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Getting Help for Addiction

Susanne Johnson
| May 25, 2018

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is ask for help. I was raised to function and do the things I have to do on my own. To me, asking for help meant always being weak, which I surely never wanted to admit. But then came addiction, something stronger than my will or anything else, and I had to discover my limits.


Several times I tried to stop, or at least slow down, my drinking, without success. It only lasted a few days, usually about three, and I was right back at it. I simply could not stop longer. I thought it must be possible, so I tried and tried again, never finding a positive outcome. I experienced withdrawal symptoms that made it impossible to continue. A couple times I went to the ER and begged for temporary help. I knew a bottle would help, but I didn’t want to drink. They gave me some medication, allowing me to sleep for the first time in days, but still after only a few days went by, I was back at it.


I was still in the process of active addiction, but I also was in the process of beginning to do something about it — I just didn’t know where to start. I should have gone to a treatment center right then, but I actually didn’t know that they existed. I had only been living in the USA for a year after 10 years of living in Egypt, leaving me with no idea of the help that was available. I asked my (new) doctor what to do. He could have taken the time to explain to me about treatment centers, but I guess he wasn’t too interested in spending much time with me, or he may have thought I knew all that anyway, which I seriously didn’t. I asked him if there was something that could help me slow down my drinking, and he gave me Xanax. From that moment, I had two problems, not one. The bottle read “take as needed,” and I did. I did it the addict’s way, and a 90-day supply lasted probably a week or two. I lived near the Mexican border and got my more over there not knowing it was illegal.


For the next few years, I did not try again to stop. It took emergency hospital stays, three blown esophageal varices, a respiratory arrest, seizures, half of my body being paralyzed some days, and almost losing my life, until I asked for help again. This time, I looked online found a treatment center and reached out for help. Despite my fear of living without drugs and alcohol and my fear of the unknown I went for it. I checked myself in and arrived a few days after my call.


I think I could have gotten sober earlier and more safely if I had known who to ask for help. It wasn’t my doctor. He made the problem actually worse. I had no idea who to ask. If you don’t know who to ask, please feel free to contact me or Heroes in Recovery. We are all glad to show you the different paths you can take. Maybe you don’t have to go to residential treatment, but there are now excellent outpatient facilities available as well. It all depends on where in your addiction or alcoholism you are. We are happy to show you the ways and you can make your own decisions. Don’t be scared of making this first call, there are no strings attached, nobody will sell you anything, and you can even ask anonymous questions if that make you feel more comfortable. We are all here to help you, if you are ready to ask for help. Call us at 855-342-0869, and ask anything you want to know about possible help that is available for you.


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