Check out these inspiring stories about people who when from “hitting rock bottom” to making a positive change in their lives forever. From choosing to get sober to going back to school, these strong individuals prove that it’s never too late to make the right choices.
Source list available at the end.
I was 26. I had been homeless and addicted to meth and heroin for about 2 years. My parents (three states away) were begging me to come stay with them and take Suboxone. I refused for a long time. I had enough one day and called them up, and they welcomed me with open arms.
My car broke down along the way, and I was arrested. I had stolen a tag on my car, didn’t have a license to get the car titled so it was suspended in another state, and I also had drugs and used syringes in the car, but I didn’t get charged for those. I spent three weeks in jail with an 800 dollar bond (It would have costed 80 dollars to get me out, and I had the money on my books too), but my parents and my girlfriend, at the time, weren’t willing to bail me out. The detox sucked.
This was kind of a rant, but I decided to turn my life around gradually. There wasn’t a spark or a magic moment, I was just tired of the lifestyle and shooting dope everyday. I was tired of being homeless and tired of having nowhere to go with any privacy. I was tired of me.
When I was a month away from graduating nursing school, I found out my boyfriend of 8.5 years (who I lived with and owned a house with) cheated on me. I was miserable, overweight, and I honestly felt helpless. I didn’t even tell anyone about it because I was so embarrassed and couldn’t imagine being without him. Thankfully, something snapped for me one day. I convinced myself to find a place and move the hell out. I ended up getting a job at a large Level 1 trauma centre and dropped 70 pounds. It felt good, man. I’m typing this from Dewey Beach in Delaware because I’m now a travel nurse and move every 13 weeks.
First, I dented my mini-fridge after losing in a video game. Weeks later, I punched a wall. My ability to control my frustration was waning. These were actions I had never done before. Now, it was taking so much effort to contain myself. I needed to be able to relax again.
I filed for divorce shortly thereafter. The marriage was killing us both, and we werent working in the same direction. At the end, we would even argue about why we were getting a divorce. Splitting up was the best thing for the both of us.
When I woke up, and I was still alive. It was my second attempt and it just hit me, “Nope, if dying isn’t for me either is living like this”.
I went to therapy (for real this time) and dedicated myself to the things I wanted to achieve in my future; my Master’s. It has been less than a year, and I’m living my own dream. Few months later, I found a boyfriend. You know the kind who really puts in the effort to understand you, who worries about making you laugh everyday, and gives you foot massages when you can’t even stand up (even when he’s in pain, too). That’s just who he is. We’re living together with my two cats. I’m working way less than I used to, and I’ve figure out a way to keep the same salary I had when I was working 44h/week. Everyday, I’m happy I’m alive. It was worth it.
I was 42-years-old and barely capable of holding a part-time job at Sears. I was utterly unemployable because my only experience was in retail, and I sucked at it. I was also about to get kicked out of the house I was living in.
It was almost too late. I went back to college (after failing to make anything of a for-profit education 20 years before) and suffered a stress-induced major heart attack at the start of my second semester. That, and various other issues, costed me a year and a half, but I am finally set to graduate with a Computer Science degree in December.
Now, I just have to find a job where I can put my degree to use.
It was when the buttons on my XXL shirts were almost popping off. It was either lose weight or buy bigger clothes (like I had in the past). I chose to lose weight. That was 5 years ago, and I haven’t gone back.
It was the summer of 2015. My weight had been creeping higher and higher over the last few years, but I was in total denial (even though I kept on having to buy larger and larger clothes). One night, my brother and I went to one of our favorite food joints, and I couldnt fit into the booth. It was absolutely the most embarrassing moment of my life.
The next day, I made the decision to start getting better. I did some research and found a diet program that I thought would work, and boy, did it ever. I strictly stuck to their program. In just under 10 months, I lost 120 pounds. It was the best feeling in the world to finally succeed after years of yoyo dieting up-and-down the scale.
When I realized $11 an hour was cool when you’re 20 and living with your parents, but it isn’t worth anything as soon as you start thinking about marriage, kids, getting a house, etc.
From the time that I was 19-33, I was blackout drunk 350+ days a year. My rock bottom was going to a Super Bowl party, getting drunk, and going to the bar I worked at and getting into a fight. I got fired. I already knew I wasn’t capable of drinking moderately, so I just quit completely. Super Bowl Monday this January, I’ll be 8 years sober.
I was 20. I had just spent a weekend fist fighting my oldest friend, drinking heavily (hence, the fighting), and generally making a butt out of myself. I was driving to work, still drunk from the night before, and my girlfriend called me to let me know that she was pregnant.
I had a 1.78 GPA in college, wasn’t on speaking terms with my family, and had about 60 dollars cash to my name.
In other words, I was not in any shape to be a father. So, I started facing my problems. I clung to the motto: “The only way out is through.” I got a notebook and started writing again. I started attending class again. I stopped drinking until I could do it responsibly.
It took a long time, and it wasn’t without some backsliding, but 12 years later, my daughter is a bright, young girl kicking butt in school and loving life.
My ex and I are both married to other people in much healthier relationships, and things are still moving in the right direction.
No matter where you are in life, never give up. You can do anything you’re willing to work hard enough at. Remember, the only way out is through.
It was when I flunked my semester in community college, and I basically wasted a 1k scholarship because I was too busy sleeping with my abusive girlfriend instead of going to class.
Yeah, that will do it.
I’ve never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I was cruising with crappy jobs for all of my 20s and into my 30s when my mom got really sick. I couldn’t afford to take care of her and that was enough to scare me. I’m half way to my degree now, and my mom is chugging along. I’m hoping to buy us a house in a couple of years.
When I came back from Iraq. Life changed in an instant, and I stopped putting things off. Want to learn how to play the piano? Go learn. Want to go skydiving? Go jump. You never truly understand how precious and amazing this life is until it’s too late. Make every single moment count. Tomorrow is NEVER promised.
After college, I rented a house by myself and found myself spending more and more time alone having no friends/social circle. Then, I took a couple days off because I had vacation time that would go to waste at the end of the year. I didn’t leave the house the whole time I was off, and I was looking forward to going back to work for days.
After that, I started saying “yes” to every invite. I did things that made me uncomfortable and put myself out into the world. Everything about that person who stayed home for work is completely gone from me now. It was one of the biggest changes in life that I purposefully made.
1 year and 3 months ago. I had to get out of the town I grew up in. There was nothing left besides drugs there. I moved 50 miles away, got a great job in the union, and have a beautiful girlfriend. All of my friends from home are still where they were.
When my kids became adults. I realized if I wanted to see them both fall in love, perhaps even get married, or have children of their own, then I needed to get myself in a position to be able to watch their lives unfold and be there.
I removed the rope from around neck, dried my eyes, and decided that I needed to take the appropriate steps to make my life count.
Little by little.
During my sophomore year of high school, I would go to school everyday either high or drunk out of my mind. I got kicked out of school for being a problem child. My mom couldn’t look at me. In her eyes, I was turning into my abusive dad. So, I stopped doing what I was doing, stopped hanging out with the wrong crowd, and got my stuff together. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and severe depression. It took a couple of trials, but I finally found the right medication that worked for me, and I’ve been going to therapy every two weeks. I graduated high school a year early. My school was cool enough to let me walk at the ceremony, and I cried for hours after that. I’m working on getting my CDA, and I’m thinking about going to school to get my teaching degree. I have a wonderful boyfriend, and I finally found friends who care about me. My family is still broken, but it is what it is, I don’t let that stuff affect me anymore.
My father passed away unexpectedly four years ago. My best friend passed away unexpectedly a year ago. I binged to help with my depression and anxiety. I looked in the mirror. I was wearing a size 20 jeans and a men’s 2X shirt (and it was tight). I decided that I needed to lose some weight, or I would die. I remember walking up the stairs to my apartment, my chest would hurt and my sides would ache. I’m now 40 pounds down in 5 months, and I plan on losing about 100 more pounds.
When I kept having sex with someone, in the hopes that they would love me back.
I was broke, alone, nearly homeless, depressed, and weeks away from committing suicide. Then I found out I was pregnant. Unplanned and, supposedly impossible according to my doctor. It may sound cliche, but I don’t care. My oldest child saved my life. I have two of them now, and the love of my life by my side. We may also have another one on the way. Life still has it’s struggles, but I never dreamed I could be this happy. I never dreamed my life and my heart could feel so full. Everything I am, everything I do, and all I work for is to try and return to my family all they’ve given me.
This last year. Not that I had a terrible life, or any long lasting issues, but I was just unhappy with the life I was living. I failed to realize I was unhappy because my life was so easy. I became stagnant and tried less and less to achieve or even set goals. I was labeled by myself, more than others, as a quiet and introverted student who did what had to be done to get by and procrastinated the rest of the time. I made good grades. So I saw what I did as enough, but I realized I was never happy with how I was living. I started committing to more obligations and filled up my schedule to the brim upon realizing how much I could thrive under stress.
Before I would find any excuse to avoid social obligations, so I could sit down and watch Netflix for hours instead. Now, I allocate my time to things that are much more important. As a high school student, I’ve signed up for the hardest classes I’m capable of doing, joined clubs, started working out, and began working a part-time job. I’m not saying any of this to brag- just to contrast from the person I was before.
Even though this is the hardest my life has ever been, it’s also been the best time of my life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
When I was about a year into a 3-year prison sentence and got sent to solitary confinement for 6 months for assaulting someone. I decided I didn’t want to live in a bathroom surrounded by psychopaths my whole life. Just because I kind of am one, doesn’t mean I want to be surrounded by them.
In 2002, my boss called me into her office. I thought I was going to get fired. I walked in and saw all of my friends sitting around the office. I got the biggest grin on my face, and everyone was confused. My boss asked what I was smiling about. I said, “They don’t fire people in a room full of friends. This is an intervention, and it’s exactly what I need.” I stopped drinking and am sober to this day. She saved my life.
Posts are edited for clarity.