I recently had a beautiful AA moment. Even though I’m four years into this sobriety business, I still have a hard time asking for help. Stoic, non-emotional and without need….that’s me. And I used to wear it like a badge, but now I have the insight to see it served a purpose but it’s not so grand anymore.
I was having a bit of an emotional breakdown which, and this was unfamiliar ground for the lifelong stoic. Time in recovery is softening up my hard emotional shell.
When this wave of emotion came over me I was pretty perplexed as to what to do. I tried my tools of breathing through it and meditating, but this time felt bigger and like I really needed to talk and process with someone.
But who has time for me at 8:00 on a Tuesday morning? I knew I had the full capability of flipping the emotional switch and stuffing all those feelings far, far away. But I also knew that was the pattern I’d done for years. So I didn’t choose that route, but feeling it all was overwhelming.
Finally, I thought of an AA friend to call and I knew that she wanted to talk with me about this because by helping me work through something it would keep my alcoholic self sober (and therefore alive). And by helping me she was also helping herself. Somehow I needed to believe there was something in it for her for me to justify calling.
Perhaps this isn’t the best logic to move through when learning to ask for help, but it worked for me on that Tuesday. I texted and said can you talk this morning? She said yes, at 10:00. We talked for about 10 minutes and my emotional overwhelm dissipated.
And I loved the experience of asking for help. Yes, perhaps I’ll do it again some day.