It was nothing actually. A little itching in the throat, which I have experienced before. The onset of a deadly cold. Started taking precautions like hot water, turning down cold beverages, cutting down on oilyfood (yeah right!). I was expecting a nasty cold that was going to strip me off all my dignity in public. But it turned out to be much more…
I get up in the morning with a huge cotton ball stuffed down my throat. Felt like that anyways. I dragged myself out of bed and went through the chores of boring routine. The bell rang and it was the cleaning lady to take out the garbage. Realized there was some good food I can give and I ran in to get it. Handed it over and started telling her what it was. Would have gone smoothly if only she had heard me. And she did not because they never left me. I had no voice! I looked shocked, she looked amused. She wished me a speedy recovery and left. I closed the door, still in shock. Tried to talk 3-4 times in front of the mirror but they were just some alien codes, which even I didn’t understand!!!! It was an attack of laryngitis.
I was determined. Nothing can stop me from talking. Not even physical strangulation of vocal cords. So I headedout to school and with heroic will, croaked signals for people to follow. Only that they didn’t. And I had to repeat everything straining my voice further. I had to cancel my classes that day for obvious reasons and sit as undeterred and dignified as possible carrying out my non-talking work.
That’s when I realized; I needed to talk! It was killing me to not express my opinions, pin point when details were missed, share ideas… it was horrifying! I just burst out and spoke and spoke and spoke. Rather, made noises and more noises. And I was at peace. But a lot more throat pain.
After I reached home I had a con call with friends (have no idea why, haven’t done that in ages when I could actually speak to be understood.), spoke non stop at home about how difficult it was for me to speak, spoke about news, politics, polar bears, everything. I could not stop. Finally it was time to sleep and my throat ached like a fracture.
It suddenly dawned on me, what if I sound like this forever? To make it worse I remembered my help telling me I sounded ten years older with this voice. I panicked. I quickly googled home remedies and did everything in the list. I slept fervently praying for my original voice.
It was the same the next day. Actually, it was worse. Now I was really scared. I googled again and realized I had ignored one important point. Voice rest. Not to talk. I had to SHUT UP. And that was easier said than done.
I again went to school, but this time I was different. I really shut up. Only spoke when really necessary. I let people help me, talk in behalf of me. I had to cancel lessons again but did not feel like I had failed. I sat quietly finishing my work, and realized, nothing was wrong or different. I came home and made no calls, messaged people who had called me to inform them of my condition. Did not complain, did not whine, did not small talk. Spoke only when it was extremely required, after careful weighing in my mind.
I still haven’t got my voice back completely, but I have been healed from the need to be constantly acknowledged and heard. I have started thinking more, for my own good rather than just to showcase it to the gallery. It took an illness to reveal another one that was hiding.
I cannot wait to get my voice back though!