Five Common Myths About Hitting “Rock Bottom”

Five Common Myths About Hitting “Rock Bottom”

The phrase “rock bottom” widely used in our culture and in recovery communities. It’s become somewhat of a buzz phrase that gets used often in the media. Almost everyone has heard of this phrase, whether or not they know someone who has been in an addictive cycle. It’s used in recovery to mean the time or event that causes you to seek help. It can mean the lowest possible point in an addictive cycle. In truth, it’s difficult to define because rock bottom means something different for everyone. Hitting rock bottom can often feel hopeless, or like there is “nothing in life left to destroy.” For some, rock bottom is an emotional point and for others, something concrete happens such as the loss of a job, spouse, or home. There is no time frame for hitting rock bottom nor are there any objective markers. Rock bottom doesn’t need to last for a specific amount of time, nor do you need to reach a certain level of darkness or hopelessness in your addiction in order to seek help. Again, rock bottom looks different for everyone. Because the term can’t be defined in any concrete way and differs from person to person, there are many myths around the idea of “rock bottom.” Here, we will discuss a few of the common ones and unpack the truth about rock bottom.

You have to wait until you hit rock bottom to get treatment.

This is a dangerous myth that could potentially keep those who need treatment from waiting to seek it out. You can seek treatment at any time during your addiction. The idea behind rock bottom is that you’ve hit such a low point that you’re finally willing to admit that you need help. Oftentimes, hitting rock bottom is what shocks you into awareness. Perhaps it creates fear, a reality check, or it brings you face to face with your addiction. It’s possible to hit this lowest point without necessarily even realizing it. If there’s a voice inside you urging you to get help, it’s important to listen, even if you feel that you haven’t hit your lowest point.

You won’t relapse after you hit rock bottom.

There are no guarantees. The reality is, relapse is always a possibility, even after one or several treatment programs are completed. However, relapse doesn’t mean that you’ve failed and in fact, is often seen as part of the disease of addiction. Recovery is not a straight line. There are often twists and turns and unexpected circumstances. The important thing is to take it one day at a time and remember that there is always hope. You can decrease your chances of relapse by taking an active role in your recovery, sticking to your treatment plan, staying aware of your thought patterns, practicing regular self-care, and surrounding yourself with positive influences.

Rock bottom looks basically the same for everyone.

Rock bottom looks different for everyone. Again, there is no cookie cutter “rock bottom” moment. Rock bottom is important because of what it represents, which is the lowest point thus far in your addiction. In that sense, it represents something similar for everyone. However, the details, feelings, timing, and events of rock bottom are different for everyone. Some people never feel that they’ve hit rock bottom, and yet they seek treatment and thrive in recovery.

Once you hit rock bottom, you’re ready for rehab.

“Rock bottom” has become so fetishized in movies and television and this myth could be a result of popular depictions of rock bottom in the media. Oftentimes, a character hits rock bottom and finally goes to rehab. However, this is not always the case. Everyone is unique and some people can find themselves at their lowest point and still not ready to accept treatment.

After you hit rock bottom, there is no hope for recovery.

This myth could not be further from the truth. One thing that’s important to remember is that there is always hope for recovery. Whether you hit rock bottom once, twice, or never, recovery is always an option, as long as you are willing and accepting of the fact that you have a problem.

While there are some overarching commonalities in the phases of addiction and recovery, it’s vital to remember that everyone is different and there is no “right way” to seek treatment. The important thing is that you reach out for help when you feel that you are ready, regardless whether you or those around you feel you have hit rock bottom. The first step towards recovery and freedom is acknowledgement and acceptance that there is a problem.

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, there is a path to recovery. Increased wellness, a calmer mind, and increased quality of life are just three of the many benefits of choosing recovery. At The Beach House, we elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located on the sand in Malibu, California, we provide expert clinical care and a holistic approach to the recovery process. We ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. Start your recovery journey today. You deserve it. Call or text: 310-862-6845.

Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.