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What does it mean to ‘burn out’?

In relation to alcohol or drugs, you might have heard a manifestation containing the term ‘bottom out.’ For example, you may heard some one talk about an alcoholic brother saying, ‘If he keeps drinking the way in which he is drinking he is planning to bottom out, then maybe he will do anything about it.’ Or perhaps a girl talking about her best friend, ‘She just really isn’t doing well, she is bottoming out with all the drinking’? It is an expression that has become more and more popular; however, a lot of people remain uncertain about what it means. What does it mean to ‘bottom out’?

Essentially, to ‘bottom out’ would be to hit rock bottom as a result of drug or alcohol addiction. When we ‘burn out’, we let a habit influence our lives so much that we lose a whole lot of what is very important to us and we get ourselves into situations that are difficult to handle and/or get out of. To ‘bottom out’ is to hit the lower of lows, is to hit ‘rock bottom’, the worst possible place for a person to become. Ideally, hitting rock bottom will lead to change for the better. The idea is when you can’t get any lower, you can just go up.

Everybody’s description of ‘base out’ differs. Everyone has an alternative rock bottom based on who they’re and what’s most important to them in the world and what is the worst-case scenario for the individual. Very low might include:

* Being removed from school

* Loss of work

* Inability to preserve job

* Loss of chance

* A break-up or a divorce

* Loss of family and friends

* Loss of house and/or home

* Development of physical health problems

* Harming others

Because no two individuals are alike bottoming out is really a relative term. For some people, getting arrested for a DUI is a real wake-up call. It might cause the person to decide they should change. For a lot of, getting arrested is not bottoming out. Others may possibly lose their loved ones with their dependency before they determine that they have an issue. Regrettably, some people have to go to the bitter end before they’re ready to acknowledge that they need help. Some may even die without ever changing. Ideally, a lot of people will reach their particular base a long time before they have lost everything and everyone within their lives.

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