If you haven't experienced a true rock bottom, consider yourself lucky. Feeling hopeless and depressed is no bueno. But once you're out of it, you become grateful for being able to live a fulfilling life. Here are some success stories of leaving rock bottom behind.
u/justsananth asked: [Serious] How have you managed to recover from your lowest point in your life?
A good list.Giphy
- I put down drugs and alcohol, after quite a struggle. They were my (short term and not a good one) solution to my inner issues I couldn't seem to face. Numbing emotions and thoughts is not dealing with them.
- used my time with a clear head to sit down, do a LOT of listening to wisdom I had previously written off, or just didn't accept because of my negative views. I began to dig deep and find out what was so wrong in my life - basically, understand what was causing me disharmony - the idea that the way the world IS, what I want in the world, and how I view the world weren't jiving together. When they all match up, you're in harmony.
- began a program of self care that I had previously given absolutely no shits about. Eating well and regularly, getting exercise, going to a doctor/dentist instead of putting it off, taking care of bills/legal shit promptly, MEDITATION, and taking time for my interests instead of working as much as possible.
- reconnecting with people in my life, whether that be old friends, people I see every day, or even strangers in public. Bonding with people is very important, and was hard at first - I was so used to isolating. But I forced myself.
- I started giving of myself wherever possible, so long as it didn't hurt me. Acts of charity, of any kind, are a great way to feel purposeful, and damn good about yourself. Helping others helps us. However, it's important this isn't done as a way to avoid focus on solving your own problems, which was a big issue of mine.
- Look for a group of some kind you can be a part of. This could be a group of people who do outside activities, like hiking biking or rock climbing. Kayaking. Or a group who plays board games. Just something where people are committed to being there, and foster a sense of community. Positivity is important.
- I stayed committed to certain principles, like trying to make the best decisions for myself that I could. Previously I was very self destructive. I'm trying to root that out.
- Lastly, trying my hardest to stay positive under all circumstances. I was terribly negative. This includes how I think about myself, as well as the words I speak to others. If it's not helpful, I try not to say it. The hardest part of this is my humor - I've been negatively sarcastic for so long, it's a very hard habit to break.
A true success story.
I did a PhD and got hired at a very large state school. I was hired to direct a very niche program, and I'd spent much of my life dreaming about having the job. Two years later, I was burned out, had the start of a drinking problem, and realized I couldn't do it. In December I went to the department chair and resigned, effective the end of that school year. During the conversation I found out that if I hadn't resigned, they were going to fire me.
It was the low point because I'd wanted the dream job, I'd worked hard to earn the dream job, and then I'd failed at the dream job and had to figure out what next.
Since I'd had a TA teaching position in grad school, I had the credentials to teach a core class, so I landed a job at a much smaller college, a podunk in the middle of nowhere, because it paid enough that I didn't have to move back in with mom. This is where I began to recover.
Recovery consisted of just showing up every day and focusing on what was in front of me. For the first year, I tried to decide what my life was really going to be -- I did a semester in an MBA program then dropped out; I considered taking the LSAT and going to law school, but realized that would be a train wreck. Eventually, I tried to put it out of my mind and just wait for something to develop.
One day, a student said to me, "You are the happiest person I know." I was dumbfounded. "What do you mean, happy? I'm not happy." She said "Oh yes you are. You're always whistling, and you're relaxed about things, and you're always excited when other people have good news, and you say goofy things to keep our attention. You're just really a happy person."
That conversation stuck with me. Sixteen years later, I can still remember her face, and the exact spot I was standing in when we had that talk. I started to think, Maybe I am happy. Maybe this is what my life is going to be. Maybe that's not so bad. I leaned into teaching, and starting actively trying to improve at it, and over the couple of years that followed, I woke up to the realization that teaching is really meaningful and satisfying, and that if I worked at it, I could grow into a halfway decent teacher.
Today I teach at a tiny liberal arts college with minimal research expectations. I love my students and I love what I do every day. Friends of mine thought I was crazy when I resigned from the R1 without another job lined up, and a few told me for years and years that if I'd worked hard enough, I could've held on to that job. If I had, today I would be bitter and miserable. I'd doubtless make a lot more money, but it would in no way have been worth it. Losing the dream job is the best thing that could have happened to me.
This is so wholesome.Giphy
You're killing it! Instead of laying in bed another day and just crying, you got on here and you asked for help.
You already overcame your lowest point! I'm so proud of you. That takes guts.
Maybe now you're still at rock bottom, but you're standing up. Tomorrow, you might have the strength to start looking up. The next day, you start thinking about a plan to get out. No action needed; just imagine all of your ways out.
Keep asking for help and you'll be amazed at the tools people will throw down here to help you out.
Everyone has been here or will be here. Remember that there is no better solid foundation on which to rebuild yourself than rock bottom.
You can be whoever you want now. You can get different friends and start over without explaining why, even from right here on Reddit. You can start helping others out of their rock bottoms.
Talk to people and let the village hoist you up, my friend!
We are brothers in our lowest point. You are not alone and your future is bright!
Appreciate what's around you.
As cheesy as it can sound, fall in love with the little things. Appreciate the rain, certain sounds or smells, how the light makes things look like or such. When there's not much to grab on, those little things help to keep going.
I also decided to never make expectations on things, events nor people. Just live as it comes.
Make your surroundings prettier, clean your room, put always fresh clothes. Make small changes to like the place you live in or you spent most of your time.
Treat yourself well, be kind to yourself. Eat well, fresh and healthy food in adequate portions.
Surround yourself with people that are a plus in your life, that care about you and are real friends. I recently learned to not seek unhealthy relationships and that sometimes its okay to break contact with people that are not good for you. Choose your friends wisely.
Something good came out of it.
Started fostering... My husband passed away and I had an empty house. When everything goes bad/wrong the best way out is to focus on someone else. Your issues begin to pale.
So much can change in five years.Giphy
Felt pretty lonely and super unhealthy. Got on my bike and started riding. Lost 30 kilos. Met a girl on Tinder, dated, moved in together, bought land, built a house, got married (currently on my honeymoon).
It's been a wild 5 years.
I got laid off, took the first job I was offered. It sucked, but it was a paycheck.
I then applied for two to three jobs EVERY DAY.
I worked my day job. But my real job was finding a new job.
And got it.
I've been with my new job for 5 months and I love it.
Just gotta accept it. Life is life and there ain't shit you can do about it unfortunately. I've learned to accept life they way it comes. When you die you take nothing with you. Why lay on you're death bed eaten up by the sh*t you can't control. Take a shot, drag a bowl. Maybe cry a little bit, but you gotta move on and push forward to the next adventure.
DBT is life-saving.Giphy
I had a couple low points over the last five years. Suffered from severe depression and un-diagnosed BPD during the course of getting my PhD in physics. I self-harmed for years and had more than a few suicidal episodes. Now, six months out from getting my doctorate, grad school still sucks but I'm feeling much better and motivated to finish because I'm excited about the life waiting for me after I'm done.
My best friend noticed when things started to go downhill for me and urged me to go to therapy. He's been there for me every step of the way and I'm so grateful for him. I got a great therapist but after three years of seeing her and thinking I was improving but then going downhill again, I had about had enough. I had more good moments than bad but I was so convinced that I should be recovered by now that the bad moments were even worse than before. On a good day I signed myself up for a dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) program, and immediately regretted it- I don't need this, what am I doing? But it's been such a huge help.
Some gems that I learned in this program: life is worth living even with pain in it. That's very important and I had spent a lot of time in the past thinking that this wasn't true. You ultimately have to be motivated to improve your situation for yourself, though. I had spent too long living for other people and that wasn't going to get me anywhere. Another one: your emotions are always valid. Always. That doesn't mean that you can't change your emotions, or that you need to act on them if it's going to make the situation worse.
I had a lot of help from my friends and professionals along the way, but the real turning point happened when I started to motivate myself to get better. That's not to say that you can just wake up one day and say "I don't want to be depressed anymore" and expect to be cured. You just need to want to get better in order for therapy to really work.
TL;DR I recovered with a combination of extensive therapy, support from my friends, and self-motivation. No one of those things would have worked on its own.
Never give up.
Time, effort, professional help and plenty of soul-searching. You seriously would try many things - if not everything under the sun, to make yourself feel better and recover. Plus the method and need changes based on the day - sometimes having people around helps tremendously while other days being alone (not brooding alone mind you) helps more than having company.
All I can say is never give up and that there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. It's not easy nor will it be a fast journey, but hopefully you get through to the other side and find contentment and relief.