Photo: The Oprah Winfrey Network
With her marriage over and her confidence shattered, Shania lost her ability to perform. On top of that, she started to slowly and progressively lose her voice. "It's not like I lost it overnight when I lost my marriage," she says. "When my marriage fell apart, that paritcular crisis was almost the straw that broke the camel's back of something that had already been building."
A doctor told Shania that her vocal chords were fine but diagnosed her with dysphonia—a condition in which the muscles squeeze the voice box, making it difficult to swallow and, in Shania's case, sing.
Shania attributes her voice closing up to the fears she's been living with her whole life. "Stage fright, domestic violence in the home as a child, my parents dying, not knowing what's next—just all of these different stages of fear in my life," she says. "I've just trapped my own voice, and now I've got to unwind all that."
Shania hasn't performed for an audience in nearly five years, but she says she hopes to put an end to that some day. "Life unravels the way it does, and it has an effect on you, but you have to take responsibility for dealing with it," she says. "So that's what this is about. I'm not happy not singing. I want to sing."