When You Hit Rock Bottom in Life

Michelle Jaqua

Reaching out for the help you need in times of crisis

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Eight years ago, my life was very different.

My body and mind were unhealthy. My body hurt from moving. My anxiety was through the roof. I lived on painkillers and cigarettes. I was suffering from an emotional crisis and a physical breakdown.

It’s not that I didn’t try to have a good life, but I’d made a series of bad mistakes that put me in a place where I became this broken human being.

The end of my abusive marriage crashed me to my bottom, a failure after six years of heartache.

I was suffering from the emotional scarring of that relationship. I couldn’t function, so I took medical leave from my job, which meant I had no income. I was barely keeping it together.

I’d hit the bottom of my barrel.

Many times I’d considered ending my suffering. Surely life would be better for everyone if I wasn’t around.

Fast forward, eight years later.

This morning, I received a message from my friend, Amber. “You did it! Grabbing that life you love and deserve. I couldn’t be happier for you, Michelle”

Amber is not only my friend, she is my savior. In my time of desperate need, she was there for me. She witnessed my bottom. She pulled me into her figurative bosom, wrapped her mothering arms around me, and nurtured me while I healed.

We spent countless hours talking about our hopes and dreams, the kind of life we wanted to have. I watched as she strived for all those things she wanted: a loving relationship, thriving on a farm out in the country, living her days taking care of her children and her partner. She blossomed into a nurturing and caring foundation for her new family.

She instilled in me the ability to hope and dream again. She gave me unconditional love and the courage to piece my life back together.

It took me years to build back my self-esteem. I went through many changes that looked like out-of-control existential chaos: changing jobs several times over, having serial relationships and living in a different place every couple years.

Nobody understood that I was searching for myself in the process. It was a long and difficult journey back to a better me. I was blessed to have solid friendships. They watched me fail over and over until I got it right for myself.

During the years of life changing, I experienced other women who helped me and that I helped in return. Early in my journey, I noted that some people who were close to me fell away, and some people whom I had no idea would be supportive, showing up to help me in my process.

For me, it was my neighbor, Debbie. A religious woman, stay-at-home mom with six sons (in other words, completely the opposite of me), she asked me one day to go jogging. I started on physical healing by exercising with her, and we made it a habit, jogging several days a week.

During our time together, she’d ask me how things were going and I’d spill my whole damn life out to her. She’d give me quiet courage and support in return. At the end of our runs, she would pray over me, right there on the sidewalk, in front of our houses, unashamed.

Debbie was a healer. Her words came from a higher place as she asked God for love and healing for me. It created a security in me that someone cared enough to want to bring me solace. I thrived on those prayers. Sometimes, her prayer was the only thing that got me through the day.

Debbie is gone now. A few years after I moved out of the neighborhood, she developed stomach cancer. She passed away in August. I write this with tears, as I remember her. Her light was bright and she is sorely missed. How lucky I was to have her in my life for that short period of time and to receive her healing love.

As I continued through my healing process, I found new friends, some of them were also going through their own life journeys. I met a wonderful woman when I was traveling in Belize, whom I connected with immediately. I’d been on my own for a couple of years and been through a lot of change.

As we talked, I found that she was also having her own major life transformation. My need to reach out to her and be there for her was strong, enough for me to decide to fly across the country and stay with her for a month.

During our time together, we went to hot yoga every night, talked and connected. I listened and learned from her and we shared our stories with each other. We both healed just a little bit more while I was there with her.

The experiences I had during this time in my life is the reason I write. Because in my time of desperate need, these human angels known as my friends came to me and lifted me up, giving me the courage to transform into who I am today.

This is what I write about, this is what’s important to me.

If there’s only one person who reads my writing and can understand what I’m saying, then my own painful process and the courage that it took for me to write this, it’s all worth it.

If this is you, then I want to say this:

You are not alone.
You have community.
You have people around you who love you, care about you, and want you to be happy.

Take a look around you and see who is reaching out to you. These are your saviors in your time of crisis.

If you could take what strength you have left and be in their presence, accept the healing they give to you.

If you find nobody, then reach out to me. I’ve been there and I’m there for you now.

Heal yourself. In time, when you’re ready, you’ll be able to give back to others in need.

Because we are all sisters in this crazy, beautiful life.

Michelle Jaqua is a blogger on Medium.com. She writes to inspire people towards emotional healing, personal development, and living a passionate life.

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Lake Oswego, OR
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