Most of us reach that moment in life when you realise that it is impossible for you to fall any further. You are already impaled on rocks like those above, and the only thing you can do is contemplate what happened to bring you to that point.
For a lot of us, this will not be an event that happens just once. I have hit rock bottom 4 times now. And spent much more time just above rock bottom than I care to admit. It is amazing really, it is like flying, except there are strings holding you up.
In my experience, it is essential that a person hits that point (only if they are actually heading in that direction… not if they are doing fine!). Why would I wish such an awful thing on people? It is simple: we can be idiots. And more often than not, especially if this is our first time going down, we have no idea it’s happening. And it doesn’t matter how much we try to help them, they have to come to the conclusion that they need some help. They have to reach a point where beyond all reason and doubt they have to admit they are not in control of it.
For some people, that means suddenly realising you have lost all your friends, pushed your family away, and you are all alone. I have been there. It is a horrific feeling. Suddenly the colours have gone, nothing is fun, you lose motivation and you feel rather sorry for yourself. Without this realisation, however, no help will ever be able to help. They absolutely need to make the first step themselves. Telling someone.
I have been blessed greatly, because despite pushing my people away, they have always been there for me after. Many people will find their friends receptive to them again once they have admitted they need help and support.
Believe it or not, hitting rock bottom is a good thing. There is nothing that motivates a person more. The ONLY way from rock bottom is up. There simply isn’t any way things can get worse. And, although you wouldn’t know it at the time, it is actually comforting that this is as bad as it gets.
To survive rock bottom, you need support. You need people you can talk to honestly, people who can distract you, support from a care team (psychiatric care if needed), and people you can call at any time. This support usually comes from many different places, which reduces the amount of pressure on all of them as you are not relying on them alone for everything.
The type of rock bottom I have been talking about above mainly refers to people who are having a so-called ‘break down’ or ‘mid-life crisis’ (I hate those phrases!). A lot of people will only have the one. But there is another type, the type I have. That means I frequently go in ‘cycles’ (I tend to dip in April and August). That used to mean hitting rock bottom each time, and really, really struggling to get back up on my feet. It was during those times that I did the most self harm. I was overdosing once a week… or more in some cases. It was so bad that now I have cirrhosis of the liver as a result. However, it is possible to survive these significant dips too… I have made it my business to learn all I can about my illnesses, and especially how they affect me. And now I am able to recognise myself going downhill before I reach rock bottom, so I can get help quicker. Which is great, because the further you fall the further you have to climb back up.
I am still advocating my crisis box, because it is such a good distraction technique and can help in so many situations.