You need to hit rock bottom before you start building yourself up. I am not sure this is the case with every alcoholic, but somehow I think there is a grain of truth in there somewhere that carries great weight. I know I’m an experimental sample of one and scientifically it is a very small population group and thus prone to bias. I also know only a few souls who in the same boat as me and therefore have little objective observation.
My rock bottom is not a life in tatters nor a marriage broken, but it did leave people hurt in my reckless alcoholic wake. A mixture of sustained drinking and a badly understood inner rage had me lashing out in fury. Kicking doors, slamming cupboards and finally – to my utter and eternal shame physically hurting the one person I love and adore. When the dust had settled I was left nursing my hangover while she was having her broken rib x-rayed.
“I’m not so sure I have a good enough reason to give up drinking” said I as I unsteadily swayed between arrogance and remorse. “Well then you and I have little to say” said Rock Bottom. And so between broken promises to myself and to others I stumbled on “I hope I never have to meet you, but I’m not so sure” whispered Rock Bottom in my ear.
But there at the extremity is the core of it all. That is where there is nothing left but the truth. And so I lost my mind, my dignity and for a while my soul stood outside and watched silently in horror as I lashed and kicked and fought. “Fucking… love you… too much.”
“Who?” asked Rock Bottom.
“Kay, my wife” I replied.
“Oh? Not the bottle you caress and nature?” I was shocked. I had to pause and think.
“Fuck you Rock Bottom, no. I know who”.
He slinked off into the morning mist. He paused a moment and spoke over his shoulder “Take care, I’ll be back.”
“No you won’t for now I know. Now I have every reason not to drink. Thank you for the lesson, but leave me now I have a family to go and love.”
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ― J.K. Rowling