When Recovery Hits Rock Bottom | Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center


Hitting Rock Bottom In Addiction Recovery
When I hit rock-bottom in recovery, it’s worth the climb to get back up.

I hate this feeling. I hate hating myself. I hate the hopeless, helpless, nothingness that consumes me. I want to scream and cry and give up all at once. This is my rock bottom in recovery. This is the part of me that I don’t let anyone see. The part that I hide with eye-drop filled bright eyes and forced laughter I can only feel in my cheeks. It’s the part of me that sits in front of the mirror, sometimes for hours, wondering why my nose is so perky; my arms so short; my thoughts so fast that my body can’t possibly keep up. I keep doing it – keep picking out every little flaw and realize that somehow, I became this person that is disgusted with my own image. I look away with utter disdain and use all my energy to forget it – ignore all of it for as long as possible; bury it and bury it and put that squinty smile out there until eventually I feel the pressure coming from inside. It’s like I can’t ignore it anymore. I begin to ignore any progress I’ve made in the days and weeks of therapy, sweating away at the gym, slaving over my work, and can’t help but think of the miles and miles of work to do – how far I still have to go to get even close to where I want to be. Where do I even want to be? Just when I think I can’t stand feeling like this anymore, it seems like I come right back to it. My sweet boyfriend tries to make me feel better. He hugs me and brings me my favorite flavor of ice cream, but this isn’t same-day surgery and ice-cream isn’t a quick suture. I don’t get to put a bandage over it and pretend that the wound isn’t there.

What Does Rock-Bottom Look Like?

It’s different for everyone and for some it doesn’t even happen. What does yours look like? Some people hide it like I do – I don’t even see the crash coming. Maybe it looks different from yours. Maybe your rock-bottom can be seen from a great distance away, more like a meteor! I’ve been there, too.  Hitting rock-bottom once doesn’t mean that you will be there again. There may be moments in life where we find ourselves slowly sinking. Maybe we don’t sink as low as last time, maybe we sink lower – it’s a term we are used to hearing and the meaning is ours alone – not what anyone else gives to it.

climbing Back From Rock Bottom In Recovery
In addiction recovery, I am climbing for my life, but there is always light above. I need only look up.

Climbing For My Life

So, what pulls me out? What makes me want to wake up the next day, drag myself out of bed, and continue with life? I am blessed because I have so many reasons to keep climbing. It’s difficult to pull up out of the darkness because of just one thing, so I rely on many things that I control and they don’t depend on anyone else. It requires a list of things and this is mine.

  • Hope. The sun will always come out. I can always hope for a brighter day, it might not come tomorrow or the next day but it will come eventually. It has to, that’s just the way life works. There’s always darkness before there’s light. Hope for better days, hope for better circumstances, hope for better feelings. I fully believe that we influence our destiny. You become what you think so if you’re thinking of brighter things they will eventually come to be.
  • Passion. Find something that you care about and submerge yourself in it for a bit. Spend time doing something that makes you feel good, something that can make you feel better. Get lost in the process of finding a passion. Try different things and figure out something that you can embrace.
  • Take care of yourself. I know you’ve heard it before, eat healthy and exercise. Really it helps though. Spend an hour per day focusing on your health and letting go of some stress. Maybe exercising isn’t your thing. Do yoga, go for a walk, take a bath. Spend time rejuvenating yourself. Make yourself a cup of coffee then sit and enjoy it. Paint your nails. Get yourself a massage. Do something that makes you feel like you matter.Learn to love yourself. This is one of the most important parts. Learn to practice self love and your world will change. You’re not always going to do things perfectly, especially when it comes to recovery, but if you love yourself it makes things a little bit easier. So how do you do this? Start by finding one thing per day that you love about yourself.
  • Learn to forgive yourself. This is another important thing. You’re going to make mistakes. It’s so much easier to love myself when I can forgive myself for the mistakes I make. We all do it though. They may be big mistakes and they may be small but dwelling on them doesn’t fix them. Apologize if needed, forgive yourself, and move on! It’s easier said than done, but the more you practice owning your mistakes and forgiving yourself the simpler it becomes.

Find things that can bring you out of those dark places. Find things that make your recovery worth the pain. There is light above – all you need to do is look up.