So you’ve just hit rock bottom. If this is your first time, this article is for you. I want to give you 12 simple tips on how to get out of rock bottom so you can feel a wee bit more hopeful moving forward in life.
Before we get into it, you’re probably wondering what makes me the expert on talking about rock bottom. Well, I’ve hit it 4 times and I’m still standing. So it’s suffice to say, I have a bit of experience in this topic.
I do have to say though, it’s just as devastating every single time and each time is very different than the last time. Along the way, I’ve added things to my rock bottom tool chest (but I truly hope I never have to use them again!!) and I’d like to share them all with you now.
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What is rock bottom?
I remember the 1st time I hit rock bottom I didn’t even know that’s what had happened. My life was a shambles and I suddenly became a single mom with an 18 month old baby. I was a mess.
The second, third and fourth time were all related to my online business and I knew exactly what was happening. I had hit rock bottom.
So what is rock bottom?
While I’m sure there are many definitions of rock bottom, here’s one I got while Googling it:
- at the lowest possible level.”rock-bottom prices”
- the lowest possible level.”morale is at rock bottom“
As you can see, it’s when you are at the lowest level possible and pretty much have nothing left inside of you. No hope, no faith, and in my case, no business, no money, nudda, zippo, zilch.
And it sucks more than you know. But if you’re reading this right now I assume you know. You’re there. And you feel hopeless. Hang tight. I got your back here.
What happens when you hit rock bottom?
It’s different for many people but to say it’s overwhelming and disheartening is an understatement. The physical feelings you get are kinda like this:
- you feel like throwing up
- it feels like you got punched in the stomach
- your head is fuzzy and empty
- it’s hard to walk, eat, think, speak, etc
- you truly do want to die
I’m not gonna lie and say I never once thought about suicide. I most certainly did. After hitting rock bottom 4 times I felt like I couldn’t take much more and I was SO DONE!!!
According to the World Health Organization(WHO)
While the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.
In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour.
Many people who have hit rock bottom have resorted to suicide or have suicidal thoughts. My goal here is to stop those before they happen!
So what happens when you hit rock bottom?
For the first little while, nothing. You’re pretty much numb and frozen and really can’t comprehend anything, especially why this is happening to you. This could last a week or a month or even 6 months. My advice to you is don’t let this last too long. We’ll talk more about that later.
What to do when you hit rock bottom
I have to say, again, for everyone this is different but I think the most important thing to do is feel your feelings. All the bad and ugly thoughts. Scream and cry if you need to. Don’t even bother trying to hold back your emotions. That’s never a good idea.
You are going to feel like the most worthless hopeless and helpless person on the planet but trust me, you’re not. I’ve come to realize that hitting rock bottom is simply life’s way of saying “wrong turn, try again”. I know, twisted sense of humour.
So if you’ve just hit rock bottom, cry, feel sorrow for yourself, take in every horrible emotion, talk to a close friend if you can but it’s important to not stay down and start making plans to get the heck out of rock bottom!
Let’s get to the 11 helpful tips and things you need to remember that will get you out of rock bottom and give you hope for a brighter tomorrow.
How to get out of rock bottom-12 helpful tips and things to remember
I really feel the need to discuss something super important here. I know what you’re going through seems absolutely hopeless and you think the only way out is suicide but please don’t. Please. You WILL get through this!
One day you will tell your story of how you’ve overcome what you are going through now and it will become part of someone’s survival guide.Brene Brown
I had that thought many times and almost went through with it a few times and I’m sure glad I didn’t. Please check out the link below if you feel like all hope is lost. Please.
And now, without further ado…
1 Everything is temporary
The good and the bad, heck, even life is! You have to remind yourself that what you are going through right now won’t last. Try to think of the last time you went through something really horrible and how you made it out ok. You’ll get through this too.
2 Talk to a friend
While this almost sounds like a no brainer, many people won’t reach out to anyone because of pride or for whatever reason. Many of us don’t want to ‘bother’ anyone. You’re not bothering anyone. People really do care!! Call someone you can trust just to pour your troubles out.
3 Deep breathing exercises
Don’t discount the power of calming breathing. You are in a state of anxiety and anger and stress and need I go on? Some deep and calming breathing exercises will be your saving grace. Trust me on that. Each time you feel a wave of anxiety come over, just breathe through it.
4 Assess the situation
When you feel calm and relaxed, take a minute to go over what happened, why it happened, and see where you can go from here. There’s no sense in doing the “what went wrong and why did this happen to me” thing because the answers don’t matter. It happened. Let’s deal with it and move on.
5 Be honest and reach out
Don’t lie about your situation and tell everyone you’re fine. You’re not fine and you might even need help. It’s ok to need and ask for help. As I mentioned in #2, people care and do want to help. Let them. No one knows that you’re not ok if you don’t tell them.
6 Get outside
As often as you can. Don’t stay in and cry your heart out forever, or sit and drink your sorrows away forever. Please don’t do that. It will only temporarily make you feel good. When you sober up, the issue is still there. Get outside and go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Clear your head.
7 Take time for self care
It’s easy to beat yourself up and feel like a loser and I’m here to tell you you are so NOT a loser. You just hit a bump in the road. Take some time just for you to relax and honour who you are. Be gentle with yourself. Encourage yourself. Lift your spirits!
I recommend this to anyone who is having a hard time in life. Go volunteer. It will bring you joy and make you feel like you are worthy and doing good (well you are doing good!!). Volunteering is the best way to take your mind off your troubles and help someone else in need.
9 Do some self reflection
Take this time to have a look at the situation and see if maybe this thing that went wrong wasn’t for you in the first place. It could be a sign from the universe that you’re on the wrong path and though we really don’t want to hear that, it’s true. So life basically stopped you and said, “nope, no further for you”! So take some time and listen to your heart.
10 Find the lesson
Because you know, there’s a lesson in everything. Much like tip #9, were you really following your heart and passion or were you coming from a place of greed, ego or selfishness? Hey let’s be honest here, we’re not all perfect, and money and power are huge driving forces for many of us, myself included.
I don’t know why people resist doing these two things. Trust me, they work! When we write out what is boiling inside of us, it’s no longer boiling inside of us. It’s now on paper and has been released. Burn that sucker too after you’re done. Then let me know how you feel after.
Writing is extremely therapeutic. Meditating as well. Now meditation doesn’t mean sitting cross legged on a pillow made from hemp and bamboo and chanting ohmmmmmm for an hour. Nope, not even close.
Just sit quietly somewhere with no distractions and breathe. And focus on your breathing. Listen to and feel your breath. If you want to listen to a guided meditation, all the better! Check these guys out on YouTube. She’s my favourite.
12 What’s your next move
After you’ve cried, drank yourself to oblivion, called a friend, played with puppies and wrote out your feelings, it’s gonna be time to start thinking about what to do next. Your mind will be racing a million miles an hour but it’s important to map this out.
What I suggest is sitting down with a whiteboard and a marker or a sheet of paper in a notepad and writing out your options or make a list. Write out things like:
- what you love to do
- what makes you happy
- what makes you miserable and cranky
- what needs to get dumped from your life
- where you need to improve/change/grow/etc.
- temporary things you can do to get started on a self improvement path
There are many things you will to put out on the table in front of you to sift and sort through but it’s really important and necessary you do that otherwise we just keep repeating the same toxic pattern and habits.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
And clearly, something needs to change. You’re going to have to take some time to be really honest with yourself. Are you doing things you shouldn’t be doing? Are you doing things from a place of greed and ego?
Have a look at your life and see where you can make some self improvements. It doesn’t mean you are flawed or a failure, it simply means that it’s ok, more than ok, to learn and grow from crappy situations in our lives.
Be strong, brave and open minded enough to grow from it.
I think the most important thing I really need you to remember here is that it’s all temporary and you’re totally gonna be ok. I need you to know that.
Working your way out of rock bottom is horrible and beautiful at the same time. I know. I’ve had to do it 4 times already. The last time, to be honest, was the absolute hardest. Why?
Because I was 58 years old and thought I was too old to get out of rock bottom this time. I was so tired. I honestly just didn’t want to hold on anymore. But I did. You might want to check out this video from my YouTube channel (click on image/video below) on how to start over at 50.
I need you to have faith and hang on tight. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to ugly and frustrating but it’s going to be so rewarding. I promise you that.
xo iva xo