Most people who are struggling with addiction and who recognize that they need some type of help, often wrestle with actually making the call. They know they need treatment for their addiction but don’t know what to do about the uncertainty they have.
This tug and pull is called ambivalence. Ambivalence is when a person is feeling two opposing feelings at the same time. You want to get help, but at the same time you don’t want to get help because of fears or concerns or lack of resources. Ambivalence can keep a person stuck in their struggle with addiction for months, even years. If this is where you’re at, our tips will help you with how to get out of that ambivalence so that you can finally make the call and get the help you need. Often, the ambivalence that many men and women experience is the desire to change but fearing that change at the same time.
Some fears and obstacles that typically get in the way of reaching out for help with addiction treatment can include:
- fear of change
- not knowing how
- being overwhelmed with all that you need to do
- fear of chaos in your life
- not wanting to be uncomfortable
- fear of uncertainty
- fatigue or not having the energy to change
- fear of not being good enough or feeling like you don’t deserve what you want
- not having the time to change
- waiting for something to happen
- too busy for change
One benefit of knowing what’s getting in your way is that then you can be more aware of what’s stopping you and why. And with greater awareness, you can make better choices rather than unconsciously allowing fear to get in your way.
Often, people feel a general fear about the change they want to make which turns into procrastination and possibly never calling at all. However, with awareness, you can make the choice to seek help even though you might feel nervous about what the future holds. And a great way to move towards a change that you’re afraid of is to take small steps.
You can prepare yourself by taking baby steps to help treat addiction, just doing one little thing at a time. In fact, there are steps you can take now in order to slowly approach the change you need to make for yourself.
Here are some small ones you can take to help move past the barriers and begin to create change in your life:
- Write a letter or email. Writing can be cathartic as it helps release thoughts and emotions that percolate. It helps bring to light what you are struggling with so you can make clearer sense of what you’re experiencing.
- Find a purpose so that your sobriety has more meaning than just getting sober – What are you doing this for? For your children, marriage, career, health?
- Start surrounding yourself with others who have already made the change you want. There are many men and women who have gotten sober and have been where you are now. Spending time with them can help you with overcoming the fears and obstacles.
- Find someone who will hold you accountable to the changes you want to make.
- Utilize the many resources on the internet. You can take small actions, such as rounding up information on treatment, looking up helpline numbers, joining chat rooms, locating where AA meetings are held in your neighborhood, visiting websites for treatment options and more.
Recognize that there is a part of you that wants to change and that desire has power to it. These are a few suggestions for starting to make the change you want. It’s hard to make a life transformation. But with the right support, tools, and plan, you can do it! If you are struggling with addiction and need help with getting the right treatment, or know someone who might need our assistance, please contact us to see how we can support you.
Connections in Recovery (CiR) assists individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues to connect with the best providers, recovery companions and treatment resources to support long-term positive recovery outcomes. Through personalized action plans, CiR is committed to finding the right solution, “best fit,” for each individual.