Binge or Bottom?
Is it hitting bottom or merely ending the most recent binge? Sometimes its hard to tell. But there are some telltale signs that might help you figure out which it is whether you are the addict or just a concerned bystander.
If you are the addict the most telling sign is a sense of desperation that floods your mind and soul. You know that if you act out again you WILL DIE, relationships WILL DIE, life as you have known it WILL END. You know that you must find a way to put this down and walk away from it. You know without a doubt that this addiction, whatever it is, has you by the throat and it's killing you.
Very often the first place an addict will turn is to God as he or she understands God to be. No one knows how many addicts have prayed the prayer, "God if you're there please show Yourself. I need You." My guess? Most all of us in some form or another have cried out to a higher power to save us from ourselves.
You are so deperate that you know you are willing to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. You humble yourself to the point of seeking help. And you actually do. You drag yourself to anyone you understand might be able to help you get free of it. If its a true bottom, the deperation WILL RESULT IN ACTIONS. You will attend meetings. You will show up for counseling sessions. You will act. You will DO WHATEVER IT TAKES
But if you are the concerned bystander it can be much harder to tell which is happening. The first thing I will tell you is to IGNORE THE WORDS AND LOOK FOR ACTIONS. Addicts will say pretty much anything to get people off their back about it. When you see actions its a solid sign that something positive is at work.
But you must be careful not to step in and carry the addict forward. Each person must pursue their own recovery. THERE IS NO FIXING OR RESCUING IN RECOVERY. You cannot do it for them. As elated as you may be to see change you cannot step in and work the addict's recovery for them.
So what can you do? Be cautiously optimistic, be available to give rides to meetings or counseling or church or work but DON'T OFFER. The addict must own their recovery and that means asking for help. This might seem harsh but it is the best course.
So if this is what constitutes hitting bottom what does merely ending a binge look like? Pretty much anything short of what I described above is just the end if a binge. In place of "this is killiing me" you'll here things like, "I gotta stop this." "I need to make a change". In place of the willingness to do whatever it takes you'll hear some form of bargaining or negotiating terms. Anything short of total surrender is just the end of a binge.
I hope this helps. It often very hard to tell the difference between the end of a binge and hitting bottom. If all else fails, wait it out and look for real, lasting change. The one sure sign. Then embrace the change.