Rock bottom. What exactly is rock bottom? Is it a state of being, is it an external condition, or is it simply an ends to a mean? Is the guy sleeping in the ditch who just lost his home, his kids, and his wife finally at rock bottom? If so, why doesn’t he seek help? Wouldn’t he be a prime example of someone who’s hit rock bottom and should now be seeking help? After all it doesn’t get much lower than losing everything meaningful in life, does it? Or how about the guy who seems to have it all together? Maybe someone who’s had multiple years at the same job, whose superiors think he’s doing a great job and rewards him with raises on a regular basis? The guy who has lived comfortably on his own for several years with no debts, and all bills up to date and paid on time? What about him? What do we say when that guy enters treatment looking for help? Do we say, “Sorry, you haven’t hit rock bottom yet, so you may not have enough desperation to grasp this thing we call recovery.”? No, of course we don’t say that. Why? Because for every guy in the ditch with the desperation all over his face, there’s another whose life seems to be on track and going great on the surface, but who’s dying inside from the disease of addiction. The fear and calamity is real in the experience of each of these two men. One we can see, the other hidden in plain sight. This is the reason I believe we need to proceed with caution when evaluating an individual’s desire to recover.
Addiction didn’t care what I had, nor did it care what I lost. Whether I lost everything or nothing, my addiction was only concerned with my next drink, or my next fix. For some that comes at the expense of all things external. For others, that comes at the expense of all things internal. For most, that comes at the expense of all things period.
Herein lies the beauty of Spearhead Lodge and its mission of helping young adults in their struggle with addiction. At Spearhead we are able to take young men, whose wreckage may not yet be to the degree of others, but is well on the way, and help guide them in a direction of recovery, thus preventing the need to spend countless years fighting a losing battle with addiction. Where they know chaos, we introduce serenity. Where they know calamity, we show them peace. Where they know distrust towards the world, we show them they can trust in us. Too often, early recovery, especially among young men, can veer into a competition of who drank, used, had, or sold the most. This ego driven competition is something that is encountered at all ages, but never is it quite as satisfying to see healing from this mindset as it is in young men. Rock bottom? Says who?