There Is A Way Back Up: Where To Go After You Hit Rock Bottom


Is the universe just toying with us? How I approached this question changed for me about two years ago after a visit with my family doctor. “I recommend we operate,” he said.

As I walked to the parking lot from the doctor’s office, I remember being completely distraught. I literally had nothing going for me; I was in my mid-twenties and I didn’t have a job or girlfriend, and I still lived at home with my parents.

I was also very depressed. Now, I felt like everything in my life was going wrong, and all I could do was helplessly watch as it continued to get worse.

In an attempt to try to calm my nerves and grasp for sanity, I stopped the world around me and took in a deep breath. That’s what the health and wellness pundits tell us to do, after all. To my unpleasant surprise, my nostrils were instantly filled with the overwhelming smell of dog sh*t.

Now, I could have reacted to this ridiculous ordeal in a multitude of ways. My predictable response could have been reciting the old quote, “When it rains it pours,” and conspire that the universe was out to get me, but something changed me in that instance.

It may have been a result of the exact sequence and timing of those events, but my immediate reaction was to laugh uncontrollably -- and I don’t mean a manic laugh. I’m talking about the sincere, full-bellied howl that brings tears of joy to your eyes.

Did the universe just play a prank on me? That perfectly placed dog poop on my life’s timeline cheered me up when I needed it most and changed the course of my life forever.

Life really is quite absurd, and as random as it sometimes may appear, it is also filled with inexplicably coincidental moments that will have you question its chaotic nature.

On that fateful day, I decided that things were going to get better. I felt completely recharged by the irony of what I had just endured and accepted that maybe life wasn’t so bad.

In all likelihood, the universe was toying with me, but instead of being a victim, I decided I was going to play along. I started believing that interconnected into all the intricacies and outcomes, each person has the potential to take control of his or her existence and accomplish anything.

Most important of all those things, each person is capable of finding happiness.

These days, I’m not exactly what society may deem successful. I don’t make a lot of money, and yes, I had to move back in with my parents. However, if you look past what’s on the surface, you’ll notice something very important about me that has changed drastically in the past two years: I’m happy.

How do you find happiness, anyway? For me, it really wasn’t that difficult to find. With the belief that I could “take control of my existence and accomplish anything” as my guide, it didn’t take long until I started becoming a fulfilled human being.

So the next step was simple: I wrote down a list of things I wanted to do (you could call it an early bucket list), and I began doing whatever it took to ensure I achieved them.

I started with simple things, and before I knew it, this happened:

s̶t̶a̶y̶ ̶s̶o̶b̶e̶r̶ ̶

g̶e̶t̶ ̶p̶a̶i̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶v̶e̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶

b̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶e̶l̶e̶v̶i̶s̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶

g̶r̶o̶w̶ ̶a̶ ̶h̶a̶n̶d̶l̶e̶b̶a̶r̶ ̶m̶u̶s̶t̶a̶c̶h̶e̶ ̶

c̶l̶i̶m̶b̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶o̶u̶n̶t̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶

b̶a̶c̶k̶p̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶E̶u̶r̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶

w̶i̶t̶n̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶N̶o̶r̶t̶h̶e̶r̶n̶ ̶L̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶ ̶

w̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶u̶c̶c̶e̶s̶s̶f̶u̶l̶ ̶m̶a̶g̶a̶z̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶

l̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶d̶i̶f̶f̶e̶r̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶v̶i̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶ ̶

a̶c̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶g̶e̶

move out of my parent’s house (for good this time?)

I began checking off all of my life’s goals and ambitions, and in doing so, not only actualized incredible and entertaining life experiences that have filled me with wisdom and fond memories, but also gained an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I became addicted.

The more I crossed off, the more confident I felt about myself and the more challenging goals I started listing. It became a snowball effect of success, fulfillment and most importantly, happiness.

I may not be exactly where I want to be today, but to me, that’s a total thrill. The thought of the unknown, and the many adventures to come, makes life interesting and exciting. I highly recommend you start trying to have fun with life, and don’t take it so seriously.

Once you hit rock bottom, maybe all you need to do is write out a list. When you start crossing things off, you just might become a list junkie like me, which can give you the power to achieve anything your heart desires.

What is it that you really want to do in life? Wait, don’t tell me… Go write these ideas down. Then do whatever it takes to make them a reality. Anyway, I better get back to this list. I still have a lot of “work” to do.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr