Resisting Rock Bottom

Growing up as a child of addicts, I am all too familiar with the term “rock bottom.” It’s usually said in a line something like, “They aren’t going to do X,Y, or Z until they have hit rock bottom, unfortunately.”

This is the hardest part of being a loved one of an addict. Watching them spiral and not being able to help because they simply don’t want it, or deny needing it at all.

Even though I did not grow up to become an addict myself, the “rock bottom” behavior must be something that I picked up, learned how, or inherited, because I do this with my own challenges.

I wait until my breaking point to change. I torture myself with a hesitation for change.

This infuriates me about myself. What kind of awful form of self-hatred drives me to do this? Am I being overdramatic? I don’t think so. I think there is an element of truth to the fact that we really have to subconsciously self-loathe in order to subject ourselves to pitfall after pitfall, slowly dragging ourselves up and down the same hill until we are inches from our edge. Then, we inevitably topple over the proverbial edge, and then and ONLY THEN do we commit and start keeping promises to ourselves. It sounds heinous. But, I know I do it ALL THE TIME. I know I cannot be alone in this.

Why do we do this to ourselves over and over again? We wait until our limit–until we hit rock bottom of a terrible situation before we decide to do something about it?

I am tired of waiting until I am disgusted with myself before losing weight.

I am tired of waiting until I have dug up enough disappointment to drown the lost city of ATLATIS (is it still lost, though?) until I start picking back up on following my dreams.

I am tired of waiting until I am bitching and moaning about the messes in my house before I lift a finger to pick stuff up.

I am tired of feeling like I have to drive myself into the ground in order to feel good enough. I am tired of not feeling good enough.

I think it’s a mind game. I really do. I think we play this mind game with ourselves. How close can we get to the bottom? It’s absurd.

I want to encourage you to stop waiting until you are on a ledge. I want to figure out how to get back up WAY before I reach the ledge. What’s the answer? Is it self-control? Is it accepting help? Is it communicating our needs? Is it setting reminders? Is it starting therapy? Is it making amends?


I think we have to figure out what propels us downward, but we also have to figure out our life preservers, our parachutes, our harness and grounding cords. What will make us fall, and what will keep us up?

I think it’s important to know both because you ALWAYS need a defense and an offense. I need to do better with staying away from the things that pull me down, and instead, surround myself with all the stuff and people that lift me up. I want to take the rocks out of my pockets and stop making this journey so hard for myself.

Who’s with me?


    • I think the answer could look different for everyone. Self-awareness is a hard journey when there is so much outside influence. I don’t think we ever completely obtain self-awareness, so maybe the answer is the work that it takes to get as close to self-awareness as possible? Maybe?


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