At the peak of my child-raising years, I lost my voice. I went hoarse and stayed hoarse for months.


When finally I realized it wasn’t a sinus problem or a lingering virus of some kind, I went to a throat specialist.

“You have children?” he asked.


“You yell at children?” He was Russian, so imagine his accent, please.


“You maybe fight with husband?” We would soon be divorced.

“Um, kind of.”

“No more yelling. You must not yell. Not at children. Not at husband.”

“Yelling? That’s the problem?”

“Yelling is problem,” he agreed. “You must whisper only. No yelling. For one year, also not talking. S-h-h-h. Like this,” he said, demonstrating a loud whisper.


I had a full-time job, a son, two step-children and a crumbling marriage … and I was supposed to whisper for a whole year? If I wanted my voice back, that was the only way.

It didn’t happen. I’m not sure I could ever have disciplined myself to whisper for a year at any time in my life, but definitely not then. As a result, my singing voice never came back. I lost it for good and all. I can speak normally, but I can’t sing. I also can’t yell. One yell and I’m hoarse for a month.

Don’t yell. It’s very bad for your voice.

11 thoughts on “THE LOST VOICE

  1. Pingback: NaPoWriMo – Day 7 – “The Endless Beauty Of An Authentic Voice” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  2. My mom lost hers when she was a teenager. She blames it on an outdoor concert her school did where it rained — she got sick immediately afterwards. She lost not only her singing voice, but her voice was never the same afterwards. Now she has a deep baritone voice and one the phone she “sounds like a man.” When we were teens, she was often mistaken for my brother. It used to piss her off to no end.


  3. I think singing is a matter of perspective – I am still looking for a perspective for challenge. Otherwise I am convinced that Mr. Swiss would be a happy man if I lost my voice.


  4. This happened to my aunt once. Long time ago so I don’t remember the details, only that her kids rejoiced and her husband thought her hoarseness was very sexy. You left out the sexy part, Marilyn. 😀


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