One of the hardest calls to make is one where you have to reach out for help. For most people, asking for help is hard to do, regardless of what the need is. There might be feelings of vulnerability, fear of being judged, worry that you might look weak, or a fear of rejection when you ask for assistance. There are many reasons why people tend to try to do what they need on their own and avoid the need to ask for help.
There are dozens of reasons that might prevent us from making a call for help. Asking for help can:
- Make us feel weak or vulnerable.
- Challenge our sense of pride for doing things on our own.
- Make us feel like we don’t deserve to receive help.
- Create fear of being rejected.
- Points out to us that we might not have anyone to ask for help from.
- Create feelings of suicide, especially when we have tried to ask for help in the past and have been abused or rejected for our needs.
- Create fear of depending too much on someone else for our needs.
However, when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction (and addiction of any kind), it’s nearly impossible to quit on your own. It’s necessary to call for help and find the right kind of assistance for the type of addiction you’re struggling with as well as for the particular needs you have.
If you know that you need to get help, but haven’t perhaps the above reasons are keeping you from calling. However, other reasons, specifically related to addiction, that can keep you from making the call you need includes:
- Fear of legal retaliation.
- Fear of being judged.
- Not wanting others to find out.
- Afraid of changing your life.
It’s typical to experience a heavy amount of ambivalence when it comes to seeking help for addiction. Ambivalence is that experience of holding two positions at the same time. You might want to get help, but you’re afraid of the change it’s going to cause in your life. You might know that you’re going to need help to quit but you’re afraid of what others will think.
A few things you can do to help you move closer to calling includes:
Make a list of the reasons why you want to quit. This could be things like – for your children, for your career, to save your marriage, etc. There is always something worth fighting for, even it’s to save your life!
Imagine what you’re life will be like without having to struggle with an addiction. Do this in detail. Do you imagine having more time for your children? Do you imagine having the mental clarity to go back to school? Do you imagine having the physical strength to run a marathon, or another reach another similar goal in life? What are the resources, skills, and strengths you will have if you’re no longer struggling with an addiction?
Prepare how you’re going to ask for help. Make a list of the specific people you’re going to call. Perhaps you’ll call your closest family members, get their support, and then call an addiction treatment center. Perhaps you need to have a conversation with your spouse. And you might also prepare how you’ll handle it if someone refuses your request. If you ask for support from a friend and he or she refuses, be prepared ahead of time for how you’ll respond.
Continue to focus on why you want to quit. Even after you get sober, there may be times when you want to get high or drink again. Having that list of reasons to quit handy can help you through these challenging times. Furthermore, you might also carry in your wallet a list of phone numbers you can call when you need to.
Remember that asking for help can make you stronger and more independent in the long run. Although you might feel vulnerable now, once you’re past the discomfort of your initial recovery, you’ll likely be happy about reaching the goal that you set out for yourself.
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