They Won’t Tell You They Need Help

If you’re waiting for your addicted loved one to send you an engraved invitation to help them, it will be a long and agonizing wait. Not only won’t they let you know they need help; but they’ll fight you tooth and nail when you offer it because they can’t see the problem for themselves. If they are aware that something’s wrong, they will entrench themselves so deeply in denial that any notion that they need help will eventually be extinguished; this is coming from a three-year denier that would have said anything to fool his family into thinking he didn’t need help for drug addiction.  

I didn’t grow up under the best of circumstances, but I thought that I had outgrown all that. My father had left us for about three years when I was five and then sort of weaved in and out of my life until he died shortly before I turned 19. I know it’s not an excuse, but it’s helpful for me to put things in context. Although we had plenty of money, parental affection was sort of lacking. I always felt that my mother had resented me because she thought that I screwed up her marriage and drove my father away. I lived with this for my entire life and it nearly destroyed my relationship with the only parent I had left.

I started taking drugs when I was 16, because I genuinely didn’t want to do anything else. There was little that interested me and I wasn’t thinking about anything beyond what was going to happen in the immediate future. I didn’t plan, I didn’t dream and I didn’t aspire; I simply existed and wanted to feel good while I was doing it. Drugs provided a nice escape for me that nothing else could. They transported me to another world, whether it was a joint or an oxy tablet. For two years, there was no other way I would have rather spent my time.

By the time high school graduation rolled around, I said “Ok. Time to stop,” but I couldn’t. I learned to live with the withdrawal and stamp down any possible notion that I might be addicted. “If I’m not dead, I’m fine,” is what I told myself. Meanwhile, I was high all the time, including at my father’s funeral and felt screwed up when I wasn’t on something. It was my mother that actually helped me get into treatment. The night after my dad’s burial, we cleared the air and that gave me the impetus to start my life over again. Eventually I recovered and have been sober for six years.

I didn’t ask for help; thankfully someone was insightful enough to make me see that I needed it. If I didn’t have my mother to intervene, there is no telling where I’d be today, or IF I’d be today. 

Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.