Men’s Sober Living
When considering options for sober living housing, the choice between co-ed or gender-specific sober living is a common consideration. The choice is very important. Men’s sober living is, as the name implies, open only to men. There of course are female-only options and co-ed options. There are pros and cons to both considerations, depending upon who you ask. For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on what the experts say about co-ed sober living houses.
Gender-Specific Sober Living: Real Talk
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes that women and men in recovery and treatment have different needs. Women generally crave trust and warmth in a therapeutic relationship, while men prefer a less personal and more utilitarian approach to solving problems. Statistically and within this group, women tend to have more issues with anxiety and depression, while men have more issues with anger and control. These are fundamental differences that suggest some obvious considerations: Given they different needs, how can a co-ed group possibly allocate the time and attention needed to ensure all residents are getting quality support? Sexual tension can exist between any two humans, but it’s most prevalent between men and women. When in recovery, this temptation can be powerful in a weakened state of mind. We all know that experts recommend that those in treatment should refrain from any romantic involvements during the first year of recovery. Humans will be humans, and when they feel imperiled or in despair, romantic relationships might be tempting. This is a complete distraction to what should be a time of recovery and treatment. Everything else is an unwarranted and risky distraction to what should be the focus of the recovering addict. Spending time in a sober living home makes the transition from intensive treatment to regular life more successful and improves the outcome of treatment. So, while we all understand the value of sober living, it all comes down to which facility is the right choice for you. [contact-form-7 id=”27″ title=”Contact form 1″]
Experts Agree: Gender Specific is Better
Why is it important to choose a gender-specific program? For one, there can be fewer distractions from what you’re ultimately there for – healing and recovery. NIDA, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, actually recommends separate treatment for men and women, citing that romantic involvement between two parties in recovery can be sabotage for either party. With gender-specific treatment, you can also guarantee that programs will focus on those needs specific to your gender. Studies show that men and women don’t share the same needs in recovery, neither do they have the same strong suits when it comes to therapies that help aid healing in recovery. Where men may have difficulty opening up or expressing feelings, they may struggle even more with women present or feel the need to act competitively. Conversely, women are likely to be more open in the presence of other women as well as feel more confident in discussing certain topics without men present.
A Time for Recovery, not Romance
Being perfectly candid, it’s not uncommon for people to make their choices based on flawed logic. There are some people who sometimes view the post-rehab sober living home as a vacation spot…a place where they can take a little R & R. It’s not uncommon for some people to view a co-ed sober living arrangement as one that could be more entertaining, fulfilling or fun. That’s an unhealthy mindset and is problematic for a variety of reasons. For starters, sober living isn’t a vacation. It’s designed to help addicts recover, developing healthy living habits and to get their life together as they prepare to reenter society productively. Any distraction from total commitment to this effort is unwelcome. Second, residents are in transition. Many who enter sober living have no idea where they want to go when they leave. This added stress usually impacts romantic relationships and break-ups are powerful triggers for relapse. Experts agree that people who are early on in the recovery process would be well-advised to keep their personal and professional lives as simple and unchanged as possible throughout the first year or two of sobriety. This stability removes triggers, builds a foundation and allows the recovering addict to slowly build a tolerance to life’s daily challenges. Traumatic emotional events are a serious trigger. [cta id=’269′]
Self-Esteem and It’s Role In Recovery
Studies show that recovery is directly linked to self-esteem. How? Addiction tends to rob people of their self-esteem. When a person is using or drinking, it’s extremely difficult to feel good about themselves. This underlying condition can resurface time and time again and act as a powerful trigger. In fact, some people were led to addiction or drinking because of their low self-esteem. Drug or alcohol abuse can become a crutch to some people. The result is that self-esteem plummets further and the addiction can grow worse. If a romantic relationship should break up while someone is in sober living housing, the damage to one’s self-esteem takes a big hit. Such a traumatic event is a strong trigger for relapse. Recovery is a period of healing where addicts learn to place value on themselves and realize their self-worth. Only that which feeds this process positively is welcome. Eventually, once the decision to get sober has been made, issues with self-esteem must be addressed. Low self-esteem in recovery can affect the ability to find inner happiness. Without inner happiness, the temptation to return to addiction will continue to resurface. Anything that reverses the gains made toward’s regaining one’s self-esteem is simply counterproductive. [contact-form-7 id=”27″ title=”Contact form 1″]
There’s a Time For Everything
Our parents used to say this to us as children. As adults, we must recognize that the time for recovery and treatment must be free from distractions. Men’s sober living homes are designed to remove triggers and temptations. Addicts are in a sensitive mental state during this period. Risking relapse by engaging in risky behavior threatens to reverse what gains have been made. While you may think you’re ready for a relationship, you really have no way of knowing if the other person is. There’s no way you can accurately gauge their mental state or the consequences that may occur if the relationship dissolves. No one wants to be responsible for another individual’s relapse. All of this stems from the basic human nature to reach out for help in time of crisis. In a co-ed sober living arrangement, this becomes problematic. What starts out as support turns to comforting. Comforting can turn to physical touching. In a fragile emotional state, the temptation might be to turn to intimacy as a pick me up or way to temporarily bolster one’s self esteem. Whatever the intentions were, the results can spell catastrophe for a fragile addict.