The Truth About Hitting Bottom.

Via Gerry Ellen
on Sep 8, 2013
get elephant's newsletter
Photo: Janell Gable on Pixoto.
Photo: Janell Gable on Pixoto.

I’m not going to pretend that everything is so rosy 24 hours a day.

That would be living a lie. My authentic self has chosen to go to places I never thought existed. Is this manifested by my own doing? Absolutely.

I take full responsibility for all my actions. It is not brought on by some binge fest of alcohol or drugs. It is not going through a divorce (been there done that), or being in some situation where I am one-step away from homelessness.

No, hitting bottom for me is a very raw emotional depth that I never thought would come forth in fits and spurts the way it has in the past few days.

Granted, recent events have brought moments to the surface, but the true silver lining of these instances is because I have chosen to look at so much of myself that just was not working any more. I am a social creature by nature. I am also an introvert by nature. I need solitude, yet I need people. I need laughter, yet I welcome the tears. I like to balance the yin and the yang.

I need to look people in the eyes and admit that “I don’t know”. I need to feel as though my pain is acknowledged and revered by me.

This is my lesson. This is the true grit of it all.

Everyone has a low point in their life; a time where they don’t have any answers to exactly what is happening.

I believe this to be a positive growth spurt.

Sometimes I feel I grow a new limb every time I choose to tackle the hard stuff. And trust me there have been countless blocks and obstacles days on end. How I view these poignant moments is mine to deal with. I don’t have any expectations for someone to bail me out. I have zero attachments to the outcome. What I do know is that we all have those days where nothing makes sense; where one moment you feel like you have it all, and the next day it can flip on a dime.

Being truly awake prepares you for this hitting bottom.

Here is what I might suggest when you know that you can’t overcome the feeling of that pit in your stomach; that very large pit that is calling you to take a look at your life; that glaring reminder that if you don’t do something quickly and mindfully you will lose more than just your integrity and your confidence.

You will lose your spirit and your grit.

I repeat the word “grit” for the sole purpose of making an impact on rising through the ashes like a phoenix. Be the hero. You can fail miserably at communication with loved ones, you can harbor secrets for a long time, and you can push aside matters of the heart simply because you’re scared.

But, what sends your soul soaring is being your own hero. Showing yourself that no matter what, you will do what it takes to pull on your boot straps and rise to the occasion.

Take a deep breath. Call in your angels. Pray a lot. Be still.

Get some fresh air and movement in the sun. Go see a friend and have a sincere conversation about who you are and what makes you tick. Make love. Cook at home.

Apply essential oils to your chakras. Write in your journal. Scream into your pillow. Dance. Look at the moon and stars. Love as wide as the Universe. Smile at strangers.

Be your own hero.

The lesson in this? And, yes there is always a lesson.

Forgive yourself.

Show yourself that you still have your voice and power. That no matter what comes along or how sensitive and thin-skinned you are, you still have the capacity to exhibit such enormous amounts of strength and courage. You aren’t doing it for anyone else but you.

Those emotional depths that you experience are waiting to be scoured and purged and explored. It is a beautiful thing. Imagine the exhilaration of expansion and vitality and success. What a dynamic state to be in!

Hitting bottom is not a disease. It is not some chronic or acute condition whereby you need to be avoided. No, hitting bottom is when you put yourself out there and show the world your grit, your style, your capacity for greatness. It lies within all of us.

Changing the world one emotion at a time is extremely personal. Baby steps are needed. And each step reverberates out there. It stems from hope and faith.

Don’t just always land on your feet. That’s too easy.

Prepare to dig your soles into the earth in a way that your hero self will shine. You just hit bottom. You climbed out. You did the work. You continue to do the work, however long it will take. You don’t give up. Ever.


Like elephant journal on Facebook.

Ed: Cat Beekmans


About Gerry Ellen

Gerry Ellen is an author, freelance writer, and wellness consultant. She recently launched her own gig called *8 Paws Wellness with Gerry Ellen* which combines all of her passions (outdoors, yoga, strength, meditation, writing, dogs, fun!) Her first novel Ripple Effects was published in March 2012. As a regular contributor to elephant journal, Be You Media Group, Light Workers World, Meet Mindful, Tattooed Buddha and Rebelle Society, she also balances incredible friendships, heart-centered connections, and sharing her experiences of life and love. These are the things that matter to her most. Her second book A Big Piece of Driftwood, published in April 2014, is also available on


15 Responses to “The Truth About Hitting Bottom.”

  1. Dr. Pam Young says:

    I call this stuff of hitting the bottom a TIME OUT AFTER SHOCK–and what I mean by that is…a little vacation from life to review and reconsider the path I'd chosen. It's usually brought on by a cosmic thump (some external event over which I have zip control). I see it as a gift. I believe most people do not have the courage to go there but pretend to be happy all the time instead.

  2. Caroline says:

    Forgive my self

    Thank you Gerry for this poignant piece x

  3. Amy Schlinger says:

    Thank you, I needed that!

  4. Gerry Ellen says:

    I so agree with you, Dr. Young. I'm a big fan of time outs! I think taking small vacations and changing up your environment from time to time uplifts the spirit and perspective. Great feedback. Thank you!

  5. Gerry Ellen says:

    You are so welcome, Caroline!

  6. Gerry Ellen says:

    You're welcome, Amy! I think we all need a little reminder here and there.

  7. Terri says:

    I love this…thank you so much for describing how I've felt for the past months!

  8. kiki says:

    absolutely perfect and so many roadsigns pointed to the beauty of these places and to embrace not recoil from them!!

  9. Gerry Ellen says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Terri!

  10. Gerry Ellen says:

    I love road signs and synchronicities! Thank you for your comment, Kiki!

  11. Pike says:

    Exactly where I am right now!!! Thank you so much for these words!

  12. Gerry Ellen says:

    You are most welcome, Pike! Thank you for commenting 🙂

  13. JoeyA says:

    Thanks for this. At a time in my life when I made plenty of bad choices, things always seemed to work out ok. Receiving bad news, life-altering circumstances at a time of life where I've been making great choices is quite ironic. Yoga and meditation have been quite helpful. Time to show some grit….

  14. Gerry Ellen says:

    Yes-grit! Yoga and meditation are wonderful tools. You are so welcome, Joey, and thank you for your feedback!

  15. janell gable says:

    I really love this .