The loss of a partner, spouse, or loved one can happen for many reasons: alienation, mental health issues, addiction, or actual death. Life happens quickly and, before people realize it, they are staring at losses without knowing how to cope. Men, especially, seem to have difficulty processing emotions around overwhelming life events depending on how they were raised and their own faculties for coping. It is hard for anyone to prepare themselves for loss, but it is a necessary part of navigating recovery from addiction. Here are some considerations to think about when men are dealing with losses.
Loss of Relationships
It is never easy to lose loved ones in the process of recovery from addiction. The truth is, men can lose people all along with the experience of having an addiction, just like anyone else can. Men are not immune to experiencing all the losses of a relationship women experience including the emotional aspects and the pain that comes from that. Legal and financial advisors help people gather information and navigate complex issues when it comes to divorce or separation, but losing loved ones who distance themselves following addiction is a different type of loss. While making amends in recovery, it may be possible to return to those relationships but others may be lost for good.
Mental Health Issues
Incapacity can happen when someone no longer is able to make good decisions for themselves or establish their own ability to make healthy choices. People need to be available to help them make good decisions on their behalf, but it is tricky to do. Guardianship provides for a person making healthcare decisions on the person’s behalf, all the way to making financial and other legal decisions to help them cope with their lives. Sometimes people with addiction end up with a conservator or someone who helps manage their affairs for a time while they get on their feet. This is to ensure their safety and well-being. Men often have a difficult time letting others step in to help them, so it is important to let others help that they want to be helpful and try to focus on the recovery the best way possible.
Grieving the loss of loved ones in recovery is tough. Men struggle with grief and loss more than women do on the physical side. They are more likely to experience physical health ailments and mental health issues as a result of a painful loss. Sometimes the loss happens while men are addicted to drugs and lose friends or family to the disease or simply lose loved ones they were not aware enough to be grieving the loss of while addicted (parents, siblings, other family members). The entire course of their lives may be painful and it is hard to know what to say or do. The experience can be excruciating but is part of life and needs to be dealt with appropriately.
Learning to navigate loss in recovery starts with understanding that throughout the journey, things are going to happen. You will miss out on important events, sometimes several times, and often mess things up for others along the way. These losses feel like they mount up over time but it helps to think one day at a time in sobriety and recovery to retrieve the things that are lost and seek to make amends (as best one can) as a means of finding hope.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.