Updated: May 31
The addiction to sobriety journey looks different for everyone, but there is one thing in common for all, it is hard. I once saw an image and it stuck with me like glue because the path to success for anything is crazy, and this is the same for addiction to recovery, it is not an easy path, but it is a path that is absolutely worth it.
Even after looking at this image it doesn’t portray what it can feel like relapsing and having to go through this all over again. Trust me when I say, the tough journey is always worth it.
Let’s talk “Rock Bottom”
The range of rock bottom is endless from homelessness, loss of job, divorce, family abandonment, overdose, it truly is unique to each individual struggling. The problem with our society is that people compare, and when we compare we sometimes don’t actually see our true problems. We say something like “Well, I haven’t lost my job, and I only drink on the weekends, so I’m not an alcoholic” or “I only do those drugs once a week, it’s not a big deal.” When in fact this could be an individuals rock bottom, because they are ultimately hurting their relationships, their health, their spirituality and more.
Just because a person isn't homeless, doesn’t mean they have not hit rock bottom, every single person is different, and that is why we should never play the compare game, ever - especially when it comes to addiction and recovery.
Forgiveness during “Rock Bottom”
When we are living in that rock bottom state, it could be for a few minutes, to a few hours, days, weeks, even years, the most important thing to realize that things will always get better. There are a few things that an addict will likely feel during this state and those include:
Loss of Love
Most importantly what is likely going through the addict's mind is: “What is worse, living like this, or taking my own life?”
For anyone, a thought like this is rock bottom.
When a person feels this way, it is incredibly hard to get out of that state of mind, especially when something so simple like taking another drink or abusing a substance, is right there for them.
Forgiving ourselves is such an important action to take in recovery.
I forgive myself
I forgive myself for hurting myself
I forgive myself for poisoning this blessed body
I forgive myself for thinking thoughts of suicide
I forgive myself for every day that has passed, I am ready to move forward.
Forgiveness during the Recovery Process
Once we establish a baseline of love and forgiveness for ourselves we can then start the process of recovery, which also looks different for every single person. We can make a plan for ourselves to get from rock bottom to recovery, in hopes to never relapse again, but most important is to take it one day at a time.
When we make a plan and look so far into the future we can scared, we are afraid and think thoughts of doubt:
“What if I can’t make it”
“What if I can’t stay sober”
What really matters is not what is two weeks or six months from now, what matters is what we do today. Because small daily changes will create massive results.
Just like the image you saw above there are times of triumph in recovery and times of deep sorrow, when we feel completely defeated, helpless and ready to give up. During these times, we must always remember how far we have come, instead of thinking how far we must go. We forgive ourselves for feeling the pressure of wanting to abuse again, we forgive ourselves for relapse, we forgive ourselves because this journey of recovery is not an easy one.
Elton John once said:
“I've survived a lot of things.
Life is full of pitfalls, even when you're sober.
I can deal with them now because I don't have to run away and hide.”