I need help! This is a phrase many of us associate with weakness and vulnerability. By asking for help we are acknowledging we have a problem that we cannot fix alone. For many that is a thought too hard to swallow. So, we continue to struggle and try to push through our problems. We tend to become secluded and try and save face for the sake of our pride. This doesn’t make us stronger, it in fact breaks us down and creates a bigger burden for us to bare all because we won’t ask for help.
In recovery, asking for help is vital, as terrifying as it may be. Everyone needs a support system and some help throughout their lifetime. “Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.” Sullivan, M. (2016, October). It takes strength to turn to someone for help and humility to realize you can’t do it alone. So why do we continually shy away from something we know is going to be beneficial to us?
It’s naive to believe there is no risk in asking for help. Society has created an expectation that we must all be strong and independent. As if that wasn’t pressure enough, the thought of asking for help from the wrong person is terrifying. Someone finding out you are struggling with substance use disorder or depression who doesn’t understand. That can create a whole new world of problems. When asking for help you are essentially entrusting your livelihood with someone else. So how do we ask for help and make sure it is beneficial to us?
When asking for help its important you are clear on what you need help with. In recovery, the need for help may be overwhelming and being able to pin point the exact need may be difficult. Reaching out to an addiction treatment facility is a first step in the right direction. They can help you get involved in support groups, counseling, and psychiatric services if necessary. Creating a strong support system while in recovery is important. To surround yourself with supportive and understanding people that you know you can reach out to and they will always have your best interest at heart is a necessity. It’s important once you ask for help to allow those who are trying to help you, help you. You must trust those you have chosen as your support system and allow them to help you through a difficult time, as difficult as that may be.
Sullivan, M. (2016, October). Michele L. Sullivan: Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/michele_l_sullivan_asking_for_help_is_a_strength_not_a_weakness