16 Nov Why Hitting Rock Bottom Is Good For You
Digging yourself out of a dark hole can be impossible and disorienting in the moment. Our thinking becomes tunnel visioned, our bodies paralyzed, and our perspectives narrow at best. We lose rational decision-making, blow things out of proportion, and zoom our focus on all things miserable. Why is this happening to me? Why is everything falling apart? Will I make it out alive? You sit in worry, feel sorry for yourself, maybe even lose your appetite, and then come close to succumbing to despair.
Hi, I’m Erica. It’s the week of my 26th birthday and I hit rock bottom.
Oddly enough, every year I face a new challenge on my birthday. Instead of being a celebration of a milestone in my life, it’s more so a day to worry about the process of ageing, overanalyzing the future, and fearing life itself. This has become a yearly tradition since I was 16 years old:
When I turned 16, I worried if I would have the biggest Sweet 16 at school.
When I turned 18, I worried if my parents would approve of me getting a belly button ring and tattoos.
When I turned 21, I worried about blacking out for the first time.
When I turned 23, I worried about my job path.
When I turned 24, I worried that I quit my comfortable full-time job to do what I wanted.
When I turned 25, welp, halfway until age 30. Yikes.
And when I turn 26 this week, I worry about paying my own health insurance. Oh, and wait, am I ever getting married? HA.
Even more deeply complex than health insurance plans and marriage, I hit rock bottom for a myriad of reasons: accumulating stress, graduate school anxiety, lack of sleep, decrease in my health, hormones being a complete shit show, and spreading myself too thin with work and projects.
ENTER: one big ass mental explosion called rock bottom.
Okay. Great. I’ve plummeted to my lowest low, so what’s next??
For the past few years, I’ve been grateful enough to experience a mindset shift from the victim to victorious mindset. I only stay stuck at rock bottom for no more than 24 hours, and then it’s time to push forward with a quick turnaround. It’s a superpower I’m thankful to possess. And if you ask me, Ella Wheeler Wilcox speaks the truth in this powerful mindset mantra:
“Whatever comes this too shall pass away.”
Rock bottom can either be seen as a place that keeps us frozen, or as a struggle that soon turns into victory. Without further ado, here are the positives that are born from rock bottom:
1.) You will realize you needed a new direction.
All of the broken pieces of your life would’ve become MORE broken if rock bottom didn’t happen in the first place. You eventually realize what you need to fix, how you can evolve, and what you need to let go of in order to set the stage for a better life direction. Rock bottom exposes all of your issues, flaws, and problems that we evaded for a while. Now, we are able to see the light and get back on the path.
2.) You will become more grateful.
After hitting your lowest point, your life then becomes a constant state of gratitude for the positive things. You appreciate what you have – a comfy bed, great friends, supportive family, food to eat, a healthy body. Your old worries and problems then become futile.
3.) You will detach yourself from emotions.
Reaching rock bottom has probably happened to you on several occasions. Did the feelings of heaviness, depression, and sadness last forever? Of course not! Emotions are a metaphor from nature: they will naturally depart like clouds in the sky, or leaves changing colors from season-to-season, being only temporary feelings that shape us into more resilient beings. Remember the honest truth: life is not linear. It’s squiggly, zig-zag, curvy, loopy, and undulating. AHHHHHH, YES. There’s certainly some comfort in knowing this. 🙂
4.) You will realize you can be an alchemist.
Life really is yours for the taking. Sure, we can never control when things go wrong, but what we can control is how we react to situations. This is your story called Life. Write it. Act it. Create it.
5.) You stop playing the victim.
In the midst of my rock bottom moment, all focus was on myself and my ego’s grandiose assumptions of how “terrible” things were. MAN, I sure needed to get over myself! I was placing myself in the victim role, paralyzing myself in a state of pessimism and stagnation. Until…I realized I could create my life anew in every moment, playing the role of the victorious. The victorious mindset sees a setback as the catalyst for growth and becoming. I think it’s time to prevail, don’t you?
6.) You gain compassion.
When you get to a deep and dark place, your heart goes out to everyone else. You blossom into a more empathetic individual and grow compassionate for the plight, tragedies, and obstacles of others. It brings you closer to feelings of the human condition. And when something bad happens to someone, you’ve been to hell and back too. Which makes you want to lend a massive helping hand.
7.) You rely less on external factors.
And finally, after hitting your lowest point, you realize that external factors shouldn’t govern your happiness. You then grow to trust yourself, the process, the ebb and flow of life. Your inner peace becomes a priority, with no need for outside validation. The health of your internal condition is your primary gem for living a meaningful life.
AH, relieved yet? I encourage you to share this post with others, reach out, discuss. Because guess what? We are all in this together – to uplift, connect, and help each other become the highest versions of ourselves. Rock bottom is indeed the diamond in the rough – embrace it when it comes. 🙂