Have you ever heard the saying “it’s all looking up from here”? Or perhaps “there’s no way but up from here”? I’ve heard these sentiments reflected in the optimism of many individuals throughout my lifetime and I feel as though this is a really important idea to take into consideration, especially when you feel as though you’ve hit rock bottom.
I know it can be difficult to think positively when you’re going through a really hard time, but J. K Rowling definitely shares some wisdom in the latter quote. What if we all started thinking about rock bottom as a place to rebuild ourselves and create a foundation for the future rather than focusing on the reasons why everything could go wrong? I know that it is a lot easier said than done, especially if you’re stuck in a rut of hard times and tough breaks. During these phases of life, I know it can feel as though nothing will ever get better. You might feel as though the whole world is against you or think that nothing will ever get better. This is where the positive thinking will come in to play.
If you’ve hit “rock bottom”, what do you have to lose? Why not take a shot of self-improvement and building a better future rather than focusing on staying rooted at the bottom? Why not give yourself a chance to build yourself up from the bottom? Maybe life knocked you down so that you could have the opportunity to work on building a solid foundation before creating a strong, successful, happy life for yourself.
Again, I know that this seems impossible when you’re looking at life from that hard, cold rock bottom place in life; but if you truly have reached rock bottom, then isn’t it worth giving yourself a chance to improve?
I am not naïve enough to believe that I have hit rock bottom, but I do know that I’ve hit quite a few road blocks and setbacks in life. It’s hard to overcome and I can imagine that starting to rebuild your life from rock bottom would be even more difficult than dealing with the setbacks that I’ve experienced. However, what I do know from these setbacks is that they provided me with an opportunity to become a stronger, more independent and self-aware individuals. I was given a chance to work on my issues and make connections with the right supports. If I had not experienced the setbacks that I did, I would never have met my therapist and therefore, I never would have had someone to inspire me to chase the dream which I previously believed was impossible for me to achieve.
I believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe the setbacks of my past happened because I had made a wrong turn in life. Maybe I needed those setbacks to take me back to the crossroads where I made the wrong choice for my future. Maybe the setbacks in my life were actually blessings in disguise which brought me back to a place which would enable me to become the person that I am meant to be. Although it definitely did not feel like it at the time, I truly believe that everything that happens to us in life has a purpose which will eventually become clear to us. Or maybe not—maybe you will never know why something bad had to happen; but maybe you don’t need to know. Maybe having faith in the idea that there was a reason for it and that the reason will have (or had) a positive impact on your life in some way or another is enough.
Again, I know this is easier said than done, but maybe thinking about your own experiences will help you make these connections. An example from my own life occurred when my car died. I was dependent on my car to get to and from university which was an hour away from my home. At the time I was living at my parent’s house with my parent’s, my eldest brother, and my abuser. When my car died it felt like a huge blow; a detrimental life altering blow. Looking back though, I now believe that this was a blessing in disguise. If my car had not died I never would have moved out of my parent’s house and escaped from the environment which was destroying my mental health. I never would have achieved the level of independence which I currently enjoy (at least not as early on in life), and I never would have had the strength to open up to my parents and explain why I hate the individual who abused me for years.
What felt like a tragedy at the time turned out to be a life saver (quite possibly in the literal sense). When my car died I was forced to move away from my home which was hard; but it also gave me the opportunity to discover my own strength and it meant that I was no longer living under the same roof as my abuser. Not surprisingly, my mental health drastically improved after this point and I am so glad that I moved out and gained freedom from the person who destroyed my life time and time again.
It’s seems horrible to be thankful for such an awful turn of events, but in a weird way I am. I am thankful because even though this was a rough patch in my life it gave me the opportunity to become a happier individual.
It took me a year to really come to terms with this realization and while it doesn’t necessarily make the hard times easier to bear, it does help me bounce back faster and stronger. I will not deny myself the chance to grieve a loss or feel upset when something bad happens, but I think that I’ve started to understand that when something bad happens it might just be the start of something good.
What are your thoughts on this? Do any of you have similar experiences or outlooks on life? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!