When you think of “freedom,” what comes to mind? What mental images appear when you think of what it means to be a man? These questions don’t have simple answers; many men spend a lifetime continuing to better understand the concept of masculinity from one year to the next.
We can’t identify a clear-cut definition of masculinity or true freedom, but we can tell you what it’s not – refusing to seek the help you need in a struggle against addiction. There’s an incredibly large social stigma around getting help for substance use, and it especially plagues men. Men are stereotyped into a role in which they are expected to deal with challenges on their own. Expressions of pain or emotion are forbidden by some unspoken rule. This is detrimental both to a person’s self-esteem, and to addiction recovery.
Finding the courage to ask for help
Sadly, many people consider asking for help to be a sign of weakness. There’s an old American ideal of “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps” that lurks in our psyche. This idea that we should help ourselves is so ingrained in our culture that we’ve lost a sense of community support. When we can’t do something on our own, we begin to feel an overwhelming sense of doubt in our abilities and shame about who we are.
This narrative clouds judgement into believing that they shouldn’t seek help when struggling with addiction. We feed into the perspective that it’s unmanly or cowardly, when all evidence points to the contrary. This is our societal narrative, and it feeds into all of our lives.
True strength means knowing when to ask for help and embracing support. Sinking further and further into addiction and trying to fix it all on your own might feel tough, but it’s not sustainable long-term. Addiction recovery is a dangerous and difficult battle, given the best chance to succeed alongside a supportive team. There may be initial feelings of embarrassment as a person begins the process of treatment, but as progress happens, that shame is replaced with self-respect.
Sober living houses
Seeking help for substance abuse is the first step toward recovery. After that, it’s important to decide what type of support is best suited to your needs. Some individuals will need more intensive treatment than others, depending on the severity and length of the addiction, substances used, age, other health conditions and so on. Some treatment plans will include regular psychotherapy and others will necessitate medication management.
One common treatment option for addiction recovery is to participate in a sober living house. Sober living houses are facilities that offer secure housing as individuals seek to break the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction. They offer structure, education and social support as a person experiences the first days, weeks or months of sobriety. Often men will come to a sober living home after a hospitalization or stay in a detox facility.
Sober living homes are designed to help a person transition back into society with skills and knowledge to avoid substances in the less-structured environment of the regular world. Sober living houses offer physical activities, social events, educational seminars, meditative exercises, life skills training and assistance with planning housing and employment for after the stay. Many also encourage their participants to work or attend school during their time at the sober living house.
Seeking treatment in a men’s sober living home will offer support in a completely unique way. No other treatment modality offers a sense of brotherhood, accountability and authentic community like living with people who have the same struggles.
Addiction and recovery can feel isolating, especially if family and friends cannot relate to your situation. In a sober living home, you’ll have the opportunity to meet men who are at the same point in their journey. There will be a group of people who can relate to your pain, frustration, successes and goals. They’ll grieve and celebrate with you, too.
Whether it be in a 12-step program that relies on peer support, or interventions that incorporate loved ones, there are numerous ways that communities are used as a tool in recovery. Community can help to prevent loneliness, offer a sense of purpose and belonging, improve confidence, decrease stress, help cope with trauma and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Men’s sober living homes are designed to provide these benefits and more by integrating positive social pressure into treatment.
It’s often said that going through tough experiences together is what creates the strongest bonds. You may find camaraderie during the weeks or months of your stay, but you may also find life-long friends and accountability partners. If you’re looking for support that could change your life, it’s time to start looking into a sober living home for men.
Don’t let your previous notions of masculinity prevent you from getting the help you need. Find true strength by seeking help and embracing a supportive brotherhood at Real Recovery. We offer three men’s sober living homes with different levels of structure based on a person’s needs. If you are serious about finding freedom and living authentic masculinity, apply online today or call 1-855-363-7325 to get started.