142: Holistic Rehab – What is it? (Sort Of)

What is holistic rehab? Is it just some place that overcharges for the same information you can get from anywhere else? Is there any benefit to a holistic rehabilitation? Why use alternative practices when we can use the typical practices? We invite Chris on to explore holistic rehab and what takes place there. We look at how holistic methods treat the mind, body and spirit, as opposed to just stopping drug use and recommending 12 step programs only. Listen in as we explore the pros and cons, the benefits and drawbacks, and who a holistic method of rehab might be a good idea for. 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.

Big Book episode

Recommended by god:

145: Using Tragedy to Find Recovering Success (Sort Of)

FacebookTweetPin Martin joins us to discuss what it’s been like trying to recovery from substance…

Recovery Crush

FacebookTweetPin I had a crush in recovery. That’s kind of a problem, because I’m married…

106: Polyvagal Theory – Exploring our Nervous Systems (Sort Of)

FacebookTweetPin What is Polyvagal Theory? Polyvagal Theory, or PVT, is a a theory in the…


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 am jason a guy who did not go to a very great rehab hi i’m jenny i’m a person in long term recovery and we’re here with chris today hi chris hi how are you uh do you have a way you would like to introduce or refer to yourself around recovery uh chris i am and i hopefully long-term recovery i get seven months the end of the week nice congratulations i’m on my way so and and this is kind of interesting for me i don’t know a whole lot about your history but you go to the recovery dharma meeting i do i go to recovery dharma uh with jenny uh she’s our fabio she that’s how we met she’s one of our fabulous uh facilitators it’s pure lead so um i actually ran it the other day um a week or two ago and then i also uh started a another group sangha uh which is like a community of wise friends as we say on the path and uh so i it’s buddha thunk and that’s on sundays so we have thursdays and sundays in our sangha i love the name they name it buddha thunk it sounds so much nicer to call your fellow peers and new to the community people like a community of wise people then like yeah it’s a bunch of addicts or yeah i think it breaks down i i can only speak for me and how i feel about it i don’t know how jenny does but i think it breaks down the stigma absolutely as like you know as i’ll talk about in my recovery journey we we all are other things outside of recovery which is super interesting um you know i’m a theater artist i have a wine degree you know i’m creative i do all these other things we each have our own lives outside of recovery so bringing that into the rooms as opposed to other programs that i’m also a part of um but that kind of want to just keep it what you like program program program is kind of cool to me is that we’re all kind of bringing in our own expertise and outside influence we are totally going to get to your story but you’ve already like got me questioning all kind of things that i find fascinating so one i don’t know that i personally have run into somebody who did not come into recovery through like a generally the 12-step community or something along those lines right with that that kind of i don’t want to call it the old way of thinking but that other way of thinking of like i’m an addict or i’m an alcoholic or i’m a this or i’m a that and so that’s fascinating do you identify as i’m not anything i’m an alcoholic i’m an addict i’m in uh both of those 12-step programs when i was in rehab uh i definitely got into those programs but recovery dharma is really the thing that kind of led me to where i’m at in recovery i go to meetings i go to about 12 a week um so yeah i don’t yeah um so i don’t get you today yeah i’m like i have three more today um so i have recovery dharma uh and the other two 12-step programs today so uh i definitely am really a part of those programs but i definitely did find myself in sobriety which i personally take as being a healthy truthful and uh open mind body and spirit is what sobriety to me means and i think that’s what recovery means as a whole uh so i definitely recovery drama is the way i kind of got in i think we all have an in in some way into everything in life and that was mine when i was in rehab and i’m gonna question you about another thing in one second but i i’m actually fascinated by if people were to find recovery in recovery dharma and not enter the 12-step community if they would call themselves anything or how they would identify like what would you think i’m i’m a wise member of the community like do you even think i’m an addict or an alcoholic if you’ve never encountered that and you’re just in dharma so recovery darm i mean jenny can please put in your thoughts uh so recovery dharma is a quote-unquote recovery program for anything it can be sex addiction love addiction drugs alcohol smoking using technology it can be anything so you do self-identify yourself as whatever you see fit i think that it kind of is uh yes it uses the buddhist teachings for recovery but i think it also adds to your whole kind of just vibe and growing as a person so i definitely i don’t know if in our readings it does say that you know we suggest uh supplementing this with other 12-step programs

recovery dharma came from refuge recovery and then split off uh so i think that at least in my understanding most of the people in the rooms that i have met and know are using it as a supplement to other programs but i don’t think it would be out of line or out of context to just be in recovery dharma yeah i think in the book it does i think it says both it says i think it says you can do this as your only program or you can do it in cooperation with other programs and um i know in this area like cecil county in particular that is usually the case that they do it with other programs because we’re really not a very big sangha we’re not strong we’re not strong enough in the fact that we don’t have like members that are like years deep in buddhist recovery to mentor other people so there are a few people that this is their only program they’re only meeting during the week but

most active people are also in 12 steps or smart or something else my brain is all over the place with thinking of like we need the stronger sangha in the star wars force methods or something i don’t know that’s where i was going um i know nothing about star wars i’ll say it on the record i’ve seen every movie though so please don’t drag me online say you don’t know nothing it’s fine most of my references end up being too old for people who listen but sometimes they’re just out of the realm of what people watch um so we’re talking about uh rehabs today rehabs detox luxury rehabs holistic rehabs basic rehabs state-funded rehabs uh and and we’re not gonna do great at identifying all them um but you went to a holistic rehab and i did what i’m interested in before i ask you to tell a little bit more about your story is i’m curious and i feel like you kind of already told me this before but i’m curious anyway do you think your holistic view of recovery that you’ve just kind of expressed already in the first few minutes stems from your introduction to recovery by that holistic rehab that maybe put emphasis on those things or do you think i just kind of ended up that way because that’s kind of who i am and that just was the rehab i sought out both i think that i so i identify as a queer gay male um i went to art school in center city philly uh so i am a little bit maybe off the beaten path and kind of march to the spirit of my own drum so i definitely sought out a rehab that also did that i know personally i’d been in therapy before i went to rehab so i definitely sought out some place that was going to be a little more holistic a little more not so much the what people identify as a rehab rehabs so i really wanted to do all the art therapy and kind of you know i wear a crystal i am into kind of being a creative and learning as much as i can uh so i wanted some place that i definitely knew that you would be learning and growing different skills that i might not just discover out on my own in this recovery journey awesome okay so now that i’m i’m i’m uh appeased for the moment and you should tell a little bit about your story like how you got to the point of needing rehab if you’re comfortable yeah of course where you ended up it doesn’t have to be specific but just what it was like and tell them yeah so my name is chris i identify as an alcoholic and an addict i basically in short uh i’m 27 i turned 28 on tuesday oh happy birthday thank you okay so uh maybe by the time this is published i will already be 28. so uh so basically in short i started drinking kind of casually i’m from the jersey shore yes it’s exactly what you think it’s like that town that the show is shot is about 15 minutes from my house so yeah so like gym tan laundry the whole thing uh he actually looks a little more jersey shore than i do today but you know so easy no it’s not a dis i’m just saying it’s definitely down here is a little bit different so i decided so i moved to philly uh and lived in philly for 10 years ended up going to school there uh for theater really kind of became active in a bunch of different communities and started drinking more and more i ended up getting a sommelier degree which is a degree in wine and spirit so i’m like a quote unquote wine expert or so they say and so from there i you know drinking just started becoming an everyday thing because you’re also getting paid to drink you’re getting paid to try things you’re trying new cocktails you’re smelling these wines you’re doing things so like at the end of a shift or potentially a workshop or something you’re already potentially a few drinks in and then everything kind of becomes you know you’re working different hours than most people so i’m working night shifts and you’re getting out late so you’re friends with all the bartenders around so you’re getting free drinks i i don’t know how much you guys know about gay bars but i’ll educate you a little bit on a gay bar so um the rocks glasses that normal people get usually have like a shot of liquor in them gay bars they fill it to like practically the brim and then just your coke on top or you’re sprayed on top so automatically you’re kind of conditioned in a way to be a heavy drinker uh which i’m not blaming gay bars because i love them and my friends own them and run them and everything but so you’re kind of conditioned and you don’t really i think realize it as much and from there i kind of spiraled out i lost my dad at the very start of covid actually like three days after covid broke out um and on march 20th of 2020 and so i thought i was doing like okay but i was very much doing the like let’s cover it up and emotions with drinking i then proceeded to move back to philly and was like wearing a hazmat suit on the street serving tables and kind of got depressed i definitely you know kind of was what was me the whole situation turned to drugs because they’re prevalent in philly and in the restaurant communities and just everywhere and so i kind of started spiraling out with drugs and then would try to swing one way to like cover it with alcohol would be like oh i’m drinking entirely too much swing one way with drugs and then by the end of it it was just a huge cluster can we curse on here yeah oh it was a [  ] and so it was a complete [  ] nightmare and sorry i curse like a clown my poor mother’s gonna watch this christopher we can’t take you anywhere even on a podcast um for recovery uh so i basically uh had a moment where i was like this is too much this is all kind of spiraling out and i attempted suicide uh which is not a good idea do not suggest uh and so i kind of had a come to a moment i woke up there was blood everywhere um and you know when you’re doing drugs and different things there’s going to be blood there’s going to be mornings where you wake up and you’re kind of still [  ] up or you don’t know where you are and you’re doing shitty things and i realized that that’s not who i want to be and that’s not the person i am uh and also like how am i gonna get out of this so i was like i should try to kill myself that luckily didn’t work and so i was like i need to go to rehab luckily for me my sister had previously gone to rehab she went to life healing center in santa fe new mexico where i ended up going and she spoke really highly of the program it really seemed to help her grow as a human and that was more my thing is like yes i’m an addict yes i’m an alcoholic but take those things away why was i using what were the issues what was i missing and so i know that she’s also kind of i i use the term hippy dippy um people find that offensive i don’t think it’s offensive especially if i’m self-identifying as hippie doofy so we’re just gonna roll with it um you get what you paid for you asked me to be asked do you get what you get um uh i it was more hippy-dippy and so and holistic so holistic to me uh and from what i’ve learned online is probably not the traditional what you see in the movies uh there’s that fabulous rehab movie with sandra bullock and i of course was like if sandra bullock can go to rehab i can go to rehab um you know if it’s good enough for liza minnelli it’s good enough for me and so i wasn’t going to like the betty ford clinic or something fancy i was going to holistic rehab that kind of focused on the mind body and spirit and emotions as well as what your issue that you were going to rehab with so i went with the quote unquote diagnosis of and once they do the whole intake and kind of identify you which i always think is really interesting uh and i’ll go on a tangent on this if you don’t mind is that i they identify you at what you are when you get there so which i think is really good because i think it plants the seed but then it allows you to grow into that and kind of see like am i this or am i not this for me yes i was this i have depression and anxiety suicidal ideations uh you know an addict and an alcoholic so they kind of you know i detoxed or quote unquote for a few days here in cecil county maryland and then i shipped off to santa fe new mexico kicking and screaming and crying as you do when you’re going to rehab sometimes even though i asked to go uh i definitely was very reluctant and i got there morning of and was like listen mom this is a 30-day program i’m gonna do a solid seven and be out of here and she’s like how about you give me a solid 14. and i was like okay and then i would get a plane ticket because i’m out of this place like this is not for me rehab is just not my thing i called probably by day six and was like i’m staying here forever i’m never leaving rehab’s the greatest where did you detox in cecil county just at your house at my house really highly unsuggestible did the rehab suggest that no i i am my own doctor um no um i’m not my own doctor please do not think that serious um i decided so i basically after a very long 48-hour binge packed up all my stuff and came down here and kind of did my own detox where i kind of just laid on my couch and sweated out and did the things it’s highly unsuggestible i probably should have gotten medical care being on a bunch of drugs and alcohol but i did that and because i kind of also in my own sense and i’m again speaking from my own personal opinion and experience i didn’t think being in the middle of the mountains in the santa fe desert was going to be the best idea for this city boy to detox knowing what detox was going to be like which it wasn’t anything like i read about uh i definitely so i just wrote it out i did uh some gatorade water eating because again if you’re using you’re not really eating much depending on what you’re using so i did all of that in cecil county in my mom’s house yeah wow that’s incredible i feel like i don’t know about most people but quite a few people actually get messed up before they go that’s kind of almost how you trick yourself into getting there like yeah so a lot of people are like oh i used and there was definitely i had friends that had shown up to rehab i mean six to the wind i mean on everything uppers down or some candy corn i mean which i which is great i don’t think i probably would have stayed i think i would have woken up and been like oh absolutely not so i think going into it for me my buy-in was that i was already sober jenny they’re getting messed up on candy corn at them whoopee parties you talked about last episode that’s that’s where that goes i do like candy corn yeah i do i think i’m like i’m definitely a minority i was gonna say you are a minority i think i’m like a somewhat in that minority but like it’s an it’s i’m a very seasonal candy corn person i’m seasonal and i i don’t even care if it’s stale i like it in november and december too hey so you guys talking about this detox thing when i went to rehab i i actually quit and i was just alcohol just alcohol one of the most dangerous to quit and um i i stopped drinking seven days before i entered rehab and when they were like when was your last drink and i would tell them the date and they looked up from their clipboard like really like i’m like yeah like and so now i’m seeing why i oh people were definitely the nurses were definitely questioning that mindset that i was like oh i haven’t drank in i think it was like four or five days when i got there and people it’s definitely i think not the norm and i don’t think they advertise that that like there’s no kind of like if you’re going to rehab detox or don’t detox i think they’re just like coming to rehab well and maybe this is the point where we we do pause your story just for a second distinction like you know the words are used at least in my head very universally like detox rehab same thing whatever but really detox is the medical detoxification of your body and rehab is more about the rehabilitation portion where you’re supposed to be learning new ways of interacting with your world that allow you to be free of that substance in the future and and i i do think they get used you know interchangeably quite a bit but there is a an actual distinction did they do they detox people at the time they do detox people and they do do um oh my gosh the word is not coming to me weaning off uh programs okay for different uh opioids and different drugs like medically assisted medically assisted treatment for sure there is definitely that but yeah no there wasn’t really a suggestion i definitely know that i was of the minority of people when it came to like not showing up [  ] up i think they just assumed that if they were to tell people hey yeah yeah go ahead and start detoxing now that nobody would come so well no one would comment i think it’s also super dangerous like thinking about it hearing other people’s stories in the rooms and what they went through i truly don’t really remember what i went through but i’m sure it wasn’t the greatest thing medically to be doing so i saw train spotting i know what you went through so yeah i mean i i know i saw people go through it in rehab and i was kind of you know again not looking down on anybody but i was like thank god i’m not doing that as well right now because like some of these people definitely had like their first week was absolute hell and i just don’t know if that would have been a buy-in for me looking back i would gesture to say it probably was would not be it’s hard to picture you running through the streets while iggy pop played though i got to be honest just i don’t know iggy pop yeah she was done by train spotting oh another it’s a movie yeah oh there is a big age difference listen i have a barbra streisand tattoo and watch the golden girls like that there’s a barbra streisand nose for everyone and i will bring this up when we i’ll talk tattoos when we get to talking to a whole episode on tattoos but we can work on that recovery really that was on my list of ideas i’d love that um so you get there so i got to rehab and you know you do the intake and that was super you know daunting and i was rereading my journals actually uh last night in preparation for this and i was openly talking about like i don’t want to kill myself but i would love to just die right now like i would love to just be taken out of my misery the idea of not being the idea of just not being here and so in somehow in six days that changed to like i love life and uh everything so my journey in rehab you have uh there’s a few components to it so i’ll try to explain it uh so you have a therapist that you meet with two times a week uh that’s a licensed mastered therapist uh or whatever and then you have group therapy four times a week uh for three hours in the morning and your groups are led and facilitated uh you have different topics but then we each have five projects the five projects is a huge thing that they mention in this rehab it’s kind of like their core kind of thing so you do a kind of inspiration timeline of like who you are as a person what brings you joy you do an inside out project how you feel on the inside and how you feel on the outside and portray and the difference is in that you do a timeline of kind of all of your major events that would fit into your addiction or rehab story you do a shame project where you kind of do all you know however you want to identify your shame and let it go and then you do a three circles project which is uh when i’m in the green when i’m in the yellow and in the red as your final project as you leave to kind of know where you’re at and what identifies you as triggers and different things so it’s really cool to me right away so i already knew of this that they did projects and it was more creative so you can do them different ways i did my shame project as a song that i sang to my dad at his grave i did uh a huge timeline glitter board i did a playbill as my timeline and everything so it was kind of each person brought in their own thing the thing that i right away realized about rehab is it’s not a bunch of people that you think are going to be in rehab i had a nun i had an fbi agent a navy seal two kindergarten teachers we had a doctor we had one of the top lawyers and i forget what state and then a bunch of other people we had a guy that lived in a van that played pop music that was on some tv show we had a bunch of really cool artists and tattoo artists uh so it was really kind of a group of people that were all similar minded i think everyone kind of sought out and there was a series of people that had been to rehab and a series of people that hadn’t and i think what was really cool is you could kind of see that most people there were on the same wavelength of i need something else besides just your run-of-the-mill rehab which is not to say that those don’t work but i think different people identify differently with different things so for me personally i really identified with so we had art therapy so mind you let me just get into this we are in the santa fe new mexico desert mountains so we are up like 3 000 feet or something or 7 000 feet 3 000 from like the base level of santa fe in the mountains in casitas which are kind of like adobe cabin huts and uh the there’s two major buildings uh one that houses the kitchen and then everything else is trailers and it’s dirt roads there’s live animals walking around the premises deer and domesticated or no no no like outright like wild animals like just kind of outright in the desert are you tarantulas i personally didn’t see any but like at night you hear coyotes and you you know witness deer and like we woke up one morning and there was a dead deer that was just other people from the rehab that wasn’t coyote no you know i wish oh my god that’d be so incredible um we did do speaking of we did do night chanting we did do the night moon chanting and howling so i was a participant um so nonetheless and then because i’m sure there’ll be a bunch of questions uh so i went and experienced what was the greatest 33 uh days of my life i ended up saying for 33 days uh in in hindsight i don’t know if i really would have gotten through a traditional rehab without some of these outlets that i used so yes you have the group events there’s game day there’s game nights there’s karaoke night there’s movie nights and documentary night but then also they bring in a bunch of different different uh facilitators so you’re you’re besides your group that you do all morning for about three and a half hours you then have groups on codependency anger management you have both of the 12-step programs we have recovery dharma so we had all those things that are more that you see in a traditional rehab and then we had things like ecotherapy where you’re out finding things in the desert and building things we had art therapy led by incredible art therapists we did crystal healing we did sound bowl therapy which is playing sound balls they had different adjunctives so you could do reiki or massage therapy or you could do things like uh cognitive behavior therapy and semantics and emdr and sort of kind of supplementary things that might be a little more holistic that allow you you know of course there’s tons of meditation there’s tons of yoga and then there’s a gorgeous program called creative discovery living which kind of allows you to do all those three things you kind of write or create or make something to help you discover who you are and i think that was really really cool for me it really really helped to kind of come at it from a holistic standpoint where i’m healing myself from this disease of addiction and drugs and everything but also growing and experiencing as a person wow so okay when this episode idea was presented to me you know the the word bougie rehab got thrown around right um and it was interesting when when you came in today i mentioned the word luxury rehab as an alternative to bougie or fancy um and you were like oh we were in huts right with like dirt floors and i’m like i don’t know it still feels like planned like almost like if burning man was real yeah like you’re roughing it right like like it’s planned roughing it it’s not actually like that they don’t have money for fancy marble floors it’s that they but so i you know i had my own interpretation yeah right um so i do think maybe that’s a good time to make that distinction like they’re i don’t know that every rehab falls into one of these specific types but you know there’s state-funded rehab which would be someplace that is getting grant money and you know operating at a base level of just affording what they can to get by to stay open there’s a basic rehab whatever we would call that where you know you have your normal stuff you go there you have some groups you learn about n a or a a and and life goes on it was interesting you said it has what you were like oh i think they have what everybody else had like recovery dharma i’m like i have never seen recovery dorm but this was a long time ago too so maybe they’d have that now i don’t know um but then there’s you know what we would call i guess luxury rehabs like you your passage is malibu maybe or yeah i think that’s more i think petty ford um shout out um to my girls down there uh no i definitely think i met some people that talked about their rehab experience in rehab while we were there and they had basketball courts swimming pools they were going to spa treatments and they were in like gorgeous air-conditioned buildings and not that like we were all like roughing it roughing it but like we are out in the santa fe new mexico desert it wasn’t you know the most lavish the food was incredible the chef was great but uh it wasn’t wasn’t the most lavish place i had been and i looked at pictures post-rehab and at some other rehabs and i was like oh i was okay there’s definitely so what we were doing sounds luxury and maybe a little bit like burning man-ish but i definitely don’t think like in comparison i don’t know i think it was more holistic than it was bougie or luxury i definitely took from the experience what i did in the i think that if there was all those luxury or bougie elements i don’t really think i would have cared you know what i mean like if you could sit outside and like be in the pool or like play basketball i’m not playing basketball but um but like if there was like legit more stuff i don’t know if i really would have like been a part of it in my own recovery i think i would have kind of just taken it as a vacation which can be great to pop out from your life and kind of have a moment but i don’t think i would have gotten to the point where i’m here on a podcast talking about recovery that makes sense no absolutely like what i hear out of that statement is that you know those things could have been present or not present maybe they would have altered your course in the sense of like it wouldn’t have felt as uh soul-searching if they were there right it might have felt more like vacation but more to the point of even if they were available they wouldn’t have been necessarily impactful for your process they would have just been now and i think that like the whole vibe so santa fe uh sits on a slab of obsidian which is a stone that kind of is for healing powers as it is so this is like true factual obsidian is under the ground in santa fe so when you’re there i don’t know if either of you have ever been you 360 view of mountainscape so it’s the most gorgeous thing and gorgeous sunsets and everything but the whole uh campus is you know there’s mexican prayer flags there’s uh the native american lakota tribe had made a medicine wheel there’s a greek labyrinth which like is known to like capture the monster within you uh in greek mythology there’s you know different flags and the whole place is decorated with rocks um that are painted by all past uh participants in rehab so it’s kind of really cool there’s kind of a communal vibe uh there’s a victory garden a prayer garden there’s you know there’s a huge yurt which is like a giant slab uh that they didn’t like fully build so you can sit out there and watch the stars and everything so it kind of has this kind of ethereal vibe to it it’s interesting and i think if nothing else the the first thing i learned today is definitely the idea that had somebody presented this style of rehabilitation to me i would have been like oh that’s code word for bougie like like but maybe there is this other alternative right maybe there is the state funded the basic the the fancy luxury and then maybe there is this other holistic version of a rehabilitation center that i am just definitely in my experience never been exposed to because all my experience was you know basic or lower so i think that in my experience and is that and i’m not knocking anybody on the east coast recovery i think the recovery program that i found here in cecil county is absolutely incredible however when looking up rehabs especially around the area that i was in it seemed like mental health was kind of not really at the forefront and growing spiritually and to my fullest self wasn’t really at the forefront that is a huge thing out in the southwest and i think that is something that you find a lot of these similar types of rehabs out there in that they are kind of focusing more on growing your truest self as opposed to just fixing a problem 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

and consider donating to our calls

honestly i would really be curious about and i know they don’t exist but if there were statistics to show like which one of these has better outcomes or seems to be more useful i think it also super depends there was and i’m not just saying this but i am just saying this but there’s people that went to this rehab that i was at who this rehab was not for you know chanting with a 90 year old woman from the lakota tribe of new mexico to the sun god and to the moon god into the different directions was not for some of these people you know doing buddhist recovery was not for some of these people art therapy was not for some of these people so i definitely think had i gone to a other rehab i don’t think i would have participated as much whereas i bought into and buy into all of these things as a person outside of my addiction and recovery art therapy doing being creative making stuff crystals all that stuff is interesting to me as a whole so i think that i bought into the holistic alternative medicine kind of style of rehab as opposed to there were some people that got there i don’t fully think might have done as much research and kind of were like what is this what are we doing which like i could totally see so i think it depends i would be interested to see those statistics but i also think it depends on the person like as from what i know of jenny i think that jenny would like be successful oh yeah i’m totally thinking about and collapsing yeah yeah but like you know i don’t know you as well but like i think that it super depends on who you are as a person versus any other statistic i think this podcast needs to fund sending me to rehab for the experience so i can talk about it personally now it’s uh i swear i need to get this message from the universe don’t i because if it’s not billy it’s somebody else here reminding me that there is no one size answer for everyone i swear to god i will get this message one day when somebody gives it to me so uh i do want to say for everybody you know when the term holistic gets thrown out i think people think of you know if if billy was here he would say something like woo-woo right like he he uses that terminology a lot you you said uh hippy dippy right like i think that’s tends to be what we think of and you even said something just a second ago that caught me uh alternative medicine right and i do think these are some of the connotations we get of the word holistic when we think about it but i don’t want people to be completely misconstrued like holistic can mean some of those pieces and aspects but really the idea of holistic is that the treatment is characterized by the whole person correct that’s what it really means right they’re taking into account your your medical issues they are treating those for sure they’re they’re treating your mental state they’re treating your social state your spiritual state like this is mind body and spirit to the fullest it’s everything and that’s so hippy dippy i think some of the activities of this are that but i find that when googling and i’m so happy you brought that up is that because of course i would be the one to forget my own like you know holistic means this but yes it means like mind body and spirit they take in so much and they’re throwing at you a thousand and one different things and just seeing what sticks that was also what was really helpful it was a super individualized program i never was forced into doing like yes try everything but like for me as you know this sounds like oh but like i’m an actor so like the psycho drama workshop wasn’t for me i was like her accent’s off that’s not what was said you need you know and so i was like she sat over there actually and the chair wasn’t this color so i can’t really buy into this you know acting like the meryl streep of rehab you hurt my heart i love psycho drama which is great which is great you know what i mean and it works for some people me personally i was like i’m not going to play out some of these things and i just don’t you know but there was super you know again what did you just say mind body and spirit and yeah woo-woo and hippy-dippy are terms that people throw out but i think i found at least when looking up and you are more of a scientific expert than i so uh but alternative medicine is what they kind of identify things like somatics and emdr and some of the things that we were reiki and some of those things fall into that category so i think holistic and alternative medicine at least in my understanding is sort of meshed in one of those like it’s a rectangle it’s a square type things like one can be identified as something but can’t be identified as the other i’m not quite sure but i think that’s kind of what i took from where i was at viewing it and i’m sure everyone had their own experience at lhc and with their own thing to me the things like animal therapy and crystal healing and sound bowl healing and reiki and you know we did all these chantings and meditation it all really helped because i allowed to kind of break the mold of like i’m here in recovery i’m not drinking you know and it really allowed me to kind of grow as a human being and see the reasonings for me using as opposed to just like don’t pick up a drug or a drink no absolutely and so i i guess the reason i tend to personally shy away from any connotation of alternative medicine is what it brings up in my mind is you know we have these evidence-brace based researched uh medicines that we use but i’m gonna choose this thing that’s contrary to that instead right and yeah i don’t like that idea i want people to understand like these aren’t these are not not researched ideas like yeah things that have research they’re just like not run of the norm and i think that’s you know i hate to get on my soapbox but like queer culture right you know what i mean like it’s pride happy pride everybody um but so it’s definitely one of those things that like there is research and research and research and research upon all of these things but because they’re not the like very run of the mill they put them in this category of alternative they’re not cis medicinal yeah i mean i could go on my soapbox but i won’t but uh it’s definitely one of those things that i think you know art therapy is a proven thing animal therapy you can get a therapy animal these are all things that you know i don’t again i didn’t go to a state-funded or what people identify as traditional rehab so i don’t know if they do offer that kind of thing there but i think that me being able to connect to who i am as a person as a creative and bring that into my recovery has super opened up my eyes to so much i mean even if we took out the the research back methods right like so when we say when the word alternative is used to alternative medicine it’s not alternative as in the sense of hey we know what works but we’re going to do something different yeah it’s more hey there’s some other options that also work that you know different strokes for different photos we’re not even sure they might work better we just haven’t really evaluated them a whole lot yet um but even just the concept of like going into a place in your early recovery and experiencing all these different uncomfortable things right like even if you’re into it somebody puts you in a group of people when you’re like 10 days clean or sober and they’re like hey we’re all going to chant or we’re going to do this it’s super uncomfortable as [  ] yeah i mean one of the most uncomfortable situations that i was in personally uh was probably on day five or six i had just gotten there you know so now you’re you know you got a week or half a week and a half clean or whatever so you’re a little more clear-headed and we laid in a dark room and did sound bowl healing which is incredible if you’ve never done i highly suggest it it’s the most gorgeous sound it’s like the huh but like it sounds like and it’s you know it’s like fancy crystal balls and she’s playing all these things and gongs and so your eyes are closed you’re laying in this room of about 12 to 15 people and but you have such an out of body experience and it’s it is a little bit uncomfortable it’s super scary to be that vulnerable in yourself where like you hear people sobbing you hear people laughing you hear all these different emotions that can be brought up and you’re sort of overwhelmed by that and i think that it’s definitely something to counterbalance what i said earlier about how great it was there was definitely situations that i was in that i think you had to be open and joyous and kind of free to while i’m here might as well try it you know if you had told me especially when you’re using i mean who’s gonna be like sound bowl healing’s going to save you chris or like this 90 year old woman that’s going to give you a moroccan tell you to shake and chant in a foreign language she’s going to open up your day and like she did but like in in hindsight i’m like oh wow she really did but like at first you’re like what am i doing is this cultural appropriation am i being offensive like i don’t speak this language but you know most white people ain’t thinking that but i’m glad that you were thoughtful enough to think of that i’m still bitter about soundball healing because i bought two tickets to attend one um in cecil county right before the pandemic and then they had to postpone it and then they had to postpone it and then the place went out of business and i’m out 40 bucks oh that’s sad i know and i had done it there and it was really good yeah sambal healing is incredible i definitely would swear by that something that i want to talk about also that we kind of alluded to is uh so uh it also allowed you to be and i do not know from other rehabs but it allowed you to be really free thinking and really kind of go on this journey with the group and people guiding you in different ways so like me when we talked about recovery dharma and i wasn’t buying into the 12-step program at first because i othered myself out in every which way i could i’m gay gay people aren’t in recovery they are i’m a sommelier i you know have a wine degree the woman was like one of the top bush beer reps and she was like you can sit down you’re you’re supposed to be here i was like oh okay uh and then god was a huge thing so me in rehab they were like what you have to find a higher power and i was like well i’m not really religious i’m more spiritual like something that you so i decided to choose barbra streisand as my higher power and barbra streisand didn’t change for anybody and i you know went on this whole big barber stray sand strike uh so when i got my six months i got barbra streisand’s nose tattooed on me but it allowed me to kind of you know be free thinking and get in now i use spirit of the universe i’m more spiritual than ever but it allowed me in this kind of free thinking creative kind of rehab to really be open to change and open to stuff that i don’t think i think a lot of other places and from what i heard when people were talking and sharing both in rehab and out and since i’ve been out is that like a lot of that kind of stuff is is given to you as like there is one way and this is it which is absolutely great and some people need that but me coming from always being kind of a flower child sort of creative mindset i was like i needed that to heal and and i was i think part of that i’m glad you said it it was uh where my brain was going when you were talking about all these different experiences and the uncomfortability of being there what i was thinking was man there’s probably a lot to be gained from a scenario like that right you go into this detox rehab you have these uncomfortable experiences and and that probably creates a sense of i can walk into the world and walk into uncomfortable situations and be okay right i’ll get through it whereas like a typical rehab in my experience like what you’re saying is more this is how it works if you’re thinking outside of that it’s because you’re not [  ] ready to quit yet um and you need to do it this way and so it’s it’s almost like a programming to get back into society but it doesn’t really prepare you to face that that’s uncomfortable because you’ve never [  ] done it correct i have i ever told you my 51 mile story tell me again okay so speaking of walking in uncomfortable situations there is a lap um half paved half not half uphill half downhill around the rehab and so i would do labs all the time just walking in nature and stuff in between groups and i finally there’s all these rocks they’re all painted and all of a sudden i saw a lap record 204 or 200 laps and i was like oh that’s cool but like so far i’ve already walked one lap was a fourth of a mile so i was like so far i’ve already walked like 160 since my time here so like i’m a whoop this lap records ass and they were like no that was in one day and i was like oh okay so me and my free thinking i was like really out of rut where i wasn’t trusting community i wasn’t trying to find a way to be back i still had the using mentality of like maybe i’m not ready to give it up and maybe i’m not ready to rely on other people to be guided and maybe i’m not here for this so i woke up in what seems like something that i would think of drunk but was sober in rehab and was like tomorrow i’m going to beat the lap record i’m going to do 204 laps which equates to 51 miles um half uphill and so i woke up at three in the morning and walked for 15 hours uphill and downhill to 51 laps in one day and beat the lap record um and but it taught me so much about walking in uncomfortable situations it is a uh what they call a uh a super marathon or an ultra marathon uh when you do the math because i guess the marathon’s like only 26 miles i was out there i i ate and walked i had the whole community come out people giving me waters high fives listening to music walking laps with me we talked about every almost every person in like the 35 person community did a lap with me and we talked about different topics on their recovery and where they were at and i was i walked with a nun and talked about jesus and learned about god more i talked with a kindergarten teacher and remembered like you know that sense of being a child and childhood trauma and like what i had grown from that and so i really honestly i did this and i ended up passing out afterwards and going to the hospital but which like even though i was hydrated and everything i was like well i was smoking cigarettes and i think i smoked a cigarette afterwards and just like completely collapsed out of like adrenaline rush um because i had never like trained or done anything but that was something that you mentioned that i i wasn’t going to talk about on here but that the walking and uncomfortability but also remembering the fact that you are a part of the universe and the community and that you are one in many but that like there will be uncomfortable situations you don’t mean i’m sweating i’m talking to a nun and like with her therapy dog and we’re walking and you know that’s uncomfortable being like i’m gay and you know i did all this stuff and here i am in rehab with you and she’s like i get it like i’m you know and so i think that putting myself out there and doing that really changed my life that was something from rehab that i’ll never forget it’s my 51-mile journey did you ask her if they’re called nuns because they’re not allowed to get some no oh that’s a great joke uh no i think she uses the term sister uh we called her sister uh she was great and she was like super accepting and loving and just incredible so i i guess this definitely changes my whole perception of rehabs and classifications because if you were to talk to me yesterday about luxury rehabs which is not what this place was i don’t think completely but i would say yeah like what what the hell are people wasting all that money for like the information is simple you don’t need to spend a whole ton of money on it yes it’s good to get out of your environment for a while to form some new habits but are you being too pampered in these kind of environments and then billy said earlier today we were talking to him when he was here and he was saying like the thing that he thought was interesting was the specialized and individualized treatment and i was like whoa okay i gotta rethink my view of luxury rehabs because that’s actually pretty smart but what you’re sharing about this holistic rehab idea i mean maybe it’s a bias of mine but i love it like i i think there’s a lot of to be useful in there absolutely was it covered by insurance was this like out of pocket how did that work like how do people get to a place like this so some people had insurance some people didn’t mine was kind of half and half uh it is a part of acadia which is like a giant uh rehab like overseer so they have tons of different locations some are those luxury bougie rehabs some aren’t some are included with state funded so it’s kind of a hodgepodge this one uh yeah the the individualized um growing and learning is definitely something you know i connected with reiki really so i kind of you know investigated into that realm and meditation and yoga so i kind of and there’s nothing just in case you’re ever in the opportunity there’s nothing like sunrise yoga in the mountains watching the sunrise over the santa fe new mexico desert and mountains i am jealous i feel like every human should be able to have this month-long experience yeah and also seeing the stars and just kind of really just connecting with earth and just like where you’re at i think the individualized uh moments that we had in where they’re telling you like okay so i had a lot of trauma with my dad and maybe some of my using was that he was also in recovery he never drank for 30 years or whatever and so you know i did a whole investigation on that and really pulling you aside into these moments of uncomfortability and leaning into them as opposed to leaning away from them if something if someone you know and you had your moments where you were like this is too much we had grief counseling one day i completely lost it and was just like throwing stuff and you know having a meltdown but as you do in rehab and something i’ll never forget i just want to share is sometimes in the moment it sucks some of the like i was in emdr which uses light immersion do you know what that stands for electro eye movement really desensitizes yeah eye movement desensitization and reprocessing so it helps like reprocess where you store different memories and stuff but it can also make you very hyperventilated it was thanksgiving day i did it my very first time and i threw up into a bucket and was throwing up as she’s like work through it work through it and in hindsight that was incredible it was the best experience but you kind of need to trust the process again i think it was definitely one of those trust the process with holistic versus i think you have to know the thing i take from this conversation i think you have to know yourself to choose a rehab i think a regime and like you do though you know it sounds funny i’m laughing at myself oh it sounds funny but like yeah we had a tight schedule you had to be up at a certain time breakfast was this time you had to be at groups you had to get signed in and they take attendance and do all these things and you had to attend a certain amount of things each day and participate a certain amount you know or else you didn’t get credit and then you got in trouble and stuff but you had to i think you need to know yourself to know what you connect with as a person and i think that’s where the downfall in mental health unfortunately comes from is that a lot of people don’t get that opportunity to investigate themselves at a young age instead get stigmatized and then end up in a rehab that might not be as helpful to them as something else that they can also afford you know i think being able to do yoga and chant and do all these things that i would automatically connect to opened me up to recovery so now i am in all the 12-step programs i am doing the work that’s more traditional i’m doing my steps i’m doing the meetings but had i just been forced into a meeting in rehab i probably would have been like get the [  ] away from me whereas like finding recovery dharma from a hippie that lived in a van he did and he was van life i love him i adore him um and like he came up to me smoking his cigarette and was like hey man like here’s this book you should come check it out man and i was like oh okay and then next i’m in a recovery dorm meeting and now it’s a huge part of my recovery so i think being able to know yourself a little bit does help in recovery because while we are investigating who we are in recovery i think you can’t become your truest self unless you’re i mean unless you’re presented the opportunity to unlock that yeah i wasn’t laughing at you oh no no you’re fine i was laughing at my i mean i just told jenny earlier i’m gonna get this message that different people need different things at some point and and you were saying that and i’m like nope they all need a holistic rehab [  ] them they’re not doing it right yeah right where my brain went we all need that to open up and be better people god damn it yeah i think that’s what’s also cool about recovery dharma is that we do bring in other things you know you’re trying there’s a thousand different types of meditation we just did an inquiry into you know uh meditation where we did a 30-minute sit meditation that was guided but then you know different people have brought in like music meditations chanting meditations there’s all sorts of different thing avenues in in these generic or regular branches there’s a thousand different ways to lead a 12-step meeting you know what i mean and so i actually think not knocking cecil county but being queer and artsy and random down here is more traditional rehab for me and roughing it than it is out in santa fe you know i know we’ve gotten past the moment a little bit but you just mentioned having that meltdown oh yeah i don’t know just hearing words like that and this it might not be this connotation for you yeah but i always think oh my god that’s so self-critical no it’s not a meltdown no it’s a release it’s an overwhelmed nervous system like it’s oh yeah no i mean i just didn’t want you oh no no i don’t get down to myself about meltdowns i think it’s a beautiful gorgeous thing um if anyone is going through any trauma i highly suggest you see the play or movie or read the book of monster calls there’s a moment in that that’s an overwhelmed nervous system or uh whatever you just said adequately but i can’t remember but uh so i definitely i think meltdowns are have a bad connotation around them but i think they’re beautiful moments i think that’s where you grow so much uh and had i not thrown a bunch of rocks over into over the fence into the desert and screamed a bunch of profanities and hateful words about myself i think that energy would have been captured in me and we did that one day and we kind of did it in recovery dharma meeting we threw stuff into the lake down here um and like burning some of our shame and stuff i think that’s really helpful but meltdowns yeah i like what you said maybe maybe that’s my [  ] and i haven’t let go of my association with meltdown as a a negative connotation right it’s this tantrum me like little kid can’t get himself together kind of idea in my head and maybe that’s maybe that’s mine i think it’s also one of those things no i think it’s beautiful like someone recently was saying in therapy um and by someone i mean my therapist um shout out uh they were saying that you know that’s the whole thing like when they tell you to watch a sad movie sometimes and just get it out like sometimes you have bottled up emotions you don’t even know about and then all of a sudden they hit you like a ton of bricks and you’re just like whoa the scheduled cry we’re just talking oh scheduled cry you should absolutely i am here to tell you a good scheduled cry is important to recovery in my opinion i am it’s been working for me the guest it’s been working for me and i’m doing it and i’m here for it are you not i don’t know jenny ran the scheduled cry idea by me the other day and i didn’t get much chance to think more about it but in my response to her what came up was when we’re not crying in order to save it for later and it just i just didn’t feel like where i want to be you need a good this sounds like a one-on-one case of a scheduled cry in the need the the moment i’m here to diagno this is actually our intervention we’re taking over to tell you that you need a schedule chris okay now that you’re gonna get us into it so the situation she presented was that these people at her daughter’s school can i share this yeah people in her daughter’s school have been like really thoughtful in the fact that she’s gonna you know um educate her daughter at home from now on and really encourage very exciting it was like this really beautiful moment and she was talking about it in relationship to that that she went home and had a schedule cry afterwards and i’m like i don’t know man how much more beautiful would our world be if you just shared that gratitude cry with them like i would love for people to cry right in front of me i think take it home i think yes and now i think sometimes a schedule cries i think that’s a different connotation than i’m saying well i’ve done those too like i’ve had that was a gratitude schedule yeah gratitude’s got these different categories and i just wanted to be sure that we were identifying them i’ve also had like deep sadness yeah i had to hold this into i had a [  ] week i’m gonna hold this and then i’m gonna watch like whatever have you and just sit and cry yeah like put on radiohead and just let it out like yeah that’s my scheduled cry i don’t i guess the the thing that came up for me when she said it and and this might only came up because she presented it like had she said i hate scheduled cries what do you think about them i would probably be like oh my god schedule chris have so much benefit um because i just like anti everything but i think what came up was like what do i lose by scheduling it for later and i feel like we have this idea in our society that you can’t cry in certain spaces or with certain people and like how much more connected would we be if we just cried in that moment when we needed to that’s what would also love to rehab is that it kind of reminded me of going to theater school in that every place was a sacred place in that the group and community i think some people and i hate when they do it is people apologize in meetings 12-step meetings for crying or showing emotion or getting angry and it’s like so when we were in rehab so many times people would just i mean people are pouring out their hearts in some of these projects and so you really got to see people be completely vulnerable and remember that like we’re all somewhat just trying to make it through in some weird kind of sense of the word and i think that was really beautiful just to see true raw emotion happening in in the you know because there’s definitely things that i got frustrated and angry or cried about and like would save it from my casita cabin and just like sit in there and cry but then like in in actuality just being in the moment crying is beautiful too you may or may not be surprised by how many people apologize profusely for crying in therapy this is what the [  ] we’re here for man do it um we are getting short on time one thing i did want to mention just because it came up when i was doing a google search and trying to find more information about different types of rehabs and everything is that be careful when you’re googling for rehab suggestions because there’s a lot of so there’s a lot of rehab review websites and they’re all owned by different conglomerates of rehabs that promote their rehab and so just be really careful when you’re investigating if there’s a place i i think uh word of mouth slash experience is probably the absolute best way to go um but don’t get scammed into any of these lines they tell you they’re gonna give you the best and maybe they have your best interest at heart maybe they don’t um and and i you know i know finances are an issue for people when trying to go into rehab like sometimes we have to go where we have to go but if it’s the consideration of like am i worth this amount of money like yeah don’t even question that twice like [ __ ] yeah you’re worth this amount of money in this experience of something that might provide something that really benefits the rest of your life um is there any other final thoughts that anybody had any final questions you had i know you didn’t say a whole lot today jenny oh well i mean i thought everything i you had like i was so curious about your experience this has been like very satisfying i loved hearing about yes i petted the horse yes i did do the equine therapy and i did pet the horse that’s awesome that wasn’t my question but i did want to know that too i would have asked you later um do you think rehab romances were more do you think there’s more instances of rehab romance in a holistic one than versus another one because it happens in all the rehabs no no okay i think it was probably the average amount okay the average amount straight people do the wildest things

uh you still keep in touch with your with people there yes i do we have a uh alumni board and then we also have a group text of like the core group of like six of us that we text almost every day i texted three of my friends on the way i was like yo i forgot to tell you all i’m on a podcast talking about rehab so shout out to my friends and guys are all still sober yeah and a bunch of us we’re all still sober uh and a bunch of us actually so this is actually the tattoo of a labyrinth and the four noble truths uh of buddhism and it is also the symbol of our rehab so a bunch of us got it thanks chris as my final thought is only something that was mentioned in rehab and i just love the quote is leave that [  ] in the desert the desert can handle it there you go everybody take your [  ] out there and leave it in the desert we’ll see you next week thank you

did you like this episode share it with people you think might get something out of it check out the rest of our episodes at recoveryswordup.com also while you’re there you can find ways to link up with us on facebook twitter instagram reddit youtube anything we’re always looking for new ideas got an idea you want us to look into reach out to us