It’s a story as old as time itself: riches to rags and then back again.
People are constantly reinventing themselves, which is why you can never count anyone out – including yourself!
(Little pep talk there.)
AskReddit users who are successful today discuss the lowest points in their lives.
#1. Hang in there
“When I was 7 I was lying in bed wishing to die. My alc*holic dad had just left, my mother had just finished calling me a piece of garbage. I asked God to take me away and to please not let me wake up.
The next morning I woke up and was so sad, and tired. I was so tired of life. 29 years later I am a well adjusted woman, happy with life. I have a wonderful family, a job I’m passionate about, great friends. I think about 7 year old me sometimes. I mentally hug her and tell her that everything is going to be amazing.
Hang in there kiddo. We’re gonna be just fine.”
#2. Broke as a joke
“I was a broke student, my friend came over with 2 beers he bought on his last pennies in hope I have food, or at least nuts. Which I did not.
We ate dry cat food. It was tasty. My cat stared at me in utter disbelief.”
#3. Out of the darkness
“I broke up with a dude I had been dating for 9 months… because he wanted to go back to the same ex he had left me for last the time. That was on Monday. On Friday, my mom died of the very long, very drawn out battle with cancer. By the end she didn’t recognize me. A few short months after that, my house got hit by a hurricane and I was displaced for 4 months. All of this while trying to complete my doctorate.
I was lucky enough that before we broke up, my ex had introduced me to a social group, and in the breakup, I got the group. I actually went to my first get together the day after the breakup. The people I met there changed my life forever, and through all that darkness were able to show me enough life to get through.
My sister wasn’t so fortunate, and turned to heroin for her struggles. She’s doing well now, but she had a much deeper hole to crawl out of.”
#4. Working my way up
“Dropping out of high school because I haven’t passed a single year in it spending the next few years figuring out what I was going to do. It was tough and mentally exhausting. I didn’t go out much I didn’t eat much I didn’t do much, I wanted to not spend as much of my moms money as possible. I would scrape up quarters to go to Mcdonald’s to get some food.
My doctor told me I was malnourished I had a bmi of 13.5 at the time.
All that time I was focused on one thing, and that was programming. I knew it was either focus all my time on getting as good as I possibly can at programming, build a portfolio and get a job in that field. Or work some deadend McDonald’s job for a long time.
While I’m not successful in terms of like a successful businessman who is like let’s say 40 years old. I would consider myself successful for my age and I am only working my way up from here.”
#5. A rough patch
“When my oldest was 4 we moved away from my home town. I had family there but was living with a friend. I came home from work one day to find all his stuff moved out and a 3 day eviction notice on the door. I had just changed jobs and had paid him rent out of my last check so no money for a deposit or rent on a new apartment and the lease wasn’t in my name so I couldn’t do anything.
My family wouldn’t take us in so my daughter and I had to take roommates 3 cats to the pound and get into the homeless shelter. It was a very low point in my life. Luckily I got my tax return 3 weeks later and was in an apartment I could afford and we got back in our feet.”
#6. Nice work!
“Professionally, my first year out of college easily. It was during the recession and unemployment was consistently around 8-10%. I went from doing cancer research at 21 to being a telemarketer at 22. I left that after six months, worked a respectable yet modest corporate role (at a different company) for the last five years. I studied for a bunch of certifications over that five years and landed my dream job three months ago.”
“34, married to my college sweetheart, moved across the country for great jobs, bought a house, working on starting a family and… cancer. I lost her later that same year. The two worst days were the diagnosis (and the drive home), and that last doctor’s visit when she was really confused, exhausted and just out of it.
The doctor knew what was coming and took me aside to discuss “DNR” forms. That’s “Do Not Resuscitate.” Not something a clueless 30 something guy puts much thought into. She actually never left her doctor’s appointment. Her state deteriorated. They admitted her and she died 4 hours later.
Now, twenty years later, I’m married and we have adopted a son who’s yelling at Super Bomberman and life goes on for the rest of us.”
#8. You must adapt
“I grew up pretty poor. By the time I was in high school, life became a string of evictions from one crappy apartment to another, resulting in homelessness immediately after graduation. I spent a summer living out of a 1986 Grand Marquis with busted air conditioning and no idea how I was going to even eat from one day to the next, never mind get myself out of that situation.
After some months I got a job. Got a crappy apartment. A few years after that, I wrote a book. Sold the novel in a two book deal. Not a huge amount of money, but when you’re poor, the amount it takes to be life-changing is pretty low.
Eventually I used that money to move from my small town to NYC. Fast forward to today– I have a good job, great friends, I’ve traveled to places I never dared to dream I’d get to. I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from or how I’ll afford to pay rent or bills. I am much happier than I ever expected to be at this point in my life.
That said, I’ve learned that life never just evens out. There are peaks and lows. The challenges are just different. Your heart gets broken. Jobs go from secure to shaky. People you love die. The future is never written. Life just becomes a series of adapting to new circumstances, and maybe your prior experience will help you deal with the blows but there’s always something new to endure and overcome. Just because I’ve had it worse doesn’t always make the new pain easier to deal with–it’s still pain.”
#9. Much different now
“My mom dying and my marriage falling apart because according to him “her death changed me”.
Now I’m happy, good job, good life, amazing bf.”
#10. We’re glad you’re still here, too
“I was going to kill myself last year. It was in those days after Christmas but before new years. I was dropping out of school, was having relationship problems and was tired of disappointing my family. I didn’t have an actual date set to do the deed but i knew i wanted it to fall on one of those days. My plan was to drive out into the mountains, far and secluded and shoot myself.
I couldn’t stand myself anymore. I just quit showing up to my classes towards the end of the semester a few weeks earlier so i could enjoy my last few weeks in piece doing what i wanted to do. My memory is a bit hazy but I remember driving around aimlessly all over Albuquerque that day for hours. I probably put over 100 miles on my car. i did not want to go home and see my family. At one point i decided to drive up to the sandia peak for some clarity. I stayed up there staring at the beautiful view of the city for around 2 hours and concluded that i still wanted to go through with it.
Finally i decided it was time to go home. I was tired and hungry. I was getting close to my neighborhood when ‘blunt blowin’ by lil wayne came on my spotify shuffle and i was “f**k this is a good song”. I must have replayed it about 15 times parked a few blocks from my house listing to the lyrics.
No joke, i feel like that song saved my life. the lyrics “I stick to the script, I memorize the lines ‘Cause life is a movie that I’ve seen too many times”, “Life is a choice, and death is a decision Times have changed, but f**k it get a new watch I still got the vision like a line between two dots”, “And yea, the tables turned, but I’m still sitting at ’em I’m a bad motherf**ker, ’cause the good die young Everybody selling dreams, I’m too cheap to buy one” and “You can look into the future, its right behind your eyelids But I don’t wanna know, ’cause s**t I like surprises”
It just spoke to me. Changed my outlook i guess. thinking about it now as i’m typing this makes my hands cold and gives my shivers. I really think i’m still here all because of a spotify shuffle algorithm. I ended up finding a new job a few months later, i’m living on my own and i’m much more content with life. I’m still working on the happy and successful part but I’m glad I’m still here.”
Wow! Those were some stories, eh?
Do you have any you want to add? Have thoughts about these?
Let us know in the comments!