Asking for Help

I grew up with the idea that asking for help was a sign of weakness. I believe this was the most dangerous old idea I walked through the doors with. This idea separated me from you, God and truth. Help is what I needed when I was still drinking. Help is what I need today — more than ever.

Self sufficiency was killing me from the inside out. I couldn’t let anyone know I had a problem I couldn’t handle. I wouldn’t be a “real” man if I did. So I kept to myself and suffered in silence. I acted like a know-it-all, but inside a was a shivering wreck. Finally, my inability to ask for help had me all alone in my messy, darkened apartment getting drunk twice a day. I was running out of money and awoke every morning in a pit of fear. I lived in the delusion that as soon as I found another big-pay job life would be grand. Thankfully, God had other ideas.

I believe today that help always comes every time I sincerely ask for it. It may not come in the form I expect, but it always comes. I wasn’t looking to quit drinking when I reached out to a therapist for help, but that’s exactly what happened. She said she couldn’t help me, but maybe the treatment center up the street could. A few days later I signed up for treatment because I didn’t know what else to do. The obsession to drink was removed immediately. As a newcomer, I could not pick up that 500 pound phone and ask for help. Fortunately you guys didn’t wait. You knew I was in dangerous territory. So you pulled me into the center of Alcoholics Anonymous with your phone calls, invitations to coffee and pats on the back. I’ll be forever grateful for the men in my first home group.

Like the good doctor says in his opinion, I cannot change me. The old ideas and painful memories are too deep for self-help. I do not have the power to pull the weeds out of my psychic garden so that new growth may flower. But God wants more than anything to change me. God doesn’t want to stand on the sideline of my life. He wants to get fully into the game. My job is simply to allow God in by demonstrating the willingness to be changed. Asking for help is the most powerful action I can take to show my sincerity to grow and change.

Everything I do in Alcoholics Anonymous is me asking for help. I ask for help every time I show up in a meeting, work a step, and say a prayer. I ask for help every time I put my hand out to a newcomer. I ask for help whenever I am of service both in and out of the rooms. I ask for help every time I answer the phone or dial another member. I heard in a meeting yesterday that “figuring it out is not an AA slogan.” The willingness to ask another alcoholic for help with a particular issue saves me needless struggle and suffering. It’s simply a wonderful way to live.