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Rock Bottom: Mine Doesn’t Seem As Bad As Yours

In our program, we are surrounded by many others who are recovering from the same substance addictions or mental illnesses as we are. Hearing their stories through their shares or leads at a meeting helps us to relate to each other and discover how similar we all are.

Sometimes, we hear stories from others that feel much darker than our own. They may speak about their experiences and their rock bottom point that brought them to recovery, and we feel that, in comparison, our story isn’t as bad.

The things that we’ve gone through seem almost innocent or even unworthy when we hold them up against others. Thinking like this can make you feel disconnected or too inexperienced in your program.

When asked to lead a meeting, we believe that our story won’t be as inspirational as members who have shared before us. We may begin to question our own experiences, wondering if possibly it wasn’t as bad as we thought. 


Instead of searching for the similarities between us all, we are now focused on the differences. This is dangerous to our recovery.

It is crucial to remember that while our experiences may be wildly diverse, the feelings that led us to want to recover are the same. Someone else’s rock bottom experience may have been devastating, traumatizing, or frightening.

Their addiction and story about what life was like might seem more heart-wrenching or severe. In comparison, you feel that your rock bottom wasn’t as upsetting and you had a smoother transition to recovery.

Perhaps you think that you didn’t suffer as deeply or struggle as long as someone else. In any case, everyone is in the program because they had the same feeling during our addiction or struggles, and even more so at our rock bottom. 


We have all felt hopeless like we were in a very deep hole and couldn’t get ourselves out. We felt scared and alone, unsure of what to do next.

Irritable, restless, and discontent were raging qualities of our disposition. Massive amounts of shame, guilt, and sadness overwhelmed us.

It doesn’t matter the amount of damage we had caused, the substances we used, or the harmful coping mechanisms. The amount of times we were arrested, incarcerated, or hospitalized makes no difference.

Our desperation to recover is what links us, what connects us as we move forward as a whole. This is why we can work with a sponsor or sponsees, regardless of what we have been through. We relate to each other through our emotions, and understand one another on a spiritual level. 


Our experiences in addiction or struggles with mental illness aren’t what qualifies us for recovery. What unites us is the desire to make a change in our lives after feeling like there wasn’t any hope.

We show each other that this is hope by sharing our experiences. When you share or lead a meeting, keep in mind that there is always someone in attendance who needs to hear it.

There will always be people who relate to you. A few listeners may match your experiences, but everyone will identify with the way you felt. These are our similarities, and this is what makes us strong!


The Guest House is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 855-483-7800.