Dear Wednesday: I totally saw my life flash before my eyes when...

I fell down the stairs.

I saw my life flash before my eyes. The event of falling down the stairs felt like catching a wave of air, falling, and seeing stars. I wondered if I was ok. My dog headed down the stairs ahead of me. My mom, who was staying with me because I was already sick, was downstairs calling for me to have some dinner (moms are the best). Suddenly there was no step there and my beloved laptop and whatever other thing was in my hand was in the air.

Boom = Life change.

That fall was the beginning of what appeared on the surface to be a cruel and unusual joke.

Being the warrior I am, I picked up my twisted, hurt body from the stairs – leg twisted behind me – and I attempted to walk it off. I paced back and forth in my living room in shock. Scared. My left knee began to swell, the pain unyielding.

Many questions ran through my mind: What if something is broken? What if I need surgery? What about my clients’ wellbeing while I’m on the mend?

But, even in the questioning, I was resolute after the fall. The fall would not break my spirit. It would not break me.

Maybe you’ve broken a bone, torn a ligament, sustained an unexpected injury, or had to have surgery. Or perhaps your hurt was emotional or psychological, such as a heartbreak, divorce, grief, rejection, loss of a job, loss of friendship, or family hurt. Whether physical, emotional, or psychological hurt, we find ourselves in a two-fold process that requires us to maintain a level of sanity and practicality while exposing our deepest vulnerabilities and anxieties.

(For further thought: Sometimes we are unable to get up in the moment of an intense fall, and if you happen to be at that point, rest there for a moment).

In the middle of the land of hurt and pain, our very nature is exposed. The extent to which we truly believe and have faith when we are our deepest need is exposed. Our ugly side is exposed. Our limitations are put on display.

Sounds scary, but it’s a good thing. How can you get well if you never expose what’s ailing you?

In my Dear Wednesday letter last week (read it here) I wrote, “Maybe you’re not getting the results you say you want, because you don’t actually believe it is indeed possible to see what you’ve believed.” For this week’s letter I am adding a layer to the work I started last week: Your vulnerability, your desperation, your faith, and your honesty are keys to unlocking solid, strong core beliefs. Conversely, your avoidance, lack of authenticity, negative self-speak, and comparison will kill your capacity to form or sustain beliefs that move mountains.

The night I fell down the stairs, I decided to go to the emergency room. I was x-rayed, given a shot, prescribed some medicine and a regimen to follow. No broken bones. By this point I could not bend my left leg. Over the next few days, my left leg did not improve. I could have very easily continued the regimen, but I knew I needed to change direction.

Maybe that’s where you are. You’ve been following a pathway that was prescribed, but that prescription is outdated or ineffective for where you’re headed. You realize that avoidance will leave you bed-ridden, or depressed, or looking for ways to self-medicate. You realize that comparison won’t fix what’s broken with you. Perhaps you even realize that your own negative belief system is breaking you from the inside out.

I followed up with my primary care physician, and I demanded an MRI.

Key word: Demanded.

I believed that the x-ray didn’t go deep enough to expose anything. It didn't scan past the surface. You see… they were going to send me to a specialist before doing any additional testing, which would mean more time waiting for an appointment, more pain, few answers.

I convinced the doctor to send me for the MRI.


The MRI went deeper than the x-ray and exposed the problem. The same day as the MRI, I received a call for an ortho appointment.

Had I not been proactive and believed there was a deeper issue, I may have injured my knee even more severely. Had I not been proactive, my name might still be at the bottom of the ortho referral pile. More importantly: Had I not believed that I have the capacity to do anything, be anything, comeback from anything… I wouldn’t be 3 weeks away from finishing physical therapy, already healed, already whole, stronger, and more graceful than I was prior to the fall.

It’s almost time to ring that PT graduation bell, and you better believe I’m gonna ring it loudly.

There are processes in the land of purpose. Some processes are joyful and exciting. Others are meant to break and build. Be sure you don’t get caught in the question of “why is this happening” as much as you situate yourself in the belief that in all things you can and will overcome.

You make the choice.

Believe BIG!

Dr. Joy

Question for further thought and journaling: How have your beliefs helped you win in 2019? Journal some examples of your beliefs and the wins that came from your beliefs, and then feel free to comment and share with us.

Until next time, Be good to yourself and others!

Evaluate your relationships!

Check your thought life!

And, invest in opportunities that increase your quality of life.

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DWL Lifestyle Strategists Weekly Favs

  • Ashley’s favorite this week is the Macbook Pro. Not only does it operate smoothly, it is easy to use, safe from most viruses and most importantly it LASTS for years!!! The Macbook has seen her through many papers, projects and presentations... not to mention those wonderful Netflix vacations😉 So if you ever have to choose between that HP or Apple.... choose the fruit!

  • Replay: Joy has an absolutely terrific and terribly-expensive wanderlust. One email from or visit to fuels her need for an exotic vacation and increases her desire to travel independently with a carefully curated tour from the amazing travel powers that be of TravelNoire. This article caught her attention recently, probably because she’s a romantic and it warmed her soul to read about love in unusual places… Check out the article here. (There have been such amazing articles and emails coming from this week that Joy felt she needed to mention it again for the second week in a row)

  • Patrice loves the Brightech Mid Century Modern Bedside Nightstand Table. Its modern and contemporary style with compact size is perfect for smaller spaces, and it boasts a minimalist design. Bonus: It can charge your phone and laptop while serving as a reading lamp. And did we mention it is compatible with Alexa smart plugs?! Even more reason not to get out of the bed. Find it on Amazon here.

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This Dear Wednesday Letter was hand-crafted by Dr. Joy. Dr. Joy Well, mental health clinician, confidence catalyst, professor, and avid researcher is one of the quintessential experts on the connection between the mind, body, and immune system. Her doctoral work explored the experiences of women of color living with autoimmune diseases and how they function and experience the medical community and beyond. Once a shy, small-town girl with big dreams, Joy has found peace and purpose working with women of all ages to develop a fierce, faith-filled identity, personally and professionally. She is a clinician and entrepreneur in mental health private practice, seeing all ages, backgrounds, and genders. In her spare time, she enjoys music, movies and getting into mischief with friends. You can find Dr. Joy on social media @captivatingjoy.

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