Hitting Rock Bottom

"Really, I should be dead," he said. Have you every heard the expression “he/she hit rock bottom?” This describes someone who, through various circumstances and/or poor choices, got to a point in life where there was nowhere left to go; they simply hit rock bottom. Long equated with stories of depression or addiction it can serve to remind us of just how far we can drop and amazingly just how incredibly resilient we can be.

I sat one evening and listened to the tales of someone who realized by all accounts, they should be dead. Numerous fights, accidents, ailments and substance abuse related problems had made up a good portion of their youth to adult years. It truly was amazing to hear how he managed to dance with death and yet be here today to talk about his encounters. As dark as it sounded, he had an incredible way of threading some humour through the stories of self destruction. One day, his world changed drastically. He now had plenty of time to think and nowhere to run and from that forced seclusion came some epiphanies.

His life, as he describes it, is now one day at a time. Thankful for what he has and reconnecting with people who either he turned away or they distanced themselves from him. He used up so many lives and came away broken physically, mentally and spiritually. It was a lonely place, as the bottom is cold, quiet and littered with debris. He had no choice but to see the realities of his existence and what he had to show for it. For once in his life and through guidance, he was able to see exactly when he went off the rails. It was so long ago.

For all of us there comes a time when we must face a truth. There are roads we must travel that give us an opportunity to change our existence and embrace a new way of thinking. Life looks different from the bottom. We have no choice but to look up and see an immense sky, filled with possibility but still it is a fearful place to be. The fear is due to the unknown but more often than not there is a hand willing to pull us up. Most of the time that hand is extended by someone who has sat in that same hole, surrounded by pieces of their life. They understand fully what it takes to rise from the fetal position and stand on two feet.

What I have learned from this man’s story and from similar tales, is that everyone has the capacity to make a change for the better no matter how far down they have fallen. It just takes a conversation or situation to put them on the path to healing; one day at a time.


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