I was in a bottomless pit, and every day it got a little deeper.

Q. What is that one picture that describes the lowest point in your life?

answered by : Christopher Nelms, Call Center Management at Multiple Companies (1997-present)

This picture right here.

I love this picture. I took this picture of me and my fiancee Olivia in March of 2017. We were taking a walk in downtown Greensboro, and I decided I wanted to get a quick picture of us. We were so happy. She had just recently passed the bar and was about to start her first job as a lawyer. I was as proud of her as I could ever be. She had worked so hard to get to this point, and she was about to start seeing the rewards for all of her hard work.

I also hate this picture, because it is the last picture I ever took of us together. Just seven weeks after I took this picture, Olivia was driving home from work when she lost control of her car, slid off of the road and into a tree. She was killed instantly. This picture represents the last time I was happy, the last time I had the love of my life in my life.

The first year after the accident was the worst. I woke up every single day and wondered if this was going to be the day. Would this be the day that I couldn’t think of a reason to keep going? I sank deeper and deeper into depression, I put on 80 pounds, my blood pressure shot through the roof…I thought about killing myself every single day, and every day I found a reason not to do it, but in reality I was slowly killing myself anyway. I was eating myself to death, drinking myself to death…I was in a bottomless pit, and every day it got a little deeper.

That was the first year. There’s no real way of knowing if there would have been a second full year if something hadn’t changed. But then one day, shortly after I got home from work, I got a text from my niece. My niece Caty is my brother’s only child, and she is like a daughter to me. My brother passed away from leukemia 19 years ago, when she was only 4 years old, so I have been the most positive male role model in her life since then. Anyway, Caty had texted me to ask me if I would walk her down the aisle at her wedding later this year.

Suddenly I no longer needed to come up with a new reason to keep going each day, because for the first time in a year I had something to look forward to. I looked at myself in the mirror, and I was disgusted with what I saw. There was no way in hell I was going to walk her down that aisle in the condition I was in. So I went to the doctor, I got on medication for my blood pressure and for my depression, I started eating a little healthier, cut out all of the drinking, and I dropped 100 pounds in a year. I feel healthier now than I have in years.

The depression is still there. The pain, the hurt, the loss, the emptiness…they are all still there. I know they will never go away. The meds help me deal with them, help me to suppress them, but they are still there under the surface. I can function now, so that’s something. So that picture up above, that represents the start of the darkest period in my life, the lowest point in my life. The picture below was taken this past March, almost exactly two years after the one up above.

There’s a lot more gray in my beard now, and a lot less hope in my eyes. I’m almost smiling in this picture, but make no mistake…this picture represents the lowest point in my life. Every single day of the last 781 days has been the lowest day of my life, because it’s been one more day without the love of my life in it.

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