Asking for help isn’t always easy. In fact, a person in recovery might find themselves on one of two extreme sides – either asking for help too frequently and perhaps not believing in their own abilities OR not asking for help enough. It’s common to be in one of these two circumstances especially when a person has codependent qualities, which frequently accompanies addiction. This is a two part article on asking for help both at the start and throughout recovery.
Codependency is an experience that can develop in relationships. When two people believe that they need the other to survive, the relationship might likely be codependent. It stems from a person not believing in themselves and what they are capable of. Essentially, they don’t believe in their own power, and powerlessness is a key contributor to addiction. By not believing in their own power, a person begins to believe that they need the other person to survive life’s difficulties.
Codependency and powerlessness can affect a person’s ability to ask for help. As mentioned already, either a person might ask for help frequently or they might be shy about asking for help. Feeling resistance to garnering support can come from not wanting to look vulnerable or not wanting to appear like you don’t have it all together. If you tend to be the one in a relationship that other depend upon then you might have a hard time putting yourself in a vulnerable position. You might have frequently been the one in control in the relationship. Thus, asking for help might feel uncomfortable.
However, when a person recognizes that they are struggling with an addiction and/or a mental illness, he or she will need to ask for help. Help will need to come from professionals, friends, and family members. At the start of and throughout recovery, a person will need to find a way to ask for the help they need.
You might have to ask for help when you notice that there is a problem with alcohol, drugs, or symptoms of a mental illness. For many people, because of the denial that comes with addiction, they aren’t ready to take action right away. They may have to get to a point in life when getting help is the only other option. However, whether you’ve hit rock bottom or not, asking for help at the start of recovery is precisely what begins the healing. It may take great courage, but often there are others around you to be of support.
This is the beginning article on getting help, what stands in the way, and why we need to learn this skill. The second part of this article series will include what to tell your friends and loved ones when you’re asking for help. You’ll also learn who to ask help from and how to go about asking, especially if you feel uncomfortable. If you have no one else to turn to for help, pick up the phone and call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This hotline is available 24 hours, 7 days per week, and administered by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
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