There are many reasons men with addiction struggle to stay sober. Men are not always willing to open up about the struggles and challenges of sobriety with loved ones. This can lead to a risk of relapse. If you are struggling in addiction recovery, there are ways to learn how to open up. Identifying the most common triggers can help you face the challenges and move forward in a healthy way.
Giving Up the Ghosts
Ghosts from the past will come back to haunt you if you are not letting them go. People, places, connections and things from the world of addiction need to stay in the past. To achieve sobriety, you need to look at giving up things from your past that kept you in the cycle of addiction. If you hang out with friends in the same places where you used to drink or use drugs, this will only make things worse. If your former friends are sober and are willing to spend time with you somewhere besides the old haunts, that is great. But if they are toxic and unhealthy or still locked into addictive patterns it is best to leave them in the past.
Undiagnosed Mental Health Issues
More than half of people who struggle with addiction suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or other personality disorder. You may feel uncomfortable and decide to self-medicate which is perpetuating the cycle of addiction and making the undiagnosed mental health conditions worsen over time. Until the underlying, co-occurring disorder is properly diagnosed and treated, the risk of relapse remains very high.
Men experience a lot of pressure to succeed at work and in life. Challenging events can cause extreme stress and, without a proper network, can leave men susceptible and vulnerable to addiction. Getting fired or divorced can bring shame, trauma and depression. These are common triggers for men with addiction. You may be feeling fine one minute then something happens in life to throw everything off kilter and there you are, in the eye of a storm struggling to cope. Lack of social support can make stressors in life multiply and feel more overwhelming.
Men are likely to get themselves into a romantic relationship before they are ready to handle it. Early sobriety is not the time to engage in sexual or intimate relationships. It is a time to be self focused on recovery. If the relationship goes south, the loss can throw you into a tailspin and cause more stress. Interpersonal conflict is a trigger for men with addiction, leading to shame, guilt, anxiety, fear, worry and other mental stress which leads down the rabbit hole. Get focused on being healthy before setting sights on a relationship.
Oceanside provides space to get clarity and heal from addiction. If you are struggling with triggers in recovery, let us help guide you with our programs and services designed with your individual situation in mind. We have a passionate team of clinicians and providers ready to support your recovery. Call us to find out how to get started: 877-279-1777