What happens before you hit rock bottom
Yesterday, not only did I hit rock bottom but I almost lost my life due to my own recklessness. When my parents found out what happened they begged me to think of them, how they would feel if I were ever to get hurt or die.
I didn’t understand why I was here. I knew I wanted to be a good daughter and to give them the world from the fruits of my success but instead, I had nothing to give them but grief.
When I was reflecting on what happened before I got here I noticed something eerie. I had seen the same signs before my rock bottom just a few years ago and the few years before that and just a few years before that too.
I’m tired and I’m broken but I wanted to write about what I saw on my way down for you and for me:
- The same problems reoccur
When you face a problem you are being presented with a choice. You attempt to find a solution each time the problem occurs and eventually change your outcome or you ignore the problem and stay the same.
- Example: In class, you are given an assignment. You fail the assignment. After the failure, you can choose to ask the professor or your peers for help. The next time you can go to youtube or google. Maybe you don’t succeed right the first time, but eventually, the choice not to make the same mistakes will inevitably lead you away from the same failure and the same problem. However, choosing to not change your ways or even worse ignoring your problem will lead to the reoccurrence of a failing grade. Eventually, you will hit rock bottom, which in this case is a letter grade of “F”.
Note: Grades are not everything. In this example, class is a metaphor for life as assignments or examinations are metaphors for problems.
- Example: Your phone has cracks again, you get into a car crash again, you weren’t able to pay off your debt again, you gained weight again, you have the same fight again, you get in trouble at work for the same thing again.
2. You’re late or you’re a no show.
On the way down to rock bottom, you feel like time is controlling you instead of feeling like you can use time to your advantage. This is a reflection of your attitude, you are no longer taking responsibility for yourself and your actions as well as their implications.
- Example: You choose to sleep instead of waking up early to get a head start.
- Example: You choose to not go to work or cancel appointments for no good reason.
Note: Sleeping or canceling in itself is not bad, especially if it is not usual or needed. However, if you find yourself blaming everything and everyone else but yourself it’s time to take a time back. Also, if broken promises of time become a recurring theme, it’s also another sign to take a step back.
3. You avoid the mirror.
Whether the reason is that you no longer can look at yourself or you don’t care what you look like anymore you avoid yourself. When you love somebody like your daughter, puppy, boyfriend, etc. You wash them up and you dress them up. You like to make them feel good and you like to make them feel as beautiful as they are on the inside on the outside. That should be no exception for yourself.
Example: You don’t take pictures anymore, you don’t know what you look like anymore, you don’t want to know what you look like anymore.
Example: Your car is dirty, your screen phone screen is cracked, your shoes are dirty. The things you once cherished and were thankful for are now just things.
Note: This is not to say that just because someone chooses to ignore their appearance that this is a sure sign that something is wrong. What is important to note is the reason they do so.
4. Ugly Feelings.
When you’re about to reach a low point in your life, your light dims on the way down. It becomes harder to love others especially when they need it the most. It becomes harder to celebrate others successes.
Example: You scroll through your feed and see that she’s lost weight. Instead of celebrating her health journey, you dismiss her success and credit starvation instead.
Note: Your thoughts and especially your adjectives start to become more negative.
5. The attitude of those who love you changes.
When people love you and see you on the way to rock bottom, it’s hard for them to act like everything is okay. And it is because they love you. Unfortunately, on the way down to rock bottom, you becomes hard to listen to others because your problems are louder. In addition, you start to seek your own company rather than others. Or maybe even sometimes you seek the company of others too much because of your state.
Example: Your texts look like “It’s been a minute”, and “I miss you, where are you?”. Sometimes even random texts come — in other words, attempts to get you talking. And sometimes your phone has no messages because they don’t know what to say to you.
Example: They don’t make love to you anymore.
Everyone’s rock bottom looks different. Today, I wanted to share what tends to happen on my way down so that maybe the next time you’re on your way down or when I’m on my way down, we can change directions.
Maybe the next time we are faced with the same problem, we face it head-on with a new solution. This is regardless of the outcome. What is important is another and different attempt is made. Because facing the same thing but expecting a different outcome is only insane.
Maybe the next time we want to cancel or sleep in, we re-wire our brain. We count down “5–4–3–2–1” and launch ourselves into waking up or showing up so that we don’t hate ourselves more for making the wrong choice. And because sometimes even the act of going outside can be better for our brains rather than staying in redundancy — the death sentence for our brain.
Maybe the next time we want to avoid the mirror, we make ourselves look good and therefore feel good instead.
Maybe the next time we feel jealous or hear negative thoughts creep in, we find the beauty and positivity too or instead.
And maybe next time we think of “me, me, me” we think “what about them?”