Monday, April 29, 2013

A Salute To Bottoms

I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.

I made some comments this weekend on message in a bottle's blog The Bubble that I feel I should apologize for, or at least try to explain.

Paul wrote about his experience in rehab and when he wrote about his physical withdrawal symptoms, I really identified with them.  Although I have met others, on various message boards and blogs that I follow, that have drank long enough and hard enough to build up a physical dependence and then suffer through the same resulting withdrawal symptoms that I suffered, the majority of the bloggers I follow seem to have experienced a softer bottom than I did.  Sometimes when I read those blogs, I can't relate, I find myself saying, "Really? You only drank one bottle of wine a night? What's the problem?"  I'm sure the writers of those blogs read my blog sometimes and say, "Jesus, why in the world would someone let booze control their life that long?  Didn't she care about her family? How could she let herself sink that low?"

A hard bottom is not a red badge of courage, nor is it a Scarlet Letter of Shame. It is what it is, a turning point.  The same can be said of a soft bottom.   I've often thought that having a soft bottom takes a lot more strength and willpower.  To me, it seems much easier to walk a way from a trainwreck of a life that has been "totaled" then to walk away from a life that is starting to show the wear and tear and collateral damage from alcohol.  It takes so much more fortitude to pull back on the reigns when you can see that you are heading into danger then to let go of the reigns and barrel ahead, seduced into thinking that what lies ahead isn't as bad as it seems, that the ride might be worth the fall.

But then again, what about the courage it takes to crawl out of the bottle long enough to see all the destruction that your drinking has wrought lying about you in smoldering ruins and not crawl back in?  To see drinking yourself to death as an easier alternative, but decide to do whatever it takes to get sober, even if it kills you.

I take back what I said about hard bottoms not being red badges of courage, they are.  And so are soft bottoms.  We are all courageous survivors of the same bloody war.

Thank God we bounced!


  1. Hi Kary May
    As a soft bottom (left one is me!) I salute those of you that reached the hard bottom and then turned your life around. Giving up the booze as a soft bottom is hard enough, but I think when you have all the other issues that hard bottoms have to deal with - physical addiction, a life in tatters etc etc to make the change is huge and so immensely admirable. From my side, no apologies reqd. Your strength and that of others like you stuns and amazes me. C xx

  2. I probably have what some consider a soft bottom, but it's struck me that I had a low tolerance to pain and that is what motivated me to stop. I couldn't take the hangovers or the emotional suffering that came from my drinking. This was largely private suffering, and I think others might have been able to tough it out or ignore them or whatever. Pain is subjective, but guess I'm grateful for being such a wimp!