Hitting Your Rock Bottom
Hitting an emotional rock bottom is not always caused by external circumstances. You might seem like you have your stuff figured out, and basically have ‘the perfect life’, but that doesn't at all mean you are also okay mentally. Mental health is really complicated, and can be affected by so many things. Not feeling like a 100% in your head, even though you think you should, because you have everything you could have ever asked for, is real, and you should never blame yourself for this.
I would say, that I have hit rock bottom twice in my life so far. The first time it was totally my circumstances, and the things happening in my personal life, school, and everything just really seemed to be going in the wrong direction, I didn’t see a way out, I felt like I was going to feel like that for the rest of my life. I cried every day, I didn’t feel like going anywhere,doing anything, talking to anyone. I felt the loneliest, that I have ever felt in my entire life.
The second time,it was different.
The second time it came around, I was also the happiest I have ever been. What a paradox! It basically started a few months ago, and I am not so sure, that it's over, or actually, I know that I am still in it. This inspired this article.
At the time it started, I really just felt like the luckiest girl on Earth. My best friend became my partner, and you can not imagine how happy that made me(and it still does). I felt like I was dreaming 24/7, and no one could have made that go away. Except myself, of course. My mind was the one, that started making me feel worse and worse, until it got really out of hand. I started overthinking everything, I started feeling like my significant other deserved so much better than me, and ultimately I started thinking, that I am a horrible, unbearable person. I think you know, how overthinking works, but for me e.g., I thought that the fact that he wanted to spend 1(!) night (in that other 6 he was always with me), with his friends, meant that he got bored of me, and didn't want to be with me anymore. My brain was just so sensitive, vulnerable, and triggerable, literally anything, and everything was enough to make me cry, and send me down on a path, that resulted in long-long hours of crying, self-hatred, and the biggest mental breakdowns, I have ever had. I also felt so guilty, because I had the perfect partner by my side, sticking with me through these awful times, and all I did was just more arguing, and crying for the both of us. I was extremely angry at myself, for not being able to control my emotions and thoughts, but it took me some time to realize, that it doesn't quite work like that.
I think, that I am writing this article right now, because I just figured out the reasons for my rock bottom this time, and even though I have no idea how to consciously make it better, at least I know what caused it.
I have a lot of trauma, and experience, that I never had time, or courage to process, and maybe somewhere, very deep in my mind, I thought "If i ignore them now, they'll just disappear". Well, as you can see, it didn't happen that way, and I feel like this mindset even made it worse. In an alternate universe, the experience happens, maybe bad things happen, and within the next few months, you actively think about them, and process time in your own time. Unfortunately, I actively did the exact opposite. This way, all the things I should have processed a long time ago, stayed there, and just grew into a big mess of things, that I now need to cope with.
It is interesting, because even though I am the one getting triggered, and feeling absolutely horrible, for months, I had no clue about why I was feeling so down. Until now, I didn't know, that incidents, that happened more than 7 months ago, and even my previous rock bottom, can influence my mind, and feelings, in such a bad way, so much later.
How To Get Better
"The sun will rise, and we will try again."
- Feel the pain
Sounds a little masochist, I agree, but absolutely true, and the foundation of every single recovery, of any shape or form. Without actually (and I mean actually, not just telling yourself, when you dont't even mean it) accepting, that you are not in a good place right now, and you can give up the urge to control everything around you, and also everything in your head, your journey can begin. You don't need to rush yourself, you properly need to feel things, even if it hurts like hell, and you feel like it is never going to be over, or better, just trust me on that one. It will be better, and sooner than you know, over. Know, that once you decently felt everything you needed to feel, and experienced the worst of it, it's going to be so much easier next time that feeling or thought comes.
- Practice self-compassion
Once you've dealt with all the pain you could, you need to make peace with what happened, and most importantly forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the things you think you could've done differently, for the things you think you shouldn't have done, for the way you think you should've reacted, for the way you think you should've coped with it, and lastly please forgive yourself for everything that happened. Know, and accept, that it wasn't your fault, and you've done everything in your power to stop it. You've done everything in your power. Remember that.
Be kind and forgiving towards yourself, just the same way you would be, with a person you love. Love yourself, and act upon that. Be proud of yourself for the things you've done, and the many-many things you've dealt with alone, because yes, maybe in some cases there is someone by your side through these things, but know, that you are the one processing, and getting through them.
- Find your home again
Home can mean a lot of things. The main idea, is a thing (anything) that you love more than yourself, a thing you love with extreme passion. Whether that's a sport, you haven't done in years, or a hobby you once loved, or a completely new thing you never tried before, the point is that while you're doing it you feel alive, you feel happy, you feel like you could conquer the world, and you just love doing it. Find your passion, find something that makes you feel alive again, after all this time of coping with so much pain, you deserve to be happy, and to do something amazing.
- Get out into the world again
Don't hide, and don't keep the things you love doing to yourself. It can feel intimidating, to show these to other people, and you might feel so vulnerable, but that's a beautiful thing isn't it? Putting your trust into people again, after getting hurt, you are so brave for doing that! It’s important to share your “home” with the world because it’s your gift. Share it whether people love you for it or hate you for it, share it whether you’re a novice or an expert.It will bring you out of hiding, out of self-pity, and out of self-loathing, because you won’t be focused only on yourself anymore. You’ll be focused on something external, and the magical thing about sharing your gift is it will connect you. It will connect you to the world again, to the people who come in contact with your gift, to the people who get your gift, and most importantly, it will connect you with you again.
I know you can do this. I am proud of you.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Lili Zoltai