Men are susceptible to abuse substances as much as women or any other person in their lives. The potential for abuse increases with certain risk factors but that does not mean it is inevitable. Men are much like women, they need community. However, they need it in a different way when they go through recovery. A male brotherhood is defined as one that brings many male friends together who support each other through thick and thin. There are myriad benefits to having this brotherhood in recovery. Find out how to cultivate this brotherhood for your recovery.
Why Men Abuse Substances
No one reason explains why people abuse substances, including men. Everyone is an individual with their own unique story. Some of the following reasons are some common ones that relate to how men abuse substances but are not necessarily going to be the same for everyone.
- Triggers and events may cause you to feel like you require an escape to normalcy. This does not mean it is normal to escape through drugs and alcohol but it does happen for some people who seek to numb out trauma and other things in their life
- Dissatisfaction with life: trying to find relief from the things in this life that brings you down is a common reason people begin using substances. Typically it starts in adolescence but not necessarily. It can be rooted in feelings of dissatisfaction with people or life or just a feeling of unhappiness
- Economic stress: with mounting bills and credit card debt or other issues, you may feel like the pressure is on each day just to make ends meet. Turning to drugs or alcohol may alleviate worries but also adds stress and anxiety when sober
- Depression and anxiety: some people turn to substances to avoid facing mental health issues, only to find they get worse with time. When men feel they have no outlet to share feelings or have hidden shame and guilt, they feel isolated and begin to struggle with depression, which may turn into addiction to cope
Brotherhood of Man
A band of brothers is important in the military; they provide support for the long journey ahead of them and help them cope with life in a war zone. It is no different for men in recovery. Brotherhood is essential for men throughout the entire process. This culture is about peer support from older and younger men, as well as the same age ones, who can help you ride the storm of addiction recovery and survive. Some of the following are ways it can help in recovery:
- Sharing your story: when you can share your story and be vulnerable with others, this is an important step in recovery. You may feel alienated and along with addiction and even more isolated in recovery. Sharing with others in group meetings, counseling appointments, and places you go for recovery support can make a huge difference to recovery
- Men struggle with open communication about their addictions due in part to the stigma surrounding mental health. Getting rid of negative stigma around mental health impacts the chance of recovery in a way that makes it easier to move forward rather than stay stuck in addiction
- Release old ideas: men can get stuck in thinking they should be able to handle things their way, on their own, without help. The brotherhood culture helps reshape and redefine what it means to release old notions of manhood and make new friends without fear or shame
It is hard to make friends in recovery. It takes time, vulnerability, and honesty. It does not happen overnight. If you are struggling with recovery, reach out for help. Talk to a sponsor or a friend. Don’t be afraid to seek out support from the groups you are part of and talk to someone. It can make a difference in your healing journey.
The Last Resort encourages men to seek each other out for friendship on the journey of recovery. 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.