Feeling rock bottom comes from the realization changes need to be made, and maybe, the person needs to take ownership of their own problems. So it would be safe to say a precursor to feeling the rock bottom is when your perception changes, you see the role you play, and trying to control other people, places, and things is ineffective.
The average person believes the rock bottom is a loss of things, such as jobs, family, finances, home, etc. For those that have suffered from addiction, they will tell you that losing those things was hard, and the rock bottom was when they realized they were to blame and felt something inside.
Two things we know for sure are no two rock bottoms are the same, and the rock bottom is never felt when things are going well. It is only felt when things are going bad. This is one of the goals of intervention specialists, to help the family change the environment that is preventing the substance user from feeling the consequences necessary to see the need for change. Telling a family they have to wait for the rock bottom makes no sense when the family is providing comfort so the substance user does not have to feel it.
We have to get away from speaking about rock bottom in terms of material losses. It is a small part of the pain felt by a substance user. Rock bottom is felt when you get to the point of overcoming your fear of the unknown and when the current situation becomes more fearful than the fear of not knowing what life will look like without drugs or alcohol.
As you will see from some of these examples below, signs of reaching rock bottom are when things are becoming progressively worse. The problem is these things are often not enough, nor do they happen swiftly enough to bring the substance user to surrender.
Losing a job, relationship, or property: As in the above example, these losses should be enough for the average person to hit rock bottom. Unfortunately, these losses are often met with justifications by the substance user, and these things are sadly less important than their drugs or alcohol.
When the substance user surrenders and feels the rock bottom, things begin to shift. When they realize there is more to gain from not using drugs or alcohol than they believed was to gain from using drugs or alcohol is when the substance user moves through the stages of change.
When family and friends have had enough, you are allowed to intervene before they feel the rock bottom. Your changes at the intervention and after can help them with their perception and accountability. Allowing them to run the show prevents them from feeling the need to do anything differently.
The best way for friends and family to help someone at rock bottom is to enter their own recovery groups, such as Al-Anon or Families Anonymous, and even see a counselor or therapist. Never let your guard down and think they were at rock bottom because they lost things and learned their lesson.
Families can bring the feeling of rock bottom to their loved one. Waiting for them to feel physical consequences may not be enough as they may justify and rationalize them. Family First Intervention specializes in healing the family system that has been affected while waiting for the illusion of physical rock bottom.
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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.
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.For More Information About Our Drug and Alcohol RehabCall Us At: (310) 455-5258You 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.
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.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Alicia Cook, 29, lost her cousin to a drug overdose when they were both teenagers. She regularly writes columns detailing the gut-wrenching journey in hopes that her story can save at least one life. Today, she shares the story of a woman who hit rock bottom and finally "showed up for life."
This is a harsh reality most loved ones have a problem accepting because it renders us helpless. It could be days, weeks, months or even years before an addict will truly want to take the steps to recovery. And once in recovery, they must make the decision every single day to remain in recovery. For some families, these moments never come, and funerals are planned.
Don't expect insight from someone with SMI. In my opinion, those of us with bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia need people and society to make decisions for us when we are too sick to ask for help. Without this, our rock bottom is death.
If you love someone with an SMI, you have tough decisions to make. Waiting until that person sees the light, knows they need help, asks for help, or finally hits rock bottom means you could see the person you love lose everything or die.
But in fact ask anyone who is in successful recovery and they will tell you that hitting rock bottom was actually the beginning of the road to recovery. They needed to get to that point in order to find the resolve to really get well.
Although most frequently used in terms of alcoholism and other addictions, hitting rock bottom happens with every mental health problem. So people who are struggling with anxiety or depression can also reach rock bottom if they leave their conditions untreated.
They will most likely feel terrified too, even if they do their best to deny that. Frequently almost all of this is going on inside them as many people who are suffering like this do not want it to be known.
Specialist nurses will discuss the possibility of donation with families. This'll be done in a sensitive way. They'll also check the NHS Organ Donor Register to see if the person had recorded a donation decision and share this information with the family. This lets the family know what their loved one wanted. It also means that nurses can check if this was their latest view.
Often, family members and close friends feel obligated to cover for the person with the drinking problem. So they take on the burden of cleaning up your messes, lying for you, or working more to make ends meet. Pretending that nothing is wrong and hiding away all of their fears and resentments can take an enormous toll. Children are especially sensitive and can suffer long-lasting emotional trauma when a parent or caretaker is an alcoholic or heavy drinker.
Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships. Getting drunk with your buddies, for example, even though you know your wife will be very upset, or fighting with your family because they dislike how you act when you drink.
While someone with alcoholism will tend to drink every day, others confine their drinking to short but heavy bursts. Binge drinking is often associated with young adults and college students who drink heavily at parties and then abstain for the rest of the week. However, plenty of older adults also binge drink, especially those over 65. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. reports that one in six adults binge drinks at least four times a month.
Fact: You don't have to be homeless and drinking out of a brown paper bag to be an alcoholic. Many alcoholics are able to hold down jobs, get through school, and provide for their families. Some are even able to excel. But just because you're a high-functioning alcoholic doesn't mean you're not putting yourself or others in danger. Over time, the effects will catch up with you.
Those problems could include depression, an inability to manage stress, an unresolved trauma from your childhood, or any number of mental health issues. Such problems may become more prominent when you're no longer using alcohol to cover them up. But you will be in a healthier position to finally address them and seek the help you need.
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