"Are you sick?" When people ask if you're sick when you have a voice disorder
How many of you have had someone say "are you sick?" when your voice is not optimal. Me! Or how about asking if you're okay? Also me. Assuming you're nervous? You bet.
I've had this happen many times it's quite frustrating to have my voice shake or be inconsistent or break when I'm not nervous.
My voice is also my instant giveaway. If I have any nerves or stress whatsoever no matter how slight, my voice is the first to let everyone know!
So what do we say to those who ask if we're sick or okay?
The most obvious answer is to lie and say yes. It's quick and easy and saves an explanation.
But what if we tell people the truth? What if we explain that we have a voice disorder that makes our voice sound this way? What if we start spreading education and awareness?
That's what I started doing and it was empowering. Not only could I gain some power and control back by educating, but I felt good that I was spreading awareness and possibly helping others with the disorder by spreading education.
Sometimes this explanation may come with shame of disclosing this information to others, confusion in how to tell others about your SD, or feeling fear of others' reactions. But it allows you to fully accept the SD and to allow others to have a better understanding of what is going on, often making both parties more comfortable.
Do I always tell the person who I'm communicating with about the SD? No. It has to feel right, be the right timing, and I have to feel like I'm ready to talk about it with the said person. But it can make a world of difference and decrease the frustration of the "are you sick?" endless cycle.