Have you ever reached the stage where every part of your life has been smashed into tiny little pieces and scattered all over the dirty floor of your cold, lifeless, dark, bedroom where the curtains never opened to let the sunshine in?
Everything is completely broken. You are broken. A failed business attempt, many broken romantic relationships, one failed passion after another, a toxic circle of friends, a bad drinking problem, a reckless disregard for money — whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. You let everything go wrong.
Knowing how to rebuild a ruined life from rock bottom will take every ounce of emotion, energy, and knowledge you have. There will be so much sweat, a huge amount of tears shed behind closed doors, and times when there will be no hope.
Somehow, people managed to get out of this dark place. For that, they are pretty thankful. I’m hoping this article can help many more people who have endured something similar to know how to rebuild a ruined life from rock bottom.
Sometimes all it takes is an idea, a person, or a quote to change your thinking. So, how can you know how to rebuild a ruined life from rock bottom?
Keep reading to find out.
How To Rebuild a Ruined Life – 16 Ways To Do rebuild Your Life From Rock Bottom
- Disrupt the stability in your life
I found that my life during this time had become a series of habits that I’d repeat every day. The stability in my life was part of the reason I had gone to such a dark place. It was easy to keep doing what had got me there rather than try something new.
When you accept that stability is the problem, you will open your mind to the idea of disrupting every value, belief, and rule you had which was the first step in the process.
Stability and repeating the same habits that have got you to where you are, are often what is holding you back. A new version of your life starts with disrupting the current one.
- Give a little piece of yourself to someone
Much of what has taken people to this dark place is the obsession they have for themselves and their problems. Until you dare to give a little something to another person, you will continue to stay trapped in this situation. Selfishness is the root of so many of our problems.
If you can find it in your heart to give a piece of yourself away, you’ll be introduced to an idea that will begin to eat away at the burden of selfishness and show you an important step in rebuilding your life.
- Don’t try to predict the future
When you crawl into a dark corner and find yourself in a basement called “rock bottom,” you find yourself spending your days trying to predict the future. “Will this situation be the death of me?” “Is this all there is?” “Is this it? Is this how I am destined to spend the rest of my life?”
These questions all try to answer the question of what the future holds for you. It will get you absolutely nowhere — other than making you sink deeper into isolation, misery, and further darkness.
Predicting the future is a helpless pursuit, whereas, what helped many people know how to rebuild a ruined life, was to start doing something that might change their future. Change doesn’t come from predictions and relying on luck; it comes from making a few decisions and trying your best to take action.
Taking action and making decisions feel as though they are the only two things you can’t do when you’ve hit rock bottom.
They are the two hardest things you can do and they are also the two things you must do. The only way you can possibly do either when you are at rock bottom is to start small — and I mean microscopic when I say ‘small.’
Make one decision and one action that is so small, it seems completely useless. It is at that point that your life will start to get rebuilt.
- Learn to feel something again
Rock bottom is when you have forgotten how to feel. Picture this: You hear someone has lost their mother and you are in such a dark place that this news does nothing to you. You can’t shed a tear for the son or daughter who has lost their mother because you are completely numb. Nothing that happens phases you anymore and that’s dangerous.
What I’ve just described is what it can feel like to be numb to your emotions. Learning to feel again is about reconnecting with the idea that you are not the only one struggling. If all you care about is yourself and your problems, you’ll spend much more time in a dark place than you need to.
If you can’t feel something for someone who has lost their mother, what hope have you got of feeling something for the child that lives inside of you and is desperately crying out for help?
- Develop a thick skin
Being in a dark place can look like weakness to some people. It can be an opportunity for someone to kick you when you are down.
People may judge you because you let your life lead you to this very dark place. They may make comments about you or say nasty things. Know this: they are only acting this way because of their misfortunes. The insults and criticism are more about them than you.
As humans, we do crazy stuff and treat people poorly without often knowing that is what we are doing. Developing a thick skin is not about ignoring those people who criticize and insult you; it’s about being compassionate about why they are doing it.
Compassion goes a long way when you are trying to get out of a dark place. It brings people who have the potential to assist you, closer to your situation. Compassion is what can make people want to help you for reasons they don’t even consciously know.
- Look after yourself
Rock bottom can be a lonely place and if you are not careful, it can lead to mental illness and suicide.1https://medium.com/swlh/16-ways-i-rebuilt-my-life-from-rock-bottom-and-so-can-you-f64de1b5e142
That’s why it is completely acceptable to treat yourself well during these times. Spoil yourself with an ice cream, watch a movie you’ve been dying to see, play a video game you love for an hour, or indulge in a sport you’ve been meaning to try.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can. Even though today might be crappy, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to participate in things that you enjoy doing or treating yourself to.
You can treat yourself through the good times and the bad times. In fact, in my experience, it is more important to treat yourself well during dark times than it is during the good times.
- Find a way to do something for someone else
No need to save the world with this one. The goal is to find some small thing you can do for someone else that you weren’t asked to do. One thing you should do when you hit rock bottom is to give a few LinkedIn recommendations to people whom you admire and respect. They didn’t ask for it, but I thought it was something small you have to give.
These silly, little recommendations sparked many conversations. These conversations were incredibly comforting when nothing else seemed to be helping your situation or making the future look bright again.
Ringing a few random people whom you hadn’t spoken to in a while and telling them what you admired about them also seems to help.
- Spend your energy taking it day by day
Change doesn’t happen overnight. I know you want to hear one tip or one bit of advice that becomes a superhero moment where you break through, but in many people’s experience, these moments rarely happen outside of Hollywood movies.
The real transformation comes from aiming to make it through each day with one small win at a time. Waking up could be a win; not crying for a day could be a win; feeling slightly better than yesterday could be a win; coming across one new idea could be a win; meeting a new person could be a win.
When you layer each of these small wins on top of each other, what seems like 0.00000000001% of progress, quickly becomes momentum that takes you from rock bottom to doing okay, to feeling good, to “I’m doing amazing, thanks for asking.”
- Assess which people bring you a lot of unhappiness and take a break from them — perhaps even divorce them permanently
What you definitely don’t need when you wanna know how to rebuild a ruined life is people who are holding you back or trying to make you stay the same.
During the dark period of people’s lives, certain friends will want to keep them down because they knew that they were more likely to be reckless or get drunk with them if they were. This may have made them feel good although it certainly wasn’t useful to a tired, lonely, worn out, unhappy person who was at the end of his/her tether.
It was hard to face up to the reality that they had to divorce the friends that were holding them back and not letting them rebuild their life. It felt as though they were betraying them and when they did see their names pop up on the small screen of their phones, they could see in their mind photos of them hanging out as kids and going to nightclubs together and feeling like we were on top of the world.
These images were hard to discard when they went through this process of divorcing them. As hard as it was, they knew they had to at least try a few months without them to see if it made a difference.
It turned out to have made a huge difference and became one of the few steps that they did put off doing for way too long out of fear of disappointing people who didn’t have their best interests in mind. The same might be true for you.
- Wear your heart on your sleeve
It’s okay if you are going through dark times. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is about being open about what is happening.
If all you do is bottle up inside what is going on, it’s going to be much harder than it needs to be, to rebuild your life again. Wearing your heart is about being vulnerable and permitting yourself to ask people for help.
People will help you when things get rough and sometimes all you have to do is ask them. No one wants to see you live like this and if you can find a way to put aside your pride and your ego, and ask for help, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how kind other human beings can be. I had many people help me when I asked for help.
Some people even had people I’d never met before help me in secret because they saw a small part of themselves in what I was going through. People want to help you. Don’t forget that.
- Take people out for coffee
There doesn’t need to be an agenda. Coffee is one of those substances that bonds people. We share stories over coffee; we find solutions to problems over coffee; we meet like-minded people over coffee, and we get out of our heads and get in touch with ideas that our brain may not be able to come up with because it is exhausted from the struggle.
- Walk around your neighborhood
Walking is a way for you to get a bit of exercise without feeling as though you need to run a marathon. The simple truth people have realized is that when you are in a dark place, exercise can be difficult.
Exercise becomes very unimportant and taking care of yourself can become a low priority. Walking is a simple form of exercise that you can do no matter where you are in life.
Maybe you walk to the supermarket or to the post office to pick up a parcel or to the bank. There is always something you need to do that requires walking. Maybe you park your car far away from the shopping center when you do your weekly food shopping which forces you to walk for a bit.
Walking, during a dark period in people’s lives, was like teleporting out of their heads and looking down at themselves from high above the Earth. It made them feel connected to something much bigger and more significant than their problems.
- Get a voice in your head that is not your own
Your voice can drown out everything else when you have hit rock bottom. Having another person’s voice in your ear — who disagrees with all the lies you are telling yourself — can be incredibly useful.
That voice for some people was Tony Robbins. He called them liars, cheaters, and assholes — and they never even met each other.
His audiotapes screamed at them and his voice was much louder, more passionate, crazy, radical, and empowering than their inner voice. He was impossible to ignore. The questions he posed in their ears were deafening and there was no way they could ignore them.
Without another voice like Tony’s, I’m not sure they would have ever woken up from the horrible nightmare that was their lives at this time.
- Embrace randomness
This is going to sound a bit odd. Another thing that helped people was watching walkthroughs on Youtube of Mario Games. In Mario Games, your imagination is left to run wild and anything can happen. There are all sorts of puzzles that need to be solved and that makes you think.
The randomness of watching someone play Mario, helped people to silence the inner critic for a few hours who was telling them there was no way out.
- Find something to fall in love with
Some people fell in love with the gift of writing during difficult times. It was a love for the written word that became yet another distraction.
Writing sentences on a blank computer screen helped people to link up several ideas that seemed pointless and useless in their heads, but on their computer screens seemed to hold a different meaning.
You can fall in love with something that is not a hobby. You could decide to fall in love with your partner or children again — or deepen your love for them already. When you are in love with someone or something, you have another piece you can use to rebuild your life.
Really beautiful things happen from people and experiences that we would dare attach a strong word such as love to.
- Forgive the people who have wronged you
The final way people knew how to rebuild a ruined life was by finding a way to forgive someone who had done everything in their power to wrong them. Whenever they felt alone or frustrated or low, they did think of this person smiling at them and it would make me feel even worse.
They realized that one of the triggers for them to arrive at the last stop, called rock bottom, was their unwillingness to forgive someone who may have done the wrong thing to them.
One of the hardest things you can ever do is forgive someone who has unquestionably wronged you. If you can learn to forgive that person, you can do anything — including knowing how to rebuild a ruined life and getting away from rock bottom for good.
Watch the video to know more on this:
6 Important Tools to Use to Know How to Rebuild a Ruined Life
- TOOL 1: DISCOVER THE PROBLEM
When things are going well, we take for granted that every detail of our lives is working smoothly and efficiently. Devastation, pain, and destruction force us to dissect the inner being of whom we are, obliging us to honestly evaluate what is working and what is not.
The first step in rebuilding life after trauma is to put a microscope on your life, discover the root of the destruction, single out its toxicity, and then challenge its very existence.2https://www.quora.com/Have-you-rebuilt-your-life-after-ruining-it-How-did-you-do-it
Once privy to this information, we are compelled to ask: What can I do to remove the destruction? What causes this destruction? How can I reconstruct that which has been decimated? What materials do I need to rebuild my life?
- TOOL 2: SEE THE BIG PICTURE
A big part of the destruction is only being able to see the crumbled mess that lies at your feet, right under your nose. We have the tendency to dwell on the ruins. It’s all we can see and focus on.
A big step in rebuilding is to step back for a moment and take in the entire landscape. Look at your life up until this point, the experiences you’ve had, the lessons you’ve learned, and your previous rebounds.
Know that we are only given challenges that the creator knows we can overcome. From this, we can see that the obvious next step is to get out your tools and construction hat because the only way forward after trauma is to rebuild.3https://www.meaningfullife.com/rebuilding-life-trauma-six-step-plan/
- TOOL 3: THE LAW OF DESTRUCTION
The law in Jewish tradition is that you may only tear down a house of worship in order to build a new one in its place. The law is very stringent and goes on to say that the new building must be superior (in size, beauty, etc.) to the one being torn down.
Additionally, the new building’s construction must begin immediately and must be pursued “day and night, lest difficulties arise that will cause it to remain desolate—even for a time.”
From this, we learn the importance of not idling around. We are commanded to begin rebuilding life anew. Even more, we learn that before the building was even destroyed, there were already grander plans in place for a bigger, better opportunity.
- TOOL 4: START A MOVEMENT
In order to build (and rebuild) you have to move—you have to move away and distract yourself from the painful situation. Distance yourself from the cause that produced the pain in the first place.
This movement may be as simple as finding a new friend, reading a new book, getting involved in a project, or taking a class—anything to alter your solitary, limited perspective on yourself and the world. Destruction is old, static, and predictable.
Rebuilding life after trauma is new, dynamic, and innovative. Movement is the process of going from standing still, to still standing—and then from still standing to flying high.
- TOOL 5: YOUR NETWORKS
Trauma, by nature, thrives on your isolation. By connecting with people; family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, you are tapping into humanity and your role in the universe.
When you are broken, your network can help complete you; when someone in your network is down, you can lift that someone up. Part of rebuilding life after trauma is simply reconnecting to humanity.
- TOOL 6: CRACK APART OR CRACK OPEN
A crack can be the sound of destruction, but on the other side of the same coin, the crack is the sound of construction. We must break down in order to break free and achieve new heights. Sometimes it’s a matter of perspective.
We must see and recognize the potential left by a gaping hole. A crack that destroys is one that cracks things apart; a crack that builds is one that cracks things open. The former focuses on what can’t be; the latter on what can. A seed must decompose before it sprouts.
The destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem are the archetypes for coping with our personal traumas. This three-week period of mourning and sadness for the destruction of all the Temples is a time for us to realize what went wrong and what we can—and will—do to make it right.
Repair your own life; help to repair the lives of others; strive to champion the entities which supply dignity and purpose to you and to the world.
Read What Others Are Saying Concerning How to Rebuild A Ruined Life
- FromAmanda Isaac in Quora: I wouldn’t say I ruined my life because I’m still here, but I sure did change my life for the better. I used to be an addict, and also an anorexic. I lost all my friends since they were literally terrified of me.
Of course, I wouldn’t be here without some support and motivation, right? My parents, siblings, and two of my loyal friends were so heartbroken. I could not see them crying anymore; I couldn’t see myself in the mirror anymore.
I went to rehab and when I came back, I saw everyone smiling and it was priceless; but most importantly, I was smiling too. In short terms, nothing will fulfill life more than loving yourself. Yes, my family and friends have always loved me but I never loved myself during these terrible times in my life. LOVE YOURSELF
- Gordon Miller gives the answer to this question; “I’m 18 and I might have ruined my life or made my dreams less accessible, what do I do?”
- Accept the reality that you have 70 more years to go.
- Accept the reality that all things happen for a reason.
- Accept the reality that you have a limited perspective at 18.
- Accept the reality that you have NOT ruined your life.
- Accept the reality that tomorrow is another day with new opportunities.
- Accept the reality that you will get up tomorrow and keep going regardless of how you feel now.
- Rosie Harding: If I ruined my life in my twenties, am I ruined for the rest of my life?
Not at all. I was ruined in my 20s, I was unemployed, on the verge of homeless, and suicidal.
I managed to turn it all around and a couple of years later, I moved to the other side of the world where I advanced my career more than I ever thought possible, found the love of my life, and married.
It is always possible to turn yourself around. You’ve just gotta want it bad enough to do the work necessary.
The crux of this advice on how to rebuild a ruined life is to do something different. You can’t keep plodding along the way you are and expect to know how to rebuild a ruined life. The only reason people ever got off rock bottom was that they became obsessed with trying new ideas and seeing if there was another way.
You may not have the answers, but hopefully, if you try some of these tips, you might discover another alternative.
It may not be my exact advice that helps you, but it could be something you discover because of the process you begin as a result of you reading this advice — and seeing someone who is just like you, make it through to the other side and be able to look back and see the whole process as worthwhile.
Rock bottom looks really ugly when you are there. When you rise from the circumstances that took you there in the first place and have the opportunity to look back, it really does look different.
You realize something absolutely crazy: you needed rock bottom to move forward and go on to whatever that new way of life is that brings you a sense of fulfillment and joy that you never had before.
All I ask is that when you rebuild your life, you see if there is a way you can help 1–2 people do the same thing. That is what really makes a difference.
Rebuilding your life means developing a life for yourself in which you feel happy or content. This could mean making changes in your personal or professional life. God promised to rebuild what had been destroyed and to replant what had been plucked up. He proved himself to be a righteous, powerful, and just Judge. And he promised to prove himself to be an equally patient, compassionate, and merciful Redeemer — a Rebuilder. And the rebuild began when he sent his Son.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to How to Rebuild a Ruined Life
Rebuilding your life means developing a life for yourself in which you feel happy or content. This could mean making changes in your personal or professional life.
God promised to rebuild what had been destroyed and to replant what had been plucked up. He proved himself to be a righteous, powerful, and just Judge. And he promised to prove himself to be an equally patient, compassionate, and merciful Redeemer — a Rebuilder. And the rebuild began when he sent his Son.
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