Even when we’re surrounded by resources, sometimes it can still be a challenge to reach out and connect with those that could help us most. Picking up the phone or texting your friends and family
for help can feel intimidating or off-putting. Even the idea of speaking with someone in the sober living community, someone who has the best interest of their peers in mind, can be nerve-wracking. Fear, shame, and guilt can hold you back even when you know that talking to someone would relieve some of the pressure.
Researchers at Cornell University and Stanford University conducted several joint studies to determine how likely people were to ask for help and what percentage of people would respond positively to a request. They found that up to 50% of the time, participants underestimated how willing their peers were to assist them.
Take the Leap of Faith
Although it’s an entirely normal reaction to feel hesitant to reach out, that hesitance can lead to recovery problems if you do not challenge it. Breaking through the boundaries of societal or personal expectations and asking for help takes courage and dedication to self-growth. Part of recovery involves finding new ways to bridge rifts in relationships and open up lines of communication. Doing the hard work to reconnect with loved ones can improve your long-term access to a positive, healthy support system.
Overcome the Fear of Rejection
Men are more likely than women to have difficulty asking for help and accepting it from others, even when they know that assistance can help them recover. The possibility of rejection often looms over potential interactions. You may feel embarrassed about revealing parts of your past or discussing the struggles you are currently experiencing. Gender role expectations are a significant factor in how easily men can ask for help. In a Stanford University study published by American Psychologist, researchers focused on finding ways to improve mental and physical health for men. Their results indicated that men face several unique issues when seeking help, including a sense of loss of control and fear of how they would be perceived.
Avoiding difficult conversations due to ego,
embarrassment, or fear of rejection can hinder you in moving forward. You bear responsibility for your recovery. If you are worried about how your community or loved ones will react to your requests for help, use the following statements of validation to reframe those negative thoughts:
Peers in my sober community understand how I am feeling, and they want to support me.
Picture a good friend in your circumstances. Would you refuse to help them if they came to you? No. And they are not going to turn you away either, because they are your friend, and they want you to be healthy.
Past behaviors do not have to dictate how people will feel about me today.
Medical professionals, support groups, and my community want to help me reach my goals.
When to Ask For Help
It can be hard to know when to ask someone for help. Every day comes with its own pressures and challenges. You might feel tempted to hold off on asking for help until things get too overwhelming for you to function alone. As stress begins to build up, it can cause intrusive thoughts, destructive feelings, or negative physical and mental symptoms. It is in those moments that asking for outside assistance can make the difference between overcoming an obstacle and backsliding.
Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
Communicating with sober family members, friends, or peer groups can sometimes feel like walking through a minefield. They may not know what to say, and some people might not do much to make you feel comfortable asking for what you need. Being vulnerable is not a weakness. By giving yourself permission to explore new relationships and to revisit old ones with trusted individuals, you make it easier on yourself to get help and move forward.
Even though it might be uncomfortable at first, speaking openly and honestly about how you feel and what you need can be empowering. It is vital to find ways around whatever thoughts or behaviors may be blocking your ability to ask for and accept help. No one should have to shoulder the daily stressors of recovery on their own.
Strength Comes from Accepting Support
Everyone is stronger with reliable relationships to lean on. The love and understanding you can find in the sober community can help you to move past difficult moments. Many people find having a sponsor to be an invaluable tool. Having someone you can confide in whenever and wherever they are needed can become an unparalleled tool in achieving your long-term success.
No one should have to go through recovery on their own. Asking for help is an essential part of maintaining your mental and physical wellbeing. At Safety Net Recovery®, you will have the opportunity to build a healthy support system. Societal and personal expectations can make it hard to take the step of asking for assistance. However, asking for help is an excellent way to combat self-doubt and improve confidence. You can address any situations or issues you may be experiencing and gain control of your future. Once you have a support system in place, it is crucial to practice relying on the people you trust during challenging moments. The sober community at Safety Net Recovery® is ready and waiting to provide encouragement and compassion. Your mental, physical, and spiritual health is our top priority. If you are not sure where to start, let us help you discover the best path forward. To find out more, call us today at (770) 432-9774.