Men’s loyalty to one another, and men’s disloyalty to one another, have marked some of the most important moments in the history of the world. In the history making of our individual lives as men, loyalty is equally as important. Our histories have been marked with trauma by betrayal and disloyalty from our fathers, our brothers, our friends, and our colleagues. Our histories have also been enriched by fierce demonstrations of loyalty form the men closest to us in our lives, as well as men who might have been complete strangers. The overarching point is this: men need the reliability upon other men in their lives.
For men who are seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, connection with other men and trust upon them is critical. We need a brotherhood of men to support us, hold us accountable, keep us honest, entertain us, inspire us, and much more. By building a network of like minded men in recovery, we surround ourselves with a powerful community, a tribe, an army, and more importantly, a family. Few people can understand the experience of addiction or alcoholism like another person who has lived with addiction or alcoholism. Few people can understand the experience of living life as a man than another man. Specifically, then, the experience of living as a man who has lived with addiction or alcoholism, and is now choosing to live in recovery, requires the support of other such men.
Men can find and develop these special relationships with other men in recovery when they are in a co-ed treatment setting, but a very ancient and obvious challenge arises: the presence of females. In a single sex treatment setting, men are surrounded by men everyday, working with men everyday, and learning to build relationships with men every day. By pushing through the stigmatizations of the male identity together and addiction together and much more, men develop a loyalty to one another which will ultimately save each other’s lives time and time again. Loyalty in recovery means trust in recovery. When a man comes to a point when he can’t stay loyal to his sobriety or feel he can trust himself, it will be his loyalty to other men in recovery and his trust in them which will keep him from making the fatal decision to relapse. These relationships and their importance are nothing short of priceless.