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wundayatta's avatar

What was it like to "hit bottom?"?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) June 24th, 2011

I have heard people say that you don’t seek help for various problems, such as alcoholism, until you hit bottom. If you have hit bottom, I would like to know what it was like. What were the circumstances? What had you been doing? What did you do to get out of it?

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16 Answers

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It felt like I was lying in the gutter looking UP at sidewalks.

flutherother's avatar

I was homeless, jobless and wifeless and staying in temporary accommodation. My life had come off the rails but I was not too upset about it, which is strange on looking back at my circumstances then. I encountered kindness, which is as precious as gemstones in such a situation. I also wrote a poem, instead of crying. I got a job quite quickly, and later a flat but never a wife.

SABOTEUR's avatar

(See my response to your self esteem question. That says it all.)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“What were the circumstances?”

Dancing on the edge.

“What were the circumstances?”

Free fall.

“What did you do to get out of it?”


linguaphile's avatar

I just, in the past year, came out of a deep, dark, black hole where I found myself literally at the bottom with only two choices: stay there or climb out. The quote that helped me start climbing was “you don’t know how strong you really are until you have no choice but to be strong.”
The most scary thing is, I didn’t even know I was at the bottom, for a long while. It reminds me very much of the scene in the movie “What Dreams May Come” where Robin William’s character goes down into ‘Hell’ and sees his wife—she doesn’t even know she’s in hell or that anything’s wrong with her. It was exactly like that (without a “Robin”), except I wouldn’t call it depressed, just totally, absolutely empty.
One day, someone from my far, far past showed up and we spent a few hours at the mall catching up… all he did was make me laugh and that night, I looked around and realized I no longer cared for anything—all my passions (and I’m a born Crusader…) had fallen away, all my beloved hobbies had disappeared, I had lost contact with all my close friends and family, had become scared to go anywhere alone, and more. Lingua was gone, and this squirrelly, scared stranger had taken over…
I had to go through a phase of, all at once, being overwhelmed and lost, shocked, even more depressed and unsurmountably, unbelievably furious with myself, but there was a tiny, little spark in me that refused to just “die” and I simply started doing serious self-work.
The thing is, I didn’t hit rock bottom because of addiction or anything like that—I had been in a covertly passive-aggressive abusive marriage and, this might sound so dramatic… but, what was at risk was my soul and will to live, similar to an addict’s experience. I had to consciously choose to no longer be an enabler and ‘recover’ from that.
One analogy I can think of to describe the climb out is the hardening of steel. It was extremely painful and very lonely at times, but I didn’t find the alternative of staying in the hole acceptable, so I kept going. The “emerging” unfortunately isn’t pretty, nice and clean like in “What Dreams May Come,” but happens in bits and pieces, here and there… like a whack a mole without the whacking!
Believe it or not, joining Fluther was one rung that helped my climb out… :D Still climbin’!
and like Real said… gotta bounce!

Trojans40's avatar

Hitting rock bottom, is sometimes the place to be once in your life. You will learn things that textbooks can’t describe. I hit rock bottoms numerous times in life. People tell me I haven’t gotten out if I never learn to stay out of it. However, worms are my friend and neighbors in the dark cool shadowy grave of a bottom of the rock. They need friends as well.

One of my experience hitting rock bottom was going through pain on another whole new level. I came out with the rock shattered, To break a rock, you can go through it, climb it, walk or crawl around it, or dig under it. Just find a way to overcome the rock.

Hardship in life is a must. It make us cherish our memories and emotions. It make us what we are. Humans.

I tell you another thing about being rock bottom. You thrive to overcome the feeling of being under. You will try to beat that feeling with everything, your veins in your neck will pulse harder than ever. Just to prove that you can do it. Just to show others that rock bottom is going all the way down, just to push it all the way up for the rep. Beat it with the strength of steel and give hell.

_zen_'s avatar

The bigger they are the harder they fall.

This is true for the ego as well.

I felt like the king of the hill, top of the heap, king of the world.

The divorce left me broken, battered, a shell.

It took years and years. It felt like the end of the world. Now it feels like the end of the world as we know it – and I feel fine.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I was thinking how amazingly dense we can be sometimes.

I’m speaking of those of us who’ve been fortunate enough to hit bottom.

Rushing head-on toward our own destruction. Never once considering their could be…ummm…another way of approaching something?

Headstrong and ignorant.

Until you’re forced to face the oh so obvious conclusion that you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing and it might be best to eh….make another choice.

Or die.

That was rock bottom for me.

A cold hard splash of reality’s foot wedged firmly up my ass.

Illusion free.

The *Wake Up!” call.

The best thing that ever happened to me.

downtide's avatar

Standing on a bridge high over a motorway and contemplating the optimum moment for me to jump – that was rock bottom for me and that was when I knew I needed help.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@downtide Glad you stuck around.

downtide's avatar

@SABOTEUR Thankyou. I’m glad too, now.

InTheZone's avatar

At nineteen years old, locked out of parents’ home for being ½ hour late for curfew, date-raped (as a virgin) and pregnant. I was naive and very poorly equipped to take care of myself. There were not very many options for people in my situation in this day and location.

I stood on a street corner and contemplated an oncoming bus, and if it could take me (us) out cleanly. It didn’t get much better than that for a number of years. I ended up marrying the rapist and living with him until I couldn’t bear it any longer. Pretty much every day I re-assessed my continuing existence, but each time decided it wasn’t fair to make that decision for the innocent person I was bearing/raising.

filmfann's avatar

When people use expressions like “my spirit was crushed”, I know exactly what they mean. I felt like I had fallen into the void, and had no hope of recovery.
Counseling, Paxil, and the support of my family got me through it.
I did emerge stronger, but I still feel the scars that experience left.

Sher_King's avatar

Imagine this…I hit rock bottom so hard in 2007 I had no idea what the hell happened that year. Everything went blank. As if i died. All I did was sleep and have a mind that was so enraged, I hated facing the day. I wanted to hide. And i hid for 6 months. Nightmares everyday at 5:00 a.m. I fell in love with a mental/physical abuser. I couldnt accept it. All my friends left. My personality was completely transformed, and overly dramatic. My anxieties were so hard I had panic attacks, and seeing a therapist for a short while made me feel worse about myself. What did I do to get out of it? I fought. ‘Depression was not my style.’ I knew I had to find myself again. And thats where the mission began.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Highly resonate stories in this thread.

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