Reaching for Help


Two of the hardest words we ever have to say to anyone and yet so desperately need to say.  It rips at your soul and it tears at your pride.

I can’t do this alone.  I can’t do this sobriety thing by myself.  When I was at my darkest, I reached out and asked for help, begged for help that people had been offering me all along, but I was too stubborn to take.  I saw the hands reaching out and I angrily slapped them away.  There was nothing anyone could do to get me to reach for that help.  They offered and begged and pleaded and bribed and forced.  But I didn’t reach.

Until I reached for help, I didn’t receive the help I so desperately needed.  When I was newly sober the people who listened to me and my sad sad story and said, “we understand, we’ve been there” were my lifeline.  They’re still my lifeline.  They surrounded me like a warm blanket with a comfort and love and acceptance that I had never before known in my life.  These were my people.

That’s the thing about sobriety.  You have to keep reaching and taking the help over and over and over.  It never ends, or you end.

Of course it’s reciprocal.  You have to reach out to help in order to get help in return.  That’s the wondrous part of how it works.  The circle.

So today, I reach out.  I try to get someone to reach back, but only if they are willing to do the reaching.  Someone can be screaming “HELP ME” from every pore and yet still not willing to reach back.  You see it, everyone around them sees it and yet they still aren’t ready.

Photo courtesy of the AA Grapevine. 

I like to believe when I need help today I can ask for help.  Truth is though, I’m just as stubborn as I ever was when it comes down to it.  The beauty of learning about surrender is realizing that it’s not weak.  It’s incredibly strong and empowering to ask for help.  It lightens your every load.  It’s not asking for something you aren’t willing to work for.  It’s simply asking for a hand in doing the courageous work.

I will always need help in my sobriety.  There will always be people who need help in theirs.  Luckily I am now an active part of this circle of help.  The reaching out is the hardest part.  Because then you are accountable.  Once you ask for help, you will most likely get it somewhere and then what do you do?  You fight like hell.  Only now you have help.



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