How to Help a Man Through Life’s Transitions When Addiction Enters the Picture
Transitions are never easy for anyone. There are different challenges depending on the person. Men specifically struggle in unique ways that cause them to view their life differently as a result. When addiction enters the picture, men often use it as a reason to cover up the challenges they face with the transition. The mind and body crave repetition and balance. When things feel ‘off,’ it can take a toll both mentally and physically. Find some ways to help a man who is struggling with transitions in life deal with it in new ways outside of addiction or substance abuse.
Addiction is a real response to real feelings that are going on in the mind and heart of a beloved man. He is likely struggling to put a name to what he feels, communicate it openly, and find a way to deal with it all at once. Maybe he started using drugs or drinking to cope with a transition in life or it began well before that and he uses that as an excuse to keep doing what he is doing. Either way, depression, and anxiety are very real emotions that should be expected from someone struggling through life transitions. Sit with him and let him know it is okay to feel anxious, scared, frustrated, angry, and whatever else he is feeling. He will go through periods of time where there is nothing but a struggle but then he will finally come out the other side and realize it was all worth it and he is navigating his way forward again.
Offer Positive Space
In order to cope with life transitions, men especially need a positive frame of reference. It is discouraging to feel like the world is shifting under your feet. Men like stability and knowing they can provide for themselves and their families. When that changes, they, too, change. Providing positive energy helps them cope better and focus on the reality of their situation with a sense of humor and hope. Even if they are struggling with addiction, remind them there are treatment centers, rehab, outpatient, inpatient, and lots of programs available to help them. They are not alone and they have people there to support them.
When life is transitioning, everything seems to be changing. When old patterns fall away, it can feel unsteady and uneven. That is the time to explore, brainstorm, and consider where all those goals fall in the new scheme of life. Whether it was planned or not, a transition can bring renewal and hope for things ahead. When a man goes through transitions, it can feel like one more thing to fix and put right. Be a voice of reason to remind him that there is not putting things right in this moment. It is okay (more than okay) not to focus on that. Instead, focus on what lessons it brings here and now. Focus on starting relationships from scratch and focus on what it means to recalibrate those goals for recovery. Those goals may not have changed, but the approach may need to. Maybe it will take longer to get there, or it will take a new tactic. Working with someone who brings positive energy and flow can make the difference between making it or not making it through the transition feeling better about life.
The Last Resort helps you be realistic about the transition from addiction to recovery. There is no quick fix or easy answer. Men sometimes want to fix what feels broken, but there is no quick fix for addictive behavior. There is just a need for you to be present, show up, and do the work each day. If you are ready for that next transition in your life and be substance-free, let us help.