The moment that we realize that we are struggling with addiction can be terrifying. Our thoughts begin to race, and we come up with countless questions. “What will happen if I stop drinking or using? Will my job be affected if I seek help? What will my friends and family think?” Then the biggest question is, “What do I do now?” The good news is that realizing that we have a problem is the first step toward getting better.
Struggling With Addiction: Admitting There Is a Problem
It can be extremely difficult to admit that we have a problem with addiction. The revered Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh said, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” The same is true with addiction.
Many of us continue our addictive lifestyle because we are afraid of what will happen if we stop. Even though we know the consequences of our continued behaviors, we don’t want to admit we have a problem. Another reason for this comes out of the stigma of addiction.
Many of us continue our active addiction because we are worried about what other people will think. We are stuck in a guilt and shame spiral, which can be very hard to overcome. However, there will come a time when we realize that we cannot live with substances and we cannot live without them. Essentially, we are in a “prison” of our own making. This is what 12-Step recovery refers to as “the jumping-off point.” This is the point at which we must ask for help or face more serious consequences than we may realize.
Struggling With Addiction: Asking For Help
If admitting that we have a problem is the first step toward getting better, then asking for help is the second. Many of us have tried to recover on our own, but we have found that we were unable to. In 12-Step recovery, this is called “losing our willpower.”
This is why we need outside help to start our recovery journey. We may also need serious medical attention and help detoxing. It is important to remember that detoxing on our own can be very dangerous, even deadly in some instances (this is especially true with alcohol).
So, who are the first people we should reach out to? Generally, it is the people that we have known the longest, our friends and family. It just so happens that sometimes these are also the hardest people to admit we have a problem.
How Do I Tell Friends and Family I’m Struggling With Addiction?
Many of us fear judgment from friends and family when it comes to asking for help with our struggles with addiction. The truth is that most of us don’t realize that not only are our friends and family not going to judge us, they are going to be relieved that we are willing to get help.
Many of us also don’t realize how bad our active addiction has gotten. Because of this, many of us don’t realize that most of the people around us do. They just may not know how to broach the subject to us.
Ultimately, the best way to ask friends and family for help is to come out and say it. It should be like “pulling off a band-aid.” Also, we must follow that up with a willingness to do anything to get sober. Then, our friends and family will know we are serious about accepting help.
Struggling With Addiction: Accepting Help
The key to accepting help is to “let go” of control and let people help you. We must be willing to go anywhere and speak to anyone. Recovery must begin with complete willingness.
We must also take advantage of the small window that early willingness often affords us. Cravings can kick in quickly as we wait for help, so time is of the essence. It may be scary if detox and inpatient care are required. We may fear what will happen to our social, family, and work lives. But, we must remember what potential damage we will do to them if we don’t get help. Seeking help is, as they say in 12-Step recovery, “the easier, softer way.”
Taking Responsibility Seriously at Lantana Recovery
A statement often read at 12-Step meetings is known as the “Responsibility Statement.” It goes, “I am responsible, when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of [recovery] always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”
Here at Lantana Recovery, we take that responsibility seriously. We are here to help. You have made the effort to seek. We’ll make the utmost effort to help you heal.
Telling loved ones that we are struggling with addiction can be scary, but continuing to struggle with addiction alone is scarier. Here at Lantana Recovery, we know that reaching out for help is hard, but just remember that your friends and family love and care and just want what is best for you. If this includes getting treatment, then we can help get you on the road to a successful long-term recovery. The key is when you ask for help, be ready and willing to accept it. For more information on how to ask your friends and family for help if you are struggling with addiction, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.