Fear, a fun four lettered word that revolves around almost all rational and irrational cognitive aspects in our lives. Wikipedia defines the word as “a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events”. In other words it’s all mental, regardless of how real a situation may seem. It is essentially a filler word that we use to explain the emotional discomfort we are having in an attempt to basically survive. At the end of the day, that’s the ultimate goal right? To survive. Yet with the fear of biochemical weapons always looming, our biological clocks always ticking, and diseases like alcoholism plundering from existence, it would seem like fear is guaranteed.
Even still, the only thing guaranteed in life is that nothing is guaranteed in life. Guaranteed fear for one isn’t the same for the next. Everybody has different mindsets, personalities, and ambitions throughout their journey. We all walk forward blindly, creating our own sets of fears that may or may not be identical to those of the next individual. Different desires, hatreds, and necessities. This gives power to the idea of having chocolate and vanilla to pick from in life.
Fear is only as strong as we choose to make it. If we do not give it power, can it still have sway over us? This idea applies in most instances, until it’s something happening to us that is out of our control. Alcoholism is something that we can’t control, but we still have authority over. It’s a troublesome existence that doesn’t subside until recovery/sobriety is found. For some, this requires hanging up the towel early in and recognizing your mortality. For others, this is a destructive trail that doesn’t come to a dead end until rock bottom is hit or being dead is your end.
Don’t Ignore the Record Lows
Fear sneaks in for everybody at various points on their timeline. For addicts/alcoholics, we allow fear to stomp in and dictate everything while we lay chained to a pile of shame and justification. The sickness of it is that addiction/alcoholism wants us to remember all the glorious times and belly laughs that we had through our lust for substances, but wants us to forget about all the nights we cried ourselves to sleep wishing it would just end. There’s a blatant fear of quitting and one of continuance.
Too often we nonchalantly cold shoulder the recounted days where suicide was on the front burner of our brains, and a crack stem with an empty television was the only ally we had to comfort the tears. Some might consider this a low point, only to later realize that it can always get lower when addiction is unheeded. Sadly when allowed to fester, that rock bottom might be a handshake with the grim reaper. Again, some have a deeper bottom than others, never making it out of the bottle as we slowly drown in it. The disease will only help us to mute all the warning signs.
For some, the concept of hitting rock bottom and playing games with the afterlife is enough to make them tip toe away slowly. For others, they like to Aerosmith it out and live on the edge despite how close they are to toppling over. To finally realize that that you must turn back now or jump off is a pretty intimidating thought. Recognizing this place in life and being in this specific mindset it what truly drops people to their knees. To admit one is an addict/alcoholic is the easy part. To accept it and realize there is no other direction this thing can take you, THAT is where growth begins. With everything at the worst it can get and you at your lowest of lows, the only directions left to continue on will seem pretty clear.
Because of this idea, rock bottom can be the lowest of lows, but it can also be the best thing that ever happens to you(as far as a career with addiction goes). Hitting Rock bottom and rebuilding from there can allow us to:
- Recognize Our Unhappiness
- Being Cultivating Joys
- Turn to Supportive Friends/Family for Help
- Eliminate Stress
- Follow Passions
- Control Our Destinies
It’s unfortunate how our alcoholic thinking just takes over like it does, and for some it goes on for a conglomeration of years. Some addicts and alcoholics never find a solution to the problem and end up trying to dig deeper than rock bottom allows. It can be quite the ugly scene. However, there is a solution that many find, leading to a life beyond their wildest dreams.
Facing Your All Time Lows
A bit short of a hundred years ago, the program of Alcoholics Anonymous was created by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob. They too were individuals who dealt with the grips of alcoholism and were doing everything they could to climb out of rock bottom and continue living real life instead of vicariously through an empty glass bottle.
It was upon this founding of A.A. that the 12 steps were created, and these two men were saved from rock bottom by discovering the powers of friendship and fellowship. Through their efforts of trading their rocks for pebbles, these two men created an entity that has saved countless thousands and thousands of addicts and alcoholics struggling with the phenomenon of craving. Bill and Bob were at a point where there was no other direction- rock bottom. Greatness can derive from despair if we allow it. Once recovery/solution are provided, the hole that leads to rock bottom is filled, just becoming another step in your bottomless day.