12 Things I Learned When I Hit Rock Bottom

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It’s not about how you get down, but how you rise up. Alexandra Bicada shares her realizations from being at a low point in her life.

I am certain that most of us have experienced hitting rock bottom at least once in our life.

It honestly is depressing, isn’t it? Let’s not even talk about the utter fact that when it happens, we have no other choice but to bite the bullet.

It’s sad when people presume that it’s all in our mind and that “we should change our mindset because we’re being too dramatic” — like hell I should! Like hell we should?!

The mixture of anxiousness, loneliness, and sadness all bottled up inside us is just a whole new level of insanity nobody ever wanted to experience, and yet here we are. Yes, here we are.

Simply put, hitting rock bottom felt as if I was down in a dark and desolate pit, drowning under cold waters, while an invisible force choked the life out of me. Every single day was a burden I have to carry to the point that I thought putting an end to my entire existence was the best idea.

It felt as if I was a thousand leagues under the sea, but that’s not what scared me the most: Rather, it’s the uneasy trepidation that it still might not be the bottom of the ocean, and I can still sink deeper, deeper, deeper into darkness.

When you feel the same way as I did, I beg you not to abandon hope and not to let yourself drown. It’s awful, it’s painful and it’s tiresome but you just have to lift your heads above the waves.

Trust me, you will not regret it.

I have been biting dust after dust but I have lived to tell! It might not be that much of a victory but at least now, I have come to share with you the 12 things I learned when I hit rock bottom:

1. I took my time for granted.

It was late in the day when I realized I have been repeating the same mistakes for the past couple of years. I allowed my time and youth to slip easily through my fingers and I took it for granted but now, more than ever, I try to live the best I can and Barbra Streisand the crap out of life! That’s right, “Nobody is gonna rain on my parade!”

2. I learned to be humble.

I was never a know-it-all to begin with, but I realized that I’ve been surrounding myself with prideful thoughts, believing that I was destined for greatness.

Although it is a good motivational belief, it was nothing more but narcissism and I figured that nothing will ever happen if I don’t put in any work. Another realization that kept me grounded up ‘til now is knowing that I have so much to do and so much to learn before I could even catch a glimpse of success.

3. I was blaming the wrong people.

It was easier that way, anyway. I didn’t want to take responsibility for my actions so I blamed others instead and look where that got me.

Yet one of the best things that’s ever happened when I was down that sinking pit was how I was able to step up my game. I wasn’t giving myself enough credit to the point that I blamed others for my misfortunes.

4. I should trust myself more often…

I’ve been sitting on the fence because I’ve been doubting myself. My entire life, I hid behind the shadows, allowing myself to be battered and bruised, all because I’m terrified to push past my comfort zone. I eventually put a stop to it when I realized that I was doing more harm than good to myself. Despite still having several insecurities, at the end of the day, all that matters is how I am able to pick myself up and try to win my daily battles.

5. … and that is why I should start carving my own direction.

Life never handed me a compass, which is why I was walking around in circles. All I ever saw were barricades and dead ends cruel enough to give me a peek of what’s beyond it: success.

I became desperate and eventually when push came to shove, I started creating my own path. It was definitely not a smooth sail — every second, I was expecting myself to go down in flames. Luckily, I was rooting for myself this time which inspired me to muster up the courage and accept challenges just so I can pave my way to my own victory.

6. I learned to acknowledge the pain.

And I allowed the pain to hurt me.

As you might have guessed, it wasn’t a walk in the park. It was truly a journey through fire and water, but it was a necessary step for self-betterment.

As absurd as it sounds, acknowledging the pain and whatever was causing it helped me focus on how to deal with my sadness and problems both on a logical and emotional level. By accepting the pain and allowing myself to feel helped ease the transition.

It took some time, but I later realized that I have to face the blues before I can have a taste of healing, peace, and inner bliss.

7. I can’t make it on my own.

Nobody can build an empire all by themselves. For the most part, I believed I could go through life as a one-man show, and boy was I dead wrong! Fact is, we all need people in our lives to help us connect the dots one way or another.

8. I don’t have everything under my control.

It dawned on me that we’re just a tiny speck in the entire universe and we’re not as powerful as we think we are. Sometimes, when it rains, it pours. I can only do so much about it, but that doesn’t mean I should just wait for things to happen for me.

All I live by today is to deal with what I can control — my fears, my emotions, and my thoughts — so that when an opportunity presents itself, I can pull my own strings and take proper responsibility towards it. 

9. There is a higher power.

Call it what you will — God, Allah, Odin, the Universe, Nature, the Flower Power. I started to believe that there is a natural force that guides us through life and will always be there to listen to our hopes and dreams and it is willing to help us if we are willing to help ourselves. I learned to have faith and that there is something that connects with us and helps us walk through the perils of life.

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10. I have awesome friends, awesome family, and an awesome community.

I remembered that I have a set of friends who do not get tired of listening to my constant cries, and a family who supports me with my dreams.

I also appreciate how I have an awesome community (I am a Bukas Loob sa Diyos member and they are and will always be family to me) who feeds my soul with optimism and faith when everything has turned dull and gray. What more can I ever ask for?

11. I learned to be thankful that they are a part of my life.

The reason I still wear these rose-colored glasses proudly and confidently is that I’m surrounded by my loved ones along with their positivity and their support. They are more than I could ever ask for and I am constantly grateful to them for staying with me through thick… and thicker.

12. There’s no way else to go but up!

I realized that I cannot drown any deeper than this. I have laid at the depths of the ocean and it was dark, but it was also mysteriously beautiful and cleansing for my soul. Now that I’ve reached the bottom, I guess there’s nowhere else to go but spring right back up and ride high.

 I wish I could tell you the method to my madness and how I overcame the obstacles that came along with hitting rock bottom, but we all have different problems and different coping mechanisms. All I can assure you is that healing does not happen overnight and that you have to allow the kindness of time to ease up your sufferings.

It is indeed a constant battle and I hope you will feel better soon and I pray that good fortunes will come to you and that you will be brave enough to accept it!

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