Rock Bottom for the New Year?

marcus mottley Dec 08, 2021

By Dr. Marcus Mottley


“Hitting rock bottom” is a phrase that I heard and used almost everyday when I was an Addiction Counselor in the District of Columbia working with addicts from all backgrounds!

Two things happened yesterday that reminded me of the phrase.

The first thing is that I received a call from a family member of one of my former clients notifying me of her passing. The client had been an addict from age 15 and had also been diagnosed with HIV. But… she had been in recovery from heroin addiction for 31 years. (Yep, it has been that long since I was in the field.) During those 31 years she had also been managing her many other health challenges (as you can imagine) exquisitely well.

Her journey to recovery and management of her health challenges (emotional, mental and physical) is one that should be written and recorded as a blueprint for others.

The one thing that stands out for me as a clinician is the precise event and the exact moment when she decided that ‘enough is enough’ and that she had to ‘make a change’… and that ‘if it was to be it was up to she’…

All clichés… don’t you think?

Well… these were clichés that changed her life.

When she decided and declared that ‘enough is enough’ she also told me that she now understood and felt and experienced ‘rock bottom’ (another ‘so-called’ cliché).

And that feeling – that experience – that insight and understanding of where she was in that precise moment in her life… That was deeply traumatic. She cried for days. She prayed for days. And, then she cried a lot more.

Eventually… she made a decision… She was not going to ‘try’ any longer. She was going to do it. Recover. Climb up out of the pit that she was in. That she had put herself in…



Understanding her weaknesses.

Understanding her loneliness.

Clear about the rocky and treacherous climb ahead.

Understanding her pain.

Understanding her power.

Understanding her support system.

Having minimal insights into the good, the bad and the ugly of the journey.

Rembering her strengths… (that she forgot that she had…)


The second thing that happened yesterday, was that I received an email from one of my readers revealing to me that he/she was going to focus on their ‘strengths’ for 2022.

In the email, the person said, “Sometimes we focus so much on all there is to improve, that we forget our strengths and unfortunately in the process, our strengths could get lost.”

And that reminded me of this quote:

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” Bob Marley


Sadly, right now, almost everyone is focused on our public health, social and economic problems. Our attention right now is focused on our problems and the challenges we face.

And, as I read comments such as those, and when I remember the struggles of my clients, I am personally cautioned that I shouldn’t wait to hit my own ‘rock bottom’.

I must remember that I am strong…. And I am determined to use my strengths NOW and not wait until ‘being strong is my only choice.’


How about you?

What are your strengths that you can start using right now – today?

How can you stop yourself from hitting rock bottom financially, in your relationships, at work and in your career, with respect to your health, emotionally, mentally and in all the other facets of your life?

Remember how strong you are.

Need help identifying your strengths? Need support? Contact your Coach or Counselor. Or contact me. Or use one of my programs to help you lift yourself up or firmly identify and remind yourself of the strengths that you already possess!

Don’t wait until being strong is your only choice – or when you hit rock bottom!

Why? Because not everyone climbs out from the depth of that purgatory! Many get stuck there – forever.

Get help as possible


50% Complete

For Your Online Safety

You will receive an email immediately asking you to confirm your request to be notified of new articles.