It’s Hard Out Here for a Girl!
Getting sober is harder for women than it is for men. Can I get an amen? Or can I get an awomen!
I say that and stand behind it 100%. Don’t believe me? That’s fine. I’m here to change your mind. I’m here to shift your opinion from point A to point B.
Isn’t that what recovery is all about? Changing our thinking (and actions and behaviors)? So, there’s no long windup here. Let’s get to the facts. Without further ado, find the top five reasons getting sober is harder for women than men.
5) It’s Hard to Trust Other Women
Like the rest of this list, this shouldn’t be the case…but it is! When I got sober, I hated spending time with women. I viewed them as catty, shallow, and always ready to stab me in the back. I was proud to call myself one of the boys.
Of course, it turns out that was just my sick thinking. I made my home group a women’s meeting. I started reaching out to, and spending time with, sober women. I got to see what recovery and sobriety were really about.
These things changed my mind. Today, I’m proud to call myself one of the girls!
4) Dealing with Other Behaviors
I don’t know about any of you out there, reading this on your computer and phone screens, but I didn’t only struggle with addiction. I was balancing addiction, alcoholism, an eating disorder, mental illness, codependency, and insecurities.
Not only did I have to face my demons as they related to alcohol and drugs, but I also had to seek help for these other issues. It wasn’t easy! I don’t know if men go through this kind of stuff, but I know more than a few women who have.
I got involved in a twelve-step fellowship. I sought outside therapy and counseling for my eating disorder. I sought psychiatric help for my depression and anxiety. I sought more therapy and counseling for my codependency and insecurities.
At the end of the day, I was exhausted…but I was also getting better! Dealing with these other behaviors and issues was tough. It’s one of the main reasons I think it’s harder for women to get sober than men.
3) Predators in the Rooms
Raise your hand if you’ve been in a meeting and glanced around the room only to find a creep ogling you. Oh, everyone’s hand is up? Huh, this must be more common than I thought.
Any which way you cut it, there are some real predators in the rooms of recovery. It doesn’t matter what fellowship you go to, who you surround yourself with, or how hard you’re working on your issues…predators are there. They’re there to try to 13th step you. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
This literally makes me sick.
There are more than just sexual predators too. I can’t tell you how many times people at meetings have hit me up for money or a place to stay. Yes, there’s such a thing as service. Helping your fellow alcoholic is VERY important. There’s a line though and these predators cross it.
2) False Standards of Beauty
The entire world has an idea of how a woman “should” look. It usually has something to do with bleach-blonde hair, a large chest, and a tiny waist. It also has to do with how we dress and act.
It’s tough to get sober (which involves dealing with painful emotions, long forgotten memories, a boatload of insecurities, and everything else) and have to deal with society forcing their idea of beautiful on you. It’s damn tough!
You know what I think? I think women should look any way we want! We should eat whatever we want. We should dress however we want. We should act however we want (making sure to live within spiritual principles of course).
If you agree, then you’re not pushing false societal standards of beauty on women. If you don’t, well, case in point. It’s hard out here for a girl!
Sexism exists. It’s unfortunate but it’s true. In fact, all four points above are, at their most basic, examples of sexism. It isn’t cool, it isn’t fair, it isn’t anything positive at all, but it’s there.
There’s not much to say about sexism. It just doesn’t seem to go away, BUT if we band together as women, as women in recovery, things will get better. Slowly but surely they will. I promise you that.