Real men don’t cry. Showing emotions is a sign of weakness.
The expectations of “being a man” leave little room for the realities of being a human.
Stress from work, or family, or a combination of responsibilities builds up, and we seek a release. For a lot of people that is through drugs and alcohol. Having a few cocktails after work to take the edge off, smoking weed to calm down and relax, or popping a few pills to feel better. It’s not a problem as long as I get up, go to work, and take care of my responsibilities, right?
Admitting to the problem
For a man to admit there’s a problem, drinking or drug use has to start interfering with work and his ability to provide in the ways a man should. He can lose his family and still not believe his choices are causing the turmoil. He can blame his spouse, and keep on drinking. When his career is compromised though, watch out!
Although he still doesn’t want to admit that he has a problem, per se, the stigma of seeking help as a weakness does not stand in his way of seeking help because he needs to restore his work situation now. Begin with guys helps remove the need to feel macho in front of women, and allows guys to admit to their weaknesses when it comes to substance abuse.
The right support system
Men’s recovery programs offer a safe place for admission and acceptance of a substance addiction. It helps men focus on recovery and avoid the distractions associated with the opposite sex. Many times men turn to substance abuse as a way of coping with feelings relating to love and relationships and a male only treatment center helps them focus on what’s important now, recovery.
Opening up to other men about your problem is remarkably valuable, and supportive. You will meet other men who are going through the exact same things you are, and who understand the difficulty of asking for help. You will engage with men who struggle with the demands of a stressful career, who feel the need to unwind at the end of a long day, so they too turn to alcohol or other drugs.
What can you each do to change how you de-stress? Together, you can all learn ways to cope without poisoning your bodies and brains.
The camaraderie developed in men’s recovery programs can transform the lives of men getting sober. At any age, men need support more than they are willing to admit sometimes.
Relationships you develop while in treatment continue on afterwards. The sober community you create sets the foundation for your life in recovery. A man who knows that calling a friend when he feels like drinking is not a weakness will be a good person for you to call when you have a craving or a triggering situation.
Men’s recovery programs link you with other people who will be there for you, and who you will be there for, in tough times.
Kate Green is a quality improvement manager at Balboa Horizons, her passion is to help others overcome struggle with issues of alcohol and drug addiction.