I’ve hit what I considered to be “rock bottom” a few times in my life.
The first time, I was in my mid-twenties. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances coupled with poor choices, I became jobless, penniless, and was teetering on homelessness, when I had the good fortune of moving back home for a while to recoup and rebuild. But now, in hindsight, I would say the rock-bottom I hit then was almost entirely financial in nature…
Then, a little over a decade ago, I once again hit rock-bottom. But fortunately, with the help of some good friends, rather than end up homeless in the streets, I was given the opportunity to correct course and rebuild my life. And in hindsight, I would say the rock-bottom I hit that time was both physiological and financial…
More recently—say, a year and a half to two years ago—I again hit rock-bottom. For 18 months or so, I was in a dark place—one of the longest, deepest, darkest depressions I’ve ever experienced (and that’s saying something, as I’ve experienced bouts of depression on and off my entire life). So I’d say this rock-bottom was mostly in a mental/psychological—or what ultimately became a spiritual—sense. Finally, around October of this year, I began to re-emerge, dust myself off, and am now once again rebuilding, only with a restructured value hierarchy (and a much needed one at that). And fortunately, this time I had both the physical health and financial stability to weather the storm, while also avoiding inflicting too much damage to my life. (I’ve learned over the years that I tend toward self-destructive actions when I’m in such a prolonged funk; but this time, understanding this, I was able to mostly grin and bear it and avoided most—but not all—of that destructive self-infliction).
So my contemplation is this: upon consideration of the aforementioned scenarios, now I’m wondering…are there actually different types, or levels, of rock-bottom? Or does one not truly hit rock-bottom, unless it’s of an all-encompassing nature?
Because each one of my “partial” rock-bottoms was extremely difficult for me to recover from, then reset and rebuild my life; so I cannot fathom how difficult—if not downright impossible—it would be for anyone to recover from an “all-encompassing” rock-bottom.
And I fear for anyone who finds themselves in such a dark place.