Admitting we are powerless over alcohol is a hard, often painful step to take. Many of us have fought long and hard to keep drinking in spite of all the problems it causes within our homes, jobs, families, and relationships.
The nature of addiction is to keep using no matter what the cost. If you have lost everything in your life, or even if have suffered very few consequences (but know in your heart you have a problem), you are on the right path by reading this article!
Due to the secretive, isolating nature of alcoholism, it is hard to admit that we no longer have control over our drinking. Too often, we are unwilling to ask for help.
We do all we can to protect our shameful secret while gripped by an addiction. It is hard to come to terms with the idea that alcoholism is a disease, not a personal failing. We often lie to our co-workers, families, and most of all, to ourselves, in order to drink despite the aching emptiness we feel. We justify our behavior, making excuses for our drinking, blaming it on everything but the truth of the matter: that we are alcoholic and the way we drink is unmanageable.
That moment when we become willing to admit that alcohol is the cruel ruler of our lives is referred to as our “bottom”. Each person’s bottom is unique, but all share the common thread that circumstances had become such that no amount of self-deception could mask the fact that alcohol was destroying our lives.
Some people refer to themselves as “high bottom drunks,” meaning economic and outside circumstances were not impacted as badly as they could have been. Often high bottom drunks still have a job, a family, and an active social life. Others say they are “low bottom drunks,” meaning they lost nearly everything in the course of their addiction. This often includes jail time, homelessness, financial ruin, and destroyed relations.
Regardless if we are high bottom or low; finding (or hitting) our bottom means we have become willing to make a change. That moment we admit that we are powerless over alcohol is the first step towards recovery and the basic tenet of many 12 Step programs and recovery and treatment centers. It is the cornerstone of the new life we build for ourselves free from our addiction.
When you have truly hit bottom, and are willing to make a change, don’t delay! Turn to trusted sources for help. Area Alcoholics Anonymous meetings provide experience, strength, and hope. They can be found in any phone book or online by searching AA in your area. Treatment facilities, such as the Pat Moore Foundation, provide a structured environment for recovery guided by professionals. These facilities can also provide a medical detox program if your drinking has reached the point of physical dependence.
All these resources provide 24-hour support. If you have the willingness to reach out for help, don’t wait. This is your opportunity to have a new life, free from the emotional and physical pain of alcoholism. No matter what you have experienced or gone through, you deserve to live free from addiction.