On Being OK

val in real life

Today is the anniversary of the crash that changed my life.

And yesterday I was out riding my motorcycle. It was an eerily similar scenario as far as weather and timing go: A severe-clear Sunday afternoon. Roughly 50 degrees. Streets somewhat quiet by metro-Atlanta standards.

Near home, I stopped into a store to deal with some life stuff. I had to wait for a bit. No problem, except for the heightened awareness of how close-by I was to “the” intersection. The place where I was hit by a car, and nearly killed. Feeling out-of-sorts, I noticed a familiar headlight directly outside the door. Yep, there sat the exact make and model of the car that crushed my leg and much of my life one year ago.

Again, I found myself uttering an involuntary, ironic laugh. I thought to myself, “Fuck, seriously?”

With some mental gymnastics and the use of some coping skills I’ve learned in therapy, I managed the situation. Then I rode home with renewed fervor, determination, and a sense of burgeoning freedom from the ghosts of this past year.

Yes, my leg is still trashed. It always will be.

My life is forever altered. This will always be with me. The scars are a constant reminder.

I have not yet found peace. But I see it on the horizon.

There hasn’t been one defining turning point in this process. There have been several hard-earned shifts in the path.

I’ve battled to maintain my fierceness over the last year. After rising above yesterday’s challenge, though, I finally know I’m on the downhill side of the bumpy road through trauma. I win.


  1. Val, What a great post. Sometimes, life sends you just what you need, maybe not what you thought you needed, but turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Seeing that make and model of car at the exact place was a nudge to examine where you are, to make note of how far you’ve come from that fateful day, the struggles endured and the battles won. The trauma will always be part of who you are, but it doesn’t have to define you. You get to decide that! And I’m happy to know that you are doing that exact thing, seeing yourself as a fierce warrior on the easier slope of recovery. Proud of you, warrior princess!

    1. I can’t quite embrace the blessing in disguise paradigm just yet. But I agree with not letting this define me… it’s a long process. Thank you, darling! You are a ray of sunshine. 🙂

      1. Do not misunderstand–Frankenleg is not the blessing!!! I definitely didn’t mean that! I meant that seeing the car was the blessing to make you examine how far you’ve come and how brave and strong you are. Counting the days to April!

        1. Yes, it was an important, if a bit startling, recalibration. Being able to see the progress is encouraging.

          Looking forward to the workshop with you. 🙂

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