Addiction is an isolating disease. It can make your life small and your relationships strained, until all that’s left to keep you going is a drink or a drug.
For that reason, it can sometimes be difficult to reach out for help when you’re ready for recovery. A lot of people with substance use disorders are out of practice when it comes to vulnerable communications with others. Even for people with clean and sober time under their belts, asking for help can be a brutal experience.
But knowing when you need help and knowing how to ask for it is an essential part of recovery.
Here are some tips to make it easier to get the help you need.
Every time you ask for help, you basically do the first three of the 12 Steps in one fell swoop: One, I can’t do this. Two, maybe someone else could help me. Three, I think I’ll let them. Opening your mind to a possibility other than “I got this” is the first step towards getting help.
2. Pick the right person.
Asking for help is scary because you ARE putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Make sure you go to the right person, so you don’t get hurt. If you have a sponsor, or recovery friends, they can all be great resources for solid support and advice. You can even make a general request for help in your share at a meeting. It’s probably best not to reach out to someone who is active in their addiction.
3. Try to stay open to feedback and take direction.
Asking for help means staying open to the form that help might take. Remember that you surrendered your own control over the situation, and try to stay open to the guidance you receive. Just because you don’t like someone’s advice, don’t shut down and give up on the process altogether.
4. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Sometimes, getting help means asking more than once. If you have a bad experience from the start, don’t shut down and give up. The help you need could be right around the corner.