Friday, August 26, 2011

The View from a Pit

I am indulging myself this week by posting a relevant piece of my creative nonfiction. Thanks for reading.

I remember being drunk and suicidal. It is like crouching in the bottom of an old, dry well, a deep one, maybe a mile down. You don’t know how you came to this old abandoned farmstead anyway, you didn’t see the covered pit, and now you are trapped and wounded and thirsty and no one has a rope long enough to save you.

The real problem is not the pit. It’s not even the broken leg you got when you landed. The problem is the view. It’s small and dark. You can hardly see any sky at all, just a little pinhole. And sometimes it’s night and there’s nothing to see. And you get to thinking maybe the sky is a charade; maybe it’s not really up there and not really as blue as you remember and not worth climbing for since as you can see it’s only two inches wide.

You start believing it’s not worth the effort to climb out. Even if you did, you would still have a broken leg. And you would still be lost on an abandoned farmstead, still hungry and thirsty and alone. It’s just too far to medical care and warmth and comfort – especially if there is no sky.

So what we need in the bottom of the pit is someone who brings the blue sky with them. Someone warm and alive who convinces you that the sky still reaches to infinity, even if you can’t see it, and that under that sky there is still room for you. Someone who will be there with you when you climb out of the well.

Bless all the people who descend to the bottom of the pit when ropes don’t reach. Bless those who bring the blue sky with them, in their eyes and in their voices, for they are better than drink or food or even ropes and ladders. They show us there’s something up there. They give us a reason to climb.

Deborah is a public speaker and the author of Is There Room for Me, Too? 12 Steps & 12 Strategies for Coping with Mental Illness. She has also published two romantic comedies. All three books are available on, Barnes and, Kindle Editions, and other major vendors, and you can order them from your local bookstore. Or visit her web page at