This morning I was looking through old drafts; I have nearly 100 starts I’ve never finished and I’ve been going through each one to either publish or delete. I was surprised when I ran into this poem I wrote in 2018. It was completely finished but never shared and I’d so completely forgotten it that I really felt like I was opening a letter from an old friend, which, in a way, I guess I was.
I may have cried a little. I spent a good, long while at the bottom, but I’m not there anymore, and reading this poem was a lovely reminder of just how far I’ve come.
Here I sit.
I’ve asked why,
why me, and
I’ve tried to climb out
only to slide back down even as I claw at sides too steep
for tired fingers.
I’ve been angry to be here
I’ve been desperate to leave
and keenly felt the expectation
that it’s past time to get up and dust off and move on.
I’ve scratched tally marks into my soul–
noting each day as it passes,
the way the moon and stars change position
but I can’t.
And then, just yesterday,
laying on my back and looking up
from my lowest point,
I realized why I’m here
and all my efforts to leave have failed.
It’s not even a secret.
But it was still a revelation–
Rock bottom is where you rest.
where you catalogue injuries and sore spots
where you identify and cast off the heavy things
weighing you down.
where you gather energy and resources for the difficult climb ahead–
Rock bottom is not comfortable
because you aren’t meant to stay
but it is quiet,
but for your self,
the broken dreams that dropped you there,
and everything you need to leave . . .
when you’re ready.