30: How to Reopen Meetings and What’s the Responsibility of the Experienced Member? (Sort Of)

5/10/20 Quarantine ends for the recovery community. We discuss the push to start reopening the United States and what that means for the recovery community. How to start to open meetings back up, what that looks like, and how to make sure the website schedules stay up to date. Also some recap from Step 5.

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Transcript:

yeah we’ll figure it out

yeah so how’s your week been uh interesting i mean with you know everything going on with the the home group and i you know conflict uh so there’s there’s the the home group thing and then there was the facebook thing and both of those were i wouldn’t say the home group thing was conflicty but it was still not comfortable for me so it was awkward to sit with and just be a part of that um and that conversation just kind of completely died off yeah it’s like as soon as they you know made that comment or whatever i was like okay but uh yeah mostly good running push-ups you know sticking to the routine this is like my first week without having school or anything so that was kind of free oh what was the online thing did you get controversy online oh yeah on facebook man somebody tried to tell me i was uh seeking attention and i was a sheep and all this stuff on my facebook post i was like oh okay welcome to my world

well and then he told me he was done and then commented like three more times and so uh i finally answered and i never i don’t think i ever said anything rude i just you know continued to say hey i’m trying to be open-minded and kind here but you seem to be name-calling but then i made the last comment and turned the commenting off so he couldn’t [ _ ] her yeah yeah then he tried the facebook message you know no no some random dude no yeah it didn’t [ _ ] that well he was in the the be more recovery group or whatever that group is chaos yeah that’s a lot of people from many years so people yeah i’ve seen some awful fights and [ _ ] posted and it’s just yeah yeah i was boiling i was like shaking inside at one point having this interaction with this dude yeah i bet that sucks huh it’s kind of fun i mean was it one of you to post about like one of the questions about yeah it was the poll i took a poll about you know who’s uh staying home and following the orders who’s not at all and uh i don’t know he he said it was you know very biased and i i said it was i posted for fun not for to be biased right i don’t whatever you do but then he decided look if you want to be one of those sheep and the argument started he was trying to say he doesn’t want the government controlling his freedom and i said if the government doesn’t lock people down or put us in quarantine then companies with all the money control your freedom right like somebody’s controlling your freedom dude like if it ain’t the government it’s the companies who you didn’t elect and he couldn’t understand that concept and told me i was i none of my arguments made sense and i was illogical and i was a sheep and oh he’s a trump supporter for sure yeah i kind of gathered that you can always tell from the language like right away like i’ll trump support it yeah yeah we know and they’re not very smart well he’s he’s like swearing he did all his own research and all this stuff and i’m like [ _ ] you watch fox news give me a break right

what do you know about sciences right

that is crazy yeah sorry about that sucks man come stupid it’s still not fun to be attacked no right i was i had kind of a a rough morning that day too and i was like just shaking but i i was like i got to have the last word so that felt kind of fun and then he tried to facebook message me and i just ignored it and uh at this point it’s kind of entertaining yeah well we ended up doing our home group meet thing so that’s okay seven of us so we followed i guess well we were and i don’t know if we followed the rule because you’re not supposed to do gatherings but i don’t know if group therapy is considered essential who knows at this point what essential is i mean um but oh sorry we still did you know we had a laptop there and we did online and nobody joined the online we we opened it up for like the first 15 minutes and then even a couple of the other home group members that had been doing the online thing pretty regularly didn’t even come which we had told them all we were going to do it but i don’t know they didn’t come to the in-person the online meeting so but we did it and we figured if we meet again next week we’re going to do the same thing we’re still gonna have it online and open it up and at least start it that way and then if nobody shows up we’ll just close it now how does that work though if like if somebody was online is everybody gonna be able to hear them if they want to share uh i mean there’s just a laptop with whatever the laptop speaker is so right i mean they’ve done it in those halfway houses and [ __ ] you see them all sitting there looking at one laptop with stuff people in a room so yeah i just uh i don’t know i’m not sure because we didn’t have anybody come on right

my experience with that is that you can’t really hear the people when they sit back from the laptop and i can’t imagine i guess they can hear pretty well though they seem to be engaged yeah yeah i seen any problems when a lot of the meetings that i’ve been to there’s been groups of people in halfway houses together and then someone will come closer to share to the laptop this wednesday we’re having our meditation group at the recovery center outside in the back so yeah i saw that i saw i was just curious because some people had suggested doing that for for my home group for you know since they’re meeting outside just have you know have the online with that and i just could not picture in my head how that could be possible i mean they’ve got at least 15 people i’m imagining and if they’re all spread out how would you hear it how would you what are you passing a phone to each person who’s sharing and who’s mine to see if online people want to share and yeah well that’s what we did with like the laptop now it was just seven of us but like as we did the readings we just passed the laptop around and did the readings and like saying it up coming on so it ended up being a moot point but we figured we you know we were doing our part i guess you would say we still had the meeting and we did all the readings and did it like a regular meeting so

but yeah we passed the laptop around each person and then since nobody was on we didn’t really do that for the sharing part because we didn’t have to i’m picturing passing the laptop spreading the uh the covered less than six feet when you’re handing it off yeah oh that’s okay i have the people well one of the guys in the home group has been using so that’s who cares about cogan you know right and then uh the other guy’s one of those like [ _ ] people who doesn’t want to wear a mask and been walking into stores with no mask on fighting with all the clerks and [ _ ] really which yeah which i don’t get that why not just wear a mask [ __ ] that fast i’m not wearing that man that’s stupid okay so dope

i just can’t i don’t know i can’t get over that stuff either yeah i don’t i don’t understand i mean what’s the big deal but what do i know so

what i have uh not there not there um we got a poll that we put on twitter uh which is you know somewhat similar to the one we put on facebook just basically asking how strictly people are following quarantine because the idea i thought we were going to come up with was sort of what are what are we doing now right like i hear a lot of people wanting to meet up in person and and change what they’re doing a little bit instead of just the online meetings um so i was i figured i’d put the polls out there on facebook and twitter and get an idea of what they were doing but now with the the turn of my home group meeting in person uh like tie that all together somehow of

how that’s working and my home group’s meeting in person yeah and and what’s and and and kind of along with you know what’s the job of the experienced member i think i don’t know when i saw this topic come up in all the uh recovery groups man people just freak out against it meeting in person i mean to the point of like violent talk you know what i mean like you’re putting everybody at risk how dare you be so selfish and all this stuff and not even thinking about the perspective of the people who want to meet in person is like totally clues to that conversation or that side of it and then that was in the beginning of everything shutting down and now that it’s coming to this side there are a few more people speaking up for meeting in person but the backlash is pretty severe i was like he wants to talk about that [ __ ] so we just we just do it don’t talk about it we’re just meeting in person and you know it’s time for your discussion for your opinion is what we’re doing you know what i think it was talking about for us to talk about it here today

well yeah yeah and i but i mean i i think you make a valid point in the beginning it was definitely off limits like you couldn’t say anything about it and i feel like there’s quite a few of those people have settled down and decided that this has gone on long enough and they’re bored with it and now they want to go out and meet in person and it’s a little more acceptable now to say um uh just to let you know before we even start i’m not a fan of us going back out in person yet personally but you know i’ve read some good stuff about how everybody’s got their own thing and

it might not be right for everybody just yet and so you’re trying to go with that i guess uh i don’t necessarily feel like i think it’s stupider i’m sick of it i think for me personally it’s getting to the point like all right i don’t think this is as serious as they said it was going to be i mean yes people are dying but you know is us all staying home helping that annie i mean i don’t think it really is i think i don’t know i think it’s unnecessary i think somebody’s super important has got to die for people to be scared likes trump or whatever it’s in the white house but if nobody dies from the white house there everybody’s gonna be like see it’s not a big deal and somebody famous has to die not from old age and coveted but from cozy for people to really take it serious well and that’s like one of my fears they’re talking about some of the children have been affected there’s been like five kids in new york who get caught some strange thing they think is a byproduct of this and they’ve all died and they’ve also i think they died did they die no five of them have died now um started with a five-year-old i believe millions how many millions of people live in new york city no no i agree but i just they’ve also talked about what we what we don’t know is like the long-term things like if you catch covet now what does that do for you in 20 years right nobody saw the covenant did you see the cove yeah no i didn’t see that one so people who have had it and didn’t you know had mild symptoms people your age um then around the ninth or tenth day that they’ve had it where they would actually test negative four have for having coveted they get this um infection in their toes and they call it covetous crazy and but that’s point part of your point of like we don’t know what yeah and the truth is even with all that when we watch the article the girl who they say had this you know covetous or calling covetous she never once ever tested positive for coven it’s not like she had it and they know she had it she just has some symptoms you know cough and all that stuff and they got your thing in her toes they’re like oh you definitely had it uh this is a complication of covet even though you tested that you gotta give me thank you and it’s like now it’s like all right are we just linking any [ _ ] random weird health thing and saying it’s a coveted related thing because she had a cough and some flu like symptoms for a couple days and now her toes are all itchy and red and so that’s covetous it just that’s that’s where you start to lose people like myself like okay this is getting like now we’re just making [ _ ] up and trying to drive fear into people to try to stay home and so now i don’t believe a lot of what you’re telling me i don’t see it i’m not seeing it in my community i’m not seeing it in anyone that i know you know but i’m suffering all these you know ill effects and i can tell you this that we’ve had double the rate of overdose deaths than coveted in our county i mean since this started and we’ve got to have meetings for people who need it and risk them getting sick of covid but at least do what we can it’s an essential service we’re losing more people from overdose than covet here yeah i mean maybe we should be doing this for the show possibly possibly i thought this was the show no no we’re just bs right now this is good stuff right i read an interesting thing uh san francisco they did a study they just like randomly tested 4 000 some people and and their positive rate was only like 2.6 so they were testing oodles of people but 90 of the people that tested positive all had one thing in common and that was they were still going to work and i was like huh shocking i guess we are actually flattening the curve right like people who stay home don’t get it well we’re all going to have to get it until they get a vaccine i mean we all have to slowly get it and either die from it or you know recoup it’s unless hopefully they’ll get better treatment that we can hold out from going out and they’ll get better treatments and maybe a vaccine but we just should look at we’re all going to get it and it’s whether we’re going to survive it or not you know i don’t think i’m leaving the house until y’all all get it and then there’s nobody left to give it to me

uh so okay we uh we got we got the poll on twitter the poll on facebook uh we got i did i posted it into the susquehanna group on facebook we got a instagram uh so messaged us on instagram and said they were listening to us have you do you know us no i probably shouldn’t have said the whole name since i probably post this on youtube oops anyway uh she listens i thought i was just hoping she wasn’t local honestly that’s good that you don’t know somebody we don’t know um so we got that that that and then i guess the polls will lead into the home groups and do you think this even fits in in the same category as like meetings that decide they’re going to have meetings in the back of the meeting and is that like a similar thing

oh i think generally i mean it all kind of starts to fall under what is group autonomy you know and i mean i guess technically we could be getting into is it group autonomy if you start doing like illegal [ __ ] i mean is it illegal to have meetings now and are we doing illegal things and is that group autonomy

i think the most recent thing the governor said was uh we’re going to start to try to open back up slowly but surely and he did allow groups of less than 10 to meet in public six foot apart um that would still make my home group illegal i believe yeah i don’t know that you could even say that we’ll always be less than 10 people you know what i mean like you’re talking about a recovery meeting where you i mean and then that’s the whole thing do you start turning people away oh we’re at 10. sorry you can’t come in there’s a petition sent to governor hogan that was signed by all kinds of recovery organizations i don’t know if you saw that you know linda from acr in hartford county sent it to us and voices i hope signed it um john torres foundation all that incentive sometimes look man people are dying and we need to make this an essential service so i know that governor hogan had he hasn’t mentioned it but um on his uh releases but i know that it’s in front of him that you know this is happening that we need this and so maybe if it was illegal and you got charged you know nobody would be prosecuted

yeah i don’t know it’s it’s so tricky though it’s so tricky that we can like who gets to pick which vulnerable population is allowed to die right if we let people meet in public we’re kind of saying oh the people who are vulnerable to covet [ _ ] them they’re gonna have to catch it and maybe die at one point the cool thing is it’s an individual choice so if you are a person in recovery who has a vulnerable person at your home we’d hope that you’d take your own personal responsibility to not go to an in-person meeting but if you felt like your recovery was at risk and if you would die if you think you’re going to use your whole family’s at risk you if you’re not around because of drug use because overdose deaths are on the rise you have to make a personal choice and i think that family might say give it a [ _ ] need man if you’re gonna use because we we need you for the long haul but it’s a personal choice and that’s what i like to lean to it’s a personal choice and a personal responsibility and nobody should take that choice from people um so i just think it’s interesting though like i wonder and i have seen you know a lot of people equate that there’s been a rise in overdose deaths i don’t know that there’s been a rise i’ve seen maybe a few extra posts about missing people on facebook than i normally do it seems like i always see them being i have a lot of dundalk and baltimore people so it’s like it’s almost a daily occurrence anyway even without this we have access to uh some data through cecil county that they kept on overdose deaths and overdoses since march the fifth they had this new data system and it tells you how many overdoses how many deaths you know where they even have pictures of the bags that kill them if they are still around and um so in 2019 and 2018 we had about 57 58 deaths right and that’s about one a week and then it’s march 5th to may may the 3rd i think it was uh we had two deaths per week um and that’s double the normal average for that whole span so we only had eight deaths of covid because you can see that on cecil county health department website we had 16 deaths of um of overdose deaths and which is high for cecil county you know um even though we’re highest per 100 000 people in the whole state anyway the past couple years that’s still high for us so it’s in the data and uh we should make decisions based on that data you know and and i’m hearing you and i’m hearing you i’m just curious that i’m i’m looking at like and look you know addicts are near and dear to my heart too obviously uh being one of them i don’t want to be the guy who says ah [ _ ] let him die for sure i’m just looking at okay we we if we stay the way we are maybe we lose people right of this community but if we say okay 12-step meetings are essential things that we can start doing them again and then how many people do we lose that don’t know they had an underlying condition that do catch something right or who weren’t were early in their recovery and needed that meeting but who ended up taking it home to an elderly parent like how many people were removed by byproducts one of the solutions though is to like we talked about uh voices is like everybody who comes gets a mask we have plenty of masks that we’re doing to tell us we’ll make sure everybody has a mask that they sit six feet apart that there’s hand sanitizer by the coffee pot and wipes for antibacterial wipes so that you know the chances of getting it at that meeting are low but it still goes back to personal responsibility people like you are not going to go to the meeting people who feel secure in their recovery will go to that meeting but um anybody who doesn’t like it won’t go but there are some old-timers man that are like they don’t know technology you know um they have they’ve been calling in and they their recovery for years has been about face to face they don’t even ever use the phone really and everything’s been turned upside down um and it’s been going on for so the first couple weeks i know a couple people with a lot of time they didn’t go to any meetings you know at all you know for the first few weeks and then if they were lucky enough to have some connections with people as people started calling them the two people that i’m thinking of that have that are older that have double digit time uh people started calling them and saying look we need to help you overcome these barriers and learn this technology and got them in but it’s still you know when you’ve recovered for years a certain way and then that that system has been cut off i mean it’s been putting people not in risk of overdose but all kinds of mental health challenges and yeah so me opening the meetings up is just one piece but to me a community needs to rise up and be like we need crisis services man we need a place to open all the time that people can call that you know we need to be responsive not just sit back and be like we’ll see how this plays out you know how many people are going to die from this or that but this is one thing i didn’t want to do i didn’t want to come on the podcast and make it my voices this is the [ _ ] i talk about every day am i you know i’m like well it’s interesting to hear like your take and then to hear um jesse fairchild who owns bodhi who is a huge believer in mental health and services for the community and and like a champion of all those things and to hear her say we’re shutting down and not seeing people in person because we’re supposed to guide the community and how to do this right without panicking and so to see the steps she’s taking in place of that’s what i mean we have teletherapy just like we have video meetings but she will not bend on having people in the office because it’s too dangerous and that’s where she’s stood from week one and so it’s just interesting to see two different there’s a business that has appointments anyway nobody you guys don’t go out in the community you’re not doing outreach it’s a community you make a meeting you call and you have an appointment kind of business um and if you’re taking away something but you’re bringing something else that’s okay but in the community that recovery and people with substance use they shut down what’s it they shut down state-run inpatient treatment they didn’t replace that with anything there’s longer lines so then voices stepped in we’re like we’re taking advantage of the lowered dea restrictions and we’re making we’re helping people get suboxone while they’re waiting for their treatment bed this is our crisis center you know and i know this isn’t i don’t know but we we’re doing crisis services without the money you know because we’re responsive to we’re responding to what is happening and um i believe that if you take something away you gotta bring something else in and look at everybody but every every every little thing helps though you know what i mean like everybody that’s doing something different uh i appreciate you know so yeah i wasn’t so much talking in response to the the crisis services more in response to the meetings like she had the same fears and and there was a loss of clients who you know were like no we only do face-to-face therapy we’re not doing and that was a fear of like oh well if we do online you know these people could we could lose people to to for life not just people who come here like they could commit suicide because they don’t get their mental health therapy weekly and but i don’t know just interesting um but yeah we probably should get to the the podcast billy looks ready over there yeah well i was reading comment i was looking at the facebook stuff i figured it’s easier to do it on my phone with her and i’m both sitting here so gotcha gotcha uh so i figure we’ll start i’ll hit the instagram thing and and thank the person oh i didn’t we’re we’re close to a a new logo too i don’t think i sent that over to you i just got it last night

it’s kind of like the one i had sent you already oh yeah just uh you know a little less cluttered and square i can’t where did you find this person to do this one uh like a friend of a friend um which is nice but it’s also hard when people do things as favors because then you can’t ask for as much right a little trickier but this is generally see if i can get that up there

oh yeah that’s pretty cool

so we’re closed apparently the name is going to get fixed and it’ll be something like that with our name on it and i think it’ll definitely do the trick for now who the hell is that friend request to me what’s their problem um all right you ready yep all right here we go

all right welcome back this is recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy who likes long john silvers and i’m billy i’m a person in long-term recovery and today we uh you know in honor of mother’s day have brought on billy’s wife jen hey everybody i’m jennifer billy’s wife uh she is a mom so she is here today uh my wife is currently with the baby who would you know completely ruin this audio and i could not have that happen um so before we get started today we’re going to talk a little bit about um you know what’s going on obviously with coronavirus quarantine things starting to open back up how that’s going to look in the recovery community how that’s going to cause some confusion i remember early on when we were switching from in-person meetings to online meetings billy had voiced a concern about you know how are people going to know where to find us when they come out of treatment centers and and how will they know where to look and i feel like we made that switch good and now i’m almost more concerned about the switch back to face-to-face meetings and how that’s going to look and be confusing and and how online places are not going to be able to keep up with what meetings are switching back to open and which ones aren’t and what rules go with it so that’ll be interesting uh and i think we’re going to kind of talk about that aspect of you know the the slow opening of the world and how it affects us and also you know what’s the job of the experienced member in all this and and how do we guide it and how do we do it safely and and all those kind of things before we get to that we did have a message on instagram this week from stephanie she said hey guys i just started listening to your podcast and it’s pretty fantastic appreciate the honesty and application of principles to daily life thank you for your shares have a kick-ass day so thank you stephanie that was nice nice yeah thank you much appreciated um we did post about step five uh a little bit uh i had asked online if there was a normal person equivalent to step five like what a what would a normal person do that would be similar because i you know billy we we’ve kind of been explaining these steps to the normal person somewhat like since early on and i i don’t think we actually did that with step five i think we kind of forgot yeah i mean the closest i could think was like say the catholics do the confession type thing but i i don’t know if normal people have a way to talk about how people they are maybe they just gotta swallow and that’s what we that’s what i was trying to find out when i posted i try to you know get some information when i post these and and actually uh jen who’s sitting next to you you know was was having a little bit of part of that conversation and also uh patty was in it and i mentioned therapy and patty had mentioned therapy at one point and i i do i don’t know like that’s kind of different but you also do kind of get a chance to share your dirt at the same time i know that’s not really the goal of therapy it’s not just to go in and share your dirt but i kind of feel like that’s a trusted place where you’re able to be more you know i could probably tell my therapist some stuff that i couldn’t tell a lot of people like well i guess i’m in a unique position being a in recovery that i tell people most of my stuff anyway but yeah i feel like it’s safe like she’s not going to judge me i’m paying her to not judge me right yeah yeah i’ve only had limited exposure to therapy so i don’t really know i’ve had a lot of exposure to therapy and nobody’s ever asked me to share my patterns or delve into that or you know um because honest and thorough with uh the exact nature of my wrongs um but i do you know i remember patti saying on there that she had a therapist that was in recovery and uh so if you have a therapist that has that experience and knows what’s what the gist is for that but generally my therapist uh you know dealt with what is going on right now they never really went into the past to see patterns except for maybe what traumatic experience might have happened to me but they didn’t ask about my part in it so much and that’s what the steps kind of demand is like looking at things from my perspective some of the lies i told myself you know for a long long time and then uncovering them and sharing it with somebody else but it’s my experience now i got you uh and and i definitely think there there’s you know quite a few different kinds of therapy and therapists that come from different angles and work on different things a lot of the more modern therapy where it’s you know cbt or solution focus really doesn’t delve into any past issues at all um it’s almost unfair i don’t want to get too far off the grid with this but so psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy was more involved in like the childhood aspect of it and your patterns and all that and because they couldn’t research it well they it doesn’t stick around and so now they teach more the cbt and the solution focus because there’s research that shows that it works which is great but i don’t i don’t think that the connections piece didn’t work i just think it was hard to show with research and that’s kind of a complaint of a lot of therapists is that it’s hard to show but it really is useful to form bonds with people and talk about their past yeah well maybe that’s aren’t you paying a therapist to help you figure out what’s wrong with you maybe they don’t want to know what you think is wrong with you because you’re paying them to figure it out i think most people go to therapy because something’s wrong right now and if you don’t if therapists don’t get in there and connect with what’s wrong right now news people it takes that’s you know if you’re going four times in a row and you still haven’t gotten any peace right now them keep going is not good if you’re going to therapy and you want change in four weeks good luck that’s all i’m saying it took me at least a year and a half but think about it what spurred us to go to therapy it was some sort of crisis it wasn’t like i mean from my experience you know i was like i don’t need therapy until i really needed it and then i was like please help me right right no no you’re right um so yeah that was uh that was basically what it said we were just trying to talk about what step five could look like for the the normal person and any insight into that we came up with therapy confession uh things of that nature i think you know there was this point early in my recovery my my sponsor my first sponsor he made this point to me he’s like man we we do things in recovery and we just think they’re the most incredible things that have ever been done in human history he’s like and you look outside like normal people do them all the time and i’m like what are you talking about and he’s like well think about it we teach each other to like when we’re going through something to pick up the phone and call somebody he’s like that’s what regular people do they pick up their phone and call their friends and so i i think that might be maybe it’s not quite confession but i do think the goal is to have close friends you can call and talk to about what you’re going through uh and that you know it’s a little different than step five in the sense of there’s more to it about getting patterns and establishing that but just in the fact that you can share it and not hold it in i think that’s a key piece too to experiencing some freedom yeah and i think with most addicts at least we share a lot of uh that underlying like guilt and shame and embarrassment stuff that we don’t want to talk about making mistakes or you know falling short or whatever whereas probably i would guess most normal people that aren’t overwhelmed with those negative feelings probably feel a little safer to go to their friends and say hey you know i did this or you know they’re a little more open to talk about those things because they don’t have all the overwhelming fear shame or is it that yeah they don’t feel like we feel like i think addicts feel exponentially so when they do something shitty they don’t it doesn’t bother them and plague them for life like it does us like you know we sit and ruminate and relive it and relive it and it [ __ ] us all up today but normal people are like i did that move on

i had an argument with a guy in an online uh forum in like i don’t know 2004 and i still have a great comeback that i wish i could go back

that bastard um so on on twitter uh for this week’s topic at least to get it started we asked how strict is your quarantine um and of course you know my options are never super clear it’s never like laid out hey these are the exact descriptions of what i mean it’s just little short quips to uh you know kind of give you the gist and so the three options were what’s quarantine i break for pleasure or buy the books um and and again i think we’re going to see a difference here just like we did last time billy with it’s almost like the twitter uh people we have or or are associated with are more progressive i guess or progressive thinking and i don’t mean that in like progressive like that’s a better way just that category of people um so they had 38 votes total 60.5 said by the books um so more than half of the people are doing this to the letter which i i think is mind-blowing for me i’m doing it well but i’m not doing it to the letter by far yeah i’m definitely not doing it by the books for sure and i don’t know in this community i would say most people aren’t doing it by the books no one i know is like yeah just stay at home and do nothing um the other thing i hear on the news a lot is that they say a majority of the country wants to stay in lockdown or you know wants to stay with restricted measures the social distancing and that sort of thing and of course those news polls are always suspect too they say a majority of the country you know wants to you know is worried about opening up too quickly opening things up and the virus spread but at least in this immediate community around the people that i’m around it’s i bet you less than 10 people you know wants to stay in quarantine or in all this restrictive i mean all the people at my work everyone’s like oh let’s you know let’s just get back to normal let’s get back to opening people that i know in recovery all seem to be i mean you’re probably one of the people that i know that is more concerned or a little bit slower moving and then i have another friend who’s a little bit uh more concerned who wants things to move a little bit slower but i think everyone else i know is like yeah [ _ ] this let’s just open back up and get moving curiously is is all the other people you’re talking about knowing are they all still working yeah it’s funny when i said that i just thought about um like all the people at my work for example like that’s because we’re still going out every day and doing solar our normal stuff so it’s like why are we doing this quarantine thing when we have to go out and work and go to the store and um i would say yeah probably most of the other people that i know are still working yes that’s like a behavioral psychology right uh if there’s no reward or punishment when we go out the first time then we’re not going to be worried about going out the second time like it’s just the human nature that’s like reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about addicts who are new in recovery and it says like what’s the worst thing that can happen when you if you try going to a bar and the worst thing that can happen is nothing you know because then you think you’re all right to go a second time yeah and so it’s just it’s interesting i i i mean i agree i think there are a lot of people in this community that probably feel different than the national average um but i would also say that like hey i’m not asking a lot of people i’m not going door to door in poland right i’m only asking the immediate people in my vicinity a lot of people in this day and age just don’t want to argue or talk or think differently and so they won’t even really express an opinion contrary to whatever you’re expressing at the time i’ve noticed um and so i don’t i don’t really know i mean i couldn’t even tell you honestly i walk my block or i call it a block in front of city sorry i walk the street in front of my house uh every day just about every day at least six days a week and i couldn’t even tell you which neighbors go to work and which ones don’t and which ones are like following rules and aren’t i have no [ _ ] clue so i i really don’t know what my general neighborhood’s doing yeah that’s true and probably most of the people that are following the rules strictly i’m not really talking to because i don’t see them right they’re just staying home you know right interesting so there wasn’t really uh there wasn’t really any comments there was one uh addictivist said it’s pretty strict not by the books though i might go hug a tree later and so uh i kind of feel that i’m i’m i mean look as the guy who says he’s he’s wants to do this very slowly and isn’t ready to do it uh i’m not following this by the perfect books like i have deviated when we go to walmart for groceries i’ve skipped on over to the pain aisle to do a little paint chopping right like i’m not it’s not all perfectly essential i mean for the most part we’ve done well um but i’ll say right now as a as a disclaimer for anything i say for the rest of this podcast my family is going to see my mother today my mother still works at a grocery store so like for all the i’m staying home that i give you i am breaking the rule today so you know take everything i say with the marina you just spray everyone down with lysol i’m just gonna i’m gonna drink it that’s my drink for the day you gotta get it inside you somehow um yeah right and then getting the sunlight so to move over our tree without getting a sunlight there you go yeah it’s perfect uh so we posted a very similar uh poll on you know on facebook and so it said so at first it seemed that society was really shaming people who went outside and now it feels like there’s a shift towards ending quarantine with many people strongly desiring to have face-to-face meetings and this i put i said it’s not about judgment i wish it could be done anonymously i tried to figure out a way to do this poll anonymously but i couldn’t um it’s just to get an idea of where people were who were willing to answer this and i put that there’s no right and wrong nobody has the real answer and so the options on this one were mostly following quarantine but venturing out a bit totally following the governor’s orders don’t care about any silly rules and then there was a fourth option that nobody picked which was meeting up with people in public which i thought was interesting but so mostly following quarantine but venturing out a bit had 57 people and then totally following the governor’s orders had 13 and then don’t care about the rules at all had six

and so what’s what’s your take on that that’s a little different than the twitter poll these people are not perfectly following them yeah and i i mean i think that is a more probably regional i would say since it’s the group it’s in is more local to this area versus twitter which is a little more global and uh at least like i think the infections in your local community have a big part to play in how you feel about some of this too for example as we’ve talked about before in this rural area we’re not seeing a lot of people that are infected or sick or dying we aren’t seeing this you know hospitals being overrun um at this point like we talked about last week still i think you said you knew maybe one or two people but i don’t know anyone who has been infected with covet and of people i’ve talked to and asked i don’t know anyone who’s been infected with it let alone someone who’s been incredibly sick or died at least that knowingly thinks they have it almost everyone i talked to thinks they had it at some point or another but you know oh back in january i had this cough back in february i was feeling this you know so i think i had it get a ton of that you know yeah i think in part is a mental trick to justify ignoring some of the governor’s orders like what he had it so i’m good so i can go out because you know i think that’s a little bit of mental masturbation on justifying your own ignoring the rules um and i’m probably guilty of that too but yeah just we don’t see a ton of infections and sickness and death in our area so it’s hard to take it completely serious yeah i mean i i i could see that now this is just to clarify this isn’t the susquehanna group that i took this poll in this was in the group but it’s still the greater baltimore area that was talking about right yeah uh twitter again like you said more worldwide a lot of our friends on twitter are from the uk i don’t know [ _ ] why but there’s a lot of you know british alcoholics that like us for something but yeah so maybe uh maybe europeans follow the rules better i don’t know like maybe there’s an entitlement that we have as americans that we can just do what the [ _ ] we want i did hear that at some of the scandinavian countries they trust their government a little bit more and they’re a little more socially responsible than us in the united states um i don’t know specifically about england they were talking about scandinavian countries right so here’s my question and this is probably going to get us off track like always uh i don’t necessarily trust my government that well but i do feel like those are the people that we elected to do our job for us right those are the people we elected to protect us and if they aren’t making the rules about this quarantine and who can stay home then the people with all the money that are paying you at your job are deciding whether you’re fired or not for not coming in so it’s like i i do trust the government more than i trust the people with the money who i didn’t elect what’s like i don’t get that like if you don’t trust the government who are you trusting

um well i mean i think at this point i’m trying to trust my own best judgment you know what yeah it boils down to i guess this wasn’t so much for you specifically but more in a sense of like for the people who really just don’t trust their government to the point of they’d rather not have the government interfere as they say what does that look like isn’t somebody running their life isn’t somebody setting the rules that they play by like they’re not uh i think yeah that gets into a whole discussion on whether we’re just puppets being controlled by you know the system or not but what i’ve seen and i do understand this point of view from some people is with all these rules and executive orders and this place can be open and that place can’t what you get is the a government overtaking of what most people feel like are fundamental rights and that now all of a sudden you know i am not allowed to make decisions on you know we let people go out and smoke we let people go out and drive cars we let people you know live off mcdonald’s cheeseburgers and fatten themselves up to 700 pounds you know we don’t start putting all these rules and lulls in place to keep people from killing themselves we let people go bungee jump you know what i mean there is a high level of danger in skydiving bungee jumping motorcycle racing you know all these things that you know we just say hey we have freedoms in this country we let people do what they want now all of a sudden we’ve said whoa wait a minute uh you might be risking your own life or risking someone else’s life so you can’t do this anymore well driving you know there’s a high risk of dying when you go out and drive and not necessarily that you might do it on purpose it could completely be an accident even completely something outside of your control but if we just stop everyone from driving those deaths would go way down i mean and so when you see stuff like this that doesn’t seem as extreme as they thought it might have been in the beginning or it feels like it’s not as extreme as they thought it might have been in the beginning now i’m starting to be like oh so you just get to take away some of my rights because you think it might possibly harm someone like and now i lose my individual freedoms for the sake of other people like that doesn’t seem fair and i want to add that you know if you shut it down and i’m just going to kind of brainstorm with you here for a minute if you shut it down and you tell everybody all right now you got to go get government assistance and you’re shutting down somebody’s business that they use to feed their children and then you make them go on a system that is defunct like it doesn’t work and it’s only limited and then it’s like you’re the government’s saying you got to depend on the government to pay your bills and feed your kids now for a little bit you know and then there’s systems that aren’t working and then there’s that thought of who’s paying this bill this trillion trillion trillion dollar bill that they keep giving out it’s just being put back on the debt of the nation on top of debt on top of debt and they’re like this is not capitalism you know what i mean and throughout time there has been plagues and things that have gone through the people and yes we don’t want people to die we want to see these things go through the fda and vaccinations and things happen but you can’t you know people are going to resist saying you have to live off the government that’s not meeting your needs for an unlimited amount of time and say it’s to protect these people that aren’t even maybe in your family that’s hard thing to to chew on and um in america you know what i mean so i see where people are like okay we we did this for a couple months now and the unemployment system that the gov that maryland set up is still not working right and now it only pays for the rent from my past two months what am i gonna do now the ppp is only for nine weeks what are we going to do after that runs out are you just going to keep putting it on the national debt that that bill’s got to be paid um so these are some questions that i know conservatives and a lot of those are business owners in our community are thinking about they’re like forget this buddy when we have eight people who died in cecil county in two months let me feed my family by having my business preview open you know i don’t know no and all valid points i do think i read the other day we’re up to 13 um but still a pretty low number for the area and yeah i mean people have a right to their opinions their thoughts how this negatively affects them i think just a i think the other side of the story is yes people don’t want their freedoms taken away but the first thing like we’re guaranteed because we always like to bring up the constitution is like the pursuit of life right and so we don’t we don’t tell people they can’t do things that harm themselves but we do limit their ability to do things that will harm others um you know we used to let people smoke everywhere but do we at the organization level we have these rules that you can’t dump pollution out and people organizations do it they get a fine you know what i mean it’s personal and these are the corporations just getting a pass you know i don’t know it’s just all these questions and i i’m one of those people that says historically the government hasn’t had the average man’s best interest at heart and there’s so many cases where we have should have questioned and um you know i don’t know there’s a balance to it all and i think not only that but if you’re if you’re high risk or you’re highly worried about it no one is stopping you from taking all the precautions you want and you’ve got i mean you can as an individual you have the right to stay home and figure those things out and shouldn’t unemployment be for those people not everybody because there’s somebody’s got to pay that it’s not a sustainable system well and that’s the thing and that’s what i was getting at with if if the government doesn’t step in and say hey people are allowed to or forced to stay home then the business you’re at yeah you might be a vulnerable population but you also might not have a job because you don’t show up to work right so now you’re out of a job maybe nobody else is going to hire you because you’re in your upper 60s and you can’t live off like the government’s not going to afford they might pay you unemployment for now they’re not going to for the rest of your life so now what you just need to take your life into your hands and go to work if we said unemployment is for the elderly and the vulnerable and people who are concerned about their families and paid them this extra six hundred dollars a week i mean how many more people we protect them for how much longer than trying to say all these people have to get it you know it’s it’s not sustainable right like maybe we can do a better job at protecting and helping the vulnerable and at-risk versus trying to take care of everyone you know including the people that would go out and work it would rather be you know doing something else yeah yeah i mean i i don’t i’m just looking at like the whole reason i think we did this was to keep the the emergency rooms and ventilators from getting overwhelmed right it wasn’t like to really stop people from getting it and i think we’ve done that i think we’ve done a great job at it i just i fear to open back up instantly like would be hey what the hell we’re going to overwhelm the system again like we beat this and then we decided not to beat it or something yeah i’ve heard some economists talk about something similar to you said last week along those lines when you had said i guess at that last 1918 pandemic thing that the states that opened more slowly had better economic recovery isn’t that what he said so actually two different economists this week talk along a similar line and say that if we just open back up but everyone is super fearful then people still aren’t going to go out and shop at least not enough to really bring the economy back to where it was so you know these you would hope that the free market would work in this case and the businesses that are taking more precautions more responsibilities being more uh safe if you will that people would feel more comfortable shopping at those places versus the places that are ignoring some of the health concerns yeah and so there’s probably a billion uh podcasts right now debating the merits of opening back up versus not uh i don’t claim to be any expert you know i read a little bit of information i try to take in a little bit of every side and and do the best i can with that doesn’t make me the end-all be-all of great information um for sure i i do try to count on some experts so why don’t we take our break right here and then we’ll come back and we’ll discuss the merits of how this affects the recovery community more so um which might be a little more in our wheelhouse of expertise maybe i still don’t think i’m an expert but so let’s hit our voices at and then we’ll be right back i gotta use that

sitting in a comfortable chair i know i’m used to seeing that nice starry background behind you yeah so what uh do we just want to start with who the hell i keep wanting to say people’s names because their full name is on here and i already said that one chick’s name it’s not good uh i don’t know who this guy is and i want to ask you but i also have to ask you later um should i just tell the story of my home group

yeah you don’t have to say any members names and just say this is the thing you know we have some members with some time i mean same i’ll talk about my home group stuff and you know we have members that have some time that aren’t comfortable with in-person meetings and don’t think we should be i don’t know that they don’t necessarily think we should be doing that but they aren’t supporting the in-person meeting or the online meeting for that matter so right i guess they have a couple weeks they did you know they did support the online meeting a couple of weeks but like this week they didn’t show up about it so i lost my uh my enthusiasm for traveling the world i don’t know i barely hit any meetings this week yeah i mean i have my normal you know flow of like different support groups slash personal video calls i do with people throughout the week so it’s not like i’m lacking in in video meetups or anything or conversation but i i don’t know that i reached out to any zoom meetings this week or online virtual meetings wow beside you yeah i did sit at my home group and talk to one guy who showed up yeah yeah it’s weird and see that’s and i guess maybe that’s my problem is that’s what was happening with me with the zoom like i wasn’t doing a lot of meetings you know you know i don’t know maybe that’s that thing where if i did more of them i’d probably get more comfortable and feel better at it but since i’m not doing a lot every time i do it it feels awkward and weird so it’s easy to say well this feels awkward and weird and i don’t like it

yeah i don’t i don’t know i don’t feel like it really adversely affected me not to hit any i guess i i just feel like i got so many other different things going on

yeah getting you’re too busy now that school’s done yeah i mean well and i have like like there’s a guy from baltimore that i meet up with for an hour every week on video and we talk and i do two support groups during the week and i do my home group and it’s like i feel like i’m constantly in video anyway yeah jen probably feels that way too she does a bunch of

yummy day i’ll be sitting right here all day and then at night and then in a meeting i’m like oh my god day after day after day yeah i’m doing quite a bit of that myself and it’s it’s a lot it’s like i’m just done talking to people usually it’s hard to sign back going to a meeting and there’s a feeling that’s different you know um i can remember i’ve spoken and been asked to speak at several things and i hated it i was like this sucks man i hate it and what i couldn’t remember i couldn’t figure out why it was so different and then i was like man because when i go to a meeting i feel anxiety about speaking but then as soon as i walk in the room and i get hugged and i get that there’s a feeling of love and acceptance that i depend on you know not having that just getting on and being like talking is like oh it sucks i know and i’m somebody that’s done this for 30 years a certain way it’s always that i’ve my program is on meeting attendance part of it right for 30 [ _ ] years so you take that out it is a major adjustment that i’m powerless over how it’s [ _ ] with me you know i can’t recognize it because i i never had it so i’m trying to figure out what the [ _ ] is wrong here why i’m going to the zoomie i’m just not [ _ ] feeling it what better and uh a little bit because i know i’m putting in the action for my program but there’s something really missing here i’m getting sick and uh getting that understanding of what’s happening i gotta share this saturday i think and i shared like last tuesday and i don’t i don’t like not getting audience feedback like i like to hear a couple of chuckles and you know something but i’ve also shared meetings in person where i got none like just deadpan faces and i’m like what the so i don’t know what is helping yeah what i realize is if i have everybody’s face up on the screen not just me talking to me it helps a lot better as i so i can see their reactions and their smiles and their laughter and that did help a lot yeah i’m gonna i mean that’s definitely how i do it i like to look in everybody’s houses anyway and be nosy so i’m gonna continue to have them all up on the screen i don’t know though it’s just so weird not to hear anything all the quietness have you started showing up the meeting shirtless yet only the one i did from a hot tub yeah that’s the only one you have a hot tub uh i got i got kim one for uh christmas it’s one of those blow up ones it’s three hundred dollars it’s nice oh my god you put me in the dog house right now right now my mother

christmas a 300 hot tub he’s doing meetings in it imagine that yeah oh you guys ready to get back to it yep yep all right we’re gonna hop back in and then i’m gonna uh i’m gonna share the story of what happened at my home group um and then we’ll we’ll i guess take off from there about how that’s gonna work

all right welcome back and so uh to hop back into how this opening up the country and the world affects the recovery community one of the things i experienced with my home group was we meet on sunday nights and so last sunday after you know we recorded the podcast i get a group text message that says hey and it’s one of our more experienced members in the group and so just to explain the group dynamics for my home group uh people who live in areas that have recovery houses might understand this where my home group is it’s surrounded by a few recovery houses and that’s generally who comes to the meeting and who is home group members um there’s a gentleman in recovery that that owns the three of those recovery houses and that is the majority of our home group membership is from his houses um and generally he’s like the guy who’s had the time at the meeting for quite a while and he’s doing a great job he’s helping a lot of people uh i love him dearly um it does slightly affect the dynamics of the home group that he is the guy with the time and and all the other members generally don’t have much time being that they’re in recovery houses and not many people seem to stay at that meeting afterwards for whatever reasons um so anyway we get out of the podcast last week i get a text message that says hey uh my brother is having an in-person get-together meeting-ish type thing at the park at seven and like my thought is uh our home group’s at 7 30 right like how’s this gonna work that you’re meeting at the park at seven and we have a online home group meeting at 7 30. um and so you know some people commented it was a group text oh hey yeah that sounds great blah blah so i’m like look i’m not going to go i’ll make sure i keep the online home group portion open for the newcomer because anybody that’s coming out of treatment right now is going to be told hey go online and find your closest online meeting right and it’ll be online and that’s what online our area website says we have a meeting online sunday night 7 30. so i went on uh one gentleman from our neighborhood uh joined the meeting him and i actually ended up talking for like 45 minutes just about whatever which was nice i was it was nice conversation three other people popped in for like five seconds i guess and saw that there was two people and just bounced right the hell back out understandable i can’t say i’d blame them uh and so but that was the entirety of the group was was him and i talking for 45 minutes or so and so i waited a couple days i let the feelings pass a little bit and then i texted back to the group text uh you know hey we we need to figure out what we’re doing like if this in-person meeting is a regular thing maybe we need to reevaluate whether we have an online meeting because we need to tell area where we’re meeting at or that we’re not meeting like we we can’t have it on there that we’re meeting online and then everybody’s not online and so there was a lot of discussion about it and i tried to explain the dynamics of group conscience because these are all newer members right and i’m like look it’s not about who’s right or wrong it’s not about being mad or not we are a group we vote as a group whatever the group votes is fine i just need to know i don’t want the area’s website say and we meet online and then we don’t um and so there was a lot of discussion there was talk about maybe they could meet in person on a different day and still do the online meeting um and you know the there was a a point made by the experienced member who again i love dearly i’m not trying to to knock him but he kind of said like look i don’t get what the big deal is if you want to go to the in-person meeting go to it if not go to online and i took a little offense to that and i responded and said i’m i’m not going to sit online by myself weeks on end at the home group just because it’s nice weather outside like that’s that’s not fair to me right i’m not doing that not signing up to be a part of a home group where i’m the only one sitting in the online meeting being responsible which is how i look at it as being responsible to our objective um of showing up for still suffering addicts so basically it came down to they took a vote they want to meet in person i said hey is this a you know good weather or bad weather meeting because if so i will tell the area that this is where the meeting is at the park seven o’clock and they’re like well no we don’t know and i’m like okay then we should probably just suggest the area that they take it down off their website like right now we’re just closed and we don’t meet and so that just became the the you know the consensus which is fine that’s group conscience that’s how that [ __ ] works i’m not bitter about it i’m not mad at anybody i just i i see how it could get really tricky especially with groups who don’t understand as much about reporting the area or the responsibility of making sure that the schedule’s right like i could see where this could get tricky where we go back to face-to-face meetings but don’t tell the area and it’s not right on the schedule and what’s the job of the experience member is it to make sure that the meeting’s still open for the guy coming out of treatment who’s going to look for the online meeting or is it to make sure that the people in the meeting have great mental health by making sure we have in-person meetings at the park like is the experienced member not supposed to have park meetings when i don’t know that that’s in line with the governor’s guidance like there’s a whole lot of questions here right and i’m not again to reiterate i’m not mad or bitter it is what it is the group just voted and then i respect the group conscience but it does kind of leave me without a home group uh at the moment because i’m not ready to go in person um so what’s what’s everybody’s thoughts on that i’ve talked enough yeah it’s a challenge you know it’s a definite challenge and i don’t think like most of these issues i don’t know that there’s a right or wrong answer there’s a definite uh way forward i mean as you were sitting here sharing i just was kind of thinking could the potential of meetings having an online presence just be a thing that happens in the future going forward when we’re not in a pandemic i mean all of a sudden i have a meeting each week we meet at our normal place but we have a laptop there or some other means of you know streaming that meeting online like is that i mean obviously there’s a bunch of challenges to doing something like that but is that a potential you know future of meetings is that we have both um yeah understanding group conscience and what again getting back to the purpose of the meeting you know

i hate to say but it sounds like there’s a feeling in your home group maybe that the meeting is about me not you but you know those individuals am i getting what i need here and as long as i get what i need and you know me and my people are taken care of then everything’s good and i don’t have the wherewithal to look outside of myself to the bigger picture of people that aren’t at this meeting or newcomers or anyone that’s not me and mine um i think that’s the goal of recovery that’s the goal of working steps is to develop this uh understanding that hey the things that i do and the way that i live and the way that i carry myself in a world doesn’t just affect me or mine it affects everyone and i should take some responsibility for how i conduct myself in the world and my responsibility to my you know community at large um and it sounds like there’s some individuals that feel like well as long as i get what i need out of the meeting each week i don’t really care what happens to everyone else and that’s a shame you know that’s a shame especially when it comes from more experienced members i think that uh you know the role of the experienced member you know in that situation you know when it takes step work you know particularly 12 step to understand you know how we you know conduct ourselves like billy was saying for the newcomer and carrying the message and it takes group members that are involved in service so if you have a home group that’s not full of a lot of new people that haven’t really worked steps or traditions or even been in service at any level beyond a home group that has one experienced member that doesn’t do those things either um you know it can be a little rocky but you know i do believe that that god is in those meetings as well in a group conscience so for me the role of the experienced member would be to make sure i feel like everybody has a voice in that group conscience and however it goes just know that that’s god’s um intent for that meeting at that time but it comes down to my own personal responsibility for my own recovery you know why am i in that meeting is this meeting a good meeting for me um am i getting as well as giving in this home group um you know i’m not a fan of just ditching home groups when it gets rough but i also have ditched uh home groups when they it was just like beyond me and i didn’t want to have conflict um you know if i try to talk it out and work it out with my sponsor and talk a bit out about what’s going on with me uh but sometimes you know i need to i have left meetings because i need to be around meetings that have experienced members that can show me away you know i can’t be always the leader of every group i go into i need like some people who are working steps traditions and to to be able to talk to every week about those issues that i’m receiving as well as giving but um yeah like billy said you know there’s some groups i know that have taken themselves off the home the area list um and there’s links but they’re still meeting and zoomed together um and word of mouth um when sometimes like billy’s meeting in person uh and they’re just closing it down for uh to be advertised they don’t have to commit to anything really um then there’s other home groups that are like no be having online meetings and making sure we’re accessible to the newcomers super important tell us right now and i think when i go online i can see when i go to the like free state region that’s our local region heading i can go to you know i can find a meeting at any time of any day that’s online you know um so there’s a lot of options right there out there right now which i’m super grateful for so all these things got to be weighed out you know yeah there is there is meetings on the hour every hour from somewhere somehow like there’s even 24-hour marathon meetings that are just put on so there’s always a meeting so it’s not like if my home group doesn’t meet online that there’s not some resource for somebody i agree um and and that’s not you know i do want to say i i appreciate the the thoughts i i some of it was uh i don’t know just i guess because i do like the guy so much it was a little seemed a little harsh and it’s just it’s tricky to navigate right when when we talk about the idea of taking care of me and mine that bit that billy mentioned and and i mean that is kind of how i think we all operate right like the yeah i love my recovery community but my family comes first right like there is a me and mine that comes before that and i think he puts so much love into those recovery houses and trying to help people that i do think those feel like family members to him right and so i if you’re sitting there watching the the 12 to 20 people in your you know three houses that feel like family suffer because they can’t meet in person and all be down in the dumps and you think you have a solution and it also helps your problem of feeling bad like that sounds like a great solution to me um yeah and i didn’t mean that to maybe sound so harsh because seemed like okay my home group decided to meet in person this week and the same it was a kind of a group text and around hey are we going to meet and this is where we’re going to do it and it’s like yeah that’s great that’s what we’re going to do and that was kind of it and it i didn’t intentionally not think about the online presence of the meeting but someone else brought that up not me you know what i mean another member of the home group said well yeah what are we going to do about the online thing and it was kind of like oh [ _ ] yeah i guess we have a responsibility there so some of that i don’t mean it to be like it’s a my selfishness isn’t always a conscious choice it’s it’s the lack of uh awareness the lack of being a little more open-minded that gets me into trouble so i don’t think you know and again i don’t think that anyone was like ah [ _ ] those other people you know i don’t care about them i definitely don’t mean it that way um it but it it’s you know that’s where my addiction gets me into trouble it’s the subtlety of it it’s the way that it works in the background of my thinking you know that gets me into trouble most of the time yeah uh you mentioned another thing about the hybrid meetings this is something i’ve been like thinking about since i don’t know maybe like week two that i did the online meetings i was like man this is [ _ ] great we need to do this permanently um and it actually spurred from i had visited a meeting this was in anne arundel county at one point they had a home group member who went overseas for work and wherever they were they never did say where but wherever they were they didn’t have any meetings there were no meetings in that country whatsoever and so every week at home group they would skype them in now i don’t think the member ever shared from being skyped in but they at least attended and got to hear the meeting right and so that kind of combined with doing this online i was like i’ve been trying to scheme how we would do this like all right we need a laptop we need speakers we need like a bluetooth microphone that can be set on the table near whoever’s sharing that way they can participate and not be here and hear everything and it’s like people have got to make this work because this sounds awesome i know when we were traveling and i had sponsees home that were celebrating and they would put their phone their mobile phone in front of them so that i could participate but i didn’t get to i didn’t speak um but i got to hear them share and people in the meetings there were some meetings that really got pissed off about that it felt like it was um a breach of confidentiality yeah it was like losing their anonymity just you know so i don’t know how the pandemic might have changed some people’s perspectives on that you know which i welcome because i really believe that those people who are out there and places that don’t have regular meetings could have an opportunity to still partake in the community of recovery through this i’ve been i’ve joined a new group and i’ve kind of called my home group here during the pandemic as a women’s meeting and it’s not posted anywhere just a bunch of women in recovery to get together on wednesday nights and then by word of mouth we offer the invite to other women but um i love the meeting so much it’s like i had someone i go to every week and um we were talking about when the pandemic’s over we’re still going to do this you know because it’s one hour we can do it home because all of us have kids that uh you know run our lives so it’s hard to get out so this is a great uh opportunity yeah i would agree it’s it’s a afforded me the opportunity to hit more meetings per week when i choose to because i i don’t look you can say it’s just an hour it’s not a [ _ ] hour to go to a meeting for me in the area i live in and i know other people are even further from meetings but the area i live in by the time i get there have some conversation it’s at least two hours more likely three and so to have an actual hour out of my day on an online meeting is much easier and much more convenient um yeah i was thinking i’ve been put on speakerphone to listen to a couple anniversaries too because of having school or some nights and home group members that i really wanted to hear and so yeah i do think this does take on a different look after this um i guess for me i don’t want to be home group less i don’t want to be homeless as we call it um and so since i can’t i’m well i’m not willing to go to this uh meeting at the park which i even if i wanted to i really don’t think it’s legal i can just imagine the police pulling up me being like [ _ ] like i didn’t belong here um i guess i need to find an an online home group for now because i don’t know how long this is going to last right like if we’re back to in-person meetings in a month well then maybe it’s not that big a deal but if this is another three four months i need an online home group um and so i guess that’s that’s another piece of like when is it time to switch home groups right you kind of brought that up a little bit jen and like i had a therapist years back tell me that she had meetings five minutes from her house but she never got anything from him so what was the point and she’d rather drive an hour to where her home group was to get something out of it and i would look when i got up here i knew this meeting was kind of the way it was like mostly newcomers and everything right and this is where the great debate happens uh so i’ve been to meetings where they got overrun with recovery houses in the area and it became overwhelming for the more experienced members who didn’t feel like they were hearing what they needed to hear they felt like they were hearing about all the recovery house problems while they were in the meeting and so they would do things like start another meeting in the back of the meeting right oh we’ll have a just for today or a step meeting in the back it’s smaller okay well i don’t know that that helped any of the newer members at all right like yeah the experience members now get what they need out of the meeting which is great and i get it because i’ve been to these meetings and thought the same thing i get nothing out of this [ _ ] meeting um but what is the responsibility of that experienced member like i knew the situation when i got here i knew that the experienced people in this area generally don’t go to this meeting in town right and i said well somebody needs to show up for newer members somebody needs to have them help them hear something outside of you know what they hear in their living arrangements that should be me i’m going to take that responsibility on but what is the responsibility are we allowed to start meetings in the back i know we have a goal of getting what we need but we also have the responsibility of showing up for the people who come after us just like people did for us so hey let me jump in on this one first so i’ve been to the meetings that have been really big they were so big that they would have those breakout meetings in the back and i believe that it’s an awesome thing because whatever you need when you go there you can decide i want to hear a great speaker meeting so that would be the speaker meeting would be the big meeting and there was a lot of newcomers in there and it would attract them you know the listening and entertaining and sharing and the heartfelt stuff and then there would be like a step meeting in the back and so people wanted that more intimate i’m working on my steps i need to focus i need to concentrate they would meet in the back and i thought it was the best of both worlds so say one day you go there and i’m like i don’t want to look at myself i just need to be re i want to listen to somebody else i need a hoop shot i could sit in that big meeting and then for people you know knowing that that meeting is there too and it’s the same people which is kind of cool that they all mingle before and after it kind of what i would call the winners but most you know a lot of the winners are in that step working meeting but they’re mingling with everybody else too that’s my theory now uh so i like it i think that it’s a it’s great it’s the best of both worlds and ultimately though the responsibility of the person with the experienced member is to make sure that you’re still here in the long run um i remember going to a meeting a convention meeting uh now it was i had like five years clean right and um i went to this convention meeting my sponsor at the time was starting to fade out of the program and uh and the topic was how to keep the old timer connected so i went to this meeting trying to figure out how am i going to get her back in right and uh i was kind of disappointed to hear the speaker talk about you make sure you’re you’re okay so that you can be the old-timer right make sure you have a home group that you share at make sure you have a sponsor you only go to one meet a week make sure it’s a home group that you’re committed to that uh you’ll call them and tell them you’re not coming so people know where to find you and um so i think i used to be the kind of person’s like i need to go to the meetings with a newcomer so i can carry a message of growth and recovery and that lasted for so long i mean then i just felt like i was unique painfully unique in a room full of people that i was different from everybody else that um and giving out of my cup all the time that it took more work to fill it and with more job responsibilities and family responsibilities my time became more limited than it was in the beginning you know so now i believe that having a home hunger that you get as well as give is super important um that you’re around other people who have uh you know things to give you is the best thing a person with experience can do for themselves an experienced member but so yeah and i think you know our role as experienced members is to have that wherewithal to know you know in my recovery there’s been periods of time where i’ve been in a really good space and i’ve been able to give a lot and you know i’ve had it to give and then there’s been times where i’m not there and it’s that you know support group and that ability to know uh my own mental health my own mental and spiritual well-being um that i’m trying to think of that word i can’t think of what it is but you know it’s it’s my responsibility to react to my own mental health and spiritual health and do what i need to do to get what i need so there are going to be times where i have plenty to give and there are going to be times where i kind of need to take a little more and that’s okay that’s normal you know what i mean it’s normal and responsible to be able to say hey look i just don’t have it to give right now um it’s the equivalent of like sponsorship like you just can’t sponsor everyone in the world all the time and be like well somebody’s asking and someone needs my help so i just have to give to the point where you’re stretched so thin or or put in an unhealthy place where you either can’t help them or it’s too much of a burden on you you know this is just a different uh area but the principles are the same knowing what our own personal limits are knowing what our own personal health and well-being is and trying to balance out like okay i’m in a position where i can give or i’m in a position where i don’t have it to give and that can change every day right so having a home group is your steady uh it should be the place where you always fill your cup um and i’m always willing to be of service speak anywhere share you know have service commitments sponsor people but my steady should be something that is uh fulfilling to me and my recovery most times because you can’t guarantee that every meeting is different you know i can get a meet something from every meeting i go to but that home group is a choice of uh you know who are you surrounding yourself with who who are who are your people and just one more thing real quick i have never switched home groups so they won my entire recovery 19 years so i’ve never switched that’s funny yeah so uh just to go back a little bit to what jen had said about the the theory of the meeting in the back like that was a beautiful laid out theory and i don’t know if you’ve ever been close to any of those type of meetings or people who are home group members there completely not my experience of how they actually work at all

what happens is the the home group members get so tired of hearing uh stuff that’s not filling them up that they’re really considering leaving the meeting but they’re trying not to and so in order is a last-ditch effort to hold on they create this meeting in the back idea and they don’t actually mingle with people before and after whatsoever it’s like two separate crowds almost entirely the meeting in the back is a pretty good meeting usually it’s a smaller intimate positive meeting uh the meeting out front’s not bad it’s got like you said great speaker energy that’s good but then when it comes time to celebrate the people in the back come out front and nobody even knows who the hell they are because they’ve never seen it before and then those people eventually feel like damn i don’t even know any of these people and home group members don’t even know each other because some are home group members out front some are in the back and then they just leave and so it really it unfortunately does not work in that um but it kind of leads me into another aspect of this like and so look i will say amazingly and and i i always say amazingly and i feel bad like that’s a put down to the newer members or something but amazingly anyway regardless every week i got something out of my home group and i thought it was it blew my mind every week that that i could constantly get something out of people who were newer and and really didn’t have what i would consider like the experience man but they had so much good stuff and i was like wow i am getting filled up here right um i feel connected i really like a lot of the people um but but even to tie into the meeting in the back and what’s the experience members responsibility there’s so many options now that weren’t there when i first got here when i got here it was like look you go to aaa or n a that’s what we got right now there’s uh you know uh recovery dharma and and all these other different things i talked to a guy online who talks a lot about and i don’t even know if this is an actual program but uh xa which is just like cross addiction which is just come with whatever the [ _ ] you got we don’t care if you’re a gambler a sex addict like whatever we all just meet here and talk and so what’s my responsibility to stay in the particular program that helped me get where i’m at if there’s all these other options that might possibly be more filling for me like do i need to always stay in this program or can i just stay in some aspect of recovery like what’s my job as an experienced member there all right so i’ll jump into this i want to say that yet newcomers are [ _ ] awesome i can get so much out of them i mean i can get more out of somebody with a couple of days and some people with decades you know it’s like it truly is but i am uh you know i do have some experience with step work and traditions and when i talk about six step with people i need to have some people around me that more often have worked that too to know what the heck i’m talking about or you know step 12 it’s just for me personally and that goes with the fellowship so one of the people that i’ve sponsored you know we went through all 12 steps and at the end of 12 steps we’re like okay what do you want to do you want to go over them again or do you want to go from somebody else um you want to go to a different fellowship and try their steps out you know so i sponsored most of my sponsors say i want to do it again with you some of them say i’ll do it again and we talk about with who else you know somebody else to get their perspective and then i’ve had one that said we’re going to go here to aa she went to aaa work some steps with her and then they’re talking about aca and i know my sponsor has worked from al-anon steps so it should be a foundation to me it should be a foundation of recovery that i never leave for me personally you know but i can uh get things from other fellowships too it’s whatever kind of gods shoes you towards jason if you decide that um aca which is getting bigger in our area this adult children of this functional families not just alcoholics but some get into some real issues has uh you know that is an amazing program that i think a lot of people can benefit from and as long as you feel safe you know that’s the most important thing the people like billy will always be with you you know and you can always have an a home group but still work and some people will tie me to the stake for that you know for even saying that you know because but i do believe i mean i’m only in n a but i do i’ll go to a meeting on a symptom because that’s what i view those meetings are is a lot of the other meetings like the sex and love addicts anonymous or alcohol they’re symptom meetings overeating i’ll go there to talk about my particular is coming up in my life and um i go there for a while and get what i need and then i always have n a is my steady because n a in theory is about addiction you know that’s what it says in our first step it’s not about narcotics but so often people don’t support other addictions common unfortunately but and i’m only ever going one place because i’m lazy and i don’t feel like trying it’s hard for me to build relationships i’ve worked i’ve worked for years building these relationships and it’s just like my home group it’s like nah this is just what i do now so i’m committed to extremes committed which is why we’ve been together

i don’t think i was ready to seek outside n a until uh desperation hit obviously same reason that got me here in the first place right like i wasn’t willing to put an effort until i just had no other way to move forward um and so i i have definitely experienced a lot of different variety of fellowships and meetings and programs and and you know done some of the work in them i just i guess uh like okay for example i i don’t even particularly have a qualifier but when i was exploring all these other fellowships i was going to an adult child meeting of alcoholics anonymous i mean a balance sorry on saturday mornings down in baltimore at 9 00 a.m one of the best [ _ ] meetings i’ve ever gone to in my entire life of any fellowship for sure a lot of older adult members a lot of experience talked about their problem was dealing with other people which at this stage of my life in my recovery that’s my [ _ ] problem daily dealing with other people right i would probably get more out of that meeting than i would any amount of n a meetings throughout the year so can i can i as an experienced member ditch n a and just go help people in al-anon they’re not the people who got me here right do i owe n a something this sounds like a great opportunity to dip in on their online meeting they don’t have one i know i checked i was like oh that’s a great idea i’m gonna go visit them yeah oh but i guess to answer your question it’s like there isn’t a right answer to that you know it’s up to you how you feel about like i know for myself you know because you hear people say things like that like oh if you’re not doing service and you’re not doing this and that you’re not you know giving back and you’re stealing from the fellowship and all those kind of weird things and i used to think that kind of stuff but i don’t think i do anymore i mean over the years i have been involved in service and and done different levels of service at different times um sometimes to my own detriment and uh you know i don’t know that i owe narcotics anonymous specifically anything and that’s probably not the right way i want to say that but i’m just going to say it i i you know i show up i do what i can to be a better person to help you know myself my family my society at large um there’s a greater purpose here there’s a you know god and a higher power and and serving um sort of society as a whole and if i can do that within the fellowship that’s great and if i can branch outside of the fellowship and still continue to help people and grow and change spiritually there’s nothing wrong with that either um and i don’t think there’s a right way for anyone like you know it’s it’s whatever our spirit guides us to or whatever our spirit you know tells us is right for us that matters i mean if i walk away from a fellowship and i feel like man you know there’s some guilt there or there’s some uh feeling that i’ve left something undone then maybe i need to look at that and maybe i do need to do something there but i shouldn’t be doing it out of a obligation or out of a well now i just have to do this even though i don’t really feel it or i’m not really there i’m just doing it out of some weird obligation um yeah but i’m totally in a person like i live down you know i owe an a my life and but the people it’s not attached to a person it’s like attached to the program so i could go to any meeting anywhere and uh you know be connected to my fellowship that’s given me this my life i mean i am so grateful i i’ll always be grateful i always stay in n.a it’s how i feel right now you know but that could change but i encourage people to examine that for themselves you know not everybody is going to be me but i do try to live by example not direction so you know if you want if you want what i have you’re going to do what i do and that is i am diehard n.a no i you know i go to n a and and do that because it meets the need that i have in my life right now i mean in doing that in getting that need met and being the best spiritual version of myself i am best able to give back to other people it’s like the whatever you want to call it like the chicken and the egg it’s like if i’m not the best version of myself or not you know living my best life then what am i giving back to other people anyway you know given some shitty less you know healthy version of myself and maybe i’m still given but is the quality of what i’m given really there

let me uh let me take a pee break real quick

all the time i don’t want coffee we almost done uh i don’t know we’re usually just talk until we feel like we’re done can you scoot over just a little bit back into this i’m gonna pee too

actually

oh

if there’s no room in the sink for whatever reason i’ll fill some stuff i don’t fill it with water but i put water in things so that it you know helps get the crust off it jason said he does that he said that if there’s too much stuff in the sink and he’s got something crusty on there he’ll put water like in a bowl or a plate i can only hope that’s what they were

doing but with our kids it was some sort of experimental thing right you’re right i was doing something for the dog

my socks are all wet

as that put it all over the floor

and so i think there’s been so many good points made um just about you know personal responsibility and personal feeling of whatever it is that i feel i need to do and and one of the things that i always find incredible and we just had a little situation uh you know on a break there that you guys didn’t hear that was about dishwater on the floor but if you talk to enough people and you talk to people who actually went through situations that you judge from the outside you start to understand the humanness of why they made that decision on the inside right and so i this is what one of the things i love about this podcast is that i get other perspectives and yeah a lot of that is is billy’s perspective right which i is great because i don’t i like billy’s perspective but also on through a lot of the social media interactions i get a lot of outside perspectives and it definitely helps to soften the edges around my views on everything right and i get to say maybe there isn’t a right or wrong right maybe there’s a way that feels righter for me but maybe it’s not so much that those people who do the other way are evil maybe they just who’s progress maybe the way i like it right um and so just to clarify i have no grand intention of leaving my home program at this current moment i have on my calendar a local meeting this week that i plan to attend as a possible new home group at least for the time being what that means when we come out of all this maybe i go back to my old one maybe i stick with this new one who knows i haven’t made any decisions i’d play that by ear but i don’t have any intention of leaving um you know the program that saved my life for sure not yet at least uh but i do think that leads us kind of into the conversation of how does this go as we open up i’ve heard different theories i’ve heard some people are ready to open up meetings now as soon as like the governor will answer this petition and say that we’re essential and it’s legal like maybe we need to meet either outside or maybe we need to meet inside in groups of 10 or less spread out six feet apart and if you have more than that then you need more than one room like and you meet in separate rooms of groups of 10 or less and no coffee and and and you know wiping everything down and what’s your thoughts on how does this actually look as we start to do it because it seems like you know your home group my home group it seems like we’re starting to do this whether it’s ready or not yeah and my initial reaction and again i try to be open to what the rest of the home group would want to do but my initial reaction is now we you know when the church if the church were to let us mean obviously we need to follow whatever precautions or guidelines they deem you know and if the church would let us though i would personally show up there next week and make coffee and have a meeting like normal um that’s just again that’s just my take i’m not saying it’s right or wrong that’s just how i feel at the moment is no i’d show up there and we meet same time we always do and make coffee since we can’t do that right now we’ve elected to meet outside at someone’s house we’re meeting at someone’s you know home um

and uh we talked about this i assume it would be open to everyone i don’t know that he would have an objection to inviting anyone although it’s hard for i shouldn’t just make that assumption i should talk to him first and make sure you know hey is it okay to tell some other people do you care who comes here do you want this you know you may say no um and then there’s a decision that we would need to make of like oh okay you know what are we doing then um but again i would try to do it as a group conscious but my knee jerk reaction is now i’m ready to get back to normal meetings in normal conditions and unless the majority of the group or the consensus of the group was to do something different that’s what i would do so you and and i’m sorry jen if i’m hopping in and you had something to say but i’m just curious like your meeting generally has 10 or less or right around there right my home group right outside of baltimore had 60 every week like how are they like can they just go open up and also curiously you mentioned you’re ready to make coffee why is the not making coffee things because people are sharing stirs or something like what the [ _ ] does the coffee how’s that pass in the covet i don’t understand i don’t i mean i guess that’s the thing like i don’t it’s also weird i was in a store the other day and they won’t let you get your own ketchup packets but they’ll hand you ketchup packets from the same exact bin that’s behind the counter i guess the idea is that you have less i mean that way you’re only interacting with the people behind the counter maybe instead of anyone that might touch the ketchup packets i don’t know it all seems so we can have coffee we just need a coffee maker now like a literally yeah it’s like wawa where you can’t you know get your own coffee we have a coffee maker who makes your coffee for you and then hands it because bacteria wipes or something yeah even if the wedding went back to normal i’m not going i mean i it’d have to be a small group like billy’s home group is super small i think i would be okay with that but um i wouldn’t go out to meetings but i think they should be open for people who need to with those precautions but me personally i’m not going so now what does that mean do we tell home groups that have less than 10 people they’re allowed to open and other ones aren’t that doesn’t seem very realistic and then it seems like everyone’s just going to run to the open ones anyway i don’t think so i think that people are fighting for the rights of meetings to open it but i don’t think people those same people are the ones that are going to run to the meetings um and i don’t think there’s anybody that can make a rule for all of us it’s a group autonomy really even if it’s illegal you know if that group is willing to say hey we’re gonna run we’re gonna open and we’re gonna have 20 people and now probably and you know nobody can tell them no and if they’re willing to be arrested god bless you man somebody better have the bail money you know what are you gonna do that’s funny my initial reaction was that’s not responsible productive members of society and then my second reaction was we were [ _ ] illegal when we started like we weren’t allowed to be drug addicts when we started n a at all so whatever uh i heard somebody else say something about they would like to have in-person meetings again and they’re fighting for that but they don’t want to go into any church locations because they feel like a lot of churches have an older adult population and that would endanger them their argument is to stay out of churches yeah and there again there are ways that we can do those things um you know having antibacterial wipes wiping down all the tables and chairs cleaning everything i don’t i don’t think we should just act like nothing happened per se i mean maybe i came across that way in the beginning but i don’t know that we should act like nothing happened or there’s no danger to anyone obviously if we can spread germs and do those things you know we should be thinking and considerate about that but if we hopefully are treating the meeting space like i think most groups should in that you want to go into a place and kind of leave it better than you found it you want to be responsible for this facility that you’re at you know we don’t want to be throwing cigarette butts around leaving our coffee spilled on the table and you know a little bit of thoughtfulness as far as getting some antibacterial spray or wipes and wiping down the tables when you’re done mitigate some real problems sorry the dog is panicking because someone came in the front door so do do we need as a so this is interesting like okay i hear every group’s autonomous and we should be able to do whatever uh even if it’s illegal and i respect that like i i hear that but i’m also curious if maybe you know talking about some of the things that you just mentioned billy maybe we need a universal guideline kind of like you know it seems like each state and the federal government has come up with their own guidelines of like this is this what it should look like as we reopen or what did she look like before we reopen maybe we need guidelines like that like hey okay it’s okay to open meetings as long as you’re going to have groups of less than 10 per room as long as you’re gonna can be considerate and wipe down things with clorox wipes or some i hate to say clorox that’s a brand name sorry bleach wipes uh like maybe we need to have a set of guidelines that’s universal that that isn’t up to autonomy because it you know is just rude i bet you n a world services has something on their website you think so about reopening some sort of statement yeah check it out but that’s where you know the experienced members come in is is we can be the example to the other members on how we do these things responsibly you know it’s the same idea of making amends well yeah it’s great that you go out and make amends but there’s a way to do it that’s responsible and there’s a way to do it that’s less harmful you know and this is a similar kind of thing like we can go through this process of opening back up but hopefully we’re doing it in a thoughtful and considerate manner of like are we thinking about how this is going to affect people around us not just ourselves maybe not even just the members of you know our particular fellowship but how’s this going to affect other people outside of us and what we’re doing and we need to hopefully be communicating with the recovery community in a way that opens our eyes to how that’s going to work and how that’s going to look and like say maybe some facilities aren’t willing to let people in so okay if your home group’s gonna meet do you want to try to be available to other people i guess i’m sort of thinking now of like okay well as a home group what is your responsibility to i’m gonna use the word advertise but what is your responsibility to get your meetings information out to the public do you even have that responsibility

i would think a little bit like how we got to be available right right i’m curious how this and just in listening to you how this affects so many people in recovery already

groups that you know vote six to five that they’re ready to open up face to face and how that disenfranchises the five members who aren’t ready to show up and how they might need to switch home groups just because the group is ready to meet up and they’re not and it’s like for the sake of one member and i get we trust that god guides these group conscious decisions the way they’re supposed to go but how many people are going to have to change home groups or lose friendships over this debate of is it time to open yet or not and maybe it’s because of the dynamic of my home group but interestingly enough like say we have at least two members who are unwilling to meet you know and they’re not ready to do the public meetings yet so in our case um and it was through a series of kind of texts and conversations and stuff but we we really don’t approach it as a like this is what we’re doing and now we’re taking a vote it’s uh let’s all talk about it we’re all particularly in that we all seem to be really close and there’s a pretty level of respect amongst the members that when it became apparent that a couple people didn’t want to meet in person it’s like okay well we can still do the online meeting as we meet in person we can still do both of those things to be available you know to the rest of the members too it wasn’t like well we’re having a vote and this is what we’re doing and screw the rest of you guys it was like oh [ __ ] yeah let’s let’s try to be open to people that have they maybe think differently that is the true essence of a group conscience it’s not a vote you know it’s a conversation and uh everybody coming to a conclusion together if a group conscience is just going down to just a vote then i don’t feel that it is a true group conscience it’s just a vote yeah okay i i definitely buy into that i think uh the discussion is a huge portion of it too um i also want to say that

worrying about losing relationships it might be an opportunity for people to reach out one-to-one more i know that happened to me during this pandemic is like not seeing people like i was used to forced me to use the phone a little more and do some direct conversation with people uh people that i hadn’t really had the time for before it’s kind of strengthened my recovery on the one-to-one relationship so there’s an opportunity there you know sometimes it is time to change groups maybe god does for us what we can’t won’t do for ourselves you know and uh we go with the what is in front of us the next right thing right yeah absolutely absolutely i’m curious uh what would look different billy for your group if say you had an attendance of 60 each week same amount of home group members home group members felt pretty much the same way as they do now but you’re also taking into consideration the other 50 people who usually show up how would that look different for you if that was the scenario assuming that the member who’s having it at their house was okay with any of those people showing up at his house um i think we would just be over the limit of people and the members that are meeting in person none of us are overly concerned with the magic number 10 you know that’s the number of gatherings or number of people allowed at a gathering um i think we would just have a meeting of more than 10 people and whoever wanted to show up would show up um and that’s just like say from our conversations of at least half of the members don’t aren’t kind of buying into the whole quarantine social distancing all this i mean me personally if i was going to be around a big group of people like that i would probably still wear a mask or at least try to be really uh personally aware of like social distancing um i can say we weren’t doing like hugging and all that kind of stuff at the meeting this week no one was quite willing to go that far um although i’m sure if i would have probably started to try to hug people they probably would have let me in some weird way but um yeah i don’t know i mean i would think that we would just have the meeting with more than the i guess legally allowable amount of people i’m just trying to picture literally like 25 to 30 people in someone’s backyard spread six feet apart i’m like would you be even able to hear each other like you’d have to [ _ ] shout for people to hear you that just seems pretty distant to try to remain so spread out you bring up another valid point about the hugging though because i have caught myself twice during this uh with neighbors who i never met before but i’m out walking the front street um i’ve shook hands and been like why the [ _ ] did i just shake that guy’s hand uh because it’s so natural right and so i just can’t imagine these groups and maybe your your group has done well it’s a smaller thing people kind of very conscious about it i guess i’m picturing my home group all going to the park and these people mostly live with each other in recovery houses i got them [ _ ] hugging each other all day every day right like i just think people are going to go out to these in-person meetings and do what feels natural just like i shook these guys hands whether they care or not it’s just going to be a natural reaction i think that’s part of the danger too is that we are so ingrained to hug and be close and personable like that’s a fear of meeting in person is that i will do that yeah and and again maybe as far as the meetings go like that’s a good opportunity for us as experienced members to set an example of like hey look we can do this but there’s a responsible way to do it and there’s an irresponsible way to do it and let’s at least you know yeah we can meet in person you know we can do some of these things but let’s try to navigate this um in a healthy and safe way so jen uh with being a member of you know voices and and getting some of this uh maybe outside input people who are calling people who are saying this about what they need and aren’t getting is there anything we haven’t really talked about today do you feel pertains to meetings not being open or meeting starting to open that maybe we haven’t thought about is there an angle we’re not looking at i can’t think of anything jason i mean i know that the people who are new to recovery um you know are feeling awkward about meeting people in general and then going in on these zoo meetings and that a lot of them don’t have the technology um and i’ve never done that uh so there’s a lot of barriers for new people to engage with the online meetings um you know we try to hold people’s hands and walk them through the process as much as they let us but the whole being in recovery uh being is a is an awkward thing so we’re dependent more on that peer-to-peer support you know uh calling people who are new who are getting out of treatment trying to really walk them through and and give them that extra support that the in-person meetings you know the before the meeting after the meeting those are important parts that are not uh in most online meetings that newcomers are missing so we’re staffing more with peer recovery specialists which are people in recovery and assigning peers to people who call us who are seeking treatment or getting back home from treatment to try to touch base with them as often as we can to to be that missing piece until they get more comfortable with online meetings and make some relationships on their own i mean even trying to find sponsors you know i’m like oh give me this woman’s meeting you know um let them know that you’re new and you’re looking for a sponsor it’s just it’s just weird yeah that’s that’s uh there’s a lot going on man there’s a lot going on i think i think when billy made the point weeks ago that he was scared people wouldn’t know how to get to meetings uh as we all switched over i think that is actually going to be more confusing going backwards because when we switched over it was almost like immediate that everybody did it at the same time and that word could easily spread but as we go backwards with some groups feeling ready to open quicker than others and you know very it could be months apart uh i think that’s going to be really tricky to keep people informed as to where’s open where’s online where’s not meeting at all anymore like it’s going to be really tricky and it will but i’ll say the only uh i don’t know what’s called silver lining but the the better point about going back to regular meetings is the commitment that it takes to like drive somewhere at a certain time and then show up there and nobody be there by the time you sort of figure out okay where’s the next meeting how close is it to where i am is there time for me to get from here to there like those are actual physical barriers that you have when you physically show up at a place versus online like if i jump into a meeting at seven o’clock and realize oh [ _ ] nobody’s there it should almost take me less than five minutes to find the next meeting that might be meeting at seven o’clock or to find a meeting that’s starting at eight o’clock and be like oh okay well i can just jump back on at eight and my uh what do you want to call it like my output of effort is really pretty minimal compared to like now i just got in my car and i drove 35 minutes one way to this church out in the middle of nowhere and nobody’s freaking here like now i’m pissed because i got all this effort in whereas jumping online and logging into a zoom meeting is a pretty minimal amount of effort i swear you have no respect for the mole hills that i want to die defending god dammit ah so you got anything else for today i think we covered that pretty well no yeah i think we covered it pretty well all right i think we covered it well for this week i’m sure it’ll all flare back up and we’ll have more angry discussions we didn’t even talk about the angry guy on [ __ ] that’s right we didn’t even go through those comments and so uh just real quick caroline had mentioned um she thought i was a little you know biased in my wording and how some of them had overlap uh but i know she is kind of maybe one of the people pushing for reintroducing uh in-person meetings uh she’s very interested in that i don’t know in what format or if she’s personally interested but i know she has been championing championing that idea um danielle talked about hiking every day uh pat said he goes to work but he definitely has precautions there and he does grocery shopping and he acts he’s been to hardware stores for small projects which i hear a lot of people are doing that too

vixx said he’s forced to go into people’s apartments every day and in stores and supply houses so he’s not going to sit in his house in his own time which i think is a point very much to the point you’re making about people who go to work it’s like once you do that why are you going to feel like you need to care

elizabeth said she’s okay with wearing masks for months and okay with not being in a crowd

she said if a church allowed it maybe she’d get to a meeting but no hugging no coffee and not circling up just to be safe and that is actually something i read about the mask the masks are making people feel safe enough to go closer than six foot and that’s not actually the goal of the mask it’s you know still to stay apart and have another layer heather said mostly follow in orders wears her mask in public all her meetings are online and the pharmacy she does spend time outside and on the trail but i think that’s very much in line with recommendations um and then amanda says she has to go out because she’s an essential worker but she would stay home if she could and i don’t see did the the did the argument get deleted i don’t even see that on here oh i had it online i pulled it down but interesting

i don’t i don’t see the argument at all so there was an argument on here between me uh i call it an argument not really so much an argument uh but a back and forth that i had with the gentleman um yeah i don’t see it at all i don’t know how that just disappeared uh but basically he he uh he had a different opinion than mine um and i was trying to be kind and respectful and you know having discussion about hey this is not what i think and these are some reasons why i think there’s some flaws in what you’re saying uh and i felt like he he attacked me with some name calling some you know if i wanted to be a sheep i could be and and stuff along those lines and so i did feel good and got my my last word in and turned the commenting off and then he he tried to message me and i just didn’t accept it or read it and i felt good i was like well at least i got the last word in yeah um but it was it was hard my therapist said he’s a dick and i mean you have that with all this there’s opinions you know extreme to every side and and ten things in between you know you have people that are like oh my god everybody in the world should just be locked in their houses and we shouldn’t be doing anything and we should be handling this like china and just physically locking people in their buildings and stuff like that to the other extreme of people that are like this is a hoax and it’s 5g and it’s government experia you know government conspiracy and you know everyone has an opinion it just tend to kind of get a little bit extreme i think i think this is a place where the podcast has helped me in my personal recovery greatly is that just not to always be so sure that my thinking is right right like yeah i still approve of my thinking and probably think it’s the way for me but maybe just to be a little lenient and and softer with the other people’s opinions or the differing opinions like hey you know they probably got some valid points too maybe not for me they’re not as valid but they are valid points somewhere along the way they’re great well and not only that but just you know what what is right for me might not be right for someone else you know it’s so hard to understand i do might not be the right decisions for you in your situation i i have a question though and i would love any conspiracy theorist who listens up there probably aren’t any because we you know kind of identify as not that but for any that do i have a question that i need answered and that is i have never seen two people go into a store and steal a [ _ ] lollipop and not snitch on each other what makes you think these people can keep this [ _ ] under wraps globally right i don’t believe it man people will tell each other over stealing a pack of bubble gum like what the [ __ ] people can’t keep a secret that’s crazy yeah that’s one of them i heard a long ago about all these conspiracy theories like you could take they take a couple of facts and then link them with some hypotheses and come to some crazy conclusion but if you look at the reality of what it would take for like say you know five people to like build a house and keep it a secret you know it would just it would never happen somebody’s gonna leak somebody’s gonna tell something something’s gonna get out and some of these conspiracies would take you know hundreds if not thousands of people to pull off so before we go i wanted to share with you the flowers that billy got me for mother’s day they’re pretty flowers yes and to remind everybody that today is a great day to make amends to your mother be a good mother and hopefully you have uh people in your lives that uh treat you well if you’re a mother like i have a billy and for clarity that doesn’t mean go dump all your secrets on your mother today i mean right right that means indirect amends through a phone call and love and you know some appreciation don’t go rushing out doing your ninth step until september when we’ve covered it and tell you how to do it

all right but yeah to all the mothers out there and yes happy mother’s day just to qualify i made my wife uh english muffin and coffee this morning god damn it i did something nice

but yes happy mother’s day jen absolutely happy mother’s day to all the mothers out there if you’re listening on a podcast you know modality we also post this on youtube and it ends up getting what i like to call not so bonus uh material of where we [ __ ] before and after and in the breaks um so feel free to check that out as well uh all as always you can you know email us or message us or get in touch with us any kind of way and participate find us on social media we love all that input we thank you for joining us and we’ll see you next week bye now yay yeah that’s funny and i’m already back to like all right why don’t we do an in-person podcast had we had we had in person i probably would have thought the wives or mothers was a better idea i we almost we need to get better at holidays beforehand like i feel like we’re going to put out we should have put out the mother’s day episode last sunday leading up to mother’s day that’s you’re probably right that actually is a better way of looking at it maybe next year we’ll be able to do that and we’ll try to get the week ahead of time and we’ll we’ll have what it’s like to be a mother a mother in recovery and a a mother dating someone in recovery yeah but that’s a good way to look at because yeah this will get posted or or whatever uploaded tomorrow so people listen to it through the week so we gotta oh we gotta beat them planning ahead i’m terrible at that

so maybe that’ll be interesting maybe the week before july 4th we’ll have to do something about how that’s usually uh a party holiday where people have a chance of relapsing but what does it mean for us this year when we won’t be partying nobody might be partying right i don’t know but i’m gonna go uh get myself together we’re gonna head down my mother’s like i said we’re gonna go break the rule and uh do our thing didn’t you get yourself like rubber gloves and a mask

i thought about us all wearing masks and it just seems so ridiculous like we’re going to hug and stuff i’m going to try to keep us outside as long as it’s warm-ish but we’ll see i mean i i don’t know yeah this whole thing is it’s so weird i mean it hits me every now and again like i get out of the store and i go to walk in i don’t have a mask on i’m like i gotta run back to the car and get my mask i’m like this is so [ _ ] crazy all of it’s so weird it is i’m and i feel like i’ve seen other countries do stuff like this china in particular where they all walk around with masculine and stuff and i’m like that would never happen here we’re all entitled and i’m like huh here it is it happens to us too like we’re we’re eligible yeah trying to navigate the stores of the hardware store yesterday trying to navigate you know trying to get around people and not get too close and it’s crowded and people are trying to look at [ _ ] in the same row and uh so weird yeah it’s crazy it’s crazy i don’t know though i’ll uh i guess i’ll be in touch with you at some point in time this week i’ll figure something out have fun i’ll talk to you soon all right see you later

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