There's no easy way to break this to you so we're just going to rip off the ol' band-aid: we have another entire decade to go before American "income"—stuff they pay if you ever get a job—claws its way back to where it was ten years ago. That's a twenty year income pit. Years to dig ourselves into the hole, years wallowing at the bottom, and more painful years to get out. But! Let's look at the bright side.
As we wallow in this bottom, could it be that there's nowhere to go but up? Well, no. That's a little extreme. You're still alive, right? That means you haven't hit bottom just yet. But the Washington Post points out one dynamic that you can be happy about: we've already lost so much in this recession, that even if things fall further, they can't fall as far as they've already fallen. Eh? Celebrate! Take the residential housing industry, which lost $500 billion:
Since hitting its low ebb, residential investment spending has rebounded only slightly, to a $336 billion annual rate this past spring. That means that, mathematically, it would be impossible for a new housing downturn to be as powerful an economic drain now as it was over the past several years; there isn't $500 billion worth of housing activity left to vanish.
When you've already been punched in the face by Mike Tyson, who cares if you're still going to be punched in the face by Shannon Briggs? Can't be as bad as what we already went through, amirite? That's how you have to look at this economy, people: not as bad as the time that we were all collectively flogged by the housing bubble collapse the first time. Pain, as you know, is all relative.