Kristin Chenoweth is attempting to help others by drawing on her own near-fatal experience. Chenoweth was hit by lighting equipment on the set of the CBS drama “The Good Wife” in 2012, suffering significant injuries that included a cracked rib, a skull fracture, a broken nose and teeth, and nerve, tissue, and muscle damage. Following the accident, she left her recurring role on the show.
While Chenoweth had published some hospital updates at the time of the accident, she goes into further depth about her rehabilitation in her new book, “I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts.” Speaking to Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on Jan. 17, 2012, Chenoweth said the experience of writing about the accident was liberating.
“It was scary at first, and also very freeing because I haven’t really written it down. When you write something, it makes it so. It really does solidify it,” she said. In her memoir, the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor, 54, describes waking up in the hospital and describing how her hair extensions saved her life.
Today not best "pain" day. Remaining positive. (I think)
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) August 8, 2012
“(The lighting equipment) hit me full frontal and slammed me to the pavement,” she writes. “My head cracked against the curb, leaving a seven-inch gash that would have been worse, the doctor told me, if not for the tightly woven hair extensions that held my scalp together. That’s right. I owed what was left of my concussed brain to a well-placed line of hair extension and underestimated the power of a good weave.”
The collision, according to Chenoweth, caused more than bodily injuries and sent her down a path of self-doubt and fear. She shared a “dark moment” in her diary written after the injury in the book.
“‘I hate everyone. Mostly me. I am my only friend. Everyone is paid or scattered. This business is killing me, yet I’ve given up everything for it. I don’t even know how to do anything else. If I could, and be happy, I would. God, hear me. Please. I might be done. Where. Do. I. Go,'” Chenoweth wrote in the diary excerpt, included in her memoir.
Chenoweth stated that the mental health problems persisted. “That moment changed everything. It changed me. I struggled through a long, dark valley of depression, but in the months and years that followed, something in my addled brain began to stir,” she writes.
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Chenoweth has benefited from breaking her silence regarding the accident. Chenoweth now hopes that her experience may inspire others who believe it is not in their best interests to speak up.
“It was suggested to me that I should never take action because I might not work again in the business,” she told TODAY. “And out of fear, out of fear and anxiety, I didn’t. And I just want to say to anyone out there who ever struggles with anything like this, don’t let fear rule your life. And by me sharing that story, I hope that encourages others to not do that.”
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