Hitting “rock bottom” is a term we give to the experience of reaching our lowest point in our addictions, when we’ve fallen so low we know we can no longer continue this way, when we realize our addictions have become unbearable, and we know we must make a change immediately if we want to survive. Hitting rock bottom can be terrifying, but it can also be exactly what we needed to force us to make the necessary changes to heal and get better.
Bouncing back from rock bottom can look different for everyone. For some it might mean entering a treatment program. For others, it might mean quitting cold turkey and never looking back. However it happens, what’s most important is that we give ourselves the love and support we need to recover.
When we have been living with addictions and struggling with them, we can become increasingly frustrated with ourselves. We can be angry that we’ve done this to ourselves. We can feel ashamed that we’ve gotten to this point. It’s so important to have compassion for ourselves, otherwise we beat ourselves up and knock ourselves down, making our chances for recovery less likely. We need all the encouragement we can get, from other people but also from ourselves. Our own inner voice is the most important. It’s the voice we have to live with day in and day out. Forgive yourself. Acknowledge your mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up. Don’t hold onto them forever. Work to let them go. When we deny ourselves our self-forgiveness, we essentially are telling ourselves that we don’t deserve to have peace. Make the choice that you do deserve forgiveness and peace.
Get support from other people. There is no victory in trying to do it all on your own. Share your struggles with other people who care about you and who genuinely want to help you get better. When the weight is too much to bear on our own, that is precisely why we have support groups and other community resources, because we aren’t usually able to do it alone. We’re meant to help and support each other.
Give yourself permission to enjoy life again. Recovery is not all heavy stuff. It’s also about finding joy in the beautiful moments of life. It’s about finding things to be grateful for in everything around us. It’s about reconnecting with the things we loved about ourselves and life, the things that we neglected during the course of our addictions. When we are bouncing back, we get to explore these things again, and the happiness they bring us can help fuel our recovery.
The Riverside community includes several people in recovery. We understand the process firsthand. Call (800) 871-5440 for information on our treatment programs.