One of the things that I have struggled with in recovery, and I’ve mentioned this before, is my high bottom.
And no, I don’t mean my booty is firm and lifted.
When I finally faced my alcoholism and decided to get clean and sober, I’d hit a personal low. And yes, my life had fallen apart. But, upon entering the rooms of AA and my rehab center I soon learned that my low was a far stretch from the worst case scenario. And sure, I already knew that on some level. I wasn’t homeless, I hadn’t lost my family, wealth or health.
In AA and rehab I was told, repeatedly, that my high bottom was a gift. So many people have to hit a bottom so low that there is really no further to go short of death before they are forced to use the solution that is AA or treatment. But, this was hard for me. Sharing in AA, seeing other clients at my rehab center struggle to find housing, funding for their care, or insurance for their sometimes dire medical conditions made me feel that maybe my addiction and recovery just didn’t fit into this mix.
I knew I needed help, but, the harder I looked around me, the more I thought to myself: I should be able to do this on my own. These people around me need this help so much more than I do. To them, I’m sitting pretty. Living alone in a two bedroom apartment, financially stable, taking time away from work by choice to clean up my act. It all seemed frivolous and selfish suddenly. And here, all this time, I thought I was doing a good thing.
It took talking to a lot of people and finding the right AA meetings to discover that what I was doing was, in fact, the right thing. That addiction is addiction. And, yes, perhaps I should feel lucky that I didn’t have to hit the bottom that so many addicts do to realize I needed help, but, not selfish or disingenuous.
Well this struggle pops up in my head every time I think of the first step. For the most part, I’d accepted why and how I got into treatment. And if I doubt, I have to work to push that negative self talk out of my head. And, I’m getting better at it.
But today a big victory for Step 1 was won. Today, my situation was validated. The director of my treatment center asked me to come speak in front of a workshop of his students about my addiction and life experiences. I asked him politely, “Why me?” My treatment center is full of clients with colored pasts and stories far beyond anything I could have dreamed up.
I’m going to speak as an example of a high bottom addict. He wants his students to gain perspective on the many varieties of substance abusers and how they end up where they end up.
I’m actually very excited about this. Not only is it a way for me to do service, but, it validates what I have battled for the longest time: I am actually an addict. The First Step. Admission. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol. I thought I’d come to terms with all that, but, clearly, today sealed the deal for me. A director of an integrated mental health care facility thinks I’m the prime example of a category of addict. Bingo. Out of self doubt.
So, without trying, without stewing, and without going back and forth. It finally happened.
I’ve finally fuckin’ arrived. Ladies and gentleman, I’ve officially hit bottom.