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Hitting Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom can happen for a number of reasons, such as the death of a loved one, abuse, job loss, and addiction. There are many ways to recover and it’s okay to ask for help.

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

Typically rock bottom occurs when you feel like you’ve reached the lowest point in your life with no way out. You may feel like your life can’t get any worse. This may happen because of significant problems or losses in life. Everyone experiences rock bottom differently, however, there are some general signs that indicate one has hit rock bottom:

  1. Lack of personal hygiene: The first thing others may notice about someone when they’ve hit rock bottom is usually their lack of hygiene. When you’re depressed, for example, getting out of bed and taking care of your basic hygiene is much more difficult.
  2. Feelings of despair and hopelessness: If you are followed by a cloud of darkness and feel that there’s no way out of your situation, you may be experiencing a rock bottom moment. 
  3. Social Isolation: When you no longer want to be with the same people you used to love, or you find yourself irritated with them, this may also be a sign.
  4. Poor Coping Mechanisms: Engaging in risky behaviors such as drug or alcohol use are signs that things may have taken a turn for the worst. 
  5. Sleeping issues: Sleeping for way too long or having insomnia are also signs of mental depression

In some cases, rock bottom may occur due to addiction. When an individual hits rock bottom due to drug or alcohol abuse, the signs may be more apparent than they once were. 

  1. Overdosing: This is the most obvious sign that someone has hit their lowest point because death is often associated with drug or alcohol overdoses. 
  2. Getting into trouble with the law: If you get in trouble due to drug or alcohol abuse, this is a sign that the addiction has gotten out of hand.
  3. Being evicted: In many cases,  a person who has a problem with drugs or alcohol may dedicate all of their finances to their substance of choice instead of paying the bills, and when it goes as far as losing your living space, that is a tell-tale sign of rock bottom.
  4. Losing your job: If addiction gets in the way of your job, you may be experiencing rock bottom. 
  5. Divorce: When your spouse can no longer handle your addiction, rock bottom may be imminent.
Hitting Rock Bottom

Steps to Recover From Rock Bottom

  1. Reflection: First and foremost, you need to figure out what is making you unhappy. What is causing you to hit rock bottom? How can you fix it? What steps can you start to reverse the problem(s)? Think about your part to play in all of it.
  2. Seek Help: Talk to a trusted friend or family member. It is also recommended to see a professional that can address more specific and severe problems such as mental illness or addiction. What professional you need might vary depending on the issue.
  3. Feel your feelings: If you’ve been repressing your feelings or using negative coping mechanisms, it’s time you let all your pent-up emotions out and process them in a healthy way.
  4. Adopt Healthier Habits: Make sure you are doing the basic things needed to take care of yourself. Take showers, brush your teeth, and eat full meals.
  5. Rebuild: Stay consistent with the changes you make and start over. Soon the progress will be made and things won’t be so bad anymore.

Things to Remember During Rock Bottom

  • Have faith: If you never believe in yourself, things will never change. Things that may be beneficial include yoga, meditation, and holistic therapy.
  • Don’t think in absolutes: You can’t have an all-or-nothing attitude. As long as you move forward, it’s okay. There can and will be bad days, but that doesn’t mean you throw in the towel completely.
  • Surround yourself with positive people: Being around positivity will only inspire you to grow. Positive people can improve your mood and be a good influence.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself: In order to grow, you can’t keep reminding yourself of the past. Eventually, you are going to have to let it go to move forward.
  • Be humble: On the other hand, don’t be full of yourself when you start succeeding. Progress is good, but things can always change.

When Professional Help is Needed

Sometimes doing it all on your own isn’t enough. Seeking help from a professional when you’ve hit rock bottom is a sign of strength, not weakness. There are many types of treatment for those hitting rock bottom, and many times you hit rock bottom due to mental health issues or addiction. If you’re in a severe state, inpatient treatment might be recommended for you. Inpatient treatment typically includes group therapy, counseling, medication, and recreational therapies. Outpatient treatment is also an option and offers different therapy options while clients live at home. The 12-Step program is highly recommended for those who are experiencing addiction. It provides a space where individuals can find a  sponsor and higher power while going to meetings with other addicts and alcoholics. Besides various therapies, medication can also be used to assist in the treatment of mental health and addiction.

The Upside

In the past, rock bottom was seen as something negative. Nowadays, rock bottom is often seen as the turning point or moment when someone realizes they need to make a drastic life change. When you hit such a low in life, the upswing is only going to be much more drastic. You learn to appreciate life and see it with much more gratitude when you experience hardship. People who experience rock bottom have more resilience, and when something problematic arises in the future, they have better coping mechanisms and are able to handle issues with more ease than someone who might not have ever had issues in their life may be able to.

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