Anywhere you meet a sober person you will always hear about “rock bottom”. I believe this phrase of “rock bottom” actually misrepresents what your lowest point actually is and what it means. It has no particular place or time, nor does it really let you know when it has arrived. This leads to confusion with both the alcoholic and the loved ones around them.
For me, rock bottom was not one particular point in my life- it was the accumulation of a thousand “rock bottoms”. It wasn’t when I lost my girlfriend, or the subsequent one after that. It wasn’t when I lost my job.It wasn’t when I woke up one morning laying under the kitchen table with my pants hanging around my knees and a note from my signinificant other saying she couldn’t live like this any more. It definitely wasn’t when I wound up in jail- though I was SURE at the time it was. And it wasn’t the two year struggle after that point when I continued to battle with alcoholism in which I lost a job, my wonderful girlfriend, much of my income, many of my rights and a handful of friends. It wasn’t the hundreds upon thousands of horrible alcohol experiences that made me eventually come to hate myself. “You’ll hit bottom when bad things start to happen to you faster than you can lower your standards.”
In my life it was April 5, 2014 when I awoke and was losing my girlfriend, my housing situation, my employment, my friendships and my happiness. My life had become so low so fast I could no longer justify that all of these things were simply bad luck rather than the direct results of my drinking and my actions. People often say they either had the choice to keep drinking or to die. Often times this is because of the physical toll alcohol and narcotics have had on their body. For myself, and many others, it was because I could either keep drinking or give myself the eternal checkout.
On 4/5/14 throwing myself off the New Cooper River Bridge seemed easier than quitting drinking. I was literally at a point in my life where it was going to be one or the other.Fortunately, the Cooper River Bridge Run (of the Amazingly Photogenic Runner fame) was going on that day and I did not want to hamper the day of people there to have fun. I decided to cut my vacation short and head home. That was my rock bottom. I had to make a choice and I chose sobriety- even though swan diving seemed easier at the time. I’m glad I made the right choice though. That moment was the first brick in laying the foundation of a successful and healthy sobriety and my life has gotten so much better ever since then.