THE TOPICS IN THIS BLOG ARE SENSATIVE AND GRAPHIC SO PLEASE READ WITH CAUTION AND WITHOUT JUDGEMENT
I can honestly say that I have hit my bottom a few times in life and when I refer to “bottom” I refer to crippling depression where I cant breathe and I feel like I am sinking yet all of my family and friends around me are swimming.
My first encounter with “Bottom” was when I was 15 years old. I was about to start grade 11 in High School and I just remember sitting at my desk in my room and crying uncontrollably because I didn’t want to start Year 11. My step dad had recently attempted to take his life and my mum and him weren’t in a good place and it had taken its toll on me. I was the second oldest child and the eldest living at home to 5 other siblings so every time an argument would start out between my mum and step dad I would run around the house grab all of my siblings who would be crying hysterically and take them downstairs to my room and put on a really loud movie whilst my mum and step dad had it out. Sometimes the arguments would get so bad that I would stick up for my mum and my step dad would get really aggressive towards me and would kick me out so I would walk down to the local takeaway store and sit there for a few hours until it all passed. Given all of this drama around me I just couldn’t see myself starting school and I didn’t know how I would cope with my school work, a suicidal step dad and constant arguments. My world was caving in on me and I couldn’t breathe so I decided that I didn’t want to be apart of it all and I wanted to “Tap out”. So that day I decided to cut my wrists as best as I could in the hopes to take my life. Safe to say I was unsuccessful. From that day I rose from my bottom, I decided instead of going to school I would work and pay for myself to study a Diploma in Beauty Therapy and I successfully did that.
My second bottom was when I was living at home with my un hinged step dad and my mum. To say the least my step dad was a fanatic “Christian” who enjoyed cult like behaviour, he would take things away from us children as punishment. Once I was made to sleep on the floor of the lounge room for something I said to him that he didn’t like and this wasn’t the worst of the punishments, they ranged from mental abuse to physical abuse. (I would write more in depth about this however with such trauma I have learnt to block out a lot of that time during my life so some things I can honestly not remember, but I think its a good thing). I was 16 and I was standing up to my step dad and his cult beliefs, it didn’t end well so I ran away from home with a guy who I met only briefly. As you can assume things didn’t work out so I crawled my sorry butt back home. Once my step dad and mum found out that I ran away with a boy shit hit the fan and I was told to find another place to live within 3 days. I frantically looked through ads in the local newspaper for rooms to rent and I managed to find a house with a spare room so that night I paid my bond to the owners (complete strangers who turned out to be harmless kind people) and I paid my 2 weeks in advance and I moved in. With the cost of rent and my college tuition I couldn’t afford to eat so some days I would eat one food item a day and most of the time I would buy a $2.20 Jumbo Kit Kat from the vending machine at my college and that would be it for the day. I ended up getting dangouresly ill with glandular fever and I was admitted to hospital for 2 weeks. During this time the doctors told me that I was on the verge of death as I didn’t have any white blood cells to sustain me. So they moved me to an isolation room and monitored me. I lost so much weight and I didn’t have any strength to walk but I was nursed back to good health. My rise from this “Bottom” was when I met Aiden my now husband. He was such a thoughtful caring man and he would look after me like I had never experienced before. We moved in together after a month (who even does that lol) it was a whirl wind romance but we turned into the best of friends and we couldn’t and still can’t stand being away from each other.
My third bottom happened 4 years ago. Aiden and I were 5 years into our relationship and it was New Years Eve and we were both super drunk at a house party. I remember looking for him everywhere and I couldn’t find him. It was a double story house and I was wondering around the downstairs rooms and backyard looking for him. I walked out the front and one of my friends at the time walked out of the house and Aiden was behind her. I said to him “Where were you” he looked at me and said “Vomiting”. My friend pulled me aside and said “He’s lying, I just seen him having sex with ….. in the bathroom upstairs”. I just looked at him and punched him right in the face. Aiden left and I sat in the backyard and just sobbed hysterically solid for an hour whilst I waited for my dad to pick me up. This was honestly one of the worst bottoms I could of experienced. The days that followed were indescribably hard. I fell into a deep depression, I lost so many friends and I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone without their judgment. One night I threw all of Aidens remaining stuff outside and I locked myself in my house, I cut up all of my thighs, I drank all of the cough syrup I could find and took a lot of different pain relief and sinus pills. When Aiden came to get his stuff he knew something wasn’t right so he broke into the house and found me laying on the couch. That was my second attempt at taking my life, thankfully I failed and ended up with a huge migraine. 4 years on, therapy for Aiden, trust issues, heart ache, a proposal, a baby, a wedding, buying our own home together and I can finally say I feel like we are in the best place we have ever been in.
My fourth “bottom” and my most recently “bottom”. I had worked hard at my job for 4 years and it was 2 days before Christmas closure that I found out they were closing down mine and a few other peoples roles due to financial strain on the business. I loved my job, I loved working in the building industry, I loved the people I worked with, they were my other family. I enjoyed that I could escape Zephaniah each day and put on my professional hat and really take on another persona and not be labelled as a “mum”. After being given my redundancy letter I had 2 days to say goodbye to my friends and pack up my desk into a brown cardboard box. The stress of loosing my job and not having the extra income really took its toll on me mentally. I was sinking and my friends and family were swimming and I just couldn’t breathe. My 2 little brothers were living with us at the time and one night things turned vicious and an argument broke out and they left. Given that they left when we needed them most and the fact that I wasn’t contributing to the bills I was truly at my “bottom”. One day I just laid in bed the whole day and night crying and researching how I could tap out. I was so done with life, I figured out a plan in my head how I was going to tap out, I even researched the quickest most pain free way to take your life. I spoke to Aiden about it and told him what to do with the house, how to raise Z and what he would need to do to survive financially. I told him that I was a financial burden to him and that I was a negative influence for Z. I remember her watching me as I sat and sobbed, she couldn’t understand what was happening or why I was so upset and it is a face of hers that I will never forget. Aiden didn’t leave my side and he just talked to me and told me to hold on and how I always manage to come out on top of my traumas. A few days later I decided to reach out to a beautiful queen who had been approaching me for 6 months asking me to be apart of here online team of women helping inspire and motivate other women. For the last 6 months I said no to her because I was working full time, I had Zephaniahs first birthday, I had our honeymoon, we were buying out first house etc. However now I really had nothing to loose, I thought to myself “If not now, then when?”. After reaching out to her I learnt more about how I could create an income all whilst working from home and whist helping other women that were facing the same struggles as myself. I jumped on board and I engulfed myself in the business and I can honestly say it rose me out of my “bottom”. I finally had a reason to wakeup in the morning, I was motivated and inspired again and I hadn’t felt that for a long time.
If you are going through hard times and you feel like your at your “bottom” and you cant see a way out I urge you to speak out to your loved ones, be open and honest about your feelings. If you cant bring yourself to do this, please reach out to me. I am a complete stranger but I am a stranger that can relate to your trauma and a stranger that battles through the same struggles day by day.
I now know that life is full of bottoms and no doubt there will be another one coming but what I have learnt through every bottom there is always a high. Each bottom has brought me something good, so I will persevere and make the next bottom more fruitful then the last.
For further support please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636