I have to admit that I still have a hard time asking for help, but I do it anyway. Why? I have to! I have to in order to stay sober!
I always thought that I could do anything by myself, after all I am a fixer, a doer, a problem solver, but with quitting drinking… it was totally different! I didn’t know where to start or what to expect. I was scared. At the same time my denial ran deep, and shame and guilt were constantly asserting themselves. It was really hard to tell anyone what I was going through. But when I finally decided that I was going to get sober, it just didn’t matter, I was willing to do whatever it took.
Many of us do not ask for help because of the shame and guilt associated with substance use disorder. By asking for help we are in many ways admitting that we cannot stop on our own. We may feel like failures for not being able to control our own drinking. We may feel judged and stereotyped. We may think that we are completely alone.
Reasons we don’t ask for help:
- Fear of seeming weak or incapable
- Fear of being misunderstood
- Fear of being a burden
- Fear of being ridiculed.
- Fear of being rejected.
- Fear of ____________
We also may think that sobriety is an easy task, just stop drinking and things will fall into place. We like being in control of the situation as much as possible, we may even have a plan of sorts. We get ready to conquer our drinking problem and get rid of it once and for all! But often as our bodies and mind is trying to return to normalcy, we get overwhelmed, and flooded with emotions that we do not know how to deal with. We start feeling unsure and unstable about our new found condition. Frequently, this becomes so difficult that we just turn back to drinking!
Unfortunately just putting down the drink is not enough. We find that beyond getting over the hangover days and trying to find a stable ground on which we can finally thrive, there is a whole lot more to getting sober. Dealing with the past may turn out to be a huge task and looking towards the future may seem bleak. Going through this unknown journey alone is hard, we need others like us to help guide us through it.
Today, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have support when you are trying to stay sober. It is a proven fact that those with any kind of support, whether it is a 12 step program, an online community or a friend or relative, you have a better chance attaining sobriety and continuing it long term.
Important things to remember about recovery are:
- First, recovery is something worked towards.
- Second, the journey of recovery is individual in nature but,
- Third, it is much easier with like people to support us.
By getting involved and finding a support circle, we can hear/read about other people’s stories and decide if there are any connections between their stories and ours. We can overcome some of our own denial about our drinking. We can see that substance use disorder can affect anybody – good people, with good jobs and good families can have an addiction. We may know all this intellectually, but also we need to see it and believe it. We tend to think that we are different and this is only happening to us. However when it comes to addiction it is comforting to know that we are not alone and that there is a huge community of sober and recovering people just like us.
So here is the secret! You have a CHOICE! And it is all yours! You can choose to be stressed, overwhelmed, and alone, or you can choose to ask, reach out or share and connect. So I urge you to connect! To voice your story, your struggles and triumphs. Chances are that someone out there is going through exactly the same thing as you, and can also relate and offer you support. In return, you can help them out too and make a friend for life!
Lets lift each other up!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles. You may also find some great inspiration, support and resources at the bottom of this page.