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176: Your Feedback is Welcome (Sort Of)
Welcome to Recovery (Sort Of), the podcast where we explore the winding paths of mental health recovery. Join us on a journey of self-discovery and growth, as we navigate the highs, lows, and unexpected detours of the recovery process. From managing anxiety and depression to coping with trauma and grief, each episode delves into real-life experiences, insights, and practical strategies for finding balance and healing.
We are going through listener feedback, comments, and the like. Listener feedback on episodes provides a great opportunity for a little closer look at the topics recently covered. Billy and Jason also share a little about where their lives are at and what they’ve been up to. Listen in, participate, comment, and share your thoughts with us.
How to find us and join the conversation:
Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/recoverysortof/message
We are going through listener feedback, comments, and the like. Listener feedback on episodes provides a great opportunity for a little closer look at the topics recently covered. Billy and Jason also share a little about where their lives are at and what they’ve been up to. Listen in, participate, comment, and 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]
welcome back it’s recovery sort of I’m Jason a guy just continually trying to do his best and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery uh and yeah we uh we got lazy maybe and didn’t have a topic and decided we got stuff for recap and we want to talk about our lives kind of where this whole thing started a long time ago we haven’t checked in for a while so that’s where we’re going I guess yeah and funny enough we just uh we were over in the little town of Northeast where we used to do the meditation group that we started from and we drove back there to the park and that’s the first thing I think when I’m back there is I remember that meditation group and us meeting back there and sitting around by the water you know talking I have a lot of good memories at that park with my kids too right you know but that was one of the memories that popped up in my head talking about that’s where this kind of spurred from yeah yeah that’s awesome it was it was cool when it was like attitude yeah gratitude right that’s coming up I remember at one time we tried to go up and we took that group up to like the uh the lighthouse and the Flies ate the [ __ ] out of us we tried to meditate it was awful yeah it was bad yeah so uh getting right into some of this recap um a lot of this is YouTube comments which is cool we haven’t gotten a ton of YouTube comments before so on the the mara episode for the medication assisted recovery Anonymous Merc comment and of course our guest for that episode and said thank all three of you again for having me on I enjoyed our conversation and appreciate the opportunity you gave us stay safe
another comment we got on that same video from Christina says I’m a recovering heroin meth cocaine Etc addict I’ve been in recovery since 2007 with one major lapse occurring in 2017 to 2020. during that lapse I learned about Mara and it’s honestly the most wonderful group based recovery support that I’ve experienced before or since you’re valued and supported regardless of your personal place and Recovery drugs to which you are addicted or what genuinely works for you in terms of harm reduction no matter how small a change one may make the resulting reduction in the harm to oneself one’s loved ones or one’s Community is considered a definite win positive steps are not negated by the fact that you’re not 100 abstinent from Controlled Substances mind-altering substances and in some some groups the aforementioned as well as certain doctor-prescribed medication often including psych meds the small attainable winds coupled with the flexibility and individual definition of recovery makes it possible to start rebuilding without viewing any potential stumbling blocks as utter failure you’re never made to feel as if you were wrong for what works for you I recommend Mara to anyone that I meet who is struggling with addiction yeah that’s a lot that is a lot uh so it’s it’s interesting I mean I read it and I’m like everything that’s said there is a positive and yet a lot of it is pointed out in the terms of the negative that you would get elsewhere yeah um so you know it’s a it’s shots fired I don’t yeah personally disagree with any of it but at the same time I’m really trying to soften up around like I don’t want to fire shots right I just want to keep trying to love people until we can all get to a place where we’re all trying to love people more yeah and that’s that’s it my feeling about most of that now more than ever has been like great you found what works for you I could probably name 10 other people that that wouldn’t work for for different various reasons just like the 12-step Fellowship of my choice probably wouldn’t work for lots of people for different reasons but it doesn’t make you know one wrong and these people bad or anything else it’s like hopefully we find a place and we build a community that works for us and and is it really beneficial to be in these teams where we gotta feel like we’re in a competition well I think historically uh at least for that piece of it like we do tend to buy more in or have more Allegiance when we do feel this team kind of feeling behind it you know what I mean it’s like oh yeah we’re part of this team and [ ] all them guys right like uh so there’s I guess maybe some point to that camaraderie but yeah I don’t I don’t know I actually tend to kind of disagree with what you said a little bit on your theory even though we think the same thing about the way they’re going about it like uh I tend to think that a program more like that would probably work better for all of us so I don’t think that like their program wouldn’t work for certain people that n a or AA has I don’t think that necessarily but I still don’t think we’re going the right direction doing it that way like by by pointing it out in this way like you know what hey I don’t disagree with what she’s saying about some of our 12-step programs in here and yet I I’m just I’ll say it out loud and nicely and compassionately like hey I just I kind of tend to disagree with the way we do things about around that but I don’t want to bash it anymore I guess this is where I I feel you and and maybe Jen have helped me get to uh I want to be softer all right I don’t I don’t believe it any different I just you know there’s no point in going about it that way it wasn’t getting nowhere right being negative yeah okay the next comment is on our our tranq dope the xylazine and Fentanyl episode um I guess his name is Matt it’s like bullet for Matt’s Valentine is the the screen name um so it says working in the treatment field this is something he’s been noticing more frequently and so glad that it’s being discussed and that episode did get quite a few listens um it seemed like it got a lot early on I don’t know that I’ve noticed that it’s continued to like get searched and and noticed or anything like that but I guess a lot of people wanted information on that yeah and it’s coming up a lot in like hospitals and places like that that they’re coming across this stuff and it’s like the the health ramifications are not what you typically saw with regular heroin addiction so you know a lot of medical people are kind of like what the hell’s going on right like this is not what we’re used to seeing with this stuff right right I know I’ve seen like I want to say like three or four different occasions where I’ve seen news articles pop up in my news feed just kind of randomly since we did that episode that we’re about that and like hey it’s new and it’s you need to watch out for it and all this stuff so I was like oh we beat them all right yeah so people are looking for it so we got him we got a message or it was a post reply I don’t understand it didn’t look like a comment but it didn’t look like a message I don’t even know where that falls into something between gray area uh but it was from this guy Dave and he said the only thing you got that could help me is that 10 to 10 Beauty God damn have a good one I have no clue what this is in reference to I’m just I’m assuming it’s about you it’s the best assumption I have yeah I don’t know thanks Dave yeah thanks Dave awful kindy uh so we got in suggestion or an answer to our question of what topic would you like to hear more about which I know you can answer on Spotify I don’t know if you can answer it anywhere else or if it even shows up anywhere else look Technology’s hard there’s a lot of [ ] there’s like 8 000 different platforms I can’t keep up with none of this uh but the question was uh how about a show about sexual or social anorexia which I do think could be pretty fascinating um it’s a concept I was never introduced to in you know the 12-step programs I went to originally but once branching out into some other areas they start talking about this idea and it’s kind of just a fascinating idea I feel like people in recovery for for alcohol or narcotics would probably not think it’s all that useful for like you couldn’t take it you couldn’t say oh uh I’m drug narcotic anorexic like it it doesn’t have a carryover right so not that people in in N A or AAA might not suffer with sexual anorexia or social anorexia but like there’s no whatever you would call that like transferable version of that in N A to be a big topic yeah but I think that’s okay because I would like to hear about it as far as I’ve heard you mention the term and in the way that you’ve used it so I have a vague idea of what I think it means and and what it is but I’m not really overly familiar with it or anything and I think it could be useful yeah no absolutely I’d like to I’d actually like to have somebody on that maybe maybe somebody who knows a lot about like social anorexia because I’ve never even necessarily thought about that hmm but yeah it would be cool to talk about the concept some more just this idea like everything’s on a spectrum and you know you can be far left and uh overly sexual all the time with everyone and that’s a problem and yet from that same I guess fear base or place of not enough resources or I’m not enough the other end of that spectrum is I will never ever do sexual things anywhere ever with anyone and it’s like either one is coming from that same place and it’s more about changing our intent to like a healthy version of I’ll be sexual when it’s right for me yeah right it seems like they’re uh could be some really uh missed opportunities for like intimacy and missed opportunities for closeness to other people if you take this attitude that you don’t want to venture into any sort of intimate toucher or anything yeah yeah and I actually I wonder if it’s like a a thing that actually carries out into other areas as well I’m picture and parenting and before I was really looking at my parenting or trying to do it better or thinking maybe I’m not doing it well um my original take on parenting was to do pretty similar to what my parents did or what I saw I just assumed that was the right way and then there were certain parts of it though where I was like oh this didn’t feel good when my parents did this and all I did was just flip to doing the exact opposite I didn’t actually put any thought into like well what do I want and where does the what’s a loving place to come from in this place and you know in this situation so it was like I didn’t really I don’t know that same idea right I just flipped to The Other Extreme and didn’t necessarily heal anything and was still coming from kind of a negative Place yeah right you know kind of like a parent who has too many rules and their kid grows up and and as a parent they don’t have any rules for their kids and it’s like that’s not good either yeah
yeah Merck had another comment for us on our caffeine episode and he said this has to be the most controversial topic yet how’s it going so on our tradition one episode that’s a long time ago it was episode 68 right like 176 or something now yeah so uh but we did get a comment from Kyle I dig this podcast guys and also another comment from Eric which I don’t know if I read last time so awesome thank you guys for the episode just happened to stumble across your podcast today and extremely grateful they did right awesome hope you’re enjoying it ah on our certified peer recovery specialist episode which I did not think would ever get a comment it said how does it work now with medical marijuana available does the recovery World accept it which feels like it belongs more on our Marijuana Anonymous episode or or something else but I don’t know what do you what do you think Billy what would you tell Michelle when she says how does it work now with medical marijuana does the recovery World accept it um the answer to that at the moment is no as far as I understand I could be completely wrong I am certainly not the expert in this but from what I understand at the moment and this can change from organization to organization because there’s not a specific rule but from what I’ve heard in general right now the medical marijuana has been viewed more as like I would say like alcohol like it’s not specifically recognized as a recovery pathway because there’s not a specific protocol or program for how to use it in a recovery pathway so you can’t just say like yeah I smoke marijuana and that’s my recovery pathway you know what I mean those two don’t assimilate now you can you know have a medical marijuana card and still be a peer but you would have to have some recovery pathway that’s recognized so whether it was you know some 12-step fellowship or a spiritual group or something else you could have that as your recovery pathway and be someone who uses medical marijuana but that in and of itself can’t just be your pathway right which makes a lot of sense I mean I I don’t think marijuana is just like fixing people like like a lot of us wouldn’t I hate to say this but that’s the way it’s presented a lot in a lot of social media posts or people that I know that use it yeah I don’t I don’t think and I think it’s detrimental to its benefits like I think it definitely has benefits for people and I think it’s better detrimental when we see the guy that just likes to smoke pot saying how great it is for his mental health and he’s really not doing anything else right so I mean I I imagine it probably is doing something for his mental health like even if nothing else just providing some relief in that moment but yeah I mean not that I don’t believe marijuana is a quote-unquote gateway drug I think that’s a ridiculous statement right but just that idea that so many of us started there or or got initiated into drugs there we would have all been fixed if it just fixed us right we never would have went nowhere else so that that doesn’t make any sense to me there’s got to be something else going on yeah well to me it’s the idea of like if you get an injury that you need like some sort of surgery or you you know hurt your shoulder or break an elbow or a knee or something like that like you can go get pain medication to help with the immediate you know suffering but then you need some sort of physical therapy to get better it’s to me it sort of falls into that analogy it’s like the marijuana can give you some relief in the moment but you need a long-term program of healing to get better yeah yeah and and and maybe even the marijuana can be like you’re saying an assistant with that healing but it’s not just gonna go in your body and heal you like there needs to be something it’s not going to address your trauma hi trauma I’m marijuana how are you we need you to go away for now yeah I mean if you smoke enough you might forget about your career you might hallucinate that you’re having that conversation with your trauma I don’t know about it yeah that would be yeah okay so uh I would say uh you know I I think the question in general as as a recovery Community as a whole probably more don’t necessarily support the idea of marijuana but yeah like you said that changes from organization to organization and program to program like how people feel about it probably even City to City you know what I mean um so I don’t know hopefully we just get more and more accepting of everybody like and whatever they’re doing and we can all just examine what is working and what’s not working for us individually ah so we got a message from Sarah and I think this is a correction if I remember correctly when I read it hey Jason listening to the episode on tolerance today and was interested in your thoughts on the lack of reference to outside helping 12-step fellowships I thought it might be useful for me to share that ACA does address this in their big book and even offers some help on how to find a good therapist and some questions to ask them the fourth step lists lots of different areas to focus on including sexual abuse and PTSD whereby the reader is strongly urged to stay in contact with their counselor or sponsor and the new loving parent workbook talks about learning styles Child Development stages and references Neuroscience nervous system functions and Trauma emotional regulation but does not go into detail as that’s for us to find the right things for us to explore so not to call you out but hopefully reassure that some of the stuff is working its way into at least one Fellowship I’m amazed at how you find something new to talk about each week and love the spiritual principles topics can’t wait to hear what comes up hope all is good with you Sarah so that was awesome that was somebody trying to criticize in a loving way she was good at it too because I definitely walked away from that feeling positive I was like what a lovely message yeah no but yeah so that’s actually phenomenal and I’m thrilled to hear that because that sounds like that program at least you know adult children of Alcoholics which Sarah was our guest on back on like episode and dysfunctional families yes let’s keep working on that because it is it’s not just rebranding yeah don’t don’t worry about if your parents drank or not it doesn’t matter like if you think you might go there or qualify you yes just go just run like yeah you already do if you’re thinking that right it’s kind of like the old statement I used to hear in n a uh what was it like if you’re here you belong here right uh most of you know why you’re here if you’re questioning if you belong here just remember no normal people don’t come to church basements to question if they belong in Narcotics Anonymous and if you’re a family member of somebody who’s here and you’re just here thinking you’re supporting them trust me you belong here too right so like yeah if you think you might qualify for adult children of Alcoholics and dysfunctional families you absolutely do um you can find out more about it obviously that old episode we have but yeah that’s I just love it I you know Mara has really given me some hope ACA has really given me some Hope just that there is some shifts and maybe it’s maybe it’s because they’re younger and newer fellowships it’s so much easier for them to not hold on to anything old they don’t have anything old right yeah they don’t have that Nostalgia right right so I it’s neat uh I don’t know man that’s seems a lot uh more on the path I guess for me like yeah yeah that’s good stuff um what is this one on oh this one was on marijuana anonymous uh it was Merck again Merck you were a lurking little fellow on our YouTube thank you uh he said another great podcast thank you for trying to cover all the recovery options that was kind especially since you know Marijuana Anonymous doesn’t necessarily line up with Mara’s views in anything they were kind of strict they were absence yeah uh another one on marijuana anonymous Kate the great what a great conversation about a great topic well thank you Kate the Great [Music]
so stuff for us we’ve had 60 000 lifetime listens Billy wow I know that’s amazing it is amazing it’s just a ton I can’t believe but like that’s incredible um there’s a new like so our whole recording thing the background stuff I know people don’t necessarily care about this but anchor was who we recorded with and we had to ad for him like Hey you can make free podcasts with anchor uh they just changed they’re rebranding their Spotify for for podcasters now which [ __ ] me all up this week when I went on there and it was all different I was like what the hell is this um so that’s a thing and we got to re-record the ad for that yeah I don’t know kind of bummer but apparently Spotify owns them then yeah Spotify bought them like a year and a half two years ago that’s been making all kind of changes and um you can follow us on Spotify now I didn’t even know apparently you have been able to for a long time we’ve got yeah that’s what I do oh okay we’ve got quite I listen to most of my podcast through Spotify and you can just follow on there that’s what I do it brings them up in your lot you have a library and that brings them up in your library yeah well and Spotify has a video version of our podcast you know we’re I mean we’re on YouTube but oh that’s cool I never watched the video versions of any podcast but yeah so I didn’t realize that part it’s on there if you want to see the style on my eye this week or uh if you want to go back to last week’s episode and see my crazy mustache [Music]
um oh a lot of listeners recently from Australia been getting checked out there or or one listener that’s really really pumped about it a lot right either way welcome Australia um yeah we talked about that subscription thing last time we did a recap episode still working on trying to figure that out and make it right like apparently there’s only one shot to do it uh when you set it up and so we don’t want to get that wrong for anybody so still working on that um yeah ways to support recovery sort of don’t turn off this episode that’s one thing just because we’re talking about ways to support but you know you can you can share it with friends it doesn’t cost anything you can share it on your social media you can talk about it in the parking lots before and after the meeting or in the zoom chat rooms before and after the meeting like they’re not chat rooms oh God I sound old sometimes yeah um but yeah you know you can you can do that you can like rate and subscribe I guess still matters yeah I think for me that’s probably the biggest thing is is if if you get some benefit out of it please let people that you know know about us you know mention it to friends and things because ultimately you know I don’t think either of us came into this trying to make a career out of it but they’re helping people and knowing that you know people are listening and getting some benefit out of it is the greatest reward you know for doing it yeah absolutely you guys feedback is awesome we love hearing that we love messages letting us know that you know you listen and it made a difference love to hear that also if you feel so inclined that you want to support us monetarily there is one-time donations and monthly donations you can set up um right on our website recovery sort of.com thank you for people who have donated yes wonderful uh Julie and Sarah always are our regularly monthly contributors thank you so much we actually uh just found a way to get both of those a recovery sort of shirt to thank them for years yeah we’re actually working on uh on getting a place where you guys will be able to order shirts so that should be available soon um not that anybody wants shirts but if they do uh we also Jenny and Julie a listener Jenny who podcast with us and Julie one of our listeners they’re going to be running in the Rage Against Addiction 5K on April 1st uh and Jenny said they’ll be in recovery sort of gear so look out for them in their asses running by you oh I’ll be there running in that too oh well yeah I can put all my I don’t know if I’m running in a sweatshirt I definitely wear my hat I think I have a t-shirt do you have a t-shirt I do yes there you go cool I can run in a t-shirt it’s black though hopefully it won’t be too hot that day you can check out our 10 to 10 Beauty Billy’s asses he runs by you as well there you go oh so we got a lot of new subscribers on YouTube Welcome to everybody there uh you can follow us on all our social media Facebook Twitter Instagram I don’t know whatever else Tick Tock somewhere Reddit YouTube if you want to send in topic ideas we always welcome that if you want to write us a theme song We love you sure write it I don’t know what you got going on in your life Billy oh lots of new stuff for me in the last little while um so and I almost brought this up when you were talking about the ACA stuff so I started sort of branching out into just checking out another recovery Pathway to to expand and as a result of I think it was as a result of the pandemic um listening to different audio books and research for this podcast I started listening to the ACA I think they call it the red book or the big red book or something like that anyway I started listening to that audiobook um and found a lot of great information in it and like most people I had been a person that said oh I you know my parents weren’t alcoholics neither of my parents drank at all so I don’t really qualify and then in listening to the book that sort of got me to listen to a couple of speakers to seek out information which now I’m realizing why people would use our podcast as that platform because you hear about these programs and you know you’re kind of it’s sort of intimidating to just go and show up at some meeting that you don’t know anything about so you know I started to look for speakers or information and I could not find a lot of information on ACA there seemed to be like one guy that’s out there I guess he’s promoting his own [ ] I don’t know but it was good he’s definitely good at it but you know it gave me the understanding that it’s not just for people you know that parents were alcoholics it’s also anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family so they’re really trying to do a little more uh I’ll call it rebranding to be adult children of Alcoholics and dysfunctional families which I think means pretty much anyone qualifies yeah and uh so I started going to some meetings and and really getting some benefit out of that program um lately some other things been going on I haven’t been able to attend as much but I’ve definitely I picked up one of their I guess you would call it like a step working guide similar you know it’s a book that they have that goes through their 12 steps and uh I I’ve really got a lot of benefit out of digging a little deeper into some of my backgrounds some of my childhood experiences how they’re affecting currently affecting you know my marriage my relationship with my kids um and it’s been very eye-opening and very uh encouraging on walking through some uncomfortable feelings recognizing areas that were me reliving past traumas in my current relationships you know and and that’s been really interesting pretty eye-opening it also helped me to see like one of the benefits I think from even going to like my regular 12-step I go to Narcotics Anonymous I go there pretty regularly one of the things I realized from going to to the other to the ACA Fellowship is that going in there even once a week it’s just a reminder it just refreshes like hey you should be thinking about your feelings you should be looking at your behaviors when you’re interacting with other people so it’s not specifically like I go to a meeting and I hear something of all this value and I take that home and apply it in my life sometimes it’s just this refresher or this reminder like oh you need to think about these things because for me I’ll go through my day and not think deeply at all about my interactions with my children or my emotional interactions with my wife or how you know my unwillingness to be in an uncomfortable situation will cause me to like ignore a red flag or an intimate opportunity to communicate with my kids or my wife you know or other people in my life as well but right but going to those meetings and having that information sort of regularly refreshed keeps it in the front of my mind you know and that was a huge benefit um so in the last couple weeks my schedule’s gotten a little crazy for some different reasons that I haven’t been able to go and I’ve recognized that I missed it um so that’s been a new thing that’s been pretty interesting for me going on yeah that’s that’s pretty awesome I know you were talking about um not being sure and I guess I’ll cut this out if it’s not okay to say but you were talking about like thinking about not going to you know necessarily a regular n a meeting for a while to make sure you do have time for this ACA and I I think that’s a it was a fascinating debate that I could see going on kind of maybe a little bit internally and also you know between you and some of the people in your life and I I guess I don’t know I would say like follow the the enthusiasm follow the motivation like if you have a strong motivation to to seek self-reflection in one place and you have a very like kind of middling feeling or satisfaction level with the other to me that just seems obvious like yeah man chase that like you it’s all self-reflection it’s all raising awareness it’s all personal growth like it doesn’t make a difference with the name of the building is yeah and it’s it’s weird you know you get into a traditional 12-step pathway of your life and it’s just a part of you know what I do you know what I do now is go to this regular meeting you know every week and that’s great but I do have a limit on some time because I do still have kids that are involved and stuff you know my son’s getting ready to start a baseball season again and that you know he’s my last kid that’s still really involved in sports and I love to be a part of all that um I have some things I’ve been doing for my personal life that are just enjoyment things and then I try to fit in my recovery things as well and so you know the debate becomes do I have enough time to fit in two different 12-step meetings a week plus two different sets of sponsors or do I have two different sponsors and if I only have one sponsor how’s that sponsor gonna help me in this other Fellowship you know it’s all these ideas that I’m challenging of information that I’ve regurgitated myself right that now I recognize is terrible information for people like no how is my sponsor in this one Fellowship gonna sponsor me through these steps in this other Fellowship like that’s ridiculous it took me so I had a lot of this debate uh at a point in time in my life when I started expanding and trying to go to some of these other places seeking help for myself and I remember all these pieces you’re talking about which is why I’m over here like cracking up I’m like yes I remember all this um and I I held me up for nine months in this other Fellowship in SAA because I kept saying I don’t want to pick a sponsor that’s not also an N A so that he can be the guy who just he’s the one sponsor right okay he’s in both of my programs he’s good he’s the one guy and I was having trouble finding that because there wasn’t a ton of n a people there they were more AA people and I was like oh god well that’ll never work and this that and the other and then like some guy that I respect uh in in N A I was talking to him he had a lot of time and he had done some of the other fellowship and he said his sponsor now is like a a s something something else guy and like didn’t really he didn’t even really go to any of those programs anymore he’s like it doesn’t [ ] matter the guy helps me and I’m like I don’t know it’s just all those beating my head against the wall with all that thinkings for a long time and then it kind of came to like it doesn’t [ ] matter right like we can do it any which way and it all works if we’re seeking trying to be better or trying to be you know a better version of us or whatever yeah and for me at least at the moment like I can justify a lot of things in my own head and they make a lot of sense like I’ll say well it’s not like I’m leaving you know my original 12-step pathway I’m just I’m gonna kind of focus a little more energy over here and I would still be a part of that fellowship at least in my head now realistically what that looks like I don’t know but like my wife still goes to meetings we still are involved in different things so we would probably show up at events or attend anniversaries of friends or occasionally go to some meetings for different reasons so it’s not like I’m quitting you know and leaving but at the same time you know I can see this pushback from people in my support group in that Fellowship of like oh you know you can’t do that like that you know death like that’s you’re just one step away from you know shooting heroin or something and it’s I don’t know it’s weird it it makes it where like currently I don’t talk about it a lot because I don’t want to hear a bunch of people’s pushback yeah right or I’ve already made up my mind what I think I want to do you know so we’ll see I pictured like instantly like five different versions just from when I was struggling with this and trying to figure it out I was like there’s like five immediate versions of how you could work the sponsorship thing you could get a whole new [ ] sponsor and a new program and just work that and he would probably be able to help you with any other 12-step questions you had I don’t think you worked the 12 Steps about drugs now anyway so it really doesn’t matter right uh you could get a sponsor in that program keep your sponsor in n a and just not be working the steps with him right now and then whenever you feel like you want to do something with that you do it right you could not switch sponsors and just ask your current sponsor if he’s comfortable and like going over some of the book the new sponsorship book because a lot of people are they’re like sure why not let’s talk about it right like there’s eight billion none of them are wrong like right you could do it it’s just so crazy when we feel like there’s not unlimited options right like when we feel there’s this oh it’s this or that or it’s got to be one of these three or nah dude do whatever the [ ] you want it’d be great well and another I’m going to say a great thing about like the ACA Fellowship is that they don’t necessarily even specifically call it a sponsor they also call it like a fellow traveler or you know meaning that it can just be someone that you connect with that you talk to and you get along with they don’t have to have this official title you know or this official role as a sponsor they can just be someone that you connect with that you get along with that’s going to help you through this process so I I love that too about it is that it’s not so formal and in some of its approach it does feel very much at least it did to me for a long time while I was in the more traditional you know n a meetings regularly it did feel like sponsorship if you were going to equate it to a regular worldly thing it was like mentorship right and I feel like that understanding from ACA gives space that sometimes it can be that mentorship that does look like that right but also sometimes it just looks like two best friends you know what I mean or two good friends like this is what normal people do they go through an argument with their spouse and they call their friend right right like that’s what the [ ] people do when they feel oh they cross yeah they think we’ll give them good advice right so yeah that I mean a sponsorship relationship can look just like that as well like it doesn’t have to be one or the other or it can have flavors of both at different times in different directions like I don’t know it’s just two people helping each other yeah and also now like in my experience just in 12-step fellowships in general has been like my sponsors just not just but is another resource in my recovery so I can call them and talk to them and and ask them information and that’s gonna carry some weight but it doesn’t mean that’s the decision I have to make or that that’s what I’m gonna do or or that you know I also have my spouse who I talk to I have other friends that are people in recovery that I’m gonna talk to and I’ll weigh out all those things of what people say yeah you’re not four years old and sponsor is not Daddy that’s just not how this works you know we’re we’re just lovingly trying to help each other not telling each other what to do that’s cool though man it’s really awesome you’re exploring that I’m glad it’s feeling so good to you yeah and it’s it’s helped in some areas I mean obviously as as I’ve grown into my 12-step process and get along in life like I realized man there’s still some things that I’m struggling with that I haven’t really dealt with and a lot of it is goes back to that early childhood experiences that or adverse Early Childhood experiences and traumas that I suffered as a kid and things that were missing or that I was neglected in my upbringing and those things like carry through to my adult life in a mostly subconscious kind of way where they’re not even things that I recognize that I’m doing and when I do recognize them I don’t even like them about myself you know what I mean like like I don’t like that you know if my kids bring up an emotional conversation I like want to run away from that or avoid it or lecture them into fixing it and then walk away feeling good about myself right like I want to be emotionally supportive I want to be there for them I want to be loving and it’s like I get so overwhelmed or you know we go out into to groups we went out to a couple of outings this weekend and I get in a group of you know 50 people or more and I am so overwhelmed with anxiety about how you’re supposed to act and what you’re supposed to do and you know what the the cultural norms are and I just get so uncomfortable you know with that [ ] I’m like it’s crazy you know like I don’t think normal people do this right and uh just recognizing some of that and and realizing like what it comes from and and feeling like there’s some healing that can take place to help and even if I don’t heal from that 100 there’s a recognition like oh that’s what this is like this is like a a panic response or a trauma response and and you don’t have to be overwhelmed by it you know you can just kind of recognize it be like oh yeah I know what this is like yeah and it’s a little uncomfortable but I don’t have to let it consume me and then I can go on about you know my night I wanna I wanna split hairs with the wording there because you’re saying the right thing but the way you said it just I want people to make sure they have it like you can be overwhelmed by that nervous system even when you know it’s coming and even when you were kind of internally watching yourself not control yourself so we can’t get total control but what you’re saying the raising awareness around what it is is crucial and super beneficial for helping you not react or get taken over or or helping your body not get hijacked by it in the moment so it is really useful absolutely yeah because I still get like the heart rates going and looking all around you know they’re like the nerve and and like my wife will say like she was like I can almost see it in your eyes like your eyes get kind of big and you start to get Twitchy it’s a feeling if you’re tuned in you can pick that up off of somebody just being next to them you’re like holy [ ] she knows it about me like you know she can recognize it so that’s cool man yeah it’s uh but I think for a long time a lot of those things I thought well that’s just me and that’s just who I am and that’s just whatever like that’s just the way it’s got to be and I think delving a little deeper into some of that was like maybe but also maybe you can heal from that or at least you know learn some tools just like with addiction like maybe you can learn some tools learn some things you can do why you’re acting that way what things you can tell yourself you know they’re going to help you heal and get better from from those traumas and think the wording that I heard that helped me most was they call it re-parenting you know it’s like I try to think when I’m in those situations like all right what would I say to my kid if they were in this situation feeling overwhelmed about this what kind of advice would I want to give my kids and then give that to myself right and it’s that’s been super helpful so that’s awesome yeah good stuff yeah yeah foreign
thank you in a similar vein my family and this has been ongoing probably the whole time we’ve been doing this podcast or close to it but we’ve still been in various versions of family therapy right like sometimes very rarely anymore do we all show up in a in a session but it’s different formations uh not to get too specific I don’t think it matters a lot but a lot of it’s been couples therapy recently for me and my wife and then like today we’re going later with my daughter for her session because she wants us there because I don’t know I guess there’s some disconnection feeling but just in general it’s been going on a long time and a lot of work and a lot of you know EMDR and ifs and all this stuff and like really really feeling lately like not that we got it figured out or that we’re perfect or that we’re like any of that right we all still got our struggles but there’s really been a feeling of cohesiveness and togetherness and like all really wanting to be on the same page and connect better um and that’s been [ ] awesome yeah that just feels really really good man like um finding myself able to to show up in some ways that that maybe I haven’t been able to or show up in some calm ways when I used to be angrier and couldn’t you know stop that overwhelm from happening like you were talking about and just really really pleased with all that man it’s it’s been great um well your schedule’s gotten a lot busier right now that you’re kind of working therapy full-time yeah schedule’s gotten busier and like it’s also this piece of in notice in my schedule getting busier um and noticing all the healing that’s taking place in my family and and you know from a humble place we had that humility discussion like believing my size role in that is pretty important and then I need to be there more to keep making it happen um so yes as the schedule got busier there was also this realization of like feeling like I I wasn’t having enough time at home which you know in the grand scheme of the world but I’d love to cut out his work like even though I love helping people I would still want to help people but yeah I want to cut out the work time and have more time at home and still have more fun for my other endeavors but what it’s taken is uh it’s taken cutting back on a lot of the other endeavors to make sure that I am fulfilling this this healing role that I feel like I need to fulfill in my house which you know it’s a constant adjustment right I don’t know if we’ve ever done an episode on balance but like that’s one of those one of the toughest things man because as soon as I make the adjustment to go out less and do less and be around my family more well like two months later now I’m noticing I’m not scheduling any time for me and every time I have a little time that looks like my time I end up doing something with my kids to do this healing thing that I’m invested in right but now I’m starting to get annoyed that I don’t have so now I gotta make another adjustment and I gotta get some me time in there right to go wander in the woods for a little while by myself or something uh yeah and that balance like that I I reckon one of my favorite sayings I heard of all time was a guy you know talking about balance and he said we think a balance is being you know this like you find balance and then it just stays there and that’s not it at all he said picture like the the clown at the circus who’s like spinning plates on a stick and if you look he’s like constantly shifting you know different one to keep them all kind of going at the same time and that’s that’s what balance is it’s just recognizing which area you need to shift your energy to keep them all going in the right direction and I always love that like I heard that early on and I recognize that in my life I never went to the club much when I was younger but you know I’d listen to some club music on the radio and the whole like if you’re 35 and older put your hands up I feel like you just called out old people like nobody knows that what the hell Clown’s spinning plates and sticks this anymore like I remember that from the circus do they I don’t know I can’t even tell you the last time I heard about the circus yeah they took some hits for the animal treatment and I don’t know they might still be going but damn but no that’s good stuff too I mean it’s you know this whole process of recovery for me is constantly like just just wanting my life to get a little bit better and it’s in these such minor increments I mean in the beginning of recovery like it was like hey stop doing drugs and get a job and become productive and like things just felt like they were like shooting up really fast and now as the years go by you know I’m looking for like minor incremental increases in my happiness and well-being no I totally I totally agree and just by the way any young person who was baffled by the Clowns with the sticks and the the plates I’m sure you could look it up but also send us a better analogy once you figure it out so we can have a modern one for 2023 right maybe there’s something with like Tick Tock or something yeah yeah quick streamer playing three games at once right right somewhere on Discord there’s an analogy for this so help us out um yeah and that’s what you know you made me think about a while back um and I think when we were talking about one of the comments about make an incremental changes or or the comment itself felt like it was champion and people who you know were making these incremental changes maybe while it was poo poo and on other programs that didn’t necessarily do that but the thought occurred to me that I I like that idea right and this the old analogy of like if you think about being in the center of a circle and making a one degree change there’s 360 degrees there one degree in the center of the circle is [ ] nothing and yet the further you get out along your journey the further that path has diverged from the original path right and then and then maybe along the way in another year you make another one degree change right and you just it can really really affect the outcome if you think about it that way and the longer and further away you get from that choice you made and that change you did make yeah and and on top of that like the changes that at least for me in my case and I think for you in your case what I’ve seen is these changes I mean obviously they benefit me but they’re also benefiting like my family my wife my kids my relationships with others the people that I work with like so they Ripple out into the world you know beyond just me and so hopefully they have an impact on people around me as well you know maybe not as traumatic or obvious but again like with my kids they seem a lot healthier than I was at their age a lot of their behaviors or things that they’re doing seeing uh healthier we have a more open relationship with them although I think I could be better at some of that like you know it’s amazing to me when I look at like my teen and Adolescent years in the way that I felt and interacted and dealt with my parents in the way that I felt and interacted and dealt with authority and and all that and then I look at my kids and I don’t see any of that you know and some of that’s recovery I think some of it’s a little bit of luck too but you know and the influences that they’ve had in their life and it just makes me really like grateful like that because we’ve had some healthy practices in our life our kids have benefited from that and that doesn’t mean they’re perfect I mean our kids have gone to therapy over the years we’ve had some issues with all of them at different times you know they’ve all had their issues but as an overall thing like when there’s issues going on like they’ll talk about them they’ll come to us as a source of of you know support in their life um when we do family things or vacation they’re not trying to like run from us you know those kind of things and that was the way that I looked at my family like my parents almost felt like the enemy you know like they didn’t feel like people that I trusted to care for my well-being they were the authority right and then they were like when [ ] was going down you know they weren’t the people that I was going to for any kind of advice or input or support and that’s sad and and part of that was me you know I wish I would have I would have got better information from them than the [ ] people I did go to for advice right you know but you know with our kids that relationship’s a little different and I attribute that to recovery because my parenting skills going into early parenting were terrible they were what I knew growing up and as a result of some recovery stuff I’ve gotten better and over the years I get better and you know we had a conversation not too long ago and and we’re sitting at the dinner table talking about some stuff and I was we were recognizing some things that I used to do early on as a parent and I was like man you know I’m really sorry that I was this sort of could be overbearing in these ways and I hope that you guys recognize that wasn’t you that was me you know we were just having that conversation where I was owning some of my shortcomings recognizing that it wasn’t really helpful right you know recognize trying to honor them as as kids you know it was interesting it was powerful stuff yeah that’s awesome and I think you gave a a key lesson or teaching or a good key word if nothing else to to parents out there right think about this idea of you being the law like is that who you are in your parent-child relationship are you the law because I imagine there’s quite a few things Billy and I and probably whoever’s listen to this would not talk to the law about like there’s some things in my life I don’t want to have conversations with the law about right yeah like what are the consequences of your parental role being the law and and maybe how can that shift and would you like those consequences better uh good thing to think about yeah I don’t know man I’m life’s feeling pretty good in general for me uh family stuff’s going well my my mom’s getting ready to make a big move uh she has lived in the same house since 1978 before I was born no I’m sorry 1977 I’m lying um and she’s getting ready to sell that house and move up to be closer to me and I’m like her last really close relative I guess yeah um but that’s a shift right and it made me think of the balance thing again we’re gonna have to do an episode on this but like part of the reason why I can’t just find balance and be there is because life keeps shifting around me right maybe uh maybe it’s March 2023 and my mom is making this huge life change to a smaller setting a smaller home a community she’s not used to an area she’s not used to like our roles are changing and the parent-child relationship I’m starting to become more of the caretaker in that like that’s adjusting each of my kids as they adjust in their life need different things from me like how the [ ] can you just fine balance all right yeah [ ] changes too much for that yeah and I did start one other new fun thing I started uh Jiu Jitsu classes at 48 years old I mean I’ve never wrestled done any kind of Combat Sports no nothing about it so uh I started taking these Jiu Jitsu classes and I probably suck at it you know I go in there and feel like I get beat up 100 times but I was proud of myself because you know even probably definitely 10 years ago maybe even five years ago like my ego was probably too big to walk into something and just be brand new knowing little to nothing I mean I knew a little bit about it because I’ve always liked watching you know Jiu Jitsu stuff and MMA stuff and all that and it’s been something that I’ve talked about wanting to do forever but haven’t made the commitment to and so I’ve kind of made this commitment to going in and doing that and it’s been you know humbling but fun and like a new obsession um a little bit obsessive it made me realize that like all of a sudden that’s taken all this priority in my life over really important things but uh it’s fun you know it’s it’s a new like an any new hobby and I was joking with my wife I said you know I know a lot of guys definitely people in recovery that approach new hobbies as like addicts like soon as you get into it like you gotta go out and buy all the stuff and do all the things and that’s what you’re doing every weekend and I said I’m sure this will calm down in a couple of months it’ll find some realistic you know level of value in my life but right now it’s exciting and fun and I’ve been doing that about a month and a half I think two months something like that and it’s a couple days a week I’m jealous not of the place you go to you’ve described it and I don’t think that’s the place for me but I am jealous you’re getting to do some uh some martial arts I did some with a buddy some years back and it was a blast to like just do the training and hang out and you know kind of have that guy bonding time really yeah that made it really cool but I think you’re also touching on something else that we don’t talk about in our society and that’s this idea of like I don’t know the old way of thinking I would have had would have been very similar to like oh you’re approaching it like an addict and you’re obsessive and compulsive about it and blah blah blah blah right I don’t think that anymore I think what you’re talking about is this idea that like we don’t recognize adults need for fun in our society we don’t ever talk about like what kind of fun are you having like what’s your you know we say what are your hobbies which is a stupid [ ] question but like when are you having fun that is a huge need for humans so like you could say I’m putting it on top of these more important things but I would say it’s probably an important need that we neglect all the time and it’s not necessarily about this this ju you know the the martial arts you’re taking it’s about fun it’s about novelty it’s about feeling like alive like I think that’s pretty [ ] important man I don’t know yeah and my wife has actually encouraged me in that area too she’s like you need to have fun in your life you know that’s good for your mental health the other part for me the the mental health part that I think is important is I’m in like learning something completely new and foreign you know so many times as adults we get into these like routines of life and I have my job and you know we’re not really like what I’ll say like learning still it’s like we don’t go back to school or whatever and like this is a case where like now I’m learning a brand new thing so I’m trying to take in all this new information and New Concepts and new ways of looking at things um it’s quite humbling you know it puts me you know I’ve achieved the level of success in my life and you know I walk into a lot of recovery meetings and I got 20 something years clean and at my job I’m a supervisor and at my house I’m the head of the household so being sort of at the bottom of the pecking order you know because when I first walked in for the first month or so there’s been a new guy coming since me but I was like the lowest guy on the you know rung there and that’s fine like that’s starting out like that’s where you’re supposed to be what I think is there’s a certain uh benefit to like healthy stress and healthy uh uh challenges you know ways to push myself that are going to help me to grow and have a resilience you know and build up those muscles and you know I think for for me being a person who struggles with like self-esteem stuff I think that’s really important no absolutely uh something like that engages so many positive pieces right it’s even just at the base like most basic I think level of just you’re choosing to do something for you because you want it for no other reason right yeah those kind of things like dedicating time to yourself showing up for yourself like it’s just so many positives out of doing something like that and maybe that’s maybe that’s where we end today maybe that’s what I we ask people today right why are you having fun look at your life are you not because maybe you need to reevaluate that but where are you having fun and if you feel so inclined reach out and share where you’re having fun with us I’d love to hear all the different ways people have fun yeah and it’s not selfish to do some things for yourself that you want to do you know I I fall into that a lot like well I made the decision to have these kids and have a wife and have this house so that’s all the responsibilities that come along with that there’s no time for fun for me I’ll get that later and then realizing That’s not healthy for me you know I owe it to myself to do things in life that are fun yeah I’m creating an environment around me at all times whether I know it or not right and like how toxic is that environment because I’m like I’m like the dirt right I’m growing these kids in my house which are like the flowers and and still my wife right trying to help her heal too like I want to keep providing this positive nutrient Rich environment you know I want to be that kind of soil and what that takes is me going out and taking care of myself first so yeah I definitely completely agree with what you just said please take care of yourself so that that soil can enrich everybody else’s life that’s in your your world all right so how do you have fun go out there have some tell us about it and we’ll see you next week [Music] 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 recoverysortup.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 [Music]
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