Reaching out for help for a mental health or substance use disorder (SUD) can be intimidating because it often means that you are admitting to something that you’d probably rather not talk about. Furthermore, opening yourself up to being vulnerable can be just as challenging. As such, it’s important to know that the friends and family in your life who you love and trust are there to support you. However, it may still be difficult knowing when–and how–to ask for support. Let’s look at why asking for help is essential and how it benefits you and your needs.
It Shows Courage
Most men fear asking for help because they think it makes them somehow “less masculine” or weak. However, the opposite is often true–exercising too much pride and being self-centered can actually weaken you because it makes you face challenges alone. It’s common to feel proud of your accomplishments or for solving problems on your own, but the truth is, sometimes you need help, and asking for help takes a great deal of courage, strength, and humility. Remember, these qualities are also important traits for men to have.
However, if your substance use has deteriorated relationships, finances, and your career, you might think you have nothing to be proud of or believe that you don’t deserve help. Don’t let your negative thoughts feed your excuses to keep using substances. When you have enough courage, you will discover that asking for help truly is the first step toward freeing yourself from your addiction.
You’re Not a Burden to Others
Sometimes, after years of substance use, you might believe that your friends and family have been put through enough and that they no longer want to help you. You might even think that you have become a burden to them. However, your addiction affects not only your life but your family’s life too, so they will have good reason to help you get into a treatment program. Additionally, it’s important to remember that asking for help does not make you dependent on others.
Asking for help means that you need some extra support, guidance, and counseling from professionals to create a healthy life free from addiction. Asking for and receiving help will help you discover the friends and family who have your back and are putting your health first. You will also develop new relationships with the peers you meet in recovery.
Be Honest With Yourself
When your addiction is driving you, it can manipulate you to believe that your next drink or drug is your best destination. Since there is a great deal of manipulation and justification for your actions when you use substances, you may begin to succumb to denial. However, these harmful thoughts and behaviors start to diminish when you seek help and treatment. Therefore, being honest is the key when asking for help because it sets you up with a solid foundation to begin your recovery. The act of surrendering and overcoming denial requires not only intense honesty but also acceptance.
While it is not always easy to exercise honesty, it is necessary for you to move forward toward recovery. It also takes accepting that your ego is wrong and you cannot overcome addiction alone. When you become honest with yourself and face the facts, you will begin to feel a sense of freedom and control over your future.
Don’t Be Embarrassed
Asking for help does require vulnerability. However, it is essential to understand that you should not be embarrassed to ask for help. If you are nervous to talk with loved ones about difficult topics or emotions, you can talk to trained professionals instead. Professionals provide safe and confidential spaces for you to express your emotions without fear of judgment or repercussions. They can also help you work on attaining the courage needed to talk with your family. You can even attend family therapy or counseling so that you can have the support of a healthcare professional in your corner to help you navigate difficult emotions and conversations. It is essential to remember that you should never be embarrassed about how you feel.
Write It Out
If you find it hard to gather your thoughts and express them verbally, write them out instead. Writing out how you feel can help you evaluate and organize your thoughts to better prepare yourself for when you want to have a conversation. You can also practice what you want to say before approaching a loved one for help. You may even express to your loved one that it is challenging to verbalize something, and you can read directly from what you have written instead. In other instances, if you just feel that it is hard to face the person, you can send them a letter or email them to express yourself and your needs.
If you are struggling with substance use or mental health issues, consider reaching out to the people you trust for help. If you are not sure how to or are finding it challenging to ask for help, reach out to a professional. At Choice House, we provide a safe space for men to come and express themselves and their needs. We offer individual, family, and group counseling and ensure the respect and confidentiality of all our patients. Our therapies are designed specifically to cater to the male experience, and so we can help men speak and act in ways where they can comfortably develop their emotional range and attain inner healing. Our Rocky Mountain location also provides a great space to develop team-building skills by using outdoor and adventure therapy. If you are a man in need of help, Choice House is the place for you. To find out more, call us today at (720) 577-4422.