Post #10 Healthy Thinking #8
“Well, there’s not much we can do until he hits rock bottom.” How many times have you heard that or maybe even said that? A couple years ago that phrase wouldn’t have made me think twice, today those words make me cringe in frustration. I realize it makes us feel better about placing the blame on whomever we are referring to and by all means that’s where the blame belongs. My issue is with the bottom itself. Where is it? Is the bottom the same point for everyone? Do I have to wait to hit this bottom before I can change? If my life is in a tailspin can I just wait it out with the hope that the bottom will be here shortly?
See, the problem is that the bottom is relative and quite subjective. How can one person overdose and die from a heroine addiction and another person beat the addiction and lead a fulfilling life? Why are there AA sponsors who have been sober for 20 years helping others to become sober yet other people drink themselves into an early grave? Where is this proverbial bottom everyone is always talking about?
Unfortunately and …. fortunately I had to figure this one out through experience. I think if we honestly think about it we all know where the “bottom ” really is. It’s a sobering thought (hopefully literally ) if we stay in the downward spiral and refuse to change the bottom is ultimately our death. That sounds very heavy and dark but there’s actually two very positive things going on there.
1) You have a choice and it’s a fairly simple choice. Decide that your rock bottom is here and now or you can just keep waiting and procrastinating until you spiral so far out of control that the pit you are in ultimately takes your life.
2) You are still alive if you are reading this. You are not a failure and you haven’t hit the ultimate bottom until you draw your last breath. There’s still time to change.
So the good things are you have a choice and you still have time to change. Unless you’re dead you can decide where the bottom is.
Looking back I can honestly say that hitting the bottom was a choice although at the time that seemed far from reality. I had enough. There are days I still wonder why I couldn’t have chosen where the the bottom was a couple years earlier or even better, never to have picked up a shovel to start digging in the first place. It’s like you’re on a bus that’s going somewhere you don’t want to be and all you have to do is hit the button and get off. You just stay on the bus as the ride gets worse and worse. Maybe it’s a comfort thing. Maybe it’s fear of failing. Maybe it’s the fear of losing the environment and friends associated with the pit. These things definitely played a role for me, there are probably a ton of other things too. I do know this for sure, I would rather die than go back to that pit. I don’t even want to sneak a peak over the edge. But for me, I need a conscious awareness that the pit exists so I never grab another shovel.
So, how do you “grab your bottom”? Honestly, it’s just a choice, nothing more. It may sound simple, but for me, it was one of the hardest and scariest things I’ve ever done. It’s not easy to step off the bus but man is it worth it! Sometimes you just have to get to a quiet place, ask the Lord for strength, and start kicking dirt back in the pit. If you keep kicking dirt the hole will keep getting smaller. If you kick enough dirt you may even over fill the hole and end up on a mountain.
So at the end of the day, if your life is spinning out of control and falling into a dark pit, make today the lowest you will go. Decide that this is the bottom of your pit. The amazing part is that once you decide you’re at the bottom there’s only one direction to go.
Obviously, this post is geared toward addiction (regardless of the substance ) but before you just dismiss this whole idea here is something to consider. You may not see yourself as addicted to anything and that’s cool but you can still be spiraling into a pit with many other things in life. Bitterness, hatred, jealousy, resentment, fear, anxiety, depression, and many other things can overtake our lives and send us into the same spiral that addiction does. In a sense, it’s just a different bus with the same destination.
Go ahead and grab your bottom, roll up your sleeves, and move some dirt back in the hole. Don’t think about and don’t wait just get to work.
“Eat plants and move your body, all ya gotta do is a little more than yesterday.” 😉