Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rock Bottom

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life” – J.K. Rowling

Rock bottom – I think everybody has been there, and I am not talking about the city where Spongebob-Squareapants lives; I am talking about the breaking point, where physically and emotionally you are shattered. You feel like prey being hunted on by a vicious black cloud that always seems to have higher ground; and every corner you turn during this hunt seems to hide another scary monster that is waiting to jump out at you when you are most vulnerable. 

I have hit different levels of rock bottom along the way and each one for me still stands out vividly in my mind. The first face to face encounter I had with this low of lows stands out more prominently. It was the first moment when my sunny disposition, positive attitude, and keen ability to regulate my emotions could not mask the pain I was feeling. It was a Saturday night and about two days before my very first hospitalization. I sat hunched over sobbing in agony, with my hands wrapped tightly around my abdomen perched on the porcelain throne I had become all too familiar with; every bone in my skeleton of a body ached as I vomited into the garbage can. I had been in this position before and I knew it wasn’t good. In the midst of my very own Groundhog Day episode the bathroom door swung open and I looked up to find my mom and good friend staring at me with deep concern in their faces and tension in their bodies, as they made sure I was okay. I wasn’t okay, I was at rock bottom. I felt broken and unfixable. I had lost control of my body physically, lost control of myself emotionally and was devastated when I saw how much pain I was causing the people I loved as they were forced to watch me spiral downwards uncontrollably. I saw absolutely no silver lining in the hurricane storm hovering over me, and my heart was breaking as the image of health, and youth drifted farther and farther out of my reach.

There I sat on the cold, hard surface of rock bottom.

I can still remember how easily the tears flowed during this time, and how I couldn’t shake the dull ache in the pit of my stomach. These weren’t tears and belly aches caused by the pain of IBD, but rather an ache caused by the belief that it wasn’t going to get better; that this was going to be my life. As much as doubt flooded through my mind in that moment of defeat, over time things began to get better – more stable. 

I’ll leave you with a quote from the movie Blow that I believe to sum up the highs and lows of pain and happiness, it goes like such, “when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again” – but life’s a cycle and these ups and downs are inevitable. This doesn’t make it easier each time you feel the tears start to flow and that dull ache in your stomach begin, but what it does is give you is comfort that eventually you will be up again. It might not be tomorrow, or the next day and you might have to fight for it – but it will happen, and when it does I promise 

you’ll be stronger because of it.

- Taylor

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