Hitting Rock Bottom: What Does it Mean?
“Hitting rock bottom” is a phrase that almost everyone has heard when talking about the topic of addiction. For a phrase that is so important to the discussion of addiction, you may think that rock bottom could be easily defined or identified. In all actuality, rock bottom is a concept that means something different to each and every addict.
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. Their life has been damaged so badly that it seems like there is nothing good left to destroy.
A Different Meaning for Everyone
Most addicts need to hit their own personal rock bottom before they can ever begin the addiction recovery process. The key to understanding the concept of rock bottom is to be aware that it is a unique process for everyone. For one person, it could be loss of a marriage; for another person, it may be the loss of a job or a home. There is not a tried and true method to predict what your personal rock bottom moment will be.
Addiction changes your life in so many ways. You can often find yourself saying or doing things that you never would have considered doing before you developed an addiction. You may have sworn that you would never cheat or steal, but suddenly find yourself doing these kinds of things in order to get your drug of choice.
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You may find yourself in a position that an addiction caused you to lose the trust of your family, and it hurts you so badly that it becomes your own rock bottom. Maybe your rock bottom came when you were in a car crash due to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. It all depends on what you perceive as a rock bottom in your life.
You really have to find yourself doing things like these in order to hit a bottom. Only a rock bottom can make you feel so uncomfortable that you want to find sobriety.
Finally Hitting Rock Bottom
There are addicts who hit their rock bottom quickly. Others don’t hit a rock bottom for years. You don’t need focus on developing a bottom that looks like someone else’s bottom. You don’t need to sink to a specific deep, dark depth in your life in order to enter drug or alcohol addiction treatment.
If you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol for many years, you may feel like your situation is so dark or hopeless that you will never hit a rock bottom. Maybe you have gone through addiction treatment before, only to relapse almost immediately after your discharge from the program. You may find yourself asking what kind of tragedy it will take to make you give up your addiction.
While these feelings are overwhelming at times, they can also be a sign that you are looking toward the steps to seeking recovery. In some situations, you may even avoid landing in the worst rock bottom scenarios by becoming scared straight.
For example, if drugs have caused you to seriously fall behind on your rent, you may be in danger of losing your home. The very thought of being homeless and without a roof over your head may be enough to make you seek help.
No matter what your own rock bottom is, it’s never too late to reach out and ask for help.
Since 2004, Lori has worked with the behavioral health treatment community to bring awareness about mental health disorders and evidence-based treatments. Lori strives to help people better understand mental illness and provide support to those needing help and their families. As a mental health advocate, Lori works to be a voice for those suffering from substance abuse, dual diagnosis, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, trauma, or any other disorder.