It has been a long road, but here you are in recovery. You have done all the hard work of getting sober and perhaps now you are beginning to enter life with newfound hope and promise. Yet, what do you do when difficult life circumstances occur? When you struggle with the things life throws at you, you may get overwhelmed. After all the assistance you have already received, it can feel like you are being a burden and you may not want to ask for more help.
Reaching out means you are strong enough to recognize that you still need help. We all need support sometimes and finding it is a mark of mental fortitude and bravery. It is important to know the reasons why it is okay to ask for help and how you can reach out.
How Do I Ask For Help?
While in early sobriety, you may feel as though you have achieved stability and will not encounter any further stumbling blocks. Yet, random life circumstances happen no matter what, and it is important to recognize when things become too overwhelming for you to handle by yourself. Sobriety is not a cure for addiction; recovery is a continual process of healing.
Learning to ask for help in trying times is one of the most important skills you can learn. You may feel embarrassed, but remember that substance use disorder (SUD) is a chronic disease that requires constant maintenance. Recognizing this makes you strong, and reaching out makes you brave.
It’s Okay to Reach Out
If you have trouble reaching out, remember that honesty is the best policy. Be forthcoming with your support network about your struggles. Let them know what you need and ask them directly for help. The people who support your recovery are there for you to lean on.
If you are still struggling to reach out to your support network, start by reaching out to fellow people in recovery. A sober buddy may understand your struggle personally and may have advice on how to get through.
Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to a trusted confidante, someone who you feel most comfortable with. Other times it can be easier to chat with someone over the internet rather than face to face. You may find comfort in support groups with larger numbers of people who share your experiences or in smaller groups where there are not as many eyes and ears on you.
However you feel most comfortable asking for help, know that you have many options available to receive assistance.
When You Need Help in Recovery
No matter how you choose to reach out, you are courageous in doing so. After all, one of the bravest things you have done is getting treatment to achieve sobriety, and now here you are on the road to recovery.
When reaching out, know that there are resources available to you. Therapists or counselors are great resources and are there to listen. Some organizations with resources available to assist you in recovery include:
- Narcotics Anonymous (nar-anon or NA)
- Alcoholics Anonymous (al-anon or AA)
- Faces and Voices of Recovery
Knowing Your Limits
The journey toward recovery has its ups and downs. Even after completing treatment, you will likely experience hurdles and moments where you feel weak. The most important thing is that you keep moving forward. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, but know when need to reach out for help. You know your limits better than anyone else. Only you can decide when you need someone to lean on.
When you reach your limits, it is important not to let fear keep you from moving forward. Fear of asking for help is a natural response, but being honest about your struggle can be far more rewarding. Communication is key. You have to let others know when you have had as much as you can take. Their words and actions have the power to lift you up if only you have the courage to let them.
Why It’s Okay to Struggle and Get Help
Addiction can happen to anyone. One in seven people in the United States struggles with SUD. It is a treatable disease, though one that requires a lifetime of maintenance. Getting sober and completing treatment does not guarantee smooth sailing. Recovery is a process of struggles and letting other people support you to overcome them.
You may think that asking for help shows weakness. However, you may encounter more weakness if you allow yourself to continue on a destructive path rather than doing the strong thing by getting help. Just like when you asked for help with leaving substance use behind, now you will find yourself in situations where you need help with recovery. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Admitting you cannot do things on your own is a strength.
Recognizing that you are struggling is the first step to solving a problem. Remember that your need for sobriety helped you once. Now that you are in recovery, you may encounter some stumbling blocks that could derail you again, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. You have an incredible toolbox at your disposal that is full of resources to help lift you as you continue your sober journey. The best thing you can do now is communicate your needs to those around you, be honest and straightforward, and reach out to the people who are most capable of aiding you in your struggles during recovery. The helping and caring professionals at NorthStar Transitions are experienced in all of your sobriety and recovery needs and are here to help you when you need it. Reach out to us at (303) 558-6400 when you need help.