“Something beautiful happens to people when their world falls apart.. A humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor” – Marianne Williamson
We wake up every day with the attempt to create a life we can be proud of. Sometimes we are confronted with certain situations that test us to the absolute limit, both emotionally and physically. The interesting thing about life is that no matter how well we think we’ve planned it out, life has a way of throwing a spanner in the works and we find ourselves at continuous road blocks. These roadblocks are challenging but to experience them supports inner growth and maturity. A positive mindset like this though, is a lot easier when we look back. Instead, if we cast our minds back to those challenging times, we’ll most likely remember a range of negative emotions.
We all just want to be the very best version of ourselves but we are our own worst critic too and that creates unnecessary stress. Too much stress presents their own group of problems and when everything accumulates, life can become a juggling act. However, we all have a certain limit to how much we can carry at one time and hitting our breaking point can send us straight to rock bottom. A place of uncertainty and fear but believe it or not, a blessing in disguise. Hitting rock bottom can give someone an incredible opportunity to rebuild their life exactly how they envisioned it to be all along.
“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest chance”
Although I now love the unpredictably of life, I once struggled to understand this is just how life works. People I thought would be part of my life forever, soon became ghosts of my past. Attempting to live a healthy lifestyle came with a battle of depression/anxiety and the scrutiny of looking a certain way in society contributed to low self esteem. I hit a breaking point about 6 months ago, affecting me emotionally, physically and mentally. Sometimes when we think we’ve got everything under control, we really haven’t and I didn’t realise this was the case until I gave up. It was a time where I had many unresolved issues and I was attempting to handle them the best way I thought how but it obviously wasn’t enough to keep it together. Many will see this as a form of weakness but I call it being human. I want to share with you all my experience at rock bottom and explain how such a dark chapter can end up becoming such a benefit to your life. It’s an experience that gave me power to analyse every aspect of my current situation and a vision of how I wanted my life to turn out.
Before I discuss the positives though, it’s important to acknowledge and understand the overall mental state of someone who’s reached a breaking point. I may now have a list of reasons why hitting rock bottom can be the best thing to happen to someone, but you won’t find me encouraging someone to reach that level because it’s a dark, scary place to be and unfortunately not everyone finds a way out. Thinking back to that mindset again, I remember feeling an overwhelming amount of sadness and fear as a positive mind I worked so hard towards, turned into such a negative one. I felt sad that I failed to keep it together and couldn’t find that strength to stand up, while the fear came from having no idea what to do, where to go or even wanting to. Up to this point, whatever problems I was dealing with, I always had faith that everything would work itself out but this time was different.
“When the storm rips you to pieces, you get to decide how to put yourself back together again” – Bryant McGill
My life at this time wasn’t really a bad one but I was still struggling with the sense of loss that I’ve previously talked about. I’d always been a social and outgoing person but now became an introvert that eventually impacted just everyday living and the anxiousness just going on a date or seeing a friend. A common trait people make in a situation like this is victim mentality as they cry out ‘why me?’ and often looking for certain others to blame for their misfortune. This wasn’t me and I owned the poor choices I made, such as the choice of trusting others too easily and the choice of sweeping unresolved issues under the rug. Although I accepted what is and let go of what was, It didn’t help my thought process in being convinced it was too late for change. Instead I dedicated all my time to my career, partly for distraction and trying to feel worthy at something. My job is the only thing that got me out of bed in the morning but I’d soon find myself living somewhat of a ‘groundhog day’ life. I’d wake up, work all day, come home, have dinner, study for a bit then bed time. For nearly 2 months that was me and still haven’t completely broken that habit. Looking back, it’s clear I may have been present in the physical form, but spiritually and emotionally, I was a corpse.
Late nights were the hardest. Once the working day was over and had time to unwind, the reality of rock bottom was evident and nothing could distract me from how low I really was. I’d always find myself sitting on the balcony and just watching the city and social media getting quieter as everyone headed to sleep. During that quietness, the loneliness and fear of life overwhelmed me as I didn’t feel I had anyone to turn to, while fearing, for that split second, I wouldn’t be able to do it all again tomorrow. It was a vicious cycle that affected my own sleeping pattern I found difficult to break.
Thankfully my thought process eventually began to change and it basically left me with 2 simple choices, to either sink or keep swimming. The choice to swim was the moment I saw a path worth travelling. A path full of possibilities and a vision of a new beginning. I may not have reached my destination yet, but compared to where I came from, I can confidently say the only direction I’m heading, is up high. In saying this, I want to share with you 3 things hitting rock bottom taught me in terms of knowledge and change.
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”
It’s simple, hitting our lowest point in life shows the harsh reality that it’s not all rainbows and lollipops and the only way to truly understand this is through experience. We grow and evolve as adults through the experiences that challenge and push us into unfamiliar surroundings. Rock bottom showed me the honest side of life. I learnt no matter how perfect we plan ahead, the best gifts life has to offer are the unexpected ones while the ones that we can call a success, were presented to us when we least expected them. The biggest breakthrough was realising time waits for no one. As much as we may want to press the pause button while we catch a breath, technology hasn’t evolved like that. I realised every day, every hour and every minute not living, was just a waste of time I’d eventually regret not using.
“If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success”
When we are at our absolute worst, we discover how strong the bonds are with the people we value most. A friend is someone who accepts you wholeheartedly. They may not agree with everything you say/do, but will show support whenever it’s needed. A clear way to work this out is when we greet a friend and we politely ask each other “how are you? We all expect the other to answer “good thanks” before they’ve even said it but what if you unexpectedly answered with “not so good ” take note at their response because you’ll discover your worth and importance in their life. It’s hard to accept those false connections we thought were real, especially the ones we assumed were for a lifetime. However, I found these experiences taught me what a real friend should be like, the skills to see right through the façade of someone, and most importantly, what I do/don’t deserve.
3. SELF DEVELOPMENT
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have”
How very true that quote is. Inner strength is pretty much a survival key and when you rely on that, you’ll be surprised at how much strength you truly have. It’s something that not only helped me stand up again, but newfound growth that’s changed who I am for the better. I can thank rock bottom for teaching me that the only person someone can truly rely on is themselves, which gave me the determination to primarily focus on myself. As I paid close attention to how I got myself to a breaking point, I could focus on what I had to change to avoid history repeating itself.
It’s inspiring to know some of the most successful people found their calling and place in the world by hitting rock bottom, such as;
– J.K Rowling, who was a single mum, unemployed and broke at the time she was planning Harry Potter.
– Steve Jobs, who once got fired from his own company and later returned already a success, before he created the iPhone, iMac and iPad.
– Tony Robbins, who’s childhood involved alcohol/drug abuse, raising his siblings and ending up homeless at 17. As an adult, he is a successful businessman and author and in 2007 was earning an estimated $30 million annually.
– Walt Disney, who’s first studio went bankrupt but his decision to try again would create the most beloved cartoon character, Mickey Mouse.
Sometimes I think we forget we have total control of our lives. We may not have control of certain circumstances but we can control how we react to them, which I believe makes a big difference in what direction our life chooses to take us on.
“Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were”
Until next time, LOVE all, TRUST a few, DO wrong to none ❤