I have become the person that I really am

Overcoming Selective Mutism

Liz is a contributor to Selective Mutism In Our Own Words - our new book

I have often thought about writing when I have come across signs that my Selective Mutism (SM) is diminishing. Being 58, this has taken a great deal of time but learning about SM has been a factor in my recovery. This may help others and give them some confidence when they face situation they feel are impossible to overcome:

A few years ago I was invited to join a book club at work, I was very nervous about meeting everyone and having to talk in front of them. The other week we all went out for a meal - this was arranged by me - I am now basically running the group!

Years before this - I was very anxious about new staff joining the team that I work in - one of them was allocated a seat opposite me and I had no idea how I was going to talk to him. We are now the best of friends and although I no longer work in the same team we seek each other out to chat and meet for lunch.

I joined a choir and was very nervous at singing out in front of other members of the choir the other week only 5 members turned up for choir rehearsal and I had no problem in singing out and enjoying it!

I still have some habits I acquired from SM - I can take a long time to decide on leaving the house - if there is someone outside that I may have to walk past - I often wait until the coast is clear! But I am a lot braver than I have been in the past.

A few months ago - I was worried that my cat hadn't come home - so spent a while shouting her name on the doorstep - I could not have done this a while ago - but for me at that time - I just wanted her home and nothing else mattered!

I think the most positive thing is that I always wanted to do things properly - and get things right - achieve more, but was failing because my SM held me back - making phone calls, asking questions or just doing things without agonising over them was impossible. But now I feel more in control - I have become the person that I really am (if that makes sense!)

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