What I have learnt when I hit rock bottom

By Nina Steele 

I was watching a compilation of short motivational videos the other day, with JK Rowling one of the contributors. In the video, she recounts the time before she became successful when she hit rock bottom. She was completely broke, with a daughter to take care of and describes her situation then as being: “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.” She goes on to say that hitting rock bottom allowed her to focus on her writing in a way that she may not have done had she not been so desperate to turn her life around. She had a hunger for success spurred on by her dire situation and of course that hunger for success has made her into one of the richest women on earth.

Life can be tough, no doubt about it. We are challenged every day and those challenges can be small or on a scale big enough to determine how the rest of our life plays out. What separates those who make it from those who don’t, is how each one of us view life as a whole. JK Rowling could have chosen to remain on benefit and create her own narrative about being a victim of the system, yet she chose to fight and she dared to believe that there was another way. It is that determination that saved her at the end. Pain and suffering are part of life whether we like it or not. It is that Yin and Yang philosophy, the idea that there cannot be good without bad. Both are an intrinsic part of life.

I remember our last attempt to conceive. The procedure was IUI with donor sperm. We had been told that the donor had a good track record in terms of successful pregnancies and so my hopes were understandably very high. Of course it failed. I remember sitting on our bedroom floor sobbing and feeling as though I was being tried beyond measure. It is one of those painful moments when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. But of course I underestimated my ability to recover from setbacks. How else was I ever going to find out! Not only did I get over it but I found the strength to make a clean break from trying to conceive all together. I could have become bitter and resentful and seen myself as a victim of life, instead I chose to create a new narrative for myself and that new narrative led to

Hitting rock bottom is a dark place that all of us will happily choose never to have to visit. It is those moments when you wish you were never born in the first place. Once you make it to the other side however, you realise that these moments have helped shape your character in a way that even you could not have anticipated.

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