It’s said you have to hit rock bottom in order for something to change.
But just when I thought I might have been close, I would get out my chisel and start chipping away at the ground, refusing to believe I had hit a new low. So even though the chisel felt heavy and my body felt tired, I ignored it. I continued to chip, chip away, always pushing myself just a little bit more, always challenging my body to keep up with my mind.
I was my birthday seven years ago. I had finally came home for a visit, the first after moving away for a six-month internship across the state. There was cake I didn’t eat, concerned looks I didn’t see, things said I don’t remember.
Any pleasure I’d once found in food had been lost, yet it still felt like a drug, one I literally tried to run away from as I ran myself into the ground. I needed it, I wanted it, I hated it, I loved it, I was bored, I was stubborn, I was stuck.
Instead my thoughts were consumed as they usually were with the next chance I’d have to destruct, to push my broken body a little bit more in an effort to calm down my mind, to use my body to show a pain I couldn’t put into words. It was a pain I had chose to ignore.
But what I couldn’t ignore was the pain in her eyes when my mom broke down sobbing that day.
We were sitting on the deck talking about nothing of note, or at least nothing I can recall now. What I can recall is the hard wooden chair digging into my back and the scent of the freshly cut grass, a smell I had missed living in a concrete city for the past few months.
I rested my eyes on the view from the deck, but the weight of her gaze drew me back. She was crying, and then she was sobbing.
She let it all out, a flood of emotion, a mother both scared and confused. I had no clue what I had done, what had caused this sudden outburst of words and tears, concerns and fears. Not sure what to do I just kind of stood by, still numb to the fact I was sick.
But I listened.
I acknowledged the fact that things weren’t quite right, that my pain was no longer just mine. I acknowledged that something was wrong. My 5’ 8” frame suddenly held more than just my double-digit weight; it held the weight of the worry she felt, the gravity of a situation I had tried to ignore.
That chisel I used to keep digging the hole was put away just for that night. It wasn’t a fix and it wasn’t the end, but it would be the start of a very long journey.
It would be the start of some change.
This post was in response to this week’s RemebeRED prompt:
This week we’d like you to write about a moment in your life when you knew something had to change drastically. Really explore the moment.
Even though I’m not ashamed of where I’ve been, this post was still hard to publish. I feel weird, like it’s something I just want to forget, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind.
However, my next post will be day one of the 30 Days of Shamelessness. Let the freak flag fly!