If you’re here, there are a few situations running through my head: you are looking to feel something, find someone to relate to, or you are curious to see what the abyss of my life felt like. If you were looking for a happy ending, well, you may want to hold your breath because I have only caught a glimpse of what sunshine looks like.
So let’s begin and break it down.
Rock Bottom is Never-ending
You hear this over and over but there is an occasional truth to repetition. Depending on how stubborn you are, some lessons are not learned until they are felt or until life hits you on the head. Life is crafty like that and with enough time, the pain of each jab becomes relative.
The moment that you think you have seen rock bottom, there are three possibilities — the floor caves in and you say hello to the new low, you are stuck in the wishing well, or you find a way to climb out.
When I was five, rock bottom was not getting the toy I wanted. When I was eight, it was seeing my father in the ER for the first time. Sixteen was realizing that my mental health was deteriorating, emotional demons were emerging from the shadows, and I did not know how to defend myself. Twenty-two was having my life piece itself together for the first time, getting a grasp of happiness, then watching my newfound comfort shatter with the event of my father’s death.
Life has been a process of falling deeper into the well, reminiscing about the moments I was stuck, then building the strength to climb back up. I have learned that this cycle will continue to repeat; however, I am getting better at climbing. I have also learned how to help a few people up along the way.
It is Unpredictable
One can follow the handbook they were given to a T but life is not perfect and neither are we. Nothing accounts for the sick days, family emergencies, or other life events that happen out of the blue. Which is fine as long as you continue to keep pushing.
The moment that life stops you from being who you are, rock bottom starts to look pretty low.
To prepare: surround yourself with a variety of friends — the cheerleaders, realists, people smarter than you, and a mentor. The common theme bonding you with these friends are that they are reliable and consistently there for you.
Make yourself that rainy day fund that you have been putting off for ages. You are the best investment in your life.
You are Allowed to Stay for a While
We are living in an instant culture with constant stimulus — a stream of information and news at your fingertips. It is easy to get caught up and forget about your personal timeline.
I am not going to demonize technology. It is a tool that we all need to learn about and somewhat master if we want to keep up with the times; however, I do want you to be mindful. Like your cellphone, you need time to recharge.
So, allow yourself to be stuck sometimes so you have the strength to climb higher when the time comes. It will take a while to strike that balance but it is a skill worth learning. There’s a reason people say that life is a race against yourself. Don’t race someone that will become irrelevant to you in a few years.
If there is one thing I want you to take away from this post…
Don’t be an Asshole!
This works for many venues of life. A phrase that I advocate for people to drop from their vocabulary (unless there’s a rare comedic moment) is “It could’ve been worse.” Another just as useless alternative: using your life story to one up another person and prove you had it worse. Are you sure you want to win that one? Pity parties are pretty lonely.
This also allows for invalidation, a process in which an individual reduces or denies an emotion, experience, or trauma. It is usually unintentional which makes the process even more harmful and toxic.
All emotions are valid. Moreover, all emotions are valid but you decide how to act on them. If you encounter aforementioned asshole, you can also choose to ignore the sentiment or cut the person out of your life.
Your mind is a plant, don’t expose it to toxicity and poison.
I am thankful for rock bottom and all that is has taught me. I am not going to glorify the process but I also do not wish that it victimizes anyone. I am thankful for the strong friendships and the knowledge of who will stay in my life no matter what. I am thankful for the stories that I can use to uplift.