Raising Rock Bottom: Anxiety Through a Different Lense.
A dear old friend of mine’s sister was a drug and alcohol counselor whose philosophy was focused on ‘raising rock bottom’.
Sometimes the idea of clean, straight and narrow is too much, at least at first and that is were raising rock bottom comes in.
If rock bottom was once a weekend bender, that involved some infidelity, illegal drugs and a run in with law enforcement …. well raising it might be a 24 hour bender, with just a little of the above.
I loved this idea when it was introduced to me, and I love it now. I have been thinking about addiction lately (some of my best friends are addict’s muahaha).
Jokes aside my pain psychologist recently suggested I look at everything through an ‘addiction lens’. Like I am addicted to thinking, eating, anything. I was surprisingly UN-offended. But mostly because I was smug in the knowledge of not having any active addictions to socially unacceptable things. My addictions are totally acceptable, thinking, working, sugar (boy am I not indulging that one just now), being right. In the past I could have added partying … loving ….. the wrong men (you know who you are). Don’t let the benign nature of my current addictions fool you…..
The metaphor of raising rock bottom is useful outside addiction, metaphors are crafty like that.
Raising rock bottom is helpful when thinking about anxiety. For me rock bottom was probably in a hotel room in Auckland airport a few months ago, where my anxiety was so bad I was having trouble standing. Rock bottom are those nights of wide awake …. eyes staring at the shadows and listening to the house sleep. Rock bottom is those times in a que in a shop where it is all I can do not to just lie down, or run out or scream or start sobbing hysterically. Rock bottom is public speaking (which was once my job) and forgetting what I am saying, my name and why I am even here. Rock bottom is cancer. I get cancer a couple of times a week. This sounds funny …. it is anything but.
So how might raising rock bottom look?
I think maybe I raised rock bottom this week when I was sick again and although I slipped backwards, I got down and more than a bit blue, I didn’t quite tip over to hell. I just sat in the waiting room a few times.
What would raising rock bottom look like for you?