Rock Bottom

Posted on April 5, 2010

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Someone asked me today about rock bottom.  What is rock bottom and how do you know when you are there?   On one hand, rock bottom is different for everyone, but on the other hand it is exactly the same.  To me, rock bottom is a place we get to mentally and emotionally.  I think most people think that when you screw up your life enough then you find your bottom, but that isn’t actually the case.  There is no limit for bottom.  You can’t measure it by losing your job, or losing your house or your spouse.  Losing everything isn’t necessarily necessary.  Some of us don’t lose any of those things and we still find our way to that place that says “I simply can not live like this anymore”.   It also isn’t about the amount that you drink.  Some people may only have a few drinks a day, but the effects of those few drinks can be equally as devastating as the 20 drinks a day that I had.  Rock bottom is when you are in enough pain that you are willing to do enough work to make your life different.  It is the realization that the drink controls you and you have no control over it.  For me it was this combination of shame, guilt, self-loathing, and utter disgust.  It was fear that alcohol was going to kill me and fear that I may die without it, or maybe I would want to die without it.  I was so embarassed of the life I was pissing away, angry about all the things I wasn’t doing, and more angry that I didn’t know how to get out.  It was about feeling like a disappointment to my family, sadness that they didn’t want to spend time with me but relieved that I didn’t have to give up any drinking time to hang out with them.  It was the realization that my peers were losing respect for me because I had lost all self respect a long time ago.  By the time I reached sobriety I had a broken nose, a fractured skull and I was completely defeated.  But I had a great home, car, job and all of those things some people lose.  I could have continued drinking until I lost everything, and honestly it wouldn’t have taken much longer.  But I had had enough, I simply could not live like that anymore….that’s rock bottom. 

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