05 Jan Rock Bottom
Friday was the day I hit rock bottom. I’ve heard this term before but never truly experienced it for myself. Imagine a spiral staircase with the spiral so tightly wound that you can’t see more than a step or two ahead. I’ve been descending that staircase for a while now. Not ascending. Not climbing. Not rising. No, I have been slowly and steadily traveling to the bottom. The visual is so clear to me now. I’ll climb a step or two and get so tired. I’ll sit down, take a breath, stay a while on that step. I’ll relax, and sink in, then find myself on a lower step, wondering how I got there. I’m so tired of this staircase.
I was exhausted. I had just returned from a successful work trip, but I sent this text to my sister:
Then I got blind drunk and sent the same text to a friend. I guess I wanted someone to get it. I wanted someone to know that I am done struggling. I can’t keep doing this. I needed someone else to solve this problem for me, which of course is an impossible request. I slept for four hours and woke up sadder than I have been in a very long time.
The cloud is dark and heavy. I know what it is; I am very familiar with its presence. I just cannot shake it. I have hidden myself in activity, I’ve tried to numb myself, blind myself, purge myself. I cannot find the solution, no matter how hard I look. This staircase is too hard to climb and seems to never end. Up and down I go, never finding the way out. I feel like I am trapped in someone else’s life and I want to give it back. I’ve said, “I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone,” but now I would gladly give it away. I would pass it like a hot potato and RUN. I wouldn’t even care – I’d throw this life away and run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I am feeling desperate and I’m out of options. I’ve exhausted every coping mechanism I have and the truth of my pain is visible in so many areas of my life. What now? What next?
So, rock bottom. When the alcohol didn’t help. When the sister and friend couldn’t solve the problem. When the nap didn’t make anything better. When the climbing and falling stopped. When it was just me, again. Surprisingly, I was relieved that there was no more room to descend. Rock bottom is a hard, unyielding, concrete floor. I pressed my face and body against it and let it cool me. I stayed there for a bit, waiting. I did nothing. I didn’t hurt myself anymore. I didn’t try to motivate myself either. I just let that moment exist. It felt really bad. Really, really bad.
And today, I was reminded that things have to die for new life to begin. I think Brene Brown wrote about that and today I heard that idea paraphrased by Glennon Doyle. I remember reading something else, a long time ago, and being moved by its simple directive, “Stop looking back. That’s not where you’re going.” I took some time to remember what I know, remember what I love, and remember myself. In that stillness, I made a few decisions. I’m done expecting to be rescued and I am done fighting. I’m letting go of the need for answers and control. I’m done climbing that staircase. I don’t even know where the hell it goes.
On Friday, I face planted onto the cold, concrete floor of my pain. I am still there. Still here. I don’t have a red bow to tie around this post. I am going to stay here as long as it takes. I have no idea what happens next. I have no idea what I am going to do or how I am going to feel. That’s exactly what I have been dodging. The not knowing.
Love you. Love, me.