If you are old enough (or just have a taste for classic television programs), you are probably familiar with Arthur Fonzarelli—known to most as Fonzie or the Fonz.
The Happy Days character, portrayed by Henry Winkler, was the coolest guy around with his leather jacket, his motorcycle, and his ability to make the jukebox play just by striking it with his fist. The girls loved him, and the guys wanted to be him.
There didn’t seem to be much the Fonz couldn’t brazen his way through, but every once in a while, he would struggle with something. For example, Fonzie simply could not bring himself to say that he was wrong. Even when he knew a situation required him to admit such a thing, he somehow could not get the word “wrong” across his lips. He would tie himself in knots looking for alternative ways to convey what he was trying to say.
It was a funny bit—and Winkler played it perfectly—but it was arguably more than just a humorous tic for a character who was the very definition of cool. It was a good reminder that sometimes we all struggle with things that need to be done, but which we have a difficult time bringing ourselves to actually do.
For example, if you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, you may know that you need help—sooner rather than later. But you also might find it extremely difficult to ask for that help. In fact, you might do just about anything you can think of to avoid it. Meanwhile, the symptoms of a substance use disorder are likely getting worse and worse—upending your life or even putting your life in danger.
Let’s look at a few ways to get past your reluctance to ask for the help you need.
A Workplace Task: Telling the Boss Early On
Most of us want to look good at work all of the time. We want to be the co-worker others can rely on—and the one the boss thinks of when it comes time to hand out raises or promotions. As a result, it can feel like you are undermining your whole career if you admit that you need to get help for a substance use disorder.
But the truth is that an ongoing problem with drugs or alcohol is eventually going to impact your reliability and the quality of your work. Better then, to be honest with your boss about what you are struggling with. Facing that challenge before you lose your reputation as a good member of the team is essential for making it easier to get back to work after treatment.
A Community Approach: Find the Supporters and Ignore the Detractors
We wish it were not so, but substance use disorders are still accompanied by quite a lot of stigma. That being the case, it is perfectly natural that you might feel reluctant to share your situation with others and ask for their help and support. You might worry that people will question your character, your willpower, or even your faith.
But even when it feels like everyone is judging you, the reality is that many people want to support you instead. There is a pretty good chance that you have an intuitive sense of which people are which. Being honest with those in your community who will be there for you no matter what can be a big relief—and can ensure you have some people to rely on when your time in treatment comes to an end and your recovery journey begins.
A Family Affair: A Substance Use Disorder Affects the Entire Family
Telling your family that drugs or alcohol have their hooks in you might be the hardest challenge when it comes to asking for help with a substance use disorder. After all, no one wants their family to be disappointed in them.
But entire families can be severely harmed if one member continues to use drugs or alcohol. So the best approach is to be honest with your family—and to tell them that you will need their ongoing support in order to get and stay sober. That is what is best for you, of course. But it is also what is best for each of them.
You Can Always Get the Help You Need Here
At French Creek Recovery Center, we know that every person who comes to us for help has overcome any number of challenges to do so. That is why we are steadfastly committed to an ethos of empathy and respect for each individual. Our team in Meadville, Pennsylvania, offers personalized care and ongoing support to help you maintain your hard-won sobriety after treatment comes to an end. Don’t hesitate to ask us for help. That is why we are here.