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Hitting Bottom? My Drug and Alcohol Addiction Vocabulary is Ever-Changing
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

While on vacation recently I had time to relax on the beach and reflect about our family’s situation. There was no great epiphany. However, one thing weighed on my mind concerning the language of addiction.

For many years through this journey, people have counseled my wife and I that nothing will actually change until our addict hits bottom. It was always said with sympathy and understanding in a way that I am sure was well-intentioned. As a parent trying to deal with a drug-addicted child, however, just the thought of hitting bottom was frightening. What is bottom?  How do we recognize bottom when we see it? How long will it take? And what damage is my son likely to experience on his way to bottom?

The answers from people experienced in drug and alcohol addiction were always vague and indeterminate. All the while we kept looking for that elusive bottom. And with each terrible experience we assumed, surely we had arrived there: losing his car, losing his license, losing his home, put in jail, nearly losing his life, and then, entering prison. What exactly is bottom, again?

I have been told by addicts and loved ones of addicts that bottom is different for different people. For some, it’s losing one’s family, losing one’s home or incarceration, while for others it’s the thought of losing the respect of loved ones. 

The one thing I found out for sure is that there is no determining what bottom is for another person. That is what is so frightening for a parent about this whole bottom concept. Is death considered bottom?

With all of these examples of bottom and none of them actually defining the experience, I would like to propose a different term. I suggest we call it a “profound experience.”

A profound experience is something that anyone in any situation can encounter. Large or small, this event or series of events has the impact to change a life. Following a profound experience, a person is able to gain “profound knowledge” concerning his or her life and the impact this experience has on the future. With this new knowledge a person or addict is able to put in place the necessary steps to change his or her life.

To me a profound experience more accurately describes what an addict must experience before it is possible for him or her to begin a change process. It is the inspiration that causes an addict to wake up to the fact that drug or alcohol addiction can no longer be a part of his or her life.

For me, my vocabulary concerning drug and alcohol addiction is ever-changing.

Posted by Ron Grover  /  Filed under Addiction, Alcohol, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Recovery, Writing About Addiction  /  Comments: more

Tough Love: A Valentine’s Day Message for Those Who Love Someone with a Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Looking for love in all the wrong places
Love at first sight
Love is blind
Love means never having to say you’re sorry

These are just a few of the themes that come to mind as I contemplate Valentine’s Day.  It occurs to me that I could tell my life story (both before and after recovery) using just the right combination of famous love quotes and song lyrics!

I was looking for love in all the wrong places when I first tried drugs.  I just didn’t know it at the time.  Growing up in an alcoholic home was traumatic.  I was frightened most of the time and very lonely.  Drugs filled the emptiness inside and made my fear go away.

It was love at first sight for me when it came to drugs.  Before long, nothing else mattered.  My family, friends, school and job – all took a back seat to

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Becky Vance  /  Filed under Addiction, Alcohol, Dealing with an Addicted Child  /  Comments: more


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