In the last week a few people have asked, "Do you have any medical worries about not using your voice for a year?". "Have you talked to a doctor about damage to your vocal cords?". "What if there is non-reversible damage to your vocal cords from not using them, similar to muscle damage during stroke?".
All the people who asked these questions were either family members or very close friends and their concern comes from a place of love and support. I appreciate the honest and enthusiastic way people have responded to my journey. Thank you!!!!
So now the answer....Yes, I talked to my doctor before starting this adventure. He explained the physiological effects on the vocal cords from not using them. Nothing earth shattering. Basically when I resume talking normally I will have a very sore throat. He suggested I keep throat lozenges with me to keep my throat lubricated. Not talking tends to make the throat dry.
The other aspect of this is that I will still be producing sound. I laugh, cough, hum and respond to yes and no questioning with sound. I do not have a medical condition that is causing me to fall silent. I am merely choosing to not use spoken words as a form of expression. So my vocal cords are not laying dormant for a year, but will be used in other ways.
I am not afraid of change. In the event there is permanent damage in any way, I will take it as part of my journey and it will be handled accordingly. Getting caught up on the "what ifs" was never my style. I don't use fear to inhibit my movement. Analyzing, planing and critically thinking about things stimulates my actions.
Also when I think about the goals I have set before me, not speaking is the easy part and not the focus. Transformation is the true challenge - to purposefully put myself in a challenging situation to force a desired change. Now THAT is what shoots my concern-o-meter off the charts! Again to quote my best friend, " If you go to these lengths and not change...now that would be the tragedy." (no pressure...no pressure) So although not talking is not the going craze, will it help me get closer to my goals? Am I doing the physical things necessary to change my art? To change my perspective? To change my spirit? To change my life? Like in the movie the Truman Show, "How will it end?".