There’s a reason why it’s impossible to change another person. Each of us has to recognize that the pain or discomfort we’re feeling is greater than our resistance to change. And that’s when we’re ready, willing, and able to make changes in our own lives.
Unfortunately, this is also known as “rock bottom.”
Everyone’s rock bottom is going to look different because everyone has a different tolerance for pain or discomfort. One person may be willing to become homeless before they realize that they have a problem with substance abuse. Another person may have to file bankruptcy or have a foreclosure before they realize they’re living beyond their means. And some people never seem to learn the lessons no matter what happens.
But when someone does get to that rock bottom moment, that’s when amazing things can happen. It feels like the worst moment of your life, but in many ways, it can be the best. It can be the turning point that transforms your life from hopeless to amazing.
Here’s why hitting rock bottom can be the best thing to ever happen to you.
1. There’s accountability
When someone hits rock bottom, it’s usually after they’re forced to take some accountability for their actions. It may be after drug addiction or an arrest. Or it may be after a close friend or family member turns their back. This moment is always going to look different for everyone, but it usually involves some level of accountability. When other people recognize your problem, it becomes difficult to ignore.
2. Your pain or discomfort feels immense
You may be sabotaging your health for years, but when the doctor says you need to change your lifestyle or you may die, the pain will likely be greater than the idea of change. Dying is scarier than eating broccoli, so that may be the moment you cut junk food and unhealthy things from your life. And even with the same health issues, some people get to rock bottom sooner than others. Some hit their transition point when the doctor tells them they either need to take medication or change their lifestyle. For that person, the idea of taking medication with all its side effects is more uncomfortable than changing their habits.
3. Your entire life stands to improve
More and more people recovering from substance use disorders are finding that there are deeper issues at play. In fact, they may have been self-medicating a mental health issue they weren’t even aware they had. The dual diagnosis of mental health issues and addiction is becoming increasingly common in our society, and dual diagnosis treatment can address more than the problem that led you to seek change.
And this isn’t just the case with addiction. When you start fixing the problems in your life, you may find that these positive changes have a domino effect. You can make one positive change where you have the greatest pain and it can improve other areas of your life.
For example, if you seek treatment for a gambling problem, you may end up saving money and making wiser decisions. And without all the time at the casino, you may smoke less and drink less alcohol. For this, your health may improve in addition to your financial status. And without the stress of gambling, your relationships are likely to improve.
One positive change can have a ripple effect that improves your entire life. And it all started with that painful rock bottom moment.
No one wants to hit rock bottom, but the truth of the matter is that some of us need to get there before we’re ready to make the difficult changes in our lives.