Do Men and Women Experience Coping, Forgiveness and Gratitude in Recovery Differently?
By: Cumberland Heights
There are so many aspects to addiction recovery, and the process is different for everyone. Some lessons are learned early on while others take more time and growth, but coping, forgiveness and gratitude are all unique experiences that depend on an individual’s personal journey. For many years, scientists have uncovered the various ways that male and female brains are different: the process, structure, chemistry and activity are clearly distinct from one another. Naturally, it’s safe to assume that men and women experience some components of addiction recovery differently, too – but how? Let’s take a look.
A few years ago, researchers assessed 56 women and 56 men who were undergoing a basic alcoholism treatment program. During the first and last weeks of the programs, they collected information on the participants’ spiritual coping mechanisms, their forgiveness levels, and their gratitude scale. At the beginning, of the treatment program, they found that women had a higher level of negative spiritual coping skills than men – this means that women had more issues with faith and Higher Power, particularly with conflict, questioning and doubt. Additionally, women experience more difficulties with forgiving others than men did – but over time, this area became strengthened.
It’s been hypothesized that women struggle with spirituality and forgiveness of others because they feel they’ve failed to meet their own standards – this lack of self-forgiveness can make it hard to retain those other connections, even in a spiritual sense. Throughout the study, women seemed to really have built up their moral values compared to men – thereby showing the potential that women can regain lost faith rather quickly if additional support is provided in recovery.
Men and women may experience recovery differently, but there is one thing they both have in common: it’s a journey, nonetheless. Both go through periods of pain and accomplishment, and both learn lessons as they work hard in their recovery over time. These differences become less important as one realizes that it’s not the differences, not even the end result – that matters. In fact, it’s the journey itself. Best-selling author, producer and TV host Beth Wilson really highlighted the importance of this journey by once stating, “We honor ourselves when we speak out for recovery. We show the world that recovery matters because it brings hope and peace into the lives of individuals and their loved ones.”
Take that leap towards your happiness and health today. It’s a lifelong journey, but it’s worth it.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.