Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of beginning recovery is admitting struggle and asking for help. Reaching out to someone and revealing the reality of your situation can be painful, and this can be for a variety of reasons, including stigmas, fear of losing credibility, a career or relationship, or even shame or guilt.
Whatever the reason might be, it takes a great deal of humility to share honestly about any painful situation, especially one that involves an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Addiction Makes Us Think Irrationally
A frightening part of being ensnared by an addiction is the inability to think rationally and intellectually. Often times, an addict may have impaired cognitive abilities, which can be a physical consequence of addiction to drugs, alcohol or substance abuse.
This may result in an addict minimizing the severity of their condition or addiction, often denying that anything is seriously wrong. Coupled with the strong behavioral and physiological components of addiction, addicts may commonly maintain destructive habits and lifestyles even in the face of devastating consequences.
Looking Below the Surface
If you suspect that someone you care for is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is important to implore beyond what is on the surface to understand what they may be dealing with. Many people addicted to drugs or alcohol may still be able to maintain a functioning lifestyle that appears normal on the outside.
An individual may seemingly have control in their life; maintain relationships, a career, academic pursuits, etc. for some time before admitting that help is needed to overcome his or her addiction.
Considering Your Options to Break Out of Addiction
Even on the brink of losing everything, a person may find it challenging to lower their pride and reach out for help. If you have found yourself in this situation, consider the following:
What Is at Risk If I Don’t Ask for Help:
While the more outward consequences may be concerning, such as losing a job, career, or relationship, think about how you are risking your very life each time you choose to stay in an addictive lifestyle. There is not guarantee that you will make it through the next high, party, or using episode, and your life and health is at risk of harmful and fatal consequences.
While you may feel or experience shame in asking for helping and admitting your struggles, consider the alternative. Your life is worth it!
There Are People Who Will Love and Support You:
Many people addicted to drugs or alcohol fear hurting or losing the people in their lives whom they love and care about. You may feel hesitant to be honest about with what you are struggling, but the reality is that your loved ones would rather see you on the path to getting well than continuing down a road of destruction.
The people in your life that genuinely care for and love you will see you through this journey of recovery and will likely serve as a strong support system. You may be surprised to see how humility can lead to healing, forgiveness, and restoration in the relationships of the people you care about.
You Are Never too Far down to Turn Your Life Around:
If you are struggling with addiction, you may find yourself constantly battling between what you know is the right thing to do and what feels good with your current lifestyle. Perhaps you fear what you may become without your addiction or that you are beyond help at the place you are currently in life.
It is important to understand that no one is beyond help or deserving of the healing that is found in the recovery process from addiction.
Battling an addiction is often a difficult balance between intellect and humility. Pride often serves as a superficial sense of safety and security. By letting your guard down and allowing the walls to fall, you may find a world of healing and recovery that you never thought possible before.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Are you in recovering from addiction and/or substance abuse? If so, what encouraged you to seek out help to overcome your addiction?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 10, 2017
Published on AddictionHope.com