Rock Bottom

Posted | 11 comments

Rock Bottom

When I think about rock bottom, I think about the person waking up covered in their own body fluids after years of imbibing in mind-altering substances. Dazed and confused, they have no idea where they are. In addition to not being able to remember what happened the night before, they realize that the past several years have been a blur of excess. Sick, confused, and alone they do the only thing they can. Another sunrise walk of shame, dragging their pathetic selves to some rehab program where by the grace of God and the support of others they are saved.

I can normally count on one hand the number of alcoholic beverages I consume in a year. My mother scared the bejeezes out of me in regards to prescription drugs. I’m a stickler for following the label. If my name isn’t on it, I’m not taking it. Illegally acquired drugs? Please. The risks associated with just the acquisition and possession of have been enough to keep me away. I have no desire to spend the rest of my life explaining my criminal record to anyone who happens to do a background check. I thought there would never be a rock bottom for me.

It was April 13, 2011. I hadn’t been sleeping for months. In addition to years of accumulated heartache, I was dealing with several situations that at best were pulling a good deal of my time and attention. Searching everywhere for answers, I kept hitting dead ends. With no help in sight, I was at a loss.

In the predawn hours, as I lay wide awake, I was overcome with the feeling that I was going to die. Mind you, I was safe in my own bed, but that didn’t matter. I felt evil all around me and I was terrified. I knew I needed help, but you really can’t call someone up and say, “gee, I’m laying here in my safe, warm bed and I feel like I’m going to die and even though there’s no visible evidence that there’s anything wrong, I’d like you to come over here and lend me a hand.” Can you say crazy train?

My desire to stay out of the looney bin in tack, I did the next best thing. I made a list of people that I knew who were prayer warriors. You know, those down on their knees direct line to the Big Man types. I added to this list people I knew who loved me, really loved me, and genuinely cared about my well-being. I then sent each of them a version of the following message:

Nothing life threatening, but I need prayers. Please pray for my strength and protection. Thank you. Really, I’m ok.

Within minutes of sending the last message, I felt the veil of gloom lifting. For the first time in months, I could breathe. I’d like to say that from this day forward everything was perfect, but that would be lying. What was different was my attitude. For the first time in my life, I had reached out, I mean really reached, out and asked for help. I replaced my I-Can-Do-It-All-By-Myself-Thank-You-Very-Much mind set with a willingness to admit that I needed help; that I couldn’t go it alone.

It took some months for me to realize that this was my rock bottom. You don’t have to be abusing every substance known to man. I was no better than the alcoholic face down in the gutter or the addict looking for another hit. I used the too much of the wrong type of work and negative, petty people as my drugs of choice. It was extremely effective. I kept myself too busy and dealing with too much drama to focus on what was really important.

And what’s really important?

For me, what is important is simply acknowledging that I’m not in control. It’s opening myself up to a higher power that I choose to refer to as God and acknowledging that I’m a player in His game and not the other way around. It’s in letting go of all the preconceived notions I acquired, all the stuff that get’s in the way, all the wrong attitudes that prevent me from doing what I was put here to do. It’s accepting that I don’t have all the answers and being ok with that fact. It’s shining the light on the truth and being honest about what’s going on in my life because evil, pain, hurt, and lies can only survive in the dark.

It’s a lot of two steps forward and ten steps back. It’s standing up when I want to run and hide. It’s making mistake after mistake and still moving forward. It’s loving myself in spite of the mess that I am. But mostly it’s just a second to second choice to live in the Light.

11 Comments

  1. Denise, you have moved me to tears, quite literally. I continue to be inspired by your strength and your willingness to change. You are a powerful writer. Keep ’em coming.

  2. Maybe there is nothing wrong…

    The myth of the eight-hour sleep
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

    Be happy with yourself.

    • Thanks for sharing the article. I love this type of thing.

  3. I could go on and on about what you said but for now I’ll just say I am with you on what you said. I woke up at 2:30 compelled to bring you this song I’ve been thinking about a version by Jorma Kaukonen, another famous finger picker who founded Hot Tuna in the 70s and still tours and runs a guitar school.

    Just keep singing the theme to yourself!

    Long as I’m in this world …

    It fits well with the last two paragraphs! Thanks – keep me posted – I may choose not to ramble my philosophies on your comment section, but I always read. RR

    • Sweet…love the song.

  4. AMEN! You have more wisdom than you know. AND, when surrounded by the presence of evil, the wisest, most important thing you can do is call on the name of the Lord! He can pull anyone out of any pit! 😉 HUGS! 😀

  5. I’m glad to know you are surrounded by prayer warriors. Your story has been heavy on my heart all day. I know the written word is so important, and oftentimes where we are able to be more transparent {not sure entirely what that is all about} but would love to reach out via IRL interaction. Messaging you my phone number if you ever want to talk. Thanks for your bravery in sharing. xxoo

    • My rock bottom was almost a year ago. I’m in a much better place. For as rotten as it was at the time, I’m thankful that it happened. It was what I needed to learn to take my hands off the steering wheel and let the Big Guy drive.

      I respect honesty and transparency and people who walk the talk. I have to live it like I see it. If I want honest, transparent people who do what they say in my life, then that’s what I have to try my best to be.

  6. Hello there, found your blog thru Google, and found it really informative. I hope you’ll continue in the future. A lot of other folks will benefit from your writing. Cheers!

    • Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

  7. I totally agree with what you’ve written here. Thank you for sharing.

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