Women are more prone to ACL tears and runner's knee, but these expert-approved moves can help reduce your risk.
You don't have to be a high-intensity athlete to suffer a knee injury. Swinging a golf club or turning too quickly on the stairs can cause the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to stretch beyond its normal range, resulting in a tear. And that's just traumatic injury. Even in the pursuit of fitness, we may unintentionally damage the joint; patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), sometimes called runner's knee, is a common overuse injury. The risk is especially high for women: We're two to eight times more likely than men to damage our ACLs and as much as two times more likely to suffer from runner's knee.
Researchers believe that the reasons women are more prone to knee injuries are mostly structural. Women's bodies typically have wider hips, higher rates of knock-knees, less space for the ACL and weaker ligaments, plus there's a tendency to use thigh muscles more than hamstrings, explains Dr. David Robinson, primary-care sports medicine physician at the David Braley Sport Medicine & Rehabilitation Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton. These anatomical factors all stress the ACL, effectively stacking the joint deck against us. But there might be a hormonal element, too. Fluctuating sex hormones may affect how loose our ligaments are at different points in our cycles, and for some women, that may mean decreased knee stability. Read on for tips on how to reduce your risk for the three most common types of knee injury.
These injuries tend to happen when you stop or change direction suddenly, or land incorrectly, often during an intense sport. The ACL keeps your shinbone from sliding out in front of the thighbone, so when it stretches, comes loose or tears, you'll feel pain and have swelling and reduced range of motion. Depending on the severity, you may need surgery.
Reduce your risk: "Training can ensure the correct knee-over-feet-and-under-hip position when landing," says Dr. Robinson. So if you're a big fan of activities like soccer or Frisbee, make sure you don't skip your warm-up. We like 11+, an injury prevention program developed by medical experts working with FIFA.
PFPS (a.k.a. runner's knee)
Pain in the front of the knee—including the soft tissue—that makes climbing stairs or kneeling down uncomfortable could be PFPS. The cause is often over-exercising, although inactive women can get runner's knee, too. Other culprits include problems with hip-knee-ankle alignment or doing too many squats and other knee-bending activities. If it's severe enough, you'll need to reduce activity until the pain dissipates.
Reduce your risk: A patellar tracking sleeve fitted by a bracing specialist, or custom-fit orthotics—or both!—can help. "But if you do knee-strengthening exercises, you won't need a sleeve," says Dr. Robinson.
You may hear a pop or feel pain a few days after you tear your meniscus, which is the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your thighs and shins. Tears often happen when you're squatting or twisting your knees, such as when you're tackled during sports, swinging your club during golf or crouching in the garden. Aging can also weaken your meniscus; sometimes, getting out of a chair awkwardly can be all it takes. Small tears may heal with rest, but severe tears require surgery.
Reduce your risk: Dr. Robinson says that exercises like the ones in our routine (below), warming up before activities and wearing shoes with good traction to prevent slips can all help minimize the risk of injury.
Before you start!
Be mindful of form. Make sure your bent knee is lined up directly over your second toe. "This helps protect the joint," says physiotherapist Monica Maly. And make sure you don't allow your knee to rotate inward or outward as you move.
Don't go in cold. "Warming up before exercise can help prevent knee injuries," says Maly. Warming up can be as simple as brisk walking or cycling for 20 minutes—but save gentle stretching for your cooldown.
Your knee-saver exercise routine
These yoga-inspired exercises from Monica Maly, physiotherapist and associate professor at McMaster University's School of Rehabilitation Sciences in Hamilton, target key muscle groups that help protect your knee joints and boost your strength, coordination, balance and flexibility. Aim to do the routine three times a week, one set per session.
Illustration by Kagan McLeod
Aim: Stronger gluteals and hamstrings and increased hip flexibility.
- Lie down on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Lay your palms flat on the floor.
- Raise your hips as high as you can, squeezing your gluteal muscles. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat six times.
Form check: Your knees should point straight to the ceiling before you begin raising your hips.
Illustration by Kagan McLeod
Aim: Increased hip flexibility and improved balance.
- Stand with feet together and shoulders back and relaxed.
- Raise your arms out to your sides, parallel to the floor and palms facing down. Step your feet about three feet apart.
- Rotate from the right hip joint to position your right foot at a 90-degree angle. Align your right heel with your left heel.
- Exhale and bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle. Hold for 10 seconds. - Repeat three times on each side.
Form check: Don't bend your knee past your toes.
Illustration by Kagan McLeod
Aim: Stronger quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals.
- Stand with feet together and shoulders back and relaxed.
- Bend your knees, pulling your shoulder blades together, and aim for a 75-degree angle at the knee joint and a 90-degree angle at the hip. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat six times.
Form check: Make sure your trunk is over your thighs. From the front, the hip, knee and ankle of each leg should form a straight line.
Illustration by Kagan McLeod
Aim: Stronger hip abductors, ankle muscles and dorsiflexors for improved balance.
- Stand with feet together and shoulders back and relaxed.
- Bring your palms together in front of your chest.
- Bend one knee and place the sole of that foot on the inner calf or inner thigh of the standing leg (but never on the knee). Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat three times on each side.
Form check: Keep your pelvis level and facing forward; stare at an object straight ahead to help keep your balance.
Natalie Portman Image by: Getty Images
Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Laura Dern and more!
The best and brightest from the world of television and movies turned out for the 74th Golden Globe Awards—and the right carpet was on fire. Here are our top 10 looks from the event.
Emma Stone in Valentino
Emma Stone Image by: Getty Images
You know how they say dress for the job you want? Well, this gown is literarily star-studded. Emma Stone is no stranger to owning the red carpet, and it looks like the 2017 red carpet season is no exception. Nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role of Mia, an aspiring actress, in La La Land. Stone looked dazzling in a backless, blush Valentino gown with beaded stars strewn across the delicate flowing frock. The elaborate dress didn’t need much help in terms of accessories, yet a statement diamond-encrusted choker from Tiffany & Co was added. A brilliant addition.
Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuillier
Drew Barrymore Image by: Getty Images
The 41-year-old actress was a brilliant vision on the red carpet in a shimmery floor-length gown while attending and presenting at the the 2017 Golden Globe Awards. The romantic gown with delicate art deco detailing is Monique Lhuillier while her sparkling jewellery was Harry Winston. What we loved about Barrymore’s look was the overall styling, she opted for flowing beachy waves rather than something more predictable and polish, well played!
Tracee Ellis Ross in Zuhair Murad
Tracee Ellis Ross Image by: Getty Images
Ellis Ross won her first Golden Globe at the age of 44 for Best Actress in a TV Musical/Comedy for her role in Blackish and she took to the stage welling up at the accomplishment, while giving viewers a beautiful acceptance speech. The star also won on the red carpet, wearing a silver Zuhair Murad dress from the designer's spring 2016 couture collection and a pair of matching sparkly pumps by Christian Louboutin. One of our favourite parts of her look was the stacked diamond rings… on each finger! The unexpected statement jewellery was edgy, daring and oh-so-glamorous—the risk totally paid off.
Sienna Miller in Michael Kors
Sienna Miller Image by: Getty Images
Sienna Miller proves that sometimes simple is best. In a sleek white Michael Kors gown with cut-out details, Miller embraced lady-like elegance with a twist. She wore the dress with a simple string of pearls and a low-maintenance ponytail—and she looked radiant.
Millie Bobby Brown in Jenny Packham
Millie Bobby Brown Image by: Getty Images
Millie Bobby Brown is only twelve—though you’d never guess it from her poise and class on the red carpet. We are glad the Stranger Things star chose a dress well-suited to her age though. This sparkly Jenny Packham frock is fun and vibrant. Perfect for a star on the rise.
Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Michelle Williams Image by: Getty Images
Williams, who is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Manchester by the Sea. This is her fourth Golden Globe nomination and if Williams wins tonight, it will be her second Golden Globe win. She first took home a Globe at the 2011 awards show for playing Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. Williams looked like a vision in a fitted white strapless Louis Vuitton column gown and a chic petite black bow choker. We also loved her fresh platinum hair and delicate and fresh makeup.
Natalie Portman in Prada
Natalie Portman Image by: Getty Images
Tonight, at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, a pregnant Natalie Portman arrived with a coveted Best Actress nomination for her performance of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Jackie. For the red carpet occasion, Portman channeled Kennedy Onassis with a modern take on the former first lady’s iconic bouffant, classic makeup and wore a dress similar to a yellow frock that she once wore to the Metropolitan Opera House in 1975. Portman’s sunny gown was from Prada, while she grounded the look with Jimmy Choo shoes and was dripping in Tiffany & Co. jewellery.
Olivia Culpo in Zuhair Murad Couture
Olivia Culpo Image by: Getty Images
One of the more dramatic looks on the red carpet, Olivia Culpo embraces intricate embroidery and a bit of the dark side with this Zuhair Murad Couture pick. We love the full skirt and interesting neckline. She definitely stood out—in the best way.
Felicity Jones in Gucci
Felicity Jones Image by: Getty Images
Felicity Jones' big year (starring in a Star Wars movie will do that) has led this actor to be in the spotlight a lot more—and we like what we see. Her pick for the Golden Globes was a stunning pink Gucci dress. She wisely pulled back her hair and kept her makeup simple—this dress is the star of this look, but it doesn't overwhelm Jones. Instead she looks elegant and at ease—no easy feat when you're wearing a bubblegum pink gown.
Laura Dern in Burberry
Laura Dern Image by: Getty Images
Laura Dern looked fantastic in this floral, floor-length number by Burberry as she presented at the Golden Globes. The simple column gown with plunging neckline was made special by the beautiful print and Dern's hair and subtle jewellery let this dress shine.
Headaches are one of the most common health complaints for Canadian women. Here's the rundown on five types of headaches: what causes them, how to proven them and how to feel better faster.
Headache type: Tension
If you've ever experienced a headache—and who hasn't?—this is probably one you've had. "It's your regular garden-variety headache, with aching around your whole head and more steady pressure than migraines," says Dr. Michael Zitney, the director of the Headache & Pain Relief Centre in Toronto. You're not likely to have any nausea, and there won't be sensory sensitivity. "You can usually still watch TV or work at your computer, for example, through a tension headache," he explains.
Why they happen: Doctors used to think tension headaches were caused by too-tight muscles in the neck, shoulders, face and head, but experts now believe they might be due to inflammation of the lining and main nerve areas in the brain. "Some of the triggers can be similar to migraine triggers," says Dr. Farnaz Amoozegar, a neurologist in Calgary. These include stress, sleep and dietary factors.
Treatment options: Most tension headaches will go away on their own, but taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) can help. There are also preventive medications that can help reduce the frequency or severity of chronic tension headaches, ones that occur more than 15 days a month; your doctor might recommend a muscle relaxant or an antidepressant (amitriptyline and nortriptyline are a couple of the common forms), though the latter needs to be gradually increased and can take a few weeks to start working.
Headache type: Migraine
These headaches, which typically last four to 72 hours, are one of the most common in women—about one-quarter of us suffer from them, compared to about eight percent of men. The diagnostic criteria are very specific, says Dr. Sian Spacey, a neurologist, physician and director of The University of British Columbia's Headache Clinic in Vancouver. Patients must have two of the following characteristics: throbbing, moderate to severe pain, unilateral pain (on one side of your head) and pain that worsens with activity. They must also experience nausea and vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound.
Why they happen: Frustratingly, it can be hard to pinpoint the cause, but it seems to be a mix of genetics and environmental factors. If you have a family history of migraines, you might be more prone to them. And there are common triggers, says Dr. Zitney. These include substances found in foods (MSG, nitrates and other preservatives, aspartame, alcohol and ca eine), lifestyle factors (skipping meals, dehydration and getting too much or too little sleep), weather changes, stress and fluctuating hormone levels thanks to our menstrual cycles.
Treatment options: Dr. Zitney recom-mends three stages of treatment. "The simplest and easiest thing to use is an anti-inflammatory," he says, adding that over-the-counter ibuprofen is a good option, as are prescription medications such as naproxen. If those don't o er relief, the second stage is triptans, migraine-specific medications that target pain at its source. "Migraine pain develops from a circuit of neuronal pathways and molecules in the brain,"says Dr. Amoozegar. "Once these path- ways were discovered, scientists began working on medications that specifically target them." There are seven triptans approved for use in Canada. They're available by prescription and come in oral, injectable and nasal-spray forms— but they're not an option if you have heart problems, as they can increase your risk of a serious cardiac event. You can also use a triptan and an anti-inflammatory in combination, as they approach pain in different ways. The last stage is a stronger painkiller, used sparingly—and only if you aren't at risk for addiction.
It's also worth asking your doctor about preventive meds, like antiseizure medication, beta-blockers and even Botox (which works by inhibiting the release of pain-related molecules). And if your menstrual cycle triggers migraines, you can also look into hormonal manipulation. "If it's safe for you to use the birth control pill or the hormonal IUD, you can fool your body into not having periods, which stops menstrual-related migraines," says Dr. Zitney.
Headache type: Medication-overuse
Formerly known as rebound headaches, these tend to occur in patients who have a high frequency of headaches and take a lot of painkillers, says Dr. Amoozegar. Folks who get migraines tend to be more prone to this type of headache, especially those who take medication for their migraines more often than they should.
Why they happen: It's the headache we cause ourselves due to regular, long-term use of painkillers, says Dr. Zitney. "If you take medications too often, they can turn around and bite you," he adds. "The head- aches start to come more often. Then, when the medication wears off, you have to take more, which brings on another headache. It's a pattern that's very hard to get out of once you're in it." As a general rule, it's OK to use medication (either over-the-counter or prescription) to treat headaches about 10 out of every 30 days. But if you find your-self using drugs more than 15 days out of the month for three consecutive months, see your doctor.
Treatment options: Education is key. "People need to know that their meds are the culprit," says Dr. Amoozegar. "Depending on what they're using, they need to gradually stop taking painkillers and start taking preventive medication." Beta-blockers and antiseizure medication aren't painkillers, but they can help reduce the frequency of migraines.
Headache type: Cluster
This is a rare, distinct type of headache. Cluster headaches are often seasonal or occur during the same time every year (or every couple of years). "These are shorter headaches that last from 15 minutes to three hours. They're unilateral and accompanied by symptoms like tearing, a droopy eyelid, a change in pupil size and nasal congestion on the side of the face where the pain is," says Dr. Spacey. This is the most severe type of headache you can get, and it's been dubbed the "suicide headache" because of the sufferers who have either committed suicide or thought about it during a cluster attack. Though they're more common in men than women, a 2012 study in the Journal of Neurological Sciences found that when women do get cluster headaches, they tend to have more daytime attacks and worse pain during nighttime attacks.
Why they happen: Causes haven't been pinpointed, but there's evidence that suggests abnormalities in the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates sleep- wake cycles) could be part of the problem. Cluster headaches usually occur in the spring or fall, and triggers vary widely. Alcohol can worsen an attack.
Treatment options: Over-the-counter drugs won't make a dent in treating a cluster headache, nor will triptans (the attack is usually over before they kick in). For the drugs that do offer relief, opt for injections or nasal sprays, which are often faster acting. Giving the sufferer oxygen via a mask can also help some patients.
Headache type: Sinuses
You know those throbbing headaches where you also have a fever, a runny nose, congestion, an icky green discharge and pain in your face? That sounds like a sinus headache, says Dr. Amoozegar. But, she adds, they're often misdiagnosed. Many headaches that occur in the face are actually migraines; it can only be a sinus headache if you also have a sinus infection or another serious sinus issue.
Why they happen: Blame inflammation of the sinuses (a.k.a. sinus- itis), which is caused by anything that stops them from draining properly, such as a cold or flu, allergies or respiratory infections.
Treatment options: The first step is a visit to the doctor's office to confirm you have a sinus infection. If you do, you'll likely get a prescription for antibiotics. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or acetylsalicylic acid can help ease the pain while you're waiting for the meds to kick in.
I am sharing my story so that I can help someone who is living with or knows someone with depression or who has depression themselves. Rick was a very private person but I feel strongly that sharing his story publicly will help to end the stigma associated with mental illness.
In March, 2016 my husband Rick took his life. This is the first time that I am writing these words. It has been very painful and difficult to articulate. But I wanted to take this opportunity as it is #BellLetsTalk Day to have his/our story heard. If this can save one life, then sharing this very personal story will be worth it. #BellLetsTalk Day is an annual initiative where every text, mobile and long distance call made by a Bell customer; and every hashtag used on social media raises money towards mental illness.
I met Rick in October 1995 through a "matchmaker" – yes, a matchmaker. This was before online dating and this wasn't those dating services where you complete a form and then are matched up with someone. This was one person that came to my home and then went to Rick's home and thought that we would make a perfect match. And she was right. He had just moved here the year before from New York state to take on a new position. We had similar values, dreams and backgrounds (both Catholic and university educated for example.) Rick was quiet, reserved, maybe even a little shy but I liked that about him. But I think his very nature played a major role in his depression.
Never in a million years would I, or any one that knew Rick, think that he would do this. But he didn't do it, the disease known as depression did. That day on Saturday, March 26, 2016 started off as a normal day. Maya (my 14 year old daughter) and I spent the day in Toronto as I was picking up products for a photo shoot on Monday. We were having friends over for a light dinner and Rick offered to do groceries and cook while we were out, like he usually liked to do on Saturdays. When we came home, we called out hello with no answer. That's when the nightmare began. Without going into too much detail as it is still traumatic for all of us, including my friend who found Rick, depression took over, and he ended his life sometime in those five hours we were gone. I know people are curious as to how Rick ended his life but that's inconsequential to our story. He did leave a note on his phone but it didn't explain why he did this. Part of it read "This is no one's fault but my own. Life got too hard and I couldn't go on."
Rick wasn't diagnosed with depression. In fact, I called his physician after he passed away he never mentioned anything to her. Rick hid it from everyone. Even his boss kept saying over and over on the phone when he was told what happened "But Rick was such a jovial guy." He wore a mask and even those close to him like his family and friends, had no idea what he was going through.
Looking back, he wasn't the same person in the months (perhaps year) leading up to this. If I had just taken the time to look in his eyes, I would have seen that what I mistook for tiredness and apathy was pain. These are some of the reasons I believe he felt life was too hard.
Work/life imbalance, not getting enough sleep
Rick was always tired. Even his Mom said that as a child and even a teenager, he would go to bed without prompting at an early hour. He needed a lot of sleep. Since Rick worked in downtown Toronto, one hour from us if there was no traffic, he would get up at 5:00 am to beat the morning rush hour. However, most days he would awaken at 4:30 am and couldn't fall back asleep once he was up. And then he would leave the office late in the evening so as not to be in traffic on the return trip home. We wouldn't see him until 7 pm at the earliest so that's a 12-hour work day not including travel time. He never complained though and always walked in the door smiling.
I always suggested that he work from home a couple of days a week and he did work the occasional day from home but it wasn't enough. There were options.
Unhappy with his work situation
With the utmost respect to his employer, I say these next few words as I believe them to be true. Commuting time aside, I don't think Rick was happy with his employment situation. Rick never came out and said this to me but I gathered that he was overwhelmed and stressed because of all of the varied tasks he juggled as a senior finance person in a small company. Even if Rick wanted to quit his job, I think this was probably too much for him to consider. In Rick's almost 30-year career, he had been downsized from a position and then had quit another. Both times, it took him several months to find a new position and I knew that was hard on him. Now, being older (he was 52), I don't think Rick had the fight in him to quit if he wanted to and look for a new position. I do know that when he did work closer to home in previous positions, he was much happier, had more energy and could actually be home to have dinner with us. There were options.
Disinterest in real life connections
As mentioned, Rick was always tired and during the week, he basically came home from work late, ate dinner and retreated to his "man cave." He didn't really want to do anything with us during the week – not a bike ride or walk in the summer or even just coming downstairs to the family room to watch movies with us. On the weekends, it was difficult to get him to go out for dinner or see a movie or anything. We were short with each other more often than not. The depression made him irritable and angry which made me irritable and angry. A vicious cycle. I can't help but wonder if I had shown him more kindness and support, would that have made a difference. But depression, specifically undiagnosed depression, is like that – an invasive weed that manages to take over all aspects of your life if left untreated. Even when I first met Rick, his way of dealing with conflict or disagreement was always by walking away – he really didn't like conflict. Add his negative view on things to this and it was really difficult to engage in any sort of dialogue about our marriage and what was happening to us. Even through all of this, I remember saying to him the week before he passed away, that we were going to grow old together. I believed that this blip we were having would subside and we would be the happy couple that we were for the first 16-17 years of marriage.
After Rick passed away, I discovered that he was a member of an online chat group where the nature of the conversations were all negative. I think this was a place for Rick to express his depressive thoughts without having anyone call him out on anything because he was anonymous. I believe the negativity on the site likely fueled his depression and created a downward spiral.
Loss of interest in activities that brought pleasure/lack of exercise
Rick was a runner for about ten years, completing about fifteen half marathons, 30K's and some 10K runs. He was so happy when he ran and was so proud of his running accomplishments and so was I. He always said he wasn't fast but it didn't matter to him. But in 2013, he gave up running. I think that was the beginning of the end for him. I constantly suggested he join another running group, maybe something local, but he dismissed my suggestions. I encouraged him to go to the gym on weekends as he was just too tired during the week. He would try and make it at least once, but it didn't give him the same happiness that running did. Eating late and not exercising caused him to gain weight, that I knew he wasn't happy with.
He had some OCD tendencies such as making detailed lists for everything. One such list was of every book he read, when he started reading it and when he finished for the last 25 years. His cellphone would chime several times a day with reminders (for work and home) with things even as inane as "change the Brita water filter." But that's the other thing. Rick felt like he had to do these tasks and had guilt if he didn't. For example, when I made dinner during the week he insisted that he wash up the dishes as "that's the least he could do." I would say you just worked all day with a long commute, you don't need to wash the dishes. It was as if there were these deep feelings of irresponsibility if there weren't lists or tasks he couldn't complete himself. This even applied to our finances. He thought about it constantly to the point of being obsessive. Like most families, we had a mortgage and a credit line and I knew he would have been happier if these were paid off. Even though he knew that we had significant equity in our home and had way more in our RRSP's than the average Canadian, it wasn't good enough for him. Even though we were fine, I mentioned to Rick that we could downsize our house if he was that concerned and overwhelmed. There were options.
And lastly, his Dad took his life in 1998, just after we were married. He had been recently diagnosed with depression but was not taking any medication or seeing a therapist. He was just a few days into retirement. Of course Rick took this very hard at the time but over the years he didn't really talk about his Dad or what happened. I think it was just too painful for him. Plus, he wasn't one to talk about his feelings. He kept a lot bottled up inside.
All of the factors above left him feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. I'm sure he knew that things had to change but the thought of making changes must have been so daunting. He didn't have the capacity or energy to do so.
It's been ten months since that devastating day and I honestly can't say that it has gotten any easier. I think in the beginning I was on auto pilot and in shock plus overwhelmed with selling our house, buying a new house, going through all of Rick's belongings, packing and moving. It was a lot to take on all the while grieving. Maya still can't talk about him and doesn't like when I recall a memory or mention his name. It's too painful for her. They were the best of friends and I loved watching them together – all their inside jokes that I knew nothing of.
When someone you love takes their life, it is different than losing them to an illness like cancer. You don't have a chance to say goodbye as it is sudden and unexpected and you are left with many questions that you will never know the answers to. It is heartbreaking, I miss him so much and you go through a wave of many emotions. I was so angry (still am somewhat) that he deliberately ended his life when he had Maya and I, especially Maya who he loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly. Angry that he didn't reach out to me, family, friends, or anyone and seek help. Guilty that I didn't see the signs and ask the right questions. And overwhelming sadness and grief that he felt that ending his life was the only way out. What must he have been feeling/thinking in those last few months, last few days and those last few hours?
Looking back, these are the factors that I think contributed to Rick taking his life. However, in most cases like this, there are many questions left unanswered and I will truly never know why he did this. What I do know is that we all love and miss him terribly and he meant the world to us. Unfortunately, his view of himself must have been that he was inadequate, unimportant, unlovable and a burden to others. That couldn't have been farther from the truth and I only wish he knew that.
If our story resonates with you in any way, please go and talk to someone. Even when you feel there is no hope, there are options. Or if you see any of these signs in people you know, please ask them "Are you ok?" They most likely will say they are but be persistent. Life always has challenges, big and small, for everyone. Talking about them with a trusted family member, friend or therapist is key. Thanks for listening. I wish you all well.
Republished with permission from Décor Happy.
Vanessa Francis is the principal and founder of Vanessa Francis Design based in Milton, Ont. Her work has been featured in various publications, including Canadian Living, Style at Home, House & Home, Luxe Interiors, Design and the National Post. She writes the popular blog Décor Happy where she shares her design advice and inspiration. She lives in Milton, ON with her daughter Maya.