29: Step Five – Admitted to God, to Ourselves, and to Another Human Being the Exact Nature of Our Wrongs (Sort Of)

5/3/20 If you want to skip to Step 5 go to around the 45 minute mark. We discuss what exactly is the “exact nature of our wrongs.” From there, we talk about character defects, the reasons we did the things we did in addiction, and what’s behind the patterns of our acting out. We discuss the importance of admitting our wrongs to 3 distinct entities. We further explore if all actions come from either love or fear. Also some recap from last week and some conversation about breaking quarantine.

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Transcript:

bird on here that’s crazy okay so now we’re recording we missed all the bonus material as if it’s bonus material so there’s a theme song that plays alright welcome back I’m Jason I’m a guy that enjoys long division my name’s Billy I’m a person in long term lonely recovery this boy oh yes yes lonely lonely quarantine so just to happen this is gonna be a you know about the fifth step that is our goal to may II already I don’t know how the hell it’s May already but it is May which is the fifth month so we will do the fifth step but before we do that we want to recap a little bit about what we talked about last week which mostly came in to you know what are people doing to keep their recovery fresh and how they had to adjust during quarantine and so you know we put that on Facebook and Twitter on our social media and just got some responses one of the first Rachel said she was still enjoying herself and she had attended an online business meeting the other day which was I think outside of you know a program meeting and she said give they gave a test to figure out if they were optimists or pessimists and uh you know she normally just tends to see the good in things and it’s been such a blessing to her life and I was relating in at the time I don’t know if I still am I got a little bored yesterday but I I was doing pretty well at the time we were we were having that conversation do you think this has anything to do with pessimism or optimism though and and I’m not trying to discount her her comment I think her comment was very valid I just mean in general like this whole do you think people who are not who are struggling with quarantine or pessimists or do you think they’re just maybe struggling with some other aspects maybe they’re extroverts who really need contact or yeah I would say obviously it depends on the person I know me personally I am a extrovert I liked being around people I like interacting with other people I mean it’s you know I like people and like even in my past before you know computers and social media I was never big on phone calls and you know long phone conversations in my recovery I’ve always done way better with face-to-face in-person communication connection I can see how though you know I try to remind myself sometimes that you know there are some minor benefits happening as a result of all this obviously they’re saying some things are happening with the earth and you know the environmental health is better and nature sort of doing a little bit of a comeback because we aren’t out you know destroying a planet as much and so I’d remind myself of those things you know to try to get a better perspective on the entire situation as a whole but I don’t think that helps me personally with my recovery I got yeah I will say and I’ve been getting I haven’t been struggling as much as a lot of people that I care about and I’ve been kind of trying to figure out why and I didn’t know if it said something about me or anything like that but I know one of the things that greatly helped because I’ve struggled with phone conversations and I’ve even you know I’ve definitely complained about video conversations like my daughters are constantly on video chat and [ _ ] in my house and I’m like oh get the [ _ ] off of that right like I don’t even want people to hear me on the phone definitely I don’t want you to see me on the phone and yet being forced because of my internship into doing teletherapy so I was constantly sitting in video chats for an hour I love it now like I got a buddy and you know down near Baltimore and I’ve like we’ve got a regular I’ll talk to you for an hour on video chat each week just for the hell of it because it’s kind of cool so I may be you know after being forced into it like maybe that’s what has helped me that just kind of adapted yeah and I think practice with it or just doing it on a regular basis would make it easier I don’t know about better but I’ll definitely say it would make it easier there’s a thing and I know you know my wife uses that Marco Polo I don’t know if you’re familiar with that it’s kind of like a video messaging so instead of leaving like a voicemail it would be like a video message weird so she yeah that’s it I think it is too but she uses that actually quite a bit with quite a few of her I’ll say female friends her and I have tried to use it some and I’m terrible at it because again it just doesn’t feel like you know I don’t feel like I’m talking to her I don’t feel like that’s a person right I feel you know like I’m talking to my phone and leaving a message for her but she has said that that has greatly improved her relationship with some girls that she sponsors and some friends because it’s a little bit more personable than a text message it can be a little more longer and and more detailed because it’s you know you might do a Marco Polo that’s four or five minutes that’s just a voicemail that person can listen to it at their leisure when they have time when they have that couple minutes and then leave you a message back and so she communicates regularly through that with a couple of PE damn so if Marco Polo doesn’t start paying us after this I don’t know what the [ _ ] yeah well like say I’ve tried it and it just again it for me was like I don’t get it it’s weird I don’t like it and I tried it I’ve I’ve done it you know a few times and I try to do it for her you know because she really enjoyed it but you know I think we’re just everyone’s a little different and how they feel connected is slightly different we have different personalities now absolutely and I think we’ll find more that as we read through some of these that everybody’s kind of got a different plan on how they’re attacking it and you know what works for some doesn’t work for others I I do I will say this interesting and just to point out that most of these people that commented are people who were online to answer this question and a lot of the people who you know might not be online who are like going out and doing what they need to do for their recovery in person did not answer and they do exist to write like they’re having bonfires on Wednesday nights or they’re you know doing this that or the other with other people and so that is also something that people are doing it’s just not very well represented in our answers cool so will says he’s been reading online meetings working on a step every day and praying more so that’s good stuff Brian said Xbox which I I guess that’s helping his recovery Reed said he’s doing recovery podcasts old convention CDs and phone calls another guy jason says he’s only gone to one meeting in the past six weeks and normally he goes six to seven days a week and he’s still reading writing and talking to people as always one meeting in seven weeks does sound like rough I don’t know how he’s doing it yeah that stuff michael says online meetings in step work although he’s grateful it is not the same and he can’t wait to get back to church basements he misses his people amanda says not much has changed she had always been busy working and commuting in that time she would listen to the recovery podcasts NPR apparently has a good radio show called Baltimore recovery or something like that I’ve never even heard of that also make it a point to write down five things I’m grateful for every day read just for today daily quote nightly quote meditate for at least 10 minutes finding a meeting can be hard if you’re working and maintaining the home also keep in touch with recovering addicts from all over the world helps yeah that was pretty thorough I was like damn I my recovery feels lacking now that I’ve heard that yeah that’s that’s a pretty serious commitment I mean that’s that’s more than I would say I would say that’s above average yeah I hope so if not I’m like way below average because I think a couple more Facebook ones just pati such as doing a meeting every day doing step work conscious contact with their higher power through prayer meditation reaching out their sponsor and other recovering people reading spiritual alignment books journaling being grateful walking a lot planning in her garden and enjoying the beautiful creation enjoying the beautiful creations huh I guess that’s it she’s just enjoying the beautiful creation and that was another pretty goddamn thorough list I like you know sometimes I put these questions up on social media and I expect people to like have some conversation to be where I’m at and then when they have well surpassed where I’m at on my damn I feel worse for putting that up there yeah that definitely makes it tough I I know I you know try to hold myself to their standards can you hear me yeah okay yeah I try to hold myself to there’s a high standards of others sometimes and then feel bad about myself because I fall short right right Kirsten said she’s problem she’s really having is no matter how many meetings she hits on her phone it doesn’t feel like n/a like the part that works for me is being comfortable to talk around people that I know and I don’t feel the connection and you know just to kind of go back with all those I mean I did not hit as many meetings this week as I have been previously I don’t wanna say I ran out of places to go to like countries and stuff not by far there’s more but it is a chore at times to like find the meeting to do the time zone change to make sure it speaks English to make sure I have the passcode well habitable happens like so many things and then you finally get all that nailed down and then you gotta interrupt your day or I have to interrupt my day at whatever point in time for this hour and a half it’s usually not at a very convenient time you know depending on what’s going on in my house and so this week because I do some other stuff too I was like you know what maybe I need a little less pressure about hitting a meeting every day and so I didn’t pressure myself I hit like four maybe three I don’t really remember and they were cool but but I kind of noticed what people are talking about like I don’t I feel more connected at my home group where I know the people for sure next in line to that I feel more connected when I share there’s a lot of meetings I go to where I don’t say anything and I don’t feel connected at all I mean it might be an all right meeting some nice stuff to listen to but I don’t feel connected to it because I haven’t spoken or you know included myself and so I don’t know I you know I have a day step works on my calendar now I’m still hitting some meetings I picked up a more a physical routine this week where I decided I’m gonna run every other day and then on the in-between days I’m gonna do push-ups and so that’s been exhausting the hell out of me I’m like sore and don’t want to move right this moment but I still feel like I keep setting up new challenges or new goals or something to work towards and so I don’t feel stagnant or like I’m falling out of place yet yeah and I know for me I keep hanging on to this notion that we’re gonna get back to normal soon it’s gonna be coming pretty soon so I’m not gonna bother starting or building or making a whole new routine I’ll just wait because I’m you know and it just sort of I’ve been saying that for weeks now and now I think the guy on the news said in Maryland it’s we’re in a week seven now of this lockdown which I never really thought it was gonna be seven weeks I don’t know what I thought it was gonna be but I guess I expected and this is gonna be a couple of weeks and things are gonna you know people are gonna freak we’re gonna get back to normal which is kinda what’s happening now and you know then I’ll get back into my normal routine of exercise and eating a little better and furnace is like a break this is like a summer vacation kind of right and now it’s into seven weeks it’s like holy [ _ ] you know this is way longer than a little break and do I want to try it well I haven’t wanted to try to build a whole new routine and that is around you know all aspects of my recovery mental physical and spiritual health you know not really doing much exercise not doing a lot of get into new meetings and doing a lot of that not building a bunch of relationships outside of you know going to the meeting so I keep hanging on to this notion that we’re it’s gonna be over soon I was curious that with how many people I’ve heard that are struggling with meetings and I think we might get into this after step five if there’s a little time we we kind of talked about it the other day a little bit but just if people are more frustrated with the online meetings because they’re holding on to what they used to have or holding on to what they’re missing like is it is it I’m is it I can’t buy into online meetings because I can’t let go of the fact that I want in-person meetings like is that part of the the equation so for me personally so here’s a couple things that I find annoying distracting and I’ve been experimenting with ways to work around this but okay when people don’t have their video on when they just have a stock picture or an image or nothing up there I don’t like that I’m like what you know it’s a [ _ ] black screen you know that’s and it’s again this is all just me personally things that annoy me so I don’t like that I don’t like that in most meetings I’ve been to you get people like they’ll pop in in the middle of the meeting then they just pop out in the middle of the meeting and you know it’s like their code of check who’s there that stuff is annoying and I guess I would say it’s it’s similar to like a regular meeting like if if I went to you know a traditional in-person meeting where there was you know say 50 or 75 people and people are walking in and out the whole time and there’s a bunch of Cod side conversations going on like for me that [ _ ] is annoying and distracting and I would leave that and go I sucked like I didn’t get a lot out of that meeting you know because all those little distractions are just not what I’m used to it’s not what I’m most comfortable with I don’t do well in big crap you know there’s reasons that it bothers me what I personally like are meetings where it’s 10 maybe 20 people you know people are respectful of the meeting they’re not playing on their phones they’re not [ _ ] side conversating they’re not getting up walking in and out of the room like those are things that bother me um and so there’s some things with online meetings that bother me you know that I don’t like again I’ve been trying to work her I’ve been doing some different things with like the video settings as far as you only see the person that’s speaking but then it gets weird when people are trying to do the group saying together things to prayer or the you know the common sayings or you know thanks for sharing or hi to people like that stuffs all weird so maybe it’s just that it’s different it’s not what I’m used to it’s not what I’m comfortable with so it it just feels alien you should have been at a Toronto meeting I was in the other night it was six of us for an hour and a half loved it’s very small I was wishing there was a couple extra voices in there honestly no I just I guess like people are calling for all we need to get back to what it was like I’m not getting nothing out of this and I and maybe they’re not right and I’m not trying to deny anybody that I just I definitely was curious like if you walked outside and drop dead and you just couldn’t walk outside if that was the actual like situation we were in I just wonder if more people would be okay with the online meeting like if if they were if if that would let them give up on the hope of something different like right now they’re still well we can go out and have bonfires together like the police aren’t gonna lock us up and so they still do and I just wonder if that option was completely shut off it would if it would be less anger or not anger but just more acceptance of the online version it’d be like well this is what the [ _ ] we got we got better roll with it yeah and I was thinking too you know I’m saying along those same lines it’s like when we talk about like suffering or struggling like I don’t I mean to say that I’m struggling is a stretch I mean it’s not like I feel like I’m gonna use or that I feel like I’m so a lien ated I want to commit suicide like I don’t feel those feelings for sure so I want to be clear when I talk about you know I am suffering or struggling for this there’s levels to that [ _ ] too and I think for some of us though like say it’s it’s easy to I don’t want to say dismiss the severity of the coronavirus but you know again it’s in this case even to open it up the government or opening up the society there are still things we can do to be reasonably responsible and [ _ ] be able to go out around other people you know why does it have to be such extremes like it it’s almost the opposite of what you’re saying like yes if we had the extreme of what you’re talking about where as soon as you walk outside there’s imminent death then yes I probably would be like hey man I don’t want to [ _ ] die I’ll just make this work but that isn’t the reality and we’re acting like almost like that is the reality and so you know it feels like wait a minute we can go out and meet in groups and do some things responsibly and it’s not like six out of the ten people that met that day are gonna drop dead you know so we’re acting like that’s the reality it feels like sometimes we’re acting like that’s the reality when it’s not right well I think the problem is and you know not to get us too far off track before we get to the point today of where we’re actually here for but I think part of the problem is if you go out in groups we don’t know well enough who will catch it who won’t we don’t know well enough who has it and who doesn’t because what we’re finding is a lot of people don’t have symptoms now and so what we’re doing is taking a risk basically it’s like yeah we might never know who was a who was sick or who got it from that or who passed it to who afterwards but we don’t that’s the point we don’t know right and so I don’t think we could say that we’re doing it responsibly I guess is my point I really don’t think we can claim that when we don’t really know and that’s where I’m like I don’t know what to do with that our people gonna drop dead that day no are any of that healthy people that choose to go out gonna be the ones that drop dead no idea right could they continue the the spread of it to hit somebody that was vulnerable they could and so when you don’t know who has it’s like it would be like saying hey only one in a hundred people has you know a sexually transmitted disease that’ll kill you but you choose to not use a condom with any say and well the odds are low I’ll just do it responsibly well you didn’t use the protection that was available like that’s not really responsibly you don’t know which one out of the hundred has it sort of so the I would say the difference there or what were the freedoms and what we’re giving up in this case with the amount of you know social distancing rules that are enacted are a little more extreme I think we’re were we are literally giving up constitutional rights you know at this point you know we’re giving up our freedom in essence we’re giving up parts of what I believe makes our society or community healthy and whole to mitigate a risk that I’m not saying there’s no risk but the risk is fairly low I mean when you talk about even if it is let’s say 2% or 3% which are what they’re saying is probably the more extremes at this point and maybe there are some people that say it’s higher numbers or it could be higher numbers but I’ve heard two to three percent is a high I guess you’d call it mortality rate like how you know how do you balance that like at what point are some of the negative impacts as far as mental health financial health those things are going to lead to suicides and you know we know overdose deaths or you know at least in Cecil County or double you know there’s lots of negative deaths that come about or as a result of the restrictions that are in place and I’m not saying that to justify you know all we should just open tomorrow but it’s not like there is no risk to anyone or anything by us just all being locked in at home you know there’s there’s risk to anything that we do there is I actually read a really good article probably like three weeks ago at this point when they first started talking about opening things up and the justification was the you know that all the suicides and all that that that’s actually not true whatsoever according to statistics like people who are poor are more likely to commit suicide but people who get poor during economic downturns are not there’s actually less crime and less death during economic downturns than there is there’s way less violence and so that that whole statement about people killing themselves because we don’t have an economic you know that we have a economic shift or whatever is actually way off and just sounds good so they use it the way I heard it explained and maybe this is slightly different maybe it’s the same thing I don’t know is that when the economy is better and more successful they see suicide rates percentage-wise are lower than when the economy is bad so when the economy is down suicide rates go up and I don’t know if that’s a anecdotal thing or not but that’s yeah the one I read the one I read was a researcher and he was talking about the whole deal back then and he also he gave the case of you know in general people of lower socioeconomic status have higher suicide rates yes but when people have money and lose it that is not true like that’s not the case for them at all and then he was going into the whole during nineteen eighteen and how cities that did more for their quarantine for the Spanish flu more immediately and then held it longer bounced back quicker economically than cities that took half measures waited till too late or didn’t hold it out long enough and he gave the the one of the pieces was like the twin cities and like they did opposite things right there next to each other in Minnesota and yet want the one who started their quarantine early and kept it for like four months had bounced back economically by the following year whereas the other one it took like five years and they still weren’t completely back to where they were just because they hadn’t and if he didn’t you know he couldn’t prove that it was because of that but it definitely sure seemed like the people the cities around the u.s. that took the greater precautions and kept them longer bounced back quicker afterwards what the reasoning for that earth you know what I don’t know if I can find that article again I’ll pass it on to you but I thought it was interesting it gave a whole it was very opposite of what you hear everyone say and it even acknowledged it said look this [ _ ] that they’re saying sounds true so it’s easy for us to believe but we looked at the statistics and it’s just not real yeah I was like huh that’s super interesting exit it’s one of the ones where you like click on a news story on your phone and you’re like I’ll read this little page and then you had like 18 pages and you’re like [ _ ] that was really good yeah hi I like checking stuff like that out things you don’t hear every day you know right that’s what’s that’s what’s fun about the Internet I guess anybody can have opinions about anything now just to wrap up this recap real quick on Twitter Ramsey said quarantine and social distancing has given him an opportunity to analyze what is actually recovering necessary and what was in their recovery just because they were told it had to be and he got over the attendance dependence a year ago so he’s now filtering out what he’s outgrown and doesn’t need I thought that was actually a really interesting response and so I you know I interacted with him for a few more comments just to figure out what he was getting at exactly because it seemed it almost seemed like hey what I realized in quarantine was that I don’t need a program is what the way it came across that I don’t think that’s what he was trying to say ultimately but that was how I read that first statement I was like oh what you don’t need is what you’ve figured out one of the things he pointed out and I thought this made it really I guess an interesting point so he said he had figured out that he didn’t need conversations with other alcoholics and that was like really joyous for him to figure that out and I was like oh [ _ ] this is this is going terrible right and so I delved in a little further and what he said was look it’s not like I don’t want to get back to having some conversations he’s like but what a freeing experience it was to realize that I’m not relying on that to stay sober right like I can be clean without those conversations – and he’s like that just felt really good you know I was like huh I guess that is a neat way to look at it you see what you can live without and still remain you know clean yeah and I actually was thinking something similar at the beginning of this conversation he talked about the meeting dependence and I was thinking for me personally I don’t meetings aren’t my recovery per se like I get more out of my relationships you know conversations and talking to other people in recovery about real daily life struggles or you know living life on life’s terms conversations you and I might have like they talked about sort of a meeting before the meeting or the right to the meeting or the eating after the meeting like meetings so in this area and it’s gonna sound probably a little bit arrogant but I have a lot of time more time than most people when I walk into most meetings around here and sometimes the most amount of time that doesn’t mean no one in the meeting has nothing to offer but I have been to I would say thousands of meetings there isn’t a whole lot of like brand new unique i opening perspectives that i’m gonna get out of a meeting most times occasionally you hear some things there are a couple reasons i go to meetings one is that connection to fellow recovering addicts just to remind myself a of where i come from and what I will become without a program a recovery but be to remind myself what I’m capable of and what I will you know likely do if I go back to use and like just because I haven’t done something yet or you know that’s not in my story now doesn’t mean it can’t be in my story in the future so there’s a lot of those reminders that come in but it’s also just the fellowshipping and the opportunity to like get to know people to to just build social relationships but as far as my spiritual growth as an individual I don’t know that I would say a very little bit of that comes from actually going to meetings it doesn’t mean it’s not important to my recovery so when I am NOT getting what I’m used to getting out of meetings I don’t get that through online meetings if I said that very that’s kind of confusing way to say that the personal interaction in the one-on-one and the meeting before the meeting and the hanging out [ _ ] and laugh and cutting up you know just catching up with friends like that’s what I get out of meetings that’s the probably the greatest benefit for me personally not saying that’s for everybody and I don’t you know I’m sure other people but it’s like Ramsey said like I don’t have a dependence on meetings for my spiritual growth yeah I’m with you um I would say meetings remind me regularly of like who I am you know I hear other people talk about some things they’re going through in the meeting and it’s not necessarily anything mind-blowing and I’m not trying to contradict anything you said I’m just stating what they do for me I would say you know people talk about hey I was going through this this week and I’m like oh [ _ ] that’s right I’m I’m an addict right I struggle with that kind of stuff and I need to maintain my spiritual position not so much by being at the meeting it’s just kind of a refresher of like oh yeah you got to do these things on a daily basis they’re good for you I would say the thing it does be beyond that for me is it’s a commitment to show up when I don’t feel like it because I’ll be damned well honest I rarely ever feel like leaving my house to go to a meeting right and a lot of nights it’s reminding myself hey you took excuse me he took this commitment it’s important to you and it’s not about you frequently like I might be showing up to give back to somebody else on a lot of nights it might not be about what I get out of the meeting right and so I think that’s what a lot of it what it is for me it’s just a reminder of who I am and a commitment to show up to serve you know the program or the fellowship in some way shape or form but yeah it’s not it’s definitely not where I’m getting the goods for my replenishment yeah and I’m glad you said that because when I you’re right in that I do try to go to meetings with a perspective of it’s my opportunity to share my recovery and give back to others yeah yeah that’s a that’s an important part of it too I don’t want to gloss over that or negate that because that is also you know I believe being an addict I’m a self-centered self-serving person and to get out of that I need to be of service to others and so a lot of I do get that out of meetings as well that just reminded me of something interesting so when we were traveling we were in an area up in Massachusetts a fairly rural area that was hit really hard by the opioid epidemic I mean ridiculous percentage of overdose deaths and they had a huge influx in there at least in their na community they’ve had a tremendous influx of younger people recovery houses people coming out of treatment and in essence their area was over what people with experience that could sponsor were overwhelmed as far as taking on spot C’s and everything else so what they did in that area was had meetings they called them flat roof meetings and people if you didn’t have a sponsor you would go to the flat book meeting and in essence worked steps at these meetings because there weren’t enough sponsors to sponsor everyone yeah I know it’s like that like sorry in a case like that like that’s how they were working steps and so what I think it’s still do that sort of thing I guess you could still do that online I don’t know yeah so I mean for my recovery we I’ve been a part of step studies which I’d love to get honestly maybe into something real similar to that again I’ve been trying to think of a way to make that workable for my recovery for like God probably like eight years now honestly Billy I’ve really wanted to do something like this and you’re not that had the time or the place or whatever it was and so one day I hope to do that which I’ve always considered like an extra it’s it’s not like actually working the steps it’s like outside extra of you know just extra material but I do know that their fellowships that are smaller and not as prevalent as ours maybe they do work steps like this they have you know hey the next 24 weeks each two weeks is gonna be a step we go over and we’re gonna work it together and we’re gonna do it together and I actually know somebody right now who is doing that online with the ACA program and so yeah I think that is a valid option and my initial reaction was that’s not how you do it you gotta have your sponsors right and I was like what the [ _ ] it probably works just as well like what the hell as long as there’s people there to guide you and so we had talked to some people that had some time up there and the way they explained it this was a woman who had some time she said you know when this first started they were all against it too and like oh you got to get a sponsor and all this stuff and and she said I literally was just overwhelmed with the amount of newcomer women that had come in she’s like I had like [ _ ] twenty spawn seas and people were calling all the time and wanted to go over steps and you know she’s like it was just too overwhelming like I couldn’t I couldn’t do it and they would have the thing in the meeting where they would say anybody willing to sponsor or capable a sponsor and you know raise your hand and you would when we first went to that area you would see people that you knew had some time that you had talked to a little bit and they wouldn’t raise their hand and you’d be like what you know you you gotta raise your hand you always go out of you know gods in charge and you know you’ll never God will never give you more than you can handle there’s sort of things and in talking to this person they said you know it just was overwhelming and they said for my own health and my own I mean not only are you not being of service to yourself you’re not being a service to those people when you’re just not available the way that they might need so you know that was the option that they had come up with in that area so some of these things would be different in different areas and they they are here again it’s easy to get into you know this is what we do here and having these luxuries of lots of meetings lots of sponsors lots of availability of people because you know we can drive 30 minutes you know nor they’re 30 minutes south on 95 and have literally thousands of recovering addicts to help us we’re in some of those rural areas they don’t have that no no and I hear you and we can but I’ll say this you talk about how plentiful it is around here and I joined my home group and raised my hand as a guy available for sponsorship and looked around and judged some people who weren’t raising their hands and I now do not raise my hand because I am at my limit I can’t do any more like I have enough and I go to that home group every week and it’s you know three or four or five recovery houses or whatever programs full of people and they’re new and they’re all looking for sponsorship and the fact is there’s maybe two people there that can raise their hand to say they’re available for sponsorship and so these people in recovery houses don’t have cars to drive half an hour north or south to get these sponsors so I don’t know how readily available we have sponsors either and in Northeast Maryland I could go on a big diatribe about that but it would be a negative campaign on so I’ll just let it Alert that’s fair enough yeah I just uh I yeah I don’t know how I could take any more I’m not gonna tell you the number I’m at right now it’s higher than I’d like it to be I know I’ve mentioned I have four dudes right now on step four and I’m like waiting for them to finish and I’m like holy [ __ ] they’re all gonna finish at the same time and I’m gonna have all these boys got to listen to another guy mr. t sir there’s our fist oh yeah yeah you did you get done okay good step and then come find me boy exactly right but it’s it’s only gonna prolong the inevitable they’re all still going to come get a tan just buying some you know the longer you wait and the farther you get in the steps the more distance it gets because they’ll start separating themselves out by the ones that stick around and the ones that don’t get overwhelmed with family and wives and kids and jobs and houses I would think so and you know what I’m actually lying I think it’s I think it’s five guys now Wow it’s just too many and whatever but yeah I’m hoping they spread out some I can’t I don’t know I’d like five video chats what am I gonna do spend like eight hours a day in video chat it’s just back to this just to finish something hit our break room but we’re already bullshitting mr. t bear said he hasn’t been to a meeting in six weeks and before that he hadn’t missed a day for six years Wow he said that staying connected what a spawn sees does help though Anna said she’s late to the party but finding new ways of dealing with herself and their negative thinking she said no one can rescue her now so if self-care is at the top of her priority list I think that’s interesting nobody can rescue her John says he’s calling random folks just to get outside of himself I think that’s a really interesting concept right when we’re like struggling within ourselves maybe we could call other people that’s usually the best answer possible like call some random other people and see if they’re doing all right and then we all feel better yeah

sobriety matt said same just more meetings and more reading Donna said more meetings uh you know online also renewed contact with some a a friend she’s not seen in years like I guess she got to visit she was explaining her her old home groups that she had moved away from which I’ve also had a similar experience being able to hang out with some people I don’t live near anymore uh

and then Alexandra said online meetings once a day I think she said she’s been going through a lot – a lot more than just the one a day though in the days where she’s struggling and so I guess her goal was one a day but then she was going to as many as it took I’ve heard of quite a few people going to two and three a day right now I I know it’s it’s obviously way easier for me to get to meetings now I would not be in three or four or seven a week if it wasn’t for this I would be in one maybe two yeah and I think for some of us to like my life has changed little bit but I still go to work every day and then I have things you know obviously I’m doing here and unfortunately now I have to go do more grocery shopping that I’ve had to do in a while so you know I don’t have an abundance of free time all of a sudden and I think some people do and that’s not a good or bad it’s just saying yeah at the time that I was home for that eight hours a day that I’m at work I probably could hit more meetings and you know recommit in certain areas – no absolutely and I think that’s a I think that’s one of the huge differences between the the areas of thinking right now people who have been going to work every day throughout all this are probably very much like you know it’s it’s reinforced hey I go out of my house I go somewhere every day I’m around people I come the [ __ ] home ain’t nothing bad happened yet like why shouldn’t I also do this to my benefit at a meeting yeah and not only that but I’ve heard some people at work you know and these are people that live in in all different counties throughout Delaware and Maryland we cover four counties in two different state three different states because we got a Pennsylvania person – and of course we’re geographically were a fairly small area but not one of us even knows anyone that has had Corona VARs gotcha yeah I had somebody else asked me that one time – they were like do you even know anybody who had I actually do know somebody who has it so yeah I guess it is a little a little more personal when you see it a struggle somebody goes through with it but yeah that’s uh let’s take a break and we’ll come back and we’ll hopefully actually get to step five at this point

oh yeah internet connections a little crappy today probably all the kids online or something I was wondering I I didn’t know if it was you or me or maybe just the fact that you know more people are using Google meat or whatever I have no idea it did seem to be a little little testier today oh I didn’t think about that I just assumed it was my internet but um I know I don’t know if you paid attention or saw on the news I guess Google meats gonna give themselves out to any even people that don’t have a Gmail now I guess various zooms getting all the zooms getting all the notoriety still they figure they better open their [ _ ] up no absolutely yeah I saw that uh that’s cool I mean at least it’s another option me Yeah right we’ll have meat eggs instead of zoom meetings Google meetings I don’t know man yeah we spent a lot of time earlier whoa no whoa I’m not a concern that’s good talk yeah I know I guess we’ll cover step five I don’t know like I said I got these quotes I can read them we can discuss them there’s not a [ _ ] ton of them there’s not a whole lot I think there is to say about it it’s mostly about describing what the exact nature is just so that’s not some huge mystery to anyone beyond that I did have a couple of things if we wanted to go back to the open enough meetings and stuff but whatever I guess we’ll just jump back in you ready yep

all right we’re back and so now we’re actually gonna finally get to step five we admitted to God to ourselves into another human being the exact nature of our wrongs and and I don’t know you know this is one of those steps where I don’t know that there’s a whole ton to say about it which is probably why we had all that room earlier to talk about everything but this but I you know I think that one of the key parts to explain is what the exact nature is I guess that’s one of the things that stood out when I was reading some of the literature for it’s just what is the exact nature of my wrongs what does that mean what does it do for my recovery to know that beyond that I mean generally when we talk about step 5 we talk about sharing step 4 with someone but then it surely says in our literature step 5 is not simply a reading of step 4 and so that’s where we got to figure out you know what is the extra part beyond that I will say we talked about before you brought up like not sharing with your sponsor and and then it could be somebody else besides your sponsor to share your stuff with and when I was reading the literature like the basic text very wide open and I don’t think the basic text ever meant to mentioned sponsorship in it not in the first half it might in the stories I don’t read them but it doesn’t say anything it says it could be anybody this that and the other but then as it’s funny as you move forward in the books like it works how wise a little more specific they’re like you know yeah you’re probably going to make this your sponsor right and then once you get to the step working guide which was written even later than that it’s almost like assumed it’s definitely your guide a monster I was like that’s really interesting to see the time frames these were written and how it evolved yeah ok so here’s some quotes we got this step is the key to freedom that’s one of the first things that stood out to me I’m like well that’s a powerful a statement it’s the key to freedom what are your thoughts on that so like most of the steps when I worked it and did it in the beginning I didn’t um I didn’t have a deep understanding it was kind of like I just did it because that’s what I was supposed to do you know that was the benefit of my recovery or what they told me to do for my recovery so I did it I will say that there was a huge lightening of my spirit or it just felt like I guess you would call it you know ripping off a band-aid I don’t know it was it was awkward and weird to do but when I did it I did feel definitely more free of the baggage and some of the harm I guess that I had been dealt and dealt to others and I don’t know exactly why I mean I I’m sure there’s some psychological reason but just going over and sharing that with someone else that goes back to one of the you know cliche sayings we say all the time it’s like pain shared is pain lessen and what’s the experience that I had but I don’t know why that happened or what the reason was behind that sorry I got a fly that’s really bugging me over here and I’m gonna kill it get it out of here he keeps flying all around the computer in my face sorry that’s all right now we’re killing flies were awful so baby okay I’m gonna read this quote and maybe this touches on part of what you’re talking about here we start to realize that there is a difference between our actions and the exact nature of our wrongs for instance we may see example after example of situations where we lied in a vain attempt to make everyone like us but those examples aren’t the nature of our wrongs the nature of these wrongs is the dishonesty and manipulation we were demonstrating each time we lied if we look beyond the dishonesty and manipulation will most likely find that we were afraid no one would like us if we told the truth and I think when when you just said what you said that’s what stuck out to me is that that’s a huge part of my story was I was terrified that if anybody knew the truth about me and the way I felt and thought that they wouldn’t like me the same way I didn’t like me and so most of my my character defects are my exact natures my wrongs was just I wanted to be loved and I didn’t know how to get that in honesty and so once I did finally get honest with somebody and they accepted me still it was a very overwhelming relieving experience I think that’s kind of what you’re talking about I’m not sure yeah now you say that that brought up that reading that opened up a line of thinking that really helps before recovery I guess I just thought I must be a shitty person or a bad person I didn’t really you know people would ask me all the time why do you do these things why do you you know lie and steal and manipulate you know you say you let’s be say my family like you say you love us and you say you care about us and I thought I did you know I thought yeah I love my family they helped me they take care of me but any chance I got I would lie or steal or you know I didn’t want to get caught I wasn’t trying to hurt them but I did it anyway and the best answer I could come up with was I’m just a piece of [ _ ] yeah I’m just a horrible person and you know I deserve whatever bad comes my way and once I did the step and answered the questions and realized oh you know I’m doing these things not just because I’m a terrible person but you know I’m hurt and I’m trying to get a relief or a need met and I’m just going about trying to get some relief or get a need met in a really shitty way like it seemed to put some concrete reasoning behind why I was doing what I was doing besides I’m just a piece of [ _ ] because if I’m just a piece of [ _ ] there’s nothing I can ever do to change that there’s nothing I can ever do to fix that I’m just stuck being a piece of [ _ ] the rest of my life but if there’s you know an underlying thought process or an underlying reasoning behind what I’m doing I can begin to change that thought process or that reasoning and I can find a different solution right right and I think that’s definitely part of this uh you know you mentioned that and and one of the quotes that I loved out of the fifth step was that uh these defects grow in the dark and die in the light of exposure and you know it’s kind of one of those cliches I heard a lot when I came around we’re sick as our secrets basically and I think that kind of talks about what you were just mentioning that once we expose these these parts of us that we’ve always tried to hide because they made us a shitty person per se like once we expose them and find the exact nature behind it that hey you did this because you were terrified people weren’t gonna like you or you did this because you couldn’t stand the pain you were living in and you were trying to escape from it for a while then we can start to see that there’s another way right and that’s how the the defect dies once it hits the light because now we learned a little more about it we learned that there’s other possible strategies for dealing with it than we were using and we don’t have to stay as sick as we used to be when we just believed that was the only way forward yeah for sure yeah it’s like you know that fear that I’m not gonna get what I need or I’m not gonna get what I want you know was driving me to do things that were against my morals and values you know once I learned that oh it’s these you know it’s it’s developing a new strategy to try to get those needs met you know it’s the key to this like what I was trying to do all along I was just having a bad solution to a problem you know I’m not seeing that it was a bad solution it was the only solution that I knew or the only solution that I saw was to whatever my cheat steal used people to get this need met now once I realize like oh this is a problem you know then we get into the next couple of steps of figuring out a solution yeah his character defects right what to do with them and so I think you know one of the things I wanted to point we talked about a couple a couple weeks ago we did step four I was telling him one of the things I hated in step four reading was that it says we no longer have to be afraid and I was really mad about that and so I had to point out that in this step it says we may find we’re feeling frightened at this point this fear is only natural how come last step we didn’t have to be afraid anymore and now it’s naturally bastards ah so another thing I thought was interesting it says the first thing we must realize is that the fifth step is not a quick fix for a painful situation if we work this step expecting our feelings to go away we are expecting the steps to numb us the way drugs did and I thought that was an interesting thing I don’t know I don’t know where that quote came from or who was thinking that I don’t know that I necessarily ever thought that but I just thought it was interesting that they felt the need to stick it in the middle of the reading as if it happened frequently all related to what I’ll say is like my religious experience is so I was raised Catholic and you have this you know give through confession in Catholicism if no one’s familiar with that it’s where you sort of go in with a priest and you go over what your bad things you’ve done either your whole life or since your last confession you go in you tell them all these things then he tells you what your penance needs to be what what your consequences of that are usually it has something to do with numbers of prayers or whatever and then you go out and you’re I I’m gonna probably butcher this but you’re freed of that sin and apparently you know absolved of that sin and I assume so you’re supposed to feel good about yourself again I’m not really sure and I think if you look at it from that context like that’s not what this is this isn’t a like I can go in I tell a sponsor or whoever all these bad things that have done and now the sudden I’m absolved of all that and I’m supposed to feel good about myself you know this isn’t this isn’t that process this is you know and uh awareness you know I’m becoming aware of why I do the things I do or or what’s motivating me to to be this bad person or commit these bad actions but it doesn’t just fix them like just talking about them and telling you all about them doesn’t make them go away you know again that’s where the next couple of steps come in is where I begin to look at okay so now I know you know sort of the underlying reasons why I was doing what I’m doing let’s get a little deeper into that into six and seven and start to realize okay you know these are the specific reasons behind that and these are some things I can do instead of doing those things like I think six and seven help give us a path forward five is really just sort of getting to and understanding I would agree with that the thing that made me think of kind of between the the quote and what you were saying is the times excuse me and step nine you know it talks about not jumping out there and and harming others just to be relieved of guilt right now like sometimes we just want to make that admission just to free ourselves from the burden of carrying it but sometimes we can do more harm than good in doing that and so it’s not about freeing ourselves a guilt it’s about you know dealing with the actual problem and probably during you know active use or acting out of any sort for me it was all about let me get this out and get the apology out so I can feel relieved even though my behaviors not gonna change whatsoever which is the true way I you know to lead me to feeling better about myself and so this quote kind of reminded me and with what you were saying like this isn’t just hey let me give this admission out into the world to this other person and my higher power and just be free of it like this is hey yeah I’m gonna make this admission but now the you know there’s some work in a process that starts from here to actually work on feeling better great I’m gonna make the admission basically in order to take ownership of it to take responsibility for it right right one of the things I did come across in looking at this is the thing I think you’ve mentioned once or twice on here about how you know Bill’s original intent of saying character defects at one point and shortcomings that another was just to not be repetitive even though there’s this like huge debate about whether that means more than that or you know if the defect is part of your personality or the shortcoming is the actual thing you did or I don’t know no I don’t think a whole lot of that really matters um for me at least I’ve never it’s one of those ones I never felt like in love with I never really liked the quote so much but probably because I couldn’t remember what the hell it was and so I got it but you know I did stumble across that again while I was looking for this stuff and one of the last things that really wasn’t that much about it one of the last things was it says and this isn’t a complete quote this is kind of built together from some different quotes but basically it describes what the exact nature is and it says the exact nature of our wrongs is our character defects what’s behind the pattern of our addiction or reasons we acted out in ways we did and one of the best things I found to deal with that and I have not done this in our program I guess to break my anonymity some more a lot of times when I’m in here I’ll say the other fellowship as if we’re like we’re in na and we can’t refer to these other fellowships like this is a podcast I can talk about whatever I want right so I did some some SLA a and si a and when I did a 4-step in there they gave you this chart right and you write down what it was that happened why it happened you talked about like what character defects were involved in the reason that happened and there was a place for what part of you had affected and this was like one of those interesting things that I don’t think I ever got exposed to in in na and it talks about it either affects your self-esteem your pride your emotional security your financial security your ambitions your personal relationships or your sexual relationships and so you actually had to figure out what part of you was affected by this and that kind of went into like did it hurt your pride did it hurt your ability to like have you know trust with people like it really delved into what part of this it it affected in you and then you know you put the nature of you’re wrong like what action or behavior caused it and what lied underneath of it and I just it’s like an interesting flow chart almost to see like okay well this yeah this affected my pride and that’s because I was selfish and wanted to look good in this situation with my friends and and this action didn’t allow me to and what it really came down to in the end was the self-centered fear that people wouldn’t like me right like and so that’s what I think while there’s a variety of different patterns we can establish what the exact nature I think for me ultimately it kind of comes down to self centered fear is the ultimate exact nature of everything for it that I do that’s negative you got any thoughts on that yeah that’s that’s pretty much what I was thinking to it I think I remember doing it through in a through the step working guide and I can’t specifically remember now but I almost remember writing it out in a flow chart like you’re saying like there was a number of questions where I almost had to make a list and then the next question I’d have to go back and refer to that other list and then the next question I’d have to go back and refer to the same list and I ended up doing almost you know an essence what you’re talking about almost like a flow chart with a similar like it ended up being a very similar process and yeah I think you know what a result of that came to be like the the core of our disease is this self-centered fear you know it’s it’s fear and

you know again I don’t know that coming to that awareness it didn’t fix the problem just be aware like oh yeah this is what’s at the core of my disease this is what’s at the core of Who I am yeah I’m with you I mean I still I still had the self centered fear after that like it didn’t go away but I think counter to what you were talking about earlier like this gave me the ability to see that I was operating from a skewed belief system right and that’s what was causing and I think the chart version of this step actually did that better than any other way I’ve worked it yeah in letting me see that like okay my belief system is if I’m you know honest with people they won’t like me that’s why all this trouble has been caused along the way like I can look back from the from the right side of the flowchart back to the where I’m acting out and it’s like it’s cause because I believe that people aren’t gonna like me like that’s the problem if I just would have not thought that like if that wasn’t my internal belief I’d have probably been fine I’ve never done that cruddy [ __ ] yeah and you know seeing like I would call it the the repeating of patterns in different situations you know and then realizing like oh yeah this is you know for I’m doing I’m say different things but all for the same reasons you know what I mean there’s all the same reasons behind what I’m doing and trying to get this need matter this you know seeking this love or seeking this approval or seeking this affection you know and I go about it through these lies manipulation but it’s it’s still seeking the same thing one of the things I was reminded of in in doing some of the research for this is the concept or theory that every human action is driven by one of two forces like you know you can always narrow them down to one of two forces you’re either living out of fear or you’re living out of love and I don’t I don’t know that there’s any provable scientific way to measure that or anything but I I think it is an interesting concept and it is you know when you’re living in love you’re probably not going to act on character defects or you’re not going to be manipulating or lying or trying to harm people but you know when you’re acting in fear that’s where a lot of this stuff comes from like I’m scared I won’t get what I want or I won’t get the outcome I want and so I’m forced to try to manipulate situations to get us there what what do you think about that idea that maybe there’s only real to innate drives yeah I think it’s pretty I mean at least for my application of recovery it’s pretty accurate you know that’s kind of the way that I’ve learned or try to practice living my life like am i reacting to things in in fear and let’s you know take this sort of current situation with this pandemic like if I’m making all my decisions based on like fear I isolate and get alone and I’m only worried about me and I’m not gonna have enough toilet paper and I’m not gonna be able to get food and I need more masks you know it’s like all that stuff there’s gonna be a shortage we’re gonna run out of whatever it is food respirators you name it whereas you know if we just think hey we all you know need to work together and and of course I’m gonna say this and it drives me nuts when I see all these stupid ads like together you know and bring this together like those ads are annoying but the truth is like I need to just have you know trust and faith and you know in essence try to love the people around me and do the best that I can to you know support my community my family my fellow coworkers taking personal responsibility

rather than coming at it from a place of fear yeah I think I think you definitely make a valid point for some reason when you were talking there I was thinking of all the people who have like done all these doomsday preparations and like stocked up on all this stuff and I feel like they’re the same people that don’t want to be quarantined at home right now now something that that made me think of too though you know we talked about everything coming from love or fear and so you know the core of our disease is self-centered fear and so we say love is the antidote for that but I know you and I kind of also believe that connectedness and connection to others because you know the disease is so isolating we kind of think of connectedness as part of a solution – so do you think our love and connection the same thing yeah well that’s I mean love you need other people you need those connections to love I mean you can’t love on an island I mean I guess you can but is it really doing any good if you’re just thinking out well wishes to other people I mean I think that more helps you than it helps the other person but you know hmm you know I don’t believe in sending good vibes uh

[ _ ] surprise I hope it really helps the other person it helps me if I was being honest like I think when I talk about praying for other people just in my belief I don’t think sending good thoughts out into the universe actually creates a result for you I mean opposed to being honest that’s cool novice that’s fair I I personally do believe it does create I don’t know if it creates a result I think it does something I’ll say that like people do feel so again this is where the connectedness part comes in I think people do feel loved like you feel loved when you’re in the presence of someone who loves you and maybe it’s only a subtle underlying thing but I believe most people can relate to when you’re around what I’ll call like creepy people or like shady people or you know just feel like this person does not have my best interest at heart and you might not you know feel a need to like harm them or run away from them I mean it’s it’s just a subtle underlying feeling but I think you get the same thing from people that love you as well it’s a subtle underlying feeling that you feel maybe a little safer maybe you’re willing to be a little more vulnerable maybe you’re willing to be a little more open and I think for me when I pray for other people or when I you know send good vibes or good thoughts to other people that’s what I’m doing is creating an atmosphere of safety maybe or openness or an environment where those things can flourish um but it doesn’t I guess like say wood it doesn’t create a result and create an atmosphere where those things can result interesting yeah now I’m definitely a believer in the vibes and I think if they’re you know low-level vibrations between people in a room I think they can also be pushed out into the greater world to change the course of it for in some way shape or form like you said I don’t know exactly how that affects the outcome per se but and that gets into uh there’s a version of meditation and we’ve talked about this before called Metta meditation and that is the goal of you know where I’m gonna say the goal there’s never a goal with a meditation but one of the the practices of this Metta meditation is to try to get ourselves in a I’ll say space or condition where we are sort of generating love good vibes good wishes towards all beings you know even down to insects and plants and you know that I believe connectedness is a key part of love like that’s how we express love that’s how we communicate love is through feeling connected feeling a part of feeling joined with other people other being other things ya know and so I think I’ve read about this meditation where people believe that when it’s done in like small groups like when a certain number of people or portion of the population is doing it that like crime and violence actually gets lower in the area they’re doing it in and I look I don’t want to pass on any bad information I don’t know that I’ve read any actual Studies on this but I it seems pretty seemed pretty realistic when they were talking about it maybe I’ll have to look into that and find out if there’s actual information on that where they’ve you know proven it I would love to prove me wrong so then I would have to try to change my stance on my love and good vibes actually creates results I mean I think I should whether I think it creates results still healthy Naya tivity well I mean I’m the one who read this a few years ago and yet I’m not meditating on lowering the you know violence in Cecil County maybe I should be and again I think the idea is that you’re you’re trying to through meditate through the meta meditation as you’re trying to build a connection with all people you’re trying to stop that idea that there’s an officer of them or that there’s a me and a you and it’s like know that there’s just in us you know there’s just a it’s in all of us and if one of us is suffering than all of us is suffering and if one of us is in harm then all of us are in harm and when we can grasp that you know sorta as a as a starting point it helps defeat the attitudes of well they’re just addicts who cares if they overdose you know well they’re just you know they’re just homeless pieces of [ _ ] I mean we’re better off without him anyway you know or when we’re coming to these problems of addiction and homelessness from the perspective of this is my brother this is you know another fellow human being who I care about then we’re more willing to sort of be looking for solutions that’s funny I like a picture when you were saying that there was a TV show Star Trek The Next Generation and they had like this alien race called the Borg and the Borg were where you know all one collective individual even though it was like you know thousands and thousands or millions of people but that it it’s what you were just talking about but maybe in not such a healthy way like they were pretty much taken over the galaxy but they had the right mentality I guess well you need that spiritual principle of love in there I don’t know if the board were very loving but that’s funny I don’t know I mean what’s do you have any final thoughts about step 5 and you know again I think for me it was definitely about sharing it with my sponsor it was about gaining the connection to another human it was about breaking that cycle of lying to people at least the first time through is really just about like hey let me break the cycle of trying to be liked and just give you what I got and hopefully you still like me like it’s trusting in the process yes so the only thing I would sort of question I guess see if you have any input on is why do you think it would be important that we admit it you know to three different people or maybe two people in ourselves like we say God you know to ourselves and to another human being like it’s pretty specific that it wants us to to make this admission you know I’m gonna say three times but in in three distinct ways you know it wants us to make this admission I don’t know if you had any thoughts on that I have a little bit but yeah I got a little bit too but the crazy part is when you just asked me that this came out of nowhere and I was thinking probably because they base this [ _ ] on Christianity and you know Judas was had to be questioned three times or some [ _ ] like that a New Testament and it’s probably all about that like oh you got to beat the the time where he failed it and sin yeah it wasn’t that a thing wasn’t it Judas who like got questioned and the third time he [ _ ] it up yeah yeah see I bet you that’s where this is and now they’re like oh you got a make up for your sins this Christian damn program now so I think from what I was reading admitting it to yourself like that’s the probably the biggest portion of it you know the self honesty has to come first I think admitting it to another person is a big part of being able to see the character defects or the exact nature I don’t I don’t know that I’m real good at this point in time when I’m working a fifth step at being able to see the exact nature behind everything I’m just kind of able to put it on paper and I think when I go over it with this another human being they’re better able to help me point out the exact natures behind some of this stuff so I think that’s crucial the god fing a what I read was yes God already knows it but we should still humbly like present it to him or whatever I’m not sure about that I really don’t know why that seems necessary and and B the other portion of that is I’m really confused about how people who don’t believe in a in a you know God person for them or their God their higher power looks way different how the [ _ ] does that work for them yeah how they so Circle bang a minute yes I believe that you know it was important for me to I’ll use the word admitted to myself but it was really just a matter of becoming aware of it opening my eyes to it and taking ownership or responsibility for it I also think that’s a big part of admitting it to someone else that other person as you had said they they helped me get a different perspective on it they helped me to one take responsibility for the things I need to take responsibility for but two they can help me to not take responsibility for some of the things that I was a victim of so like in my case I had to suffered some abuse and I had some weird feelings around that some things that I had sort of taken some blame some guilt shame and blame that I took from that that really weren’t healthy that really wasn’t a way to look at it and to have another person point out to me like no you were a victim in this you know you were someone did you wrong like yes you were harmed you were done wrong and so it was important to have another person help point out some of that because again if I only run with information that’s in my own head you know I’m very limited on my perspective and limited on my ability to see things and that other person can help point some of that out and then for me personally the god part and I definitely had a different relationship with God when I did it it you know that first time I had picked eclis taken my whole fourth step that I had written out I kind of sat down by myself it was on a camping trip with some other people in recovery and I sat down and basically burned it in a fire and said this was me like turning this over or giving it to God and it it was a piece of maybe going back to the Christianity thing it was almost like a piece of what I talked about with doing any confession when I was Catholic it was like letting it go saying all right all these things happened all of this is a part of who I am and what I was and I have to take responsibility for it but if I’m gonna try to change and move forward I can let myself go and let go of some of this guilt and shame and not have to hang to it and beat myself up for it like I’ve been doing for so long so for me that that admitting it to God was also like a turning it over process of letting go of it a freeing of it yeah I think that makes a lot of sense I was picturing maybe I should get into like a marijuana maintenance program and I could write my portions up on rolling papers nice symbolic way right now if you are right when you were high you have you know eight seven pages of this long quantification oh yeah yeah I think that’s a good point and just letting it go kind of way you know giving it to God is in it’s it’s not mine to deal with goes back to the old idea of like you know creating a guide box and kind of putting the things you worry about or you’re trying to control on paper and just putting them in the guide box so they’re not yours to deal with anymore I like I like symbolic gestures I think they’re useful sometimes to you know help us remember exactly what it is we’re doing so that that makes more sense about giving it to God than anything else I’ve thought of like I really don’t can’t see any other purpose you know the literature even mentions like well obviously if you believe in a God he probably already knows what you did so but how so how would you do that if you don’t they’ll have a God like I have a God I guess to say like Canada you don’t really necessarily have a God I think like I have a God nowadays so how would you do that now oh well again I would look at it more as a I am turning this over to a Power greater than myself like I don’t have the answers to this stuff I don’t have the solutions to this stuff I don’t know what to do with this this is Who I am with all my best information all my smart thinking all my best decision-making I’ve still in essence made you know this mess that is this fourth step that’s in front of me with all these character defects and shortcomings and arms and wrongs and assets you know because there should be some assets and stuff in there too but this is everything that I have this is the best that I have and it still falls short so I gotta kind of turn that over to a Power greater than myself because that power greater than myself is where the solutions are gonna come from a power outside of me gasps ooh hmm interesting yeah I’ve often wondered and you know I’ve known a couple of uh I guess atheists or agnostics or different types of individuals who don’t believe in a God similar to the belief I have and I’ve met them along the way I’ve never you know gotten intimately into asking them specific questions about steps but I do often wonder I’m like how in the [ _ ] would you do this without what about actually having like a God pictured in your head I don’t know how that would work well it’s I mean it’s similar to it lets you know just to circle back a minute to the like the Metta meditation thing it’s like when I meditate for like to send these loving vibes out into the universe like I don’t I don’t need a god or a deity to do that to you know what I mean like I am I am just sending these vibes well wishes good thoughts good out into the universe and trusting that when I put that out there to the universe that I will I don’t know that I’ll receive it back but I will definitely perceive it more become more aware of it that’s where my thinking will be more centered and I think this is similar in that I need to trust that I don’t have all the answers that I’m not the [ _ ] smartest person in the world that can figure it all out and come up to all the solutions myself like I need powers greater than me whether they come from you know 12-step meetings whether they come from revelations and come up in step work whether they come up in just a one-on-one conversation with a guy at my work that all of a sudden this new idea pops in because he says some offhanded comment and I go oh that’s interesting I’ve never really looked at that or thought about that that way like if I’m only relying on myself I will never be open to those those inputs from powers outside of myself so I think that it’s a little easier for me to understand your stance on it because while you might not have a specific ish God you kind of do believe in you know the energy of the universe to some extent or the vibes or things of that nature like I think I don’t know I want to say most but I often say most people and don’t know what the [ _ ] I’m talking about but I think there’s people out there that don’t really believe in that either like maybe the more logical like know we’re here because of a you know freak accident that we developed through and and there’s no vibes or energy like that and there’s no God and I just wonder frequently I’m like how in the hell some steps make sense like you have the group level power you know that’s bigger than you I get that and spiritual principles that’s bigger than you but how do you what are you gonna tell spiritual principles that you the exact nature of your wrongs like do you’re supposed to share it at the group level like I don’t know something that’s just weird and and some of I I book things just for the sake of language like say I have some hang-ups with like using the word God so much and things like that so I would definitely say that I have a dependence on powers greater than me in the universe you know what I mean I definitely think that’s for myself personally is important knowing that I am and even people don’t have all the answers and I do believe there is energy out there that there is I don’t know what you want to call it good energy bad energy you know I think those are things that exist yeah yeah I do too I’m uh and when I say you know my God or how my God looks like I don’t even know what the [ _ ] it’s not I don’t have any real specific God it’s kind of be God of the energy that’s out there really like maybe it is the energy that’s out there is what I think I don’t know so yeah I don’t particularly love the word God or using it because I feel like it just instantly conjures up Jesus for everyone and that’s not my goal like my goal is just to have a short three-letter one-syllable version of saying higher power somebody needs to create a better word for that I don’t know I don’t know you got anything else on step 5 uh no I will say this it you know just to wrap up I will did experience that after I did my fifth step you know with myself and my sponsor and my god it definitely took some power away from the bad experiences it took some of that negative energy away to the point that after that I was more open to share about different things in meetings I was more open to share my individual experiences you know as far as being abused and stuff one on one like those are things that had so much shame and embarrassment and guilt behind them up until that point and then after that point some of that seemed to go away and I was able to take those bad experiences and use them as more of a I’m gonna say a positive thing moving forward by being able to share them with other people and you know use it as as a moving forward point rather than being overwhelmed by guilt machine yeah I’m with you I think I think it did become you know the whole everything’s a lesson and a blessing or there’s a lesson and a blessing and everything you know definitely comes out sorry I would say I say that more for people that were like if you have a lot of fear about sharing it with other people like there are some good things that can come out it’s not just you know you’re not just opening yourself up like an open you know that wound will begin to heal and get better and you know in essence close up to where it’s it’s not so painful yeah yeah and I think you’re absolutely right I do remember feeling a huge level of freedom and free freeing how to say that I just there was something about this that brought a freeing feeling to me and it didn’t fix it all in one fail swoop like it mentions but it did really give me the ability to say damn well this worked I really want to continue living in a more honest and open way because I feel like the more I do that maybe the more it’ll work right like maybe the freer I’ll get kind of like how that you know that that first drug I used felt like it brought some freedom because it turned off some of that self-talk and that negative stuff like this was the same way it was like damn this this kind of did a little bit maybe I’ll chase more of this freedom and then you know then the program got really difficult because I had to work step six and that’s where it got hard yeah I remember everybody talking about four and six when I got here about being the hard ones and four I didn’t think was all that bad it was it was scary to own some of this stuff and to tell another person about it but six was like a [ __ ] pain dude six was where it got really hard for me that’s a tough step so sorry if you’re about to work six it’s hard I

will say that I have since we talked about step four I guess that’s been quite a few weeks I say my calendar I have a step work time on Monday nights and I’ve held faithful to putting an hour in at least each week and slowly but surely that is a long [ __ ] step in that version you gave me thank you but slowly but surely I’m getting it done and and one of these days we’ll be I guess we’ll be telling going over it possibly yeah yeah I tore the basic text somewhere it says you got to do it face to face on is that what it is I’m pretty sure the pastor’s they weren’t prepared for this moment that’s for sure so yeah I guess that’s about it we’ve we’ve definitely had our normal amount of time I did have a couple of other things to go back to the break and Quarantine idea but you know you you mentioned that’s probably gonna be on everybody’s minds for a couple weeks so I’ll save it maybe it’ll still be relevant next week just some interesting stuff I I’ve read and thought about that I think is neat to talk about and I’d like to get your take on some of it we’ll save it for next week maybe our topic next week will be breaking quarantine or something yeah maybe I’ll sneak it in the middle of the night and do like some night time breaking quarantine ops just for research I have a feeling over the next couple of days and weeks you’re gonna see that more and more breaking quarantine zazz as people get frustrated and fed up well we will we’ll have it to talk about I guess I don’t know all right so if that’s it then I guess it’s been another successful episode we’ve touched step five again that I guess we you know we got to stay doing this at least through December so we can hit all 12 steps so we don’t leave anybody hanging and we’ll do it again next week

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