Mental Health conversation centered around 12 step recovery and related topics. We talk about spiritual living, living with addiction and growing in the 12 steps. Find us on our home at https://recoverysortof.com/. If you want to join the conversation, email us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverySortOf, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recovery_sort_of/, or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Recovery-Sort-Of-112376247161866/?view_public_for=112376247161866.
We are exploring MARA, Medication-Assisted Recovery Anonymous. This program, created to address the need of a place for persons using medication assisted recovery methods, is intended to provide a space for all to feel welcomed in recovery. We have Murk on to help us understand what to expect from MARA, how to access their meetings, what might surprise us coming from a more traditional 12 step fellowship, and the importance of language in recovery. If you’ve ever wondered what a medication assisted recovery program could look like, or if you or someone you know is looking for a place to rest and find like minded people, listen in and then share your thoughts with us.
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Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/recoverysortof/message
We are exploring MARA, Medication-Assisted Recovery Anonymous. This program, created to address the need of a place for persons using medication assisted recovery methods, is intended to provide a space for all to feel welcomed in recovery. We have Murk on to help us understand what to expect from MARA, how to access their meetings, what might surprise us coming from a more traditional 12 step fellowship, and the importance of language in recovery. If you’ve ever wondered what a medication assisted recovery program could look like, or if you or someone you know is looking for a place to rest and find like minded people, listen in and then share your thoughts with us.
How to find us and join the conversation:
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
[Music] [Applause] welcome back this is recovery sort of the podcast I’m Jason a guy who has not tried medication assisted recovery Anonymous yet and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I’m Caroline I’m also a person in long-term recovery and today we have Merc with us hi Mark hi my name is Merck and I’m also a person and I’m also in recovery and we thank you so much Mark for coming on uh I think our experiences every time we have somebody come on our audience really gets introduced to an entirely New Concept or a new understanding of themselves because we we were laid in on so many different areas right maybe we got here from struggling with a heroin or an alcohol or a methamphetamine or something but I think once we get here we start to see how many different pieces of you know healing we need in different areas where we struggle so this is one that I feel like we have wanted to do for a long time and just struggle to find the right individual and so I just thrilled you’re here and I think the best place to start talking about medication assisted recovery Anonymous is for you to tell us a little bit about how you got here and and what made this program the right fit for you okay yeah so uh yeah first of all I’m glad to be here and be having this conversation because you know not so many years ago we we wouldn’t be able to have these conversations you know it’d be like taboo you know there isn’t these other things or oh yeah there’s just one other thing it’s called smart recovery go there get out of here that was about the extent of it so yeah I just appreciate the opportunity um so yeah um you know back in March of whatever you’re maybe 2020 something like that um the world stopped um my world stopped it was time for me to go back to work you know within like the next uh month or two or whatever and that just didn’t happen and I had to not do anything you know it was like stay home and uh everything was closed like you know you had to go to the grocery store for eight o’clock whatever uh so um I was forced to sit with myself and um ooh it didn’t take very long uh maybe like a couple weeks and I was like yeah like just thinking about my life and where I was at and I I wasn’t content with it I wasn’t happy with it I realized that uh what I was doing for work was just like keeping me busy occupying me and I was just going through like day-to-day motions and I wasn’t focused on like who I was what I wanted what my purpose was um I wasn’t focused on making myself my wife or myself any better and it just didn’t feel right so I’ve always been passionate about medication assisted recovery just because I got in I got on medication um um like over a decade ago and when I did it was very new and it was like I don’t know how else to say it other than just like people hated it you know there was like a lot of stigma around it so I’ve always been passionate about um talking to other people that utilize medication and letting them know that nobody has to say that it’s okay if it’s working for them right so you know um what else do we do and we have nothing to do I like get on the internet right and I I find a group of people that are meeting and they talk about supporting medication assisted treatment and medication assisted recovery and I was like oh well that seems pretty cool so I’m gonna check it out so um I got on to a meeting and there was people who were like talking about things that I really related to and people were having the same issues that I’ve gone through maybe some of my work through maybe some of them I was still going through and it was just uh I don’t know it was just really cool to me to see people openly talking about taking medication in a room because I’ve really I’ve really never seen that and when I’ve done that um it it wasn’t um taken very well by a lot of people you know because people are just like you shouldn’t do that you can’t do that and all that stuff yeah so um yeah I just I made connections and that’s like what I was missing in my life right was like human connection because I quit doing drugs a lot of years ago and then I pretty much just disconnected from the world and I stayed busy and uh yeah so to be able to connect with other people than other people that I could relate to man that uh that made me start realizing my purpose and maybe my purpose was to be around people like that and and to help people advocate for themselves and to help people understand that they can be in recovery whenever they say there and it’s not up to anybody else like we don’t have recovery police um you know we we do have professionals you know that do provide services and addiction and they tell us that medication is okay so yeah just I don’t know just the the connection of it is what it did and I just stayed involved in it and I have been ever since and uh it sounds so stupid but I think that it really changed my life um where I’m sitting at today um I’m fulfilling my purpose right like I’m I moved I got out of where I was from because what I was passionate about just it wasn’t a good idea to talk about it there and and Advocate it just wouldn’t ever work out you know I could like talk to people but I couldn’t ever um do any advocacy or make any changes without putting myself at risk I guess you would say you know that’s how it can be sometimes in small towns and now I get to do that and yeah that’s about all I got until you ask me questions that’s that’s spectacular I I gotta ask um you know you kind of talked in more vague or generalized terms uh where was it or or like have you had encounters with more traditional 12-step uh fellowships that felt like you were stuck on your own in this yeah so interestingly enough I’m from um the birthplace of AA within like an hour of that which you know Akron Ohio so um I’ve come to learn that it’s a little bit different there it’s um I don’t know it’s like going to to a church that’s like an old world church and uh it’s still the way it was in 1840 it’s like it’s very much like that it’s it’s very um sit down shut up um like don’t talk to anybody for the first year um everybody’s got their doctor Bob necklace on yeah yeah it’s it’s like I’ve learned through being in other parts of the country it is very different there so uh my experience is unique and it might be different but um it’s the one that I’ve had and yeah just um who to me I didn’t get better by people being like that to me you know I I got better by by people being compassionate to me and caring for me and it didn’t kill me it helped me to continue to live it helped me to find my will to want to live so yeah and medication geez you you don’t want to talk about that I’ve seen people um God that have maybe been in a program for like a couple years and they’re doing great and what do we do you know we stop using drugs alcohol whatever it is and we just we connect with people that we feel are like us and we want to be honest right So eventually it comes out and they tell somebody that they’re on medication and um one of two things happens they’re they’re told they have to get off in a timeline or they’re just told to go go somewhere else and and when they’re told to go somewhere else um nobody’s nobody knows about anywhere else nobody knows where the anywhere else is or the other places it’s just uh open the door and get out so um to me that doesn’t help people get better you know that doesn’t yeah so I just I’ve never um gotten behind that I’ve had a problem with that since forever so it probably uh gave me an inability to get better through those programs because of that just because um it just didn’t fit my beliefs in the way that I like to live my life yeah yeah I think uh you know structurally whether it was intended or not at this point it does feel at least it did feel to me like the vibe was second-class citizens um which didn’t didn’t feel real great either but I it’s just interesting to talk to somebody who maybe has the actual experience right I can sit here and and you know complain from a soapbox but I don’t have the lived experience so I was curious I don’t want this to totally be about like the interesting beginnings of the mara program and yet I think from what I heard I was fascinated by it anyway so I I do think it’s an interesting piece of it do you mind talking about that a little bit do you know a lot about the beginnings I’m not sure which part you’re talking about if you want to go a little bit Yeah so uh the information I got I guess was that Mara was not founded or started by someone who was actually on medication it was started by somebody who wasn’t which I guess to me when I think about the the beginnings of 12-step and the idea of one person in the situation with the experience helping another that kind of is contrary to that so it was really fascinating to hear yeah so um yeah the person uh does does has a history of substance use alcohol maybe I’m talking back I shouldn’t share somebody’s information but yeah they they see it one way but um they actually this person this uh hypothetical person we’re talking about um actually did take medication for alcohol use disorder though oh okay which is medication assisted treatment so okay but that’s not why it started right it started because uh he’s seen a need for people that like needed other places right like he had been around the rooms himself and then he got into the field as a counselor and he’s seen the um the traditional way whatever it was just didn’t work for some people so he started asking them questions like well why doesn’t it work you know and like okay and what what do people always say the first thing it’s like the God thing right like people that get into recovery some people just can’t go into a room and ignore that word right or ignore a small prayer it might be some all to somebody that believes in God but to somebody that has very different beliefs like that just turns them away so he just starts taking notes like what don’t people like you know what what keeps people from going there because I think if you get in the addiction field and all you’ll see that a lot of people do fall out of those cracks we’re we’re over exposed to it right so we go to meetings all the time and we’re there with all the people that stay there and that it works for and we don’t necessarily see the people that it doesn’t work for right so we always think that number is higher of the people because like oh there’s 80 people in this room but for every 80 there’s a lot that get lost they don’t know where to go and maybe they needed something just a little bit different yeah so there’s that and then um just working in methadone clinics and seeing people throughout the years in the program’s abstinence based and they get to this point in their life where they’re like hey like my family trusts me again and like to have this will to live again and they like feel free and they can move on with their lives um he’s seen that happen with people in the methadone clinic too just the same and it was no different the only difference in those people is one took a medication and one didn’t but they were both getting better they both had people in their lives that they broke trust with that trusted them again it mean it meant the world to them and they wanted to continue living so yeah and then there was actually you know back in like 2018 my my dates are probably off and I’m guessing but back in 2018 there was groups like all over the country that were having meetings kind of about medication but he started looking around and most of them uh were just like AAA and na groups that accepted medication they weren’t like their own thing so they still had those stings in them that some people veered wanted to Veer away from right so he um just organized what was already there and came up with different stuff and got rid of a lot of that stuff that doesn’t work for people or people that doesn’t work for some people I shouldn’t say that um so yeah that’s about it I’m actually really glad I asked now because my initial take on it was this ego Maniac he he got recovery and thought I must have somebody else’s problems right and now he’s he’s definitely like one of us right okay right right but he’s he’s just a humble dude and uh yeah yeah I’m picturing it now like he’s he’s like almost one of the best of us like this guy went out of his box to try to help other people I’m like damn that’s actually pretty impressive really whole different take whole different flavor in my head of of this individual at this point uh so what would you say as an active member Amara like what kind of differences you were just talking about when he was creating this he wanted to create some shifts away from things that don’t work what kind of things are different that you feel like are helpful in Mara okay so so first off the thing we just got to get it out of the way because uh just the God thing you know there is 12 steps and there is 12 12 traditions but um they’re not copy and pasted and changed a couple words or whatever so uh that’s a huge thing and and I saw that right off rip right because like um I don’t want to talk too much about my personal beliefs but my personal beliefs I do believe in God religion all that stuff but that was a huge thing for me in traditional recovery right like um the hypocrisy of it right like if I go to church we’re going to talk about God we’re going to say some prayers and we’re going to say that’s what we’re doing but in there I felt like I was told a lot of the times that like that’s not what we’re doing or I was I was heard I heard it said to other people like oh you know just replace that word with something else or whatever and for somebody that has absolutely no belief uh that’s absurd right for me okay I understand maybe a little bit more because I uh I have a close relationship with religion and God but for other people that don’t and even even on the other side of it right what about people that do believe and we’re out and and we’re addicted to substances and we’re living that life I see this happen a lot right and if you’re if you’re religious and and you go somewhere and you’re going to be held accountable and and you’re gonna write out lists and all these things about God you’re gonna feel shame right you’re gonna and that that scares people away um even though that’s a part of their life maybe right then it’s just not the right time so and and if it’s not in there so um it’s it’s not that you can’t be like if anybody anybody can come there right that’s the whole thing if somebody is like a full-born believer in God reach your minister whatever they are or they recover through Jesus Christ like cool come here but also if you don’t you can also come here so it’s not like agnostic it’s not um secular it’s just um not put in there anywhere and I I think that’s huge yeah it almost feels like what you’re saying is that it’s not I don’t want to say that it’s not part of the program well maybe yeah maybe it’s Foundation it’s not part of the program it can be an addition to your program if that’s something you believe in like you can use it in your program but it’s not a part of the program itself I mean it could it could be the whole base of your program if you want it to be that’s the thing about it is like it’s open-ended right so it could be every everything that you hear in there and all the steps that you read you can um that could relate some way through your belief in God and how you’re going to recover through it or if you don’t it could it could not so it’s completely open and that’s what I really like about it you mentioned the steps and I read through these the other night and I’m going to read at least one now um they are written extremely different than what we’re used to like you said many 12-step programs when they borrow them and get the permission from AAA uh you know to replace the word it’s replace alcohol with narcotics it’s replaced alcohol with food or eating or disordered eating or something and these are very different and I guess my problem initially reading through them was like I liked the what they said better the description and yet it was so wordy I thought it sounded stupid at the same time so like I’m gonna read one uh step one we admitted that without help we felt an inability to control many of our behaviors and that our lives have become unmanageable like that is exactly I think the description of what we’re saying in step one and yet yeah so it’s so what word don’t you hear in there what’s the one word that’s missing that powerless Wireless and that’s another thing that people struggle with and it people get uh in traditional recovery I see people get so hung up on that damn word they’re like I can’t say I’m powerless so it’s like okay let’s just take it out of there then is it that important really like we had an inability to control many of our behaviors our life is unmanageable boom that’s it right language is important in um in the rest of the world and it it’s starting to become important in recovery in some aspects no absolutely it’s interesting too because step two mentions power but in a different way it’s uh we came to believe that like all human beings our power was limited and we needed to learn to let go and learn from others I’m like that is
and I gotta read three two while we’re at it and then I’ll shut the [ ] up I promise uh three we made a decision to accept that we cannot control everything assuming a mindset of Goodwill seek the wisdom and of responsible others and discover our true voice within holy [ ] we made a decision to accept that we cannot control everything assume a mindset of Goodwill seek the wisdom of responsible others and discover our true voice within that’s hella directions for a third step yeah so I I’ll I’ll say that I think that they just lead to empowerment straight up that’s that’s what I that’s what I see happening when I when I hear all of the steps and it’s all it’s all so much but it it feels like empowering to a person it’s not like go to this person get your answers go to this person write this list it’s like I don’t know it’s just it’s it’s more um in in the person’s control and I’m a huge fan of like person-centered recovery and care that’s that’s the most effective thing [Music] thank you
thank you so we we at one point did a step a month like we did an episode each month about the step of that month and and I thought it was really interesting and now I want to go back through and do a step a month but do Mara’s steps and like dissect them and see if we because they’re interestingly written like I really do I want to like spend more time with them and think about them but I don’t I know that’s not exactly what this show is about uh so to to get back maybe a little more to the mara topic are these meetings available in person in a lot of places yet or did a lot of the I was gonna also add on to that so maybe answer that one first and then we’ll get there yeah so if you go to the website it’s m-a-r-a Dash international.org and you can check out all the in-person meetings there is there is some there’s a decent amount there’s much more online um after covid a lot didn’t start back up but um I know that happened with traditional meetings too I know the area I’m in uh for some reason places where meetings were held they’re kind of just like oh no they’re kind of like coveted gave them a break and now they’re just like no so a lot of people are having to find new places but there is some um is there enough I don’t know I think it’s growing um as much as it needs to be and the thing is is that we’re just letting it grow authentically right we’re not out promoting we don’t have a bunch of like literature and handouts and we’re not doing Outreach in communities we’re just letting it happen so I think that it’s it has grown though well and one of the things I was curious about and maybe you can just talk about the process if somebody was interested in starting a meeting in their local area maybe they reach out to you but I was curious like you mentioned in the beginning there was like research done about the different groups that were kind of locally forming around the place did any of them end up you know signing up and saying we want to be part of this bigger thing or we want to switch our format or yes some have but um at this point to be honest with you over the last couple years we’ve found the people that really hold on to two traditional values and beliefs really just can’t they can only make it so far until they just want to tell people to get their [ ] together and get off medication and recover the real way so to be honest with you no most of them have gone there there is a couple um there’s like three meetings like from the very beginning that are still there but most of them people’s um people’s personal beliefs have come and gotten in the way and uh it’s a hard thing to manage right because like it and it sounds so harsh but like if you want to recover the traditional way in an abstinence-based recovery there’s six meetings every day eight o’clock 11 o’clock noon five six in most people’s hometowns it’s okay just go there this thing is different right it’s just a little bit different and it’s it’s it’s uh we have to protect that right because most of the people that come here have and harmed shamed or felt judged and that’s for them to decide that’s not for anyone else to decide and that’s how they feel so we have to keep that out of there you know we’ve had to put things in there about like using traditional jargon because you know we would have people um come that used to be in traditional meetings and didn’t leave the language behind and people would leave because they were harmed and they hear that those those cliches and they go back to that you know they go back to whatever experience they had so I have a question I guess um so when I first started learning about Mara which has been limited admittedly but when I saw the steps I I really liked that that you guys had kind of taken this new approach and I think um you know when I was speaking with someone else in the program he mentioned that it kind of had been modernized and I saw that too right some of the language in the original 12 steps that that AAA uses it can be a little bit Antiquated but then also the removal of the higher power concept or God concept and I think for me as a person who’s struggled with you know this this God higher power concept the entirety of my recovery that piece really speaks to me right because I feel like um in some of the more traditional 12-step programs what you hear is it’s okay to have anything as your higher power and you know you can have a doorknob or you know whatever belief works for you is what works for you but then yet the experience as someone who doesn’t believe in like this sentient all-loving being the experience of going through the steps the experience of reading the literature you still feel like you’re kind of being like guided like like okay you don’t believe now but like eventually you will if you do this right like that’s kind of the the way that it feels so so from from that perspective this is this is very appealing to me like I see the value in that my question then becomes for someone who maybe isn’t on medication what is their experience gonna be like coming into this program are they potentially going to have the same experience that someone on medication has when they come into n a or AI uh yeah my answer to that would be absolutely we have uh a lot of people that are on medication they just um are the people that um traditional 12-step stuff just didn’t work for them for whatever reasons and you know it’s called medication assisted recovery Anonymous right but the medication is in there because it has to be right like people are so weary that are on medication like they hear like recovery and Anonymous like they want to go away so it’s in there but we we yeah we are open to anybody and we’re open you know people that do utilize traditional 12-step come into our meetings too and that’s okay it’s like it’s open to everybody um people that still use drugs um like yeah come in that’s fine like where we’re we’re better for somebody to be than a recovery support group that is considering quitting using drugs you know I’ve seen a lot of people told like yo come back when you quit but like where do you go before you do and I think um today’s day and age where um we’re picking people up like that and I think it’s having a huge impact from what I see every day so what are the qualifications for membership like uh a desire to live a safe lifestyle and whatever that means to you and that I’ll tell you what that’s like that’s blown my mind and um God I’ve had so much growth over the past couple years just from that like that safe lifestyle thing right because I quit doing drugs a long time ago but I did a lot of unsafe things I didn’t you know I was like um really ingrained I had a lifestyle ingrained in me right like from the time I grew up I thought certain things were normal and I seen certain things so um just stopping doing drugs all those things didn’t go away and my behaviors didn’t go away and oh man when I started hearing like being safe like I started thinking like man um is what I’m doing could I do this safer you know like um it’s opened it up you know we always talk about when you hear in recovery like oh you know the substance use is such a small part of it but we don’t focus on any of the other stuff and I think just that desire to live a safe lifestyle opens opens people’s minds no I love it I I am interested uh in some of the different lingo or jargon from your program like I would imagine you were talking about some of the the old jargon or lingo not feeling good for people or not feeling safe for their life right um I would be curious like how do you guys conceptualize it like what do you say do you say you’ve been in recovery since a certain date or how do you guys go about okay so so for that like people can um can identify themselves however they want to that’s up to them we have a lot of people that come in and they say I’m Joe I’m an addict I’m Joe I’m alcoholic whatever or a lot of people just say I’m a person in recovery that’s fine you know however people want to it’s when it gets to the point where you know sometimes it just kindly asks people if somebody’s always saying um you know you know what I’m talking about one day at a time all the things you would hear in a meeting that work for people and they help them and uh just kindly asking them and explaining to them the reason behind it it’s like hey those are all great things and I’m sure they help you tremendously but we just have to leave them at the door and sometimes it can be difficult you know like why language for us is hard to change but I think it’s worked out pretty good and it’s kept people around well one I’m specifically curious about uh I’m trying to move away from the word like clean like I’m trying to say I’ve been in recovery since this date or my recovery Journey started on this date or do do you find that more people have kind of adopted that they just use the word clean and refer to what they’re doing or is it a whole new word like how do you guys do that okay so I’ll give I’ll give you my personal take on it and I do this outside of meetings too when I hear people say clean um I just I just stopped them or I pull them to the side and I just let them know like hey I don’t think that that when you were using substances that you were a dirty person so I don’t think that you ever have to be clean it’s up to you however you want to do that um but also um other people in the room right like I was talking about people who still use drugs to come to our meetings um when they hear that word even if I’m referring to myself they might think that I think they’re dirty right so being mindful of it’s not always about me you know it’s about like everybody in the room so okay so do you guys have any acknowledgments or celebrations about time or achievements yeah so I so I’ll show you what do we call them I’ll show you let me let me dig in my packet I’m getting to the bottom he’s looking for a new word for himself that’s what it boils down to that’s what it is I don’t know how well you can see this this is a chip right and it says a desire to live a safe lifestyle today ah so that’s one I’ve been living safely since uh September 12 2003. yeah so so there’s one if you want to uh get one every time you go to a meeting that’s cool if you want to get one because you’re celebrating something that’s cool but um there’s just one so nobody’s more important or less important than ever oh God yeah you’re right uh Caroline I am gonna love him before it’s all over uh she was telling me that she’s like you’re gonna love this guy I said you guys are going to be best friends by the end of this episode I think we are is there colors besides blue or is it always blue no it’s all the same huh there’s no differential right so somebody’s like oh man I’ve been living safely for 24 years it’s like okay here’s your blue chip it said the desire to live life safe lifestyle someone comes in and they’re like I’ve been smoking not injecting for the last 24 days like okay here’s a blue chip that says the desire to live a safe lifestyle today so you guys don’t celebrate time then right there’s no like anniversaries or no but if people want to like you know in meetings all the time people like it is a huge feat you know I know it was a huge feat for me at one point to not do to not inject drugs for one day so if people want to celebrate that’s awesome but it’s not going to be like traditional you know somebody’s not gonna stand up in a room and come to the front and and that’s not to discredit what they’ve done it’s just to not make the other people feel any less or more important one of the things I love about that and I don’t know if we really ever stepped back with our beginner’s mind and think about this right but just the idea of like even in as a therapist when I have people come in generally people show up wanting to be the the Rookie of the Year client or the MVP client or like the best client you’ve ever had that you can’t live without right like I would imagine taking out the the hierarchy or the power levels of you know the celebration or who’s got more time or any of that kind of stuff could be removing that Focus right like if I come into recovery and I’m like oh well now I’ve got to be well known in this Anonymous program I want to be somebody right like if I remove the take of there is no somebody’s here it gives me the freedom to just kind of be where I’m at and like explore myself better so I love that piece of it so I have more like kind of dummy 101 level questions for you Mark um uh one is so do you guys have kind of the traditional sponsor sponsee relationships within the program do you do you have something that mirrors that or or is that kind of out with the bath water as well so so here’s what I tell people um they’re never gonna be coming to meetings and somebody’s gonna be like oh hey you need to find a responsible person and listen to everything they tell you and they’re going to be your spots or whatever that doesn’t happen people do connect with each other and they hold each other accountable and and build relationships but I think it’s a thing that we just let happen naturally and authentically and just don’t force it because some some people don’t need that some people don’t want it you know so like all the other things it’s just trying to keep it open to everybody and so then what is working steps within the mara Fellowship look like okay so our book isn’t published yet um I’ve actually done them uh with the person that wrote the book and it just looked like uh sitting down with somebody that I trusted and talking about them and talk about my life it was much much different than um other traditional steps that I’ve done it didn’t um I don’t it’s hard for me to talk about that because I feel uh very strongly about some of the ways that traditional steps are worked and who they’re worked with right like I don’t I don’t feel like I I don’t feel like if I meet Billy in a meeting and he’s just some other dude and I’m just some other dude that I should sit down and talk to him about like sexual trauma um and all these like deep things that open up wounds with just another person right without that person or somebody in my life telling me like hey you should also uh set up some professional stuff on the side or maybe just take this all the way to a professional because it gets dangerous right like especially um you know we have these 28-day programs and um by the end of it you got to go through all 12 of these things and talk about a bunch of traumatic [ ] that happened to you there’s gonna be a therapist there while you’re there for 28 days but then you’re done and you’re out and a lot of people like are afraid of therapy and professional help and we tend not to trust people when we first get into recovery so yeah that’s a big thing is like they can be as in-depth or um as vague as you want them to be what is your basic text or your big book or like what does it have a name I don’t know honestly I don’t even know if it has a name I’ve just seen what’s inside of I’ve never seen the cover but it’s mostly just a step guide and it has some people’s stories in it but it really yeah mostly like the whole the core of the book is just explaining the steps and the reasons behind them and and stories behind them and then people publication right like it’s not widely available at this point not yet that’s so interesting which has been kind of cool honestly like uh it gets annoying people ask like every day like oh where’s this book but like we’re going on on two years since we started all the zoom meetings and everything we’ve survived without a book we have like multiple meetings every day people are still showing up and they’re still getting stuff out of it so it’ll happen when the time’s right I feel like with what you were just saying um one of the I don’t want to say problems but one of the things that I tend to do as a as a person is I just assume everyone else feels the way I do thinks the way I do had my life experiences has all the same reactions right so in in a 12-step recovery that I was in which happened to be Narcotics Anonymous for me what it felt like was I was given this pretty prototypical way of working through my program right we have a step working guide that a lot of us used and you know we followed that and it I did that and what I saw around me was mostly that right like there there were some small deviation somebody might not have used the step working guide they use like some old Dittos or something but in general it all looked pretty similar and I think one of the downfalls of that for me was that it got me locked into this is what it needs to look like for everybody right and I I guess my question is I would imagine in your environment around so many different people was so much different aims or goals or or anything like that like even when you were talking about the the steps you kind of go as like to the level you need to go or feel comfortable in that situation I would imagine you have a much easier time having an open mind to like a billion different [ ] ways recovery looks yeah I think I’m I’m of the mindset that however people utilize them and it’s going to change and it’s going to evolve right we’ll see like when the book comes out how people do it but we’re also not going to be standing over people being like no you got this says this and that’s the way it is like um we’ve already changed like a million things in there have changed since we started like having Zoom meetings and that’s the hardest part that’s mostly why the book isn’t out because um once we see people how they react to it and what they say about it it’s like oh this could be better so it’s hard you know like never come out at that rate yeah I know so so and also it will it’ll always be um updated too it will always change like our steps have changed a few times and I don’t know the past like six months just getting rid of words changing little things and I know you guys did an episode on the AAA big book and that’s like one that refuses to change and um I don’t know if I’m just too open-minded but we’re evolving everything in the world but when we get into a recovery room we’re like nope this is all the same and the whole world’s like evolving around us and changing and adapting but but I don’t know we keep recovery the same way even even things that don’t work right they will they’ll be like scientifically proven and we’re just like well that’s just the way it is so that’s fine let’s just be a more open-minded about recovery it’s it’s obviously not what we think it is most of us are wrong and like it’s okay like we let’s just adapt this stuff a little bit if we can help more people why not you know if you look at the numbers of people dying it’s something like 150 a day like come on and it’s going up every year you know the numbers just keep going up of people dying um is it worth holding on to things so much because this is no way like is the way that important to like let people die I don’t think it is right well I was just gonna say I like just being in this process of doing this podcast has opened me up to a lot of different ways you know typically I got into recovery really young I was like 25 so I you know AAA was a room full of old you know old drunk guys sitting in a basement that I felt like I had nothing in common with so I ended up in AA by I mean in N A by default and then of course in that Fellowship like it felt like that’s the only way to recover this is all there is and then of course through like I said almost the result of seeing so many people dying you know and seeing so many people just not stick around or it not work for them like it helped me to see like this you know what I do works for me and it can work for some people but it’s not gonna work for everyone and that the more we can come together and support each other in our different recovery paths the better off you know we’re all gonna be because like Jason said we have so much more in common that we have different you know and if we could just support each other so like one of my kind of goals with doing this podcast and we’ve been talking about trying to open up a recovery Community Center in this area is to bring people from these different fellowships together to like hang out together and support each other and maybe have like a cookout where everybody’s watching football and we don’t have to you know argue about you know whether you’re on medication or I’m not or you’re an alcoholic and an addict or you’re this or that like let’s just forget that and let’s try to just support each other raise each other up you know be better human beings and maybe more people will find life less suffering you know yeah I love that and um man I wish I wish more people could be like that and I think you have a great point right like I said in the beginning like we’re just overly exposed to what’s around us and it’s hard for a lot of people to take their self and their own personal experience out of it right like God I see it all the time like just people like oh this guy’s like the other day I heard this guy telling somebody like he had to be in a sober living for two years and telling this guy you need to be in a sober living for two years and it’s like maybe he doesn’t like how how do you know where he’s gonna be in a month or what’s going on with him like that’s awesome that it worked for you and I’m glad that it did and also too um I mentioned this to Caroline when a lot of times when we have these conversations people take it personally right if I say I recover a different way they feel attacked like I have these conversations all the time where people are like oh my God I’m like dude this is just how I’m doing this like I’m staying alive and I’m doing well I’m not telling you to do it I don’t think you should take medication I don’t think you should support support harm reduction if you don’t you don’t and that’s your beliefs but yeah like people just hold on very close to what’s helped them it is interesting and I’ve actually started because I see a lot of this online and like group discussions where there’s kind of the more traditional 12-step view that’s espoused by a few people and there’s a few people who have different views and are arguing against it but it really does feel like sometimes um trying to be like more objective about it that the 12-step view of recovery is kind of a lot of fear base in there right like it’s there’s the love base of like wanting to live better and connect with other people and give back and that’s beautiful and then there’s also this fear base of like oh my God if you ever get near a drug it might accidentally jump in your ear or something like it’s so weird right and I I wonder like I like the idea because that’s what I see is this like very insecure like sphere reaction towards uh when people talk about doing it different ways yeah and uh it’s so hard right because like people need that maybe some people need that maybe they need an older person to come to them be like you need to get your [ ] together this is what you’re gonna do this is when you’re gonna do it but everybody doesn’t need that and it’s hard it’s just hard for people to understand that you know but uh uh like I said the rest of the world’s evolving [Music] thank you
[Music] stigma right when Billy was talking that’s what I’m I’m thinking about right like all of us in recovery talk all this [ ] about stigma right am I allowed to cuss oh please okay but don’t give me permission because it’ll get out of control but that’s fine okay yeah well let’s talk about stigma right um we all pretend all of us in recovery pretend like we’re out here fighting stigma and stuff right but like most of the outside world is glad that we’re getting better they’re glad we’re not stealing their stuff anymore they’re glad we’re not smoking stuff and injecting stuff outside of that they don’t really care that much but in the recovery Community itself you want to talk about stigma I’ve never seen more stigma on a daily basis than I see come from within the recovery community and to me that’s that oh it’s terrible I hate that that’s where it comes from um it’s the self-stigma it’s the stigma we hold ourselves to so so essay too like I I will defend you know I’m a abstinence base and I’ll defend that if people want to bash it or whatever but at the same time like I recognize like that’s not necessarily right for everyone and that what worked for me Isn’t you know one size fits all like people have to find their own paths and and do their own thing but like you had said like I’ve actually and myself included early in my recovery like I probably thought I probably had more compassion for an active addict using on the street than I did for a person that went into a maintenance program you know it was like it there was a time in my recovery I was like oh that’s some easy way you know there was just all this uh like stigma built into what I thought about that type of recovery and it’s just taken some like education to be like well that’s dumb you know like these are just people trying to find a way that works for them to make their lives better and if their lives are improving and they’re getting better and they’re able to like have a life where they’re happy and not hurting themselves and other people who the [ ] am I to make a judgment about that you know as long as they’re not asking me to give up what I got they should be able to do whatever they want I want to uh I just keep an eye on time here there’s some questions I really love to ask from each program so I don’t want to miss them so if you don’t mind I’m gonna make sure we hit on some of them uh in the 12-step model as I’ve been exposed to it generally addiction is conceptualized as a disease you know Narcotics Anonymous specifically kind of deviates and says hey we’re a little different we don’t want to talk about where addiction comes from we just want to talk about what you can do about it but it’s still from this disease concept idea does Mara have a specific take on addiction being a disease or not or does it conceptualize it completely different or does it say you know what we don’t even give a [ ] what it is we’re just here to feel safe safer in our lives I’ll go with the third choice okay don’t give a [ ] I love it love it it’s like I I’m I’m an Evidence base in a science-based person and that’s just a toss-up right it’s right one study says today that it’s this way one study tomorrow says it’s the other way who knows we got here okay I got you I got you so we don’t need to know completely how we look at it in order for it to be healed according to this program which I I’m not that’s not a judgment that’s just you know an observation um do you guys ever sign Court slips I know it’s a little trickier in the virtual meetings yeah so uh I’ll send people emails for verification there was um there was some controversy about it in the beginning but yeah we do that it’s and they’re accepted and actually that’s opened up a lot of doors right like I’ve had probation officers call us and be like hey how do we get people into these meetings like I know people that are on medication we require meetings they don’t want to go to any maybe this would be a better fit for them how do we get it and also uh met like clinics that prescribe medication assisted treatment in some states you have to attend like two meetings a week or whatever over and uh they’re the people that the doctors are like well I can’t send them somewhere that tells them they can’t be there and can’t take the medication that I’m giving them what do I do so yeah it creates more connection no that’s that’s awesome we actually had a listener reach out recently um we’re gonna go into this in another episode a little bit but them and their husband got court ordered to a recovery housing and then the recovering housing actually kicked out the husband because they didn’t allow couples to be in the place and it was like well they were [ ] court ordered so just all the I’ve talked to people about how the court ordering of recovery is uh kind of a shady it’s actually like Insurance World in some cases but anyway um that’s that’s great that you guys are are at least accepted like that’s a good thing I was I was hoping it wasn’t the other way where you’re like no they won’t take us because that’d be pretty [ ] up um I I did want to ask in at least the the Narcotics Anonymous version and and I think this holds true in a couple other ones that I’ve been into or more involved with we kind of look at like spiritual principles as the ideal of how to combat these these self-centered behavior of an addict I guess is the way n a sort of says it so how what do you guys like look at as the solution to the way you live unsafely or how do you look at like ways like what do you put in place of living unsafely that you feel like is helping treat the underlying problems uh sorry that’s a big one that’s a big one I guess it would be um the hopes that somebody could find that through the steps the traditions and the connections that they make in in meetings that they can find a place where they don’t have to live as unsafely anymore yeah and and uh yeah and it it that’s such a broad thing right like being safer can mean a whole lot of different things for some people for me it means not driving 80 miles per hour cutting people off stealing [ ] um but for some people it’s like uh smoke not injected or smoke a little bit less or do a little bit less and no no I I could see where that’s a hard question to answer but I like what you said right and I love that you threw Connection in there with the steps and traditions because uh the further I’m getting into you know my my therapy work the more I feel like connection is one of the biggest pieces of healing that probably anybody whether you’re struggling with disordered substance abuse or just you know the guy who is struggling feeling not so great about the job he’s in on a regular basis like we need this connection to be part of our healing anybody else have some questions no I just uh I mean I’m curious just a new uh Mara meeting opened up I would say in our area it’s actually the next County over Harford County um and it’s a pretty new meeting so have you seen like I don’t know good I don’t know how you measure good growth but what’s like kind of the growth rate been like are how can people reach out to to start a meeting or or get a meeting going in their area Okay so the growth I’d say the growth’s been pretty good like I said we don’t we haven’t done any kind of Outreach or anything and and the growth has been pretty good you know we used to have like one maybe three Zoom meetings a week and now we have multiple ones every day of the week um in person is is picking back up um I think it’ll it’ll get better here soon um when people do want to start meetings the first thing that we tell them to do is like come to a few meetings first because we’ve had people start meetings and I think it’s like n a that accepts medication and it’s not so it can be confusing so we really want to make sure people get the concept of what’s going on here like hey we created this thing to be an alternative to other things and it’s not them so yeah the the best thing people can do is start coming to some meetings and like listen to what’s going on and see what’s going on and make sure first of all it’s something you can tolerate right because if not um it could be uncomfortable and then um yeah you can go to the website and you can click on starting a meeting there’s just a simple meeting format guide and the Traditions the steps and the openings and closings around there cool and then have you found uh or or do you know if like meetings are starting or beginning to be offered in like treatment centers or places like that like is that a thing that’s in the works or happening so so we have a few yeah that are are in treatment centers in the past there was a lot especially through covid there was a lot a lot of recovery community centers um I run one out of my recovery Community Center actually that meeting is how I got where I’m at today like I met people on there that were running it um two years ago and uh yeah I was just like took up interest and like the language that they were using how they were talking to people and I ended up like coming here and making connections and we still run that meeting today and yeah we have a lot of like uh sober living houses um halfway houses that come to and run meetings so I was thinking there’s another question on my my questions list for people and this might go back a little bit and help explain some uh you know what it is that gets replaced or shifted in recovery mode in Mara so the question is like what’s the new passion right we have to all this time and energy and resources we put into using all day every day or trying to keep our our self feeling in a place of relief all the time that’s all got to be replaced with a new focus in recovery I would at least my take is we gotta fill that with something right and I think maybe to answer this for you a little bit like part of what you were describing in this new world of your mind being open to like live safely right like this whole new concept of like what is my actual intention and goal in life like I feel like that’s shifts your focus and gives you a [ ] ton of time to fill your time up with like what does living safely mean to me what does it mean in different areas of my life like you’re just coming at it from a different frame of reference in your brain which is going to make you see all these situations Anew and I think that’s kind of one of the neat things of the idea of living safely almost in itself sort of is part of the recovery process as you go yeah and so add add healthy to that right add healthy lifestyle to that and I think uh somebody’s going to stay busy for the next like I don’t know a couple decades Lifetime and yeah things are coming and that’s what it’s supposed to be right we hear it all the time like it’s mind it’s Body Spirit and all these things but like we neglect the [ ] out of our bodies and our minds right and we just show up and make connections and um yeah so yeah for me personally like that’s that’s been huge like I’m I’m living healthier I’m living safer I’m doing things that I wouldn’t have considered doing if I would have just kept a focus on like my substance use because honestly that’s like a very small part of what got me here at this point it was um yeah it was some other traumatic [ ] that got me here that I was just self-medicating and through doing that I developed a chaotic relationship with substances and they just happened to be illegal and there’s stigma around them and I think to be honest with you I think that if I if I came up the way I did in a different world and did the things I did and the things weren’t viewed the way that they were I think that um it would be much different and I try to be open-minded and think about that when people are still going through it right like uh especially like stigma and bias and things like that like we all have a bias and internal bias we’re all from somewhere we all know certain things like that’s internalized for us but we can recognize it so when I see people today that are that are struggling with using substance I always think like oh man if this person lived in whatever country they’d just be like everybody else uh they would go somewhere and get dosed they would go to their job and they’d go about their day why should I look at them any differently because they happen to live in the exact place that they do and it’s stigmatized right no I actually so I was thinking about this idea of like this new concept of living safely and and healthily right healthily yeah I guess uh and it kind of reminds me a little bit of the more traditional 12-step fourth step right this is the idea where we’re supposed to kind of go into it not criticizing or looking for Flaws or perfection in us it’s more just like let’s just put the story on paper and see what it looks like and where we’re not getting our intended goals because we’re like thwarting ourselves from getting there but I actually like almost the concept of your guy’s version better and maybe that’s something if you’re working a more traditional four-step you can take in and have in your mind like this idea of I’m trying to live healthier and safer I feel like that’s a less judgmental standpoint because even when I went into fourth step like I’m like oh I’m not going to be judgmental and then I judge the [ ] out of myself for all the [ ] I did but I was judging myself based on somebody else’s categories right society’s morals always because I didn’t have this exposure of like what do I just want to do to live safer safer and healthier like if I can take everybody else’s [ ] out I feel like it’s so much simpler to just start from there and go yeah and I I think it’s hard to take everyone’s [ ] out of there but man when we do that’s when we get the real growth right that’s why I think that this program is really just set up to empower people right like the the whole point in those steps is we find our true voice within we’re not finding it anywhere else we’re not finding it from this person that’s mentoring me or sponsoring me or a higher power or whatever else it is it’s me right it’s like my true voice I can walk around I can judge things and make decisions and be comfortable with it yeah and uh our fourth step if you look it’s like strengths weaknesses and misconceptions and man that one was so good for me it was so much more empowering than uh the other ways yeah yeah so I’ll I’ll add too also I’m a person that suffers from from violent trauma in my past and and a bunch of other trauma so uh that was extra hard for me and I’m not saying I’m sure it’s great for some people but for me it was awesome that I didn’t have to get into all of that [ ] I just went straight to the weaknesses or misconceptions that I’ve developed from those things how happening and then where does that go to that goes to my behaviors today right like how can I change how I react to those things and I love uh CBT you know and it takes me to that and that still gets me through the day today so so some of the the Lesser known uh maybe side rules of 12-step fellowships I always find fascinating too and Caroline already mentioned one like sponsorship is not actually in Narcotics Anonymous literature it’s just kind of this informal thing that’s not completely true there is a pamphlet about it but it’s not in the main the main book or anything like that so like we have rules about like and they’re not technically rules but like don’t get into relationships in your first year or you know hey we don’t cross talk in these meetings generally like do you find that any of those does Mara have its own subset of like they’re not really rules they’re almost just like expectations of the the society or the community who’s a part of the program do you guys have any of that do you not cross talk do you care about it no we we cross talk um we the only thing we’re not going to do is like I’m not gonna like let people interrupt people or whatever um obviously ask people if they’re like um accepting of feedback but um yeah that other stuff man when I hear people say [ ] like that like oh yeah you know I’m I’m not allowed to get into a relationship I’m just like where where did that come from like who told you that like what’s the original that’s where it came for almost treatment yeah and like that that probably is true for a lot of people but I think you’re missing the whole concept of like uh more importantly we should be saying like are you a whole person right now do you love yourself are you capable of loving and taking care of yourself to the point where you could add another human being into that mix and and the answer is either going to be yes or no and and the answer is not going to be it’s not going to have a time in it I don’t think I think if we like studied that we wouldn’t come up with the time frame I think uh I know people are like married people in rehab and they’ve been together for 25 years and everyone told them they shouldn’t do it so I think when we make some of those bold statements that like some dude at an AAA meeting uh 38 years ago just said to somebody and it got picked up like we have to be realistic right and like a lot of the [ ] that we hear in these like little side rules somebody just said it to somebody and it probably benefited them so they just kept saying it to people and it’s been passed along like the game of telephone and I guess my answer to that is like just don’t take that stuff too serious well we haven’t out for that it’s called take what you need and leave the rest right and that that’s also uh so another thing too is like I love it when people come to meetings I ask questions right because I know a lot of people if you go to a traditional meeting you ask a question uh you’re gonna hear [ ] like that like he just said like take what you want and leave the reference like yeah but I’m asking a question like I’m asking specifically like I’m reading this and and we shared on this but like how how do I how does this pertain to my life every day like how do I do this and people just like don’t want to answer things so I think uh that’s why I like doing things like this we can just like answer questions and if I don’t have an answer I’m just gonna be like I don’t know we have no idea like we don’t know how that works and it’s okay are you married Merc no do you want to be I really have fell in love with Merck during this episode he has just said some beautiful pieces of of words that I am like this is wonderful so I don’t know I’m 36. um I do I do have three sons um but I’ve never been married and I think it’s worked out pretty well oh okay so far fair enough fair enough so I will say uh as we’re getting towards the end here I do feel like and and maybe I understand why but I do feel like you guys missed a golden opportunity with your name because it just seemed to fit so well with medication assisted treatment Anonymous right because you guys get treated so bad in the traditional meetings that it would be Mata because you guys matter right like you know what I mean I just thought it was beautiful that’s good but then I saw how people might say oh treatment it’s not actually a recovery program it’s a treatment program and that could be so yeah if you if you look through like Samson everywhere a lot of the language is changing and it was it’s going more or medication assisted recovery than it is medication assisted treatment so I don’t know maybe we’ll benefit from that yeah yeah no it’s a good thing does anybody have any final thoughts or anything you wanted to know that we didn’t get to or oh I did think of one other thing so is there an emphasis on like I know in a lot of the other 12-step fellowships there’s this big emphasis on like service to others and this like newcomer idea do they put any emphasis on anything like that uh yeah so so the newcomers thing that goes back to um you know not having any kind of a hierarchy right um people are definitely gonna be supportive when people come in and they’ve never seen them before that’s going to happen but um we’re not yeah that’s we try not to like use that term or label people we just would like to welcome them and what was the second part I forget oh is there like an emphasis on like service to others like having a service structure and and being involved in that sort of thing for for individual members or is it just each person if they’re interested does it so I think that that gets incorporated into the steps if you get into the steps it is but um no I have my own thoughts on like service work right like I think it’s great but I’ve also um seen it harm people right like just I don’t know just oh yeah do this in the name of service or like earn earn earn your keep here by doing all this service and then you can do this or be this so it kind of just um contributes to that hierarchy thing I think everybody should and they should do their own form um and I think they should just not share it with anybody I think we should all do great things and just have enough humility to shut up and do it for the reason that we’re doing it right like I’m gonna go out today and I’m gonna go get 100 bucks out of the ATM and like fives and give it to homeless people I should just do it and I shouldn’t record it and tell everybody or like come to the meeting and share like yeah so I passed out all these five yes yesterday and all these bums on Pat and nav you know like yeah so that’s my personal take on service work I gotta say and this has never really occurred to me before but what it feels like your guys say because there was another thing that we had asked about that he said they don’t feel like they need to tell people to do that it just kind of happens like the sponsorship that’s what it was right it makes me feel like the program standpoint whether this was intentional or not is that if we can just help people feel better I feel like the rest of this comes naturally right like these are the people we were kind of meant to be or the humans we were born to be and if we can just get the pain and the healing and stuff taken care of all the other shit’s fine and what it made me think of when you asked about the 12-step or or the steps in service and stuff I was like are we the same like like the Christians who feel like they have to enforce the idea of being a good person through hell like if you’re not scared of going to hell you’ll never be a good person is that is that what we’re doing in our recovery too you better be a service because that’s how it’s done like we can’t just trust that people will be that way that they’ll just be good people naturally I don’t know if that’s the intention but that sometimes is the result it was interesting yeah yeah I don’t know that we intended that either but I mean we are based on Christian well there’s an intention I think that like I do service work for others and it makes me feel good about who I am and it builds up my self-esteem and self-worth and all that stuff but it gets implemented in a way that’s like someone comes in and they’re new service and you tell them to get involved in service and they may not have had enough growth to be really good at it or they may be taking on positions that they’re not really ready to take on because a sponsor somebody else told them they had to you know yeah I love that you said that and I I feel the exact same way I think um the more people can just focus on themselves and getting well the better and like don’t worry about other people and tell you that naturally authentically comes to you and that that’s another thing right so uh God I could talk about this all day but you’re talking about the service work and how it’s emphasized in there we got to think you know what was it 1935 when the the programs that that comes from was developed and and maybe back then it did need to be said to people you know like it was a very different society and a different time and uh I could see it fitting back then you know like people wore suits and like open doors for people so like yeah that probably fit back then and I think that if ever um that place program would ever update of their book that could be something that would be very different along with all the other stigmatizing we’re saying [ __ ] the big book that’s what I said uh that’s not what Merck said when Devon but Mara definitely did not say that uh also interesting that Mara is like one of the characters from the story of Buddha but that’s a whole nother thing and spelled differently anyway uh mark it has been a real pleasure to have you on here today uh please give us again the the website address that will be like the most crucial place for most of these online listeners to find out how to get their way to a meeting if they’re interested in this okay so it’s m-a-r-a Dash international.org that’s where you can find all the information you can click on online meetings and the list of all the zoom links and times will come up um it’ll show all the in-person meetings too tradition steps meeting format guide if someone is interested in starting a meeting there’s an email address on there and also I would like to say um we do a thing called a marathon on Christmas so it starts at seven o’clock on Christmas Eve and then it runs for 24 hours we’ve been doing that for like three years and that will be on the website you know it’s oh man uh the first year we did it in last year like people struggle around the holidays right and um man the first one I opened a a couple years ago at seven o’clock and and somebody came in there man they were in the uh man they were down you know uh they were in the depths of of substance use and at the end of their life and man they just came in there and talked for 20 minutes and it got that person through the night and I think that’s huge too um allowing people that are still struggling into a space and just treating them like a human being goes so far um and that that’s that’s our intention right it’s like anybody that feels they have the desire to be there should be there so um yeah that that that 24-hour marathon is uh great and that’s that’ll be on the website too and there’s a Facebook group that’s awesome yeah so so check out the Facebook group uh if you are not driving or operating heavy machinery or like weapons right now you can just scroll down your little podcast page and uh the links will be right there underneath so you don’t even have to remember them you can just tap on the links and we will put the links to Mara International and also the Facebook group that way they can find it Mark again thank you thank you so much for coming on man I I think it takes uh bravery and courage and being okay with yourself to you know you know this is why you’re in a different program because it’s scary to be real about your experience sometimes in our world so I appreciate you doing that and for coming on and this has just been awesome man yes thank you very much I appreciate you all having me and I know like it’s it’s a hard conversation to have but um when we have productive conversations around this I just I think it’s so impactful and it’s so important like you said in the beginning like we’re all trying to do the same thing right we’re just trying to live better and and find our way so I I appreciate the opportunity awesome thank you so much all right everybody go out there check out Mara give it to you or your friends whoever needs that place of compassion of unconditional no positive regard maybe even unconditional love check it out all right have a good week [Music] [Applause]
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