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Everyone talks about the view from the top. Be it an achievement (climbing a mountain, going through something difficult, achieving long held goal or aspiration) or something else; but we rarely ever hear people talk about the view from the bottom.

What does it feel like to be at the starting place of something that seems impossible or at the very least improbable? What does the bottom look like? How does it feel? The truth is we’ve all been at the bottom of something at some point. Be it a physical bottom or low, an emotional pit, and intellectual beginning ect. Think about it, to get anywhere we all have to start from somewhere.

Today I was physically at the bottom of a cliff strapped to a rope trying to figure out how to climb to the top. Let me tell you about it:

First, I didn’t trust the wall to put all my weight on it (which let me tell you is 1,000 percent necessary). I also had NO clue how to use what I already have (my muscles and body) to help me… so I was flailing. I was scared too, climbing up 90 degrees is not exactly natural, my body was also getting tired (climbing is hard work). The first attempt I didn’t make it to the top.. okay I didn’t make it half way up the wall… actually not even a fourth of the way up. I felt defeated.

The bottom is rough.

What was cool though, was that I tried it again. What did I have to lose? Also, at that moment I was with really encouraging and supportive people teaching me and cheering me on.

The second time again started out rough but turned out much better, not only did  I get and stay on the wall but I made it to the top (with help, encouragement and support)

The reason I tell you this story is it reminds of me recovery. looking up from “the bottom” be it your rock bottom or a moment when you decide you want to get better but don’t know how, or maybe it’s even the recovery of a loved one; it’s scary. There is a lot of unknown. It will feel weird and unnatural until it becomes regular and routine.

The honest truth about the bottom is that it makes us feel so much smaller than we actually are.

My “bottom” with my eating disorder and moods felt like an actual hole, I would try new things, new meds, new doctors, new levels of care, praying, exercise, yoga, sleep seemingly fumbling around, falling and unsure of where to grab next and then I found my footholds and began to climb.

Today remember that to get anywhere you have to start from somewhere. And you are NEVER as small as the bottom makes you feel.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.