The phrase “hitting bottom” has a lot of meanings but the best one we found is: “To reach the lowest point before stabilizing or improving.”
It is such a subjective term because everyone has their own lowest point. Many people believe that you have to lose everything in life, both tangibly and intangibly, before you can get better. That is not true! There are many people in recovery that recognized the problem before everything in their lives disappeared. Then you have people who give everything away to continue into addiction. Bottom is really a state of mind.
One of the common metaphors to the concept of hitting bottom is the elevator ride. The elevator, or the addiction, is going to keep going down. The people on the elevator can get off on any floor they want or they can wait until the elevator gets to the basement. The most significant indicator of hitting bottom is someone recognizing that there is a problem and something has to be done about it. An individual who can admit that of all of the negative consequences in their life is because of drugs and alcohol. When someone hits bottom, they will seek help. That is when addiction can begin to be treated. This is the beginning of hope!
Whether you have a high bottom or a low bottom, it can become your greatest asset. High bottom people should be listening to the low bottom people. They should pay attention to what happened to these people. If they have truly accepted that they are powerless over their own addiction, they’ll realize that is where they are headed if they continue to drink or use. Low bottom people are blessed with low bottoms. When you can’t get any lower and then you get sober, remembering the pain and anguish of that bottom is your best tool. Low bottoms that get sober will do anything that recovery asks of them so that they don’t go there ever again. It is when the low bottom guy or girl forgets and rests on their laurels that they drink again.
At Clearbrook, we don’t measure you by what you had and lost; or how high or low your bottom is. The feelings of being restless, irritable, and discontent that we have as addicts and alcoholics are what we want to help with. It is our hope that you never have to hit that kind of bottom ever again.