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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Kuchakhchian

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

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.


Are you constantly feeling emotionally drained and overwhelmed because no one seems to give you space or approve of your feelings? If so, you may be struggling with setting boundaries around your personal space, emotions, and body. Unfortunately, personal boundaries aren't as apparent as the fences in our yards. However, it's possible to express yourself and set limits for healthy relationships. 

Instead of secluding us from loved ones and strangers, boundaries set guidelines for navigating relationships with people in our personal and professional circles. They give you the confidence and self-expressions required to foster healthy relationships. There are several ways you can create boundaries in your life and continually build your self-expression and self-esteem. 

1. Know Your Limits 

The first step in setting boundaries is knowing what you want and how far you're willing to go in any situation. Stay tuned with your feelings because they act as warning signals for when your boundaries are being violated. Fear, anxiety, guilt, and resentment are common feelings when you are in an unhealthy relationship. 

2. Communicate 

Gather the courage no matter how frightened or angry you feel, and express yourself. You can express yourself through direct but respectful words, where the other person listens, or through actions. In some exploitative situations, it's best to create boundaries by leaving or starting a new activity to occupy your time. Fortunately, it's easier to be assertive over time. Start slow and celebrate those small wins. 

3. Boundaries Are Flexible 

The best part about boundaries is that they are flexible. You can be as flexible or as strict as needed depending on how you feel and your relationship with someone. The goal is to conserve your emotional energy and act as your advocate. 

4. Prioritize Self Care 

Take time to meditate, and think about yourself. Self-care improves your self-awareness and helps you cope with days when you're feeling down. More importantly, self-care is an opportunity to be kind to yourself. 

5. Seek Help 

If you're experiencing difficulty establishing boundaries, seek help from friends, family, or a professional therapist. 

Don't let life overwhelm you when you can set boundaries.

  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Kuchakhchian

“Can 2020 Be Over?” Is the question many have asked. Many challenges were faced from the beginning of the year. Some may say that this has been a historically significant year. Half of the year has gone by in a brisk, and it has become difficult to remember positives which have occurred. We started the year off with devastating Australian brushfires, Kobe and Gigi Bryant (along with seven other passengers) dying in a helicopter crash, and conflicts between Iran and America causing many to fear a war approaching. Little did we know that almost two months later, we would be fighting a virus later entitled Covid-19 causing most of the world to shut down in quarantine. Moreover, when everyone thought we would begin going back to “normal”, a man named George Floyd was killed by officers leading to nation- wide protests and riots.

Half way through the year and many have experienced devastation, worry, fear, grief, trauma, and stress. Many wonder where this leaves people emotionally. They question: “What is the right way to cope? Is what I am feeling okay? How can I help society? Why is everything so negative this year? How can I bring children into this cruel world? Why do I feel guilty for having a positive outlook? Why can’t I have a graduation?” With all of the current events and uncertainty in the world, many emotions become entangled. The truth is, not matter what feelings are surfacing, you are allowed to feel them. There is no right or wrong way to cope. Each person is currently reacting based on their past experiences and possible traumas. It is important to understand and respect people’s choices on how to cope and whether they are active in the community or taking time for themselves.

What if you were to shift your perspective? Is it possible to continue having a positive outlook regardless of the chaos going on around the world? What if 2020 is not over? 2020 might be the year that people in the world needed in order to create positive changes. In every stage of our lives, we grow significantly when we experience challenges. During our childhoods, we fell and struggled before we learned to stand up and walk. When we studied hard in school, we would overcome challenging classes. When we experienced our first breakup or loss, many tears were shed before we were able to get pick ourselves back up again. Of course these are smaller examples, but we don’t feel the struggle of those stages as heavily because we have overcome those challenges. With its discomfort and challenges, this year can make us stronger for the next. We can make this year the one where we take steps to create positive changes within ourselves. Everyone needs to take this time to reflect on themselves, their thoughts, and actions. It is a year to create awareness and insight within our selves and in turn within our communities. Don’t let this year pull you down and break you, but transform you into a stronger, more aware, and intelligent human being. It is not 2020 that needs to change, it is each one of us.

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