What Does It Looks Like for Men to Ask for Support in Recovery?

Two men jogging.

What Does It Looks Like for Men to Ask for Support in Recovery?

There is a stigma that men asking for help portrays them as weak. Truthfully, the bravery of asking for support during times of difficulty shows great strength. Particularly in a world that judges and condemns men for any perceived signs of weakness, it can require extra courage and strength to go against these social norms and choose to reach out for help. What does it look like when a man asks for support in recovery?

Opening Up to Family or Friends

While some individuals are uncomfortable with the request for emotional support, more often than not, family members and friends are grateful when you open up to them and talk about how you are feeling. Even if they are not sure how to help you or offer support, family and friends can make great listeners. This can allow you to open up about your feelings and receive support and encouragement through the recovery process.

You may find that the act of sharing your burdens with another person is what you needed to clear your mind. Sometimes, simply opening up and talking to someone helps to remove the weight from your shoulders. Having someone else who knows what you are dealing with is enough to remove the loneliness and feel supported in your trials.

Asking for Appropriate Support at Work

Going back to work in recovery is a double-edged sword. Most people in recovery need the income, yet returning to work creates a significantly larger amount of stress which can potentially increase the chances of relapse. Learning to take care of yourself means putting your recovery as the highest priority. Without maintaining recovery, you may not be able to hold down a job. Every other success revolves around your recovery success, as recovery ties into every aspect of life.

Learning to take care of yourself in recovery may also mean asking for support in the work environment when necessary. This could include asking for some accommodations such as:

  • Being able to take breaks as needed
  • Having access to a gym or outdoor space to walk around as needed
  • Flexibility in your work schedule
  • The ability to work partially or fully remote
  • Taking some time off as needed
  • More intensive training
  • Extended deadlines
  • A shared workload

Not all of these accommodations may be appropriate for your job or your situation, however, being able to decrease stress levels and exposure to triggers at work by asking for support should not be something you fear. Be your own advocate and increase your chances of success in the workplace. Try to be reasonable with your requests, as these accommodations are meant to help you stay on track with your recovery and work, not to excuse you from difficult tasks.

Support to Keep You Motivated

Maintaining your daily routines may be a struggle for you throughout recovery. One example is the habit of exercise. Many people find it difficult to maintain daily motivation on their own. Finding the motivation to engage in physical activity regularly is a common obstacle that men in recovery experience. Finding an exercise buddy can help you to stay motivated and keep you honest in your daily routines.

Friends can help keep you motivated with other daily tasks as well. Having someone to help you keep a set routine of activities can help you stay busy and keep your mind off of potential cravings that arise. You can plan daily routines with another individual to help hold each other accountable for maintaining healthy habits. This is a great way to ask for support without feeling that you are portraying signs of weakness.

Attending Support Groups

Attending group support meetings is another way to reach out for help in recovery. As you will often discuss different obstacles of recovery, each individual can ask for support in their way in a setting that is appropriate to ask for help. Your attendance can support both yourself and everyone else in the meeting. If you struggle to attend these meetings, you can ask a friend for support to attend the meeting with you, encouraging the obligation to go. You may even choose to find a virtual support meeting if attending an in-person meeting is too overwhelming.

Contact an Alumni Group or Facility

As recovery alumni, you are entitled to continued support in your life-long recovery journey. When you encounter new obstacles after the treatment period, we encourage you to reach out for help when you need it. Because these groups understand the importance of having support, it is an option that is free from judgment. Most of them have been in your shoes, and all of them want you to succeed in your recovery. Even if you do not feel comfortable asking for support in any other way, alumni groups will always be there to support your journey.