How Do I Know If I Really Need Help?

needing help

Table of Contents

Alcoholism and addiction are a disease unlike any other. They affect so much more than just the body, but the mind and spirit as well. Characterized by a three-fold nature, alcoholism and addiction are often deeply misunderstood, even by those who have the disease. Much can be done to understand alcoholism and addiction by reading the book Alcoholics Anonymous.

For the most part, it is up to the sufferer to diagnose themselves with the disease. This requires both soul-searching and self-honesty. Only you really know if you have a problem. If you are having difficulty with substance abuse, alcohol dependency, or addiction, do your best to look within and be honest with yourself and those around you. If you think you may have a problem with alcoholism, addiction, or other substances or addictive behaviors, it is up to you to find a 12-Step program fellowship in your area that deals with your problem and ask for help.

Identifying the Problem

Alcoholism and addiction are characterized by mental obsession, physical allergy, and spiritual malady. This disease is expertly explained in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, but we will briefly lay it out for you here.

The mental obsession entails constant obsessive thoughts that center around drinking, using, or abusing substances. Even when we do not want to think about it, we can’t do anything about it. Our minds race, constantly wondering things like “Do I have enough alcohol to make it through the night?” Thoughts like this dominate our minds. We are always thinking about how we can get more, ingest more, hide our using, justify our behavior when under the influence, etc. This is a description of the mental obsession.

The physical allergy is often indicated by an uncontrollable urge to continue using or consuming our drug of choice after first exposure. Basically, once you start, you can’t stop. No matter how badly you wish to stop, no matter how good your reasons or motivation to stop are, once you have one, the disease is in control and we are out of control. Maybe you’ve experienced something like this: I’ll just have one drink tonight, I have to work tomorrow morning. The next morning, you can’t even remember how you got home, and you’re too sick to go to work. Instances like this hint at the physical allergy.

The spiritual malady is a bit harder to define and characterize. Some of us might have a connection to the phrase “soul-sickness.” This part of the disease mostly means that we lack the power to free ourselves from the other two parts of the disease. We cannot muster the willpower to resist the mental obsession or fight off the physical allergy. This spiritual malady must be addressed by coming to know a higher power of our own understanding.

Ask Yourself Honestly

Does any of the above sound like you? Be honest now. Have you ever experienced any of these thoughts or behaviors? Have you ever wondered alone to yourself if your drinking or drug use was out of your control? The odds are good that if you’re here and asking yourself questions like this, then you may have a problem.

Only we can diagnose ourselves with alcoholism and addiction. We must come to this understanding on our own, for ourselves, and admit it to our deepest inner self. If you are wondering if you may be an alcoholic or addict, please get a copy of the book Alcoholics Anonymous and read the first few chapters. If you still aren’t convinced, try some of the experiments that the book suggests. If you are unable to stop when you want to, if you are unable to calm your mind or lack the willpower to resist, you may be an alcoholic. If your drinking or using is causing physical, emotional, mental, occupational, or relationship issues, you may have a problem.

Do you struggle to balance “partying” with your responsibilities? Have you been isolating from friends and family who don’t share your habits? Do you feel separated from yourself? Do most of your thoughts and actions revolve around your drinking or using? If you have the same problem we do — the disease of alcoholism and addiction — we have some good news for you.

The Good News

If you know you have a problem or suspect you might, there is something great you should know. There is a solution! Jaywalker Lodge was built specifically to help people who struggle to recover on their own. Most of us cannot find freedom or recovery alone. At Jaywalker Lodge, we believe with all our hearts in the life-saving and life-changing effects of the 12-Step program of recovery. Everybody needs help working the 12-Steps, and that’s what we’re here to do.

The 12-Steps were designed uniquely for alcoholics and addicts. Taking this program of spiritual action is designed to produce the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that bring about recovery and freedom from the disease. Most who work the 12-Steps can find freedom and joy in their new life in recovery.

Alcoholism and addiction are a misunderstood disease, even by those who suffer from them. The sufferer must first diagnose themselves with the disease and admit that they have a problem. Once this crucial step is taken, they will need the help of others who have worked the 12-Step program. The 12-Step program has proven to restore and transform the lives of many alcoholics and addicts. As they work the 12-Steps for themselves, they too will learn how to help others. Jaywalker Lodge is founded upon the 12-Step program, and we believe in its power and effectiveness because it worked for us. We are here to help people who earnestly want help. No matter how far gone you are, no matter what you have tried before, or how many times you have slipped, we believe that recovery is for everyone. Start your recovery journey today and finally break free from alcoholism and addiction. Call Jaywalker Lodge now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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