How to Start Seeking Help
If you’re struggling with addiction, it can be hard to get started seeking help. Part of the cycle of addiction is resistance to change. However, if you want to pursue recovery, you can do so with the help of your loved ones and through seeking treatment. Everyone deserves the chance to bring out the change they want in their life, and that is within reach.
Recovery is hard enough without beginning on your own. Your support system may include people you’re already close to, such as friends and family, as well as mental health and medical professionals that you trust with your care. To get information on how to set up a support system, visit https://crossroadsme.org/addiction-recovery-blog/building-your-addiction-recovery-support-system/
Letting the people in your life know what you’re dealing with and what your goals are will help you to meet them and to have support when things are tough.
The support of a structured rehab plan might be essential to your recovery. If you know anyone who’s been through a rehab program or support group, ask for their experiences so you have a better idea what to expect.
Addiction treatment has evolved a lot, and an important aspect of that is a shift from treating addiction as a moral issue, to instead supporting those with addictions in the same way you would support someone with a chronic disease. It’s best to seek information from evidence-based, compassionate support groups and rehab centers in your area. For an idea of what’s available in Lakewood and where you can get more information, see Sunshine Behavioral Health Lakewood for some helpful resources.
If you choose to go through a program or support group, they should help you develop a long-term recovery plan that will keep you on the path you want to be on outside of meetings and formalized treatment. This involves keeping track of daily changes in your wellness and recovery, recording your activities, recognizing your triggers and warning signs, making plans to handle difficult days, and keeping friends and family up to date on your recovery.
You may also have one-on-one counseling with a therapist during your recovery, in which case it will be important to keep them up to date on your plan and how you are doing.
Being Kind to Yourself is Important
One of the most important things you can do for yourself during any recovery process is to be kind, patient, and understanding with yourself. Feelings of shame or frustration may be unavoidable, but if these feelings are indulged they will only cause more stress. It’s important to process these feelings and try to respect the process of recovery and the difficulties that come with it.
Keep in mind that many other people have gone through this before. If possible, connect with others who have struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues, to share support and get encouragement from someone who has experience with this. There may be programs or groups close to you where you can meet with other folks in recovery in a laid-back setting, or you can interact one-on-one with friends or people in your social circle who have similar experiences.
Mindfulness will also be important in this process. Mindfulness involves being in touch with your feelings and stress levels. It’s important not to repress or assign moral value to our feelings: you are not wrong for feeling angry or upset, and your feelings are both allowed and important. However, it is possible to validate your feelings and also name their relevance and where they come from. Some days we feel as though everything is pointless and the world is coming down around us, and this feeling cannot be denied, nor does it help to call such feelings ‘stupid’ or ‘pointless.’ Still, we can acknowledge that this feeling does not represent truth, and is coming from a place of fear and stress. When the feeling is acknowledged and respected, it becomes easier to move on from that feeling.
You might also benefit from joining a group or class where you can spend your time in sports, hobbies, or other activities with other people that will keep you occupied and bring happiness and structure. New interests can be a huge relief, and expanding your social circle could help your mood and self-esteem as well.
Self-compassion and mindfulness are skills just like anything else, so be patient with yourself if this is difficult. There are lots of writings and resources online to help cultivate these skills, and mental health professionals can also give you assistance. For a primer on this, read here for a list of ways that you can practice being kind to yourself and increase your self-control and understanding.
Take the First Step
When it comes to recovery and breaking cycles, the first step is one of the hardest. Most people struggle to seek help because they dread the pain and stress that will come with facing their problems and beginning this hard journey. However, if you’ve been thinking about seeking treatment of any kind, you deserve to take that step and receive the support you’re craving.
Beginning this process can be as simple as telling one person that you trust that you want help. Everyone needs help every day, whether it’s with something big or something tiny. If you can, reach out to someone close to you and let them know that you want to make a change. This can help motivate you to make further steps and begin to feel encouraged, and perhaps this person can help you to do that.
If you do find yourself in a crisis situation, please call for help immediately. Remember to always be honest with health workers about any drugs or alcohol in your system, so that they can help you. No matter what you feel in the moment, you deserve to get help when you need it. Take that first step, reach out, and then let yourself take the next step after that.
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