The Side of Hitting 'Rock Bottom' Nobody Likes to Talk About
This is it: rock bottom. The feelings inside right now are telling you that you’ve hit it. The emptiness, the loneliness, the aching — that’s all part of it. And you look in the mirror and wonder who the fuck is staring back at you. Because at one point you knew that person but you don’t anymore. Everything you said you would never do or be is everything you have done and become. You have become everything you once hated.
And you can see it. In every mistake. In every breath. In every moment. You have slowly crept to a place where you don’t even recognize yourself anymore. And you’re embarrassed — embarrassed you have let it get to this point, that you’ve let yourself get to the rock bottom your friends warned you about for months. The minuscule part of love you once felt for things is gone. You’re just not sure who this person is.
To everyone else, you have everything. You’re smart, fun, successful and have done things many people dream of. But you’re not happy. Not happy because when you look in the mirror you know the lies, the darkness and the twistedness that lies beneath. You see the pain, the hurt and the anger you don’t show anyone else because you feel that would be weak. And you’re definitely good at pretending you’re not weak. Even though you know you are.
You don’t have control anymore.
Control of your emotions, your body, your mind. Every good feeling you once had is gone. And now what’s left is the empty. The scary empty you’ve heard about. You’re anxious. You’re cryptic. You’re depressed.
You’re good at putting on a brave face. Pretending to be happy and actually being happy are two different things.
And there’s no reason to not be happy. You’re relatively healthy. You have things. But it always comes back to the loneliness, the unfulfilling feeling of the mundane. The struggle to remember what is real and what’s not. What you’ve been filling in your head of fantasy and what is actually happening in the real world. You’ve lit your path on fire and slowly you’re watching everything burn around it.
This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. Rock bottom was never supposed to come. Living a lie was always supposed to just work for you. And it did. Everything works for a while. And it’s easy to keep going with what you know versus confronting things you’ve pushed down.
When you try to tell people, they shrug it off. They tell you your strengths. They tell you you’re good. They tell you everything they think you need to hear instead of actually listening to what you’re saying. It’s scary to say things out loud, to admit you’ve hit rock bottom and aren’t very sure where to start to dig yourself out. Digging yourself out is going to be hard and time-consuming. The negativity at the back of your mind reminds you how worthless you are and how right now, good fucking luck seeing good in anything.
But slowly you will. You’ll start to see things with color again instead of black and white. There is beauty in rock bottom, as contradictory as it sounds. The thing that sucks is that feeling you’re feeling right now; the helplessness, the embarrassment, the pain isn’t just something you can bottle up and spray on yourself to remind you how bad this feels.
Life is a cycle. There’s bad, good and ugly but the good news is you’ve gotten through it all. You’ve gotten through your worse days. But there are times when you don’t know how you’re going to get through the feelings that hold you back from fixing the broken. All I can tell you is this: you can fix you but sometimes sitting at rock bottom will show you things you need to learn in order to work through the pain.
Rock bottom can crush you if you let it. But please don’t let it.
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Thinkstock photo via spukkato