Exploring ‘Rock Bottom’ in addiction

Exploring ‘Rock Bottom’ in addiction

Photo by Josh jfisher on Unsplash


Define it

One talks about ‘hitting rock bottom’ in connection with addiction all the time.   For such a significant expression, one should think it is easily definable.  Unfortunately, it is not.


‘Rock bottom’ refers to an event in the life of an addict where he or she reaches the absolute lowest point in their addiction or lives.   Things cannot get any worse.   


Depending on the individual, 'rock bottom' can mean something different for each person because not everyone places the same value on people or experiences.    


It is different for everyone.


One person may reach rock bottom after a minor accident, or the loss of a marriage, while another might narrowly escape a fatal overdose before deciding ‘this is it.’   Perhaps you said you’d never lie or steal but find yourself doing these things to get high.   


The one thing 'rock bottoms' have in common is that it made the addict so uncomfortable and sad that he wants to find sobriety.   He reached the end of the line.  


We read of one addict who reached rock bottom after listening to a favorite song that suddenly made sense on a new level.   


Some of the more common ‘rock bottoms’ are:


  • Losing your home
  • Having to serve jail time
  • Becoming divorced
  • Having your kids taken away
  • Harming someone else while under the influence
  • An overdose


Does everyone have a rock bottom?


You don’t have to have one.


No, some people never hit rock bottom.   Maybe you are asking yourself what kind of a tragedy it will take to make you give up your addiction.  


The fact that you think this might be a good sign.   You don’t have to have a rock bottom.    It is never too late to ask for help, even if you feel it is early!    If there is a willingness to change your life, reach out and ask for help.   


Addiction is a disease, and you need professional help.   Getting treatment can save your life and keep you from losing the things that matter.


‘It happened to me.  What now?’


Reaching rock bottom can be devastating.  It can be a real dark place where you feel there is no way out.   


What should you do?  


The only thing to do is to ask for help.  Some people can't even get themselves into a treatment program.   


So, ask a friend of a family member to help you.   There is no shame in wanting to change your life.  


The gifts of rock bottom


  • It is only at the very bottom that you can realize that your life choices were not sustainable.   Rock bottom is the realization that you cannot accept a mediocre life any more.
  • You can see your dysfunctional behaviors clearly.   You’ve built on a false foundation, and your life was a lie.
  • It helps you to ask the right questions and to examine your life in detail.  Now you can build again – from the ground up.
  • Rock bottom gives you self-awareness to start the journey back to your true self.
  • It shows you to live in the moment and align yourself with your right purpose.  It can feel really good.
  • You realize that you can’t know everything.   In fact, you know very little!
  • You can now take responsibility for your own life and its outcomes.   Youcreated the bad things in your life, but you can also now create some good stuff.


Once you’ve reached rock bottom, the only way is up.   You can’t go any lower, so you may as well push yourself up to the surface and into the light.




Find help here


Hitting rock bottom is hard.  But choosing to keep on living a life of addiction can be more problematic.   


Why not make a change today?   You’ll need regular therapy sessions and engage in self-care.   


Helping addicts is part of the mission of Largest Heart.   Please search for information and contact numbers elsewhere on this site.    


Rock bottom may feel like the end of the world, but it is really a new beginning. Start your new life today!