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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

12-01-15 | By

5 Lessons to Remember About Asking For Help

asking for help

You don’t have to do this alone. Why would you want to?

So much pride, ego, and self-centeredness goes into convincing ourselves that we don’t need help. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why have we decided that we are better off facing our problems and our insecurities alone?

Asking for help is a must. If you want to be sober and happy and healthy, then asking for help is something that you need to get used to.

You don’t need to be afraid to ask for help. If the time comes that you need help with something but you are too afraid to ask, remember these key points.

RELATED: Admitting The Truth About Alcoholism

1 – Asking For Help Does Not Make You Weak

In fact, it is exactly the opposite.

Ego and pride make you weak. You are much weaker when standing alone on an island than when standing amongst friends. It takes strength and humility to admit that you need a hand. Paradoxically, humility is a beacon of strength.

Thinking you know best and thinking you can do everything by yourself is a sign of weakness. It means that you are too insecure to admit that you don’t know something, or that you were unable to complete a task at hand.

“Asking for help does not make you weak, it makes you stronger.”

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2 – You Are Not a Burden

This is how I think.

I don’t ask people for help because I don’t want to be a burden. I feel as if people have better things to do then to deal with me and my silly problems.

Sometimes helping me may be an inconvenience, but it is not a burden. You really discover this once you have been on the other side and are able to help someone else out.

When I was in early recovery I needed help all the time. I needed rides, or food or advice. I would call people when I was emotional or angry or scared I was going to drink. These days, my life is more stable and I don’t need help as much as I used to.

Now it is my time to give back. What kind of man would I be if I took and took and didn’t give back to the circle of recovery?

This is the deal. This is why helping people (especially other alcoholics) is such a pleasure, because it is our chance to give back. It is our chance to replenish the well of prosperity.

If you need help, don’t feel like you are a burden. We have all been there.

3 – It Is Better To Just Ask

Since we often feel like we a burdening others by asking for help, many of us have learned a slick way of finding help us without actually asking for it.

It goes something like this.

You are driving with a friend. You are in the passenger seat, he is driving. You need help but instead of asking you say something like…

“Man… I don’t know what I am going to do. I need a ride to work on Thursday and my roommate is out of town. Do you have any ideas?”

Maybe your friend will feel bad for you. Maybe he won’t. Maybe he isn’t even listening. Chances are he knows you are trying to get him to give you a ride but are too ashamed to ask for it.

Again, we have all been there. You are much better off just swallowing your pride and asking for help. No one likes someone who is desperate or manipulative. You don’t have to be. You can just simply ask a friend for a favor and be upfront with them about what you can give in exchange.

Can you offer gas money? Can you offer a hand? Can you offer nothing at all?

Be upfront and honest. It may be uncomfortable, but it will have a better outcome. People know what you are doing and it only makes you appear fake or like you are putting on a facade. Be respectful of someone’s intelligence. Don’t insult them by trying to manipulate them into helping you.

4 – You Get What You Give

The universe has a funny way of leveling the playing field.

Even people that have no money or property still posses the greatest resource there is, which is time. Giving your time is the ultimate form of service.

RELATED: Managing Money in Sobriety – 3 Steps to Help You Out.

Prioritize yourself with what you can give. Keep it in the front of your mind. Always be asking yourself what you can do to help someone or to enrich someone’s life. How can you share your time with someone? If you do this, you will never need to ask around for help. You will have earned trust, built relationships and spent your positive energy in a way that guarantees it will come back to you.

Instead of asking for help when you need it, try to instead give your time and then the help will always be available to you. When you put the needs of others in front of the needs of yourself, amazing things happen.

5 – Asking For Help Will Broaden Your Horizons

I play soccer with my friends every Sunday. This most recent Sunday I got to the field and saw that someone had moved the nets away from where we need them. I was the first one there, and so I decided to drag the nets over by myself.

A man was walking around the track with his daughter. He was watching me struggle to drag this heavy net over a few feet at a time.

I saw him, but I didn’t want to bother him by asking for his help. Finally after 10 minutes of struggling and grunting, I gave in and asked the man for a hand as he was walking past me on the track. He looked at me and smiled as if he had been waiting for me to build the courage to ask.

To my surprise, he walked over by himself and said simply, “here bud let me show you something.”

The damn net has wheels on it!

All these weeks we had been dragging this net back and forth without noticing the little latch underneath the goal posts that came down as wheels. Now I could easily roll the net to wherever it needed to go. All I had to do was ask for help.

At that moment, I realized that when you allow others to help you, you are gaining so much more than an extra hand. You are gaining new perspectives, new ideas and new skills that you never would have known if you did everything on your own.

That really got me thinking. What else am I missing out on because I am too proud to ask for help? What other areas in my life and in my sobriety am I falling short on? I am not giving myself the chance to learn from other people?

It was that moment that I decided to write this article.

A Day At A Time

I could write this and you could read it and we could all shake our heads in agreement. That doesn’t mean that it will make things any easier.

The fact is that for many of us, asking for help is very difficult. It causes anxiety and self-doubt and shame and the feeling that we are not good enough.

I get that. You must not let it get to you.

All of those thoughts are simply lies that your disease is telling you. You need to take it a day at a time and simply tackle each challenge as it comes. If you continue to do the best you can, eventually the feelings of self-doubt will begin to disappear.

Now you are free to be yourself!

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