How Men Can Escape the Illusion of Money Equaling Happiness

Men have a unique relationship with money. The typical role of men has been of provider, to work, and support their family. Even since days as being hunter-gatherers, they were out searching for ways to keep the family safe, warm, and fed. Even if the notion men are the sole providers, they still face challenges with money that are different to how women experience the same challenge. Society itself places a man’s worth on how much he makes as a status symbol. This includes what he can buy with that money and how it is seen by others. Going into debt to keep up with everyone else is driving men to do things like drink, use drugs, or find other ways of escaping to cope with the stress and anxiety that comes from this pressure to succeed.

Indebted to Debt

Lots of people, especially Americans, are beholden to their debt. From school loans to car loans, house payments, or other debt, people everywhere seem to be working harder to pay off money for less fulfillment on the other side. Men still feel pressure to be providers, convinced their primary worth is how much they make. This depends on many factors but some of it is innate biological instinct to be competitive and want to pursue power, security, and confidence at all costs.

Debt Promises

Credit card debt is rising for people everywhere. It does not seem so bad at first but over time people can rack up lots of money because of the interest that accrues. Making only monthly payments does not actually get rid of the debt like people think and it ends up becoming a huge burden. The promise of debt is not how it initially looks to people from the outside. Borrowed money helps people purchase property, cars, and other items but it is best to stay away from debt where possible to avoid this issue.

Rebuild Your Life

Breaking free of debt and building back self-worth is difficult but not impossible. It all comes down to a mindset. These three steps can help you break free of debt and get moving forward in a healthy way:

  • Take inventory. Look around at what you own and what you owe. If it brings mean, joy, and purpose it may be worth keeping around. If it is costing added fees, interest, longer hours at work, and a more challenging situation for yourself, then it may be time to release the hold it has on you.
  • Breaking free is accepting reality. Boys blame the world for their problems but men take responsibility. Own up to what is yours and start doing what needs doing. Don’t hide when you’re scared, face challenges head on and accept what you need to do to move forward.
  • Create a budget and act on it. Start doing something now to turn things around. It may feel impossible but it is not. There is help on the way. Don’t buy things you don’t need, don’t get fancy clothes and shoes and other things. Make a list of everything you pay for including loans, insurance, gym memberships, and look at what you get charged with interest. Make sure you look at finances and what you can afford to do and stick to it.

Everyone feels stuck when it comes to money. Think of it this way: at least there are resources to play with. When you are not making much and struggling to eat because of debt, that is a real issue. It can cause relapses in recovery, co-occurring mental health issues with substance abuse disorder and also a sense you cannot move on anything (paralysis). Take initiative, ask for help, and get moving in the right direction one step at a time.

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.