"I had reached a point in my life where there was a bottleneck, physically, in my throat," she said in a sit-down with E! News Thursday. "Something had to give."
It turned out that years of suppressing and repressing her voice—and emotions—had damaged her vocal cords, and a condition called dysphonia, literally a difficulty in speaking, manifested itself when the proverbial stuff hit the fan with ex-hubby Mutt Lange.
"I've only just discovered what's wrong," Twain, who recently remarried, said. "Next comes rehabilitation, which will take a long time. Physical rehabilitation, voice therapy, learning how to breath again…and the singing will come."
Or so she hopes. The Grammy winner revealed that when she started having trouble speaking and found that she could no longer sing, her condition took its toll and it took plenty of soul-searching to pull herself out of that funk.
"During the course of my divorce, I dug a big hole and stopped growing and searching and had given up. I realized I had to climb back out…You can only help yourself. Others can support you. Just asking myself what I was going to do helped make a place for optimism. You start to isolate yourself in your own misery. Why Not? [her new show on OWN] was born from making myself commit to living."
In fact, it was Oprah Winfrey who encouraged her to speak out about the strange twists her life had taken.
"Suffering in silence is no way to live," Twain told E! News. "A lot of people have committed suicide over that."
"I never contemplated killing myself," she added. "But certainly there were moments where I didn't want to live. I wouldn't have done anything about it, but I just lost my will to live. But I can understand why people do. Living in silence is very painful."
And it sounds like Twain is firmly back on the road to happiness, along new hubby Frederic Thiebaud.
"I certainly wasn't ready to trust again, it took a lot of months," she admitted. "But he started to express his love for me— and he was so selfless, that I thought, Wow, that's such a beautiful person."
All of which makes her feel a little more forgiving toward Lange.
"I will always be upset with his behavior, of course, but I think i just have a much better understanding now that allows me to forgive," she said.