Does asking for help make you a weak person?
For most of my life, that's exactly what I thought.
I remember a time when my family and I were driving in a car with my dad behind the wheel. My mother voiced her concerns about being lost and suggested that he ask for help finding directions to wherever it was we were supposed to be going.
His reply, "I'm not going to ask for help hun, I'll figure it out."
I remember thinking that refusing help must be the manly thing to do.
Throughout various other life experiences early on, seeing people refuse help when it was most needed, I myself became the exact same way...A DIY kind of person.
My perspective was that only the weak needed to ask for help and only the strong figured things out for themselves.
Addiction for me kicked in during my teenage years. It started out as fun and games but it eventually led to serious life consequences.
My thought process of asking for help as being weak was ingrained in my brain though.
It was so ingrained that I would lie to myself about the severity of my problems. I would always have a justification for my actions which were all lies that I would tell myself. I told them to myself so often that I actually believed them to be true. This lightened the burden of feeling obligated to ask for help.
It wasn't until I was faced with an ultimatum, "either get help or get out of our lives", This came from my entire family on April 9th, 2013 during an intervention. That was the last day I had a drink.
That confrontation was the first time that I admitted to myself that I needed help.
The truth was, that I had severe problems stemming from alcohol and drug use. Finally admitting to myself that I was addicted and needed help was difficult, but it had to be done in order to have my family back.
I remember learning that well accomplished people such as actors, business owners, gurus and athletes, didn't get to where they were from "doing it themselves", but they got to where they were because they had asked for help more than those who failed to reach similar goals.
So in fact, the strongest people in the world get to where they are because of asking for help. It's the complete opposite from what I thought before. There's nothing weak about asking for help.
From learning those truths, my own perspective took a complete turn. Instead of avoiding asking for help, it became my mission to ask for help more than the average person.
From there, I began learning how to think and how to do the things I wanted to do in life.
Accomplishment after accomplishment, I became living proof to myself of how valuable asking for help can be.
Today I am incredibly grateful that I was forced into asking for help.
I am writing this in order to help others change their perspective before their life gets to the point where they need to be forced into that situation.
This world is a gold mine of information and asking people for help is they key to obtaining the gold.
Living a life filled with drugs and alcohol was like living a life of an empty book. It wasn't until asking for help that my book began telling a story. My next story will begin when I decide to ask a question. The question starting with, "Can you help me..."
- Austin F. Cooper -