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Learn to ask for help Weekender Oct. 5-11

Old 10-05-2017, 03:54 AM
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Giving up is NOT an option.
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Learn to ask for help Weekender Oct. 5-11

I guess Iíll try my hand at an OP here on weekenders!

As alcoholics and addicts, many of us have trouble asking for help when we need it. Perhaps we think we can handle everything ourselves, we donít want to be a bother to anyone, or we donít want to admit things are out of control. In my case, I didnít feel worthy of help because I had such low self-esteem, and because I had done so much damage while drinking. I really felt like I didnít deserve anyoneís help or for anyone to care much about me.

But asking for help when we need it is something we all need to learn to do. Life is full of challenges, and we shouldnít try to go it alone. When I decided I had to get sober, I picked up that 100-pound phone and called a friend I knew was sober and cried and asked him to help me. He immediately stepped up, took me to my first meeting, and was always there for me when I needed anything. In AA, I found lots of wonderful people who would do almost anything to help me or anyone else in the rooms get and stay sober. One of the main tenets of AA is that we help ourselves when we help others. We say ďif you want to keep it, you have to give it away.Ē

Even after we have been sober for a while, life has a way of throwing things at us that can seem overwhelming. Jobs, kids, partners, money, cars breaking down, house repairs - all of these things can cause us a great deal of stress. We may still feel like we can ďhandle it.Ē After all - we are sober now, right? We ought to be able to handle anything!

But this is dangerous thinking. If we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by everyday things (or more serious things, like the illness or death of a loved one), we are risking our sobriety. Trying to handle everything and not reaching out for help can leave us exhausted, irritable, sad, depressed, hopeless. If you are anything like me, this is right when the AV loves to pipe up and say ďthings couldnít be much worse - why not drink/use?Ē

Ask for help. Trust that there are people in your life who care about you and DO want to help. Just ask. Even if all you need is to hear someone here on SR say that they understand and to give you a virtual hug, ask. I am just as guilty of not liking to ask for help as anyone, but Iím working on it.

So this weekend, if you have something you need help with, even if itís just asking your partner or kids to help you with a household task, make an effort to ask for that help. It may feel awkward or needy, but do it anyway. Asking for help is not weak - it means you are aware of yourself and your limitations. Itís good self-care.

What are you going to ask for help with this weekend?
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:57 AM
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Shotgun!

Asking for help.... one of my weaknesses. (I think it runs in the family). While I was drinking, like you MLD, I didn't feel worthy enough for help. After all, I knew (I tought) what the anser to all my trouble was. Stop drinking. So why couldn't I? I didn't tell anyone, I didn't ask for help. I went thru a long period of mental anguish because of how I felt.

PS. Great opener, thanks MLD.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:03 AM
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Thanks M - great post

Asking for help is hard for a lot of us I think, but. like you, it's been integral to me getting and staying sober

D
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:07 AM
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Congrats on shotgun, STDragon!
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:09 AM
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Great starter Marty! Thank you and I AM IN!

Congrats on shotgun STDragon!

It runs the lines of something I am working on right now which is balance. Also, I tried to consider why it seems like I am no longer here as often and I've found something else interesting. Since I quit smoking I no longer sit on my duff as often. I could spend 2 hours on the computer every morning between news sites, Facebook, and here. Now, I am up, spend about enough time to drink about 1/2 cup of coffee, then I hit the shower.

I have a pretty good balance right now of recovery work but it's teetering, so I am trying to play it safe.

You hit it right Marty, the time to ask for help is before the situation gets bad.

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope to have some time this weekend to get caught up, I miss you guys!
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:23 AM
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Hi everyone,count me in with this too.I have recently come back to SR after 4months absense.Have been sober for 18mths now.My journey began in May of last year and I couldn't have done this without you all.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:24 AM
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I’m in!

That was a really useful post, Marty! Thank you for it!
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:51 AM
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Congratulation for the weekender OP MLD.
I love your theme and can very much relate to it.
Especially the "self-esteemĽ and the damage we do.

My dad died in feburary and I was holding his hand as he fought for his last gasps. My mom was on the other side of the bed. Several times we thought he was gone and he came back for another gasp. The will to live, even dying.

It was a big stress trigger, i didn’t think it was at first but it was. I had been great up to that, 7 months roughly but I lost control for a good few months after that and now Im back. Some things do have a tendency to overwhelm us and its hard to talk about it, or is it or is it just pride, or fear?

As i said my dad fought like a lion for a last few gasps of air. It’s the life wish, its instinct. It’s the most beautiful thing we have, life, its everyday ups and downs, like you say, family, friends, houses, gardens, cars, pets, jobs, money... You just have to stick with it, be conscious of it and enjoy it as much as you can.

My brother went in to rehab on Wednesday morning for three months. He was on the side of the street in the end, lost everything more or less. He never asks for help. He cried when he got to the hospital after my dad died... I think he might be ready to ask for help.

Anyways, I feel like im going off on all kinds of tangents but i don’t mind, my friends don’t judge me. Im almost two months sober again and very happy. I love my life and I get help when things are piling up too fast.

Once again, great OP, and im in for the weekend.
Vinny.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:51 AM
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Yay Marty! Great opening post and you are so right about asking for help being a sign of strength and not weakness and it is so beneficial.

Congratulations on shotgun Dragon!
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:28 AM
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I'm in!
Hi MLD! Thanks for the great opening. Great topic, and something I certainly have trouble with. But ive found that we can change these old habits.
I'm looking forward to another sober weekend!
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:36 AM
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Great intro MLD!
I was one of those who didn't ask, at least at first.

I just quit, with no idea how dangerous it was or with any support.
I was very sick for several days and knowing what I know now about withdrawals,
I would have at least tapered or better yet gotten medical help.
But I didn't, and honestly I didn't when I relapsed either.
I'm not good for taking help, but I know that isn't the best path.

SR is my "help" and I found it after my second relapse when my withdrawal
symptoms were so severe I thought I might die.
I started reading for that reason, but stayed for the support.
I tend to offer support more than ask for it--if you look at my posting history,
you'll see I've started very few threads.

By giving support, and reading what others are facing, I get the best support for me, if that makes sense.

So even if you are a person who doesn't want the focus "on" you,
reading, hitting the thanks button, offering encouragement and sharing
your own experience really helps you even more than the poster you
are responding to sometimes.

This list reminds me others face what I face and far worse.
It affirms that we all are far more complex and wonderful than we appear.
That all of us have narratives of pain but we can use such pain
to grow, to become more empathetic, wiser, kinder to ourselves and others.

So even if you don't want to reach just yet, consider offering
I'm in this weekend, by the by. . .
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:59 AM
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Yes!!! Worst ever about this. I have had some things going on and reaching out to some special friends got me through it during the worst of it. You nailed it. I don't like to ask for anything because I feel like I have put people through enough but without help sometimes I will be back in the place I used to be.
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:22 AM
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How very true (for me)

"..So even if you are a person who doesn't want the focus "on" you, reading, hitting the thanks button, offering encouragement and sharing your own experience really helps you even more than the poster you are responding to sometimes..."
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:59 AM
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I am in!

Thank you for great intro, Marty!

Asking for help is one of my biggest struggles. It's like climbing Everest every time. I feel vulnerable and exposed.

Among other things SR taught me how to be better at this.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

P.S. I need to ask some of my online business mentors for help. And I am just scared to death to do that.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:12 AM
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Giving up is NOT an option.
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Why are you scared to do it, MB? Are you afraid they will think you are incompetent? If they are supposed to be mentors, they are there to help you! I understand it, though. I ask for help all the time at work (my job is complicated and I am somewhat new, and still learning). I used to be afraid to do it, but I now realize no one expects me to know everything, and they appreciate being asked, because it means I'm trying to learn and get better at the job. It is in everyone's best interest that you learn everything you can!
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:40 AM
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I think it's good for people to be the helping ones, too. It makes us feel connected. Unfortunately women in particular seem to take this on as our sole reason for being, then it becomes a problem for us and everyone around us. When it comes to "helping" - I think moderation is the way for me. Otherwise my ego tells me people need me.

I got into recovery in 1989 because of my inability to navigate any kind of relationships without drinking. After some sober time I was able to see that the best thing for me was to limit time with those people instead of trying to drag them to wellness (wellness according to me, of course.) Please act the way I think you should, so I won't be uncomfortable. It was a revelation to me to understand it's not my problem if they want to stay in misery for the moment or for their one precious lifetime.

One day in the early nineties I read a line, "Don't do anything and watch what happens." heh. In Friends and Family of Alcoholics they say, "Don't do something, just stand there."

Life. Changing.

These days I'm much more able to say my piece and walk away. If they think it makes sense, okay. If they don't, okay. I don't get invested in their outcome. They are on their own path, they have their own Higher Power, as it were.

My primary recovery was and still is from codependency - and I learned it early. I'd say by age five.
  • Help others.
  • Be worried about other peoples' problems (..and then the progression/addiction to control.)
  • Take on their problems.
  • Try to fix them.
  • Get angry when that doesn't work. (Pro-tip: it never works.)
  • Blame self for not having the right solution. *If only I'd said _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.*
  • Spiral down with anxiety because they get worse and have to OH NO suffer the consequences.

If they had only listened to me, Queen of the Universe.


How did work for ya, Bim?

I like it much better when they get to do them, and I'm responsible for me.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:57 AM
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Bim, I had to read that twice and I might have to read it a third time

I admit I can be slow after a long day !

Helping others inadvertently helps ourselves ?
Like by making people happy is a great way of being happy oneself ?
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by theVman31 View Post
Bim, I had to read that twice and I might have to read it a third time

I admit I can be slow after a long day !

Helping others inadvertently helps ourselves ?
Like by making people happy is a great way of being happy oneself ?
Not my point, but it may be me and my writing skills or lack thereof.

Just the opposite. It feels good to be connected to people, but it's easy to go overboard and let it become a pathology.

The bullet points are the progression of the unhealthy "helping."
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:12 PM
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I think bim means that you have to take care of yourself first,and not make other peoples happiness your job.
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:18 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 793
I agree with you, bim, to some extent, but am also with hawkeye - sometimes you help yourself by helping others. I think it is important to make sure though, that you are in a place where you are anchored, before you wade in to help someone.

I think, it is hard for most people to ask for help. These forums help as you see so much acceptance.
I know, for me, when things start to get confrontational, i shy away, and that is as true here as it is face to face.
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