Based in Ventura County, CA, RBU Blog’cast host and community advocate, PJ Reynolds-Richardson takes us adventuring to define “self care”, post her 2018 no-care crash landing into Rock Bottom.


A Journey To Fire The Drunken Autopilot In Your Life: Stopping For Self-Care, It's Important

A Journey To Fire The Drunken Autopilot In Your Life: Stopping For Self-Care, It's Important

I have always liked doing my part to help better the world. Whether it’s rescuing worms that have washed onto the sidewalk or gathering with a bunch of unique minds to combat world hunger, sign me up! What I have never liked however is sitting around “wasting time” on pampering myself.

In my most active years of community service, people would ask, “So what are you doing for self-care?” My answer would always be “Drinking lots of energy drinks, har-har-har?” What I did not share was that on Friday nights, (and possibly Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday nights too) after the kids went to bed, those drinks would start getting spiked with shot after shot of vodka.

This self-destructive routine inevitably came to its end last year during L.A. Pride weekend, when I honestly can’t remember how many of those drinks became too many and I collapsed outside of a WeHo club and woke up first in a medical tent, then an ambulance, then a hospital. What I do clearly remember that night though, is finally surrendering myself (for the first time ever) to the undeniable fact that I needed help and then signing myself into a 72 hour suicide prevention center.

I came out of the crisis center feeling lost in a haze of surreality. I didn’t have my usual legion of thoughts ricocheting through my head, I felt rested and both these things felt completely alien to me. Time had slowed down during the stay. I had been told when to eat, when to go outside, when to share my thoughts, when to go to bed, when to wake up and I was barred from engaging in any social media. There was nothing available for me to obsess about. My regimen had been interrupted. It was a huge earth shaking time-out and it completely collapsed the automatonic lifestyle I had been living.

I have not had a drink of alcohol since the hospital visit. I haven’t had a fit of frustration. I have been more thoughtful, more “in the moment.” All in all I have been feeling really good, but lately I’ve been wanting to feel more than good. I want to feel excited, and engaged and in a perpetual state of growth. I want you too as well. I want you to travel along with me on this journey. I want us all to feel that we are genuinely thriving and not simply surviving what comes storming in our direction. This is what we’ll do here within these pages.

Welcome to Rock Bottom’s Up. Enjoy the journey!

- PJ