“How to turn your life around when you feel hopeless,” is something that I’ve Google’d so many times, if I had a dollar for every time I searched for the answer, I’d be writing to you from Monaco right now while getting a mani/pedi, feather fanned and hand-fed tater tots.
All joking aside, what I’m writing about today isn’t something that I take lightly. It’s something that I’ve debated sharing because it’s so personal and because there is a part of me that still fears judgement and feels guilty for even having the thoughts that I’ve had.
There are so many people who are suffering in this world, but no matter what the situation or who the person is, pain is pain and we are all entitled to feeling our pain without having to simultaneously carry the burden of unnecessary guilt for being human and having our own unique experiences and reactions.
Pain is our common denominator and our universal language because just like death, it’s something that none of us will ever be able to override, escape or avoid, no matter what.
There’s always going to be someone that is better off and worse off, just like there’s always going to be judgement that isn’t productive. Negative judgement (of yourself/others) and evolution cannot coexist.
I choose to evolve. I know you do too or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
So, with that intention, I want to share with you how to turn your life around when you feel irreparably damaged and like all hope is lost.
There have been times in my life where I just wanted to die. I didn’t want to carry on; I didn’t see the point. I had no hope, no belief, no compass and just felt like “what’s the use,” you know?
As much as I wanted to die, I didn’t want to kill myself, if that makes any sense. The only way I can explain it is that I wanted to “end.” I couldn’t articulate exactly what I wanted to end, I just felt like I needed an “ending.” And because my self esteem was so low, I wanted me to end.
After a really painful breakup in college, I started to smoke cigarettes. I wasn’t smoking because I enjoyed it but because I wanted to off myself. It’s almost like I wanted to kill off and harm my physical body so that I could match the unbearably painful off-ing that my emotional body was going through. Thankfully, I had a health scare 11 months later, which frightened me enough to throw away the nasty ass cigs and leave the unhealthy lifestyle behind for good. I’ve never looked back.
I talk to people everyday that feel the way I just described. I also talk to people who are suicidal and have attempted suicide before. They tell me that the pain is unbearable, that no one cares, that no one will notice their absence and that they are certain they need to exit this life that has done nothing but have its way with them.
The thing is, “suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse. It eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better.” And I’m not just talking about suicide as it is defined. I’m also talking about people who commit emotional suicide. You know when someone goes through a trauma and for the rest of their lives, their friends and family refer to them as never being the same? You know those people who are living and breathing corpses, shells of who and what they used to be. There’s no light behind their eyes; their wonderment and joy is gone. I was one of them. I disconnected myself and subconsciously attracted situations and relationsh*ts into my life that affirmed my emotional death and always made me feel so invisible, misunderstood, unlovable, discardable, forgettable… dead.
Then one day I was googling “how to turn your life around when you feel hopeless,” and this quote popped up:
CHILLS. That quote single-handedly changed my life and for the first time, I felt hope.
I started thinking about that Justin Timberlake song, Dead & Gone: “I’ve been travelin’ on this road too long. Just trying to find, my way back home. The old me, is dead and gone, dead and gone.” Everything clicked. I could kill what wasn’t serving me. I could kill the old me. I could put to pasture and let Rest In Peace all that sh*t that was holding me back so I could finally start to LIVE.
Wanting to end it all was a reaction to my personal avoidance and fear. As human beings, we are WIRED to partake in the joy of being. We want to feel joy, gratitude, happiness and fulfillment and we try to avoid heartbreak, grief, sadness, abandonment and betrayal at all costs due to the pain associated with each. I wanted to end it all because honestly, I wanted a way OUT of the pain. And that was okay, I don’t judge myself for it. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to stop feeling like sh*t? But here’s the thing…
If you want to know how to turn your life around when you feel this level of hopelessness and grief, think of what exactly you want to kill. Seriously.
Looking back, it wasn’t that I wanted to kill myself as much as:
- I wanted to kill the pain
- I wanted to kill the torture I was putting myself through
- I wanted to kill the insecurity
- I wanted to kill the bullsh*t
- I wanted to kill the bad luck
- I wanted to kill the self hate
- I wanted to kill the feelings of inadequacy that others elicited in me
- I wanted to kill the feeling of never being chosen
- I wanted to kill the fear & pain of abandonment
- I wanted to kill the fear & pain of rejection
- I wanted to kill the anguish of never being good enough
- I wanted to kill the lies I told just to make myself appear cooler
- I wanted to kill being cheated on
- I wanted to kill my inauthenticity
- I wanted to kill having too many f*cks to give
- I wanted to kill the drama I had created
- I wanted to kill my desperation and patheticness
- I wanted to kill the suffering
You want to know how to turn your life around? Make the decision to OFF what it is that isn’t serving you, not yourself.
Your self is still serving you DESPITE the toxicity inhabiting your body.
Write down everything, even the most superficial things that you want to kill, look at that list and decide how you want to honor and release them. You could write it on a balloon and release it, you could throw it in the fireplace and watch it burn, you could write it on a piece of toilet paper, do your business on it and flush the sh*t, you could bury it and have a funeral for your old self with a eulogy and flowers… whatever you want. Make it an event in your life because it’s the most significant thing you can choose to do. Take yourself out to dinner with friends afterwards or go and do something for yourself on your own to celebrate your rebirth and renewal. In yoga class, we inhale our intention and exhale what it is that is not serving us. The entire class is one big release and at the very end of the class, we go into what is called fetal pose because it signals rebirth.
This is how to turn your life around.
You deserve to truly live, breathe and experience every morsel of this life and I believe in you. You’re NOT going to f*ck this life up. You’re not and you haven’t. You’re part of a tribe here and you’re believed in, loved, backed & supported. Always.
After you’ve released the anchors from your neck and let the bullsh*t RIP, start designing yourself.
When I killed off and released my old self, I made a list of who Natasha Adamo was and I CREATED her with a clean slate. I wrote down every detail – even the most seemingly stupid and surfacey stuff. I wrote down what Natasha Adamo acted like, dressed like, how often she worked out, how solid the relationships in her life were, where she traveled, what kind of legacy she left, how many lives she touched, how many people she helped, who she worked with, what she stood for, the books she wrote, the sights she saw, what she emanated, how much money she made, how honest she was, how vulnerable and real she was and how she handled heartbreak, criticism, hate and failure. I wrote down EVERYTHING that I always wanted to be, even the stuff that I though was impossible or stupid.
And because I had learned that feeling secure is not a product of luck, it’s a product of practice and habit, the bar that I had set in the “self design” process eventually became just as habitual as brushing my teeth. I didn’t care how crazy and unattainable some of it seemed. I started small; started from the bottom and I still work on it every day, JUST like anything else. Am I there 100%? Ha. Never. There are ALWAYS ways to improve, learn, grow, and as I do, that list changes because
the challenge living doesn’t scare me anymore, it excites me.
In the past, I would never have given myself the opportunity to design who I wanted to be without the cynical audience of my insecurities immediately shutting it down. It wasn’t until I identified, acknowledged, honored and released what I needed to kill that I truly began to live for the first time.
Remember: If you want to know how to turn your life around, you can. If you really want to change more than anything and as Tony Robbins says, the pain of staying the same has begun to outweigh your fear of changing, that kind of change can happen in an instant.
You want to know how to turn your life around? Understand that change can happen right NOW if you choose. What takes time isn’t change, it’s convincing yourself that you’re capable of changing despite the hand you’ve been dealt and the self-limiting story that you keep choosing to subscribe to.
I’m telling you right now that you are capable of changing. You CAN make the choice and you ARE worth it. You KNOW how to turn your life around. You have all the tools you will ever need.
If you keep getting the same result in the same, sh*tty patterns, guess what? You can DECIDE to put an end to that NOW.
You have no idea the worth of your life and how many people you can touch, inspire and help through the hopelessness you are feeling now – a hopelessness that will soon be a distant memory.
– natasha x
♡ if anyone you know is in pain and could use this article, please share it with them
+ if you are in immediate danger of harming yourself, please phone the emergency number in your country.
National Suicide Prevention 24 hour hotline in the US: 1-800-273-TALK