woman-floor

What is Rock Bottom? The Urban Dictionary defines it as: “A state of being wherein you feel as though you cannot sink any lower emotionally, psychologically or physically.

My view from rock bottom was cream colored linoleum with beige flecks in it. It was the floor in my bathroom and I was lying face down looking at it through swollen eyes.

When my hysterical crying finally stopped and I could take a breath I studied the floor very carefully. I remember feeling shocked at how ugly the floor was from this view. When I was able to stand I looked in the mirror at a complete stranger.

Long tangled dark hair, matted in area’s with mucous from the crying. Red eyes so swollen my view was distorted, pale blotchy skin and lips. I stared in horror at this version of myself and heard a deep voice speak directly into my spirit, “He is no longer your problem, you are free to leave.”

My journey to the bathroom floor had started years ago, when my first child was born and my husband became very distant and his drinking was no longer a weekend only activity. I would try to control his drinking by complaining or pointing out work deadlines but that only made him angry and drink more. I continued to try to control and manipulate his drinking and it became an obsession for me.

Nothing I did worked to control his drinking and created an atmosphere of stress that was stifling.  I even tried to out drink him on occasion, he thought this was amusing.

I could not share this struggle with anyone, who could possibly understand my shame? We had a nice house in a nice neighborhood, he never missed a day of work, who would even believe me? Why was I complaining? I could not explain the “walking on eggshells” life to anyone, the constant fear of what might happen as a result of his drinking. Being unable to buy grocery’s because he hit the ATM at the bar and “forgot” to let me know we were broke until payday. Begging him to just come home after work instead of that damn bar.

I got sick of begging him to come home and was lulled into a sense of peace of sorts. If he wasn’t at home at least I didn’t have to put up with him drinking. The baby turned into a toddler and I knew things had to change, but to my shock I discovered I was ten weeks pregnant. Leaving was no longer an option for me.

My husband had always said he wanted several children and was hopeful for a girl this time. Things got better for a while. Then when I was eight months pregnant the baby quit moving, when I called my doctor she sent me immediately to the hospital.

My husband was angry. He was going out with the guys. I drove myself to the hospital, spent the day there alone and drove myself home, alone. I do not remember the excuses I made for him to the babysitter or medical team. But as usual, in my shame and fear I had covered for him.

The baby was fine and after she was born I just survived. He was never home…either at work or at the bar. I would try to talk to him about this and he would get angry. Everything he did, he did for me so I could stay home with these kids! Why didn’t I understand that and stop stressing him out?

I learned to shut up, and I grew angry.  I stuffed the anger inside and lived with constant stomach upset, diarrhea, shortness of breath and a never ending feeling of doom that squeezed me like a bad fitting jacket. I would lay awake at night wondering if tonight was the night he would plow his truck into a minivan full of kids, or lose his job yet again, or simply a career ending DUI.  Anxiety is crippling.

 I was having a home inspection done to lower our insurance rates and was expecting a check in the mail. This check had to be deposited back into the escrow account. It did not come. I mentioned it to my husband and he told me he had not seen a check. My stomach immediately started to hurt, but I rationalized that it was a check! Something traceable, he would not lie about that. I ignored my stomach.

I went back and forth with the insurance company about the missing check for weeks until they told me the check had been cashed and if I continued to insist a check be re-issued they would consider pressing charges against me for insurance fraud. When I continued to insist that the check had not been cashed they informed me that they had pulled the bank’s security footage of my husband cashing the check.

My blood ran cold. I went to his office to confront him in person and he looked at me with eyes as dead as a shark’s and told me he had never seen the check. I started screaming at him that they had video from the bank and he cashed the check weeks ago! They wanted to arrest ME!  He told me to get the hell out of his office.

I don’t share this with you for sympathy, it was a long time ago, another life, but my new life did not start till these situations drove me down the bathroom floor. To Rock Bottom. To an anxiety attack that I thought was going to end my life.

I lived.

And I listened to that voice and decided that I did not have to live like this, that I could do better and I would do better.

The only way out was out and up! I did it and you can too.

Steps to change your view:

Step one: Get honest. I called a friend and told her everything. Bared my soul. To my shock she told me with almost unbearable kindness that she had recognized years earlier that I was married to an alcoholic and she had been praying for me. The relief of no longer keeping this secret was my prison break.

Step two: Get Help. There was a group at church for family members of addicted persons. I went, I participated and I found resources for help there. Whatever situation brought you to rock bottom, gambling, shopping, over eating, substance abuse, your behavior or another’s there is a group or online forum where you can reach out and find help. These are the places where you will not only find resources but hear stories from people who know exactly what you are going through and be there for you to help you get through it too.

Step three: Make a plan, this can involve legal help, medical help, further counseling in a private setting. Whatever it is you need to make a plan to get it. For instance, colleges with psychology programs sometimes offer counseling done by students and overseen by the professors at drastically reduced rates or even free.

Step four: Educate yourself. For me it was learning about alcoholism as a disease and the dance of co-dependency I had stepped into. Learning helped me to form much more realistic expectations about behavior I could expect and set boundaries to protect myself.

Step five: take care of yourself, survival is not selfish! Make it a point to eat healthy meals, take breaks alone to go for a walk, get a massage. Care for yourself spiritually by learning to deep breath, meditate or pray. Art and journaling can be effective methods to deal with toxic emotions safely.

Step six: Do not give up! Each step you take is a step in the right direction. Relapses or backsliding happen; you can keep trying. Forgive yourself and know that a step backwards is not the end of your journey, and keep going forward.

My journey to rock bottom took years and I did not crawl out of it overnight. If you are on the bathroom floor or just have a sense that you are in trouble you can take these steps to get help now. You can conquer whatever is dragging you down and experience an amazing new life full of joy and fulfilment!

 

Author

9 Comments

  1. Good for you!! You sound like a very intelligent woman, and I admire your strength!!

  2. Thank you Barbara, I believe if we get the help we need and deserve we all are strong, and we all can recover! Thanks for reading. I appreciate you!

  3. Wonderfully written. I admire the strength it must have taken for you to put this out to the world. I am glad you are free of all that. Glad you Rose from your Rick bottom to the heights of your present state. 🙂 thank you for sharing.

    Jennifer Deese – Author

    • I have a couple posts on my blog you may enjoy. The blog is called Welcome to JennTerra. There’s a lost on there from awhile back I wrote about about diety and about diety mother about my personal Rock bottom called How Did I Get Here from There.

      Thanks again for sharing some of your deepest feelings and such.

      • Omg I was doing the voice to text thing and didn’t check it before I posted…wow my above statement is all messed up.
        Anyway the gist of my comment was to let you know my blog called Welcome to JennTerra has a few posts Ian it that you may like, one on anxiety and a couple on my addiction. Feel free to visit.

        • That is ok! It’s all good here. Thank you for sharing that with me and I’ll be cyber visiting!

  4. Thank you Jennifer, I can’t wait to check out your blog! It’s in this sharing of our stories–the good, bad, ugly, and painful that we HEAL and learn to thrive. And that is what it’s all about, we are not here to struggle and strive– but to THRIVE and be the happy, beautiful souls we were born to be.

  5. Thank you so very much for sharing this. I know, first hand, the courage that it takes to get up off of the floor. Your words inspire me to keep going. Your kindness restores my faith in humanity and in myself to walk through this, because I am not alone, and come out on the other side. Maybe a little bent and bruised, but with my head up and my integrity intact. Love and hugs to you!

  6. Thank you Christy! None of us are alone and that is why it is so important for everyone to share their story’s. We never know how one little thing we share can be the “lightbulb moment” for someone else. Love and hugs back to you!

Write A Comment

Considering Recovery? Talk to a Treatment Specialist:Considering Recovery? Talk to a Treatment Specialist:888-401-1241Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?