This discussion topic about hitting rock bottom in sexual addiction is from one of our friends in recovery, Kevin. Thanks for contributing to the group discussion and for the time you put into collecting you thoughts on this topic. If anyone is interested in sharing a discussion topic, please reach out to me here.
I struggle with the oft stated sentiment that is something like, “An addict must hit rock bottom before he is ready to apply the principles of recovery.” In fact, the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program manual states, “Remember that most of us had to “hit bottom” before we were ready to study and apply these principles.”
I think this is a misnomer. I did struggle getting ready to study and apply the principles of recovery, but I wouldn’t describe my “come to Jesus” moment as “hitting bottom.” I would describe it as having God open my eyes to the true state I was in.
I have met many people in ARP group meetings or as sponsees assigned me in the ARP Support program who have repeatedly hit rock bottom and been scrapped along through intense destruction of their lives and their loved ones lives. Often, that destruction is not enough to spur the willingness to do whatever is necessary. Yet, they certainly have “hit bottom”. Many divorces, excommunication from the church even, and yet that is not enough.
Others struggle believing they are ready to recover because they have not “hit bottom”.
The reality is, hitting bottom has nothing to do with it. It might help humble a person, but what is needed is a recognition of their state before God; a recognition that they cannot do it; a willingness to give up any conditions and do whatever it is God wants them to do to recover.
I think addicts looking to recover are inhibited in their recovery by thinking they have to hit bottom first, or by thinking that since they hit bottom they should be ready to recover. The connotations of what “hit bottom” means are so skewed and varied that the terminology gets in the way of looking for what is really needed. I think it is better to describe it as “having God open our understanding to the true state we are in.”
When my understanding was opened to the true state I was in, I knew I was damned until I recovered from this addiction and I knew that I was incapable of overcoming that damnation.
What are your thoughts? Does someone have to hit a “rock bottom” to start recovery?