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Rock bottom is often a turning point for people.
Not because they suddenly see the light, not because the worst days of their lives are magically transmuted into some type of epiphany, not because someone saves them from their own madness. No, it is a turning point because it is only at that point that most people think:
“I never want to feel this way again.”
This is one of the most life-changing moments we can ever feel because it becomes the foundation upon which we build everything else.
That thought is not just an idea. It is a declaration and a resolve.
When we decide that we do not ever want to feel a certain way again, we set out on a journey of self-awareness, learning, and growth that has us radically reinvent who we are.
In that moment, fault becomes irrelevant. We’re no longer mulling over who did what and how we’ve been disadvantaged and wronged. At that moment, only one thing guides us, and it is this: no matter what it takes, I will never feel this way again.
What is rock bottom?
It isn’t a bad day. It doesn’t happen by chance. We only arrive at rock bottom when our habits begin to compound upon one another and when our coping mechanisms have spiraled so far out of control that we can no longer resist what we were attempting to hide.
Rock bottom is when we are finally faced with ourselves. When everything has gone so wrong, we are left to realize that there is only one common denominator through it all. We must heal. We must change. We must choose to turn around so that we will never feel this way again.
When we have a down day, we don’t think: I never want to feel this way again. Why? Because it’s not unbearable. Mostly, though, we are somewhat aware that small failures are a regular part of life. We are imperfect, but trying our best, and that vague discomfort will pass, eventually.
We don’t reach the breaking point because one or two things go wrong. We reach the breaking point when we finally accept that the problem isn’t how the world is, it is how we are.
This is a beautiful reckoning to have.
Ayodeji Awosika describes it well:
“You must find the purest, purest, purest form of being fed up. Make it hurt. I literally screamed, ‘I’m not going to fucking live like this anymore!'”
Human beings are guided by concepts of comfort. They stay close to what feels familiar, and reject what doesn’t, even if it’s objectively better for them.
Be this as it is, most people do not actually change their lives until changing becomes the more comfortable option. This means that we do not actually embrace the difficulty of altering our habits until we simply do not have another choice.
Staying where we are is no longer viable, and we can no longer even pretend that it is desirable in any way. We are, quite honestly, less at rock bottom and more stuck between a rock, and it is an arduous climb out from beneath it.
We must climb.
If we really want to change our life, we must let ourselves be consumed with rage—not for others, not for the world, but for ourselves.
Get so angry and so determined that we allow ourselves to develop tunnel vision with one thing and one thing only: we will not go on as we are.