Recently I started to look at my attitude and response to help or to questions of my well-being. I realized quickly that at the height of my addiction I was totally unwilling to admit the chaos that had become my daily life and my inner thoughts. Even if I took away the worry of being judged or the need to not worry my family, I was still personally terrified of my addiction because it was taking over and I was losing myself to it. I went for months telling myself and everyone around me who wanted to help “Oh, I’m fine.”
I also realized that I am still prone to not asking for help today in my recovery. I don’t have enough insight to say for sure why I don’t ask. I did see that sometimes it is still because I don’t want to be judged or worry my family, and sometimes it is because I haven’t spent time sitting with my own thoughts enough to realize I am in trouble.
I know that my recovery needs to involve a willingness to appropriately ask for help from my supporters when I need it. I also know that I need to have a daily meditative moment to see where I am – do I feel anxious?, are my thoughts racing or stuck on one topic?, am I randomly eating during the day?, am I drinking more coffee?, etc. (I recommend creating a list of things that tell you that you are getting to a place where you need help. That way you can check your behaviors for signs too.)
Why do you need help? Well I think if we aren’t aware enough of our needs we aren’t really able to notice when we are going to start self-soothing or self-sabotaging. When I was drinking and in trouble I remember every time I drank being surprised that I had drank too much (“Hey I meant to have a glass and I drank the whole bottle…what happened?!”) But if I had been willing to note my need for help and ask for it I might have not been shocked that I was drinking too much, I was in pain after all, and needed comfort.
Many of us learn to temper our issues. It is easier to say, “Oh, I’m fine” than to say, “Well today is really sort of awful and I could use some help.” Why is it easier? Well there are lots of reasons, but for me my top reasons have always been a fear of opening up myself to others and a need to control even my own emotions so much that I want everything to be fine. In your recovery and life changes, take some time to observe if you ask for help when you need it from people or organizations that want to constructively help you. Without help and a willingness to be honest to ourselves and others, we risk looking to soothe and comfort ourselves in ways that lead back to the path of addiction.
Susan Aplin Pogue
Susan began her career in personal development after many years focused on self-development and improvement work. Her experiences led her to discover tools and practices that she was inspired to share with other people through her blog work. Additionally, she has created and facilitated leadership trainings for executive teams in corporate and small businesses. Susan is a public speaker, and has addressed audiences on topics ranging from leadership to time management. Her mission is to share practical and powerful self-management techniques to those in recovery from any aspect of their life that has begun to negatively impact their well-being and quality of life. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Certification in Emergenetics ® , and a Certification in DDI Management Skills ®. Her work draws upon her background in corporate training and human resource departments, as well as her life experiences. Susan’s blog work is published by The Neurosculpting ® Institute. Transform, Inspire, Thrive.