At some point you'll inevitably feel like it is the worst time of your life, that everything is a mess and you're a disaster. But instead of a dead end, why not see it as an opportunity?
You wake up in the morning and the only thing you can think is “why can’t I just stay in bed all day?” Your love life’s a mess (or nonexistent), you hate your job, you have little to no money, and you just hate waking up every morning to have to endure that living hell one more day. In a few words, you are living the worst time of your life. Before you go anywhere, relax, this won’t be another condescending article telling you there’s all kinds of wonderful things in your life that you’re not seeing, nor will I tell you to hang in there because "it will get better." Those are empty platitudes we tell people to try to cheer them up, but as someone who’s been there, I can honestly say that this can do more damage than actually facing the fact that right now your life sucks.
When I was at my lowest and going through the hardest time of my life, I realized I had two choices. I could lose myself in my depression, waiting for things to get better, or I could see it as a unique opportunity for me to rethink my life and be more proactive in my decisions. After all, everything was already a mess, so what did I have to lose? Yes, it was really hard, but now that I look back on those dark days, I can say that it was probably the most exciting period of my life, and this is why.
You feel freer to do whatever you want
Sometimes, because we're so focused on having a "perfect" life, we neglect or choose not to do many things we'd like because we fear they might end up ruining our big plans. So, when nothing in your life is working out, it's actually the best time to go for these things and try something new. You never know if it might help you figure things out or find your true calling.
It helps you see that not everything is as bad as it seems
Once you realize how free you are now to do whatever you like, you’ll see that this time of your life might be the best thing that's ever happened to you. Do you really think that having a perfect life is exciting? I don’t think so. Failing and struggling is actually the best opportunity to take a step back and use it to take a huge leap and reinvent ourselves.
You don’t have to worry about messing everything up
This one has a lot to do with what we were talking about before. If you think about it, it makes sense: things can always get worse, but when things are really (and I mean really) messed up, you acquire a sort of superpower that makes you impervious to failure, or at least to being bummed out by failure. You feel freer to live life to the fullest without worrying about messing things up even more.
You feel less anxious to meet expectations
This one is pretty obvious, isn’t it? The moment things start falling apart you start caring less about what others think or expect from you. Yes, at first, you'll feel bad, but as you start playing a more active role in your life, you'll realize that the only one you have to worry about pleasing is yourself.
You learn from your failures
This superpower also helps you learn from the past and your mistakes. This is perhaps the most exciting thing about being at the worst time of your life: you start living by trial and error instead of just imagining the different outcomes of your decision. The most important thing you realize is that there’s nothing wrong with failing as long as you understand why it happened and you learn from it. That, kids, is called growing up and maturing.
You are more in control of the things in your life
The more anxious, depressed, and negative you feel at this moment of your life, the more selfish you'll become, but in a good way. You'll start doing things that make you feel good and happy. In that way, before you know it, you'll start getting that control of your life that you lost because you were focusing on reaching a certain goal or meeting other people's expectations.
You can focus on the things that really matter
It’s during this process that you start focusing on the things that really matter to you. At the same time, you also start thinking about those things you’ve neglected, but that you care about a lot. Maybe it's patching things up with an old friend, or taking up an activity you used to love; whatever it is, make sure it's something that matters to you.
You learn how to see and enjoy life differently
This, of course, doesn’t mean that you stop being afraid of messing things up. Actually, that fear (and your efforts to overcome it) is what helps you see, experience, and enjoy life to the fullest and with a wider perspective. Imagine how dull life would be if you weren’t afraid of doing anything? That fear can actually make life even more exciting.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that failing and messing up your life doesn’t mean that you’re done and will never get another chance. Things might look that way, and we tend to repeat that lie to ourselves so much that we end up believing it. But for me, that’s a lot of nonsense. Yes, we have all the right to feel down, but believe you me, the moment you start going through the process, you’ll start realizing that the worst time of your life is the best thing that will ever happen to you.
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Illustrations by Mr. Tokki