We have all found ourselves here, at the bottom, and everything hurts. Everything seems lost and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.
We have all found ourselves, hopeless in the ideas of the bottomless pit of failures and letdowns. And we have all asked ourselves the question, “Why me?”
The truth is everyone experiences loss. The fact remains that no real victory comes without effort. Everything takes work. Nothing valuable comes easily.
The truth is everybody hurts. Everybody is in recovery in one form or another. Even if life is just being life, everyone understands what pain is.
No one escapes this. This is life. We try and we fall and if we are lucky, we learn the valuable lesson on how to get back up.
But what if you can’t get back up?
The hardest part of any rebuild is the first few steps. The hardest part is recovering in the aftermath and looking around at all that was broken —whether it was a dream or an aspiration that fell apart, whether it was betrayal, whether it was death or a breakup, or whether it was an attempt to build something substantial or whether the goal was to love or repair a relationship that went unaddressed for too long —the hardest part of this is the first phase of realization. This is where heartbreak lives. This is where pain lives and where shame and regret thrive.
This is where we question ourselves most because this is when we are at our weakest. This is when we wonder if we have the resolve to stand up again and rebuild (or heal).
Maybe this is just how I’m supposed to be.
Maybe I deserve this.
What goes around comes around, so maybe this is just where I’m supposed to be, in the underbelly
This is when we look for accountability. This is where we try to find blame—this is also where we waste our energy, looking at the wreckage instead of planning our best ways towards the rebuild.
And the truth is none of this is easy. The truth is, most people cannot and will not understand. And how could they?
How could anyone else in the world possibly understand the depth of your pain or mine?
People can relate. They can obviously compare. They can guess or assume they know. But no one else can see your sights of feel your thoughts. They can’t see yours and they can’t see mine.
At the bottom of a deep personal hole, all anyone can see is the climb they have to climb in order to get out. And sometimes this can be so intimidating that some people stay in the hole.
They stay down because they don’t believe they have the strength to get up and climb out.
So instead, they defy anyone around them and dig their hole deeper.
But this is pain. This is life. No one gets away unscathed. Everyone at some point will be touched by tragedy.
Some may find it more than others. Some might show this more than others. And some, they will never show it in their face. They will never explain and they will never complain —instead, they endure.
Instead, they hold on and they wait, patiently, until it’s time to make their move. Rather than sink deeper, they create a plan to escape and climb free.
Like you or anyone else in this world, I have found myself here, in the pit of my wrongdoings or in the face of my mistakes and my failures.
I have found myself in the fits of insurmountable pain, wishing I made a left instead of a right or said this instead of that.
I have overstepped. There are times when I acted out in response to a thought or a feeling. I gave in to the emotional drain that stole me from my original strategy and as a result, I lost opportunities.
There have been times when I spoke out of anger. I succumbed to failure and gave up before I ever dared to try.
I have been subject to stigma. I have been judged and diagnosed. I have been called out. I have been singled out and cast aside. I have lost dearly and felt the pain of my own self-destruction, which is incredible because pain like this is ever-expanding and excruciating because the fact remained, I knew I had my hands in what happened.
loneliness is only an illusion. Loneliness is a distorted view, reflected against the mirrors of my opinions of self, and altered by my perception of success.
There is always company when success is around. But when you lose, when you find yourself on empty and the model you’ve been building has fallen apart, and the heartbreak is nothing short of punishing —this is when times are the hardest. These times are lonesome, even amongst company.
When you find yourself in the face of tragedy and the loss is too great; and when you feel so broken that it literally hurts to stand on your own two feet, nothing makes sense —everything was planned out so perfectly, you swore you were winning, and then suddenly, you weren’t and you wake up after a terrible knockout—this is where the rebuild begins.
And no, this isn’t easy. No, your thinking will not stop until you find a way to replace thought with action.
Some days will be easier than others. Some days you will feel fine. You will be okay. This will be good. And other days, it’s like living with a bad back—you have your good days and bad, but when the pain flares, the pain flares to the point where it’s hard to find the resolve to grin and bear it.
I have found myself here too, where the ghosts of my yesterday appear and refuse to fade. I have seen myself here, in front of the mirrored image of my personal self, altered and faulted by my perception and insecurity.
I have said “Why me?” more times than I can count. I have wondered if this was personal. While looking for answers and believing the answers had to be complicated, I have wondered if there was something wrong with me (because there has to be something wrong) instead of realizing the simplicity of fact, which is sometimes, things just don’t work out the way we planned.
Love will go wrong. Life will have setbacks. We will all experience pain but our dreams belong to us. Our dreams are meant to give us a vision. This is where goals are born. This is where achievements are created. This is where vision creates action and action creates success. Above all, this is our way out of the hole.
In the bottoms of unfortunate aftermaths, I have had to learn what it means to endure. I have had to rebuild. I have had to accept pain and loss and disappointment. I have had to look around at the wreckage of my wrong doings. I have had to see the consequences of emotional thinking which drew me away from my plans and my strategy.
I have had to come face to face with my own immaturity and I have had to literally pick myself out of bed because depression leads to depressive thinking which is cruel, exhausting, and excruciating.
I have had to tell myself in no unspoken terms, “Get the fuck up!”
I have bled and I have cried. I have found myself in times when I just wanted to vanish and disappear, as if I never existed. And in times like this, I had to face myself in my mirror and tell me, “Cut it out!”
I literally had to tell myself, “Stop it,” the same as frustrated parent would shout at their crying child.
I have had to learn this the hard way but the lesson I have learned is valuable. The only way out of the hole is movement. The only way to get away from depression is movement. This takes plan and strategy. This takes attention. Otherwise, we find ourselves stuck in the hole again, digging ourselves in deeper, hoping to God or whomever else is listening that maybe we can at least dig ourselves to the other side.
I cannot overcome anything in this world if I cannot learn to overcome the deception of my perception. It is our thinking that betrays us. It is thought that prevents us from moving forward. Plans and strategy have no emotion. It is best that we invest here.
I was told by a friend that explained to focus on my efforts instead of worrying about my outcomes.
He took the quote from St. Francis, which I had heard countless times before but like all lessons, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
I suppose I was ready to listen when he told me.
He said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly, you are doing the impossible.”
I know this is true. I know it because the fact that I am here now, writing this to you is proof to me that I am capable of the impossible.
And do you know what?
So are you!