You’ve been through some ugly times and many moments you’re not proud of. You’ve admitted to yourself that you need help, and you know that the emotional and financial toll
on your family cannot continue.
Now comes the scary part: asking for help.
Don’t let your addiction hold you back any more than it already has. Here are few tips on how to ask for addiction help so that you can take the first steps toward leaving addiction behind.
Talk to Someone You Trust for Addiction Help
The best place to start is by talking with someone you trust.
Everyone has at least one person in their life that they reach for in times of great need. Someone they know will step up and hear them out and help them through.
You know who that person is in your life. And chances are, they’re going to be relieved that you asked for their help.
This will be a difficult conversation. You’re going to be more vulnerable than you’ve been in some time. But it’s the first step in admitting that you have a problem that you can’t handle on your own.
And, an FYI? It will get easier after the first conversation. 🙂
When you have that conversation, though, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
First and foremost, you need to be honest with your loved one.
Addiction is a lonely monster by nature. It drives you to isolate yourself from the people you care about to chase that elusive high, leads to let others down and lie about what you’re doing.
The first step in recovering from addiction is to stop lying. Stop lying to yourself, stop lying to the people around you, stop lying about the fact that you’re struggling and need help.
This is vital in asking for help because it’s a figurative olive branch to your loved ones. Chances are, no matter how much you love this person, you have lied to them in the course of your addiction.
Owning up to that, admitting you’ve wronged them, and asking for their help and forgiveness is the first step in showing your loved ones that you’re ready to accept responsibility for your addiction and start the long road toward recovery.
Share Why You’re Seeking Help
For many people fighting severe addiction, it becomes impossible to envision any kind of future. The addiction has spun so far out of hand that you cannot imagine what your life will be like without your drug of choice.
When you ask for help, it’s important to express to your loved ones why you’re asking. Show them the severity of the situation before you, and show them that you want to make the right choice but need support to make sure you stay the course.
Show them that you want to envision a brighter future, one without drugs and addiction and lying, one where your loved ones can rely on you and trust you. That will help them get their footing and help you figure out your next steps.
Write a Letter or Email
Some people are more comfortable expressing themselves verbally. Some people don’t want to admit their addiction out loud but know that if they don’t, they won’t work up the nerve to ask for help.
But for some, the prospect of bringing up their addiction and asking for help is too frightening.
If you fall into the third category, you don’t have to start the conversation verbally. Instead, you can start by writing a letter or email.
Taking the time to write everything down and ask for help gives you the time to think through what you want to say and find the words you need. It helps you get clear on what you intend to do about your addiction, and it gives you something concrete to read if you find yourself wavering.
Once you have the letter or email written, press send or leave the letter where you know your loved one will find it. Then, leave the room, close your computer, and walk away. It’s out of your hands, and you took the first step.
Meet with a Medical Professional
If you’re afraid of the prospect of speaking with your loved ones, if speaking to your loved ones isn’t an option, or if you don’t know where to begin, it can be a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor.
It’s tempting to try to treat addiction on your own. Here’s the problem: addiction is a medical disease, and if you’re coming off a severe addiction, it will be difficult to keep yourself honest when you’re terrified and all you want is another hit.
Making an appointment with your doctor–and making yourself show up–is one way of taking the next step out of your hands and asking for help. Your doctor will know how to advise you on next steps and can provide recommendations.
Check Yourself into a Detox or Rehab Program
This is a difficult step for many people to take on their own, especially if you’ve only recently acknowledged that you need help. If talking to your doctor is ripping the Band-Aid, then checking yourself directly into rehab is like taking a deep breath and leaping into the deep end of the pool feet first.
However, if you know you’re the kind of person that has to go all in and get it over with in order to move forward, then checking into rehab may be a beneficial first step.
Before you check in, make sure to do your homework on whether the program has what you need, and make sure you can afford the program (and the time away from your life).
Overcome Your Fear of Rejection
Regardless of whether you start by sitting down at the dinner table or by making an appointment with your doctor, you’ll have to overcome a significant hurdle: your fear of rejection.
Fear of rejection is normal for everyone, but if you’re trying to overcome your addiction, it may be amplified.
You’re afraid (or have yourself convinced) that you’re not worthy of anyone’s love or that your loved ones won’t be willing to help you. Your self-worth may be low, but it’s important to remember that it’s also skewed.
Remember: that fear in your head is tied up with the part of your brain that’s still addicted. Backing out because you’re afraid you might fail is another way of washing your hands of the difficult work of getting sober.
And if you have a strong support network of people who truly care about you, people who liked you before drugs took over your life and still like you at the core of who you are, then those people will be willing to help you if you ask.
You’re not less of a person than you were before you got addicted, and you’re still the same person you were before.
Let Go of Your Pride
Another key component for many addicts is letting go of pride when asking for help.
Many people feel embarrassed to ask for help because they believe that asking for help will show others that they’re too weak to overcome their demons on their own.
Listen. This is 2019, not 1949. People today know that addiction is a disease, and they know that everyone (yes, everyone) is allowed to ask for help.
Asking your loved ones to help you doesn’t show weakness. It shows them that you’re brave enough to do this even though it terrifies you.
Pretending to have your act together throughout the recovery process isn’t going to help. Remember our first tip? If you want to recover, you need to be honest with yourself and the people around you.
And honestly? This is not a movie. Recovery isn’t going to be pretty. But it will be worth it.
Push Back Against Your Shame (and Embrace It)
While you’re fighting through your pride, you also need to work through another barrier: your shame.
As an addict, you have a lot of shame. You’re ashamed of your addiction, ashamed of the things you did to support your addiction, and ashamed of how you hurt your loved ones in the name of your addiction.
But, as with your pride, pretending you have your act together isn’t going to help.
There’s a difference between wallowing in shame for your mistakes and feeling sorry for the hurt you have caused. Set your shame aside–you’re human, and you have a disease. Ask your loved ones for help and be prepared to show them that you’re sorry for the mistakes you made while chasing your addiction.
Remember That It’s Never Too Late to Change
Finally, always remember that it’s never too late for you to change.
Seeking help from your loved ones can be embarrassing, especially if you’re asking for help from someone that you hurt in the course of your addiction.
Here’s the thing: it’s never too late to do better. All you need to do is take the first step and ask for addiction help.