Being Scared of Losing My Voice and Letting Go of That Fear

Over the past year or two, I’ve struggled with my voice and what I’m going to do about it. Mostly, my frustrations have been about sounding like a twelve-year-old. Around New Year’s, though, I decided for certain that I’m going on T. And while I absolutely believe that that’s the right decision for me, it’s also opened up a whole new set of worries about what will happen with my singing voice. 

I’ll be honest: I’m scared. I’m scared that I won’t be able to sing the songs I love anymore, that the notes will be out of my range. What if I can’t sing “Defying Gravity” anymore? I adore that song. Above all, though, I’m scared that I won’t be able to sing at all anymore. I’m scared that I’m going to lose something I love dearly.

It’s not that I’ve got an amazing voice. I have no illusions about my voice; I know it’s fairly average. Decent — enough for chorus in high school musicals, enough to make my a cappella group in college when it was just starting — but average.  It’s more that I can sing now. I’m not great, and I’m definitely lacking in confidence, but I can sing. Driving down the freeway, I can belt out the words to my favorite songs. I can sing karaoke or Disney with my friends.

I love to sing. I love to sing so much. I don’t like solos; I don’t like performing. But the sheer act of singing — and having my voice come out strong and clear — fills me with joy. I have this fear of opening my mouth to sing, and my voice failing me. I’m scared that I’ll regret the changes to my singing voice, and I don’t want to have any regrets about this.

At the same time, part of me feels as  though I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I don’t like the fact that my voice sounds as it does, especially not when I can hear my voice by itself. I nearly had a panic attack recording my senior solo with my a cappella group, the ‘Bellas, because my voice sounded so high and fragile and girl-like. We actually had to stop recording so that I could pull myself together and try not to burst into tears.

The other day, I was watching a video recording of my senior solo (Dar Williams’ “The Christians and the Pagans,” one of my favorite Dar songs) from our final concert. It was an incredibly dysphoric experience. I listened to the May Day version, and the dysphoria was even worse than with our final concert version (probably because — due to the wind and how the microphones were set up — I was louder, and the background vocals were softer, so it was just even more obvious).

It sounded pretty at times, but it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to associate with myself. The same goes for my speaking voice — I can’t listen to myself on any kind of recorder because of how badly I cringe to hear that small, high-pitched voice they say belongs to me. Even just in conversation, my voice can make me wince — especially if I’m nervous or speaking to someone new, I sound like a child.

I’m hoping that the whole singing thing won’t be too much of an issue. I tell myself that I can always do what I do now when it’s too high — take it down an octave (or sing some form of harmony). As it is, unless I’m warmed up and making a serious attempt, I can’t hit that last high “me” in “Defying Gravity.”

I just keep telling myself that it will be okay. No, it will be better than okay. I’m going to have a voice I won’t need to be ashamed of. I’m going to stop sounding like a little girl-child. I’m going to make this voice work for me, regardless how I sound. It’s going to be more than okay: it’s going to be fantastic.

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3 responses to “Being Scared of Losing My Voice and Letting Go of That Fear

  1. If Chris Colfer can sing Defying Gravity, I have faith that you will be able to sing whatever it is you want, and sound great doing it. 🙂

  2. Hi, I am also worried about loosing my voice. I am very hoarse at the moment and the doctor said maybe my voice will never go back to normal again 😦

    • I’m sorry to hear that you’re worried, but if your voice is hoarse because you’ve started on T, your voice will almost definitely not “go back to normal” — a lower voice is one of the permanent effects of T. Basically any info you received about T should have told you that.

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