This isn’t making any sense…
You got sober, you took the hard road and you succeeded. You haven’t touched a drink in years and yet… you feel like shit.
Why is this happening? What did I do wrong? How can I get back to feeling the way I used to? Where can I find my pink cloud?
It is common to hear people in recovery talk about their sober bottoms. Sometimes, for whatever reason, depression can sit in and get you in a rut.
RELATED: Depression In Recovery
I know first hand what this feels like. Everyone, no matter what your social or financial status, has days where it all comes crashing down. Don’t give up, you can get through this.
The reason’s why people hit bottoms in sobriety are never ending. Depression can set in for many reasons. For the sake of this article we won’t focus too much on what those reasons are, but more so in how you can work past them.
1 – Get Back To Basics
Over time, it isn’t uncommon for people to slowly slip away from their program. Whatever your program may be, they only work if you actively maintain them. Some people work the steps, some people exercise, some people go to therapy. Whatever the case may be, if you have slowed down in your program it is critical that you get started again.
This is always the best place to start.
Keep it simple. You don’t have to conquer everything at once. What is your first step? Map it out. Book that therapy appointment and show up. Get to that meeting you haven’t attended in months. Swallow your pride and get there.
I find that often times I dread doing things that are good for me. I also find that after my commitment is over I feel better and I am glad I did it. You have to get started somewhere, so start at the beginning.
2 – Don’t Take Life So Seriously
I recently went on vacation with my family. We have had a long family tradition of renting two houses at the Jersey Shore and packing my huge family (I mean literally huge, everyone is at least 6 feet tall) into these houses.
This most recent vacation I came to a strong realization. I have been putting way too much pressure on myself. I have been beating myself up for no reason.
I find that addicts are generally very hard on themselves. Generally speaking, many addicts have self-worth issues and if we aren’t conquering the world we aren’t good enough.
Not every minute needs to be spent achieving some life goal. Goals are important, but so is life. So is family, so is sleep and relaxation.
You are beautiful… you are worthy of love and happiness. So take it easy and don’t be so hard on yourself.
3 – Get Out Of Your Head
Depression clearly has real scientific credibility behind it. Brain chemistry and serotonin levels play a huge role in depression. These clinical cases can often be fixed with medication and therapy.
However… I am convinced that a lot of depression symptoms occur when people become absorbed in themselves.
Helping other people is a proven method to get out of your head. The more time you spend thinking about helping other people, the less time you spend worrying about yourself and your problems.
Everyone has problems, that is just a fact of life.
If you can’t find a way to be of service, there are other ways to get out of your head. When I am feeling funky, I write. I try to create something that I feel could add to the world. Some of my friends read or work on creative projects they have.
4 – Keep On Moving
The worst thing you can do is sit in your sorrow.
Get off the couch, get dressed and go do something. Make sure you keep going to work and avoid the “sick day” at all costs.
You have to keep moving.
With that said, I get it. When you are feeling depressed, all you want to do is sit still and watch TV which in turn makes you more depressed. This initial jump is often times the hardest part. Once you get going, you can build momentum and continue to move forward.
No matter how many tips and tricks people tell you, nothing will take the place of work. It is the work that matters. At the end of the day, you will judge yourself on what you have done with your time. What you do is an extension of who you are, so get up and get at it!
Simple But Not Easy
It is one thing for me to sit behind a keyboard and tell you how to get out of your sober bottom. However, it isn’t as easy as reading a blog. It takes commitment.
That sober bottom can many times lead to relapse, and we can’t have that.
When in doubt, the single most important tip I can give is to not be afraid to ask for help. Getting humble and telling someone that you need help doesn’t make you a weak person. It is important to let people know where you are.
A sober bottom can be devastating, but it is not the end of the world. This too shall pass, and before you know it, you will be back to your happy go lucky self.
5 responses to “4 Tips To Get Out Of Your Sober Bottom”
Great article! I ‘m a recovering alike with an alike son who continually relapses but desires sobriety: he shared this with me. TX!
Wow this is exactly where I’m at right now. This article is exactly what I needed. Thanks!
Great read. This article exactly the situation i am presently in. You have given me a starting point. Thank you.
Thanx, got me off the couch.
Great read. I can sleep my life away and still feel fepressed. Getting going back to regular therapy has been a difficult thing to do, but necessary.i also need a hobby and exercise.Maybe up tmy meetings to 5 a week and new ones too. Sorry for fling on for so long and tks again for the article.