Fractured means broken; damaged in a sudden or violent way. That is a perfect description of how I currently feel.
This week I took a tumble. I was standing on the high back of a chair to reach a 7 foot shelf. I lost my balance and fell to the ground from about 4 feet in the air. It was not pretty and I knew I hurt myself the minute it happened. I was trying to do to much and declined an offer of help which led to this fall.
I drove myself to the IBJI immediate care and was told that my wrist was, in fact fractured. The Dr. that diagnosed the injury(a man that appeared older than me) gave me a pity look and said, “accidents happen…especially to older women….” He continued to talk, making me feel like a feeble old lady. He failed to grasp that this could very well have happened to him if he had fallen from the same height. He was in the room for all of 10 minutes and laughed as he left. I was so stunned, and still in shock, that I failed to ask questions. I was fitted for a brace and still had questions. The PT did not feel comfortable answering some of those questions so I had to return to the Drs office to meet with his PA in order to ask vital questions (pain relief, activity level, cautions, follow up, etc).
I went home feeling really depressed and overwhelmed. Well wishes, and offers to help were many. I responded as expected of me….”I am fine.” “It is just a small thing.” “It is a speed bump….a reminder to slow down and ask for help.” “Its ok…just glad it is not worse.” But I was not fine. I am not fine. I am sad. I am angry. I am depressed. I am getting older and that scares the hell out of me.
I am angry that a Dr. minimized my injury and blamed early onset menopause for the fact that I was injured. Why? I am an older woman. Has he seen my other medical charts? Does he know my overall health history and know when I started menopause or did he make an assumption based on face value? What does he know about menopause as a MALE orthopedic Dr.? He did not even ask for details as to how I was injured. He just made assumptions. The way he spoke to me made me feel far less intelligent than I am. That is infuriating!
I arrived home and resumed life as normal, responding to messages and laughing about my fate….all while falling apart inside.
I am being transparent about my struggles not for pity but in the hope that others will do the same. We say to ‘check on our happy friends” and that is hitting home for me in a very real way. I am always the strong one, the one that doesn’t need help, thus vulnerability is not in my wheelhouse. In this moment I am beating myself up for my stupidity and brazen lack of safety. I am mad at myself for not advocating for myself in a better way with medical staff. I am sad that I had to deal with not only this injury for 4 weeks, but the rehab and pain that is sure to follow. I am sad that I have, once again, been confronted with aging and the limitations of my physical body. I am frustrated that I can not do the things I had planned for the remainder of my break, nor in the upcoming weeks and probably have to make other lifestyle changes for a while.
Is this just a speed bump, a reminder to slow down, ask for help and advocate for myself more often? Yes. In my rational mind I know this, however, past trauma and C-PTSD rears its ugly head at any opportunity possible in my life. And these past 2 days have been very difficult. I fight to diminish my anxiety and the negative self talk that fills my head. I struggle to find ways to rest and quiet the negative noise. I am working to find the compassion and understanding for myself that I so often offer others…which it is no easy task. I am really hard on myself every day but in times like this? I go above and beyond!
My motto in running and life is #forwardisapace, thus I take this day, and every day, one step at a time…..even if that is a baby step wrapped in bubble wrap! I have a great therapist who offers practical advice (I just have to implement it!). I have the gift of a few more days of winter break to rest. I have medical insurance. I have people who love me and check on me. I am blessed and never take any of those blessings for granted!
Right now I am be fractured, broken and damaged, but I will make it through today (and every day after that)and call that a win! I might be down right now, but NEVER count me out!
Check on your strong friends.


Over the past months, the stress of life, work and a pandemic have been growing. I have felt a bit off balance for a while. I have been building a fragile house of cards that finally collapsed this week. It was all too much and when that last little card was placed on top…..I fell apart. It was too much for me to handle.
Falling apart is nothing new to me. I have fallen apart and rebuilt myself so many times I could add General Contractor to my resume! Thus I have surrounded myself with a great team! People that act as designers, builders, electricians, support beams, windows, foundations….everything needed to rebuild the house that is me stronger and more beautiful than it was before. It is in the rebuilding that I repair was was broken and replace what was not working well to begin with. It is also a time to add new and better additions to the structure.
So I allowed myself to fall completely apart….I mean all the way to the core. It was not pretty but it was necessary. I needed to be able to start fresh.
Every message of weakness, fear and vulnerability I voiced was met with validation. What came back to me were voices of strength and hope, words and messages I had said to others in the past. The affirmation of those voices began to rebuild the walls of my house stronger than it was in the past. I was going to be better than ok. I was going to be amazing!
This week was a stark reminder of that balance. What you put out into the world and how it all eventually comes back to you. You may not see it right away when you make connections with people, but those connections come back to support you in spades when you need them most.
We all feel off balance from time to time. We all fall apart from time to time. Once we allow ourselves the grace to fall down and fall apart, we can begin to rebuild better than before. Have you been feeling off balance? Have you fallen apart? Do you need help rebuilding? If so, let me know! I am an expert builder!


Depression. Anxiety. Panic Attacks. PTSD. BiPolar. Substance Abuse. Mental Illness.
All things people do not talk about. They are like the new ‘C’ word. Whispered in conversation. Joked about.  Avoided all together.
All are real. All are deadly.
Physical illness is something people can see and “treat” so that seems to be more acceptable. Mental illness is not easily diagnosed or treated, nor is it “acceptable” so people often hide it, self medicate or just give in to it.
None of it is easy and all of it is embarrassing. It carries a horrible stigma of mental hospitals and crazy psych wards like we have seen in the movies (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, anyone?). But that is not the case any longer.
I have been treated for all of the above. I see a therapist regularly. I fought, and had to get a court order, for my children to attend therapy. They didn’t like it for a while but now? They are researching their own therapists in order to go back and get help.
I honestly do not know where I would be without my therapist. I have had 2 over the years. One that I walked away from as she told me my anxiety, panic attacks and depression were due to a horrible marriage. I knew it deep down but I also knew that opening that door would lead to a mess I was not capable of cleaning up even with the most trusted professional. I walked out of her office and thought I could stuff it all away forever. NOPE.
A year later, I really thought I was losing my mind. I secretly visited an inpatient facility and went through the entire intake process. It was recommended that I check in immediately as  they were concerned for my wellbeing…..but I walked away. No, honestly, I ran away as fast as I could…I didn’t want them to catch me! Opening that door ….nope. Not happening. No thank you. The mess had only gotten larger and more difficult to clean up.
I finally got to a place and found a person I could trust. She helped me open the door a little at a time and mopped up the mess as it spilled out of me. She allowed some light to enter back my life. And once I saw that light? I knew that there was no going back. I needed to help to maintain balance.
Mental illness does not have an easy fix. People self medicate daily to combat demons with all sorts of things like exercise, caffeine, drugs booze, food, gambling…you name it.   I know the struggle is real and that it is a day to day battle to keep the demons in check. They creep in sometimes and I fall down the rabbit hole…..sometimes I fall deeper than others. It is not pretty when that happens. It is hard for those who suffer to crawl out of that hole alone….I know it is hard for me sometimes. But on those days, I know that have seen the light before and I know it is out there somewhere….I just may  need help finding it. So check on your strong friends, the ones that you think have it all together. They may not tell you how weak they feel but that check in, that phone call, that text message….. it might save a life.