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World famous author of the world famous Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling eloquently quipped “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Hitting ‘rock bottom’ is something that most people do at some point of time in their lives for different reasons. We ‘hit bottom’ when we’ve reached our limit on what we are able to tolerate. Hitting bottom can happen for a variety of circumstances. We might hit bottom because we can no longer stand our own behaviors, the behaviors of others, or the circumstances of our life. ‘Rock Bottom’ is a term often used in relation to addiction. Highly controversial and highly debated, the idea of those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol needing to hit rock bottom before becoming adequately willing to get sober is referred to as a ‘myth’ and a damaging one at that. Often it is said that addicts and alcoholics do not truly have a rock bottom, for rock bottom always comes “with a shovel”. Human beings are capable of tolerating a remarkable amount of pain and discomfort when it is associated with pleasure and reward in the brain. Hitting bottom is just that: a blend of pain and pleasure. There is a benefit gained from staying stuck in patterns and behaviors- the kind that would eventually lead someone to “hit bottom”.

Addiction most notoriously depicts this. Though the body is sick and continuously worsening as well as the brain is dependent and obsessed, there is no denying the choice to continue using. Using drugs and alcohol feels like a necessity for survival. When survival is threatened, there are few lengths, or depths, one is not willing to go to. Hitting bottom in addiction feels like reaching the bottom of those depths and suddenly becoming willing to reverse direction.

Living with unresolved trauma can also lead to a feeling of hitting bottom. We can reach our limit in living with pain we don’t know how to cope with. We can grow weary of our symptoms that feel unmanageable, like hypervigilance, nightmares, and anxiety.

Hitting bottom feels like running a sprint and deciding not to run anymore, after realizing you’re tired of running. Hitting bottom feels like realizing you’ve been digging a tunnel to the other side of the world, but you haven’t made any progress. Hitting bottom feels like giving up, surrendering, and becoming entirely willing. At once, hitting bottom can feel like penultimate weakness and empowering strength. Strength is required to stop. Strength is required to begin again. As soon as we admit we are done, we gain the strength we need to begin.

You don’t have to hit rock bottom to know it is time to ask for help. The Guest House Ocala is ready to meet you precisely where you are in life. We welcome you with open arms to our residential treatment program for trauma, addictions, and related issues.

Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800