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I’d Rather Drown Than Ask For Help

I’ve got a lot happening right now. My life is full and while I am grateful to be clean and present in my own life, I am totally overwhelmed. I try really hard to stay in today, but I just can’t help my mind spinning into all of the things that must get done in the coming months. When that mind-spinning happens, I shut down and find it difficult to do anything. Instead, I sit and wallow in all the things I’m not doing; that I can’t bring myself to do, because I’m overwhelmed. Then I panic and retreat further into myself. It’s a vicious cycle I’ve been stuck in for a couple weeks now.

My friendships are suffering because I can’t bring myself to reach out and ask for help. I don’t know what to say. I convince myself that I am supposed to be the serene, poster-girl for calm, but I’m not. I tell myself that my fears and daily struggles aren’t BIG enough to trouble the people in my life with; that  I should be able to use my tools and work through this alone. Even seeing in typed here in black and white, I know it’s ridiculous.. I’m telling myself I don’t know what to do, what to say, or even where to begin, but that’s a lie. I do know where to start. It’s the one thing that has kept my recovery going since day one; reaching out with honesty.

I’m afraid to show anyone that I don’t have it together as well as I think I do.

I’m hiding in groups of people because I am overwhelmed with tasks and plans for the future. I’m afraid that you will think I’m weak. I’ve decided that is an unacceptable label for who I am today. I forget that peace I feel when I show my vulnerable side and admit that life terrifies me sometimes. I am consumed by fear, the same fear that kept me using drugs, except today I feel every ounce of it because I’m not using.

I know I can’t get everything done that I want to get done today, so my solution is doing nothing. It’s not working for me. I’m only falling more and more into silent panic. I’m hearing my own voice in my head saying all of the things I’ve said to others in the same circumstance, but finding it hard to take my own suggestions. I don’t want to live in this anymore, and no one can help me until I ask.

So, I am putting “ask for help and reach out” on the top of my to-do list for today, and every day after until I stop drowning.

photo credit: www.pipjohnson.com via photopin cc

4 Comments on “I’d Rather Drown Than Ask For Help

  1. Oh honey. YES. Yes I have felt like this. And it wasn’t because I’d overcommitted to people or filled my schedule with activities- it wasn’t even because I had this idea that everyone was supposed to see me as a perfect role model of serenity personified. It was simple things. Taking a shower. Doing the dishes. Putting on makeup. Making a meeting. Doctors appointments. Laundry. Cooking dinner. Simple things that millions of women do on a daily basis overwhelmed me. So I just laid in bed instead. And thought. And cried. And hated myself. I wasnt drinking but I was miserable. I am no good at asking for help. I know how recovery works. I know good and well what I need to. But the phone weighs 1, 000 pounds sometimes. Or maybe in some still sick with alcoholism kind of way I derise a sense of pleasure from all this wallowing and I’m holding onto it for deeper, more selfish reasons. Whatever the case, I finally hit a point where I’d had emough. I sent one text message. That was all it took. “I need help.”. Simple enough. Within the next day I was meeting my sponsor at her house and preparing a schedule for my life. I needed that. I had to have that. And I wasnt embarassed by it anymore. She knew what I needed because someone did the exact same thing for her years ago. With that schedule, that boost, that motivation, and a LOT of forcing myself to do things I just didn’t feel like doing- I got to where I am at in recovery today a lot more quickly than I thought I would. Youve done an excellent job describing your feelings and concerns. Youve put aside fear and embarassment and placed hope and faith in other addicts. Youve tackled a huge task by writing and posting this. Now comes another. You must take the help that is offered and use it to the best of your ability. Thats all you can expect of yourself. My best advice is to forgive yourself for the way you’ve treated yourself lately. Imprerfection is FAR from weakness. I see this plea for help and I see strength. And corage. And fortitude. Youve got guts. And its obvious you’ve got heart. Use it on yourself. I once wrote an apology letter to myself. I found it to be tremendously helpful, especially when old feelings creep up on me. I read it again, give myself a break, and usually start my day over- regardless of the time. Talking about goals and what you’d like to accomplish with another person could really give you some good perspective and help you better prioritize. Why not find someone like I did- someone who has been where you are and came out where she wanted? It may help. I hope this does. Hang in there girl, you got this!

  2. I happened to see your post and if I don’t reply now, honestly, I’ll never come back to this. The demand for independence, of quietly striving to survive alone, takes all my energy. Each of us has our own story and yet share the similar experience of trying, ever trying to make it. Your experience sounds like my experience. I want to succeed. I have so many decisions to make and I am torn in many directions. Thank you for your honesty. You speak for each of us who slog on silently while our minds are a whirlwind. I am a nurse and have cared for so many people. But receiving care is another matter. Fundamentally we may not believe we deserve help. I applaud you for staying clean. If that’s all you accomplish, it’s enough. You have already proven yourself.

  3. It’s not a coincidence that I saw this today, 4 months after it was posted. I’ve been trying for months to find the words to describe, after almost 3 years sober and going through major marital troubles, the overwhelming feelings I have been having. My husband especially doesn’t understand how a stay at home mom can be so overwhelmed when I have all of this “free time”. I can’t understand it either! I know what to do, how to reach out and that it will bring me relief and solution but I don’t. I have no cravings to use, I’m not depressed, I even have hope as well as acceptance for whatever path my marriage takes….but I am so stagnant right now! Anyway, thank you. Thank you for the words to match my feelings. I am so grateful that in recovery, you are never alone and someone ALWAYS gets it. 🙂

  4. First: hugs, hugs, hugs.
    Second: I cannot believe how similar your post is to so many I have been writing lately. I am OVERWHELMED all the time. I feel like I can’t cope with life the way others can. I stare at my colleagues baffled as they take life’s curve balls in stride. I just want to crawl into the comfort of my bed and hide forever.
    The weird part is I am super good at faking it. I appear to have my shit thoroughly. I realized recently that I am doing no one a favor by pretending to calm, cool, and collected. I commend you for sharing.
    Love, Pearl

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