What Was Your Rock Bottom?

What Inspires you in recovery?

What would you define as your rock bottom? What pushed you to get the help you needed to change your life?

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

J.K Rowling

We listen to songs, watch moves and read books wherein the protagonist must hit their all-time low in order to make their way up in the world. I spent years wondering ‘When will I finally hit my rock bottom? What happens then?’ Apparently what happens then is tears, tantrums, suicidal idealisations, arguments and, finally, epiphanies.


I had been on autopilot since the day we settled the purchase for our new home in February 2018.

My anxiety had become crippling, often leading to panic attacks on the hard shoulder of the M1, and, as a result, my gut was an absolute mess.

I’ve talked about this briefly before but in May 2018 I started to experience extreme abdominal pain, accompanied by constipation and an absence of bowel movements for days, sometimes weeks. I felt horrible to the point where I was afraid to eat anything, and couldn’t sleep at night. For almost a year following this, my days became filled with medication and the ‘will-i-won’t-i’ of waiting for my bowels to cooperate. The doctors told me it was just ‘something I might have to deal with’ after they found nothing in my samples, and then they handed me Laxido. They handed laxatives to a quasi-recovered anorexic. I know; I’ll hold for your astonishment.

Anyway, I digress.

Work was stressful, life just wasn’t going right and multiple people in my close family circle had been given the dreaded cancer diagnoses.

I was handling it through a mixture of coffee, frequent insomnia, self-harm, and cigarettes.

This translated into only eating dinner along with snacks every day due to the persistent feeling of anxiety and uneasiness in my guts. Eventually, I slipped into the old, comfortable habit of eating little more than 500 calories every other day with intermittent fasting in between and lowering it as I saw fit.

I was weak, I was trying to keep my emotions under wraps, I was passively suicidal and I was suffering from chronic ‘brain fog’ (wherein you are unable to remember very much, unable to retain information and unable to focus due to malnutrition). I couldn’t remember getting up and going to work most days, let alone how I was meant to function.

I would weigh myself every day and let the number on the scale dictate to me how the day would progress.

I would sit in work, high from hunger and cigarettes, and just go about my day almost like a zombie. All I would think about from lunchtime onwards was what I would weigh when I got home? It eventually got to the point where I would stop drinking after a certain time until I was able to see the number on the scale.

I had it in my head that so long as I kept my weight in check everything would be fine. Anything could happen and, if my weight read lower than it did the previous day, I could cope.

Decemeber 11th, 2018; My Rock Bottom Finally Arrives.

I was signed off work for being too ill to continue. By the time the end of the year had rolled around, I was well and truly exhausted, physically, emotionally and mentally. To this day I don’t even know how I made it to December, to begin with.


If you have a similar story I would be honoured to hear it. So many people I speak with have some sort of rock bottom story, and I’m always fascinated to hear and see how people manage to cope with it.

You can also read my more detailed rock bottom memoir over at Coaching with Klara.


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86 thoughts on “What Was Your Rock Bottom?

  1. Powerful story. Thank you for sharing….there is such a stigma related to mental health. The more we share and normalize it, the more we can help others going through similar situations. It takes strength to share this and be vulnerable….remember you are amazing and can do anything! We are here to support one another so if you need anything please reach out!
    – Morgan @ http://www.mommyaboveall.com

  2. I’m so sorry to hear this. As someone who has also struggled with an eating disorder which revisits more times in my life than I would like to admit, I can only imagine what it is like to have all the added stresses you mentioned above. I hope you are getting the help you need & are on the right path now. Stay strong xx

  3. Thank you for sharing.
    I hit rock bottom some years ago while having a depression. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor crying, and suddenly I began wondering how it would feel to cut myself with a knife. I went as far as to feel the steel against the palm on my hand, but when I realised how much strength it would take for the knife to slowly penetrate my skin I put it down. To this day, that is my darkest moment.

    1. I’m so glad that you found the strength to put the knife down. Ironically the strength you didn’t have to push the knife through your skin was present to help you pull yourself out of that pit!

  4. Goodness, I don’t even want to think about my rock bottoms. In terms of my anxiety, I think I’ve had a few rock bottoms. Although I wouldn’t consider the period right after it started as bottom for me because I was still so confused about what was going on and trying to adapt to this new “me” and these new sensations I was having. I think my bottom came a few months after that, when life got “back to normal” but not really. I couldn’t leave the house, my life had completely changed and this was my new normal and suddenly my life as I knew it was gone.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    1. I’m sorry to hear this love. I don’t understand completely but I do to a certain extent, and for that, I extend my greatest of virtual hugs. It’s horrible, it’s terrifying but it’s something we need to try and get through. x

      Sending you all my love. x

  5. I hope you’re doing better now, I’m skrrs you went through this. I got to a point where I had an elipjepi and realised I could literally just die or try fight.

    Ash | thisdreamsalive.wordpress.com

  6. I’ve had a few rock bottoms and for me, I sometimes feel like I have to hit rock bottom before my brain decides enough is enough. I can spiral very quickly. The first rock bottom I had was when I was 14, I had so much shit going on and couldn’t seem to see anything ahead of me. I remember lining up all these tablets, paracetamol I think, and I sat on the floor in my bedroom just staring at them for ages, I was so so close to just ending it all then. I didn’t tell anyone about that until a few years ago. I kept to it myself for nearly 30 years.

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip || Latest Post

  7. This is all too similar, I suffered from bulimia, and my rock bottom was very similar to yours actually, except that mine included throwing up every single day and making sure the number on the weight wouldnt go up, You empower me to talk openly about what I have personally been through, and I am so proud of all of us that have gone through this and are overcoming it/

    1. Thank you so much <3 It means so much to me that I can inspire you to talk about your past and your battle with bulimia. I fight every day with myself to ignore the scale, but lately, it's been a losing battle! Thank you for stopping by x

  8. It’s so interesting how our mindset affects our physical health. I’ve experienced situations where my stress and worry left me physically ill and at rock bottom. But, once we hit rick bottom, it’s a journey that can only go up from there. It’s a process, but each day we move a little bit closer to greatness.❤️

    1. I completely agree. Once we hit that place there is literally nowhere to go but up, and that’s when I knew I had to start chancing something. Thank you for stopping by and reading x

  9. Sadly it doesn’t surprise me that the doctors gave you laxatives given my own experience with doctors prescribing inappropriate medications according to diagnoses.

    I don’t know my story, there have been so many rock bottoms in my life. I think the closest would be leading up to losing my job. April 2014 I had a very sudden suicide attempt that took everyone (including myself) by surprise. One moment I was fine and the next I was just done. Still not sure what triggered it, but working with vulnerable children and young adults I took time off work until I felt I would be capable of keeping the students and other staff safe during any behavioural incidents.
    I was under the mental health team and I so desperately wanted to be medicated just enough to get back to work, but my reactions to meds meant that I needed an inpatient bed for that and time and time again I was told that one wasn’t available or that I wasn’t sick enough.
    Around November 2014 I could tell from the tone of conversations with the managers at work that if I didn’t return that I would lose my job.
    So I went back to work before I was really well enough, still waiting to start what was promised to be a new and exciting therapy that would really help me. My workplace had put in some adjustments and supports for me and I was struggling but still pushing through.

    Then I saw a new occupational therapist who decided that I wasn’t disabled because I didn’t take any medication (!) and therefore work withdrew the adjustments I’d had a week before we broke up for christmas break.

    Then my last remaining grandparent suddenly died on the last day of term.

    My mental health key worker was permanently off sick or unavailable.

    I was struggling but pushing, having panic attacks at work that were severe enough for them to call Dad to come get me because they didn’t think I was safe to drive.

    I was facing a tribunal for the amount of time I’d had off sick and then it was scheduled for the day of my Grandad’s funeral that I had already booked off.

    It got rescheduled but I knew in my gut that I would lose my job, despite the reassurances of HR and the deputy heads. A week before the tribunal I got sent home before the day even began with a panic attack and I took myself to the GP and I sat in the waiting room all afternoon as he tried to find a bed for me somewhere.

    I was broken and I didn’t fit in the world and it felt like no matter what I was letting people down. I felt so so guilty for being ill.

    They chucked me on the benzos that day at a very high dose to essentially sedate and chemically restrain me until after the stress of the tribunal when everyone expected things to return to normal.

    I was too sedated to go to the tribunal. I couldn’t even stand up because of the drugs. So Dad went in my stead.

    He returned several hours later with the news that I had been fired.

    One of my brothers called my Mom to come fetch me later than night because he had been drinking and couldn’t drive down to me and he was concerned for my safety.

    I ended up having to comfort Mom until Dad got home that night for some bizarre reason.

    But I’ve been at my parents ever since. Not home, I didn’t grow up here and Mom has made sure it’s never been like home for me, but they got me because I wasn’t safe alone and the services have pretty much tried to pretend that everything is fine with me since.
    I mean, I got that therapy and was bullied by the therapist which led to my reassessment of my MH diagnoses and then led onto my Autism dx, but I’m still not sure I’ve recovered or ever really will.

    I’m sorry, this got long and depressing.

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me Ruth. I am so, so sorry that the services have failed you in such a tremendous way. I am so sorry that your job fired you, and did all of those things. It seems they really didn’t help matters at all, specifically when scheduling the tribunal on your grandfather’s funeral.

      I fear that, although I have made the decision I’m going to leave work, they will fire me before I get the chance to do it on my terms. I’m still not even sure it’s what I want. Money is the only thing holding me back.

      I’m so sorry again Ruth BUT I am so happy to see how far you have come. You are working again (as I understand it), you are blogging and writing. You are pulling yourself from that pit you were in.

      Take it steady, listen to yourself; You are strong!

      xx

  10. Is it weird that I’ve had multiple rock bottoms? Granted, they were for different situations/mental problems, but still. At one point I even caught myself before I hit rock bottom. That might have been even scarier than actually hitting rock bottom. Thank you for being so honest with your post and all of your writing. Not many talk about hitting rock bottom or how they even got there. Keep speaking out and helping others! <3

    xoxo Emily

    https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

  11. Thank you for sharing your story! It’s hard to share rock bottom stories sometimes. I struggle with anxiety and depression and my rock bottom hit 4 years ago. I could barely get out of bed. I couldn’t eat. I just wanted to die but I didn’t even have the energy to do it myself. It was horrible. I started praying and one day I just felt better. It’s hard to explain, but it was like the darkness just lifted. 🙂

    1. That’s a lovely story of receiving divine help. Personally, I am not that much into faith, however it helped my grandfather in his hours of need, so there is alot to be said for it. It also helped you, which is amazing! Thank you so much for stopping by x

  12. A few things have inspired me along the way, but the most recent attempt really kick started thanks to a friend who was willing to be vulnerable and give me a much needed reality check. There is something about seeing a man getting emotional, but another to know that it’s because of his concern for you and the road you’re heading down…

  13. This is powerful.

    I am unsure of how many times I have hit rock bottom. It seems to be where I live. I so badly want to feel better, and have a full and happy life, I am just struggling so much. I sort of just feel like there is no point anymore. I am almost 30, and there is just no time left for me. I find that I am losing hope for myself more and more as each day passes and I reach my 30th birthday. I think you are an incredibly strong lady. Thank you for writing this.

    1. You are strong too. You may not know it or feel it, but you are. You are still here, despite feeling so low. I hope you find your way out soon. x

  14. Such a powerful read, thank you so much for sharing. This has definitely empowered me to share my own story sometime! I’m horrified they gave you laxatives too – just goes to show there’s still a massive need for better education on mental health problems among medical professionals! Xx

  15. This resonates so deeply with me. And thank you for sharing the J.K. Rowling quote, I’ve never come across it before.
    For me, rock bottom came at a time I didn’t expect. Last August I made a decision to leave my job and my education, apply for disability and focus solely on healing and learning to live with such debilitating migraines. I thought that was my rock bottom. But the next few months saw failures of a new migraine drug on the market that left me with thinning hair and an inability to eat. That was followed by a failed attempt at Botox for my migraines that left my neck unable to move for roughly a month. That was this January.
    My rock bottom was this March. I had to cut off my hair to ease the weight on my migraines. I lost two long term best friends and found myself so incredible alone and just lost with no direction in treatment or future goals.
    I overturned my whole life, found better friends, adjusted how I let people in my life and am on a true path to healing. I hit rock bottom, but I’m climbing up and it feels really good.

    1. I am so sorry that you had to go through that, but also am so happy that you have changed your life around. I am considering leaving my job to focus solely on recovery, but I’m afraid that it might be the worst decision I ever made. Then again if I go back changes are I’ll hit another, worse rock bottom.

      You did so well to come through that all pet. You should be so proud!

  16. Wow, thank you for sharing this so openly. It’s such a scary thing to think about the different ways we can cope with stress and anxiety. I’ve often thought I have a form of PTSD due to me losing 17 people I loved dearly between the ages of 17-27. My dad included. I had to watch him suffer in the hospital and ultimately make the choice to take him off of life support – which at 25 is a lot to bare. Overall, I learned to look at the positives in every situation and be thankful for every bit of peace I could salvage from these experiences. I’m so glad you are doing better now and inspiring other and letting them know that there is hope! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. I am so sorry that you had to go through that, that sounds horrific. Especially losing your father. You are so strong for being able to get through that, and being able to look at the positives. Thank you so much for stopping by. x

  17. Wow this is such an amazing post, thank you so much for sharing this! It’s incredible – in a frightening way sometimes what our minds are capable of. I’ve been through periods of anxiety and brain fog and malnutrition myself, and I am always trying to remember how food is fuel and we need it to thrive! thank you for sharing <3

  18. <3 What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing your truth and your journey. Your strength in sharing your rock bottom is inspirational.

  19. Woah, what a journey. I hope you are feeling better now. I think I’m at my rock bottom now but who knows, it can get worse. My coping mechanism is, if I can’t change my situation, I might as well change my mindset and take it in stride. Although it’s not that easy, I’m trying everyday.

  20. This is such a powerful and inspiring story, you should be so proud of yourself for recovering and sharing your story. Thankyou for sharing !! X

  21. I would say my rock bottom was when I had a nervous breakdown and ended up hospitalized. Though it has been about 23 years since then the recovery process is still ongoing. It is like an onion. Each layer I peel opens another layer needing healing. But each layer seems even a bit more sweeter and less bitter.

    1. Thats a great way to put it. I am glad to hear you are still firmly on the route to recovery, although I am beginning to think there is no destination and only a route to it! Thank you for popping by and showing your support.

  22. I’ve had two rock bottoms, for extremely different reasons but equally painful. One was 13 years ago and the other was 11, and there are many ways that they both still control my life on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing your story!

  23. I’m so sorry to you went through all this! But it seems like you’ve made real progress since then. For me, i guess rock bottom was a time when I was serving as a volunteer in North Africa and was basically living in filth. I remember feeling super depressed and cried almost every day. It was definitely a tough time in my life.

  24. So sorry you had to go through such a horrible experience. You seem extraordinarily strong and I’m glad you are on your road to recovery. All the best to you!

  25. It does seem like you have been made progress. I’m happy that things seem to be getting better for you!

    I have dealt with anxiety and depression, and I have felt like I’ve almost reached rock bottom. It’s been a bit chaotic lately for me. But, I’m working on things that I can control rather than focusing on the things I can’t control.

    1. I am wishing you all the best on your own journey to wellness. Focusing on things we can’t control is lost time and energy, focus on the little things you are able to control in your life right now to restore a sense of balance!

  26. Rock bottom…. well, my relationship was near an end and I was ready to leave…had prepared for many years… then, after some intensive Gottman institutes training….it dawned on my partner that his whole approach needed to change…. so fingers crossed it continues to be better…

  27. Hi! I’m always inspired when I read your stories and I admire your bravery. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. Thanks again for sharing your truth. Melissa xo

  28. Thank you for sharing something so personal. You can’t just go around asking people what their rock bottom is, but I appreciate the opportunity to read this and better understand how someone at rock bottom might feel <3

  29. Quite a journey to reach rock bottom.I am glad you shared this as it means you have climbed /are climbing out of that deep dark hole, I’ve been there, I climbed out after nearly drowning in tears but I did it and l believe I am a better human because of it. So thankyou for sharing.

  30. Wow it sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I hope you are recovering easily, and I thank you for having the courage to put this out there. I know personal stories can be hard to share!

  31. your strength and resilience continue to amaze me. Keep following your heart, using your voice, and gaining support. You know you got it here with me. Anytime you want to chat. I am here.

  32. I hit a rock bottom years ago and had to admit that I did, in fact, have a mental illness and needed help. It was really hard because I was brought up to not ask for help, as most of us are taught to believe. But what I’ve learned during my journey of healing is that it’s not weakness to ask for help. Just the opposite. It takes a great deal of strength to admit you don’t have it all together and need help. Good for you for recognizing what you need even if it took hitting rock bottom. For most of us that’s what it takes but once we start picking ourselves up again, we become happier and healthier – better people. Thank you for sharing your story! #GlobalBlogging

  33. I love hearing your story especially because you always keep going. That is strength. Thanks so much for sharing.

  34. My rock bottom was when I hurt someone close to me. My mom for coming at her for the things she said to me and her telling me I need to move out. Also my coming at my boyfriend for stupid reasons.

  35. Hi there Nixie, I am sorry to hear about your struggles and want you to know that the year 2018 was intense for us all.
    There were many shifts of higher light frequencies on earth.
    These changes of frequency are causing many to be out of balance, never the less those with chronic conditions.
    The best way to deal with changes that are prevalent on earth at this time is to Develop good Foundational energy centers and practice them daily.
    Our foundation is in the lower abdomen and in the back, just in front of the tail bone.
    These practices are ancient and they are necessary for those that have issues with weight and physical and other imbalances.
    The ideas on how to develop foundational centers are on my blog and YouTube channel.
    They help us to be grounded for an ongoing frequency change on earth.
    in Love TJ

  36. I completely get this! When I hit rock bottom the things that got me though was no sleep, minimal food and the counting of the days before I finished University. But once you realize you’ve hit rock bottom the only way is back up xx

    1. That’s exactly it. I’ve been clawing my way from the bottom for months now, and finally, I have seen the end of the tunnel, and it’s far different to what I could ever have imagined.

  37. I don’t really think that I have hit rock bottom because I have always had someone in my life that supported me as I was going through whatever difficult circumstances there were. Still very lonely at times, but always knowing there is support.

    1. It’s wonderful that you have support from people. That can mean more than anything to some people. I’m also happy to hear you haven’t hit rock bottom, and hope you continue to keep yourself out of that dark, dark palce.

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