Progressing Through the 5 Stages of Addiction: Stage III

You've reached the third stage of addiction; welcome to rock bottom.

Days before my rock bottom moment, I remember thinking: “Could things get any worse?”

My parents had just divorced, I loathed every second at my law firm and I’d just lost the most important person in my life who’d had an unexpected and sudden “change of heart.” I was knee-deep in self-pity and mistakenly thought my life had hit rock bottom.

If only I’d known that several days later, things were about to get exponentially worse – that I’d be arrested after crashing into another car at a stoplight while black-out drunk, seriously injuring two of its passengers. If I’d only known that everything I’d worked so hard for, both professionally and financially, would disappear as I languished in prison for four long years.

It Hurts When You Fall

I’ve often wondered how I managed to fall so far, to have hit a rock bottom beyond my wildest dreams.

The term “rock bottom” refers to the very lowest level you can reach, and it’s used to describe a point in your life when you’re finally willing to seek help. It’s created by a particular event or from a slow decline over time. Either way, hitting rock bottom signifies when things have gotten so bad, it’s impossible to deny your problem anymore.

Experts consider this to be the third stage in the addiction model, yet its meaning is subjective and different for everyone. Sometimes people lose everything while others lose relatively little. It really all depends on you and how much you’re willing to suffer before changing your thinking and behavior.

Choose to Take a New Direction

Hitting rock bottom doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. In my case, it gave me clarity and much-needed perspective – both with alcohol and with life. It helped me to break free from denial and stop blaming others for my problems. If I hadn’t received such severe consequences, who knows where I’d be now?

So, if you’ve hit your personal low, don’t be discouraged. Use it as a catalyst to get the help you need and deserve. It’s not about what you did yesterday, but about what you’re going to do today – and tomorrow. Everyone loves a success story; it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf and live the life you’ve always wanted.

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