A year and a half ago my life changed when I fell backwards on the skateboard and my foot got caught in the back of my other leg just before my bodyweight came crashing down on it and I broke my ankle. My life changed just because I wanted to have fun, just because I desired to take risk, just because I desired to feel emancipated. I made a choice despite peer pressure. I made a choice despite my beginner status. I made a choice because of adrenaline because of confidence and that single moment changed my life in a nanosecond.
After the cast, wheelchair, crutches and learning how to walk all over again I became afraid of everything from tying my sneakers to going outside. I also didn’t like anyone. I felt I couldn’t relate anymore with others. The people who I thought would be there when the chips were down weren’t even there. So I kept myself in isolation because this felt easiest. I wasn’t feeling the world. During the process I questioned the world. I debated on my entire existence. I no longer identified with the biggest part of my life – fitness. I only identified with healing and recovery.
So I became afraid of everything living in a repeated trauma. The body is an amazing machine. Still, the psychological portion is where my issue exists. For a good amount of time I didn’t want to walk on my crutches from fear of injuring and falling again. After the cast came off and I could walk without an extreme limp I had the problem of wanting to step in the shower because I could slip in there too. To this day I fight through many different mental and physical barriers. I tell myself, “I’m a warrior. I’m fine. I can do this. Everything will be okay.”
But no matter how wintry or full of spring it is, going outside is another battle because stepping on or stepping off the curb sends an apprehensive trigger within. Then in a split second an image appears with a thousand ankles all lined diagonal breaking at the same time and the bones make a big sharp crunch sound. This is where I remain frozen. I get lightheaded. I feel the panic and anxiety creeping like mad ants throughout my entire body. I stand on the sidewalk like a lost little lamb trying to hide my terror from everyone outside. I stand under the shade for 5-20 minutes or find the nearest bench I can sit and rely on. I try to shake it out my head like it’s the nightmare it has been for over a year plus but it’s painfully difficult. I wonder when these fears and worries will take flight?
Time, strength, online friends, partner support and my current therapist have been by my side. I had to break wall after concrete wall in order to get to an elevated place. What I learned is recovery comes in different stages. Healing takes forever and a day even with positive self-talk. Now I have to push through a new obstacle – one I used to love doing actually – riding a bike. Before the accident I remembered loving to cycle. I remembered the feeling of the wind giving me foreplay all over my body with its soft breeze. I remembered feeling like a madwoman cycling and eating down bridge after bridge like some sort of luxury freedom like a huge accomplishment.
But now I’m scared. Once again mental preparation becomes my only way through. Like everything else, I’ve come very far, and baby steps are how I work back to the old or with the new.