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  • Writer's pictureAnne Heffron

WHEN YOU THINK YOU'VE HIT BOTTOM, AND THEN THINGS GET WORSE


Photo by Brad Ewell


Someone wrote to me that things were bad, really bad. Not only had he been hurt on his job, but when he went back he saw how terrible the working conditions really were, and so he quit. Now he doesn't even have money to put gas in his car. He didn't know what to do next. All he did know was that he believed in his art and that if he had to spend his life doing things other than his art, he wasn't sure how to live.


I have never met this person. It's an Instagram friend, someone who likes to check in with me every once in a while. I have been working on boundaries with these relationships, having sent money to someone once who'd asked for twenty dollars for his kid, for example, and feeling weird afterwards.


I am a big believer in the door that exists at the bottom of the well. The only trick is you have to get to the bottom to find it, and getting to the bottom feels like losing everything. It feels like the most unsafe place in the world. It feels like dying.


There is so much about ourselves and our capabilities we don't know because our habits and ingrained thoughts only let us explore a portion of our planet.

We have to have nothing left to lose sometimes to change. I never would have started my own writing classes if I hadn't needed money to eat. Hunger can make you put fear and pride aside as you free-dive for the pizza.


It's hard to know sometimes if you are helping someone out by giving them money when they are on the bottom of the well or if they need to be that scared and hungry to open and go through the door of a new life. So many people helped me financially when I was struggling, and it's hard for me to imagine what I would have done if they hadn't. But that one time when I asked my dad for money and he said no, I was gobsmacked. No? You are going to let me drown? Yes, he basically said. I am going to let you drown because it is time you learn to swim. I sat sobbing on a motel bed, faced the flaming doorway of opportunity that said TRY OR DIE, walked through it--burning up my insecurities and doubts and hesitations--and came up with a plan for Write or Die. Within a day, people were sending me money to sign up for this class I'd created out of air.


If I am brave enough to go into what feels like the dark side of the moon, I get to eat cake.


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Kelli Clifford
Kelli Clifford
24 juni

Anne, you have inspired me to wonder what I am afraid of losing and if I’m better off losing it. Good stuff!

Gilla
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