It seems like the recurring theme of the day has been about reaching out for help, and more importantly having the humility to actually follow through with it. It’s hard to ask other people for help. I still have my own problems with reaching out sometimes. We addicts tend to think that asking for help is a sign of weakness, that we should be able to handle our own problems without anyone else’s aid. Men especially have a challenging time with this subject, as society teaches us that men must be strong and not show any emotion or even the slightest weakness. When I was still out there using I would always convince myself that I could handle anything that might happen, that I was somehow invincible. But, deep down I was hurting, I was scared, and I had no belief in myself whatsoever. The circumstances of my life were evidence enough that I couldn’t handle much of anything, I couldn’t handle life on life’s terms. That was a main reason for getting high in the first place-having the power to alter my reality. I always felt out of place in this world, like I wasn’t supposed to be here. For reasons unknown to me at the time I was completely maladjusted to life in every conceivable way. I eventually had to give up the fight and accept the fact that I had to find help to get out of the mess I had made of my life.
Asking for help the first time was hard for me, but once I did I felt a little sense of freedom. I finally let go a little bit and opened myself up to new possibilities; that maybe someone would have the answer to my problem and could help me learn how to not use anymore. After that I went into treatment and got some information (unfortunately I did not stay sober the first time I went to treatment, but more on that in a later post). Asking for some assistance to get out of the hell of active addiction was the easy part though, because after I got sober and had a little bit of clean time, my mindset was different and I had those moments where I thought that I had the power to handle anything all on my own again and that I didn’t need anyone else’s help anymore. This type of thinking can be extremely dangerous, because if we don’t reach out and share what’s truly going on within ourselves our disease will capitalize upon our weak points and strike when we least expect it. I know this from my own experience. For me, it was almost harder to ask for someone’s help in sobriety than it was when I was at rock bottom.
When I was going through tough times, or having using thoughts, or acting out in the form of many different negative behaviors, I became ashamed to let people know what I was doing, or how I truly felt. I thought that because I had a few short months of sobriety that I just automatically shouldn’t want to get high anymore, ever. This is not the case, and I have spoken to many people who have decades clean who still sometimes have thoughts of using. I have also learned that it’s nothing to be ashamed of either. We addicts like to get high! It’s completely natural for us to want to. We eventually get to a point where we may have thoughts, but they are no longer the intense cravings that we can’t handle or control. THANK GOD! We must remain open and never forget why we chose recovery. It’s a long and sometimes very difficult process, but we must trust it and just keep pushing forward. Those around us that are also living this way of life are there to help us when we need it. They’re here to pull us up when we begin to slide back down the hill.
So, believe me when I say that there is nothing we could tell them that they haven’t either heard before or been through themselves. Never be afraid to let someone in. There is no reason to be ashamed of any thought or feeling we may have, ever. But, we must share It and release it from inside of us. Our disease dies in the light of exposure, and we must never forget that. Our life depends on it.
XOXO, Steph ❤