What is Unfixed?

Above all else, Unfixed is a community. Welcome! You are now part of that community.

Unfixed began as a personal, harrowing and healing journey living with a rare, neurological disorder, Mal de Débarquement Syndrome. In 2019, I founded Unfixed Media to share stories of people living with chronic or rare conditions and how adversity can broaden our definition of what it means to live a “good life.” Alongside creating content, I wrote the story of my unraveling and how early traumas, perfectionism and a nervous system stuck in “freeze” became fertile ground for chronic illness to take root in my flesh.

We all love fixer-upper stories, miracle cures and answers but many wake up each day without any of these. Our world needs more models for how to live a meaningful, unfixed life - a life liberated from fixed notions of how we must feel in order to live fully. Unfixed humans may be in pain but they are learning to integrate it into a larger definition of themselves. In this work, I hope to demonstrate that living well is not about eradicating our wounds and weaknesses but understanding how they complete our identities and equip us to help others.


What will you receive?

When you subscribe, you’ll receive serialized posts from my memoir every Sunday. In addition, mid-week I’ll share resources, tips, interviews and opportunities to share for anyone “living unfixed” looking for solidarity, advocacy and hope.


The memoir

May of 2014, I was struck by an opening car door and flipped over my bicycle handlebars, but a pelvic fracture and two months of immobilization were the least of my unraveling. Life pushed me off the deep end. During bedrest, I learned that my deceased dad wasn’t my biological father. A few months later, my brain rewired itself to perceive solid ground as liquid. When I tried reentering the world with my new, wobbly perception, it was clear that my career was also going for a dive. Weary of chasing cures and running away from my “new” sense of self, I eventually had to go back to the beginning — to the child’s longings, the teenager’s compulsions, the young woman’s disillusionments — to unwind the history of my identity and face the mess and the grace of living an unfixed, unpolished and unplanned life.

We often refer to life-altering events as the dark night of the soul or midlife crisis. Because there is terminology for it means I’m not alone. The stories are different but we all know what it feels like to desperately hold onto the last skinny roots of a former identity as the entire cliff falls away. Not until life landed me at ground zero was I able to be stripped bare and silent enough to hear the voice that lay dormant within. It is my hope that this story illustrates the universal plight of being human, always navigating with one foot in the light and another in the dark. To trust the one in the dark, listen to her, and gently coax her into the light may be the best bet we have in finding a sense of intimacy, purpose and fulfillment in our own messy stories.

This memoir is an invitation to reflect honestly about your own dark chapters and instead of prioritizing getting to the next chapter, inching ever so gently toward embracing the one you’re in. Buried within my greatest anxieties and pain during the past eight years there has always been an unconditionally loving friend. I don’t think I could have trusted her, let alone find her, had I not first been willing to let everything else go. Being willing (and it did take a force of “will”) to embrace my scariest, most rejected self, I found the self who never abandons. The self who is always still, patient, loving and inclusive. You have her too. She is right here in the vastness of your awareness.


About me

Kimberly Warner is a filmmaker and a medical school drop-out who traded prescriptions for cameras in pursuit of narrative medicine.

Kimberly founded Unfixed Media Productions in 2019 to share stories of people living with chronic or rare conditions and how adversity can broaden our definition of what it means to live a “good life.” The Unfixed portfolio currently includes a docu-series, multiple mini-series, two podcasts, a round-table webcast, and feature documentary film in production. Kimberly is lead producer, director, editor and occasional videographer on all Unfixed programming.

Her experiences living with a rare, neurological disorder MdDS, have led to Kimberly’s larger advocacy role within the chronic illness community where she writes and speaks about her own patient experience. She is a member of the Global Advocacy Alliance, the PPAA (Patient and Physician Advocacy Alliance,) is a visiting faculty member with Global Genes, helped create a Course for Clinical Confidence - a medical school certificate course, is on the editorial board of the Journal of Health Design and is an ambassador for VeDA. She is also Life on the Level’s Best International Contribution Award and the recipient of the Invisible Disabilities Association’s Media Impact Award.

When Kimberly isn’t nurturing the many facets of Unfixed, she works a small, sustainable homestead with her husband David in rural Oregon. View the Unfixed portfolio here, the Unfixed Community youtube channel or the Disorder Channel available through Roku.

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When broken is the fix.

People

Founder and director of Unfixed - a multi-media company that explores how adversity can broaden our definition of what it means to live a “good life.”