People give up in different ways. The process looks different but the starting point of the journey and the destination are the same for everyone: a person begins to decline in wellness, often not realizing they are on a downward slope. The end result will be giving up on themselves, the true “bottom” people with addictions experience. Entering recovery is not a bottom, although a person is likely at the end of her rope. Recovery is embracing the idea that there is hope,. I reject the traditional use of the word bottom as it relates to addiction. In my view, the bottom is a fathomless depth. Even the person does not know how much lower she will sink but she is certain she is lower than she ever imagined and she is certain things can and will get worse. There is no hope for recovery. In the conceptualization every addict hits a personal bottom. The person never suspected she could get this low and she views her life with a sense of wonder. All of those irrelevant words about people she never expected to so much as stand beside…these words refer to her! Homeless. Addicted. Prostitute. Booster. Identity theft. Arrest warrants. These words describe her and the people she associates with. How very interesting and unexpected. Oh well. Once she says oh well, she stops trying to pretend she is not doing what she is doing. The double life is gone. The private life behind closed doors is over. Like Bob Dillon said, “you’re invisible now. You’ve got no secrets to conceal.” She does not care who knows her truth, who sees what was once a closely guarded secret. What action served as the bridge between trying to maintain and saying whatever? To me, completely giving up was not being on the streets as long as I was walking around. But I refused to sit on the street. I never fashioned a makeshift tent from cloths and tarps and such. I never collected cardboard boxes to flatten into a sleeping pallet. I refused to be seen sitting amongst the homeless, even by the guys who were ir their cars looking for someone like me. I wanted them to think better of me. Maybe not sitting on the sidewalk was key to getting off the street.