Asking for help is hard, especially for men. Men are typically taught from a young age that they should be tough and self-reliant. They should be able to make their own decisions and solve their own problems. They certainly shouldn’t let on if they are struggling or hurting. This attitude may be especially problematic for someone in recovery. They may feel added expectations to say sober and they may fear that asking for help is a sign of trouble. Despite these worries, it’s important to ask for help when you need it. No one stays sober alone and it’s better to ask for help and let others think you’re at risk for a relapse than to stay quiet and actually relapse. However, asking for help can be hard, so here are some suggestions.
Challenges are normal.
First, keep in mind that challenges are normal. It would be nice if recovery was a straight line of steady improvement but it’s not. Recovery is always up and down. There are good days and bad days. Everyone has cravings and moments when they feel like they can’t possibly hold on. Sometimes there are serious challenges and setbacks. You might lose your job or someone you care about might die. These aren’t times to show everyone how tough you are and that you can handle pain on your own; they’re times to reach out to the people who care about you. Everyone who has been through recovery or who is familiar with the process understands that this is how it goes. Your 12-step group, your sponsor, your therapist, and your family may be concerned about you but they also understand that the process of recovery is inherently difficult.
Rely on your sober network.
When you’re having problems in recovery, lean on your sober network. That might be your 12-step group, your sponsor, therapist, friends, family, or new friends from treatment. Too often, people who are having trouble in recovery do the opposite. They isolate themselves, they stop going to meetings, and they bottle up their emotions. To people who know, these are far more worrying signs than asking for help. Everyone at your 12-step meeting knows how hard it is and they are there to support you. If your instinct is to isolate yourself, try going the opposite way, towards more engagement.
Stick to your plan.
Trouble in recovery often starts with a lack of self-care. These are basic things that are part of most recovery plans and might include eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, going to meetings, taking time to relax every day, and so on. When the foundations aren’t in place, your whole recovery can falter. It’s common for people to get several months into recovery and get complacent. They may start skipping meetings, eating junk food, or staying up late. When you feel like you’re struggling in recovery, start by going back to basics. If you still need help, you will be able to think more clearly about what kind of help you need and who to ask.
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138