Rock Bottom

Rock bottom is a term that I have heard a lot since finding sobriety and realise that it can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.  I thought that a rock bottom was an event that would define a singular course of action for me to recover from my addiction. My rock bottom was a night that resulted in my concussion while in black out and then my physical surrender and emotional surrender to this disease.

I now understand that a rock bottom can happen over and over and take many different forms.  I have certainly had many before sobriety and some since.  Each time this has happened I realised that I had been repeating my behaviour and thus resulting in the same result, but different consequences. 

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

My second rock bottom was emotional, it resulted in a mental breakdown and second surrender of myself.  I had to take a serious look at the life I was living and the pace I was doing this. I was running on self-will and putting on a mask that showed everyone I was FINE.  Inside, however, I was far from it. I was living as I did while drinking but carrying it out without the alcohol to numb me.  My mind was obsessing and traumatising me, convincing me I was useless. 

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This was another trauma that I could come back from and luckily (strange use of words I know but it is what I believe) it was bad enough for me to recognise I needed help and others could see my pain.  The fellowship stood around me and propped me up until I was strong enough to stand on my own.

Other rock bottoms are not so obvious. They can be picking the wrong argument, listening and believing the wrong advice.  It doesn’t really matter how serious it can seem to others, just how it feels to me.  If it takes my thinking too far ultimately it could lead to me drinking again, or worse.

What does it mean to be at rock bottom?

“Hitting rock bottom” is a phrase that almost everyone has heard when talking about the topic of addiction. … Generally, rock bottom refers to a time or an event in life that causes an addict to reach the lowest possible point in their disease. It is a time when the person feels like things cannot get worse for them.

I have heard stories of people finding their way into Sobriety and their ROCK BOTTOM.  These stories vary massively, and I have even heard someone talk about a surrender over Sunday dinner. There was no emotion, drama and physical harm. In fact, no-one else at the meal was even aware there was an issue.  But to person involved the situation was bad enough that they felt the need to reach out and get some help – so that meant it was their rock bottom.

Others have had stories way worse than mine that have caused emotional and physical harm to themselves and others. Mothers and fathers alike have lost their children, livelihoods and homes.  The key however is that everyone has lost their emotional wellbeing and reached a point in themselves where they are as low as they can be.

For everyone a rock bottom has resulted in feelings bad enough that they have all, including me, felt the need to reach out and say, “I can’t do this anymore.”  Although rock bottoms can all be so different that is the one part that is always the same.

The further I get into this journey I see how true this is. Everything I do and experience is all of my own making.  My demon right now is boredom.  My life is settled and quiet, I enjoy a lot of alone time and that is when I can be destructive.  Now that I recognise this, I am hoping that this will mean my rock bottoms will get less.

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