“The difficulties you face in life don’t come to destroy you, but to show you what you’re made of and just how strong you are.” Unknown
So, you hit it. You are sitting on the bottom of your personal Everest, wondering how the heck you are going to climb back up.
About 2 years ago, I hit rock bottom, as we all do at some point in life. Although I believed that I reached the deepest point of my life, I also knew that there is always a way which gets you to the top. J.K. Rowling said: “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Can you resonate with this statement? Do you believe that we often become the strongest after hardship hits us, right in the face, without warning?
I think that how we deal with struggles ultimately defines the quality of our lives. How do you recover after a struggle? How do you take any difficult experience? Does it become your weakness or your strength?
I am writing this article for one simple reason. To share with you what I did once I hit rock bottom. These are some simple steps which can help you throughout your personal process.
1. Baby steps
Now I want to talk to every toughie in the room (including myself). Some of us try to be so strong, so brave, that even when there is the time to be emotional, we fight it. We don’t want to lose the face of “I have everything under control 100% of the time.” The truth is that we don’t.
The moment when you hit rock bottom, there is one person you need to face and that’s you. It is the time of recovery, and as every mindful therapy, you need to take it slower. Keeping it strong all the time doesn’t give you the true strength you need, it will only push your feelings in some dark spot and postpone the process. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, then scream. Put it out. This is a beginner’s stage, some slips here and there are understandable.
2. Time Heals
One of the best healers is time. Sometimes you need to think it through, you need the anger to go away or you need to forgive. Depending on the situation, there is some time required for you to calm down.
We are going back to basics. You aren’t perfect. You have the right to be “weak” for a moment. Don’t fight this stage when your feelings need to get out. Embrace them. If this is something very personal for you, be alone. Don’t push yourself too much.
3. The power lesson
I call this third stage a power lesson for one reason. After you started slowly and gave yourself some time to recover, it’s time to find the positive in the dark. You don’t want to do this right at the beginning because you may feel too vulnerable. First, heal your scars at some level and then look for the positive lesson in your struggle. This is where it gets a bit tricky.
When you are hurt, it’s difficult to see benefits of your pain. You are being mentally lazy because of the situation. So, in this third stage, it’s time to step up. I always recommend for people to write down the positive. Once you make a list, the benefit which comes from your pain will become official.
4. Getting busy
After you dealt with your feelings and found the positive lesson, it’s time to get busy. You don’t want to have too much time on your hands. And by getting busy I am not talking about getting wasted every weekend with your friends. You need to find something that makes you feel good and useful.
One of the things which keep me up in life when I feel some sort of struggle is my work. Writing articles, producing videos, helping people in overcoming their difficulties. It makes me feel important and useful.
Let’s say that you are going through a divorce. More than likely, you are already bumped by the fact that your marriage didn’t work out. If you give up on other areas of your life as well, like your work, it will be harder for you to deal with a divorce. If you stay focused and give at your job or business 100%, or as much as you are capable of giving at that moment, you will partly save yourself. From the good work, there is a positive vibe coming your way and that is exactly what you need right now. Positivity.
5. Look ahead
Do you know what is this one thing in life which is certain? The fact that we can’t undo what happened. So, think about it. You already feel how you feel, this opportunity or an event which made you feel this way already happened. You gave yourself some time, you tried to find the right lesson, you took some action to keep yourself busy. Now it’s time to look in the future.
This last step is crucial because this may be the place where many of us fall. We keep dwelling on the past, feeling guilty or blaming others for the pain we feel. You can do all those 4 previous steps but this one is the gold mine. Look forward. Picture and visualize everything positive and good you are about to create. Yes, the feeling won’t be so intense at the beginning since you are still in the stage of recovery, but it will direct your mind to something exciting.
What did you do when you hit rock bottom? Leave a comment below.