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What is “Rock Bottom”?

Rock bottom is the worst place that we can be in active addiction. It occurs when we have hit such a low point in our life that we feel that things cannot possibly be any worse. We may face homelessness, legal problems, health problems, or a variety of other painful circumstances. It is from this point, however, that we come to recognize the true consequences of our addiction and realize that we need to reach out for help.

Rock bottom is different for everyone. For some it means the loss of everything that they hold dear, such as their family, friends, financial security, but for others it can be a spiritual low. For this reason, some psychologists have introduced the concept of a “misery threshold” that varies from person to person. Peg O’Connor, in a 2014 Psychology Today article entitled What’s Wrong With ‘Rock Bottom’, explains, “The different ways in which addictions progress make the concept of misery threshold more appealing than rock bottom. In response to some loss of hope, some people cross their misery threshold. As a consequence, they may become willing to transform themselves. Others can suffer a significant loss of hope and color in their lives but still stay somewhere in the comfort zone of their misery threshold. Others will need to feel total and complete misery and only then will they consider a different course of action.” Once we cross our misery threshold, we come to understand the severity of our addiction and the need to seek help.

Rock bottom can also be compared to a “dark night of the soul.” It is a spiritual collapse that leaves us in a state of emptiness and meaninglessness. However, from the “dark night of the soul” and rock bottom, we tend to have a moment of clarity and accept the truth of our affliction. Eckhart Tolle explains, “They awaken into something deeper, which is no longer based on concepts in your mind.  A deeper sense of purpose or connectedness with a greater life that is not dependent on explanations or anything conceptual any longer.  It’s a kind of re-birth.  The dark night of the soul is a kind of death that you die.  What dies is the egoic sense of self.  Of course, death is always painful, but nothing real has actually died there – only an illusory identity.  Now it is probably the case that some people who’ve gone through this transformation realized that they had to go through that, in order to bring about a spiritual awakening.  Often it is part of the awakening process, the death of the old self and the birth of the true self.” From this newfound understanding, we begin to take the first step on the journey of recovery by accepting the reality of our addiction and choosing to seek help.

Your life does not have to be one of pain and suffering in addiction. Recovery is possible, and you can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a happy, joyous, and free future in sobriety. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists with spiritual guides and holistic experts to help you heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431