I continue to speak out about alcoholism, addiction, and recovery becaus...
When it comes to addiction, one of the most difficult things for people to do is ask for help. In fact, asking for help can be so difficult that sometimes it seems easier to just continue living in a downward spiral rather than reach out.
For me personally, that was the case. There were many instances when I was drinking that I realized I probably needed help, but I didn’t know how to ask for it. Plus, I didn’t want to. I felt like asking for help was admitting that I had no control over my life, and I so desperately wanted to cling to feeling like I did have control. So, I just continued living the way I was, even though I was miserable. It was only once that help was forced upon me that I realized there were numerous ways in which I could have reached out when I was struggling.
If you find yourself in the same position, these are a few ways you can ask for help.
1. Write a letter or an email.
Though not the case for everyone, writing is sometimes easier than speaking, especially when it comes to asking for help. There is something about writing that allows you to collect your thoughts and organize them in a way that makes sense. Through doing so, you may even come to some new realizations about yourself and your struggles. Another benefit is that once you hit send or mail what you have written, there’s no going back. You can’t suddenly decide you don’t want help and undo your actions, and there is some relief in knowing that it’s out of your hands to an extent.
2. Ask for help from a medical professional.
Because addiction is a disease, medical doctors have training in knowing what to look for and how to proceed when someone needs help. If you know you are struggling, make an appointment with your doctor, and tell them what has been going on. They’ll likely have some questions for you in order to better assist you in the next steps. Not much fazes doctors, which is a comfort when admitting something that is difficult for you. Just remember that they’ve likely seen and heard it before.
3. Reach out to someone online or by phone.
There are so many resources on the internet, including helpline numbers, chat rooms, and websites for treatment facilities. A quick Google search will likely turn up a variety of options. Sometimes, it’s easier to admit to struggling from the safety of a computer rather than face-to-face with someone, and that is perfectly OK. It’s also helpful for some people to talk to a stranger first, before talking to someone they are familiar with. There is less fear of judgment that way. When you reach out to someone online or via telephone, they are able to direct you as to what the ideal next steps are for you depending on your particular situation. Of course, it’s up to you to take those steps.
4. Look for someone who has been through the same thing.
There is no one who has better advice than someone who has been through a struggle similar to yours and has come out the other side. These people are often more than willing to talk to you and try to understand your position. They likely remember what it was like to be where you are and will do what they can to ease your fears. You can ask them what worked for them and try to determine whether the same course of action would work well for you.
5. Talk to someone you trust greatly.
Most people have someone in their life that they know they can talk to about anything. If you have this person, turn to them. Even if they have no personal experience with addiction, they are a listening ear and can help you make sense of what is going on. There is comfort in knowing you have someone on your side and someone who will be there through the hard parts of life.
Not everyone struggling with addiction will be able to ask for help because the truth is that sometimes it is just too hard. The good news is that even if you can’t seek out help, help sometimes still finds its way to you. If you have any desire to reach out for help, do so. Chances are you will feel like a huge weight has been lifted and that you have taken steps in the right direction.
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