When I was 18, I hit a rock bottom that ultimately changed my life.
Like most teens in the United States, high school is followed by college. I packed my bags and headed off 5 hours away from home to a small forgotten college town. I arrived and was completely anonymous is a new world of shared bathrooms, late classes, and ‘freedom’. For the first time, I was completely alone and immersed in myself.
In the first few days of arrival, I spent my birthday alone crying next to a tree on an adjacent hiking path near the school wishing to go home. Hours later after sobbing my heart out to the trees, I ventured into the nearby town center. Making my way through the deserted streets wandering in and out of old record and antique shops. I somehow found my way to a local Jazz festival that was being held. I sat in a wooden booth, listened to the soothing music and letting it absorb me. I slowly made my way back up to campus and finished my day eating a dry piece of cake from the cafeteria.
My days molded into one, gradually adding friends and slowly getting to know the ego shell that I had created to keep me safe. I was on a solo retreat I did not remember signing up for, forcing to be engaged with aspects of myself I had bottled down. I was alone most of the time falling into new patterns that would hinder my growth, while continually ignoring the universe saying, “Wake up”.
With that said, my mental health deteriorated. I became anxious, depressed, and was seriously lacking nourishment because I was eating less due to the first two. It didn’t help that I was walking for a few hours a day on that same trail I found when I first arrived. However, that nature path was one of my saviors in many ways. It allowed me to be, to feel calm for a few moments a day.
I ended up switching schools half-way through the school year hoping things would get better, yet I was continually getting hit in the face and it didn’t seem like it was going to stop. In summary, my mental health worsened, old friendships faded, I had no job, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. It felt like an avalanche had spilled onto my chest asking if it was okay to reside there for a while.
I was being pushed to face everything that was no longer aligning with me, and what was hindering me from being my authentic self.
What this rock bottom did was heighten everything I tried to conceal from blocks, limiting beliefs, to where this energy was stored in my body. For the majority of my life, I played a role so that I would be liked by others, feel seen, validated. I wore layers of masks that found their ways in my speech, clothes, and friends. Until suddenly that role was no longer getting cast and the props were thrown out.
During this time many things left my life, as space was being created for the new to be allowed in. This meant letting go of my belief around control and other limiting beliefs.
Furthermore, healing has been such a major part of my story. If you have read my short post on How Yoga Changed My Life you will know that yoga was a big healer and has become a transformational part of my life. I developed tools, that I still use to this day, like meditation, journaling (See How to Reduce Stress), rituals, yoga, breathwork, time in nature etc.. that have worked for me and have helped me reconnect with my body and bring me back into alignment. Especially, when I am feeling down or need of reassurance.
Working through these belief structures, releasing negative stagnant energy that was being stored in the body, while learning and implementing spiritual practices has been what my soul craved and needed, but was lacking.
This rock bottom occurred because I was no longer listening to the intuitive guidance and authenticity that was buried inside me.
This rock bottom in my life pushed me to:
Look at shadow aspects, limiting beliefs & insecurities, of myself.
Remove what is no longer aligning, create space.
It pushed me to heal, to create, to have a child-like wonder of the world again.
Healing takes time, please don’t rush it or try to force it. It was taken me over 2 years to finally get to a point where I am confident and comfortable in my skin. There are still shadowy aspects that are triggered, but I have been given so many tools to help heal.
A part of me that was once asleep had been reawakened and reactivated so I am able to live a happier life. Hitting Rock Bottom changed my life. Hopefully, you won’t have to go through such a drastic wake-up call, but if you do you are not alone and you can heal and come out thriving.