You’ve all heard the stories. The rags to riches ones. We all know the J.K. Rowling story. Yup, look at her now. One of my favourite quotes in the world comes from her and rings in my ears often.
Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. J.K. Rowling
Amen sister, amen. Now I don’t necessarily have a story like hers. I mean it’s close but the only thing different is my net worth. It isn’t even remotely close to hers. However, in my defense, my emotional and mental net worth is priceless. Ya, you can’t put a monetary value on that.
So rock bottom found me or, should I say, I found it. I won’t bore you with all the details but, in short, it went something like this:
I was a hairstylist for over 25 years, worked at the same salon for almost all of those years.
I then got big and brave and bought my own salon. It crashed 3 years later and I closed it. I owed the government tens of thousands of dollars.
I then declared bankruptcy .
During that time my 8 year abusive relationship got out of hand and I had to make a fast move and leave.
I left with nothing. No money, no belongings, no job, nothing. Not a single solitary penny to my name. Just the clothes on my back. And the shattered pieces of my pride and self confidence.
So moving on, in the depths of hell, aka rock bottom, this is what happens to someone (or maybe it’s just me?) who has hit it, and hard.
The sun rises and you have no reason to wake up. You wish the sun would stop shining and that it would stay dark forever. So you can stay in bed forever and sleep, or hope to die. Whatever.
When you finally do drag your ass out of bed, you usually cry. Some days you sob hysterically, other days it is usually just soft “someone please help me” tears.
There is an invisible ball and chain strapped to your ankles that hurts like a son of a bitch and you wish someone would remove it.
There’s also this ton of bricks resting on your shoulders and lemme tell ya, that shit is crippling.
There is a constant feeling in your stomach like you’re ready to throw up at any given moment. All damn day.
You actually think of ways to put an end to all of it so that it’s not really messy, it won’t hurt too much, and it will be quick. Quickly following that thought is the sickening feeling of guilt. “Why would you think like that? What about your family? Your son?” and then you sob hysterically again until it feels like your head is gonna explode.
Oh and then there’s being out in public, having to paint a smiley face on and tell everyone you’re ok while deep down inside you are screaming and you are in so much emotional and mental pain, there’s no way to explain it and no one would understand anyway.
You don’t answer the phone or texts unless it’s your best friend or a close family member. You desperately want people to leave you the fuck alone.
You hate yourself, you can’t stand being with yourself, you are constantly disgusted with yourself and are convinced you are the biggest loser on the face of the planet.
You are pretty numb from the brain down, a zombie if you will, every damn day. You just wish the world would swallow you up whole. You are just so done. You feel like this teeny tiny black empty spot on the planet and you want to just vanish, screaming and crying into the galaxy, forever.
It’s not pretty.
Until this happens…….one day it just clicks….
One day, it just happens. You get so sick and tired of being in this constant state of misery. You get to a point where you just get so damned tired of whining about how horrible your life is and realize that the only person who can change it, is you.
One day you just look at yourself in the mirror and you see there’s still a sparkle in your eye. There’s still some life in there, some hope. And then you bawl your eyes out some more.
You realize that this is the only life you’re gonna get and if it sucks right now, then do something about it. You realize the only way now is up. You know it’s not gonna be easy, you aren’t even sure where to start, but you finally pull up your big girl/boy panties and move!
And crawling out of rock bottom begins. It’s slow, it’s careful, it is filled with hope, anxiety, doubt, optimism, pessimism. It’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time. Finally, you see a light at the top. And you bawl your eyes out some more (there’s an awful lot of crying that goes on when you’re in rock bottom)
Finally, you can breathe and smile and not have to fake it. Finally, you see that you’re gonna be ok.
So fast forward to now because I’m sure you’re wondering “well what happened to Iva??”.
In a nutshell:
Tail between my legs, I went back to work at the old salon I used to work at (don’t burn bridges), I found my purpose volunteering part time in a homeless shelter (it helped to take my mind off my problems), traded my hairstyling career into a freelancing career (and that took tons of hard work and determination) got rid of my entire life in Canada, packed two suitcases and bought a one way ticket to Guatemala where I do my part to wipe out hunger and poverty.
I run a sweet website and a pretty successful Facebook page (over 600K fans to date) inspiring others to face their fears, dream big, leave the past in the past and believe in themselves. I even wrote a self help book!
I tell everyone, rock bottom was the best thing that ever happened to me though I don’t wish it on anyone, it truly is a magnificent place. That’s where you grow!
Peace and Love
xo iva xo