When you hit rock bottom there are two choices: hang on to something and drown; become stiff, cold and lifeless or use the bottom for momentum and push off to get back to the top.
I made the choice to head back to the top. I have discovered a few important things no one told me.
First, all those obstacles I hit on the way down that broke off rather than breaking my fall, they are now jagged edges sticking out. If I ascend too quickly they will cut me and cause me stinging pain. So I have slowed down so I can use those objects as handles to guide my way back up. Taking control of where that painful memory is in my life and using it to my advantage.
Second, the light is blinding and disorienting. I have to know which way is up, but keep my head straight so I can stay aware of my place. Becoming too focused on where I want to be causes me to lose sight of where I am. By keeping my head straight I can still see the light, while controlling the ascent.
Third, as any diver will tell you, ascending too fast will make my eardrums explode or I’ll get the bends. Lord knows I don’t need any more ear issues. Going fast will get me to the top, at the cost of severe physical pain.
Finally, when I do reach the top, the work isn’t over. Once I’m there I have to figure out which way to swim to get to a safe place. It isn’t enough to survive. I want to thrive. There has to be strength for the swim.
Hitting bottom is difficult and painful. Getting back to the top is a lot of work. In order to enjoy the paradise you want so badly, all the sharp, stinging, painful obstacles have to be transformed to tools of growth and strength. Getting to the top fast is a painful, bloody mess that leaves you without enough strength for the swim ahead.
I know it’s difficult; I’m in the midst of it myself, to accept the idea of slow and steady. The island paradise that awaits us is beautiful. I, for one, want to be mentally and physically healthy to enjoy it.