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Recovery has a large population of men, and in sobriety most guys step up and step out of ego and immaturity (or we at least try) in order to be better men.  We typically have pride, ambition, and reputation to get in our way, but a man may strive to be a gentleman’s gentleman!  So there are at least 11 things only men in recovery can understand… Let’s separate the BRO’s from the boys.

1. You don’t need to be a ‘Tough Guy’

Boys will be boys, and we always want to be tough! It’s not to say we can’t be strong in our lives and stand for things we believe in, but to bully or ‘flex on’ people in recovery is just a waste of everyone’s time. The 12 Steps do not require arm-wrestling, and no matter how tough you are, your disease is right there like ‘Come at me BRO!’

2. Asking for another man’s help…and phone number….

As men, it’s not always easy to admit we need help from another man, especially a stranger. Most of the time it’s bad enough that we have to admit defeat to addiction, but now we have to find another guy, take his suggestions, and… ask for his number? Don’t be afraid, you need to make new relationship patterns, this one is no different. No BRO left behind!

3. Being part of a wolf pack…

A lot of us acted like a ‘one man wolf-pack’ when we were in active addiction. As addicts and alcoholics we tend to have our limited number of running buddies, but in sobriety we find ourselves in packs of guys who not only attend meetings and hold each other accountable, we also trust and admire our fellows. And as sobriety grows, the wolf-pack grows and the bonds are stronger. Talk about BRO-mance!

4. We find new and creative ways to make Ramen Noodles a food group…

This one may apply to the ladies a little bit, but I have never seen or heard of some of the incredibly creative combinations of meats, vegetables, and condiments to make new meals out of Ramen Noodles before living in a men’s halfway house.  I’m talking about chopped chicken, bacon bits, sesame sauce, steak sauce, and diced peppers- with about 3 packets of Ramen – Chef BRO-ardee!

5. Video games can NOT be Your Higher Power….

Now hear me out on this. I know GTA5 was amazing! And it made my own life unmanageable for some time. Yes, Call of Duty is incredible, but for the spiritual program to work you have to put faith in something other than yourself, and your high score is not your higher power! You have to get a spiritual connection. But like the wireless controllers, the system has to be in sync, that’s BRO-losophy.

6. Chasing women can cause a lot of damage…

Let’s face it probably the worst addiction for a man is a woman. We may not think it’s that big of a deal, and there’s no rule saying you cannot get involved, but if we have learned anything from others experience we know that chasing girls too early in recovery can wreck your situation pretty quick. I know when I’m more concerned with the ladies and less concerned with the work I’m often missing something I need to do for myself or another alcoholic/addict. And I tend to cause damage in the process.  Do NOT be a hopeless BRO-mantic.

7. Recovery women (or just all women) are crazy… (does not mean MEN are not)

So any guy who has found himself involved with a girl in recovery should relate to this. In fact, any guy who has ever been with ANY girl can relate to this a little bit. Women are crazy! Now ladies I’m not saying we are not crazy, I know I’m out of my mind in many respects. But men and women have different brands of crazy sometimes, and in recovery women are special kinds of crazy! So again, try not to get wrapped up in relationships too early. You don’t need your rehab romance showing up at your halfway house! It usually is not a BRO-meo and Juliet love story.

8. The Old… I mean ‘Long Timers’ can relate.…

The ‘Long Timer’ men in the fellowships of recovery are definitely some of my favorite characters. Because these guys are typically the rebels of another generation, and often aren’t impressed with our antics. They understand a lot of our other problems like women, but they laugh at our other issues like ‘lifting’ while they explain how hard it is to get out of bed. But they’re still young at heart dude, so show respect. ‘BRO country for old men’.

9. It’s OK to have feelings (and chicks dig feelings)… right?

It seems times have changed and emotional men are becoming more acceptable. But men still have the stigma, if they admit it or not, that it’s not OK to express their feelings or get emotional. In recovery it is important to know emotional sobriety is healthy, and being open and honest about those emotions are important. You can get a lot out of a good cry once in a while, especially if you’re a BRO-ciopath.

10. It takes a man to say you’re sorry…

Some guys think that even if they have wronged someone they should still not need to apologize. Some guys think its a weakness to have to admit to someone, especially another guy who you don’t get along with, that you’re sorry. However, I feel that it takes more courage and strength to admit you’re fault and ask for forgiveness from an enemy than to fight him.  The best victory in my eyes is to turn your enemies into your allies. I think you owe that dude a BRO-pology!

11. Your sponsorship family feels like the mafia…

When I walk into a meeting with my sponsor and his sponsor is there sitting next to his sponsor, I feel like I’m Al Pacino sitting at a table with Marlon Brando and James Caan discussing the ‘family business’. You might feel the same anytime you find yourself in a room full of your sponsorship family; sponsor brothers and nephews, uncles and cousins (if your bored enough to keep track of your whole sponsor family)- or any bunch of guys with spiritual fitness and common connections you go out in public with. Now THAT is a BRO-mocracy ruled by Extreme BRO-tality!

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