13 Oct The 3 things I wanted most when I hit rock bottom…
As you may already know, I became a coach after a pretty serious transition in my own life. I had been in a life and in a career that looked amazing from the outside (everyone was always commenting on how “awesome” my job was, how impressed they were), but I could not seem to make myself happy in that life. Note the use of the words “make myself…” Clue #1: you shouldn’t have to “make yourself happy.” If that’s something you’re battling with, stop and take a look around. Something is not right.
To “fix the problem,” I tried to change everything about my life. I moved across the country to a new city, I ended relationships and friendships, I changed jobs, I changed clothes. You name it, I tried to change it. Except the one thing I wasn’t truly changing was myself. I was in therapy, which allowed me to feel that I was working on myself, but I wasn’t changing, not really. I was just stuck. And no matter how much I changed my situation, I just felt worse. But, I kept pushing.
The more I swam upstream, the harder the current pushed against me and the more tired I got. Finally, it was too much. It was just too hard. I raised a white flag and I surrendered. I stopped pushing. I stopped trying to “making it work” and “make myself happy.”
All of the changes I had made to my external situation were like putting a band-aid on a festering wound. After just three months in this new life, I hit rock bottom. Changing everything had only made me realize that it wasn’t these external factors that were making me unhappy. The common denominator in my life was something much more innate. It was me.
Not a fun thing to realize, let me tell you. I was terrified. I was lost. I had quit my job without a plan and surrendered to the fact that I knew something was going on, that something was “off” with me and my life, but I didn’t know what it was and I had no idea what to do.
But, I do want to share with you a few of the things that I was certain of in that time. I was aware of what I really wanted in those moments. Of course, I wanted answers, but what I really wanted was these three things:
I wanted to not feel so damn alone. In fact, I didn’t want to feel alone at all. And that feeling of aloneness was the most permeating feeling I experienced during that time. That no one understood me and I was out in the middle of the ocean in a boat all by myself.
I wanted to know that I wasn’t crazy. I had this overwhelming sense, because I was so lost and confused, that I had completely lost it. Like literally lost it. It also didn’t help that a lot of people around me thought I had. In the end, I just wanted some semblance of an idea of what was going on with me so that I knew I wasn’t just losing my mind.
I wanted someone to point me in any direction that was useful. If you’ve ever tried to crack open a piñata, you might have some idea of how I was feeling in this regard. I felt blindfolded and like I had been spun around 137 times and there were these voices cheering/yelling all around me, telling me different directions to go but I was dizzy, disoriented and completely lost. I had no idea what direction to go in. What I wanted was someone to just stop me from spinning, and even if I was still blindfolded, at least I had some remote idea of a direction to swing in.
That time was almost four years ago. I did my time in that dizzy, alone place feeling like I might have lost my mind. But, I also found my way out of it, and am incredibly grateful now for how terrible I felt then. I am dramatically changed.
At the time, I wished that I had someone to help me, to guide me. Now I know that I wasn’t meant to have that because I was meant to stumble around for a while and find my own path and my own answers so that I can now help others find their way.
And now, this is exactly where I help my clients – where they feel lost, where they feel stuck, where they have no idea what’s going on but something is “off.” So, if you feel like you may have hit rock bottom, or even if you’re just feeling a bit lost, stuck, crazy or “off,” I know where you’re coming from. And, I want you to know this:
You are not perpetually stuck. You will get unstuck, one way or another. And your direction will present itself.
You’re not crazy.
And, you’re definitely not alone.
If you’d like to know more about my journey and how I went from rock bottom to finding my way, living more authentically, becoming a coach and thriving, you can check out my About page.