We have been told, through movies, television, and past experiences in therapy, that we may not stop doing drugs until we reach our rock-bottom. Rock-bottom, to many people, refers to the time when you begin to realize that you can't get any lower in your abuse or in your actions that support your abuse.
But is that the lowest that you can go? Rock bottom can be whatever that phrase means to you as it looks and feels different to everyone and sometimes, we don't realize it's happening until we are on the other side. So the question you should ask yourself is: What does rock-bottom look like to you?
What Does Rock-Bottom Look Like To You?
We like to label the lowest situation we've been in as our rock-bottom for two reasons: We don't want to believe that our situation can become even more dire than we think, and we also dream of moving forward. It seems easier to move forward when we divide our lives in two: before the bottom and after the bottom, much like the victims of a natural disaster who remember their lives before the tornado as separate from the lives they live after.
Your rock bottom could be stealing from someone you love to support your habit or selling anything you have to give for the money you want. What 90,000 people failed to realize in 2020 is that their personal rock bottom can include death. In fact, overdose deaths rose at least 30% during quarantine and, unfortunately, most are completely accidental.
Tips To Stay Far Above Rock Bottom:
Some people believe in the concept of rock-bottom while others do not, but that's okay. How do you feel about your situation? Supporting a belief in a rock-bottom may be the impetus that gets us to change before our situation becomes life-threatening, just as the general fear of death, losing friends and family, or worsening behavior can guide us towards a treatment that can prevent our regression into a more dangerous lifestyle.
Whether you believe rock-bottom needs to be achieved to obtain sobriety, or not, there are several steps you can take; part of which is acknowledging what you do have, not what you do not.
Identify your support system, whether it be friends, family, or members of your AA chapter. There is support out there for you, and we can help you find it.
Learn how to ask for help, whether from a friend, family member, or sponsor. No one knows what you need when you need it or if you even want it unless you ask.
Remove yourself from people and places that tempt you to do drugs or to drink. A change of environment can do wonders for your recovery, whether is it moving or just painting and moving the furniture around in your home. Allow these changes to give you strength instead of stress you out as you are discovering who you are without substances.
See and talk to your loved ones honestly and ask them to hold you accountable for the little things. Sometimes it's those little things that can push us off track.
Admit your emotions, to others and to yourself: fear, anxiety, shame, or anything else you may be feeling.
Most importantly, whether it is you, or a beloved member of your family, it is essential to find a knowledgeable therapist in a supportive and positive environment. Rock bottom doesn't have to be YOUR thing. You just need to understand that you are worth the work it will take to be healthy.
You can stop it now, and we can help you move forward in a healthy, constructive manner.
When Should You Ask For Help?
Elizabeth Kuchakhchian is a marriage and family therapist in L.A. who desires to guide you through your personal journey of self-discovery and to learn how to be more self-aware. Clove Counseling Center offers patients a safe place to discuss their problems and provides guidance for processing and trying to overcome personal addictions.
We are here to support when you are ready. Just give us a call.