“Life is slippery. Here, take my hand.”
-H. Jackson Brown Jr.
*I feel like I’ve written this before. Have I? I have, haven’t I. Welp, even if I have, it feels timely to hit this up again.*
Hitting rock bottom hurts. Have you ever been there? How many times? Am I the only one who seems to carry a frequent flier card to this destination?
I wish we could pull our feet up under us and sit staring at each other across a couch and have this conversation. Face to face. There are so many of us. There have to be.
I refuse to believe that I’m the only one who sits in a pit so often.
Time can drag on, too, until I remember the only way out is up. Then again, I can wallow at the bottom like I was born to.
Tell me I’m not alone. Because I can confidently state that you are not. Alone.
And when the pit is deep, it can feel bleak. And when it feels dark and disheartening, I can get numb.
I don’t know about you, but once numbness creeps in on me, even music hits different. If I can even hear the music at all. The worst is when the music stops altogether. Sadness slides in. Depression deepens. And sometimes, the music just stops making its way to my ears.
Or worse, to my heart.
If I sit with the pain and the hopelessness of it all and allow myself to just feel all those feelings, one of two things happen. Positively, I will eventually, once again, realize rock bottom is not where I’m meant to stay. Negatively, I burrow down into the angst and allow it to snuff out joy.
When you feel like you are hovering with one step hanging right over the edge of that rock-bottom pit, what do you do? Especially this hot minute as routines have gone haywire and security seems out of reach.
I’m no therapist.
But, I have been fortunate enough to interact with a few amazing ones over the last two decades. Here’s a little something to work with when you feel like you haven’t got squat to work with. It’s a little of what has helped me in the past and is helping me right now:
- Find something, anything,to be grateful for. Anything. Say out loud to anyone, or no one, what that thing is and how grateful you are for it. (The other day, for me, it was the ability cry. Seriously. I just needed to know I could still feel. And the crying felt cathartic. And I was grateful.)
- Look, really look, for something to laugh at or about. Anywhere. Then do it. Laugh. Whether it’s for 5 seconds or five minutes. (I was able to search through my phone for memes that made me laugh. Once I got started, I was able to feel like climbing a step or two up from the bottom of my latest.)
- Tell yourself that you are not alone in this. Anytime. Say it. “I am not alone in this.” (I had to repeat this to myself a couple dozen times in the shower this past week.)
- Call, or text, someone. Anyone. It doesn’t have to be someone you are related to or even close to. Just connect with a human to let them know you aren’t doing okay. And if you have no one to call, please call a hotline. Here’s one: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Here is another one: SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline, 1-9-800-662-4357.
Most importantly, know that there are so many of us struggling. Isolation is the worst thing for a pit dweller. We struggle to keep hope near.
Please! Please remember…
You are not alone.
You are valuable. To me. To others you may not even know. To The One Who Created You.
You are worthy. Of love. And time. And attention.
You are able. To keep struggling. To climb up. To find joy.
You have help. From professionals and volunteers. From family, or friends, or even acquaintances.
You are not alone.