Men need love too, believe it or not.
It’s something we don’t often think about, what with focusing on our responsibilities, trying to provide for others, and being as macho as we possibly can be, 24/7. You can’t really blame us, after all. We grew up hearing things like “crying is for girls,” and “real men don’t feel pain.” Being called a “mama’s boy” wasn’t a compliment from anyone (except maybe Mom), and not playing sports may or may not have gotten us roughed up by the middle school/ high school/ college jocks.
This concept of men needing no one, no sympathy, and no love has been ingrained in our DNA for almost as long as time itself.
There’s a line, however, and, particularly in recovery, it’s important that we remember that line more than anything. Aside from the machismo that is our manhood, there’s a side of us that also needs help. It needs reassurance. It needs affirmation. Through treatment for addiction, we learn the methods and strategies to address deep-seeded issues that may have caused us to abuse substances. We also learn strategies for self-care, how to make amends with those that we’ve hurt, and how to move from our past and into our future. But there are things that, before graduating from treatment and diving headfirst into the real world, we need more of.
Sober living communities like the one we foster at The Last House focus on helping men build the intangible qualities they need to excel in life after treatment by changing up the rhetoric. We provide help that keeps men’s spirits high and doesn’t crush their independence. We provide an environment that spells out the definitive difference between relying on others for help, and collaborating with others for strength. Most importantly, we teach men that they are amazing in and of themselves, and that each and every single one of them has unique talents that can and will make a difference in his community.
We are by no means a soft, easy option for men after treatment. As The Big Book states, “Love and tolerance is our code”– but we implement that code through rules, accountability, and unity. The way we see it, sometimes it takes getting our hands dirty in order to strike gold. Sober living isn’t a cakewalk, and it can be tough to adapt to doing things a new way, in a new environment, with new people. However, by forging through, our men find peace, direction, unity– and a whole new way to love themselves.
How can I learn to love the man I am?
Love is a central component of recovery. It’s mentioned almost sixty times in The Big Book, and for good reason. Love is one of the only emotions that can keep us going even when everything else tells us to stop. It’s the reason our spouses put up with us, why we’d do anything for our kids, and why we’d go to hell and back for our family members. However, when addicted, we often act in a way that’s anything but loving, and in treatment we take the steps to make up for those actions. These actions certainly weren’t our fault, but telling ourselves that and believing it enough to not just forgive ourselves, but to love ourselves again can be difficult to accomplish. Yet if we never learn to love ourselves again– for flaws and all– we can’t say with confidence that we’re ready to move on into a world that can be anything but loving. In sober living, we learn to love ourselves for the people we are, the qualities we have, and the meaningful contributions we will make. We learn to love our mistakes, because they are what allow us to improve ourselves. We learn to love correction, mentoring, discipline, and brotherhood.
At The Last House, we accomplish this by providing an ideal balance of structure and freedom for the men that live with us. We encourage our men to push their boundaries, but provide the resources they need to do so with confidence and charisma. We champion growth, because when we can see growth as men, we tend to love the men we’ve grown into. Our men are taught to do everything they do with a purpose, and to never doubt their ability to do it. We also foster an environment of brotherhood and accountability, so each man knows he has the next to count on.
Learning to love the man you are doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your machismo, confidence, or independence. In fact, by learning to love the man you are, all of the qualities that make you uniquely you are enhanced. Escaping from addiction’s death grip and getting the treatment you needed to beat your illness for good was an invaluable step in your recovery process, but your recovery shouldn’t end there. Use the resources that sober living provides to prepare yourself for life after treatment. Through unity, brotherhood, and the right environment, you can learn to love the man you are, and become the man that you’ve always wanted to be.
The Last House is a premier men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles. Our mentors and staff come from an array of backgrounds, but we all have one common goal: transforming men into the best versions of themselves they’ve ever been. To see how we can help you, call us today at 1-866-677-0090!