by April Pittman, M.S., M.S., B.S., Counselor at COPAC Addiction impacts the entire family system.…
How to Ask for Help for Your Addiction
Beating addiction alone is almost impossible, but asking for help can also seem far-fetched. If you are struggling with addiction and have decided to get help, you’re halfway there. Having support from people who love and care about you is essential to your success in getting sober and staying clean. If you’re afraid to ask these people to help and support you as you go through treatment, remember that no matter what you have done, they still love you. Asking for help is hard, but you can do it.
Importance of Support
To help motivate you to reach out to friends or family members, consider just how important it is to have the support of others as you try to heal. Social support helps us in so many ways, both directly and indirectly. Friends and family can help you directly by taking you to rehab, giving you a place to live while in early recovery or by helping you pay for treatment. Indirectly, they help you mitigate the stress of your situation. Imagine trying to cope with the difficulty of treatment alone. Now imagine facing it knowing that you have people backing you up. Doesn’t the latter sound better? Doesn’t it just make yourelax already?
Overcome Your Fear of Rejection
One of the things that may be holding you back from asking for help is the fear that they will say no. A fear of rejection is normal for all people, not just addicts, but for you it may be amplified. You might wonder why you are worthy of anyone’s love and support or why anyone would bother to help you. As an addict, your sense of self-worth is probably low, but you should know that it is also skewed. You are not less of a person for having an addiction and you are also not a different person from who you werebefore your addiction. The people who liked you before drugs took over your life still like who you are.
Before you ask someone for help, try a small exercise. Write down what you like about yourself. If youneed to, think back to a time before addiction took over your life. Next, write down a description of your relationship with the person you hope to approach. Again, think back to a time before addiction. In doing this, you will remember why you are likable and valuable. The friend or family member you are reaching out to will also remember.
Get Over the Shame
Shame is another barrier to asking for help, and it is powerful. As an addict, you are probably ashamed of your disease, but remember that it is a disease. You may also be ashamed of the things you have done while addicted that hurt the people you love. You should be sorry about those things, but not ashamed. Shame means feeling unworthy. You are worthy because you are human. You made a mistake abusing drugs and you got a disease. There is no shame in that. Don’t let shame stop you from asking for help.
Be Direct, Honest and Ask for Help
When you have chosen someone to talk to, reach out with honesty and truth. Don’t try to diminish your problem with addiction or make it seem less severe than it really is. Tell your loved one the truth, including the fact that you need help and that you can’t get better alone. Make a commitment to get treatment and be genuine in that commitment, and the people who care about you will be more than happy to support you. They will be thrilled that you finally asked.