Progressing Through the 5 Stages of Addiction: Stage IV

Once you reach Stage 4, you're overcome with fear - too scared to reach out for help.

One of the hardest parts after hitting rock bottom is asking for help. This is the ultimate lesson in humility; it forces you to toss your ego aside and admit that you’re not perfect.

Eye of the Beholder

I had a mental image of an alcoholic, and I didn’t want anyone to think that person was me. At that point in my life, I had definitely developed a problem with wine, but the thought of telling anyone about it never crossed my mind. I was too proud to admit that I didn’t have it all under control.

Being labeled as “the strong one” by my family, I mistakenly thought that asking for help would tarnish that image. Looking back, I should’ve sucked it up and not cared so much about what other people thought. It probably would’ve changed the course of my life. Instead, I suffered in silence, put on a facade that everything was fine and naively believed I could overcome it myself.

Of course, I didn’t and the decision to stop drinking was made for me – after drunkenly crashing into another car at 2 am.

Perception Alters Reality

Many people suffering from chemical dependency think asking for help shows weakness. They believe there’s shame and stigma surrounding the concept, leading experts to consider this the fourth stage of the addiction model.

By asking for help, you’re showing courage and re-claiming your power. You won’t be a victim to this disease any longer. Believe me, you’ll gain respect by doing what you need to do to get healthy. After all, if you don’t seek out the help yourself, it’s not going to come to you.

The bottom line is that it’s never too late to ask for help. Treatment is going to be hard, no doubt about it, but when you’re ready to get clean and sober, you will overcome your addiction and begin living a more fulfilling life.

Asking for help is the first step in the healing process; you deserve the opportunity to turn your life around. You deserve to begin creating a life of happiness in sobriety.

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