They say, 'when you hit rock bottom, the only way is up'.
I remember a nurse in the local mental health services saying that to me when I had found myself in that cold hard place, and it was said with such certainty and unshakable confidence, that it has stuck with me since. And echoed in my mind each time I revisited that rock bottom (yes, I undertook a few revisits..y'know just to be sure it still sucked..)
When you feel like there is zero hope, nothing is going right and life is losing any inch of appeal it may have had, yeah it makes sense that the likelihood of it getting much worse is significantly smaller than the possibility of it getting even a teeny bit better.
When you're in that place of despair and any idea of hope is akin to a fragile wisp of smoke, having a sentence like that is helpful to refocus and think, 'this is it, this is as bad as it gets and I'm still here. It can only improve from here.'
Saying it's a horrible place to be is an understatement, so I won't play it down but what I will say is that this is where real growth can come from. This is where you can say 'This is exactly what I don't want life to be', and that's a pretty solid foundation for change to emerge from.
Ever think about how flowers grow? That tiny seed beneath the surface covered in dirt and completely in the dark. It can't be easy busting out of there and pushing through to become something beautiful. There's a quote that puts it more eloquently, but you get what I mean, we all have this potential.
Rock bottom is that point for a lot of people where the thinking is 'I just can't take this anymore' and unfortunately, sometimes we transfer that sentence onto our lives instead of onto our emotional distress. We can handle life.
What we can't and don't need to handle is the thoughts that are wrecking our heads or the behaviours we can't seem to control or the feeling of complete inadequacy and incapability at being a normal human being.
That's the stuff we need to put an end to. But this rock bottom is just where we are going to build our foundation for the life we actually want to live and can get excited about.
Bit by Bit.
Where can you go from rockbottom? What is 'Up' from here?
That's where the beautiful, inextinguishable potential of Possibility comes in.
Look for the multitude of possibilities in life.
Life has beauty, opportunity, connection, art, travel, music, sport, books... it is so full of possibility for each and every one of us.
What you focus on grows so if you want to seek out positive possibilities and the potential for your journey up from below, start looking around and taking note.
As always, start small, see how the next few minutes could be better. Is there something you could do for you? Is there something that could put a smile on your face? Is there a quote or a line that could make you want to change your mindset?
Maybe consider the possibility in the next day or few days. Maybe go bigger and think of all of the possibilities for your future if you start building your foundation up now.
Define your own 'way up', and let loose exploring the possibilities that could be yours for the taking.
For me, my life really began when I started that process of building up from the bottom. Like any strong foundation, this takes time and work and by no means is it just a straight road, but it's still a road a long way from how it was and continuing on that road is my way up.
Photo from http://alifetimeofwisdom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/an-arrow-can-only-be-shot-by-pulling-it-backward-so-when-life-is-dragging-you-back-with-difficulties.jpg