All You Have Left

You’ve had a bad day or week. For some, a bad year. All that could have gone wrong, has. Nothing has worked out. The friends who you thought would have stuck by you, have vanished into the dark. No spark, no light and no lamp. Nothing!

We’ve all had periods in our life such as this. You feel as though you’re in quicksand and the only help you get, is someone throwing you a safety device, only to find out it is made of stone. Thus, causing you to sink faster. No options and no hope. You finally give into it and float.

What I love about the floating concept is surrender. When we get out of our own way, our way provides a way out. I was thinking about that just the other day. I was thinking about conflict. And then I thought, not giving a fuck is an essential part of self care. There is something to be said about rock bottom. Rock bottom has built more solid individuals than privilege ever has. Rock bottom brings out the real you. You recover, rebuild and learn to appreciate everything.

In 35 years of providing mental health services, I have sat with the broken to the blessed. From the poor to the powerful. And the one common denominator that I continue to see, is that the struggle opens our eyes to the miracles. Because when we break, we have to rely on something that lies beyond us. Something that we are not capable of in the present moment. And that vulnerability is a beautiful thing. And life responds to that.

Most of us have heard about the 5 stages of grief. Well, I believe that they apply to these life altering situations. We first start with denial. In many cases we don’t realize that we are heading into a world of pain. Soon, we find ourselves angry. We’re mad that we are in the middle of the mess. We then move on to bargaining. We try making moves and deals to get us out of the mess. When that fails, we head into depression. This deep despair is probably the hardest stage to deal with. But then, ah….we transition into acceptance. The pain is gone. The fear begins to fade. We just float.

Storms aren’t made to destroy us. They’re made to define us. And when you survive the storm, all you have left is the real fucking you. And if you ask me. That is the biggest win you will ever have in your life.


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Vance Larson


I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years who has spent the last decade working as both a Life…

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