You’ve probably heard this time and time again: not everyone’s ‘rock bottom’ looks the same. And what that means is, there are some of us who were what are considered ‘functional addicts’ and ‘functional alcoholics’ in our active addiction. We didn’t hit an extreme financial bottom that left us homeless, prostituting, or in jail. That said, we took to Reddit to find out about other people’s hitting rock bottom and how they knew they finally needed help.
Hitting Bottom: How I knew I needed help
Never having money was a major problem.
“I was serving tables in very nice restaurant, I got a W2 which said I made 62K that year (and that was just what I claimed). I had no possessions other that my piece of shit car and my bed and I couldn’t pay my part of the rent which was $200 a month.”
“I had a really good job, a car, place to live. But no money. I started dating sugar daddies to pay for my habit, something I never thought I’d do for drugs.”
For many, it’s the guilt and shame of using
“[T]he shame. I’m detoxing from heroin right now, and I haven’t even been able to look my mother in the eye. She obviously knew something was up, and would ask me all the time, but I just couldn’t tell her until I was ready to get clean. I don’t care if random people on the internet know I stick needles in my arm, but my mom? Hell no. I’m her first kid. It was hard enough telling her that I HAD been doing it, and am trying to get clean.”
“For me, it was the second or third time I had to be hospitalized due to my addiction and seeing the look on my mother’s face – it wasn’t concern or worry, it had become disappointment and annoyance – that had me start to realize that I really had a problem.”
Having to keep using even though we didn’t even want to anymore is another bottom for many of us. The whole ‘being sick and tired of being sick and tired’ affected many of us in our active addiction and was the breaking point that had us get help.
“[W]hen I had to use constantly in order to not get sick. [W]hen I wasn’t even getting “high” anymore. when it quit being fun.”
“When I changed from ‘I want [heroin] so I can get stoned,’ to ‘I need [heroin] so I can function’ was the breaking point.”
For others, seeing friends and loved ones hurting themselves was what made them realize that they needed to get help.
“All my friends started dying or going to jail.”
“Just saw a good friend I hadn’t seen in years (sober years) walking down the road. Pulled over, found out he had been homeless for 3 yrs. Shocked me up real good.”
“My girlfriend committed suicide and I was unsuccessful at killing myself.”
Many of us felt guilt and shame for stealing from people who legitimately needed meds.
“When I would get excited about going to a house that I had never been to, so that I could raid their medicine cabinets. When my cancer ridden Mom ran out of Percocet because I took them all and she had to wait for her rx to get refilled and she was in pain. She never knew it was my fault. When I actually contemplated having sex with a guy just to get the pills that I wanted because I couldn’t afford them. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”
“[I] went with my then-boyfriend to “visit” his friend with Multiple Sclerosis. He and I talked to his friend for a while then my boyfriend pretended to go to the bathroom to look for some pharmaceuticals his friend might have. Got away with taking his friend’s Vicodin. I felt like such a sh*t head.”
And there were plenty of us that had almost died in our active addiction, or actually did die (“coded”) and were brought back to life.
“[E]xperiencing my second alcohol related seizure. The first being when I tried to quit cold turkey without medical detox. Yay! The second seizure landed me in ICU for three days. When I was nearing time to be released a Dr. came in and advised me that I really needed to go into inpatient rehab. I told him that I couldn’t afford it and he shrugged and walked out. A short while later another Dr. came in and tried to impress how much I needed to get into rehab and I told her the same thing. She flat out told me, ‘then don’t stop drinking – if you stop drinking you will die.’ So yeah, it’s somewhere around that time you realize you’re not a rock star and this ain’t partying.”
If you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction or you are concerned for a loved one, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and share with you resources. You are not alone and help is available. It’s not too late to turn your life around for the better.