Thoughts on Rock Bottom
Throughout the holidays and into the new year, our team has heard from many clients saying they are at “rock bottom” with COVID. This put us to work…what do we need to hear right now? Today, hear from The Refuge Center Therapist, Diana Casella, MA, LMSW, on her thoughts around this subject and a few tips on finding new levels of joy.
When I think about rock bottom I think about the saying that I heard so often in substance abuse circles, which is “rock bottom is when you decide to stop digging.”
Substance abuse treatment and AA put a huge emphasis on personal responsibility and consequences. While I suppose that pandemic stress might be exacerbated by personal choices that may cause additional stress, I am assuming that the “rock bottom” we are hearing may actually be an expression of grief or an expression of “I am overwhelmed and so very tired.”
People may be in need of validation, relief, support or just for “something” to change. Tips I think I would contribute would be:
- Take a moment to accept that you are human and that being overwhelmed is an emotion that you can tolerate and that will pass, just like any other wave. If you are grieving for your pre-pandemic self, expectations and experiences, take a moment to acknowledge that. It’s ok to grieve.
- Ask yourself what you need in the moment to feel better, whether that is several deep breaths, a hot bath, sleep, a walk or a phone call to a friend and try to give this to yourself.
- Remind yourself that the pandemic circumstances we have been experiencing are not personal (we’re all experiencing this) or likely to be permanent (the pandemic circumstances ebb, flow and change).
- Ask yourself what you need more regularly and on a larger scale to bring you some ongoing relief; whether it is scheduled time to be spiritual, to move your body, to be creative or to rest, childcare or a schedule change so that you can have this time, the ability to connect regularly with supportive friends and family, or more regular date nights with your spouse or friends. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed that we become frozen, numb and foggy to the extent that considering change or new choices seems overwhelming in itself.
If that is how you feel, talking to a therapist may help you feel safe enough to begin to become curious about these things and empower you to make choices that move towards positive changes and ultimately, maybe some relief from that “rock bottom” feeling. The Refuge Center is here for you. You can reach us at 615-591-5262.