How Losing It All Helped Me Find Myself

The best things in life aren’t things, they’re people and moments and the feelings you get when everything is beauty and chaos at the same time.

There comes a time in all of our lives where it seems that the world has turned into a roller coaster. One minute we’re up, and the next we’re spiraling down going seventy five miles per hour, all the while we’re wondering why we even got on in the first place. The twists and turns make us dizzy and when the ride finally comes to a halt, when everything is finally calm again, we are often left feeling emptier than before.

I remember the day I found myself spiraling dangerously fast towards rock bottom. I was too tired to get out of bed, though I was sleeping more than enough. I was too sad to laugh with my friends, though I had no reason to feel this way. I laid in bed that night feeling like I was going to suffocate. I thought the monsters that plagued my every thought had finally won the battle that had been raging for so long. And then, as if by the power of karma or some other universal force out to spite me, my life began to crumble around me.

In the span of two weeks, I lost a lot of important things in my life, key parts that I thought contributed to who I was, to my identity. A final goodbye from a love once thought to be endless tore me to pieces. Supposed “friends” turned their backs on me when I needed them the most. Financial problems arose that made my stomach twist and turn at the thought of buying anything. My life was one big, chaotic mess.

I thought the whirlwind would never end, but finally, after days of waking up and wondering “what’s going to go wrong today?”, it did. I emerged from the wreckage feeling completely empty, but oddly liberated. For the first time in a long time, I was cut free from the chains I had so blindly wrapped around my arms and legs, the chains that rattled and dragged and held me back day after day, the chains that I had thought were a part of who I was. But they weren’t. They never were.

It’s easy to find comfort in the things that weigh us down. It’s easy to become addicted to the pain or the sadness or the drama. Often times people believe that the hardest part of life is the hardship that comes with it, when in fact the hardest part is mustering up the courage to stand back up after you’ve been knocked down, to make that first decision to let go of the past and start fresh, as sometimes the only way to do so is to lose it all. It can be terrifying to wipe the slate clean, but sometimes its the best thing you can do for yourself. It sets you free, liberates you, let’s you disassociate yourself from the negativity that used to define you. A clean slate allows you to be anything you want to be, even if that’s simply “better”.

Looking back, I know that everything that happened had happened for a reason. The boy I once loved walked away so that I could see clearly once again. And once he did I realized that I had given my whole self to him, let my relationship be the cornerstone in the foundation of my identity, unaware that I had sold my soul to someone who would quickly return it. My friends turned on me so that I could begin to weed out the ones who weren’t true friends anyway, which brought me closer to the ones who stuck by my side. With nothing left to lose, I wiped my slate clean and started from scratch, and I’ve never been happier.

Every day I thank my lucky stars that I was able to pull myself out of the darkness that had come close to swallowing me whole. It wasn’t easy, but I’m here to tell you that it was possible, and it was worth it.

Sometimes when life tries to break you, you have to let it. You have to surrender yourself to the undertow so that when you come up for air, you have a better appreciation of what it means to be alive. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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