Rock Bottoms

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It’s hard watching other people hurt.  I was in Al-Anon for 5 years, a 12-step program to help friends and family members of Alcoholics, and while I was attending meetings I heard so many rock bottoms.  Every story is unique to the person. To one, it could sound as mundane as just losing a job, while others could make you question how a human could degrade themselves so severely.  In all of my years of hearing the hurt of rock bottoms, one thing I’ve learned is that they all feel the same.

A person is standing in front of you; broken, shattered and feeling unfixable.  Their pain is palpable.  Tiredness is heard in every breath.  On-lookers can see lifetimes of sleepless nights, restless days and impossible amounts of solutionless problem solving happening behind their eyes. They are beaten and they appear to have lost any resilience or faith they once had.

My husband is in his rock bottom and my heart is breaking for him. While I’ve been confessing my pain about my father here on these posts, I’ve been witnessing the slow and yet so steady debasement of my husband’s once uncompromising joy for life.  There are so many things I want to say to him.

There is a moment in our lives when we get introduced to ourselves.  It could be the moment you won an award for a Science Fair project, the time you played too loudly over the jazz band, when you finally gained enough courage to leave your abusive boyfriend, or when you – for the first time – danced naked in your kitchen while eating a pie you baked just for yourself.

Or, when you hit your rock bottom.

Humans are not immortal, but hell, we have a remarkably strong will to survive. I am consistently in awe of our strength, perseverance and this basic human instinct that is so deep-rooted in our genetic makeup that it has kept our species alive for roughly 200,000 years.  If when we feel weak, may we find the sliver of energy remaining to access this gift of fire that burns from our ancestral roots.  Then feed it with your tenacity.

Meet yourself; the naked, vulnerable, and bruised warrior that has been living in your skin since the dawn of time and hear the lesson that has been whispering in your ear since you were born:  You are love.

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