So, you finished treatment and are now sober. You are back at home, back to work, back in the real world. You are in recovery, and your friends and family could not be more proud. But when you start to get overwhelmed with stress, your cravings come back, and you miss using. You start to feel defeated. You went to treatment and you are supposed to be fine now, right?
Know that recovery is not something that occurs overnight. It is not something that you get after 30 days. Recovery is a journey – a long one – and sometimes setbacks are inevitable, which is why it is important to know how to ask for help. Asking for help can be difficult, but when it comes to recovery, asking for help can be the difference between life and death. Below are some tips on how to ask for help when you need it most.
Oftentimes, people are embarrassed to ask for help because they think that asking for help makes them seem weak. Forget about that. It is 2023, not 1950; men can cry, women can be strong, and anyone is allowed to ask for help. Admitting that you have a problem shows strength and courage. And more importantly, it shows that you value your life and that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to improve it.
Pretending to have your act together when you are struggling will hurt the progress you have made. Remember, you are relearning how to live a sober life. And just as if you were relearning to walk after an accident, there are going to be moments when you will need some extra help. It is OK to ask for it. Do not let your ego stand in the way of a healthier, happier life.
One of the hardest thing about asking for help is the fear of someone saying “no,” but if you build a strong support circle, there is a good chance that there will always be someone available to help. What is important in asking for help is to not get give up. Let’s say that you ask someone in your group to be your sponsor and they say no – do not get discouraged! Realize that they might have something going on in their lives that is preventing them from giving you their full support. It does not mean that there is not someone else who would love to help you.
When you need help, do not use one “no” as an excuse to stop seeking a solution for the problem. If one person says no, go to the next. Ask members of your support group, a friend, coworker, a family member, someone in your church, or try a sober app. Help is out there, all you have to do is ask. It is never too early or late to ask for help. Know that there is no such thing as too early or too late when it comes to recovery. You may have one fleeting thought about having a drink and think that it is too miniscule to talk about, but it is not. You do not have to wait until you are driving to the liquor store to ask for help.
Maybe you relapsed, you had a drink and then five more, and now you think that it is too late to ask for help, but it is not. It is never too late.
There’s a saying: “No one said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.” That saying applies to recovery. Recovery is difficult; there are going to be setbacks along the road. Just remember why you started and never give up on yourself.