It can be very difficult to ask for help, even when you know you need it. People often go through shame, fear, anger, disappointment, and other emotions when they think about asking for help. You might wonder: Will anything change for the better? What’s the point? What are people going to think?
Asking for help also might mean facing up to your own shortcomings, and that things weren’t going as well as you hoped or wanted others to believe. It means bursting through denial, being vulnerable, and taking a chance that something could get better. There are no guarantees in life, but most people who choose to ask for help do so because they know that the way things are going is currently unsustainable. If they continue on their path, things will only get worse, and asking for help means at least opening the door of possibilities that things could get better.
People ask for help once they are finally convinced that they can’t do it on their own, that their attempts at managing or controlling their substance use aren’t working, and that they need to seek something or someone outside of themselves. Then many people find that there is hope where they thought there wasn’t, that they have choices when they felt helpless, and that with help they can make a change toward something better.
Kirsten Helgager, PsyD
AToN Center 888-535-1516