Tuesday, April 05, 2011

On the Nature of Rock Bottom

I think one of the problems with the concept of hitting rock bottom is that people think is a destination that can viewed and accessed via criteria by a third party. That there are set of checklist items that can be crossed off a list to determine when someone has hit rock bottom.

There is an old saying that if you think it can’t get any worse you lack sufficient imagination.

This failure of imagination is often why we find ourselves breathless with wonder saying this must be it since it can’t get anywise and yet it undoubtedly does.

In this way I think the nature of rock bottom is similar to being tortured.

Unfortunately it is self inflicted torture, a battle with our own inner ego.

Unfortunately for those who have to watch it play out it is every bit as heart breaking as watching someone you love actually tortured.

Everybody has a breaking point but everybody’s breaking point is different.

While having your toenails pulled out with a pliers may seem to be enough for some people for other people it is just a Saturday afternoon. The amount of self mutilation that a person can do to themselves is all relative to that individual. Pride, stubbornness, lack of options, fear of defeat all manifest themselves in different doses from one person to the next.

I cannot speak for what other people feel or other peoples experience but I understand completely when people say reaching the breaking point is an almost religious experience. There is something in that moment when you realize you have to change, you surrender, you submit your will and check your pride. There is a release, a liberation, a freedom that comes from being honest with yourself.

I don’t find it at all unusual that 12 step programs focus a lot on God because for most people in that darkest moment when you have admit defeat, that you have lost control. For most people when they get to that point they have broken so many relationships, pushed so many people away that in that moment there is no one else to call out for help to.

I am not a religious man in fact quite the opposite but I understand that point. It is not about who or what you reach out to in that moment only that you realize you need to reach out.

I am not really sure what you can do to help someone who is trying to find their point, other then keep an open door and try to show positive alternatives.

There is an old story..

“Once upon a time a man walked to visit his friend. As he arrived closer he could hear his friends dog howling in the door way. As he walked into his friends house past the wailing dog he asked his friend what is wrong with his dog. His friend replied that his dog was standing on a nail. He asked why doesn’t he move? His friend relied back, because it doesn’t hurt enough.”

It is the enough that is the hard part.

The only thing I guess I really know about this is that everybody has a breaking point, everybody’s breaking point is different and it sucks watching them try to find it.

1 comment:

Rocketstar said...

And scary when someone hits their breaking point and grabs his automatic rifle.