Uncomfortable by the idea of seeking help? You are not alone.
Most people who have a substance abuse problem wait a very long time before they address their issues. It’s when alcohol or drugs begin to interfere with your family, friendships, job, or school work that you start to wonder: Is there a better way to live?
There is. Every month thousands of people seek treatment and change their lives for the better.
When you first recognize that things aren’t going well, the thought of reaching out can be overwhelming, even terrifying.
You have probably worked very hard to hide your problem. For years you have kept secrets and struggled to hide your addiction from friends, family, and co-workers.
It’s exhausting. Most substance abusers who seek help will tell you: They were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
The first step is the hardest – it’s sort of like breaking the seal on a vault of secrets and lies. But when you break the seal, the feeling is exhilarating and the experience is cathartic. Letting even one person in on your secret is the first step toward facing your addiction and finding a new path toward a happier and more fulfilling life.
Some people are comfortable in talking to a stranger first. This can be an addiction therapist or a substance abuse counselor. If your company has an EAP program, you may find someone there who will talk to you and ensure your confidentiality.
Here is an actual story from someone who broke the seal of secrecy and sought help:
“When I first realized my drinking was out of control, I didn’t know who to talk to. I knew I had to do something because I literally felt like the world was crushing me. Everything was getting harder to do. I wanted to crawl into a cave and hide from the world – but I had to go to work, I had to talk to people. I was on a seesaw of anxiety and depression. I remember clearly that first time I reached out for help. I called our employee assistance program and asked to speak with someone – I remember almost being terrified to tell the truth, but a part of me, that part that wanted so desperately to survive, blurted it out: I think I have a problem with alcohol.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a little regret after the call. I thought about cancelling my appointment. But again, that survivor in me just pushed through all the resistance: my fear of what would become of me if I didn’t seek help outweighed my fear of seeking help.
The EAP counselor was so gentle and compassionate: she led me to the best decision I have ever made in my life – to go into treatment.
That decision led to a truly wonderful life’s journey. I’m 22 years clean and sober now and have a rich and happy life. Most important: I don’t have a painful secret that I have to hide from my family, friends, and colleagues. During those first few months after going to rehab there was no way I could imagine not drinking, but the treatment program taught me the most important principle of all: I only have to not drink TODAY.”
If you are suffering from your secrets and that survivor in you wants to find a better way to live, call someone today to ask for help.
You can also call the National Resource Center at (802) 231-1018 where specialists in addiction treatment programs will listen to your concerns and help you find a place where you can begin creating your own new journey toward and fulfilling and happy life.