Touching the bottom emotionally: how to recover?

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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Life doesn't always smile at us. Sometimes, it backfires on us. He deals us hard blows from which it is difficult to recover. When nothing goes well and the structure that supported our life collapses, it is not strange that we end up hitting rock bottom.

At that moment we feel that we are sliding - slowly but surely - into a tunnel with no grips. We fall without resistance. Without self-esteem to hold on to. Hopeless. With the certainty that we have nothing more to lose and nothing to gain.



It is not a pleasant experience. There is no doubt. But after hitting bottom emotionally, we need to make sure we don't get stuck in that hole indefinitely. Right then, when we feel destroyed, we can use the experience to strengthen and grow.

We fall due to the force of gravity, but we get up thanks to the willpower

When we emotionally hit rock bottom, we have two options: to be paralyzed in that hole or to start climbing. While it sounds irrational, the fact is that in certain circumstances the prospect of staying on the bottom can be tempting. You get used to everything. And being in that hole, however dark, cold and painful it may be, finally frees us from the need to fight, authorizes us to lay down our weapons and let our guard down, already inert and without strength. In a way, that hole becomes a relief from all the problems that took us all the way. And we like this.

On the other hand, the psychological weight we carry also takes away the strength to rise and clouds our mind, so we are unable to see a way out, even if we have it right in front of our eyes. But standing at the bottom of the well implies certain death - in a metaphorical and sometimes even literal sense. Therefore, as soon as we gather some strength, we must undertake the ascent.



Five very valuable lessons we learn when we hit rock bottom

If we don't know how to swim to stay afloat, we will drown. Even if we don't like the feeling of drowning and don't know when we will be able to ascend, the bottom will allow us to gain momentum and embark on a journey of self-discovery by making us evolve. We can get some good from that experience.

1. We become aware of the real implications of the decisions we have made in life. Hitting the bottom teaches us that we are not immune to the hard blows of life and allows us to understand the purpose of each step taken. It helps us remove the blindfold and detect the bad decisions that have brought us this far on the road. At the same time, it helps us accept responsibility for our decisions, helping us understand that complaining, finding the culprits, or making excuses doesn't make any sense.

2. We discover our maladaptive behaviors and irrational beliefs. Hitting the bottom can be extremely enlightening. From there, when we have nothing more to lose, we can see life from another perspective, which can bring out all the false beliefs we have harbored and the dysfunctional behaviors we have put into practice. The most interesting thing is that hitting the bottom, many of these thoughts and beliefs lose their power, so we understand that hitting bottom was not only inevitable, but necessary to reset and get rid of the unhealthy thought patterns.

3. We begin to question everything. When we reach the bottom, we begin to question not only our own decisions, motivations and beliefs, but also those of others. We acquire greater maturity which allows us to see the world more objectively. This new perspective helps us to orient ourselves in the best way. Hitting the bottom is a "cold shower" that leads us to rethink everything we had taken for granted, an exercise that can open unexpected doors for us.



4. We gain humility and compassion. Many times, when we hit rock bottom, we manage to develop a detached attitude towards ourselves. It means that we can see ourselves with more compassion, which does not involve self-pity but being aware that we need to take care of ourselves and love ourselves. Bottom line also allows you to develop a humbler attitude towards life because it helps calm your ego. And it encourages you to value the simpler things in life, so when you get out of that hole, you'll be happy with a lot less.

5. We learn to let go of everything that harms us. There is nothing like hitting bottom to learn to let go of everything that is not worth or that hurts us. These are ideas, projects or even people. What may seem like internal emptying at first is actually an essential exercise in getting rid of all those things that have brought us to that state. We let go of what harms us to welcome what will heal us.

Last but not least, hitting rock bottom will help us find our true inner strength. It will become an experience that will give us strength and accompany us throughout our life, helping us to put all problems in perspective by trusting more in our abilities. Touching the bottom and being able to rise will demonstrate our stamina. And this is an experience that cannot be forgotten.


Begin the climb

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional," says a Buddhist phrase. We can't avoid falling, but we can stop the descent into depression and start climbing. At some point, we have to stop digging to get out of the hole.

The ascent is not always easy. It will be one step at a time and there may be times when we need to take a break or go down a bit to gain momentum. The important thing is not to give up the effort or fall into the role of the helpless victim.


For that, we need to start focusing on the positive, even if it's the small things. While we were immersed in misfortune, many positive things were happening around us, but we were unable to see them. Now we need to change the lenses and look in that direction.

We just need to start the ascent knowing that the night is darkest just before sunrise. And the dawn ... the dawn always comes.

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