There you are a crumpled mess. Your long list of wrong-doings both to yourself and others plays over and over in your mind. Something has happened to smack you into clarity and it screams at you. You have hit the bottom. You think you’ve been to the bottom before, but this time it’s different, you’re not drowning in bad, you’re standing in it. There’s a strange quiet, an eerie peacefulness, a foreboding snap has occurred and like the crack in the ice that keeps going until all the pieces give way, you have reached the end of that jagged line. This is rock bottom and the good news is that it’s a finish line of sorts. If you’re ready. If you choose for it to be. There is hope in this place.
Endings are like hope flipped inside out. Reaching the “end of your rope” gives us a few options. We can climb back up the rope again (but why would we do that?) and endure the pain or we can let go, surrender, and trust. Note we’re not suggesting caving in on yourself or collapsing. No, this is about letting go of the rope, the finish line, the bottom and saying yes to what lays on the other side of that crack in the ice. This is about recognizing that the very next moment beyond hitting the bottom is looking up with “Where can I go from here?” The answer is: the rest of your life.
There is hope in rock bottom. Here are some suggestions to help guide you through this crucial time:
Call it what it is, and then frame it to what you want it to mean: E.G. “I’m at the bottom and I can only go up from here. I always have a choice.”
Practice making eye contact daily. The bottom can be a lonely place and your mind may be filled with damaging thoughts. When we make eye contact with others it can remind us that were living and breathing. We have life in our veins.
Remember one rung at a time. Imagine there’s a ladder beside you that leads straight up to the surface where life feels good again. Each moment/day/week you can climb up rung by rung, each step is higher than the last. Go from step one to two instead attempting to leap from one to ten.
Connect. We know this but when we’re at the bottom we can forget it.
Draw a dot on a piece of paper (that’s you!). Now in a circle around your dot, draw five more dots. Think of five people who love you whether near, far, dead or alive, with you or without. The important piece is that you feel (or felt) loved by this person. If you don’t have five, don’t worry, stretch yourself to name three. Three people love you (and probably a lot more). This is your WORTHY CIRCLE. Remind yourself that these people care(d) about you and you are WORTH climbing out of this place. Look at this list when it feels hard. See their faces in your mind, imagine them smiling at you. Feel them standing behind you, beside you, holding a hand out to you to lift you up. Its not important whether or not you are in contact with them, it matters only that you feel LOVE when you see these three to five names. You are not alone.
Play the ten second game. Should it be hard, should it be tiresome, should it be unrelenting, ask yourself “Can I trust myself for a mere ten seconds? Can I hold on to hope for ten more seconds? Can I believe in my recovery for another ten seconds?” and watch your ten seconds transform into minutes, then hours and then into days. You are strong enough.
Hitting the bottom means you’re being honest with where you are. You’re calling it out as what it is and in that place transformation can happen.
There is hope at the bottom, it’s where up begins.