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Why Am I Afraid to Get Help?

Many of us struggling with addictions are afraid to get help. Wherever we are in the timeline of our stories, the fear of getting help often holds us back from recovery.

For many of us, we have become complicit and comfortable in our addictions. We’re afraid of being pushed out of our comfort zones. Sometimes it’s easier to for us to continue the habits and patterns we’ve developed because even though they cause us pain, they are familiar. They are what we know. Many of us have been living with these addictions for most of our lives. Venturing into the unknown is scary, especially when we feel so desperately dependent on our addictive substances and/or behaviors.

We’re afraid to admit we need help. Sometimes we’re prideful. We don’t want to appear weak, sick or abnormal. Sometimes we’re in denial. The fear of facing our addictions can be powerful and can overwhelm us. We postpone getting help when we know we need to. We think we can do it on our own. Sometimes we aren’t yet conscious of how bad our addictions have gotten.

We’re afraid of being judged. Maybe you’ve been rejected, shunned, criticized, ridiculed or abused. Our fear of people judging us and looking down on us can keep us trapped. We fear further rejection. Deep down we want to be loved and accepted. We crave connection with people who understand us.

We’re afraid of the pain of withdrawal. We’re afraid of both the physical symptoms and the emotional effects, the pain of letting go of people, substances or habits we’ve become attached to. We’re afraid that the pain of missing them will destroy us. We feel like we can’t live without them. For many of us our addictions have dominated our lives and become our ultimate priority. Getting help means facing this fear of loss and of letting go, and when we have been traumatized, sometimes our fear response is to try to avoid more pain as much as possible.

We are so deep in the emotional turmoil of addiction that we can’t see our way out. We might be struggling to find the strength just to get through the day, let alone make a call, research resources, ask for support, or otherwise reach out for help. Many of us are living with both addictions and mental health issues simultaneously. When we are depressed or in a panic state, for example, we can lose our ability to function and take care of our basic needs. Seeking help can feel complicated, confusing, overwhelming, even terrifying.

We understand how hard it can be to get help. We’ve been there. Call us. (800) 871-5440.