Rock bottom is not always a messy divorce or a half-empty bottle of Jack. It is not always a custody battle or blacking out with your arms wrapped tightly around a toilet in the beginning stages of overflow. It’s not always your first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a less-than-trendy coffee shop or abandoned church basement where you can’t help but feel like the walls are closing in on you. It might not be the first time you stick a needle into your vein or the incredible calm you feel immediately afterwards. Hitting rock bottom does not always mean losing friends. Or jobs. It is not always burning bridges. It doesn’t always happen when your bank account is severely overdrawn or when your body is shaking from withdrawals before you even recognize them as such. Rock bottom is not always obvious to those around you. An intervention is not always being planned. It is not always a definitive moment or a specific day. Sometimes, rock bottom sneaks up on you. It can come quietly and without warning. It can creep up on you for a long time before you even realize what it is. Suddenly, you just know. You may not quite remember getting there, but you know you’re at the bottom now. Rock bottom might be a text you know you shouldn’t be sending, or a call to someone you know you have no business calling. It might be hitting a curb, driving home from the bar, even if there is no one else around to see it. Rock bottom could be a conversation with your mother or your lover or your boss. It could be a conversation with a homeless person on the sidewalk or a man in line next to you at the post office. It might come in the form of booze, and it might come in the form of illegal drugs. But remember, it might not. It could very well be cough syrup, porn, or video games. It might be your ex-lover – or, and pay close attention: it might be your current one. It might be hamburgers and pizza and nachos. But it is important to remember that it also could be kale salad and quinoa. It could be the internet trolls or the real life bullies. It could be the politicians or the celebrities, but it’s just as likely that it is the average Joes. You can blame whomever or whatever you want. But here’s the kicker: you don’t need to. Your rock bottom is different than mine. Or his. Or hers. You might never hit it, you may never find out what it is. But I hope that you do. Your rock bottom could be yourself at three in the morning with makeup streaming down your face in a grimy bathtub or at three in the afternoon looking your absolute best into the bathroom mirror in a Banana Republic or into a Macbook screen. The decision is the same. The decision is that this ends here. ‘This’ can mean many different things, and there’s no use for a metaphor now. Rock bottom is when you are done. You are done pretending, or trying, or using, or crying. You’re done staring or looking away, talking or being silent. You are finished with the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning or the last thought in your mind before you fall asleep. You are finished with the life that you have lived so unhappily – or perhaps happily – up until this point. Rock bottom is the moment when you die, or when you start over new. Rock bottom is that moment, sometimes quite brief, that sets us apart from them. Maybe they hit theirs years ago. Maybe they haven’t yet. Maybe they never will. Good for them. It doesn’t matter. Rock bottom has a different affect on everyone. Yours might make you change. It might not. Use your rock bottom. Use it however you want. However you choose. Tell everyone you know about it or don’t tell anyone at all. Scream it or whisper it. Thank it or curse it. Sing about it, write it down, or paint a picture of it. But fall, fall, and touch the bottom when you reach it. Touch it, feel it – really feel it. Decide whole-heartedly and without doubt that it isn’t what you want. Now or ever. Then, and only then, begin to climb back up again.

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