Men’s Issues: Just Being One Of the Guys

two-men-armwrestling-jaywalker

Here at Jaywalker Lodge, we specialize in helping men with alcoholism and addiction find long-term recovery and live lives filled with hope, joy, and purpose. We specialize in helping men who have tried to find recovery before and cannot make it stick. Those are our people, the Jaywalkers. That’s how we got our name because we have the same story they do. We tried many things that didn’t work, but then we found the ways that did work, and here we are.

We believe that everyone deserves the chance to find recovery and freedom from alcoholism and addiction. We are founded on sharing the things that worked for us and are still working today. Yet, doing what we do, by nature, we see many men struggling with a lot of things. Some of these issues fall a little outside of the nature of recovery at first glance, but we understand the holistic nature of things. It’s all connected, and a problem in any one area of our lives affects all the other areas eventually. So we feel it’s important to talk about some of the more commonly occurring hang-ups that we see our men face as they begin their journeys in recovery.

This is Men’s Issues, where we talk about the issues that men in recovery face that may not seem directly recovery-related at first glance. However, for alcoholics and addicts like us, everything is recovery-related one way or another.

What’s Wrong With Just Being One of the Guys?

Nothing, honestly. The phrase “just one of the guys” is more about the attitude we men can sometimes take. Just being one of the guys is a great and necessary joy when we’re hanging out with our friends or sitting around and watching a game. We all need some “bro time” now and then. But “just being one of the guys” can also become an excuse for doing some things that might not be in line with our recovery.

Let’s say we’re watching a game with the guys and talking trash about the other team. But what if we go to a game and talk trash to fans of the other team? Maybe they talk trash back, and one of our friends throws a punch. Now we’re in a fight, hurting other people. But we were just being one of the guys, doing what guys do. Right?

Wrong. This may seem like a strange example, or maybe it hits really close to home. Either way, we need to notice the subtle differences in how we as men are cultured and conditioned. It’s a lot like saying “boys will be boys” to justify and ignore bad behavior. All we’re really doing is promoting the idea of being boys when we could be teaching those boys to behave like men.

There are many male-centered catchphrases used to justify, ignore, explain, or shrug off behavior that we’d likely find offensive and hurtful if we were on the receiving end. This is where the problem with “just being one of the guys” comes in. For men who are alcoholics and addicts in recovery, we have been exposed to a paradigm shift in what it means to be a man.

Our alcoholism and addiction, and our recovery, has changed the game — and that’s not a bad thing. There’s no limit to how we can grow, the ways we can improve, and the things we can accomplish in our recovery. However, we may have to let go of some of the limiting and damaging male social conventions that prevent us from living in alignment with the 12-Steps.

Saint Francis Knew How To Be a Good Man

Letting go of the cultural conventions that drag us down can be difficult until we open our eyes to them. Working the 12-Steps helps us do exactly that. Through the process of recovery, we learn that our anger and resentment can kill us, and we learn how to deal with them so they no longer run our lives. We learn how to admit to our fears and then how to live free of them. We learn how to examine our conduct, and then we write ourselves a brand new ideal, a guide we craft with our higher power to be the best version of ourselves.

We also learn how our behaviors, actions, habits, and words can affect others. We are told that our constant thought of others and how we can help meet their needs is vital to our recovery and our very survival. We learn that it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s even more important to help others.

At some point in our recovery, we’re going to hear the Saint Francis Prayer. If you haven’t already, go look it up. That dude knew exactly what being a good man looked like, and he gave us all the mark to aim for. Sometimes we’re going to have to go against the crowd, ignore social conditioning, be the bigger man, and do things differently than we were taught to do them. However, we’ll be better men for it, and we’ll make the world a better place when we do.

So go ahead and be one of the guys, but don’t be afraid to speak up and do the right thing when the guys do uncool stuff. Don’t be one of the guys at the expense of being the best man you can be.

All alcoholics and addicts are united by common disease and a common solution, but some qualities and conditions can bring unique issues and struggles. That’s why there are specific meetings for women, men, LGBTQ+, etc. We all share alcoholism and addiction, and we all share the 12-Steps, but sometimes we need something more specific. Jaywalker Lodge focuses on helping men who are alcoholics and addicts find recovery, especially those who have struggled to maintain recovery in the past. Having this specific focus has allowed us to find effective ways to help men with a wide range of issues and produce solutions that work for most men who come to us. We believe in the 12-Steps, and we believe recovery is for everybody. We also aim to help men find the type of lasting recovery that allows them to have meaning, purpose, joy, and hope as they endeavor to be the best possible version of themselves. If you’re ready to start your journey, call Jaywalker Lodge now at (866) 529-9255.

Read more