“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart; a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”-Marianne Williamson
The Truth About Hitting Rock Bottom
The phrase “hitting rock bottom,” generally refers to a time in our lives when everything around us seems to be falling apart. It feels as though there is no way out, everything is difficult, and quite honestly, life sucks. The constant negative chatter in our head keeps getting worse and most days feel dark and lonely. These are difficult and challenging times in our lives. When the light at the end of the tunnel seems distant, or even non-existent. Whether it may be facing financial difficulty, losing a loved one, or dealing with the consequences of our poor decisions, these all take us to a place of uncertainty and fear. “Why is this happening?” “How will I ever get out of this?” “When will I recover?” These are all perhaps lingering questions during such overwhelming times.
We have all had struggles, failures, disappointments, and heartaches in our lives. During these times, perhaps the only thing we could do is cry, pray, and wonder when better times will come.
As time passes though, we are able to realize that every single hardship in our life has blessed us one way or another. We may not have all the answers, but the rock bottoms in our lives humble, strengthen, and shape us into the amazing human beings we are today.
How the Low Moments Humbled Me
I remember a time in my life when I had very little; physically and emotionally. It was right before the arrival of my first daughter at the age of 19. My husband and I had recently gotten married and moved in together. We were starting our lives together; young, broke, and unprepared for the next phase of our lives.
Part of me was suffering from all the shame and guilt of getting pregnant at a young age and betraying my family (as I had been told). At the time, I craved comfort; a hug or a word of encouragement that life would improve. The feeling of not being good enough, of being a disappointment and considered yet another statistic, just crushed me.
As if the emotional struggle was not enough to deal with, we were faced with the reality that all we had to our name in our little apartment, were a few dishes and an inflatable bed. To say that it was rough is an understatement. I was getting bigger by the day with this baby growing inside of me and sleeping on the ground. Our inflatable bed was far from comfortable. I cried many times, wishing that our situation would soon improve. Which it did little by little with the help of family and friends.
Over time, our relationships strengthened, my new baby girl had a warm home, not the fanciest but definitely filled with love. The number of belongings we had grew little by little as well. While those moments of barely making it were difficult, today I am grateful for them. More than anything, those moments have humbled me and make me appreciate the hard work, the dedication, and the sweat and tears that it takes in order to have anything in life. I am able to turn around now and help the next person(s) in line and guide, support, and encourage them along the way, because there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel.
Finding the Strength During the Loss
In 2009, my younger sister was in a terrible car accident where, unfortunately, her boyfriend lost his life. This was such a devastating time for our family, a time that would test our faith, strength, and courage.
When my family received the news of the tragedy, we were all in disbelief. “These things just don’t happen to us.” “They must have the wrong family.” “It just can’t be.” But it was real. The accident had taken the life of an amazing person and had left my sister battling for her life. She spent a few weeks in the ICU, recovering from her physical wounds. We knew though, that those wounds would not compare to the mental and emotional pain.
As her older sister, I was supposed to be her support system, her rock, her shoulder to cry on but instead, I found myself feeling weak, crying and constantly asking “Hasn’t she suffered enough?” Waving my fist demanding answers.
This journey was an emotional roller-coaster to say the least. There were good days and bad days, but we were moving forward. More importantly, my sister was healing at her own pace and she was making progress. The road to recovery and grief is difficult, there is no one way that fits all. When we lose a loved one, it’s tough. We may never have the answers to why these special people are no longer with us. There are no words to console those who are hurting the most or to describe how hard this grief journey is. One thing is true though; we find the strength, the strength to keep moving forward in life despite this void in our hearts and in our lives. My sister most certainly has. This devastating moment showed her how strong she has been and continues to be every single day.
How Our Struggles Shape Us
My husband is an amazing father, partner, friend, and a kind human being. I have seen him transform from a young, hardheaded boy, to a caring and bright man. I admit though, it took a few hard lessons for him to grow into the man he is today.
In 2017, after a few close calls, he reached a low point in his life. He got a DUI. Yes, it’s so hard to even type those three letters because it has been an extremely hard experience. Hard to accept and to live with as a family. So much shame and guilt are attached to this, worrying about what others might think and say.
Being put in a jail cell overnight gave my husband the time to think about what had happened. While it’s not a place he would like to return, it took that rock bottom for him to turn his life around. He realized his choices had not been the best and now he had another opportunity to make things better, for himself and our family.
Before this DUI, he might have thought he was invincible, but boy was he wrong. It’s as if life slaps you in the face and reminds you how wrong you are. Either we learn to change and improve our ways or life will teach us a lesson.
The shame and guilt that comes with getting a DUI is hard. We can fall into the trap of believing we are unworthy because of our mistakes and faults. The reality is, we all fail and no one is perfect. A quote says “There is some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best of us” (-Unknown). And oh boy, is this true. It may take these miss-steps for us to realize we all fall but we can get back up and keep going.
Hitting rock bottom has allowed my husband to re-assess his life, have a different and better perspective, and more importantly, it has given him the ability to empathize more with other people. It was a big fall but the blessing was much bigger.
Find The Blessings
Yes, hitting rock bottom sucks, that’s the honest truth. It may take a little time, a little digging and a lot of praying to uncover the lessons and the blessings in those moments, but I promise you, they are there.
If it’s you today struggling, wondering when things will turn around, please know this: You are strong and you will survive this, you got this!
“Rock bottom will teach you lessons that mountain tops never will.”– Unkown