They say that you cannot help an addict if they don’t want to be helped. Even the addicts who want to be helped, often need to hit Rock Bottom. This is often true for those who live in turmoil even without addiction. I have never been a drug addict nor an alcoholic. I’ve had both in my life, but thankfully haven’t succumb to such vices. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been in a slum, living at the bottom, struggling, unhappy, and hitting Rock Bottom. People who struggle with depression, mental illness, or other turmoils will often find their Rock Bottom. Even people who are simply irresponsible, or hateful, or those who seem to revel in their own self-generated misery, often have to hit Rock Bottom before they can pull themselves out of misery.
Rock Bottom has depths and it’s different for everyone. I would say that death is at the farthest underbelly of Rock Bottom. What is Rock Bottom and why must we hit it before we get our lives together? It is the end of a path of self destruction. It is the lowest you can go before you meet your end. It is that point in which you say “no more”. It is that point in which you have lost yourself and can be no more unhappy than you are at the moment. It is the end of the road and there are only three choices: fester at the bottom, die, or turn down a new path that will lead you out of the darkness.
Why must there be a Rock Bottom? It’s like being pushed from the nest so that you can learn to fly. Too scared to jump from the nest, you don’t know what to do or how you’ll change anything. There are road blocks that seem impossible. There are bridges burned and what support is there? Probably none (but there is!). At the bottom, you have nothing to loose… so you jump.
You drag yourself out of the mud and trudge through life making different choices… hopefully learning from your past. You shed people from your life that pull you down. You shake off everything you don’t like about yourself and try to be a better person. You try to do things right. The people who tried to help you are probably gone now, but perhaps you try the advice you previously refused to listen to. Not everyone who had it better than you will be right about everything… but they are some place better, so why not give it a try?
Rock Bottom is also motivation. All the pain and suffering that you never want to go through again. You have been torn down and now you are building yourself up… reborn, a phoenix if you will. You will find happiness and you’ll never want to go back. When you find your happy place, you will cherish it more than you ever thought. You will fight to keep it with that same stubborn ferocity that kept you down in the past. Your faults hopefully reconditioned to work in your favor.
To those facing the bottom, I say… don’t lose hope. No matter how much it hurts, let go of those holding you back, because you will find people on your new journey who are worth fighting for. No matter how much regret you have, forgive yourself, because all the good you can do in life to make up for it, will be amazing. The person you can become probably wouldn’t have existed if you had not been the person you were and experienced the life you had. Don’t give up, don’t stop fighting… because no matter how unbelievable this sounds… you can be happy if you choose to be.
People often say that it’s not as easy as just choosing to be happy, that you don’t choose to be miserable, and I agree. I never said it was easy or instantaneous. The journey to a happy place will be long and difficult, but it gets easier the further you get. While there are things we cannot control that will make us unhappy, I do believe that our choices also play a big part in our happiness. I do believe that it starts with a choice… to do what is right for you in order to find your happy place.
In remembrance of Robin Williams