When You Hit Rock Bottom
How do you continue having a positive outlook even in dark times?
A reader recently asked me this question, “how do you continue having a positive outlook even in dark times?” They are going through a rough patch in their lives and they were just wondering what type of positivity pills I pop, because how are you able to look up when you’ve hit rock bottom and you’re just in a funk that you never think you will come out of? You know like when you get into a tunnel, I’m sure you’ve passed under one. You can visualize the sudden darkness that engulfs you at first.
The way this life is set up, and I always say this, dark times – dark days – dark moments are inevitable. No one is immune to them. It could happen to you, it could happen to me, it could literally happen to anyone and at any given time. And no one is ever ready, because we always anticipate and hope for the best for ourselves. We want to prosper, we want to be successful, we want to be wealthy, we want to be happy and in love. No one wishes or hopes for bad things for themselves.
But what to do when unfortunate events occur in your life? When the road you’re taking suddenly leads you to a tunnel and you have to walk through it before you can see that light that gives you a little hope? Things like say the loss of a job, the loss a loved one, a failed business deal, brokenness, failed relationships, a rejection, a bad boss, sickness, a bad breakup, betrayal, wearisomeness etc. I have really tried to list as many, but you can add on it. When you’re in it, it’s a really confusing place because in most cases, you don’t have an instant solution to the problem. It’s just a lingering problem that you can’t shake off and it clouds your vision. You can’t see how your life will be going forward because your present just sucks real bad and you resent it.
Since I was asked what I do, I will share it from my perspective the way I did with them. It would be great to hear from others and what they do, because I know many of us have been through a dark time and they have fought though it and have managed to come out of it victorious. You’ve ridden or walked through the tunnel and experienced its darkness but you’ve persevered through it and worked your way through it to a point where you could see the light and now you’re soaking up the light and the warmth of it.
The first thing that I do, is that I allow myself to feel the pain of what I am going through. If it’s the kind that deserves a cry, I’ll cry. I’m a crier. So I will cry completely, the kind that comes with mucus and heaves. This makes me aware that there’s a problem and for me accepting that fact that things are not okay and that it’s troubling me to my core is a great step, because sometimes the denial is real. At that moment, I know that I have work to do.
The next thing I do is that become very practical about it. It’s at this point I try (because it’s a lot of personal confrontation) to make sense of everything that’s happened or that’s happening – what exactly happened, what lead to it, what can I do to get myself out of this situation or make myself feel better about how things have turned out. Then I channel my mind to forward thinking, the from today mindset. “From today, what do I need to do?” because I’m a firm believer that your attitude is one of the major keys (major key alert) to unlock the solution or to lead you to the light.
For example, a job loss, because that’s what my reader is currently going through. I would try reach out to my family and friends who I know or think have connections and letting them know of my situation and if they can help me network or make introductions to potential employers; revamping my CV and ensuring that it’s ready to share and distribute should an opportunity arise; actively start looking and applying for jobs through the different platforms and so much more. Did you know this type of situations sometimes breed creativity? Well, they do.
In the same breadth, I keep myself occupied with things that I enjoy doing. Mostly because that helps me release the pressure that I am feeling inside, almost therapeutic. Like, I would write (although I avoid it when I am feeling low because I don’t want to use the platform to vent, and I don’t enjoy writing on journals so I ride the wave). I surprisingly wash dishes and clean the house, take a long walk while listening to some good music, read books/articles/blogs, and watch a lot of TV shows. At this point, I end up focusing on what I am currently doing and briefly forget what I am going through. The activities relieve my heart from the worry, and for a moment, it rests. I can laugh, I can think about other things.
I also have conversations with my family/friends that are progressive. So that instead of dwelling on the problem, we’re talking of solutions or what I can do to get out of the funk that I am in. They love on me and they encourage me. And that’s why you have to be very selective about the people you share your problems with, if you at all do. Oh, I also keep telling myself that everything will be alright, speaking positive things on to my life and those around me. I am a believer, a Christian, and that for me is the foundation of my strength. Knowing that despite the negative things happening in my life now, God has my back and he will see me through whatever it is I am going through. And sooner rather than later, that will be my testimony/my story.
One of the bible verses that inspire me and that speak to this is when prophet Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
If you’re going through a rough patch, I am saying a prayer for you. For you to stay positive and hopeful through it. That even as you go through that dark tunnel, that you have the strength to push on to the end, to the light and the warmth and the joy. And as you begin your other phase of the journey, the one after you leave that dark tunnel, that you may enjoy every bit of it, and remain grateful.
If hugs could be emailed, you would be squished.
Someone needs a hug today, hug them!