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Reaching out to loved ones or professionals when coping with trauma or addiction can be a very daunting task. For some, shame or guilt may be the prevailing feeling, while others may find that they are more fearful of how opinions about them may change if they admit they need help to process their traumatic experiences or address their relationship with drugs or alcohol. This fear of reaching out can manifest in a number of ways, all of which can complicate the recovery process or leave someone without the help that they may otherwise need in addressing these complicated issues. 

Loss of status can be one fear that may prevent a person from reaching out. This is more common in professional terms, or if a person holds a high personal sense of responsibility, such as a community figure, law enforcement officer, first responder, or even parents. Those perceiving reaching out for help as a sign of “weakness” may not want to see the community they worked to build suffer because of their use or may continue to hide their suffering in an order to continue to “normalize” their lives. 

It is also possible that a person fears if they reach out to another, they may be in some way indebted to the individual they confide in, or that the confidant will want something in return for their efforts. This feeling can inherently create a dissonance between two people, and can even warp how a person would view their support in general. If they are constantly waiting until they are told how they need to “repay” the person’s favors, it may alter how they act towards the person. However, this approach is often assumed by one party, and may not truly be the case. There are altruistic support systems available, and reaching out to a particular venue for support through trauma or addiction doesn’t mean that a person will have to stay with that structure thorough their entire recovery journey if they feel like “debt” may be a factor in any way. 

However, this fear of reaching out often doesn’t take into account the whole picture. While a person may be ashamed of their use or experience with trauma and want to hide it from their families and friends, the skills gained in recovery — including learning to manage your own trauma symptoms or substance use — can help improve your relationships. This can include things like becoming a better parent or more supportive and understanding police officer, or may otherwise introduce someone to what being “better” might feel like, meaning they can begin to accept their pain rather than continuing to hide it.

The first step in recovery is always garnering the strength to reach out and acknowledge the need for assistance. Overcoming trauma or addiction is an incredibly difficult prospect, and overcoming shame, guilt, or fear in order to take your future into your own hands is a great feat of strength. At The Guest House, we champion each person’s ability to take hold of their personal journey and empower them to create their own, customized therapy plan with the help of our professionals. To learn more about how we can personalize your time with us, or to talk to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (855) 483-7800.