Why People Need to Hit Rock Bottom to Change?
‘Hitting rock bottom” is a phrase that is associated with people going through hard addictions. We hear common sentences in the society like ‘he needs to hit rock bottom to quit drinking’ or ‘he will realize once drugs ruin him altogether. Hitting rock bottom in a literal sense is about coming to a definite low in one’s life, where a person’s career, family, and interests may be all taken away from that person. People around you generally see the lowest point as an epiphanic moment which is cognizant of the destructive nature. This could be emotional, financial, physical as well as social.
Research is done with alcoholics point that ‘hitting bottom’ describes the tipping point which an individual uses to change his or her drinking behavior. This is conceptualized as the point to relieve from alcohol-related problems. This tipping point varies from one person to another.
Change can occur when a person who is into addiction takes a look around to realize that they have lost a lot more than just self-control. Losing one’s job, spouse or home can cause a person to realize that he or she has hit rock bottom. This reaching rock bottom brings in self-awareness which ultimately drives a person’s willingness to change and take notice of the path which life has taken. It is important to have friends and family who are supportive in life to help people with coming over their addictions before they reach rock bottom.
What are the signs to look out for when hitting rock bottom?
It is unfortunate that substance or alcohol users take long to realize what is happening in their lives making them fail to surrender. A person who is into addiction may suffer losses, and depending on how they feel, they may or may not stop. Finally, the person into addiction may ask themselves about how bad it really is. Listed below are a few instances which should bring someone to the point of feeling their bottom and to consider changing.
- Use of drugs to combat withdrawals: Many individuals come to the point that they cannot live without drugs or alcohol. They claim to continue on using drugs to ward off the negative effects of withdrawal. Many are worried about how withdrawal would look like and how to spend life without drugs. Thus, withdrawal is not the bottom but the fear of what happens next and how to face life without alcohol or drugs is the actual bottom.
- Ignoring legal consequences: Facing legal consequences or thinking of being arrested would be enough for any sane person to quit wrong doing. However, it may not always be the case for a substance abuser, who may still continue on their old habits. However, if an addict comes to the realisation that one should not go through being arrested a second time, then, they have hit the bottom to bring in change.
- Losing property, a job or a relationship: To the general person, losing any of these is enough to hit the bottom. However, for a substance user, it may or may not have an impact at times, where they pass the blame on a boss or the other party for the loss with justifications. These responses show that understanding that bottom has hit is a perception of mind until ownership and accountability is felt. Else losses can have little to no effect.
That moment when an addict feels the bottom, things will begin to shift. Realizing that there is more to gain from not using drugs or alcohol helps them to move through the stages of change. Interventions can help in changing perceptions and move the addict through the stages of change by changing the environment and family system.
Why hitting rock bottom can bring change?
Hitting the bottom is painful emotionally, financially, mentally, and spiritually. This crash makes a person face themselves honestly to feel the brutal happenings that have occurred. The fair side hitting rock bottom can bring about:
- Reflection: You realise that the life choices you have made is not sustainable. Dark moments in life can make you realise to never accept such mediocrity from yourself again.
- Dysfunction behaviour: When the bubble bursts, you realise your dysfunctional behaviours and finally want to take action on it.
- Gaining Perception: Hitting rock bottom could be the beginning of questioning everything. It makes you to realise where you have failed and you come to a point to build yourself again.
- Self-awareness of bad behaviour and habits: You get obvious about your disempowering behaviour. You build self-awareness on the roles you have played prior building conscious awareness.
- Taking responsibility: After hitting the bricks, you start accepting full responsibility for your actions in life. It comes to a point you realise that blaming is futile and that complaining won’t help and. You realise that you are accountable for what has happened.
- Compassion: You understand what life is, and what it is like to be in shame, guilt and fear. You build empathy
- The only way is up: Once you hit bottom, you realise that there is no way to go further down. You strive to spring back, to push yourself to the surface.
Can we change before hitting rock bottom?
Yes, it’s possible. Although it may be hard, it is all about changing addictive behavior. Addiction is not a disease, but a willingness to change and take note of the path which life is taking. Addiction causes a person to live in a state of denial making one to believe that it will help to survive the worst-case scenarios. Most of the time, an addict realizes that they are not in control of their actions. The most important thing is being honest with oneself and making the choice that recovery is important than addiction.
Being rock-bottom may bring about that vital change to your life. If there is a family who is supportive, they would lean on you to help you change and put a stop to those die-hard bad habits.