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rock bottom; the only way is up right?

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

J.K. Rowling


 

Hi friends. I’m sure we’ve all had times where we just didn’t feel like ourselves. A time where something sets in whether it’s sadness, anxiety, anger, etc and it kind of takes over our life for a bit. Sometimes these times can be caused by an external force, such as the loss of someone or something, like a person we love or a career we had. Other times they can be caused by an internal source that slowly builds and overflows. Something that we think will go away but continues to ebb and flow. As J.K. Rowling stated above, sometimes all of this causes us to reach a point where we have no choice but to change something about our life and that can be our rock bottom.

I’ve been quieter lately, because I’ve lost motivation to do one of the things I love to do most which is write. I was so overwhelmed by my emotions that I didn’t even know what was wrong or what I was feeling or where it even came from. But that’s what mental health is isn’t it? Things going on inside of us that can be overwhelming, and we sometimes can’t find the words or make sense of what is going on, but we know it’s real. And, at times, painful. I know just the other day I had therapy and was explaining to my therapist that I didn’t even know what was bothering me or what I needed to talk about because I was so overwhelmed by my thoughts and emotions, and it was bothering me that I couldn’t sift through my mind to figure it out. She explained to me that when this happens, it’s our mind’s way of saying, “this is too much right now. I need to take a break.” The only thing I could understand I was feeling lately was anxious and sad and some days it was overwhelming. There were days I would sit on the edge of my bed or on the bathroom floor and sob because the feeling of all of it was too much and the only way I could control it was by releasing it through tears.


Finally, one day when I was having a really bad day, I decided to do something I have been terrified of for a long time and that was to take medication. I know that many people take medicine, and it helps improve their life. But for the last ten plus years, I have tried doing anything I could to not have to take it. As many people might think, my fear of taking medication has nothing to do with stigma behind it or being worried people might find out I was taking it. It had everything to do with being worried about possible side effects that can go along with medications. You see, majority of my anxiety is related to health, so it was a catch 22 for me. Being anxious to take medicine because of the potential side effects but also knowing that it might be the only thing to alleviate any anxiety I would have associated with it. It was a situation that I knew I was going to have to wade through the anxiety until the medicine could kick in and the thought of having that extra anxiety in the beginning was something I was running from. But one day, I decided I had no other choice.



The day I decided that I needed to take medicine was a day I realized maybe I had hit closer to my rock bottom than I knew. I became more afraid that I would continue to be this sad and anxious everyday than I was afraid of the side effects of taking the medication. For me, it came down to either continuing a life I wasn’t actually living or just taking medication and possibly be able to thrive. When asking my therapist about why I felt my anxiety and sadness had gotten worse in recent years versus what it was like before, she explained to me that sometimes if our anxiety isn’t taken care of properly, the neurotransmitters in our mind can be depleted and not let off as much serotonin as a normal person might have. So, in theory, no amount of therapy at this point would help me. If it was truly a chemical imbalance, I needed medicine to regulate that so I could fully thrive and work well in therapy. This way maybe it will only be a short term thing. Just something that I need to help me get through therapy and affectively work on things until I am better equipped to handle my anxiety and sadness. Or maybe it will be more long term and I will just have to take a pill once a day. Either way is fine with me as long as the result is me finally being able to handle my anxiety and sadness effectively and not letting it control me.


It’s been about a week since I started the medication, and I am happy I started it. Don’t get me wrong, I still get fearful at times wondering if I will have any side effects from it, but I have tried finding comfort in the words of my primary care provider, my therapist, and in my faith. Honestly, the morning after I took the medicine I felt like a huge weight was off of my shoulders. It almost felt anticlimactic in a way because I had been ramping myself up for ten years that I was so afraid to take this medicine and then I took it and that was it. I am ready for the day that I feel the benefits from it and can finally get a handle on this looming anxiety that has been worse and better over many years.

the scariest thing in life

is to realize that you aren’t actually living it

you’re just sitting there

letting days pass by

it can be scary to change

but if it was the one thing you need

and you could start thriving instead of waiting

wouldn’t be worth the try?

change can be scary, but also necessary

Everyone has their own definition of what rock bottom is and each person has their own ways to get out of it, but the one thing that everyone can understand is that when this happens, there is only one way out of it, and that way is up. It can only get better from there and sometimes that’s the only hope we need. Or even if you haven’t hit rock bottom and you are just having a really difficult time, there is still hope to know that it can and will get better. Even when it doesn’t feel like it. Reach out to friends, to family, to a colleague, to a pastor, to a teacher, or anyone that you feel you can trust. I didn’t want to reach out to anyone because I didn’t want to bother anyone with my issues when everyone has their own thing going on, but the best people in your life will never make you feel like you’re being a burden. They will show you that they are there for you when you need it. I read this thing once that said, “only those who care about you can hear you when you’re quiet”, and it is one of the truest statements I have read. To any of my friends or family reading this who were there for me at times I wasn’t myself over the years, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you, friends, for continuing on this journey with me. Stay tuned.

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