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partyrock's avatar

What was the lowest point of your life and how did you get through it?

Asked by partyrock (3870points) March 21st, 2012

How did you get through it? Did it ever seem like there was no way to get out of it?

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31 Answers

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tom_g's avatar

Every time I declared a tough time to be the lowest point in my life, another period in my life comes along and makes the previous low seem high in comparison.

I’m learning that I’m not good at making accurate assessments of life’s highs and lows in both the present moment and looking back. But to somewhat answer your question, I used to handle challenging periods in my life by engaging in some form of escape. I’m in the process now of learning how to meet challenges head-on and see them for what they really are (good and bad). Sometimes escape will work to minimize the pain. But we’re not any stronger, and we’re dependent on meeting the next one with yet another escape. More importantly, in the midst of pain and suffering can be immense beauty – something I no longer am willing to miss.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m finding out how to do it right now. Fortunately I have some great peeps in my life to keep my back covered. That’s the key, good people you can count on.

noraasnave's avatar

My toughest times seem to revolve around being with the wrong woman for me:

The toughest time was when my first wife revealed to me that she was looking for an alternate place to live casualy as I spoke to her on the phone while I was at work. She had decided that she didn’t like the life of a housewife, that she wanted to get back in the workforce. We had her two boys from a prior relationship ages 12 and 10, and our two children together 4 and 2.

The toughest part of this for me was that she continued to live in our apartment for 3 months while she tried to get a job and a place to live lined up. It was like having a rebellious teenager, the way she raged and rebelled against every rule of the house. The atmosphere was think with angst.

The particular toughest time period was when she went out with friends (who I didn’t know) to a bar. I waited for her to come home, but she didn’t get in until 0400. I couldn’t sleep while waiting: Was she okay? Was she with another guy? Was she gone for good?

That was the most miserable night of my life. The pain of that night drove me to kick her out a few days later. I packed her bags and put them out by the her vehicle.

She ended up calling the cops and I had to go sleep at someone else’s house for the night (how is that for irony), but the point is, that painful night was were I decided to let go and move on. The only thing worse than waiting on a woman is waiting on a woman who doesn’t care about you!

SuperMouse's avatar

I’ve had some pretty tough spots, especially within the last five or six years. I hunker down and start “working my way over.” Here’s what I mean. You live in LA, it should make at least some sense to you.

About 15 years ago I commuted from Ventura County to the Miracle Mile for work. Driving home I took the Hollywood 101 to the 170 to the 5 to the 118. When the 170 south hits the 5, the traffic merges into the center lane and there are only a couple of miles before the 118 interchange. In traffic it is a huge pain in the ass to make it through all of the traffic to the right lanes in time to get to the 118. Whenever I made the transition to the 5 I would get a catch in my throat and my heart would start to pound. Then I would take deep breath and start working my way over. The thing is, if I didn’t want to end up in Valencia or Palmdale and add all kinds of tie and distance to my commute, I had to get over. I hunkered down and I just did it.

For some reason that experience stuck with me and when things start to get rough, I think of it and start “working my way over.” First I try to stay calm and remember that eventually whatever I am going through will be a memory and hopefully the experience will have taught me something. I do what I can to control what I can. I try to make the best choices I possibly can. I try to see the end in the beginning and have faith that one way or another everything will be all right. It might not turn out looking exactly the way I want it to, but it will turn out one way it is supposed to turn out and whatever happens, I’ll be ok.

dabbler's avatar

Following a divorce, I felt extremely purposeless. During that period I took care of my self out of habit but could even feel that I didn’t care about it much. Following a nasty auto accident (single-car), at some point I observed the very simple primal fact that I like being alive.
It was a sobering thing to decide to make the best of it from there out, probably the most adult thing I ever did.

(@SuperMouse I know that merge! What a nightmare. It’s like eight lanes wide there? Your metaphor is great. “Working your way over” is that determination and persistence to do what you gotta do.)

ucme's avatar

That’ll be when I first started walking as a toddler, things changed as I grew though.

tranquilsea's avatar

A confluence of traumas hit me at 24. I went under big time. For long periods I thought I’d never get through all the emotions I had to deal with. Luck carried me through those times. Having a caring husband carried me through as well. I entered therapy and worked hard.

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janbb's avatar

I am going through the most difficult period of my life now since the traumas of my childhood. Some days I am coping better than others. Things that help are talking about my feelings to close friends, therapy and having enough structured activities. Some days, getting into pjs at 7 p.m. and watching a video or reading in bed are the best things I can do for myself but usually reaching out is what works.

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majorrich's avatar

This is extremely difficult to talk about, but I am doing it because I believe it to be therapeutic. My wife and I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks shortly after we were married. We had already begun preparing the nursery and ‘feathering the nest’ as they say. It took years for me to come to grips with that. Five years later, we had our son William, who is the apple of my eye. He is now a freshman in College and I only occasionally open the box in my heart where Douglas is.

SuperMouse's avatar

@majorrich thank you for sharing that personal story. I am glad that William is thriving, he is lucky to be so loved.

Akua's avatar

In 2006 I was in what I think is the lowest time for me in my life. Not because bad things happened to me, because bad things have always happened at some point or another in my life. I think 2006 was worse than any other time because I had gotten to a point that I had completely given up. I was ready to die, in fact I was okay with it. I layed in bed for three weeks with a fever and I didn’t eat or drink anything. I went down to 98 pounds and I fully expected to just dwindle away and die and figured that eventually someone would find my body.
I’d sperated from my husband, my daughter was living away from me for the first time since she was born (I missed her so much I couldn’t stop weeping), my family abandoned and alienated me and I had no friends. I was staying in an illegal sublet apt. and was completely broke. I had nothing and I didn’t see it as ever getting any better. This depression lasted for two years. During that time I barely functioned and on most days couldn’t make myself go to work. All this was compounded by memories of emotionally and physically abusive parents. It seemed that everyone in my life up to that point had turned on me for no reason. I didn’t have the strength to fight. In 2008, my husband and I reconciled and shortly after I went to therapy to resolve my childhood abuse and neglect (I still go). Now whenever I feel things are bad I look back on that period in my life and know that I can get through whatever happens next.

noraasnave's avatar

@akua rare are the people that pull themselves up by the bootstrap like that. Pushing through can be like walking in chest deep mud, but it is soooo rewarding. Thanks for sharing!

Akua's avatar

@noraasnave thank you for listening and (this is for everyone) for making me feel safe enough on fluther to share.

noraasnave's avatar

I listed a ‘toughest time’, but the toughest moment was realizing that I was to some degree responsible for subconsciously authoring, planning, and directing my ‘toughest time’ thanks to the programming of my parents, as well as, the conservative religious community which was all I knew growing up.

In truth, if one parses a toughest moment down, there are many people somewhat responsible, many people that made choices (whether purposely or unconsciouslessy) that led one to that moment. We like the responsibility (blame) to be on one person, as far from us as possible, but each of us has at least a small part of the responsibility.

With respect to women in general, in retrospect, that first wife should have been a “hit it and quit it” relationship.

The experience was like being strapped to a conestoga wagon and dragged across north America on a 7 year journey, I had to try and see my parent’s broken marriage through in my own life, sex was only acceptable by way of marriage, and divorce was not an option.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I’m still going through it, I’ll get back to you later with the result.

gailcalled's avatar

The untimely and accidental death of a beloved family member, followed closely by a diagnosis of breast cancer and my husband asking for a divorce.

The first year was a blur, but slowly, slowly, slowly I came back.

Akua's avatar

@gailcalled Yes that first year makes you numb.

gailcalled's avatar

More than numb. I felt disemboweled and unable to breathe most of the time. Having surgery, chemo and radiation was an interesting distraction; however, it is not something I would recommend.

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled You’re not suggesting I add breast cancer to the mix? It is actually one of my fears.

gailcalled's avatar

Compared to the rest, the breast cancer was irritating, uncomfortable, inconvenient and annoying. But it was doable, obviously.

annewilliams5's avatar

Do I say this? Even to you? I am still afraid of saying it out loud to people I don’t know. It’s not a situation that is worse than anything else, that I’ve read. I’m just afraid of being hated or judged or both.

janbb's avatar

@annewilliams5 Say it if is helpful to you to do so, don’t reveal it if you’d rather not.

annewilliams5's avatar

@janbb Let me think about that. Thanks for the supportive statement.

wundayatta's avatar

I decided to tell my wife I was involved with someone else online (who was breaking up with me). I was fully expecting to end up kicked out of the house, and eventually jobless and homeless. I was so miserable, I couldn’t imagine anything would ever get any better. At that point, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me other than being an immoral failure.

annewilliams5's avatar

I’ll bet there is very little wrong with you. We do things according to what we’re faced with.

Bent's avatar

The lowest point of my life was about a year ago when I was made redundant from my last job, struggling with my disability and wondering if I would ever be able to work again. I dealt with it by moving away from the small town where I lived (where there was no work available anyway) to a big city. I didn’t have a job or a plan when I moved here, I just did it anyway. It paid off too. I’m not completely happy yet, still worried about my health, but definitely better than this time last year.

flutherother's avatar

One of the lowest points came after I split up from my wife. I was in a hotel room waiting to fly back to the UK. I had no home to go to, no money and no job. I didn’t like to think about the future as it was so worrying. I had 12 days before my flight left.

yankeetooter's avatar

My lowest point came when I found out that someone did not have feelings for me the way I did for them (although it seemed quite possible at first). On top of that, things ended badly, with the person walking away and offering no explanation whatsoever. To this day, I have no idea if they are mad at me, if they hate me…etc.

And how do I deal with it? I am slowly working through the pain and guilt…but it is taking a long while…

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