How to Know If You’ve Hit Rock Bottom
There’s an inciting problem. Something happens that makes the hero realize he has a problem and he’s reached rock bottom. The hero has an epiphany. Then there’s a music montage while the hero solves the problem in two minutes and lives happily ever after.
Real life doesn’t work this way. There are many, smaller, quieter epiphanies. There isn’t one rock bottom. There are many hardships and low points of various kinds. There are thousands of choices that lead to pain or healing.
There isn’t always a Hollywood happy ending—but there can be gradual improvement and peace. You don’t even need a rock bottom experience to get you a place of peace.
What Is Rock Bottom?
There’s no exact definition of rock bottom, but it’s the feeling that things couldn’t possibly get any worse. Usually rock bottom is associated with loss in some way—loss of money, good relationships, physical health, mental health, safety, or career.
Some people believe that hitting rock bottom is needed to wake people up and make them realize that they need help.
One of the problems with this belief is that it’s hard to know when you’ve hit rock bottom. What is the worst situation for one person isn’t the same for another person. Or you may think that life couldn’t get any worse, but then it does.
Why Is the Rock Bottom Myth Destructive?
1. There Are Health Risks to Addiction.
A doctor doesn’t suggest waiting for an aggressive cancer to grow before starting chemo. In the same way, it doesn’t make sense that you would wait until your addiction gets to its worst place to seek help.
Addiction has serious effects on the body, mind, and spirit. The longer you wait to deal with the problem, the more you will see irreversible effects on your health.
Here is a brief list of long-term health effects of drug and alcohol addiction:
- Heart issues
- Damage to organs (especially liver damage to alcohol users)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Skin issues (for methamphetamine users)
- Teeth issues (for methamphetamine users)
- Fertility issues
- Transmission of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis (for intravenous drug users)
- Respiratory issues
- Suicidal tendencies
- Violent tendencies
As you can see, this is a list of health problems you don’t want to deal with. It’s better to get help early on instead of facing the consequences down the road.
2. Recovery Will Be Harder the Longer You Stay in Addiction.
This is just common sense. The longer you practice a habit, the harder it will be to break that habit. Getting help in recovery will get harder the longer you wait to seek help. How deep of a hole do you want to dig yourself out of?
3. The Rock Bottom Myth Can Keep People from Seeing the Truth.
One of the problems with the rock bottom myth is that it’s too easy to compare our lives to other situations that seem worse. For example, maybe you drink daily, but start drinking in the afternoons. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re not as bad as the person who drinks before noon.
You might lie to yourself and say that you don’t have a serious problem. You might promise that if you ever get so bad that you’re drinking in the morning, then you’ll reach out for help.
The myth of rock bottom can blind you to your current addiction and the need to work toward recovery.
If Waiting Isn’t the Answer, How Do You Know if You Need Help?
If you’ve been abusing drugs often enough that you wonder if you need help, then you probably do. It’s better to nip a problem in the bud than wait around for it to become a full-grown crisis.
The doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and nurses at Victory Addiction Recovery Center’s detoxification program can help you begin your recovery journey. Licensed professionals are on the clock 24-hours a day, seven days a week so you can get the help you need and never have to face a rock bottom experience.
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