When I think back over the several times in my life that I have hit my absolute rock bottom, in the form of an emotional breakdown or an existential crisis of sorts, there are three key things that helped me resurface.
1. Make a Big Change!
My body always tells me when something needs to change. I typically get blinding migraines that knock me off my feet for up to 48 hours. Sometimes it an IBS flare-up. I bet your body has a ‘tell’ too – most of us do, if we would only listen.
When I’m in pain, it’s my brain telling my body that I need to un-trap myself from an unhappy situation. In the past that has been true for controlling relationships, and jobs that were stressing me too much.
Pain can also be trying to tell me that I have been worrying too much. And that in itself is a sign that change is overdue.
Taking massive action to free yourself of the source of your pain is literally rescuing yourself. And in most cases, only you can do it. This is the time and place to be your own life-saver. Whether it is planning an exit strategy from a bad job, or a bad relationship, the ball is in your court.
2. Get a Little Braver!
That leads on nicely to bravery. Each time I have hit rock bottom, I’ve found that the journey back up is kind of scary. This is the time to face the things you have been avoiding; confrontation, debt, going it alone, the unfamiliar…
But as with all scary things, once you’ve faced it, it’s often not quite as bad as your mind had made it appear. And once you are on the other side of the things you were avoiding, they are no longer holding you back. The path ahead is clearer!
3. Talking. But not to just anybody.
There is a huge difference between talking to a friend, colleague or family member, and talking to a trained professional.
No disrespect to the people in our lives who are willing to listen to us without needing to be paid for it! But the people in our lives are not impartial. Family members and colleagues may have an agenda that serves them as well as us. Friends will tend to advise you based on their own belief system. And that’s all fine, but it’s not impartial and often it will cloud your head more than allow you to clear it.
If you want real clarity, then I cannot strongly enough recommend finding a professional to talk to.
And I don’t think it matters if that person is a traditional psychotherapist, a counsellor, or a life coach. Just pick someone that you trust and who has been trained to listen properly – not to try and influence your decisions – but to allow you to come to your own conclusions in a natural way.
If you are at rock bottom now and feel that you can’t go on, please know that there is help. Pick up the phone, join a help forum, see your doctor. Please reach out for the help that you both deserve and are entitled to.
Look after yourself.