Recognizing that you need help is the first step to recovery. This can be a very challenging and emotional realization and is not to be taken lightly.
First things first; take a moment and congratulate yourself on facing your circumstances and understanding that you can only get better with help. Now, you might be thinking, “What comes next?”
The next step is asking for help and finding the right treatment.
Asking for Help and Support
Admitting to someone either in person, over the phone, or virtually that you need help can seem like a mountain that you may not be able to climb. The good news, however, is that you have made it this far on your own. The better news is that you are not alone. You have loved ones, friends, and peers that are willing to help you. There are also trained professionals who will be with you every step of the way during your recovery journey.
Asking for help, especially when it is centered around activities that make you feel guilt or shame, is not easy. One key thing to recognize is that you are courageous: it takes courage to ask for help. And no matter where you are in your journey, it is never too late to ask and receive help.
It is also important to remember the following:
- Be honest: Honesty is key in making sure you get the correct help for your needs. While being honest may have seemed like a foreign concept during your active addiction, know that the more honest and open you are about your current circumstances, the better help you will receive. Being honest allows others to find you the best path to recovery.
- You are not alone: While you may feel isolated from others, know that your changes in behavior may have not gone unnoticed. Those closest to you, most likely, have noticed changes in your mood and behaviors. Do not be afraid to talk to your parents, your siblings, or your close friends about what you are going through. You do not have to ask for help from all in your circle. Pick one or two of those closest to you and ask them for help. This trusted circle of people will want the best for you and are there to help you in any way possible.
- Help comes in many ways: If you do not feel comfortable asking someone close to you for help, reach out to a medical professional or find a local support group that can point you in the right direction.
What to Do if Your Friend or Loved One Is Asking for Help
If your friend or loved one is asking for help and you think it’s an emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.
If someone reaches out to you for help, here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Asking for help is a hard decision. Do not place shame or blame on the person asking for help. Be there as a supporter and help them find professional help for their needs.
- Know that helping your friend or loved one find the right treatment for their addictions may not happen overnight. Their journey to recovery is a process. It is important to set realistic expectations and not react with anger if there are bumps in the road.
- Set boundaries. Make sure to not enable or try to rescue the person asking for help. Remember, you are not their therapist. Overcoming an addiction will require professional help.
- Practice self-care. Feeling empathy for a friend or loved one going through a crisis is natural. Letting those feelings overwhelm you or cause high levels of stress is not healthy for you or for them. Make sure you practice self-care – it helps manage stress and anxiety. The healthier you are mentally and emotionally, the more you can be of assistance as a strong supporter for them during their recovery process.
Finding the right treatment options will vary based on the needs and the circumstances of each individual.
If you are looking for treatment for yourself or for a loved one, consider the following:
- Ask your health professionals for referrals to specialists or treatment centers.
- Search online and find help locally here.
- Call the Substance And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Learn more information about treatment options and how you can help yourself, friends, or loved ones here.
Needing to ask someone for help can be an emotional and challenging realization. Please know that asking for help is a courageous step and is part of the beginning of your recovery journey. When asking for help keep in mind that you are not alone, and that help can come through many different outlets. If you are in need of help, there are medical professionals and support groups that can help steer you in the right direction.
If someone you know is reaching out to you for help, it is important to remember that providing them with help does not mean they will become better overnight. Remember to practice self-care and establish boundaries.
Finally, recognize asking for help is the first step on a long journey. Recovery is a tough process, but infinitely rewarding.