If You're Depressed, Reach Out

14 June 2016 Written by 

Tens of thousands of people perish in the US every year from suicide and addiction. We mourn each and every loss of a precious loved one. The lives of so many families will never be the same. It’s sad that our culture doesn’t allow families that suffer losses from addiction or depression to feel the same respect and dignity as those who have lost loved ones to other diseases.

But even in recovery land millions of people feel hopeless and alone every day. Isolation is the most painful thing in the world. Do something about it.

Feeling alone, being alone, and unable to engage with others when things are at their worst, are some of the hallmarks not just of addiction, but also of just plain being human. It’s hard to ask for help when you’re down. I wasn’t taught to ask for help, were you?  Even though I have the tools to reach out, sometimes I just can’t. When I feel the worst is when I need help the most. And it’s the time I really have trouble picking up the phone.

Why is reaching out and making that call so important?

When you’re lost in your own head, you’re actually lost. You could just as well be in the Gobi desert. Or on Mount Everest. In quicksand up to your ears. Up the creek without a paddle. Doesn’t matter where you are. You’re lost. When you’re lost on the road, GPS can help. When you’re lost in your head, only other people can help. Sometimes just the words, “I understand” can help you turn the corner. Sometimes you need perspective only someone else can give you. Sometimes you need a lot more help than that. If you’re really in trouble, a friend offering to take you to the movies is not enough, or a pull up your socks lecture from a family member could make things a lot worse.

So this is the time when making the choice who to call can make all the difference. This is not the time to call someone who’s mad at you. An aunt who remembers what you did to your mother when you were ten, or the brother whose wedding you ruined with a tantrum, or the ex who harbors a grudge, or any of the people you think may have harmed you. And you may have a long list. These are not the people to call for sympathy, empathy or the path to feeling better.

This is the time to rely on the kindness of genuine friends, people who accept you no matter what, or strangers in safe places. Help is most likely to come from people who won’t use your current misery as an opportunity to call you out or remind you of all the times you may have been a pain in the ass. 12 step fellowships and meeting provide those crucial connections for millions of people. For addiction recovery 12-step programs are often the first place to go. Check out 12-step programs in our resources category. Check out ROR meetings to find where to go.

For Depression and risk of suicide. The numbers below are trusted sources of help.

Crisis Call Center

800- 273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863

24 hours a day, seven days a week


National Suicide Hotline

800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

800-442-Hope (4673)

24 hours a day, seven days a week


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

800-273-TALK 8255

24 hours a day, seven days a week


Thursdays Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline

800-USA-Kids (872-5437)

24 hours a day, seven days a week

Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Leslie Glass  

Read 6142 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 02:59
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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass is the winner of the American Society of Addiction Medicine 2016 Media Award for her groundbreaking documentary "The Secret World Of Recovery." She is a journalist, playwright, the author of 15 novels and the founder of Reach Out Recovery. She is the producer/director of "The Secret World Of Recovery," and the teen addiction prevention documentary "The Silent Majority" which was distributed by American Public Television to all PBS stations in 2015. Leslie is currently developing more websites and technology to further the recovery and healthy living cause.
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