Author Topic: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?  (Read 10735 times)

Adventine

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What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« on: November 24, 2016, 09:38:40 PM »
I've been feeling like everything in my life has been going badly recently. Help me out with some motivating stories of overcoming the lowest point in your own life.

snogirl

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 10:20:42 PM »
In my experience, my most challenging & lowest moments of my life has sparked the most profound life changes.
My 1st was in 2004 when a failed relationship (one of many) brought me to deal with my alcoholism. I was 43 and a selfish, immature drunk. A strange set of circumstances presented me with the gift of sobriety. Today I'm 12 years sober. I'm a daughter, a sister, a real friend.
My second most profound change came in 2014. I was getting a divorce plus my house was being purchase through imminent domain. I was 45k in debt. I didn't drink over any of these low blows. I took action. Move a muscle change a thought. Again, through another strange set of circumstances, starting with doing The Minimalists 30 day getting rid of your clutter challenge, finding MMM, developing goals, tracking my spending, literally stripping away all my wants and just focusing on needs, doing all of this just one day a time, things got better! I'm now out of debt. I love where I live. I'm enough.
So I don't know what is going on for you but don't give up! One day at a Time. Sometimes it just 10 minutes at a time. Keep moving forward. If I can do it, anybody can too. :)

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marty998

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2016, 04:32:10 AM »
I've been feeling like everything in my life has been going badly recently. Help me out with some motivating stories of overcoming the lowest point in your own life.

It's 10:30pm on Friday night... I just left work after starting at 8:30am this morning.

Motivate me too please :(

Adventine

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2016, 04:46:34 AM »
I've been feeling like everything in my life has been going badly recently. Help me out with some motivating stories of overcoming the lowest point in your own life.

It's 10:30pm on Friday night... I just left work after starting at 8:30am this morning.

Motivate me too please :(

I've had a similar work schedule for the past week. Too many demands from too many people. Hard to juggle it all, even with the overtime. I thought this job would be a good change for me, but after 3 months, I really don't think it's a good fit (culture or work-wise).

I keep reminding myself that I have a stash to fall back on. Even at my current semi-spendy expense level, it would take 6.5 years before I spend down my stash to zero. But I feel stuck and trapped anyway, because my mom is going to have some major surgery that she most probably will need financial help with.

Add to that major sleep deprivation, and the recent end of an abusive relationship, and having no one to lean on or really confide in, and I think I may be reaching a breaking point.

So yes, some inspiring stories would be appreciated :(

pbkmaine

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What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 04:52:12 AM »
The early 1990s. My mother had died, leaving a mess of an estate. My first marriage was ending. I was starting a new career, and not earning much.

Out of that terrible time came every good thing that has happened since.

How I recovered: I looked in the mirror one morning, after a sleepless night, and said to myself: "This will not defeat you."

I discovered I was capable of perseverance. I learned to live simply. I found a guy who loved me as I was.

The bad times can teach you a lot about yourself, if you are willing to learn.

marty998

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2016, 04:53:19 AM »
It's a pretty big project going on... every now and again I get involved in something big at work. Well, at least accountants think it's big, the rest of the world won't care so much :P

I'm tired, and filled with red wine, and the cabbie is playing awful music which I asked him to stop and he doesn't know where he is going.

It's a corker of a Friday night haha :D

snogirl

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2016, 05:51:15 AM »
After the divorce & house fiasco, I took 3 years to dig out of debt setting up my spending priorities & a small business. On my birthday last month, I told my soul sucking job, FU, and walked out knowing I did the inner & outer work MMM talks about. My shift has created a whole new channel after clearing out the negativity. It wasn't just the people around me. Whenever I go I take me with me so any change starts & ends with me. Today I can pick & choose what I want to do. My small enterprise biz is doing good. I'm not rich but comfortable/ happy. I'm sorry about your situation on your abusive relationship. You took the first step in getting away & deserve better. Hang in there focus on the positive if you can.

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nyxst

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2016, 08:15:41 AM »
Iwent to bed one night with a "normal" married life with three kids, the youngest not even one year old yet.  By the end of the following day, my entire world was crushed. I had called my lawyer and told her I had to file for divorce. My (ex) husband would be in jail in just a matter of time. Now i was a 30 year old single mom, three young kids, one income, and county child service investigators checking my house to see if I should be allowed to keep my kids (all because of what my husband did). It was absolutely the worst. I cut off all unnecessary bills and cooked every meal and held my kids close and we hunkered down and made it through. The child services people only came for 2 or 3 months and then closed the file and said I was fine. I took some charity for that Christmas to get through. It was really a tough time. But, that was 7 years ago. Now my kids are wonderful, well adjusted, excelling at school (I've gotten compliments from teachers who find out our story and can't believe they can't tell my kids come from a "broken home" in any way...), and I have gotten raises and advanced at work, finished my associates degree, started working on my bachelor's. We kept the bills low and kept cooking at home and I have just hit $75k in my retirement accounts. I'm proud that I pulled my family through. I still fight some feelings of not being "good enough" and that is something I need to face, but really, overall, looking back, everything really could have gone to hell. Whatever it is, you got this. It's not the situations we are put in, it's how we choose to deal with it. Just get on your feet.

mozar

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2016, 09:28:17 AM »
I think the most important thing is to deal with the sleep issue. A sleep deprived  brain is on hyper alert which makes you even more exhausted. I didn't know until I was 30 what it meant to sleep. I thought I was just supposed to lay there. I got maybe 1 or 2 hours of sleep a night. The first thing that really helped me was sitting up in bed until I felt relaxed. Taking melatonin helps, and I do lots if tricks to help ease the anxious thoughts. Like I will go down the alphabet and thing of 5 words per letter. I don't use names because that's too easy. For example: abra cadabra, aerosol, appeal, arugula, apple, beehive etc.
Then I worked on getting up earlier on the weekends because sleeping in can wreck a week for me. I also started taking iron pills on my period because when I feel weak it triggers anxious thought which makes it hard to sleep. So its been 4 years now and I'm able to get 6-7 hours of sleep usually.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 09:30:41 AM by mozar »

Spork

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2016, 09:38:05 AM »
1994.  My marriage had been bad for a long time and finally fell apart.  The divorce  reset me back to $0 and wiped out the small amount of 401k I had saved.  I would not say I was alcoholic, but I was drinking way too much.  Depressed.  Doing nothing.  Bad times.

What did I do?  I hit a point where I decided "this shit's gotta change."  I called a shrink (which was way out of character for me).  I absolutely embraced exercise.  I went out every single day after work to a local trail area and would skate for 10-20 miles.  I was (and am) a huge introvert... but I made myself start talking to women on the skate trail.  I pretty much knew nothing would come of it -- but it gave me confidence to try and fail.  (I.e. doing nothing made me feel awful.  Doing something -- even something that didn't work -- made me feel good.)

Long story short: within a year I was in a relationship and back on the path to happiness. Twenty one years later: we're still together, we are FIRE and life is pretty sweet.

Uturn

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2016, 10:08:51 AM »
I got out of the Navy at 25 in 1995, and shortly after, I landed my first IT job.  For those of you too young to remember, this was just the beginning of the IT boom.  I was too naive to realize that it was a boom, I just thought this was how the real world was.  Companies sought me out, interviews were mostly me asking what I get out of the deal.  Money came so easily, why bother with financial planning?  I financed everything.  By 29, I was making $80k/yr, had a house, wife, two kids, a Jag, Jeep, two motorcycles, and was looking to buy some vacation property. 

Then in 2000, things started to unravel.  Got divorced in summer 2000, which led to depression that I tried to treat by upgrading motorcycles and airplanes.  In early 2001, the dot com crash happened, the recession kicked in, assholes flew planes into the world trade center, and the company that I was working for closed just before Thanksgiving.  Since I had never needed to know how to market myself, didn't have interview skills, and didn't have a degree, I was not very attractive to companies.  I spent most of 2002 trying to live off of unemployment and selling off all of my financed toys during a recession.  It was a financial and emotional beating.  Luckily, I was able to sell everything before the repo guys showed up.  I even sold the house furnished to a newlywed couple, just took my clothes and tools. 

After the house sold and not a single job interview, trying to make unemployment checks cover the still financed motorcycle and truck, I found myself living in a Ford Ranger while going to truck driving school.  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with truck driving, it is an honest paycheck, it was hard to go from being an experienced network engineer to hauling freight.  But it gave me a place to live and money coming in.  I was really in an emotional funk.  In two years I went from making a damn good salary, having a family with lots of nice stuff, to broke and single laborer. 

In late 2003, I landed a job for a shady IT company that catered to small businesses, I think our largest client had 10 employees.  It paid less than truck driving, but got me back into IT.  Two years out of the industry was not making me any more attractive to companies.  During this time I was sharing a house with an alcoholic truck driver and a crack smoking welder who sometimes had a job.  My life was definitely not on the track that I had imagined. 

In 2005, I finally landed a real network engineer position, making $50k.  Well under market pay, but it was in my chosen field.  Two years later, I was able to get my salary back into market range.

I learned some hard lessons in those five years.  I no longer finance anything by my house.  I learned how to market myself and proper interview skills.  I learned to always have a financial cushion to deal with crap that life can put in your path, and that life WILL put crap in your path.  Most importantly, I learned that when bad shit happens, I can either stew in my self pity and be bitter about how life has treated me, or I can figure out where I want to be and develop a plan to get there.   

Watchmaker

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2016, 10:11:27 AM »
I went out every single day after work to a local trail area and would skate for 10-20 miles.  I was (and am) a huge introvert... but I made myself start talking to women on the skate trail.

When you say skate, what do you mean?  Skate skiing, or like inline roller skates?  Sorry for the sidetrack, but I've never heard of a skate trail before.

The lowest moments of my life so far have been triggered not by external sources, but by depression, which has been a lifelong issue.  But, whether it's a external pressure or a mental health issue, I think the right things to do are the same: eat right, exercise, get a healthy amount of sleep, and talk to people (friends, a therapist or this forum).






Spork

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2016, 10:27:17 AM »
I went out every single day after work to a local trail area and would skate for 10-20 miles.  I was (and am) a huge introvert... but I made myself start talking to women on the skate trail.

When you say skate, what do you mean?  Skate skiing, or like inline roller skates?  Sorry for the sidetrack, but I've never heard of a skate trail before.

The lowest moments of my life so far have been triggered not by external sources, but by depression, which has been a lifelong issue.  But, whether it's a external pressure or a mental health issue, I think the right things to do are the same: eat right, exercise, get a healthy amount of sleep, and talk to people (friends, a therapist or this forum).

Inline skating.  It's not as popular now, but was relatively popular back in the 90s.  It wasn't a dedicated skate trail... just a wide concrete trail that rain 7-8 miles across Dallas.  It was a great place to meet people ... and over time a group of 15-20 of us would meet/skate/hang out after.

markbike528CBX

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2016, 10:39:24 AM »
1989.  Failed my Candidacy exam(required to continue on for a Ph. D).   Part of it was that I was burned out for school.  Took the "booby prize" of a non-thesis M.S., left and after some temp jobs, got a minimal job in my field.  The temp jobs were instructive, at one there were 6 of us sitting around a table stuffing envelopes for $5-7/hour, all of us with degrees, and 2 with higher M.S. -me, and a J.D.(law).  The minimal job was stretching time, while I was waiting for a security clearance for a real job ,but it was in my field, built up my very fragile confidence, and stll looks good on the resume.  Eventually got the real job, and I've been employed since.

Hard times tought me to be frugal without deprivation. 

Unlike some of the other posters, I really didn't have to struggle to recover, I just slogged one day at a time, and didn't quit.   


marty998

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2016, 01:09:10 PM »
In late 2003, I landed a job for a shady IT company that catered to small businesses, I think our largest client had 10 employees.  It paid less than truck driving, but got me back into IT.  Two years out of the industry was not making me any more attractive to companies.  During this time I was sharing a house with an alcoholic truck driver and a crack smoking welder who sometimes had a job.  My life was definitely not on the track that I had imagined. 

In 2005, I finally landed a real network engineer position, making $50k.  Well under market pay, but it was in my chosen field.  Two years later, I was able to get my salary back into market range.

I learned some hard lessons in those five years.  I no longer finance anything by my house.  I learned how to market myself and proper interview skills.  I learned to always have a financial cushion to deal with crap that life can put in your path, and that life WILL put crap in your path.  Most importantly, I learned that when bad shit happens, I can either stew in my self pity and be bitter about how life has treated me, or I can figure out where I want to be and develop a plan to get there.

Wow, amazing story. Lots of proverbial "Uturns"!

Kitsunegari

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2016, 01:37:53 PM »
2011, walking home one morning after a date that involved a disagreement over condoms and subsequent not-exactly-consensual sex.
I took a 6-months break from dating and physical contact, the time to check if he had given me an STD or something ('cause I can't imagine anything worse than finding someone you like, starting a relationship, and then having to give a "Sorry I gave you AIDS" talk).
I concentrated on sport and platonic relationships, and swore to myself the next guy I was going to sleep with was going to be my husband. It worked.
I don't really have an inspirational story, I didn't have an epiphany, it was a slow rise, with some  slips. I kinda close in myself and took care of me as if I was a friend.
Ok, one little epiphany I had: people take from you whatever you allow them to take. I didn't respect myself, so men didn't respect me. A bit old school, but it help me a lot.

Ayanka

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2016, 02:04:29 PM »
End 2014 something broke in me, and I decided I wanted to get rid of my boyfriend because I just couldn't deal with his emotional issues anymore. A couple of days later we broke up, but because he didn't want to go, I slept on the floor (yes that says a lot about my mental health at the time). 5-6 weeks later somebody broke into his car, which finally made him go away (to his parents). He made a pain of coming to get his belongings, insulted me and made me feel like a small human being. It caused me to have problems on my work (try working in a high-stress need concentration environment with that kind of home background). I got into a vicious spiral with being scared to screw something up, stress, screw up, get corrected... They split the team into different teams and I ended up with new intermediate bosses. In the least experienced team, with no training for my intermediate bosses. After 2,5 months of nights, lates and weekends I crashed. I was mentally and physically exhausted.  It ended with me getting yelled at every week, the last couple of weeks with my hands on the table because I was genuinely scared I would lose it. I never ever thought I would genuinely think about what would be worse than my life. I cried for more than half an hour the last day I went to that job. But I went, which got me fired, which is a big financial bonus in Belgium. I am still recovering, but when I read this now, I amn't crying, it nearly sounds like another persons story to be honest. What got me through the worst part is one of my colleagues telling me his story. He made me realize that maybe I could get myself out and get a better life, actually worth living. Which is why I am telling my story now. My life is still far from perfect, living in renovation land. But a year ago I would have cried of happiness if I could live with this.

Emg03063

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2016, 02:37:14 PM »
Couple years ago, lost the effective use of both of my arms to repetitive stress injuries, and my job and functional independence along with them.  Short answer on recovery:  lose pride; accept help with gratitude; reset expectations; focus on health; time.  Now reemployed full time and my arm only bothers me when I spend too much time on my iPad. ;-)

SouthLand

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2016, 05:27:38 PM »
Beginning of 2014.

I was out of grad school and had absolutely no prospects lined up for a potential job in my field. I was working for a local newspaper and living with my parents. I was coming to terms with a diagnosis of a chronic illness that I would learn, two years later, was a probable misdiagnosis. I had limited control over my own money. I lived in a town with 6,000 people and no bookstores.

I kept working. That's all I could do. I worked and I looked for ways out. I eventually grabbed a job at the local library in the worst way possible (the director and a dear friend passed away and I was the only MLIS in the tri-county area willing to work for peanuts running the joint). It was luck but I took the luck and made it work for me. I shipped up the library as best I could and when an opening came up at a regional library near me, a combination of my work at the hometown library and a severe lack of response on the regional's part led to me getting boosted to a bigger position.

I've rode off a lot of luck to recover, so I can't claim that I dug myself out or anything. But I made myself able and willing to take the luck when it came. I just kept working and reaching until I got hold of something.

WootWoot

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2016, 05:40:57 PM »
These stories are very inspiring! Keep 'em coming!

G-dog

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2016, 06:11:14 PM »
These stories are very inspiring! Keep 'em coming!

I agree! You all Rock!

clarkfan1979

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2016, 09:36:00 PM »
I was dumped by a girl and was depressed for about 6 months. Part of what got me through it was purchasing my first rental house about 8-12 months after getting dumped. I was able to get excited about that purchase, which distracted me enough to eventually come out of my depression.

Adventine

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2016, 03:22:02 PM »
Thanks for all the stories. They make me feel better :)

Keep them coming!

AK

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2016, 06:12:43 PM »
Getting fired from my job and telling my fiancé that I was just fired. I was in my last quarter of getting my MBA and paying the majority of the household expenses. I took the next 2 months off from work and focused on finishing my degree and recovering. Got a new job within a month of searching and it was amazing. Great people, mostly satisfying work, good compensation, flexible schedule, and caring owners.

What got me through was being fiscally responsible, thinking about what's the worst that can happen and having a great support system with friends and family. Having savings and getting unemployment meant we could survive for months. While being a low point, it was the best thing that've happened to me. It made me more cautious at work, taught me not to be complacent, and let me start a new position that would ultimately let me learn enough to finally go out on my own 5 years later and never be happier.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2016, 06:39:04 PM »
The lowest point of my life was in Krakow, Poland.

I visited https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine

We were ~1,000 feet underground, and recovered by way of elevator. It was a very dark and scary place.

Hey It's Me

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2016, 09:28:32 PM »
Lowest point was a rough breakup a little over 2 years ago that really shook me. It felt like things were largely going well (minor arguments, but normal couple stuff). Then one day upon returning from a trip, she broke up with me. She was a few years older, and wanted kids and a family - I just wasn't there. It was my first authentic experience of "the time wasn't right." It felt like I had been robbed of something really great, and I suffered from on-and-off depression for almost a year.

Today, she is engaged and just had her first kid. She moved fast, because she knew exactly what she wanted. In some ways, the knowledge that it was truly a timing issue (and not something I could have done differently) was re-assuring. We've spoken a few times since, and I congratulated her on the baby.

I'm doing well now also. Super motivated in my career, enjoying what life has to offer, and more comfortable in my own skin. There are some areas I still need to work on, but that rough breakup made me a more empathetic, well-rounded individual. I feel like it's helped me console my own friends and family when they've been through tough times.

LeRainDrop

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2016, 10:08:16 PM »
The lowest point of my life was in Krakow, Poland.

I visited https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine

We were ~1,000 feet underground, and recovered by way of elevator. It was a very dark and scary place.

Clever.  I'll admit that I followed the link to see if there had been some sort of accident in the mine and you were trapped and had to be rescued.  I realized I am a fool, but I did enjoy your humor.

WootWoot

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2016, 06:42:33 PM »
This may sound a bit childish (as it does to me in retrospect) but here goes.

I was 18, had never been popular and was teased in school. I was working in a department store when I saw this gorgeous guy. Lo and behold, he was interested in me! My first real boyfriend! This is in November. By Christmas, he was playing head games with me (going back to his hometown to see his old GF). By April, I was so attached/codependent on him that when he told me he was moving away, I had a breakdown and ended up in the psych ward. Two weeks after that (and I was released), he spent the night with my so-called best friend. I broke up with him, and he married her two weeks after that. The only thing that kept me out of the psych ward was the thought that I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of knowing they'd messed up my life. I didn't eat for a month, literally. Just survived on 7-up.

I never thought there would be a day when the first thought in the morning would not be of them.

Two months after they married, my favorite grandmother died. But by the end of the summer, I was starting to pull myself together. I made some new friends, including pen pals in the UK. I planned (and went on) a trip to England the following summer. Shortly after I returned, I met the guy who I later married.

Of course, their marriage didn't last. They both went on to marry other people and those marriages didn't last either. I thank the Lord every now and then that I didn't stay with that sociopath/pathological liar because that's what he really was. A big red flag should have gone up when his mother told me, "Bobby tells stories, and he really believes they are true."

I want every young woman to have enough self-respect never to get involved with an asshole like that.


LAL

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2016, 11:27:59 AM »
Right now as I write this I am very sad.  Last night we put down our fur baby.  We've had him 11 years (we rescued him at age 3-4) and this is the first time in 15 years DH and I have been without a dog.  That being said it was time.  I'm not sure when or if we'll get another friend.

My hardest time was right after I gave birth to my DK1.  I had really bad post-partum depression/anxiety and I wanted to kill myself.    I want to throw myself off the roof of my house or cut my wrists. I saw someone and got on medication.  It was the only thing that saved me.  Now when people say just snap out of depression I know it's not that easy and it doesn't work that way.  I started on medication in the middle of my second pregnancy because the feelings started again. Being depressed and anxious isn't something that shows and often can be easily hidden.  But it's there and it's real.  And PPD is hard because it's the time in your life when you are "supposed" to be happiest.

During my PPD my two dogs were my only friends. My mom left and I was alone at home with a new baby and I talked a lot to my dogs. For awhile there walking them was the only way out of my house. And there had been many days where I could barely function and I saw on the couching holding my baby, crying, and petting my dogs.  I've always said he was my best friend and I truly think he was. 

Get help and concentrate on feeling better.

aprilchem

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2016, 11:42:16 AM »
Mine was after the birth of my first kid as well.  My husband got exactly 1 day off when he was born, so I was left alone with a 3-day old baby to recover from an emergency c-section alone.  My mom wouldn't help because she was mad that I didn't want anyone but my husband in the delivery room, and MIL and FIL don't like kids so they wouldn't help either.   A week later, MIL decided to try to "help" us by buying a plane ticket for the great-grandmother to come visit for 10 days without telling us, so then I was trying to take care of myself, a newborn (who by that time had terrible reflux and cried 18 hours a day) and a 90 year old woman by myself.  GGma had old-fashioned ideas and was anti-breastfeeding, and was constantly telling me that I was "spoiling" the baby by trying to walk around with him to get him to start crying.  It was a horrible, horrible time in my life.  I eventually did go see my OB and got prescribed some anti-depressants, but my husband didn't want me to take them so I ended up just figuring it out.  Diagnosing my son's reflux and getting him proper medications really helped a lot. 

CU Tiger

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2016, 10:32:50 PM »
About 11-12 years ago I had a series of unfortunate events. One at a time they would have been unpleasant. When they piled up on me, they beat me down.

We were being sued over an accident where I was at fault. Every day I felt like I was carrying the weight of this lawsuit around on my shoulders. My anxiety level was through the roof.

I had severs endometriosis, and was in pain most of each month. I never knew when I would be curled up in a ball on the bed, in my car, on a bathroom floor, in an empty office at work, crying and praying for relief. My periods lasted forever, or that is what it felt like. The medicine I took for the pain made me sick to my stomach and gave me burning pains in the gut. All this played havoc with my digestion.

I left a job I hated and got a part time job I did not loathe, but made little and was bored and frustrated. My belief in myself eroded. I knew I was useless and stupid  and would never achieve anything worthwhile

Eventually, I started to crumble. I began self harming, picking at the skin of my feet until it bled. I developed certain compulsive behaviors I will not go into. I was ashamed, I hated myself and my life, and was so anxious I wanted to die. Every day I thought about dying. I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up, just to stop the pain and fear. I was so down I could not even imagine that things could improve.

My husband was, and is, a good man, but he did not know what to do when I fell apart. He wanted to fix me. He married a happy, outgoing woman who loved life and 9 years later found himself with a wife who was dissolving before his eyes. He tried to be supportive, but is not the best with either physical or emotional illness.

One day at work, I was sitting in my office thinking that if the rest of my life was going to be like this, I would go ahead and kill myself NOW. I looked up the number of a local counseling center and called them. Before the end of the day I had spoken to a counselor and made an appointment. My counselor referred me to a doctor who prescribed a med that helped with the anxiety and OCD.

Things improved on the mental and emotional front. Slowly and with lots of setbacks, I got better. I stopped hurting myself.

One day in the middle of an agonizing attack of abdominal pain (it felt like someone was in my lower abdomen using a blowtorch and pick axe to get out) I called my gynecologist and told her I could NOT go on like this and something had to change and I wanted a hysterectomy. It was as if she had been waiting to hear this, and we scheduled the surgery as soon as she could fit me in.

The hysterectomy was the best medical thing that ever happened to me. As soon as I recovered from the actual surgery I was pain free and felt like a new person. I realized for the first time how the pain had dominated my life and controlled how what I did and how I felt about myself.

We went to court over the car accident and it was horrible, but I survived. After it was over, even though the judge read me the riot act from the bench and told me I was a perfectly awful person, I felt such relief that it was behind me. I told myself that I had not caused the accident on purpose, that my insurance company compensated the other driver and paid all her expenses, and that an accident did not make me the worst person on the planet. I found out that the actual terrible experience is not as bad as waiting for waiting for a bad thing for months and months.

I also eventually got a job with a great manager, where I worked my butt off and did well. I was promoted and received more money than I had ever earned.

What helped me was reaching out for help, accepting the advice I got from professionals, and changing the things I could change. Any action that I took helped. Just picking up the phone and saying "I cannot go on like this," or applying for jobs even when I felt inadequate, moved me one step away from pain and despair, and towards relief.

I would say if you are struggling, identify ONE action you can take today. Do it. Rinse and repeat. Enough small actions can change your life.

LeRainDrop

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2016, 11:06:00 PM »
About 11-12 years ago I had a series of unfortunate events. One at a time they would have been unpleasant. When they piled up on me, they beat me down.
...
I would say if you are struggling, identify ONE action you can take today. Do it. Rinse and repeat. Enough small actions can change your life.

Holy crap, CU Tiger.  You are amazing.  Thank you so much for sharing this.

Squirrel away

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2016, 03:09:27 AM »
Right now as I write this I am very sad.  Last night we put down our fur baby.  We've had him 11 years (we rescued him at age 3-4) and this is the first time in 15 years DH and I have been without a dog.  That being said it was time.  I'm not sure when or if we'll get another friend.


I'm sorry.xxx

LAL

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2016, 02:34:15 PM »
thank you. 

11ducks

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2016, 04:24:46 AM »
At 20, I found out I was pregnant to my boyfriend of 3 months (condom broke). We weren't in love. He got fired the following month (unrelated), and tried to guilt trip me into having him move into my place for "the sake of the baby". When I told him he needed a job first, he broke up with me. I gave birth alone (my mom thought I should've aborted so gave me no help), and raised my baby on my own with no contact with my ex. We lived below the poverty line in an awful neighbourhood.  I was so exhausted and felt incredible lonely sometimes. But slowly we dug our way out. I worked and went to school at night, he went to a daycare that loved him (I am so grateful to those ladies for that)-when he started school I began teaching. He's 12 now, and the sweetest, best kid I know. I have a permanent job, retirement savings, and just invested my first $10k in the stock market. Met my fiancée 4 years ago, they get along so well. We are marrying in April. I've never been so happy :)

The hard times make you stronger OP xxo

MandalayVA

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2016, 05:50:05 AM »
The mid-nineties, or as I refer to them, the Dark Days.  I was trying desperately to live on my own but since I had pretty much no survival skills I made a lot of bad decisions.  At one point I was living in my car; I spent a week in a homeless shelter after my car got wrecked (I still have nightmares about it and it's been over twenty years), and lived in a few welfare motels.  I was so depressed about my situation that I became a useless lump, and I burned a lot of bridges because of my behavior.  Finally in 1997 I was living in rural Kentucky, working part-time at Walmart and living in another motel.  However, this motel was clean and run by a nice older couple who really looked out for me (thank you, Carl and Lillian), and I was able to pay my bills and even get things like a phone.  I remember walking to work on a nice fall morning and thinking that even though most people would be horrified to be in my situation, it was the first time I'd felt normal in years.  In 1998 I met Mr. Mandalay, whose circumstances weren't much better than mine, and we helped each other over the path.  We established a life together, got good jobs, made good financial decisions and moved up in the world to where we are now--debt free and getting ready to retire.  I'm a much stronger person, and although I admit to feeling some regret about wasted time I also like to think I'm a better person for my experiences, horrific as some of them were.

FLBiker

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2016, 06:54:01 AM »
The lowest single moment was probably shortly after I graduated from college.  I got drunk, wrecked a car, and spent the night in jail.  Fortunately, no one was hurt or killed.  I spent all my graduation presents (and then some) on the car and a lawyer.  I was so ashamed.  That said, as an alcoholic it only kept me sober for a couple of weeks.

It took another 8 years or so of drinking / drug use before I actually got sober.  So that was the worst single moment, but the grind of those following 8 years was MUCH worse.  I kept thinking everything outside of me was the problem - the friends, the location, the relationship - and I kept changing those things.  Finally, at 29, I got sober.  The first year and a half was tough (in large part because I was in an unhealthy relationship) but my life is way better today.

At the same time, I still sometimes struggle with anxiety and depression (low grade).  Meditation has been very helpful, as have 12-step meetings.  I've worked with therapists a bit, and they were really helpful in early sobriety, but not so helpful later on.  Exercise helps a lot, too.

For me, there are a few lessons that have been very important (and that I tend to forget with some regularity).

1) External things (people, places, jobs, things, etc.) don't determine my mood.  Contentment is an inside job.
2) I lie to myself all. the. time.  For example - "When I get X, then I'll be happy." or believing that by worrying about stuff I'll be better prepared.
3) The stuff I worry about is almost always the wrong stuff.  For example, I worry routinely about my house flooding / burning down when I'm on vacation (never happened).  I never worried about my mom dying unexpectedly (happened).
4) The real reason I worry about stuff is based in part on insecurity / inferiority -- it's not the event itself that causes anxiety so much as my belief that I won't be able to handle it.  When my mom died (~ 2 months ago) I actually handled it really well (due in large part to the inside work I've done in the last 10 years).  The reality is that the person I am today would handle ANY unforeseen trouble well -- I make good decisions, I have some money, I have a good support system.  Anxiety comes from a part of me that doesn't believe this.

Thanks for starting this thread.  Important stuff!

brute

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2016, 07:19:57 AM »
In 2012 I lost my job. It's not like I enjoyed it, honestly I really hated the job. It didn't pay well, had me working 50 hours a week, lots of off hours, plus I was back in school to finally finish my bachelors after having dropped out 6 years previously. The girl I was engaged to and living with at the time didn't work. She refused anything that wasn't related to her degree, but was happy to sit at home and play world of warcraft while I was studying and working. When I was fired, she left.

My parents told me it was God's will, that the ex was a terrible person, and I was terrible or God wouldn't be punishing me. Thanks mom. As usual, the church would have nothing to do with me since I had been living with a woman I wasn't married to.

Not an hour passed that I didn't look at things and think of ways to kill myself with them. I was broke, depressed, and jobless.

3 months later, I decided to start a software consulting company. I had done some temp work here and there, and most places had terrible software or needed desperate help with their IT infrastructure. I was certain I could provide better value to than the jerks I temped for. I went from broke to making $90k that first year, twice what I had made before. I worked more than ever, but finished out school, moved to a new town, and started grad school. I continued the consulting, met my future wife, began competing in strongman. There were plenty of days where I still felt poor and broken, but it got better over time.

Now I work as a sr. data scientist, have all the material things i need, have mastered french, italian, and hmong cooking, brew my own beer, make charcuterie, and I still run my consulting company.

It's amazing how much more energy I have without the dead weight of my ex around my neck. It's ridiculous how much happier and more fulfilled I am in my work after being forced to leave a toxic environment. And being financially secure? It's out of this world.


little_brown_dog

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2016, 11:09:36 AM »
2014 – I was in a “good job” that was slowly killing me. The pressure was so bad at this place that good employees were berated if they made the “mistake” of not seeing and responding to a non-emergency email within 24 hours (in an environment where it was typical to receive upwards of 50+ emails and requests per day, including in the late evening hours). They had to promise that missing a single non-essential email in hundreds was “never going to happen again.” I routinely had star employees crying on the job because of the insane workload and micromanaging directors. I commuted 3 hours a day round trip to this place.

I made it a few years before suffering the worst effects. It started with general depression during the workweek, and feelings of dread every night around bedtime. On a couple of occasions I had mini panic attacks driving to work and called my husband crying because I just didn’t want to go in for another work day. Then came the health problems…I started experiencing frightening neurological symptoms and near constant headaches, so I had to be examined and scanned to rule out brain tumors. Turns out I was experiencing chronic migraines. Routine massage, yoga, daily walks and destressing time (hot baths, tea time) helped a lot but never really fixed the problem. To add insult to injury, I had to endure repeated jabs by my boss every now and then about how I “clearly was not at my best” simply because I could no longer work late multiple days a week, or because I requested a couple more days to get a particularly large/complex job done.

At this time, we were also trying to conceive and I ended up going through consecutive miscarriages despite being completely healthy from a reproductive standpoint. After my most recent loss, I had a breakdown – took a week off work, cried a ton, and decided to change my life. Both my husband and I agreed we couldn’t continue like this. I very firmly and politely requested part time hours. With all the benefits of part time work (less commuting, more time, less stress) came serious downsides – my boss hated the fact that my work was not my #1 priority all day every day, and became excessively critical of me. I got pregnant and dealt with serious pregnancy related harassment, including a couple of instances where my boss flat out told me that my pregnancy was negatively impacting everyone else and that the excessive workloads and strain on the team were MY FAULT (for being pregnant and part time). After having the baby I quit and now I’m a SAHM. Ultimately, the harassment was a good thing because I was strongly considering returning to my part time work after the baby, but that experience absolutely convinced me that this place was just too damn toxic.

Despite the difficulties, this period of my life was truly transformative. I never realized how much I had taken for granted before I experienced so much hardship. It also changed my husband and gave him the motivation to be more proactive at demanding the respect he deserved at his job. Now, we live a much more family-focused life that prioritizes happiness and health over career, and I can say with absolute certainty it is a far healthier, happier existence than our previous one.

MandalayVA

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2016, 11:20:28 AM »
The lowest point of my life was in Krakow, Poland.

I visited https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine

We were ~1,000 feet underground, and recovered by way of elevator. It was a very dark and scary place.


nexus

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2016, 12:33:59 PM »
Triple whammy:
April/May 2012 I has suspicions that my 4+ year girlfriend was cheating on me. We were a month away from graduating college, and I found out my suspicions were correct. It totally crushed me. Life was upside down. I question myself. I lose self confidence. I kind of hate myself. Lose self worth. Don't understand. I'm angry. The guy is almost a foot shorter than me,didn't finish high school, and works at Burger King. (Looking back it this by itself seems petty now). Everything I had looked forward to was now gone. I graduate, start going out more since I never did during college. Run up credit card on bar tabs.

Parents had been separated and divorce in progress during my last year of college. It put a strain on my relationship with my dad. He had some substance abuse problems and a temper. June 2012 rolls around and I'm at my grandparent's house visiting. He's doing better. He's staying there as he figures out where to go/what to do next. He tells me he's having a minor out patient procedure done and I should swing by the following day after work to check up on him.

Since my breakup, I was able to relate to him a little better although the circumstances were completely different. Anyway, there ends up being a complication with his surgery. Two days later he dies. Never makes it out of the hospital. It was a Thursday. The local bar had dollar beer night on the day of the funeral. I remember having 21 of those suckers, then throwing up in the parking lot. They were little cups. Probably 6 oz. each.

So here I am, still crushed from being cheated on and now I don't have a dad. I push the few remaining people I have left away. Stone face. Act fine. So angry inside though. It's like I've got this monster inside my head trying to claw its way to the surface. Never let it out, don't show weakness.

Not seven days later my great grandpa, the man that lived next door to me that watched me grow up dies at the age of 87 (mom's side of family). Natural causes, but it creates all kinds of drama with inheritance between my mom and his remaining son.

Did I mention I didn't inherit any of my dad's stuff? My grandparents cleared out his bank account and sold his truck, stating they should because he lived with them and it was to pay for his cremation. Whatever. It wasn't much money anyway (less than $2,500). They should have put it into a malpractice lawsuit. Seriously who dies from gall bladder surgery?!

I go back to cubicle world in accounts payable, then quit my job. I get a job delivering pizza. It pays my bills and gives me spending money. It took over a year before I went back to a non minimum wage job. Living at home wasn't conducive to a positive mental state. My mom was always gone with her new boyfriend. My aunt and my sister also had substance abuse issues, which attracted other like-minded people at all hours of the day to my home. I didn't have a quiet or safe place to exist. I couldn't have nice things. They disappeared. Mom said nothing, would not enforce keeping these people away. Would not kick my aunt or sister out. Would not validate that my shit was being stolen. I felt like I was going crazy.

I channeled all of this into one big FU. I asked my company to let me transfer across the country to Nashville, TN. That was the beginning of the upswing in early 2014. 6 months later I was promoted and moved back to my home state, but in another area with better opportunities. I kept at it, networked, made new friends, and was able to score a better job in 2015 in a better field. Yesterday would have been my dad's 57th birthday. Because of all of this, I'm stronger. I'm independent. I'm okay being alone. I have healthier coping mechanisms.

I actually hadn't thought about all of that in a really long time. Those details, especially about my family, still piss me off. Since then, nothing has changed at the house I grew up in. I've accepted that and just have to keep my distance. Life goes on with or without you. Circumstances change. Growth is painful, but it leads to better things. Don't be afraid to tear it all down and rebuild.

G-dog

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2016, 01:08:27 PM »
Y'all are some serious bad ass motherfuckers! (I mean that in the nicest way)

You pulled yourselves out of some horrific circumstances and all look back glad to be stronger and wiser.

Well done!

Cwadda

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2016, 02:52:42 PM »
This past March-May. Fell into deep depression, locked myself in my room with the lights off, didn't sleep, ate once a day. Stayed up until 5:00 AM every day with anxiety and woke up at 8:00 AM. Stressed with school beyond belief. Put it all on my girlfriend at the time, treated her awfully, like a personal therapist. Broke up with her over text. Didn't want to see my family, shut down to my friends, was incapable of feeling any emotion.

------

Graduated, got a job that actually excites me, had a paradigm shift on what actually makes me happy in life, started talking to a woman I'm head over heels for, joined a public speaking club, bought a bike and got into cycling, went to the gym 5 days/week, won a $40,000 contract sale at work, etc. etc. Things just keep getting better.

My worst of the worst isn't even close to what some people have it. But I wouldn't have felt this happy without knowing what it's like to hit rock bottom.

spicykissa

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2016, 05:32:41 PM »
Freshman year of college--I had left behind a boyfriend to take advantage of a scholarship at an expensive private university far away from everyone I knew. The scholarship didn't cover everything, and I really only had enough savings to cover the first semester. That second semester was terrible. My roommate was disgusting (left a sandwich in the closet for 6 months) my grandmother had to cosign a student loan for me, I ran up a bunch of credit card debt, I flunked out of calculus, and the boyfriend finally convinced me to sleep with him over a break and then told me he'd been cheating on me. Thought I was pregnant AND had an STD! I had gotten a some sleeping pills to help with the stress, and couldn't stop thinking about taking the whole bottle to just get away from everything.

First thing I did was see a therapist (luckily free for students), which was very helpful in the short term. Then the boyfriend finally dumped me (yes, I had still stayed with him), which helped immensely! I came up with a plan to fund the rest of my degree. I moved in with a wonderful roommate and made enough at my part-time job to cover living expenses. I met my now-spouse. I matured emotionally, and learned not to give other people so much power over me.

Much worse things have happened to me since that time in my life--my mom was disabled in an accident, my grandma died suddenly, I've made mistakes at work that harmed patients (I'm a nurse), but I think I've learned how to not internalize everything, and I've certainly never been suicidal again. Also, becoming an ICU nurse puts "low" in perspective--my patients have it so much worse than I ever have. That daily reminder makes it easier to reframe any difficult situation.

milliemchi

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2016, 10:19:23 PM »
There were multiple times in my life when I thought I was at the lowest, and the first one was shortly after my husband and I immigrated to the US. Our situation was truly awful, but we met a lot of recent immigrants at that time, and the one thing I got out of it is that there is always someone who is worse off than you are, no matter how bad you think you have it. That has stayed etched in my mind 20 years on, and I still truly believe it, and it gives me strength, and cures me of complaining disease.

My last lowest point was really low. I have a mood disorder that amplifies everything and makes bad times even worse, so I had an added blow from that, but even without it, it was really low. I had realized that my marriage was actually awful and abusive, and that I had somehow completely missed that fact, I don't know how. Blind? Delusional? This was after my first child was born, and I also had health problems for 2-3 years after that, with 4 separate issues being life-threatening, and a whole lot of more run-of-the-mill issues. I got no compassion from my husband. I had a horrible post-partum episode during that time, where some medication side-effects affected my ability to work. The inability to get work done was a big blow from the personal worth point of view. But from the practical point of view, it was a hair-on-fire emergency. My husband had been unemployed for years, and I was the breadwinner, and I was on verge of getting fired.  If I got fired, I would have lost health insurance, so couldn't get treatment and would have never gotten better. I knew I would have never gotten another job then, because I was in no shape to interview, so prospects were bleak. I had visions of us living under a bridge. I had to hold on to that job, because that was the only option. I had been coming off of years of severe sleep deprivation, and was really unwell, and my doctor kept saying "take weekends off, you need to rest if you are to get better", but I worked every day, all day, weekends... at, like, 30% productivity, just to get things moving until I get better (and very slowly, things did improve). In the midst of this I got pregnant (unplanned), had some complications, and the pregnancy ended at 24 weeks, that's well past half-way. This was preceded by a very high-stress, low-sleep fortnight of making life-and-death decisions, and followed by my husband swearing that he would never have another child with me 'because I was the worst mother in the world'. Now, I may not be mom of the year, but I know I'm not the worst mother in the world.  He knew I wanted more that one kid - that statement was just meant to hurt me.  The abuse is ongoing, I don't want to get into the details, my daughter is getting visibly stressed over it, but I'm not yet able to manage employment and single parenthood. I try to fix marriage, which cannot be fixed, until I just break one day. It is really, really depressing to realize that after all I have accomplished (and I am very accomplished), I just don't matter to the father of my child. I was truly, deeply, deeply, unhappy during those years. I wasn't 'really' suicidal, because I had a child that I knew my husband couldn't take care of on his own (and we have no family here), but I thought of death every day, for years. It went on like that until I figured out, one more time, that my husband does not love me or care for our relationship, and I just broke. I tell people that I've 'used up my stress minutes'.  I just couldn't stress any more. Nothing mattered any more. It started with realizing that I wouldn't be upset if my parents died, and it just progressed from there. I couldn't have been shook up if one of my kids got sick, or died, because that's just life, and we move on... It was actually a reprieve of sorts, so it didn't feel bad, I just felt dead. I didn't care, and I didn't care that I didn't care, and that was alarming.

However, that was the turning point. Once I gave up on my marriage and my abusive husband, my life opened up. I focused on my work, on things I could do. I decided to stop trying to build a partnership with someone who is oppositional just out of spite. I told my husband I was stopping birth control and that he can do whatever he wants with that information. We had another child and I was happy. I looked back on things I have accomplished that far, and it doesn't have to be school or work, just personal victories count, and I realized that I was awesome, and that was enough for me to build my sense of self-worth. I had a big shift from depending on outside validation to finding it within myself. I KNOW I'm awesome, whether others agree or disagree. This may sound like some great choices I made, but really, I clung to dysfunction for as long as I could. When I could not any more, I set myself free. Somebody smarter, or less needy, would have moved on sooner.

I got a couple of things out of that. The first is my self-worth, and a true sense of happiness. I am truly, deeply happy now. I had very carefully weighed some choices (whether to divorce, whether to have another child), knowing myself, and knowing what I could and could not live with, and it paid off. I highly recommend that. I found a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: "do what you can, with what you have, where you are", which was tremendously liberating, and I hold it dear. You can only do your best, and there's no reason to stress, because that only decreases your productivity, and you actually do worse. Also, my physical health improved, my mental health improved, I went back to my old level of productivity, got promoted at work, got a raise, and I feel as secure at my job as one can realistically be. The second thing is that I will never despair again. I have been at the deepest bottom of objective hopelessness, and yet, unbelievably, my life turned around, and I got what I wanted, and I am happy. It doesn't mean that the next time it will turn around, but now I know that even impossible is possible, and there's no room for despair. It's helped a few times since.

As for the times when I had to keep going because I had no other choice, one day I came across magnets with two of Winston Churchill's quotes, which I hung in my office, for those days of 30% productivity. One is "when you're going through hell, keep going", and the other is "never, never, never give up". They are still in my office. They probably puzzle people who come in, as my life is pretty calm right now, but they're staying. :)

bugbaby

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2016, 05:15:26 PM »
My lowest point was my second marriage, it lasted only 1.5years. 9months in it got very emotionally abusive. After being physically threatened several times, I just left. But for 6 months prior to leaving I had such anxiety, I never slept (I wasn't working since I'd moved to be with him). I stopped going out, I started picking at my body, pulling out hair and was really a mess. But after I left just months ago, I never looked back, I'm starting a job soon. Luckily I was already financially ahead with no debt, some savings and renting out my old house.

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aschutt

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2016, 08:21:13 PM »
The lowest single moment was probably shortly after I graduated from college.  I got drunk, wrecked a car, and spent the night in jail.  Fortunately, no one was hurt or killed.  I spent all my graduation presents (and then some) on the car and a lawyer.  I was so ashamed.  That said, as an alcoholic it only kept me sober for a couple of weeks.

It took another 8 years or so of drinking / drug use before I actually got sober.  So that was the worst single moment, but the grind of those following 8 years was MUCH worse.  I kept thinking everything outside of me was the problem - the friends, the location, the relationship - and I kept changing those things.  Finally, at 29, I got sober.  The first year and a half was tough (in large part because I was in an unhealthy relationship) but my life is way better today.

At the same time, I still sometimes struggle with anxiety and depression (low grade).  Meditation has been very helpful, as have 12-step meetings.  I've worked with therapists a bit, and they were really helpful in early sobriety, but not so helpful later on.  Exercise helps a lot, too.

For me, there are a few lessons that have been very important (and that I tend to forget with some regularity).

1) External things (people, places, jobs, things, etc.) don't determine my mood.  Contentment is an inside job.
2) I lie to myself all. the. time.  For example - "When I get X, then I'll be happy." or believing that by worrying about stuff I'll be better prepared.
3) The stuff I worry about is almost always the wrong stuff.  For example, I worry routinely about my house flooding / burning down when I'm on vacation (never happened).  I never worried about my mom dying unexpectedly (happened).
4) The real reason I worry about stuff is based in part on insecurity / inferiority -- it's not the event itself that causes anxiety so much as my belief that I won't be able to handle it.  When my mom died (~ 2 months ago) I actually handled it really well (due in large part to the inside work I've done in the last 10 years).  The reality is that the person I am today would handle ANY unforeseen trouble well -- I make good decisions, I have some money, I have a good support system.  Anxiety comes from a part of me that doesn't believe this.

Thanks for starting this thread.  Important stuff!

FLBiker, I'm sorry for your loss of your mom.

Adventine

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2016, 12:40:32 AM »
Hello, friends. I'm the one who originally started this thread. I'm about to go to work on a Sunday afternoon and expect to be there until early Monday morning. I'm not looking forward to it at all, so I decided to reread this thread for motivation.

Thank you to the ones who shared their struggles. You are all amazingly inspiring :)

I may not feel good about going to my job but I'll be counting my blessings because some of you have had it much worse than I do! So thank you for the reminder to be grateful for what I have.

Metric Mouse

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Re: What was the lowest point in your life and how did you recover?
« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2016, 04:53:27 AM »
The lowest point of my life was in Krakow, Poland.

I visited https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine

We were ~1,000 feet underground, and recovered by way of elevator. It was a very dark and scary place.



I did just spend way too long reading about a salt mine... Might have to put it on my list for my next trip overseas!