Final Bottom Lines: Two Options

Final Bottom Lines

The Final Bottom Line 

Below is an example letter of a final bottom line to a person of concern. 

Dear Bob,

In life, we make decisions that seem insignificant, but in retrospect, we realize they were pivotal moments, small decisions that change the course of our life. 

Today, we are asking you to make one of those decisions that will effect the rest of our lives.

When people talk about addiction, “rock bottom” is often used as a barometer of how well someone is handling themselves. Personally, I feel as if I have stood by and watched you hit rock bottom on numerous occasions. Every time, I would tell myself, “There’s no way this could get any worse,” only to see you sink to a new level.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve realized that seeking professional help is the best course of action and decided to come together, as a family, to build a recovery plan for you. You have seen this plan – we’ve presented it to you, and even changed it to accommodate your requests. But still, there has been no change on your part.

We have offered to register you for therapy, rehabilitation, and coaching, and while you agreed to accept help, your actions have remained the same. Maybe you aren’t taking this seriously because you think we’re joking or that if enough time passes, we’ll forget about this. But I can assure you, this time is different. We can’t and won’t live with this addiction running our lives any longer.

We are at the point that you need to tell us what you are going to do. This is not an ultimatum; it is a choice. Like all choices in life, your choice will have consequences.

Option A

A path of recovery like the one we presented originally, complete with treatment, sober living, and an aftercare program. We are fully supportive of this path and will be there every step of the way, through the ups and downs of recovery.

Together, we will enlist the help of professionals to get us through to the other side. In the past, we have tried to do it your way; now we’re going to do it the right way.

Option B

If you would like to continue drinking, you can choose to do that too. If you want to continue to drink, you need to let me know today.

The consequence of choosing Option B, is I will no longer be there to watch you get worse (nor will I support you financially, there will be legal / custody ramifications). It’s not an easy decision to make, today we are either in recovery or we are going different ways.  

I was never given a choice in your addiction. You drank and I had to deal with the consequences.  You never asked how I felt about it, instead, you covered it up with lies. My bottom line has always been the safety of the children, but you have crossed these boundaries on numerous occasions.

There is no middle ground, there is no third option, and no, you can’t have time to “think about it” and no, you can’t do it your way. This situation has gone long enough. I am truly hoping for a fairy tale ending, where you accept professional treatment and our family begins a recovery program.

Yes, we understand this might be a painful process for you. But we’re asking you to give up drinking in exchange for a healthy relationship with your family. We want to bond and be happy, like we were when we first got engaged, had kids, and went on vacations. It may seem like we’re asking a lot from you, but we know that you can do it. We believe in you.


Will you continue to use or will you agree to go to treatment today?


About Adam Banks

Adam Banks is a certified interventionist and the owner of Adam Banks Recovery. After receiving an MBA from the University of Chicago, Adam built a company acquired by United Health Care. His discipline and attention to detail comes from his former career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.

Today, Adam is dedicated to helping others achieve long-term sobriety. His work has guided executives, pilots, and physicians on paths to recovery. Adam brings families together through a loving and inclusive approach.

Adam has authored four books on addiction. His recent work, Navigating Recovery Ground School: 12 Lessons to Help Families Navigate Recovery, educates families on the entire intervention process. He also offers a free video course for families considering an intervention for a loved one. 

Adam is available for alcohol and drug intervention services in New York, Long Island, the Hamptons as well as nationally and internationally. 

Recommended Posts