Set Your Sights Higher Than Rock Bottom
People are pretty good at rationalizing reasons to keep doing something—even if that something is bad for them.
Sometimes, the “something” in question is fairly minor. You might talk yourself into having a fourth piece of pizza, for example, even though you feel pretty full and you have been trying to watch your weight.
You don’t need that fourth slice, but you want it, so you come up with a rationalization. Maybe you remind yourself that you haven’t eaten very much throughout the day. Maybe you decide, on the spot, that today is your “cheat day.” Maybe you decide that four is a nice round number and that you don’t have a real issue as long as you don’t come back for a fifth. Eating five pieces of pizza, you might tell yourself, would be ridiculous. Four, on the other hand…
Our pizza example isn’t such a big deal if you only give in to the temptation every once in a while. But if you start employing these sorts of rationalizations at every meal, you will upend your health goals—and you will be gradually making it more difficult to get back on track, both because you will have established a bad habit and because that habit will have led to weight gain that you will now have to work harder to reverse.
Now, let’s take the pizza out of the mix and replace it with drugs or alcohol. The same sort of rationalization we’ve described can be a problem here, too. That is especially true if you convince yourself that you don’t really have a problem until you hit a point often known as “rock bottom.”
The Slippery Slope of ‘Rock Bottom’
The idea of “rock bottom” sounds so definitive, doesn’t it? The two words in the phrase seem to describe something solid and easily defined. Surely you would recognize when you hit rock bottom, right?
Well, it turns out it isn’t quite so simple. It’s all too easy to redefine rock bottom as you go along. It is just like arbitrarily deciding that four pieces of pizza are okay to eat in one sitting, while eating five slices would be simply outrageous.
So, let’s say you get pulled over for driving while intoxicated. It is possible that this is the “rock bottom” you have arbitrarily set for yourself. “Boy, if I ever get pulled over for drunk driving, I will know it’s time to get help,” you may say to yourself.
But now it has happened. Do you get help? Or do you redefine your terms? It will be tempting to do the latter: “Boy, if I ever get into a car accident after drinking, I will know it’s time to get help,” you may decide.
And so you keep drinking. After all, you haven’t hit rock bottom yet. And if you do, you can always redefine it again, right?
The Time to Get Help Is Always Right Now
Let us propose a different strategy instead.
If you are drinking or using drugs (illicit or prescription) in ways that feel unsafe or unwise to you—or if you feel as though you are not fully in control of your drug or alcohol use—the time to get help is right now. Don’t wait for a mythical “rock bottom” when things are worse than they already are.
Instead, get the treatment you need at a fully certified recovery center that offers medically supervised detoxification and a rehabilitation program designed to help you maintain your hard-won sobriety over time.
You may well have to talk yourself into taking this essential step. But hey, you’ve been able to talk yourself into much worse decisions. This time, use your ability to persuade yourself to take action to do something that will allow you to reclaim your life from drugs or alcohol.
We Are Ready When You Are
At French Creek Recovery Center, we offer the key services we mentioned above: medically supervised detox and a rehab program built around individual and group therapy (and able to address any co-occurring mental health disorders). We provide evidence-based care as well as the resources and support you need to start your recovery journey feeling confident about your ability to maintain your sobriety.
Don’t rationalize your way toward “rock bottom.” Let us help you start lifting yourself up right away.