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The spiritual principle of trust. We continue to examine a spiritual principle each month. We delve into what trust is, how to practice trust, ways that might be useful to create more trust in our lives, and if there is an unhealthy level of trust. Just like some other spiritual principles, it seems there is a balance of trust that feels like the appropriate and healthy amount. Too little trust is harmful to our lives, and yet too much trust could also be harmful. How do you practice trust in your life? Are there particular ways in which you feel you have cultivated trust? Listen in to learn more about trust and share your experiences with us. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or find us on our website at www.recoverysortof.com.
recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason a guy that absolutely trusts in something and i’m billy i’m a person in long-term recovery and following along with our spiritual principles here we are it’s the fifth month and we’re gonna talk about trust what the hell is trust i i feel like uh you know just at first examination and this is subject to change over the course of our hour here but i feel like i believe more interest as an idea than i have in maybe the last couple of like willingness and courage yeah so do you have a like a definition of trust or do we have a well the the dictionary definition would be a firm belief in the reliability truth ability or strength of someone or something which doesn’t say much no i was like oh hell that sums up yeah okay uh you know that that says a noun so that’s interesting as a verb it’s believe in the reliability truth ability or strength of that doesn’t tell me much either so what is it different about that than like say willingness or it just seems more tangible like there’s there’s i can i can’t in any way measure willingness i can’t measure courage and they don’t seem to really translate into anything if i try to examine them too deeply but trust i don’t know i don’t know that i can measure it necessarily but there’s like some sort of tangible evidence of it in action like i don’t give somebody ten dollars as a loan if i’m not trusting that they’ll give it back okay there’s actually a thing i will or won’t do based on this level of trust i can kind of see that maybe god now you’re making me wonder maybe trust isn’t real either [ ] i thought i was honest i’m trying to think like they so in that case like it’s trust leads to the willingness like you trust at least that they’re gonna pay you back so you’re willing to give them the money well so here’s the weird thing about that example like i don’t loan money with the impression that i’m going i thought that too it was like me neither because my trust is in if i give someone money i’m trusting that i don’t need that money right that’s what i’m trusting in trusting i can survive without it and i’m okay with not getting it back right that’s the only trust i have there yeah so then it seems like trust is the thought and the willingness is the action well do i mean i i trust you but like so trust is interesting so like i trust different people for different things like yeah 100 i trust my wife to take good care of my kids and yet i don’t necessarily trust her if i say hey there’s this thing that i need you to take care of and if it doesn’t get taken care of uh they’re going to chop my head off she’s probably not who i’m calling honestly similar you know and i love my wife but she’s just not necessarily shown herself to be super thorough in that sense yeah right yeah that’s true i mean i learned that early on in recovery same principle is that like you don’t trust everyone with everything like certain people are more reliable at certain things than other people you know i always feel like and and granted you know why would this situation ever occur but if my kids ever got in a situation where they were like oh my god this person’s gonna shoot me if i don’t have this thing taken care of like i’m the guy you call for that like i will take care of it to the [ ] detail whatever the instructions are i’m like that’s me so this is silly but i was we were we’re getting ready to go on this vacation trip and we’re filling out you know paperwork and stuff and it’s list your emergency contact all the kids list me i was proud of that i was like because i list my wife and they all list me so why do we want to be this person that uh inspires others to trust us what is it about us that enjoys that because i love it too i’m like yeah i’m the guy you can [ ] count right i’m reliable um as we were thinking about or as i was thinking about this episode leading into it i thought gosh i probably really don’t trust anyone who you know all the way like there’s no one i trust all the way um and for myself i look at that as a character defect i don’t look at that as an asset yeah it’s it’s not a good thing um what i find most of the time is what i’m fearful of or scared of usually isn’t like the risk isn’t worth the reward it’s like it’s i’m gonna benefit more by being open and honest about a feeling or a thought or a really you know a relationship like i intellectually know that i’m going to benefit more but the uncomfortableness of the intimacy and vulnerability is too much sometimes it’s you know i don’t know that i so i had this thought earlier in my marriage and i’m kind of trying to reevaluate it now but like thinking of this idea of like if i was in this situation my head’s going to be chopped off i need somebody to take care of this you know six step plan to the letter and my father had passed away and like he i’m like i don’t have that person anymore he’s who i would call like him that [ ] would have done it to the letter like that’s just who he was and i don’t feel like i have that person and i’m trying to reevaluate now i’m like i still don’t know exactly like you said like i don’t know if i have that 100 percent faith in anybody and i don’t is that a defect though like people are fallible like i [ ] [ ] up it’s not like i’d like to think i’m this totally reliable guy but i i messed stuff up yeah so in that context i don’t know that it’s necessarily a defect but i mean in my life in general like i want to be more trusting and more open and transparent about who i am so why is getting back to your original question like why do i want to be a person that people trust is because i don’t feel like i’ve ever had that person in my life like growing up as a young person i always felt like it’s all up to me and i can’t count on anybody because [ ] they’re gonna let me down and when you let me down i’m gonna be [ ] and then i gotta deal with a mess that i didn’t create and it’s to be your fault you know that’s sort of that’s how it sort of goes in my head so i don’t ever want to be that person i want to be the person that people can count on and rely on and depend on to get [ ] done if you ask me to do something i’m going to do it i’m going to show up you know be the dependable reliable trustworthy person so maybe that doesn’t take us into understanding trust so much uh or how to practice it or how to cultivate it or whatever but i do think there’s something really important in there in the sense of by that example which i think is is very valid because i feel like there was some of that in my life too like i can’t rely on my peers i definitely felt that maybe this uh not having trust right this lack of trust distrust i want to call it untrust i don’t know why but distrust is it distrust and then untrustworthy why why wouldn’t it be distrustworthy or yeah that’s [ ] weird anyway i’m wondering if that led to a lot of the disconnection from society oh yeah i think 100 yeah so that seems really valid especially as much i i don’t ever want to say like connection is the answer to addiction or anything like that but i do think it’s a huge part right when we’re connected and a part of something you know we say or at least they say a lot in the 12-step like the the personal accountability to something you know you join this home group you get a service position to remain accountable i feel like that has a lot to do with trust and connection too so yeah maybe this uh lack of ability in our early years to find these trustworthy figures led us to not want to be connected we were like i can’t connect because to connect is to be vulnerable and in a dangerous place yeah and you know as addicts like we’re so self-centered we believe that we can do everything on our own i can handle everything i can figure it all out i don’t need anyone for anything and that is an untruth you know i don’t know if i call it a lie it’s an untruth i see that in reverse yeah yeah i don’t think that it’s like we were so self-centered we thought we could handle it on our own i think we defaulted when we just were so scared of relying on anyone else to the fact that there’s no other choice but to do it alone it is way too scary to involve other people in this i don’t think it’s a selfish thing i think it’s a fear well what i figured out later in life and again through step work was that no one is perfect and if i’m holding everyone to this standard of i can only trust them in perfection i’m never gonna find that person you know what i mean like i’m never gonna because even me being a person who feels like i’m incredibly dependable and reliable has still [ ] forgot or [ ] something up probably this month probably this week you know because my level of commitment to being the most trusting person is based on how important i think this thing is that you’re asking me to do you know and if it’s you know check your mail while you’re on vacation i might forget you know a day or two but if it’s you know feed your dog it’s probably gonna be a little more important if it’s watch your baby it’s gonna be a little more important you know so uh learning that everyone is fallible and everyone makes mistakes and then looking at myself and like being even when i did love someone and i did care about them and they were really important to me and then still forgetting something or letting them down doesn’t mean i don’t love them which is the story i always told myself you know if people let me down they don’t love me nobody loves me nobody cares about me i’m all alone you know and so learning that no people can love and care about you and still make mistakes because mistakes are what humans do you know then i can learn to like and again it takes a little bit of uh judgment on what who you can trust with what but you know learning to trust people in different ways in different areas of our lives yeah that’s uh that’s interesting i i’m trying to wrap my head around this idea still of like the fear of not being able to trust others leading me to want to do everything myself and how backwards that is because like i actually could trust myself for a long time to get it wrong so it was kind of strange the fact that like i’m scared other people are gonna screw up things or or leave me hanging but i left myself hanging and i knew i was gonna leave myself hanging but i would still rely on me even though i knew it was gonna go bad right it’s like i don’t know it just seems so ass backwards now looking at it from that line of thinking like if i’d have left things in other people’s hands yeah they’d have forgot some [ ] but i’d have probably still been wondering well and the other thing that i have found through my recovery you know journey has been that sometimes the people that you can count on in situations weren’t the [ ] people that you thought you could count on at all and people that you would have never put in a list of like hey this is a person i really think i can count on are people that will show up in the worst of times you know caroline talked about that we haven’t uh had her own for a while but she talked about that when her when she went through a grief period for sure that it was people she didn’t expect that were showing up for her and the people she did weren’t and that’s weird so what is that does that tell us anything about like who we pick to trust or does that just say things work out weird because who knows where people are in that point in their life during those times yeah and of course this is a pretty general i mean trust again it’s another one of those things where it’s so broad because it means so many different it can apply in so many different situations so there’s the trust of i ask you to do something for me you know whether you’re going to do it or not then there’s the trust of like you’re not going to steal from me when my back is turned which is a little different kind of trust or the trust that i’m going to share some information with you and you’re not going to tell someone else about it or you’re not going to judge me for it like those are kind of very different applications of the same word yeah but in general this idea for me of trust and recovery has to do more with that last one that i talked about is that like what’s what’s most important in my recovery is that i find people or have people in my life that i can talk about things with and share information with that aren’t going to like judge me and put me down that are going to be able to sort of keep my confidence so that they don’t go out and like embarrass and humiliate me in front of other people um because i might need to talk about some pretty uh vulnerable things with those people um because the recovery meetings i mean i love recovery but you’re surrounding yourself with dishonest you know people that lie cheat and steal for most of their lives and just because we stop using drugs that behavior doesn’t go away and it doesn’t always go away right away you know even in myself you know there was that period of time early in recovery like if someone in the store gave me too much change i don’t know if i’d have given it the [ ] back you know i wasn’t using drugs but it was still like hey win for me you know whereas now that’s like no i want to be you know a person of moral integrity you know i want to be a trusting person so i’m going to do the right thing when you when you say that when you express like the way that you feel like trust affects you most in recovery what that comes across like to me is like i can trust people with my safety not necessarily like physical safety right you’re not going to jump in front of a bullet for me but i can trust you that you are not out to harm me in any way right i trust that i can come to you and be my authentic self so to speak or my wiser self or my inner me and that’s never going to be exposed or used against me in any way like you generally have my well-being at heart is what i’m trusting in like this concept that you are you are safe for me yeah and those like that i think is a critical element to have in recovery despite your audience and so what i mean by that is i’ve went into meetings at times in a room full of people that i probably didn’t know half of them or knew half of them at least well and shared some pretty intimate and vulnerable things um out of just a i’m gonna say need i know it’s not necessarily a need but just a need to get it off my chest to to vent it to let go of it to whatever because i was struggling with it and the trust isn’t that none of those people are ever gonna tell someone or not that they’re going to talk about it whatever like in the moment i don’t care but what’s important is that i can have a place or or a person that i can just let that go to and trust that i’ll be okay or that i’ll be safe so maybe in that sense the trust that we’re really cultivating isn’t necessarily trust in anyone else you know it’s nice that we we do have these levels of trust with people that that we think they have our best interest at heart but more of the trust that we need is just the trust that it’s going to be okay like at the end of it all no matter what we’re going to be okay yeah or it’s like okay so let’s say i’m struggling with something you know like let’s say it’s a personal issue like my kids being abused or whatever like is it more important that i share that and then you know just be able to get whatever relief i can get from that maybe some supporting words from someone in the meeting or that i’m so guarded that i’m like well i’m going to talk about that because so and so might talk about it to their friend after the meeting and say i’m a bad parent well that might [ ] happen but what’s more important you know what i mean like is it more important that i talk about that and possibly get the help or that i live in this fear place that someone might possibly do something with that information to hurt me and so i developed this you know the idea of trust like i gotta believe or choose to believe that you know sharing it and talking about it and getting it out and opening myself up for help is better than the danger of what someone might do with that information that could potentially hurt me you know thinking back to that polyvagal theory episode we did uh just because i you know i did some training on that and i try to examine the world through that lens sometimes just to see how it fits and you know if we think about our nervous system in these different states of uh arousal so to speak you know there’s the the nice top of the ladder like ventral i feel safe and and calm and connected with the world and then the other two places on the ladder the sympathetic nervous system action of fight or flight or the the dorsal uh parasympathetic nervous system reaction of you know freeze their survival states and i really feel like it’s going to be impossible to gain any level of trust that i will be okay in a survival state right like i’m already in a place where i feel like even if my life situation doesn’t look like it my body is no different than the caveman’s body who’s running from a bear right there’s no way i can have a level of trust that i am okay from a survival place it just doesn’t seem even possible so it’s nice to say well we have to you know gain this level of trust or look to this level of like you know you know what do we call it like acting as if you know i’ll act as if i trust and then hopefully things work out and it proves itself right it’s hard to say that somebody else should do that when i’m like well what if their nervous system is always in this state of survival they’ll never be able to do it yeah i mean of course i go back to sort of an a literature because that’s where my brain goes all the time but it’s like these principles come slowly over a period of time like we pick up the information as we you know do the steps and like you know my relationship with my sponsor let’s say when i pick my very first sponsor i don’t [ ] know if i can trust the guy i knew him for like two weeks three weeks like i met him like coming off the streets and stopped using drugs he had a couple of things that looked appealing so i picked him to be a sponsor at that moment i wasn’t ready to share my fifth step with him you know what i mean i probably would have not and if i would have done it at that point it would have sucked because there would have been a lot of information that i would not have been willing to divulge but over time we built a relationship you know which is maybe a a credit to the slow way that we sometimes do steps in this area or in our fellowship but you know we started working that first step and it might have built from hey i see you at some meetings and we talk and i see what you’re about you know i get to know you a little bit as a human being and then you know we talk about some things i talk about my addiction am i using in my first step and i talk about you know my second step my belief in god like those things are a little bit revealing but not anything shocking you’re usually not going to hear much in a first or second step that you’re like holy [ ] dude you are in trouble like at least not my experience maybe some people have had that experience but most of the time in a first and second you know step as you’re working with people but you’re like building that relationship you know what i mean you’re showing that person hey i’m here to hear your ideas however weird or crazy you might think they are i’m going to listen i’m going to be supportive hopefully i’m going to be supportive i’m going to be empathetic i’m going to take out of my time to make time for you to show you that like you’re important and that you matter and that your recovery is important and i support you in this journey you know and hopefully that’s the kind of sponsor that i’m being so that by the time we get to these more intimate uh steps that require this more intimate level of trust that we’ve built that over time yeah i could see that i think you know early on it was just trusting that the program might work can you trust in a mite yeah right right i think that’s called hope okay maybe that’s what it was uh but but more trusting like hey these people used and felt the way i did and now they’re living something different right that was like the original trust i think it was just oh my god like they’ve been the places i’ve been they’re talking about it the same feelings the same ways means and yet here they are and they’re doing something different so trusting in more that this process might work for me too because again trusting in might maybe i’m hoping i don’t know yeah uh but just you know that was the original trust and like you said building on it over time well i’ve shared this with him and but i guess i wonder so maybe from that stance do we trust others before we start to trust in this idea that we’ll be safe no matter what
so like for myself that the struggle is that i don’t know even now that i trust that i’ll be safe no matter what and where that impacts me you know again back to the recovery version of trust that i’m using here is that there are things ideas thoughts feelings that i have that i let’s say in my marriage or in my sex life that i won’t share with my wife because i you know in my head it’s weird it’s not good it’s unhealthy or whatever reason you know so i won’t share things with her um what are those things
um you know like at face value like i think that’s detrimental to my marriage i would hope that i could be open and trusting and vulnerable with this person like i believe that that improves that quality of that relationship being able to do that for me it it’s not as exciting as it might sound it’s more things involved it usually has more to do with like fears that i have or you know things where i’m struggling like oh my gosh i might not be enough in this area oh my gosh i might not know how to fix this problem oh man i don’t know what we’re going to do about this you know or these internal things that i’ll tell myself and you know what i create a false sense of myself that i’m presenting in the relationship because i’m unwilling to be honest about how i’m actually feeling or what i’m thinking at a moment have you ever thought what if she does that does that hurt you in any way do you feel harmed by the idea that maybe she has things that she doesn’t share with you does she feel harmed by that well i’m just curious if you would in that position like if if she has stuff like if she was on a podcast right now talking to her co-host and she was like man there’s these things i don’t feel like i can share with my husband whatever if you heard that would that make you feel like you were harmed like would that make you feel worse i don’t know that it would make me feel harmed um i mean everything in our relationship and i don’t know if this is healthy or not but most things i look at is like well then i need to do a better job at fixing it you know what i mean now this is an area where i don’t maybe there are some things she could do to make me feel safer but i tend to believe it’s more me than it is her because she is a person that will share intimately about stuff like that um she’s actually probably someone who’s opened me to that kind of stuff like i went through most of my life thinking man there’s just a level of [ ] that i don’t ever say out loud that goes on in my head because people will think i’m [ ] crazy or need to be institutionalized you know like that’s like i think crazy [ ] sometimes and most of my life has been again from my upbringing is like well there’s just things you don’t talk about you know what i mean and those are things and it might be things around sex you know because again i was raised catholic catholic school you know sex is whatever missionary with no other weird things and anything else is like perverse and weird and going to hell you guys don’t have a sheet between your bodies where you cut a hole in it no but trying to get like just being honest about some of that sometimes is has been difficult over the years i mean i’ve definitely gotten better you know recovery’s helped me to look at some of that and own what i can but what i mean is you know a lot of times at least in our situation the fact that i don’t trust that’s where it gets back to the fact that i don’t trust i look at more as a character defect because i don’t think it’s anything she’s doing or it’s not her thing it’s me just with this ingrained fear of someone’s going to hurt me someone’s going to take advantage of me and so i don’t trust that trust is going to work out for me i don’t trust that it’s going to lead to a better place in our relationship and that it’s going to make things better the fear is oh my god this is going to cause her to not love me or leave me or go away well to normalize some of that for you as a therapist i can tell you that many people don’t probably most humans never find a comfortable place to talk about sex whether that’s with friends their partners or anybody because i hear all kinds of wild stories in therapy sessions uh probably only due to the confidentiality factor but yeah i mean spending hours talking about penis sizes and vulvas and wetness and it’s like oh my god what the hell did i get myself into i had no idea that it’s such a taboo topic we don’t have an open place to talk and express thoughts and ideas and feelings about sex and it’s so uncomfortable for our society to do it um oh that’s so bad for me because i’m i mean one i’m terrible at it and i have all this sex no not that part i have four kids um that uh i i have such a what they call that modesty like i’m so modest about even talking about it just from my upbringing and stuff but on the flip side of that like jen’s really open about talking about things and actually does training in recovery that’s called sexual health and recovery where they talk like they have a class it’s like open communications about sex stuff and i’m just like oh my god i would be in that class my face would be [ ] beat red i would like not want to answer any questions you know like so she’s a person who’s not only is she open to it but she’s actually doing it on somewhat of a regular basis so she’s even getting comfortable at it and i am so uncomfortable i’m going to prescribe exposure therapy uh you’re invited to my next orgy at least the new beach something uh well and that well it brings up an interesting question for me is like do things like therapy or meetings create like a false sense of trust or is that real trust like the fact that someone comes in meets you for what three or four sessions and then is talking to you about some kind of sex stuff i they probably don’t know anything about intimately about you and your life whether you’re a person that’s even worthy of their trust but you’re in this professional setting so it creates a trust well there there is uh some ethical boundaries like my license could be on the line if i were to go anywhere or share their information with anyone um for some people you i i do think there is that you know session one two three or four conversation about that and and i think that trust is built on the establishment of the therapy environment not so much me but for other people it’s definitely like session you know 48. we’re talking a couple sessions i’ll share some minor crazy [ __ ] yeah you know some people do build more of that that rapport with me before they’re comfortable diving into that um and there’s people who you know we’ve seen each other for a year now and we’re still not like if i were to bring that up that would still be like uh right what do you mean never going to be there yeah maybe not this episode has been brought to you in part by voices of hope inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at www.voicesofhopemaryland.org
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going back to where you said i’m still not sure i trust that i’m gonna be okay that brings up so many different directions for me or ideas right so when i think about the idea of truly believing i’ll be okay no matter what right the most tragic horrible circumstances i will find peace afterwards right losing my family or something i just off the top of my head that seems pretty [ ] tragic and awful at the top of my list what is the ability to actually have that level of trust that and and you know i’m not trying to criticize here but this or label or judge but like that i feel like that’s like buddhist monk level of trust right like everything will be okay no matter what that’s like uh to me that’s almost having no fear or or the ability to walk through any fear which is interesting to me so this is where it takes me i’ve always thought like love is the opposite of fear right so is trust love because that feels like that level of trust that i’m just going to be safe no matter what is like the the counter action to the idea that i’ll be okay and i can walk through any fear did i take it too is that too much of a stretch or no and where’s jenny our buddhist speaker for this but like i my understanding of like all spiritual principles are based in a state of love like they all come from that state of love if you aren’t there it’s hard to you know that’s what they’re based in is the attitude of love um and sort of character defects are based out of fear you know their reactions to fear so yes i don’t know how to answer your question exactly but yeah i mean they come from a place of love so they’re they need love as a foundation but they’re a little different are they maybe love encompasses all of them you know i’m almost wondering from that aspect could character i mean could spiritual principles coming from a place of fear be detrimental like could we trust from a place of fear is that a thing is like trusting someone because i’m too scared not to or something like that like almost like a codependency well that’s where like that’s i feel like and i would have to analyze this a little more but i feel like that’s almost a little bit of a i’m gonna say like uh word super like manipulation of words because that would to me would be hope like that’s what hope is it’s like i’m not sure but i’m going to do this because i trust that the outcome is going to be good like so that’s more hope than it is or desperation trusting in fear yeah like i feel like trusting out of fear is like desperation almost yeah counting on something just based out of my yeah that’s really yeah now i’m starting to wonder are there actual different spiritual principles and character defects or is this all just i’m living out of fear or i’m not well the way i understood most of like character defects are overblown you know like assets or overblown spiritual principles so yeah so it’s like any of these are on a spectrum you know what i mean like it’s it’s dangerous to just trust everyone all the time in every situation no matter what you’ll probably end up dead or ripped off or whatever sounds foolish yeah i mean like you said when the person sent the message earlier that they’re horny it’s probably smart to not trust that person you know do you think they stole my credit card when i called them last night yeah right you know that’s a case where like you don’t just trust it oh this person must be being on like that’s a defect like that’s not an asset to just trust everyone all the time no matter what i wasn’t trust that was ego i was just sure they were definitely horny looking at me looking at you so it had to be real you know so they’re all on a spectrum so to any one side or the other is a detriment or can be a detriment i mean we don’t just do them haphazardly and that’s where like coming into recovery hopefully we learn as we talked about in the beginning like who we can trust with what you know there are people like i have told people like i wouldn’t recommend walking into a meeting and sharing certain things there’s people that have shared stuff with me that i’m like i would be careful sharing that in a meeting because you know not everybody is at the same level with not talking about each other and that sounds like something intimate intimate that could be very hurtful like right you just got to be careful with what you’re sharing with who um so i don’t recommend anyone just have this blind faith in whatever 12-step meeting that they can just go in and say whatever they want and that someone in there isn’t going to hurt them with that information you mentioned earlier you felt like your ability to see that you weren’t always reliable or you were imperfect helped you trust i think you said that because you you saw that other people were fallible and that doesn’t mean that you can’t trust like you don’t need to trust in perfection and really looking at that i feel like it was step six and looking at my own character defects that was kind of my first glimpse because i had this uh defense mechanism i would say or way of living that it was like i thought i was perfect and i looked at every situation from an angle that made it look like i didn’t do it wrong like it was somebody else’s fault all the time and so it was almost six where i was able to see that i wasn’t perfect for the first time so if that’s what it took to led me to a deeper level of trust i would have not had it for five that’s for sure like it was after that that i kind of gained that ability to see that we were all including myself fallible well in five i believe my trust was in the process of recovery not a hundred percent in my sponsor specifically although at least because so my fifth step and this good i’m glad you brought that up because i was thinking of this earlier um my fifth step i didn’t share everything about myself in my fifth step with my sponsor what i was told it was that you just needed to make sure you shared all of it with another human being so by the time i was done everything that was in there i had shared with another human being but that was not all my sponsor there were some things that i had talked to my wife about which was wasn’t my wife at the time but there were things that i had shared with her that i didn’t share with him or things that other people knew about me you know that i had shared with other people that i didn’t share with my wife or him so it wasn’t necessarily important that all my trust be put into this one person that’s that backward ass cecil county version of recovery must be i don’t know huh that’s fascinating you know it was always said in the meetings where i was from that like that was a possibility like oh you know you could share that with a priest if you really wanted to it doesn’t have to be your response blah blah blah blah nobody actually did it and it was it was kind of like said with a wink like you could share with other people wink wink right but don’t be a weirdo like that uh so yeah it was always just you know it was assumed your sponsor was let me just break all the cliches um you can 13th step it does work there we go you can get relationships in your first year uh you don’t need a quote unquote god to recover like let’s what other ones can we [ ] up with yeah yeah just uh all this misinformation that you get from good hearted people hook up with somebody with a lot of recovery trust in the steps and the process not the industry just lay next time and get it no i mean now i would say i’m at a place in my life now where when i do my next fifth step with like if is assuming it’s with my current sponsor there probably isn’t anything i can’t think of anything right off top my head that i wouldn’t share with him but that has way more to do with me and where i’m at than him and who he is although he’s a good trustworthy person i’m not saying that it just i’m at a place in my life where i feel safer and that you know i do feel like i i do trust more now in the process of openness and vulnerability than i would have back then because you feel safer or you feel more of the ability to i’ll be okay no matter what happens with this maybe not with anything in life but with this like whatever take it put it on billboard [ ] it yeah and i’ve my philosophy on life has changed a little bit too like whatever happens is sort of meant to happen or it’s happening for some i don’t want to say reason but it’s like it it is what it is so what do i want to do about it like yeah this someone violates my trust and tells my wife something that i told them well maybe that’s for the best like now we can use this as a growth opportunity because the truth is i probably should have shared that with her in the beginning and it would have been better you know maybe not but it kind of brings me to the idea the one thing i was thinking about how would we cultivate trust how would we practice the spiritual principle of trust if we were going to practice it and what i came up with the only thing that really jumped out to me was this idea that the more i become a guy who lives as a reliable person the more willing i am to trust that other people are you know we used to uh used to have to pay for a ride in baltimore like most guys who were using didn’t have the means to have a car so you would stand out on falls road and you would wait for what they called a hack right and you would pay your five dollar hack ride money and they would take you over the road and they would you know load up the car it was usually somebody who was also involved in going over right they were trying to make an extra 20 bucks filling their car up the other four seats and sometimes so say there were six people waiting and only four people could get in the car you know somebody would take the money for the other people i’ll pick your stuff up for you and you could tell who would burn you for sure because they would never give you their money you’d be like hey look i’ll pick up your pill for you to get well right and they’re like no no no and then they were coming from a place of they know what they would do if you handed you them your ten dollars they weren’t coming back with your pill so they didn’t trust and that wasn’t universal right there’s probably some other factors it was a really high importance to get well that day so they weren’t trying to take any chances i get it right control freaks yeah can’t wait for you to get back i gotta but definitely this idea of like if when you’re not a trustworthy person you’re not going to have the willingness or or the ability to think anyone else’s you’re gonna we default to assuming everyone else is like us and so if i am not living in a trustworthy manner if i’m not reliable with anything i’m going to believe nobody else is either so i feel like the way one way i have been able to increase my level of trust is just the fact that i live different and the more i live different the more i’m willing to trust that other people might come from that same place yeah and that i am a person of integrity like i am a person that like i mean what i say and i say what i mean and i take most people to be the same way the difference now is i don’t rate people’s shortcomings or failures or not following through or mistakes whatever as some reflection of myself you know what i mean like that’s i guess what i’ve learned is that because someone does something and makes a mistake that’s not directly a reflection of me sometimes it can be but usually it’s not usually there’s way more to do with them and some defect or some [ ] going on with them that it has to do with me so when someone violates my trust or tells another person something about me or talks about me behind my back like i’ve learned that’s usually their [ ] not mine gotcha you know i’m just trying to picture so my boss the owner of the therapy practice she presents herself as really giving a [ ] about people and caring about the community and like a person who would self-sacrifice for the greater good and that’s how she presents herself and i just feel like if i would have met her in my first couple years of my recovery journey i’d have been like there’s something she’s full of [ ] right she’s got an angle this is the card she plays to get things or whatever but like today i trust it like i i have the ability to and granted you know i mean my eyes are open if i ever saw something to the contrary i would i would probably re-evaluate that but there’s an ability to trust that like maybe that’s real because that’s kind of how i live i don’t know if i’m quite there yet but and you do see over time you see that with people in recovery as well like we all know the people that come in and share real good and then they’re out doing all kinds of shady [ ] on the side or you know what i mean they’re talking about living spiritual principles and whatever name the things stealing from their job or extramarital affair on the way home to their wife yeah you know or picking up newcomers in the meeting like all the stuff that when they have a relationship yeah it’s like all the stuff that you see you know like those things do exist but then there are people who are genuinely consistently people that like show up at meetings and when you see them you know they’re the the way that they share or at least the close to it i mean again we all make mistakes um i just brag a little bit about myself like i’ve been a person that for whatever reason people that i’m not necessarily close with will randomly call me and be like hey i’m going through this thing usually it’s a relationship thing that they don’t want to talk about openly in a meeting um and people feel like they can trust me and i like to think it’s because i don’t do any of that [ ] like i try to be a pretty straight shooter not that i don’t go in meetings and talk about areas i’ve made mistakes and [ ] up and even in recovery you know mistakes i’ve made but i think that i’m a person of integrity like i mean what i say and i say what i mean and if you ask me not to say something i’m gonna really try not to say something like i’ve learned those practices principles i guess interesting but i’ve been on the other side of that i had a sponsor that violated my trust with a friend of ours we were talking about something and he went and told this other person it was something we were talking about about his wife and he went and told them wow um yeah it’s pretty shitty and he ended up i mean it created some animosity in our relationship for a minute with me and the other guy and i what i don’t even remember exactly what it was you know it it was something like because it wasn’t like a mistruth it was just an opinion about something or a way that i felt about something someone was doing and uh you know i felt bad and i felt like i needed to fix that but then you know my sponsor at the time had come to me and said hey man i did this i’m really sorry like it just it kind of happened and as soon as i did it i knew it was wrong and i made a mistake and i’m really sorry and that was enough like i was like okay you know what i mean i get it like i didn’t sabotage that relationship we still remain close and you know like he just [ ] up like it happens you know i’m sure they were in a conversation about something something close to that topic came up and this thing just came out before he probably really thought you know how that might look on me and uh that’s you know [ ] happens man everything’s again everything’s not always about me i don’t know that he ran right out and went oh i’m gonna go tell this other friend this thing to sabotage the relationship that’s interesting i i had a a situation oh god i’m really telling myself here so i had a sponsor we had gone over a fourth step um he knew my dirt he knew that i had stepped outside of my relationship and uh came to light a while later uh one of the things that i did not put on my fourth step obviously was that i i had slept with his wife um and he took the information from my fourth step back to my girlfriend and told her all these girls i had messed with and then tried to sleep with her and i don’t know i i wasn’t too mad about it but mostly because i felt like oh i kind of had that coming honestly and what but you sharing that kind of made me wonder like not that what i did was right or you know maybe in a worldly human sense yeah maybe i did have it coming whatever but like was that the wrong view of me to have that like should i have just taken on all the blame for that that’s kind of i don’t know something about that doesn’t seem right either no no he shouldn’t have done that at all even if i did right violated yeah it’s like the old two wrongs don’t make a right you know just because i did something wrong and again in that situation what i said was wrong i shouldn’t have said what i said or you know well and how did he not know he was my sponsor and he was a guy who stepped out of his marriage like obviously he was my sponsor for reason right there’s attraction yeah well and again we just thought we all aren’t perfect you know and and people are going to make mistakes and the truth is i i mean at least in your case you say clean through it right no not through that yeah everybody involved in that went out and used yeah now did that i mean you felt like that was a part of it like did that push you out of meetings or uh uh hard to tell yeah too many too many variables well help that’s for sure definitely you know the shame the guilt the alienation or ostras ostras ostracization yeah i don’t know ostracized yeah from my home group and all those kind of things in my recovery network i mean i i got another sponsor i continued to work steps i continued to hit six meetings a week but at some point using sounded good so i yeah i’m sure it contributed in some way shape or form to it but you know you like your theory it is what it is it had to happen it led me to where i am i’m not yeah i mean those things are all learning experiences i think sometimes and again it’s the way that i’ve had to make sense of bad situations that have happened it might happen in my recovery but it’s like life just sort of happens to all of us you know what i mean and it doesn’t need to be like or i choose not to focus on who’s at fault and the whys and the hows and the what but it’s like okay well this is where we’re at and what can i do going forward to try to make it better improve you know what i mean heal whatever it is like i can’t undo what’s already done i can’t you know take back something that i’ve done or undo something that someone else did like i can just choose how i want to deal with it moving forward um yeah [ ] that his wife was at fault she had no business having boobies that big and calling me right yeah there’s just no reason for that um going into the the science behind trust there’s a strong correlation and what they believe i don’t know about causation but they believe to be heavily involved in the trust process is the chemical of oxytocin right we usually look at this as like the the bonding chemical between babies and moms you know it’s one of those things produced during uh sexual experiences definitely in regard to to women men seem to have not as much sexual connection based in oxytocin during sex but that’s you know some other societal issues probably i don’t think it just doesn’t exist right um but this is like that that bonding hormone or part of us and so they’ve found ways to kind of measure the levels of oxytocin of people in trusting experiments with other people and it was a weird experiment too they like had people send money to another person and the amount of money they sent was based on the level of trust they had that when this person made money on that amount of money they would send some back and look out for them yeah it was a really weird setup too but they measured the oxytocin levels and the higher the oxytocin level the more trusting and the higher amount of money they were willing to send and also in the same for the person who was receiving the the more oxytocin they had the more they were actually willing to act and trust and send money back which was super strange too but then they boosted people’s oxytocin levels with like a nasal spray of oxygen i know and it led to more than double the amount of money being sent in both directions and so there is a chemical process associated with this idea of trust it is like a measurable type thing and that’s kind of fascinating right so like maybe that has something to do the level we’re able to bond with people helps our ability to trust so people i would bet don’t feel connected to recovery people who struggle to get plugged in maybe people whose substance use has led them to be less socially inept or no less socially adept i guess is the opposite of inept i i don’t know i’m using words i don’t know enough right now but anyway their lack of ability to socialize and bond and be a part of a recovery community they’re going to struggle a lot more to gain this level of trust and it’s like well what could we how do we work with that i mean we look i’m not trying to talk about anybody but you know the awkward person right like how do you help them fit in when it’s kind of uncomfortable for you to be around them yeah because i feel like they need that trust too yeah that’s difficult i mean i i tend to just have a vague belief that most people find where they’re comfortable you know like i know that there are certain people that i meet and i connect with and i just like them and then there are certain people that i meet and i don’t connect with and we have a hard time communicating you know just we’re not in the same frequency i don’t you know i don’t know how to describe that but i think there’s a frequency for everybody a group or a peer group which i think is the autonomy of meetings you know what makes that so great is that hopefully meetings have different identities and personalities and things like that i immediately thought of the like the con artist people like a lot of times they rely on relationships charming you know yeah or just to reach out like they’re preying on lonely and vulnerable people a lot of times that are you know on the internet looking for a relationship because there’s some inadequacy at home or in themselves and this person you know oh i love you i’m going to come be your bride from wherever i am in africa and you know you can come see me and i’ll come see you and just send me a couple thousand dollars and it’ll be great you know that’s i guess they’re relying on that oxytocin level going yeah yeah they’re boosting people’s trust levels um so just looking at some of the minor research it says shadow of doubt lingers over every decision to trust but you can do a lot to release that reduce that doubt step one know yourself right and knowing yourself you’re going to be able to figure out who you are and what level of trust you need to some extent right like what level of trust you want to put into other people and i think it goes back to that idea we were talking about like the more i’m a trustworthy person the more i’m gonna default to thinking that other people at baseline probably are too you know they probably have good intentions too which i think we’ve talked about on previous episodes when we talk about anything that has to do around the political arena or it goes that way we kind of have this baseline of assuming others are like evil or out to get us right so it’s like no i can’t trust that any decision is for the good of all it’s got to be about me and what’s mine and don’t take anything from me because i need all that instead of trusting that like we’re all going to have enough right uh you know another part where it says rule two is start small you don’t want to obviously jump into it going back to your idea of the way our steps kind of work in a slow manner of building up that trust yeah i think there’s a whole different conversation around like financial trust or monetary trust and who you give your money like that’s a whole different thing i think that’s unrelated to recovery like it’s almost the opposite like if you’re going into trusting someone with your money or your finances or investments you want to do some work you know you don’t just want to go up to the guy in the meetings like hey i’ve been playing the stock market for a couple months i’m getting pretty good at it you want to give me your retirement you know that’s not the trust we’re talking about at least not that i’m talking about in recovery yeah i i still don’t know exactly though how i would tell people if somebody came to me and said man i i’m struggling with trust i don’t know what suggestions i would necessarily give them beyond those two that we just kind of mentioned to say this is how you practice that in your life like i think really and you know i hate to take it all back to our nervous system but like me having a calm centered nervous system is going to help people around me feel more common centered even if for short moments of time and the ultimate goal is to increase those moments of time that they can have the ability to feel that and so like maybe that’s where my role in a recovery community would be to be just a calm trusted centering voice right a person who is reliable who shows up and like just that action is gonna help others feel that in the community like if we can build the community around that vibe of like connection and care and concern and looking out for people’s best interests in some way maybe having less opinions about what’s good for people and just showing up and trying to be supportive no matter what i guess that’s going to help them feel that level of safety that that trust can come from yeah and just understanding that it does take time to build trust with whether it’s the program whether it’s an individual you know in a relationship like it does just take time these things aren’t just things that we come in walk in the door and like yeah i trust that this is going to be you know because then for me in the beginning they say all this stuff and i’m only now i’m saying i’m getting to understand it a little bit when they would say oh it’s a life beyond your wildest dreams i’m like man that’s [ ] you know what i mean like to me that was a [ ] that just wasn’t true um i could imagine a lot of good things in my life and recovery has not been beyond that i was gonna be a rock star on a yacht with chicks and bikinis that was my yeah early version you know i having trust in this process of recovery has really just been trial and error you know i’ve tried some things i’ve seen what hasn’t worked i’ve tried some other things found out what has worked and that’s what i learned to trust in you know my experience and what’s worked for me and what’s happened over time and that’s why like i continue to find my way back to meetings and the steps and a sponsor in that process because my experience has been that when i do that my life gets better you know it’s that trust in that i understand for some people that may not be their experience and they may not have that trust and they may decide oh i need something more i need something different i need something beyond that and that’s cool too you know it doesn’t mean i can’t trust in this process because it doesn’t work for someone else i can still trust in it because it works for me and going back to that idea we we kind of came to about honesty i think it is also that level of like trust as a balance right i don’t want to be if i’m not trusting enough anywhere i’m gonna it’s gonna lead to isolation probably and not you know being able to be vulnerable or connect to anybody and yet if i trust everything too much um the nigerian prince is gonna have all my bank account information right so like i do need this level of i should not go into you know my romantic relationship and 100 trust that individual has my best interest or doesn’t have even if it’s not about my best interest maybe they don’t have their [ ] figured out well enough to not you know do things that harm me like i need to be open and look for the red flags and see these things i can’t just be all in like nope all right it’s moving forward after three months for a great day three months three days you know look she’s been held up at work all four nights this week right and doesn’t get home till nine and her hair is a little messy and like you know her her underwear is sticky it’s ah she probably just has some weird stuff going on send her to the ob or something like you know i don’t want that 100 level of trust this is something i build up over time to where it’s like she hasn’t or he or she hasn’t established you know hey 15 years straight they’ve been coming home and doing what they said they were doing and right now there’s probably a whole lot more trust than there was in that first week and that’s how it’s supposed to be well and it’s our misunderstandings of trust or how that’s supposed to work because like say i would almost you know similar what you’re talking about in relationships i would get into a relationship and think hey just because we went into this relationship means i can trust you unconditionally with anything not looking at like anything to do with your history or the relationship around you know which we met you know oh we’re both using drugs at a party and we went and banged out back yeah that’s great let’s become boyfriend girlfriend now i can trust you with all my [ __ ] here’s my debit card right wait a minute we’ve known each other like 72 hours like that’s not a foundation to build trust yeah and you can build trust there it just it isn’t there yet you know it takes time but so i guess i i don’t know for whatever reason and i don’t even know if this is based on any real good uh rationality in my head i believe more in this idea of trust than i do in willingness or courage necessarily i don’t know it would be interesting to see the rest of the year if i tend to believe in a principle or not and maybe by the end of the year i’ll figure out why and maybe asking like when you’re in those situations if you say you can’t trust like well who are you putting your trust in and what are you trusting them for right because that may help you find the person that you’re looking for i like it so i trust that jill will be listening next week and we will see you then have a good week
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- 58: Smart Phone and Internet Addiction (Sort Of)
- 60: The State of Addiction Treatment – What We Need To Do Differently (Sort Of)
- 34: Step Six – Were Entirely Ready to Have God Remove All These Defects of Character (Sort Of)
- 39: Sponsorship – What Is It, Why Do We Need It, and How Does It Work? (Sort Of)
- 41: Spiritual Not Religious – What is Spirituality? (Sort Of)