📅Updated April 25, 2018 | By Ryan Hawks
“Never let your ego get in the way of asking for help when in desperate need. We have all been helped at a point in our lives.”
― Edmond Mbiaka
― Edmond Mbiaka
Imagine for a moment you are grasping onto a rope dangling helplessly over a sheer cliff. Letting go means certain death. Do you see yourself holding on with just a finger or two? Of course not. You would have all of your fingers and maybe even a few teeth tightly wrapped around the rope in the tightest grip of your life.
You must view your grasp on recovery in the same way with each finger representing key players necessary for your support. Consider the acronym GRASP to help you remember each member or part of your team:
G = God. It goes without saying that God is our greatest ally and help when it comes to recovery. One might ask, if God is all powerful, why would we need help from anyone else? As Spencer W. Kimball once said, it is through others he meets our needs.
R = Religious Leaders. These are individuals whom God has given to us to direct us in the journey of repentance. The further we have wandered from God, the greater help they are in getting us back on track because they don’t have the distorted view which sin has caused us to have.
A = Accountability partner. While we should be accountable to our religious leaders, we should also have at least one other person that we give a frequent--potentially daily--accounting to of how we are doing, including what has gone right, and what has gone less right. In the 12-step program, this person is called a sponsor. Make sure it is someone you can be open and honest with, someone who will keep you accountable to be your best self, but who won’t shame you on the days you fall. A spouse may not may not make the best accountability partner as they may overly personalize your responses. This does not mean you should not tell your spouse how you are doing or when there has been a slip-up, but as far as a support, they have their own work to do and may not yet be able to give you the unconditional support you need until they themselves are in a place not to personalize your behavior.
S = Support Groups. This is where you will find others who are on the same journey you are. You will find a mix of individuals there--some have been sober for years, others are likely still heavily struggling. You can find great strength in hearing their stories of success, and you can learn from mistakes others have made.
P = Professional help. In my opinion, too many people view seeing a therapist as a last option when things have gotten really bad. This is often because seeking out mental health support has a negative stigma. But really, that’s like finding you have cancer and not reaching out to a doctor until its almost too late. simply because it’s not ‘cool’ or you thought you could do it alone. The purpose of a mental health professional is simply to help you in untangling some of the mental and emotional knots that have gotten you where you are, and which are subsequently keeping you there.
For a PDF of this tool, click here.