One of the biggest regrets in my life is that I didn’t ask for help when I needed it most. Seven years ago, I had been going through a series of hardships alone, and even though I didn’t know how to overcome them myself, I was too proud to let anyone know that, inside, I was secretly suffering.
Instead of reaching out, I chose to numb my pain with alcohol, drinking so much one night that I crashed into another car on my way home. That decision will always haunt me…all because I feared that if I told others I was struggling, it would reveal that I didn’t have it together.
Fight the Fear
Fear and pride often play a big part in preventing us from seeking support, but asking for help actually reveals strength…not weakness. Humbling yourself in front of those you care about can be difficult to do, but the rewards justify the means. Stepping up and expressing your vulnerability not only gains their respect, it also puts supporters in your corner.
Reaching out and showing that you’re (gasp) only human also yields other benefits, such as:
- It’s constructive: When hard times hit, it’s easy to feel powerless and overwhelmed. It’s even easier to let those emotions paralyze you into not doing anything about it at all.
In the past, you relied on drugs and alcohol to help you escape these difficult moments; now you have the choice to be proactive and utilize healthy solutions. By asking friends and family members for help, you’re showing you have the power to take matters into your own hands and rebuild your life.
- It allows new connections to be made: Asking for help and voicing your vulnerability, especially in safe settings like 12-step meetings, gives you the opportunity to make new friends and connections. It also exposes you to other people who have been in your shoes…people who can offer motivation and inspiration to your recovery.
- It’s a learning experience: Seeking help shows humility, which is vital to staying sober. By admitting that you don’t have all the answers, you’re opening the door for learning and personal growth.
Recovery is a Group Effort
Addiction is a disease that requires great strength and perseverance to overcome; you’ll need shoulders to lean on when the going gets tough. Remember, it takes a strong and courageous person to take responsibility for a problem and the pain it causes; learning to ask for help in particularly tough times can often mean the difference between relapse and long-lasting recovery.
Additional Reading: Embracing the Now: Time to Get Over the Ghosts of Your Past
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