This article strikes home a little bit for me. There was a time in my life where I had hit rock bottom. Not as severely as some people but we all have our bottoms. Mine? I was 19, I had just failed my second semester of college. I had no motivation at all, and I decided I needed to leave school and get my head straight. I was living at home with my parents and still dating my high school boyfriend. I would stay with him most nights, just because LOVE, you know? Well my parents didn’t like that, and said I was using their house as a “hotel” which I didn’t understand, and still don’t to be honest. Why would you want your adult child to be home EVERY night? Eating your food, running up your electric bill? Seems odd. Anyways, I started taking a CNA class in a town an hour away. It started at 7 in the morning so I stayed with my then boyfriend every night. The man he lived with (an old veteran, who lived next door to my mans mother, who was a TERRIBLE horder of items and cats, who my bf refused to live with) , would wake me up every morning with coffee and breakfast. It was a great set up, I have issues waking up in the morning, I sleep straight threw the loudest alarm. Anyways… one night my bf locked my keys in my car. We had gone to bed at 9 that night and his house mate woke me up at 2 after noticing my lights were still on. When I found out my keys were locked in the car I had to drive home to get a spare set… when I did, I came face to face with my father, angry and drunk saying I was “messing up my life” that I was going to fail this class and that I was no longer allowed to live there… so I left. Over the next few weeks I had to move into a womans shelter, then when my month was done there… my car. I only asked to move in with my boyfriend after it began to get too cold out to stay in my car. My boyfriend and the man, along with his mother… lived on a property with no running water, and no heat. The two trailers stunk, and they burned their trash outside. A woman who was involved with the veteran would bring rain water. This is how I lived for over a year. Washing my hair in a bucket, cooking my food in a microwave. Sitting around electric heaters in negative 10 degrees, and I swear it was colder in the house. I had a sad little job at Pizza Hut 40 minutes from where I lived and the majority of my money went to gas… that was rock bottom for me.
This article hits home right now. The man who took me in, who took in my ex-boyfriend at 14 to escape the mother who cared more about her 30 cats… has passed away. He saved my ex from a life of wading in cat shit, in air filled with ammonia so strong it was hard to take a breath… and me from freezing to death, parking in an over night parking lot… has passed away two days ago. No one told me, I had to read it in his obituary online. I wish I had visited him more after we moved out. I feel heartbroken that he is gone. R.I.P.
I’ve always felt that the ever-quoted Maya Angelou said it best:
‘You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.’
I believe that hardship offers people two roads, two diverging paths that will dictate where you go from the bottom. Darkness, and light; the beaten path and the road less traveled, if you will. As with most things in life, it all comes down to perspective –will I let this tear me apart and hold me down, or will I learn from this pain and make myself stronger? When all the superfluous bullshit is stripped away and you’re left naked in the dark, you either make yourself a home in the Pit, or you find a way to climb out.
The moment you hit rock bottom is the moment you discover who you…
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