Rock Bottom is Beautiful

You know how people ask you if your cup is half empty or half full? I wish someone would ask me that question today because this is my answer.

Coffee | By Andrea Beilke |

I have successfully smashed that cup into the rock bottom of all bottoms.

Let’s start with how I am handling this situation…

Last night, I cried in the shower while eating a super-sized McDonald’s french fry.

I sat on the floor of the shower and cried while shoving hot (now soggy) french fries into my mouth.

Let that image sink in for a minute if you think you are having a bad day.

For the record, I absolutely despise McDonald’s.

I am not trying to play the victim, and I’m also not going to go into the nitty gritty of why I am at rock bottom.

Side note: There’s a bar in Madison, Wisconsin, called The Nitty Gritty where you drink free on your birthday, and they tie a balloon to you. I like it there.

Blind Beauty | By Andrea Beilke |

Back to my point — I am trying to reiterate that rock bottom looks different for everyone.

It could be waking up naked in a stranger’s bed unsure of how you got there; being passed out in some random apartment with a needle sticking out of your arm; waking up in jail because you decided to drive drunk; or eating month old bread in the back of your cupboard because you spent all your money on frivolous material possessions. (These are all hypothetical situations.)

Now, image being wrapped in a heating blanket. The heat, at first, is comforting, soothing even. Then image someone begins to wrap the power cord tightly around you while subsequently increasing the heat. The heat is burning your skin, and the cord is leaving impressions on your body. It continually gets worse and worse, and you don’t think you will be able to survive.

But you soon become numb to it. The pain has disappeared, and it becomes your baseline — the pain, the heat and the idea that it will never get better. You could be hit by bullets and feel nothing at this point.

So when do you realize it’s rock bottom?

When you grasp that you can control the constraints of the cord, that the smoke has cleared and the bullets have stopped flying, and your only option is to wipe your tears and stand up on the Earth that is still beneath you because your heart hasn’t given up on you.

There is an undeniable fortitude in the lesson of rock bottom that success can never teach you:

the unwavering notion that if you stand up, you have a foundation to stand on and a ferocious fight ahead; But, Love, you no longer have to be afraid of what’s ahead. You’ve already survived hell.

The moment your mind reconciles with the idea of no longer fighting, with the guaranteed decision to succeed, your heart will slow to a whisper — encouraging you to speak your truth.

I promise you this.

I finished my fries. I washed my hair and face and stepped out of the shower; my skin piercingly red from the temperature of the water beating on my skin.

My eyes were sad and the pain was still evident, but the twinkle in these big-ass green eyes was reassuring. I looked in the mirror and smiled. My truth is that there is a beautiful life ahead of me.

Morning Heat | By Andrea Beilke |

So if you find yourself at rock bottom, in the shower with soggy fries in your mouth, know that there is a beautiful, irrefutable path ahead for you even if you don’t know what it looks like at the moment.

Love yourself intentionally, extravagantly and unconditionally, and the darkness within will dissipate to the lightness the world needs.

Stand up, and feel that foundation beneath you, Beautiful. It will be okay, and your cup will begin to refill. I promise.