Accepting your new voice as part of the healing process

As with any significant loss, you may feel many emotions…anger, frustration, depression, embarrassment, questioning of your self-identity, wondering why me, even retreating into yourself. We know that the most confident people we know with a voice disorder are also the same people who have gotten themselves to a place of acceptance. 

Six Stages of Acceptance

In the book Easier Done than Said: Living with a Broken Voice, author Karen Adler Feeley talks about the “Five Stages of Grief” as defined by noted psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Karen suggests a modified version entitled “Six Stages of Acceptance.” This model is designed to help us better understand what we feel is normal and can give family and friends a better understanding of the emotional strain of losing one’s voice. By changing the title from “stages of grief” to “stages of acceptance,” we shift the focus from sorrow to inner peace, which enables us to move toward a more happy and productive state. 

These stages are not neat and orderly.

It is important to note that these stages are not neat and orderly. It can be a messy process, and there is no specific timeline. This could take a few months for one person and many years for another. You could get to acceptance, have a lousy voice day and find yourself frustrated again. You may not even go through every stage or in the same order. Symptoms, circumstances, and personality can all impact the path you take. And each person may handle each stage differently in the best way for themselves. While acceptance is the goal, it is the process that helps you regain your confidence and accept yourself as the beautiful person you are. Remember, there is no way or right way to move through this process.

The Six Stages of Acceptance Model

We have created a tool for the loved ones of someone going through these six stages. Download the article on Caring for a Loved-One here.