Our friendship was jam-packed with anxiety, self-doubt, hatred and insecurities. I would sometimes even have tried to hide you, to be honest, I still do, but you are not something who chooses to hide willingly.
I don’t even know when we were introduced to each other, but twenty years later you are still here. I low-key thought when I grew older and started university you would be a childhood friend that I would not see again, but I was wrong.
You were the reason why I struggled at school, college and university. You were the reason why I did not speak out loud in class and didn’t turn up to conduct presentations that counted towards my final grades or even turn up to job interviews because you filled me with nerves, anxiety and self-doubt.
I tried bringing someone else into our friendship and the speech therapy did not fix us. It made us worse, as I was always frustrated because the words were not coming out. I just learnt how to avoid you in social settings, I avoided ordering anything over the phone whilst text messages and emails were my main source of communication and pointing at menus became my life every time I went out to meet my friends.
Now sitting here writing this letter to you has opened my eyes and made me realise you have made me determined to prove myself wrong. I am capable of finishing a degree which required broadcast journalism, presentations and interviews. You have made me embrace you and openly talk and joke about you, instead of crying.
Opening up about you has made me a more confident person, you made me realise my stutter does not define me.
Better luck next time to try and make me feel down,