bi-polar, bipolar, journey, life, mental health, mental illness
The bottom. I always assumed that everything has a bottom. The great oceans, the incredible volcanoes who may look like they are rising but still comes from a place far below, and even perhaps we can bring in the bottom of that really good looking bottle of tequila. The bottom; the one place that stops a soul from going any further.
When talking about depression, the bottom is something much different. If you consider yourself at the bottom of your depression the only thing that I can assure you is you are in fact no where close. This is how depression works. This is how madness works.
But I am not talking about depression today. Today I want to know how one knows they have reached the bottom of whatever sphere they are currently living in. If you ask the thousands who have “reached rock bottom” they only seem to know they are there the moment they aren’t there anymore. Ask Colonel Saunders or J.K. Rawlings; each of them profess to have reached rock bottom. But they only spoke about it looking at the past. My question is, how do you know if you are at rock bottom while you are in it?
There is a perverse part of me that wonders if by simply questioning whether I am at rock bottom means that I have so far more to go that by the time I get back to reading this post the world which I live in won’t even resemble the same as the one I am in now. Will by simply trying to understand rock bottom am I daring the Gods to show me the real bottom; the abyss of despair that doesn’t come from a disease but from our own reality? And which is worse, the bottom created by the forces in our mind or the bottom created by the truth of our own lives?
I don’t know where my rock bottom is. I don’t seem to have reached it. Lately, I have wondered mindlessly if the bottom that is so much prevalent in my life isn’t simply a catalyst for the real pain that is coming. Will I look back on this day and realize that I had it pretty good? Will I one day come to realize that the average truth of the life I lead is in fact the life that I am supposed to live; nothing more and nothing less? Is the typical and inane points of my life exactly what they are supposed to be?
It gives me something to write about; the dropping bottom of the whole of my life. The finances, the marriage, the children, the bills, the inability to find within myself that passion I can feel right underneath my skin. There is this person that seems to be waiting so patiently for that bottom to finally reach its end, so that she can finally come alive and be who and what she is supposed to be.
The person under the skin that is waiting is passionate about the causes that she will fight. She is a writer not only of this blog but of long discourses treating the mental symptoms of those who can not understand this world they have been given. There is this person that suffers greatly in the name of learning and deals with the realization of beauty by living in it. She is not a soul that waits; but rather a person who knows. She knows without the doubt of my real self. She knows that I can be something good in this universe, something strong. And all she needs is the clue that she has reached the bottom of the misery of this life in order to come alive.
Maybe I have to wait until I am on that sterile table flat-lining to finally allow her to be someone that not only will I be proud of but those who have also been waiting for her can be. Maybe I literally have to wait until the bottom equals the unequivocal moments of death to understand that there is no where else that I can go. Maybe I have to wait until those moments of pure nothingness are here to find the fire to reheat all that I know I can be. Maybe the bottom won’t present itself until I have waited too long.
I don’t know. I don’t know when we look at ourselves in the mirror and finally give ourselves permission to be more than they thought we were. I don’t know at what time I get to be all that my parents have sworn I wasn’t strong enough to be. I don’t know at what point I get to see the world through the eyes of my own soul, rather the textbooks of those that know nothing but the chemical reactions of pharmaceuticals that may or may not actually work on me. At what point are the doctors wrong? At what point are the experts no longer strong enough to force me into who and what I am?
It takes amazing strength to be someone this world does not want you to be. It takes amazing moral compasses to look at this world and say not today; today I am going to be what you don’t believe in, what you don’t see. And I am afraid that the only way that person inside of me will finally come through is in the destruction of a life, the bottom of this option, the fire that exists in the pure darkness of the inability to be anything but who and what you truly are. And if it is too late, do we hang on to the bottom rung, or do we finally just let go?
Because there is an option at the bottom of all ropes, and even at the end of the scary flat line; we can finally let go. We can look beyond what is right under our skin to the person this world, our world, has built in their stupidity. We can use the bottom, the flat line, to finally allow that person given to us at birth to die. And in their death learn to recognize that the bottom doesn’t exist anywhere but in the dreams of our subconscious. The dreams that sometime, somewhere, exists with a rung for the rest of us to grab.
Have I reached bottom? Is it time for the other person that lies within me to come through? Is it time to finally set free not my heart but the soul of who and what I am? Could it be possible that by letting go of that last rung, or walking away from that sterile hospital, I might be able to learn to fly? And in flying, learn that the bottom has been waiting for me my whole life.