November 1, 2016 @ 11:20 PM

My life has taken many twists and turns over the years, but for the most part, I have managed to keep it on an even keel, never straying too far from my comfort zone at any given time. Suddenly, after forty-three years of marriage, my husband died. Oh, I guess that at an advanced age in life, it might be expected that one's spouse might die first, but honestly, it always comes as a shock.

For me, the shock was in a different format. I wasn't your typical widow, saddened by the passing of her spouse. For me, things felt very different.  My spouse and I didn't have a traditional marriage.  We shared in nothing financially and very little emotionally. We had a child together and ultimately, had a granddaughter, who became the love of our lives. We did some family things together, but we weren't really a couple.

The problem that has arisen is that, although I thought we agreed to not share anything, I didn't have the authority to make that happen.  The IRS thought we were a couple. The insurance company thought we were a couple.  The mortgage company thought we were a couple. Tax collectors, bill collectors of all sorts, thought we were a couple...,and now, they think I should take over the total responsibility of clearing up the debt.

All sorts of debts have popped up that I had no idea existed in my husband's world.  I started to think it was overwhelming, but then I thought about the concept of hitting rock bottom - you know, that place from which we can never escape.  or so we think.

What is "rock bottom"? From my perspective, it is a place in which we feel no support physically, emotionally or financially. A nowhere to turn to place that offers us no comfort or peace. With my sense of eternal optimism, I realized that when we truly hit rock bottom, we have merely reached the point from which all new things can begin.  It is a starting off point from which we can only move up.  It is forward-driven because there is no way to move "backwards" when you are at rock bottom.

And so, armed with a new definition and lease on life, bring it on! Everyday every move I make, every decision I contemplate will, by my own definition, be moving forward. Here's to new beginnings and a new life.  Here's to taking things one step at a time until I've conquered them.

It is with a peaceful heart that I hit rock bottom, and with the knowledge and conviction that my new life will grow and I will be filled with the happiness and strength that comes from self-sufficiency. I celebrate my rock bottom and know great things are about to happen because I wouldn't be doing all this work for nothing.