4 Tips to Asking for Help for Addiction
Asking for help usually means you must admit to something you’d prefer not to mention. Asking for help means you must admit you need other people. Asking for help means you can’t do something by yourself.
Our own pride, self-centeredness and ego often prevent us from asking for help; they convince us that we don’t need it. Guilt and shame can stop us in our tracks. And asking a family member or friend whom you’ve hurt through your addiction? Well, it’s painful.
It is often said that admitting to yourself that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol is the first step. And while that is a big step – the next one, may be even bigger: asking for help.
Asking for help for addiction isn’t easy – but it’s crucial, because you can’t overcome addiction on your own. Asking for help is something that you need to do – because you won’t get help, if you don’t seek it.
If you are fearing or dreading reaching out for help with addiction, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Asking for help shows courage.
Asking for help doesn’t make you weak – in fact, it’s the complete opposite. Your pride and self-centeredness are actually what make you weak, because they make you stand alone. It takes strength and humility to turn to others for a hand – and there is also strength to be found in numbers.
It’s natural to want to be proud of your accomplishments. But when you’ve destroyed relationships, finances, and careers by a drug or alcohol addiction – it’s hard to be proud of anything you’ve done. Don’t let your pride feed you excuses to keep drinking and using. Recognize that it takes courage to drop your ego – and strength to locate help.
Asking for help does NOT make you a burden.
Do you feel like your friends and family have been through enough? That they don’t want to deal with your problems anymore? That you’re only a burden to them?
The truth is – you’re not.
Yes, your family and friends have likely been through a lot of their own struggles because of your addiction – but that’s all the more reason they’ll want you to get into an addiction treatment program. When one person helps another, it’s not typically because helping is convenient – it’s because they care.
Asking for help also doesn’t make you dependent on others; it means that you absolutely need the support, guidance, and counseling of professionals in order to create a healthy life, independent from addiction. Asking for and receive help will give you the strength and confidence to live you life with the support of friends and colleagues that you meet in your recovery.
Desperation and manipulation have likely become a large part of your daily existence, thanks to drug or alcohol addiction. But those actions must end when you ask for help.
Honesty is key when asking for help, because it sets you up with a solid foundation to begin your recovery. The act of surrender and overcoming your denial requires intense honesty and acceptance.
Honesty isn’t an easy part of asking for help – if it was, anyone could get into recovery without damage to their ego. Honesty is accepting that your ego is wrong – that you can’t do this alone; you need help. Once you get honest with yourself and others and can face that fact – you can move forward and start to change.
Don’t be embarrassed.
Asking for help puts you in a vulnerable position. However, it’s important to recognize that you should not be embarrassed about needing help. If you’re nervous to talk to your parents or spouse or adult children or siblings – don’t be. It’s likely that they have noticed and worried about your addiction for some time now. If they haven’t noticed, and they are surprised, it’s more than likely they’ll still want to do everything in their power to help you fight and overcome your addiction. Remember, even though you may be the one who is actively addicted drugs and alcohol – your family and friends are affected, as well. They want you to be well.
When you are ready to ask for help – take action by selecting the person you think will be most likely to be willing and ready to support you in your decision to get treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. For most people, this person is a close family member – like a parent or a sibling. The most important thing about asking for help for addiction – is that it is never too late. No matter what has happened in your life or in your relationships, there is still hope.