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So, What Does Hitting Rock Bottom Look Like?
The beauty of recovery is that everyone’s story is different. Hitting rock bottom is different for everyone. Did you hit rock bottom? Here’s why it doesn’t matter.
rock-bottom (adjective) \ ˈräk-ˈbä-təm \: being the very lowest(link: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rock-bottom)
Your rock bottom is essentially your lowest point, whether it be emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc. For me, I did not have to hit rock bottom on all accounts to realize I needed outside help. Emotionally and spiritually, I was bankrupt. My soul had died. When I talk about my soul dying, I always think about the horcruxes in Harry Potter when they are trying to kill Voldemort. One by one, parts of my soul were killed until I finally gave in and sought out help. Now, one by one, my soul is returning and I can finally feel truly happy and fulfilled again.
Many others hit rock bottom over and over, but it is not enough to make them stop drinking. I’m sure you’ve seen multiple movies depicting men and women who repeatedly hit rock bottom. Either they find it necessary to get better and the movie ends happily, or the character continues on the path to destruction until he or she dies. The unfortunate truth is that those are the only two options for people like us.
The Necessity of Sobriety
I recently read High Performance Habits by Brendan Bruchard. One of the habits he describes is to “Raise Necessity.” As I read about this habit, I realized how well this concept relates to the disease of addiction. Addicts and alcoholics that get sober and stay sober find the necessity of sobriety.
Bruchard states, “Necessity is the emotional drive that makes great performance a must instead of a preference. Unlike weaker desires that make you want to do something, necessity demands that you take action. When you feel the necessity, you don’t sit around wishing or hoping. You get things done. Because you have to. There’s not much choice; your heart and soul and the needs of the moment are telling you to act. It just feels right to do something.”
Hitting rock bottom has the power to wake-up the addict to his or her situation, showing that getting sober is necessary in order to live. For some addicts, a near-death experience, a loss of a family member, or jail is a wake-up call. However, the drug user or drinker is the only person that can decide what rock bottom is. It is up to him or her alone. He or she may have support, but many people have the support and decide not to take it. The difference in an addict or alcoholic who takes action, and one who doesn’t, is whether the alcoholic finds it necessary to get sober. If they find it necessary to get better, the alcoholic or addict will do whatever it takes.
Have you hit rock bottom?
You do not have to hit the lowest of lows in order to get sober. You can quit at any time. You can get off of the elevator on any floor – you don’t have to go all the way down!
I had to hit multiple bottoms before deciding to finally stop drinking and using. In May 2015, I lost my longtime boyfriend to an overdose. We drank and partied throughout our relationship. More than anything, his death was a big wake-up call for me. I didn’t realize how far down I had gone and how close I was to drugs that could actually end my life. The grief and sadness over losing him so suddenly was unbearable. As I continued to drink, my sadness only grew. After a year of this torture, I finally decided to stop drinking and using drugs.
Some people consider my experience a “low bottom” and some consider it a “high bottom.” But none of that matters. What matters is that I saw the path I was headed down and decided to stop.
Once I realized the necessity of getting sober, I knew I MUST get sober in order to fulfill my dreams for my life. My father is an alcoholic and I knew in my heart and soul that I did not want to continue to live my life full of drugs and alcohol. I HAD TO get sober. It became NECESSARY, so I took action and sought help.
Honestly, the path of sobriety is not easy. But, it is so fulfilling. It is worth all of the rock bottom places I’ve been.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” – Bob Marley