“Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.” -Steve Jobs

“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”-Rocky

“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else’s path.

You are not on your own path.

If you follow someone else’s way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.”

-Joseph Campbell

My first few years coming out of college was HARD.  I mean, really HARD.  I can recall it so clearly.  I had an amazing college experience. I made wonderful memories, friends, and learned so so much.  I was happy and excited about the future. The first few years after graduation were surprisingly difficult.  I moved back home totally broke to begin studying for my registration exam and searching for a job.  From May through February, I took on odd jobs, volunteered, and continued to look for my first full time opportunity.  And, finally!  I received an offer to work as an outpatient dietitian with my local community hospital.  I was thrilled!  I was so excited to start working and make an impact on my customers.

However, I realized that was not the truth after some time.  I was working in a low income population where I did not relate to my patients very much.  Imagine this:  a young, suburban white young adult trying to convince inner city African American adults to change their 25 year habits.  Not gonna happen.  I was downtrodden!  So much so, I moved away from nutrition and dietetics.

Following my stint at the local hospital, I found myself working in pharmaceutical sales.  I convinced myself this was my best shot to be successful and make an impact.  However, I did not anticipate all the rejection and challenges in running a successful territory for my company.  Again, I was distraught and lost.

I have learned many truths through these hard times:
-Life will be challenging at one time or another
-Many people will not heed what you have to say
-Hard times are only temporary
-Difficult times and emotions are opportunities to learn, grow, and make a change
-It is OK to not be OK.  But, it is not OK if you stay there

So, what to do?  How can we dig ourselves out of difficult times where we see no end to the suffering?  How can we get better when we see no end in sight?  Well, the answer is different for everyone.

Consider these questions as you confront your struggles:
-Is this struggle worth fighting for?  Are you willing to push through and stay the course?
-Is there a lesson hidden in this suffering?  What can you take away from this difficult time?
-Is there a way you can express your difficulties to connect with those around you?  Or help others?
-How can you cope in the short term?  I find working out, journaling, and sharing my struggles with people are all effective strategies.
-Can you find professional help and guidance?

Rock bottom can bring a wealth of lessons learned.  When we are in the storm, we feel there is no way out.  But, these storms are normally temporary.  Sometimes, all you can do is persevere through the difficult time and look out for learning and growth opportunities as you go. You will see the light!  As always, Eat, Move, and Improve!
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