Hitting Rock Bottom
I’m here to tell you everything is going to be okay.
Maybe not today.
Maybe not next week.
Hell, maybe not even next year, but one day.
Because one day you’re going to realize the sun does still shine even when it’s cloudy. One day you’ll realize that the pain isn’t as excruciating and you can take a full, deep breath again; something that you haven’t been able to do in a long time. One day you’ll look around to see that everything has changed, even you, and that it feels okay.
We’ve all had our rock bottom; whether it was a diagnosis, an overdose, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job that defined us, a spouse cheating. Whatever it was, we know how deep, long, and harrowing the tunnel gets. How everything gets stripped away and all we are left with is ourselves. We look in the mirror and don’t fully recognize who we are anymore because everything we did know was now gone. We push away those closest to us because they can’t possibly know what it’s like to live inside our head, feel the same hurt, or cope with the same excruciating pain.
I know rock bottom.
I was in a tragic car accident at the age of 15 where my best friend died.
I was the one driving.
I was in the hospital for 17 days with 11 fractured bones and internal bleeding.
I was broken inside and out.
Sadly, some of us have hit rock bottom more than once. Sometimes it takes a few life-changing events for us to get the bigger picture; that this world is not about us. That we get complacent, fall back into old patterns, or build walls up for protection. Rock bottom is always there.
My brother also died in a car accident when I was just 19 years old.
My mom was diagnosed with an 11mm primary brain tumor 10 years later.
Not one pain is harder than the other.
Not one rock bottom is worse than the other.
One day you are going to realize that picking up the pieces isn’t as scary as the last time, because you’ve been here before.
Being here before doesn’t make it easier, yet, your legs have gotten a bit more sturdier from the torrential downpour on an uneasy ocean.
From the girl who has created a brokenly beautiful life around picking up the pieces and weaving in new ones to do so, this is what I’ve learned.
- Time doesn’t heal everything, but it makes life more clear.
Grief comes in waves, some small and manageable, but others are massive and knock you over when you least expect it. Even though it’s been 14 years since I lost my brother, a song, the smell of his cologne or a bittersweet memory can bring me right back to my knees and I would give anything for a laugh and smile from my brother.
Yet, after enough time has passed and I have healed a lot of my hurt, I can clearly see how his death has inspired me to live and love more freely and openly with those around me.
- Rock bottom is the best place to be.
Really, it is. Because when you’re at rock bottom, broken, and cracked wide open…the only place to go is up. If you’re truly at rock bottom, you’ll commit to making a change and for the better. You’ll know that life is meant for more and will take inspired action to do so. You’ll know it will be hard and painful and at times, you’ll want to give up, but you’ll keep persisting because the feeling of the bathroom floor, jail cell, or deep depression never truly goes away.
- Show up.
After hitting rock bottom, this is when you truly show up as your authentic self. This is the time when you learn who you truly are and you stop wearing all the masks that you’ve been hiding under for so long. You will lose friends, your family will question if they ever knew you, and quite frankly, it’s a lonely, cold climb up from rock bottom. Yet day after day, you show up. And that is more than enough because you are more than enough; completely raw and vulnerable, showing your true self. Half of the battle is showing up, the rest tends to fall into place after that.
- Love, unconditionally.
When you’ve experienced hitting rock bottom, you know what it’s like to lose everything. Sometimes we tend to build a wall around our heart so we don’t feel like that ever again, but if you’re like me and have hit rock bottom more than once, you know that walls never help. Cracking open and loving unconditionally is the hardest, most bravest thing you’ll ever do. Because when we love, we give a piece of ourselves to others without expecting anything in return. We know heartbreak is inevitable, yet are willing to continue to love because a life without love hurts worse than a life with heartbreak.