How Do I Know if I’ve Hit Rock Bottom?

Rock bottom is a complicated concept. Many people assume that rock bottom must include serious consequences such as financial problems, homelessness, and jail time or legal problems. However, rock bottom is a different experience for everyone and can be entirely internal.
Peg O’Connor, in a 2014 Psychology Today article entitled What’s Wrong With ‘Rock Bottom’, explains, “The expression, ‘hit rock bottom,’ was popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and has become part of our common language. Usually it means that a person has reached a point where there is nothing else to lose. There is no lower place to fall to; you’ve reached the rock bottom. The landing is so painful and jarring, we believe, that it just may be enough to motivate a person to change. Pain can be a powerful motivator, and clearly this is one trajectory that recovery may take.” The problem is that this experience in entirely different for each individual and there is no accepted point of when someone has hit rock bottom.
Rock bottom is generally thought of as a point in one’s life when things can’t possibly get any worse. However, anyone who has struggled with the disease of addiction for a long enough period of time recognized that things can always get worse the longer they drink or use drugs. There is no bedrock when we can’t continue digging. As long as we are caught up in the cycle of addiction, we will continue to plumb the depths of suffering as a result of our powerlessness over drugs and alcohol.
Recent research has shown that rock bottom may be a destructive concept because it makes men and women suffering from addiction think that things need to get worse before they reach out for help. Megan Grant, in a 2017 article for The Bustle entitled The Complicated Psychology of ‘Hitting Rock Bottom’, explains, “would an oncologist tell a patient to wait until the cancer has metastasized before they sought treatment? No. So why would we behave as such with other illnesses, like addiction? (Yes, addiction is an illness.) Of course, these scenarios are not the same thing, but it raises an important question: why wait until life can’t get any worse to see how we could make it better?” The sooner we seek help, the more likely we will be to successfully recover. We cannot wait until addiction has consumed us entirely before we reach out for help.

Your story doesn’t have to be caught up in the cycle of addiction. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with a passionate team of clinicians and care providers dedicated to helping you or your loved one begin the process of healing from addiction. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777