Make No Mistake: Support is a Basic Building Block of Recovery
Support in recovery is critical for success. In my opinion, whether someone struggles with addiction or not, support is a basic necessity of life. We all need it to some varying degree. And we all will go through times when we need it more than others. There is no shame in that. In fact, it’s a sign that thMere is a major transformation taking place. Growing and evolving are not meant to be done alone.
I think it’s unfortunate that in this day in age, asking for help has somehow become a sign of self-perceived weakness or failure. As someone who is helping others all day long, I ask for a lot of support in my life. I have to be okay inside of me, or how can I be okay for anyone else? I don’t try to figure everything out on my own. I did that for years, and what an incredible waste of energy it was. It was lonely and isolating. It left me feeling alone and without a sense of hope. Asking for support is something I do now with great ease and it makes my life run much more smoothly. And even more important than that, it makes me feel happier.
What Does Recovery Support Look Like?
As a recovery coach, I have witnessed how many people feel they cannot ask for the depth of support they need. They keep trying to keep it together, when in reality they are suffering. It is as if people need permission to not be okay. As if that is a crime to be at a low point. Once I reassure those I speak with that it is okay to not be okay, the walls come crumbling down. The tears start to flow and the journey to healing begins. To me, this is a sign of a much more “with it” person, than the person pretending that they don’t need any assistance. This is a sign of someone courageous and honest.
So, what does support look like in recovery? Like most things, there is no singular path that works for everyone. What matters is honing in on the type of support you personally need. Support can be therapy, psychiatric help, in-patient treatment, recovery support groups, family therapy, healthy friendships, coaching, and self-development just to name a few. The list of what help looks like could go into areas of health, business, finances, treating trauma, and even how to create a life that would feel fulfilling.
One important consideration I must bring up, is that no matter where you choose to start, treating the addiction will be the only way to lay a solid foundation. This cannot be skipped. It’s not uncommon for people to try to fix everything else in their life, not treat their addiction, and get absolutely nowhere. The reason for this is that the issues that are driving the addiction will inevitable spill into every other area. What is under the addiction is one of most foundational pieces to shift when creating a new and improved life. It is essential.
Personally, I believe that there are two big hindrances that keep people from asking for more support. The first hindrance is a fear of being judged. They are worried that they will appear as “less than” in some capacity. They don’t want to feel the shame or guilt that is usually underlying their addiction. They don’t want to seem out of control or disappoint others. This fear of judgement keeps the addiction going and ultimately is a recipe for staying stuck.
The second hindrance I see, is that people are too afraid to sign up for making a change. They feel it will be too hard or too painful. They are afraid they will fail. The truth is, failure is not possible. Failure is a man-made idea that keeps people from changing their lives. Failure is a lie. Throw it in the garbage. The only thing that can happen is someone can try and try again. Isn’t that what we are all doing in life anyway? Just trying our best? We get more than once chance.
What would the bravest and best case scenario that you could sign up for? That is the question here. Fear is a life-sucker and it robs people of a life they are worthy of living. Fear is a thief. It steals from people. It steals their chance for something better. In the name of playing it safe, people live a half a life. This is worth getting really honest about. Fear is out and courage is in. Courage doesn’t mean lack of fear, it means showing up to the honesty party anyway.
And I write all this with the utmost humility. I am not a great saint who has conquered all her fear. I think being real about the fact that fear is normal, that it is okay, is also something very helpful for us humans to remember. The tipping point however, is when we see that it is literally blocking us from making necessary changes. Fear is a problem when it becomes an excuse rather than just a normal part of what it means to be human.
A Clear Path to Change
All great changes comes from being clear inside of ourselves and then getting on a clear path to creating a change. And without the proper support system in place, we put an incredible amount of pressure on ourselves.
Additionally, it simply is not possible to make great strides alone. And if it was possible, why do it the hard way?
Images Courtesy of iStock