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How One Can Hit Rock Bottom and Climb Back to the Top



hitting rock bottom

On December 8, 1941 Franklin Roosevelt, one of the most revered wartime presidents bellowed that “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” At a time when most of America felt as though we had hit rock bottom, Roosevelt was confident enough to see a way through it.

Roosevelt was no stranger to adversity. Only 20 years before this speech, Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio. As a result, he was paralyzed from the waist down, but it offered him his most important challenge that prepared him for the Great Depression and winning the Second World War.

My rock bottom moment came from a prison cell in the Texas State Penitentiary. From this, I learned a similar lesson that Roosevelt grappled with while fighting polio: Daily, disciplined action is the only way to overcome obstacles.

Rock Bottom is a Good Thing 

It wasn’t easy to consider my prison sentence a good thing. After months of emotional turmoil and feeling sorry for myself, I realized that I could only get more successful. There was only one way to go from rock bottom: upwards.

After the mindset shift comes the requisite actions. No matter what the situation, what is the one thing you can do right now to overcome this obstacle? Don’t worry about how it all fits into the bigger picture. If you’re at rock bottom the big picture is intimidatingly large. Consider one simple thing you can do.

Start with reading. In prison that is one of the first actions one can take to improve the situation. Malcolm X did it, Nelson Mandela did it, and I did it. Books provide knowledge, the wisdom of others, and varied perspectives that build skills for the future. It wasn’t hard work, but it was a single step in the right direction.

After reading books I started to brainstorm ideas and keep a journal. Then I started to exercise and even created a fasting practice. The purpose of starting with one thing is to build momentum. Then you can add another and another and even more difficult disciplines to your daily routine as well.

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – George S. Patton

Engage Everything 

There is not much one controls from inside prison. Guards would force us to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to eat breakfast and much of the day was forced upon us. No matter how much power was taken from me, there were still things that I could control. Every option I did have was met with my full engagement.

No part of our day should be done mindlessly and certainly not when we have reached rock bottom. We should question why we do everything each day and see whether it aligns with our goals.

We engage everything because it helps us to build daily disciplines throughout all facets of our lives. From making my tiny prison bed in the morning to bodyweight exercises in the prison yard, everything was part of a bigger plan.

This doesn’t mean we can’t rest or enjoy ourselves. Even taking a moment to watch a show on Netflix might be useful. The point is to consciously acknowledge why we do so rather than blindly follow habit.

One Step At a Time 

The road to the top from your lowest point can seem insurmountable, but it isn’t. When Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio he never questioned how he was going to reach the presidency and become one of the most revered men in United States history. Instead, he focused on the small tasks he could take to overcome his illness.

As we gain momentum from the small tasks, we can incorporate more of them in our lives and tip the balance in favor of what we desire to achieve.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

What was your rock bottom moment and what did you do to get out of it? Leave your thoughts below!

Mansal Denton is the co-founder of Nootropedia, which is an unbiased and accessible platform to learn about nootropics and smart drugs. When he isn’t improving cognitive function in others, he enjoys a host of active hobbies. He likes jiu-jitsu when his body allows, meditation, and a healthy dose of travel.

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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