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The Challenge in Asking for Help

One of our biggest obstructions to healing from addiction and mental illness, one of the things that holds us back the most, is our inability to ask for help when we need it. This is a huge challenge for so many of us. We find great difficulty both in knowing when we need help, and then in reaching out for help once we’ve realized we need it. Why is it so hard for us to ask for help?

For many of us, our pride is a form of resistance that blocks us from making progress in our lives and accomplishing our goals. Pride often comes from fear, although it can be perceived as arrogance or haughtiness. We appear as though we think we’re better than other people, or as though we don’t need anyone, when in truth we are feeling sad, afraid, lost and overwhelmed. When we are too proud to ask for help, it is often because we’re afraid of how we’ll be perceived if we do. We fear being judged as weak or powerless. We’re afraid to admit just how problematic our issues have become. We’re often so resistant that we haven’t admitted our problems even to ourselves. We fear being criticized for letting ourselves fall so far. We fear the harsh, judgmental opinions of other people, in particular the people we care most about. We fear being rejected, shunned and ostracized. We fear being labeled as addicts, demonized and pushed away. We fear that other people’s low opinions of us are something we won’t be able to come back from. We fear we won’t be able to redeem ourselves or save face.

Sometimes our fear and pridefulness come from the conditioning we experienced growing up. We might have been raised in families that taught us never to show neediness or weakness. We might have been programmed to believe that courage and strength mean never admitting we need help from anyone else. We might have learned that independence comes from doing everything on our own, and that we are somehow inadequate of inferior if we need other people. We learn that showing emotion is a sign of weakness. We learn secrecy, silence, denial and avoidance as coping mechanisms for our difficult thoughts and feelings. This cultural and familial programming can make us suppress our emotions, refusing to ask for help when we need it most. This exacerbates our addictions and mental health issues and keeps us from getting the support we need to make significant progress in our healing. We can end up spinning our wheels, never moving forward, remaining stuck in our fear.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.