Is “rock bottom” a myth in the world of addiction and recovery? Yes and no. In treatment, it’s not uncommon for people to share stories of when they hit bottom— the moment that they knew that they could no longer live a substance-dependent life and needed to seek addiction treatment. Some seek treatment long or soon before they hit this low point. Some hit their bottom while in active addiction, and others find themselves there while in recovery.
While rock bottom looks different for everyone, it is not a myth. That said, some people may never hit bottom; it doesn’t take losing everything or something catastrophic to want to seek addiction treatment. What is a myth is that you have to hit bottom before sincerely seeking help for substance abuse. Any point in addiction is an acceptable time to get treatment, but sooner rather than later is always best.
Have I hit rock bottom?
Answering “yes” to any or all of the following might indicate that you are flirting with rock bottom and should seek treatment.
Have I been in this exact situation?
If your set of circumstances is giving you deja vu, you may have been here before. What led you here? Did you relapse or overdose? Were you actively using or were you in recovery? Did you use the same drug or a different one? If you haven’t been in this situation, how is it different? Determine the similarities and differences between now and then. The same, or nearly the same, contributing factors may mean that it’s time for a change.
Do you tell yourself that “it could be worse”?
How many times have you thought to yourself that it could be worse when you hit a low point? If you are in denial and don’t make needed changes in your life, you may finally find yourself at that worst point.
Are you comfortable where you are?
Maybe you have become accustomed to a cycle of using, going to treatment, getting sober, and relapsing, and you’ve accepted it as how your life is going to be. Acceptance is unhealthy and unfair, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to get comfortable in a toxic situation.
Alternatively, are you tired of feeling this way?
Many who have sought treatment from substance abuse say that they were simply “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Substance dependence is physically and emotionally draining and becomes a daily choice between staying sober and using.
How can I avoid hitting rock bottom?
Unfortunately, there is no one thing that ensures that you’ll never hit rock bottom, but seeking addiction treatment is a great place to start. Quality drug and alcohol abuse treatment involves a combination of medical detox and therapy to treat the physical and psychological effects of substance abuse. A good program will treat any co-occurring mental health disorders as well, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
In addition to seeking treatment, you can:
- List everything that you don’t want to lose. Untreated addiction can cost you you relationships, job, housing, and most everything else that is part of a healthy, happy life.
- Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. Your instinct might be to repress or to ignore what you don’t want to acknowledge and let yourself believe that all is well. Understanding your emotions, however, is critical if you want to keep yourself from spiraling.
If you or a loved one is ready to begin recovery, please reach out to us today at (877)-RECOVERY. Royal Life Centers at the Haven is a full-service drug and alcohol detox facility treating dependence on opioids, alcohol, methamphetamines, cocaine, and benzodiazepines, and our therapists treat addiction at all stages.