36: All Paths Recovery – Everything You Wanted to Know (Sort Of)

6/21/20 All Paths Recovery includes MAT, Medical Cannabis, and any other path toward recovery you might be on. We have Matt on to tell us about the meeting and how he sees a need in the community that he is trying to help meet by striving to make recovery available to all. We find out more about what that looks like right now, if there are any guidelines, and how this program is working in the community.

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Transcript:

this is my last chance good morning good morning get that one in there yeah yeah we’re gonna do a family thing today we’re gonna go over my sisters and I guess why uncle’s gonna take the kids out on the boat to do a little tubing and you know it’s cool yep my dad and my sister yeah well so I got Father’s Day that my dad’s birthday was the 13th and my sister’s birthday was the 15th so instead of trying to coordinate all those getting together especially with the restaurants and should be enclosed we were like why don’t we just do like one big thing and it’s the neighborhood my sister lives in they have like a I don’t know like a boat I’m gonna call it a marina not a marina but like a boat launch place like a dock with a pavilion and some stuff like that a little beach there on the river so we’re just go down there so it’ll be outside you know that’s awesome yeah we’re kind of doing a multi celebration too I mean my daughter’s finished eighth grade my son finished fifth grade my other son finished kindergarten and then the baby turned one Friday and so it was like hey we’ll celebrate everybody yeah yeah and it’s so hard to try to go out do stuff still so yeah I’m with ya I don’t know I’m still weird about it all just looking at just a little I mean I don’t know I definitely think the numbers are showing that it’s still a real thing and it’s still like gonna spread like wildfire yeah right well and it’s weird it’s like I am NOT weird about it until I find myself in certain situations and then I’m like huh this feels a little awkward like this feels a little bit like dangerous or whatever you know right well so my body went down there having in-person meetings down near Baltimore and he went down there to in-person meeting got his key tag and he’d like text me about he’s like dude it fell so nice it was great to give some people some hugs and this that and the other and I’m like that’s exactly why I’m not going I’m not hugging like I’m not hugging people I don’t want to be all uptight on people and they’re just acting like it you know coronavirus doesn’t exist and I’m not there I mean I got a good share yeah my home groups still pretty mixed there’s a few hugs going on but not like a ton like it’s not like everybody’s just hugging and we still don’t like circle up at the meeting and then that’s like this week you know we did we pass the basket it’s like I’ll pass the basket now everybody’s touching the baby the same ten of us have been going there every week it wasn’t even anybody knew so it’s like you know it’s all the same ones of us been around each other you know since the meeting opened pretty much but man the meeting I’m going to on Thursday nights on you know zoom or whatever a virtual meeting they actually met in person this week and I was like god dammit it’s ending so they I mean they tried to do the virtual thing as they met in person and they met outside all of them wore masks the whole time it was only like five or six of them in person and then like four of us online but it’s surprisingly it wasn’t terrible like you could still hear people I was kind of shocked and they were near a roadway too so you could hear people even with traffic but oh it could have been better I was like hey yeah well we’re not wearing masks we did try the online I think one or two weeks and then nobody showed up to the online which there wasn’t that many people coming anyway and all the people that had been coming to my home group online we’re all there in person so it was kind of like that we’re just doing in person like that’s tough I wish there was a good way to do a hybrid like hey we’re in person it’s almost like you got everybody at the meeting has to call into the meeting – yeah the only way to do it yeah we were trying to think about that I know

yeah well so what’s been going on other than that stuff nothing really just doing my school class that’s like actually almost done I’m as much as I hated the idea of a five-week class I’m like holy [ _ ] I have like one week and three little tiny assignments left and I’m done today yeah it’s so that’s cool that’ll be done are you still doing your internship for Bodhi no now that ended like the first week of May oh okay so that’s been done yeah and then so they they actually I don’t know I’m filed for unemployment because they weren’t in person anymore so there wasn’t much for me to go in there and do I’m like it’s been like two months I haven’t heard like I got accepted and I file it every week but they still haven’t sent me a card or paid me anything yeah and then every time I call yeah I go through the menu on the phone call thing and it’s like hey you should have your card within 21 days and you know oh we’re busy sorry call back later hang up I’m like what that’s what people are freaking out about you know what I mean like it’s crazy and I mean for some people like they’re [ _ ] you know what I mean like they’ve been waiting all this time the rents passed through they need food you know and what are they supposed to difficult like you know it’s that’s what’s really messed up with a lot of this yeah it’s crazy and that’s part of the reason I mean Jen and I’ll talk about it like that’s part of the reason for opening up like yeah there’s some health risks but [ _ ] how do you tell people like you can’t go to your job you can’t get money to pay your rent or pay your bills or feed your family you have to stay at home all the time and we’re way backed up on this unemployment [ _ ] so you’ll just have to wait on that too and [ _ ] figure it out like what the [ _ ] but you can’t just do that to people like it’s not right it’s not right you know it’s not right so I don’t know what the answers are and the interesting very so we got a message on Twitter a while back this was like forever ago somebody there make they made some movie there’s a stand-up comedian I think he’s from Canada and he had supposedly a promising career ahead of him but then became you know got caught up in drug addiction and you know got started they wouldn’t let him into places to do stand-up comedy anymore and then he ended up homeless and blabbity blah and so they followed him did like almost a documentary over like seven years I haven’t watched it yet we actually they just recently sent the the press release version so that we could watch it for free instead of buying it but they said that the guy that the story’s about or the director are both available for interview and I’m like is that do we do that something we do I don’t know I’d like to watch it and yeah you know I watched the trailer so far I haven’t I haven’t got around to actually watching the movie but yeah say if it’s you know I mean I think it would be almost hard to go wrong with a drug-addict comedian Yeah right yeah oh yeah for sure why not yeah so maybe we can get a chance to watch that this week it’s got like a link and then you gotta type in a password to watch it and maybe we’ll try to watch it and figure out what we want to do with that yeah what else did we have we had that message from autumn and I just wanna you know she had that she sent another topic to and I can’t remember what the hell it was now and I couldn’t I didn’t go back and look did we talk about sponsorship at one point or we haven’t I did I thought we did and then I’m like I did we I can’t remember I feel like if we did we probably almost need to do it again very good yeah well now I got this whole new thing I mean I I’m gonna sit down and talk to Matt at some point but I think I’m gonna try to work with him on the steps that’s all have it yeah I mean uh Jen and I talked about it a little bit I called my previous sir yuuichi the Asian guy lives out in California so I called him I’m sort of decided I think that’s what that’s the route I’m gonna go towards sponsorship I’m pretty sure I’m gonna try to commit to calling them every two weeks and trying to you know just establish that cuz that’s not you know I’m one of those people that it’s easy to say like that’s not something historically like I’m done I’m like I don’t do that I don’t call people that aren’t right um I don’t see you know that stuff and I’m like well that’s like a shitty cop-out for you know what I mean like maybe this isn’t an opportunity for me to improve on that or build on that you know is it another like resource and another skill and and this is a person I you know admire and respect and I love having him as a sponsor the only reason I switched was because he moved to California and I was too uncommitted to make phone calls is that just to him it you know that was the only reason so it’s like well maybe I should Bri explore that now and and instead of just blowing it off is something that I don’t do you know actually try to just do it make a commitment to do it see what happens so you could do scheduled video calls yeah yeah nowadays yeah so anyway so I called him and talked to him a little bit about all that and of course I did I can’t don’t say I knew what he was gonna say what I kind of knew what he was gonna say and he’s like yeah he just be as honest as you can I mean his biggest thing was you don’t think he’s gonna like talking to want to smoke weed be yeah I don’t think so I don’t you know I don’t that’s their desire of mine you know I don’t plan on switching fellowships or anything so you know I’m content in my lane things are going well I got you know I’m not looking for something else he asked me to help him out I feel like man could be interesting could be could be unique I was kind of leaning towards hoping you were going to attempt it but I didn’t want to influence it yeah well and then the other thing of course the truth is one you know how many people have asked me to sponsor them over the years and they call a few times maybe do a step or two and then you never hear from them again you know what I mean like that’s I don’t want to say likely but that’s been the higher probability than actually working with someone over years and getting them through multiple steps and you know right right now now you’re absolutely right that that’s generally what happens more often and then I joke I thought it was hilarious I thought but I actually said this to you each day I said think about it I said how many people are committed to a 12-step fellowship come to meetings regularly and still won’t make a [ _ ] commitment to work steps like here I have a guy that’s not even committed to the fellowship at all he has no interest in what na thinks of him at all and he wants to do stuff work [ _ ] ironic like I wonder what the drive is there huh yeah I don’t know I mean and I don’t know what I mean I couldn’t tell you whether he’s a person that stays high all the time like constantly smokes weed or takes a THC pill in the morning and afternoon or you know what I mean like I don’t even know what his level is of what he’s you know how much or any of that stuff which would be part of the conversation and then just heading down the road of like being honest with him and saying look this is what I know from step work this is what I did in my first step we can talk about some of this and if we have differences trying to work them out I’m not gonna alter my belief to try to suit you you know what I mean like if you want to change something that’s fine but I’m gonna give you what I know and my understanding of all this and you know how how we move forward I don’t know we’ll see you know just trying to go into it really open-minded and not not really put too much pressure on myself to be something I’m not I mean I’m not gonna do that yeah I think that’s all it is I mean I’m curious honestly just I hate to call people and experiment but everything is an experiment I am for sure trial and error but just like hey what is somebody that’s not completely clean by our definition what can they get out of the steps can they also work for them like I’d love to know that yeah and anyway she brought up the same thing like he said you know for his self he’s like some Buddhist practices and different stuff and you know where you get into this sort of your body’s your temple thing and you brought it up but I’ve heard this before with he’s like in na we just kind of draw these arbitrary lines I mean smoking cigarettes is a mind-altering mood changing chemical coffee is a mind-altering mood changing chemical you know sugar energy drinks pornography you know we sort of have decided that it’s what it means in na right now is recreational drugs and then in a a depending on you know what area you’re in or way sometimes it’s just alcohol sometimes it’s alcohol and other drugs sometimes you know it’s whatever and it’s like not that the lines are totally arbitrary but it seems like people are constantly put in a line where they think it should be you know to decide what’s what’s okay and what’s not okay to clean clean time I mean if you go to any sort of sex addiction fellowship they will quickly tell you that the hardest part about being a sex addict is that you don’t you’re your you are your own drug dealer you create your own drugs in your brain you don’t even need an outside substance like you can do it all just by thinking and so yeah yeah I mean that changes your mind and mood and I mean Snickers has a whole commercial about change in your mood by eating well that’s what yuuichi brought up like he sponsors a guy that’s a sex addict and you know he’s like I work with him I sponsor him through stuff and you know he’s like honey he asked me to help him I thought I could help him so we’re doing it so I got one more thing say about step six that will last less than two seconds I promise but I forgot last week we got autumns message just you know oh and I just looked I’d really like that out that was really awesome it was nice wasn’t I just looked up I don’t see a sponsorship topic not by itself okay I’m sure we’ve talked about it yeah can’t believe we didn’t talk about sponsors right now I’m all left for talking about sponsorship that’s fun the hell’s wrong with us so we got those and then Oh Selena messaged us and so we had a little conversation she was talking about if you were still running she could give us some tips but then she sent another message and I haven’t really gotten back to her yet but she talked about possibly covering the topic of racism and I yeah I struggle with that one so I’ve been thinking about that too and if we did I would like to have a black person on like somebody in recovery that we know and just to get their take I mean like say we’re [ _ ] two middle-aged white guys like we are the if you want to call it entitled elite like that’s [ _ ] us right now you know it’s my social standing so it does feel almost you know shitty to have that conversation I mean I think we could do it tactfully and I think we could do it in a way that it wasn’t hopefully wasn’t offensive to anybody but is it really gonna be and maybe it is maybe this one a lot of white people have need to hear because of course I can go to my work and I work with a bunch of white people that say all the historically like white rhetoric you know that you hear like constantly comes out of their mouth you know well you know those people want reparations and like all that stuff and I just cringe cuz you know they don’t feel like they’re racist people they don’t believe that they’re racist people but the [ __ ] that comes I’m like you have no

compassion or I don’t know if I be empathy more sympathy for someone else that’s been in a completely different life situation than you but you know whatever it’s you can’t I don’t say you can’t talk to those people but that’s a that’s a different conversation than conversations about how black people would handle racism’s in their community you know like it’s it’s a different it’s a different version of that conversation you know we say in the fellowship that we tend to judge our insights by the outside appearance of others and so something about that makes us feel less than we say everybody else seems happy and like they can handle this life stuff and I’m really struggling with the way I feel when the reality is other people who feel like they’re struggling also feel that way they just don’t present it outwardly right and so neither do we people could look at us and say the same thing but we don’t realize that because we have our feelings I think the people we’re referring to or you were just talking about are doing the opposite I think they’re judging the world they’re judging everyone else in the world’s experience by what they felt growing up which was oh my life was hard and I pushed through and everyone else needs to suck it up and do that not understanding that they don’t have a monopoly on how tough it was to grow up or to live in the world it’s almost like we’re so self-centered and I do this all the time I just assume everyone else thinks like I do and yeah y’all all had the same experiences and the same hardships and we kind of have to push our own stuff out of the way to understand that it’s possible other people have it harder yeah oh yeah for sure well and it’s I mean I’ve been lucky enough to happen upon some podcasts that I wasn’t I wasn’t specifically looking for racial topics but they ended up being a huge part of it like this one and if you get time it’s [ _ ] awesome a podcast is called martyr made ma r tyr however you spell martyr made and he does two really [ _ ] fascinating series but they’re long as [ _ ] one is on the israel-palestine conflict and that whole thing going all the way back kind of through history and it’s pretty awesome the other one is one he just recently did it’s called God socialist and it’s about Jim Jones like the Jonestown Massacre guy but in that Jim Jones one he does I mean a deep dive into like I don’t know how much you know about Jim Jones but apparently what made him popular was his racial equality stuff that’s how he got so big and popular was he even back in like the 50s and 60s hey what’s happening it did a bunch of like racial quality Hey so anyway yeah so that’s a good one if you get a chance to check that out yeah I think so I’m like really torn about the whole thing like I still even mentioned it and I’m like part of me I don’t want to go anywhere that’s anywhere near political or divisive well partly because I don’t want to argue and the other part of it is like I don’t want to alienate people that could possibly benefit from hearing about recovery I don’t want to alienate them from listening I don’t want them to say oh that’s those [ _ ] guys who do this thing that I don’t like and now I’m gonna go over here and not listen to recovery topics yeah so that’s on one hand but then on the other hand I’m like you know again if people remain silent we’re not [ __ ] helping sorry I don’t know yeah so mad we’re just catching up him and I usually get together and chat for a little bit before the podcast on yeah earlier I was just making a pot of coffee before I sat down can you guys hear me okay yeah yeah okay I saw you both with headphones I wasn’t sure if I needed something I think we had some issue the first more the first like one or two times we’ve recorded but I don’t it was we had an echo and I don’t know if it because we didn’t have headphones in or because we were also trying to record through a phone at the same time it was really I was confused so we’ve just worn headphones every time since yeah you guys talked about a couple times on the podcast I don’t know if Billy had mentioned it I told him I work for the Cecil wig two days a week delivering papers and I Drive about six and a half seven hours and night in at least three hours a night I listen to you guys talk please watch the two episodes you guys cracked me up along with it as well thanks appreciate it yeah you’re welcome I appreciate you guys having me on yeah so Jason the other thing was the email so we got the email and you know from who was that lady the one who sent it about being upset about saying Earth people could fix a bully that’s right I forgot how did I forget about Julie’s Ethan yeah that was I was a good one too

so I told yet and just cuz I’m [ _ ] egomaniac like I I put that reply together and sent it and I was felt so [ _ ] proud of myself that’s [ _ ] that’s an awesome you know reply and you know it was a good reply I was attracted me I wanted to hear what you had to say I mean again I don’t know I’ve never been a [ _ ] earth person I don’t know what it’s like to not be an addict I only know what I’ve read is in a pamphlet that [ _ ] could be totally wrong I just take all this [ _ ] that is true that somebody smarter than me wrote it if you think you mess it up you know what do I know I got a there’s this guy on Twitter that just started doing a podcast and I I listened cuz I’m actually curious now cuz he talks about a a he was in a a for like 35 years and now he’s left and he he’s not bashing them but he’s definitely talking about why they’re almost like a moneygrab and alcoholism isn’t real and I’m like really like I don’t believe this you’re curious yeah right this occurred after 30-some years in a a he’s saying alcoholism isn’t real that’s that’s his take on it today yeah hmm I don’t know it’s really I’m like where is he going with this I got a fine I like I’m like I got a listen just to know I’m like where the hell is he going I have no clue i podcast before this either I would dabble it on a couple medical cannabis ones but I started listening to you guys and it just picked up right away I started listening to it all the time I love God Cass that’s all I don’t even listen to the radio anymore that’s all I listen to his podcasts or so I’ve been doing that a lot more now I listen to tons of about history about you know mental health stuff like a couple medication ones you know just one guy I really like is a what the hell is it now kids Sean Carroll what does he Jason he’s a modern scoop yeah my let me yeah he’s into physics or they could physicist yeah that’s the word game of thing Matt do you have any kids of my own no my girlfriend has two kids I claim I claim them as my own thank you yeah you too uh so that’s why I scheduled asked to schedule it for today cuz they’re actually with their biological fathers today so it was easier for me in the morning cuz if not they’d be running around making noise and everything else they’d have birds either cage flying around and let’s just like be able to hear hey Matt do you have a pair of headphones you could hook into that um I do give me one second okay just hearing a slight bit of feedback it might be better if we are yeah headphones so are we gonna we want to try to run through these you know emails and messages quickly just to not up the interview too much yeah that sounds good it’s kind of acknowledge them and so Jolie’s would probably try to kind of do the same thing like I’ll probably try to reserve a lot of my comments you can ask questions and do stuff I’ll try to just so we’re not talking over each other getting that weird you know we’re free people are trying to talk at the same time say it again can you hear me no but yeah it’s not very loud it’s a little better what do you think daddy like that I tell you what go in the bottom right corner and hit the little three dots and then hit the settings and then make your microphone the the internal microphone

are you saying it that would be under devices right or sound so this is on the like on the the web page that you’re on for the video yeah roll to the bottom right there’s a three dot three dots and if you hit it and click settings okay I see what you’re talking about and then under settings if you change a microphone to internal mic then you should hear through the the ears but you’ll talk into the computer or device

I have default Mike in that front panel miking at front panel and microphone tribe might get it front panel how about now what do you think Billy’s that sound good to you uh yeah I think so I think that sounds yeah it sounds pretty good yeah yeah okay so the important part of this Matt is that we don’t talk over each other because for some reason on when it records if me and Billy talk at the same time it basically just hears nothing sure so yeah Billy told me a little bit about that yeah so we try to do our best to just wait till the other person’s done it gets a little confusing at times couple kind of sit here to stare at each other just to make sure and then if you if you really feel like you have like an interjection or a point to make we do a thing where we hold up a finger and then the other person will quiet down to allow that in you rarely we rarely do that because out of a pain yes honestly sure so generally we’ll start the episode we run through four or five or six things that I got up here that you know we try to be pretty quick with and run through it you know though if you’ve listened that we end up taking at least ten or fifteen minutes because we’ve got a lot of that stuff and then we’ll get into asking some questions actually the first thing we’ll probably do is just ask you to go ahead and we’ll introduce you to go ahead and talk about you know a little bit about your recovery modality okay all right so everybody ready yeah okay

all right welcome back to recovery sort of as always I’m Jason I’m a guy in recovery sort of I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery and today we have with us Matt I’m Matt I’m a person in long-term recovery welcome Matt it’s nice to have you here but and we’re gonna talk to Matt a little bit about his recovery modality here in a moment first we’re gonna you know catch up on some of our old things week so we did an episode on step 6 and then we did a follow-up episode because the feedback about step 6 was so wonderful and so you know interesting and positive and then I still [ _ ] forgot to say something but and so the one last final word that I wanted to say about step six is that Stephanie had pointed out an old concept that I had forgotten all about the whole idea of if you spot it you got it and the point of that was when I learned it was that generally if you’re getting irritated with a character defect in somebody else chances are that’s a part of that character defect in you now that might be a defect that I struggled with ten years ago and I’ve gotten a little better with but it just [ _ ] perks me to see it in somebody else or it might be something that like I really genuinely feel but don’t act on much because for some reason I’m able to hide it but generally if I can recognize it in other people it’s because I’m familiar with the defect itself any thoughts about that Billy yeah I mean I think that’s pretty pretty accurate you know it’s easy to spot things that you know you’ve had trouble with and just in general I think any with the steps I mean it’s a constant learning in constant application of these principles in our lives like though there will always be more and more and more things to talk about on every step as I stay around recovery talk to more people and get more experience I learned like there’s they can go deeper and deeper into my life depending on how I want to apply them so maybe since we’ve done three episodes now that talked a little in step six maybe we’ll only do it well I do half an episode on step seven next month well we always say we don’t think there’s gonna be much to talk about on a step and then we end up spending three episodes seem to be the way so that would be the last thing you hear about me from step six until I tell you that I’m working step six which would be real soon because I just finished up five and I’m gonna go over that here shortly we also got an email from Julie who’s one of our listeners who does not particularly struggle with you know our our form of addiction and recovery and she just kind of pointed out we took some liberties about how we spoke about Earthlings last episode maybe saying that it was a little easier for them to change or why they might not need a sixth step because they might recognize their you know ways of living that weren’t working well for them in life and they might just adjust accordingly as a matter of you know their natural being and she had some contradictory statements to that and said that generally it’s hard as hell for Earthlings and normal people to change to and they also need a process it might not be able to do it alone and so that was a nice email I was a good read if you ask me I enjoyed it what did you get out of it bill yeah I appreciated her taking the time to give that input I did you know give a reply just to let her know like I appreciated it I have never been a earth person or non addict you know as early as I can remember I you know have been an addict and you know I did I cited some literature in our fellowship there’s a IP that talks about what it characterizes as the difference between you know earth people or normal people and addicts and that’s where I draw most of my information that can be total [ _ ] maybe some addict made that [ _ ] up and since we like to think we’re important we print it and put it out there and preach it like it’s the gospel will be the first time but you know I like that’s where my understanding of that comes from so I just kind of gave her a little bit of that point of view and said hey I’m open to you know here and from anyone if she wanted to give more information on that one thing I will say and if I did this I it was mistaken I don’t think it’s easy for anyone to change deep-seated character defects I think it’s hard work to be self-reflective and then to really change some deeply ingrained behaviors like that’s not an easy process I think what I took from the literature I’ve read in you know na is that it’s a more natural process for earth people or non addicts it you know normal people don’t seem to be as like self-obsessed and self-reliant and self dependent so it’s a little more natural for them to kind of look outside of themselves for answers to problems whereas addicts you know since we’re so self-absorbed and stuff centered like we think we gotta fix everything with our own thinking and our own you know we don’t trust other people we don’t trust input from other sources and so that’s where the step work becomes important because that gives us that process for reaching outside of ourselves interesting I don’t want to go too far off of out of our structure of this episode because Matt’s patiently waiting for us to to talk about it but I do think that like so at I think people are struggling because we have all these distractions today we have these these smartphones I know me I let me talk about me even if I was not addict I have a smartphone in my hand constantly and you know it’s so natural even but when I have like a second delay in my life to pull it out and check a notification or look at something and so I’m not living consciously unless I’m trying and I just think a lot of our world does not live very consciously does not live very in tune with the moment and so what happens is we don’t gain the ability to equate what we’re doing with the outcome like when we’re not living in the present we’re not seeing that what we’re doing is causing these outcomes and therefore we lose our ability to change or adjust we just think oh I just do these things all darn life’s hating on me again and there’s no connection between damn maybe I could do something different and get something different yeah maybe and like say maybe that says something about our society we’re living in a society that exploits that addictive tendencies in all of us right now so you’re seeing that you know birth of it that that addictive thinking is spreading out to sort of gobble up more and more people maybe 25 years ago they didn’t struggle with that maybe when that IP was written now they just beat their kids then and drank Selina sent us a nice message as well she sent us an email she was talking about so she’s a runner too usually listens to us while she runs but she’s had to listen to a metronome lately while she’s running to keep her pacing and so she’s falling a couple episodes behind but she was talking about the shopping cart episode and how she always returns the shopping cart and I was you know applauding her in my room for being a shopping cart returner Matt’s Matt’s telling us that he’s a shopping cart return or two I’m like hell yeah return them carts I do it I think of the podcast of that episode another incident the other day like I came out and it seemed like I’m parked the farthest possible spot away from the shopping cart returner and I did the thing where I turn like [ _ ] I could just push this thing up over the curb and get out of here and I couldn’t do it I had to go take it all the way back and I was cussing at you Jason told what was that I said but I returned it so oh man excellent you are now a shopping cart returner we’re converting people we also had a nice message from autumn who found us on Facebook she sought us out and she just said she wanted us to know how grateful she was for the podcast she was really struggling a week ago and stumbled upon the podcast and for that day we saved her from herself she says that five years clean she still struggles with anxiety and now all the covert stuff she appreciates our information our personal experience in humor and she thanked us and man I can’t tell you it like you know we go through this every time we get one of these Billy I’ll shoot it over to you and I’m just like I’m really out of [ _ ] loss for words man because we come on here we enjoy ourselves we enjoy talking to each other like this is a fun time for us I feel like it’s truly been I don’t let’s say a renaissance for my recovery but definitely improved my recovery in my daily thinking about my life and and trying to be open-minded and for anybody else to get something out of this is mind-blowing to me at some points and at other points like just I don’t know again loss for words yeah me too and it’s funny because you know initially you’re like like most things you start it’s like we got some support from some friends and people that we knew and then some of them were commenting which was still you know it’s like wow that’s amazing you know we got people that are listening to this they know us they took some copper wire they took some time to say they appreciate it like that’s so great and then now we’re starting to hear that from people that we don’t really know that are kind of more strangers and it’s that’s even more humbling because you always feel like or at least I had again speak for myself I as an addict always think you know nobody really cares about what I have to say and my family or friends or people that know me they’ll say nice things just because that’s like socially acceptable or that’s what you’re supposed to do and I always in my own head this is just me in my own head want to be like they don’t really mean it they’re just being nice you know what I mean like I’m not really deserving of this this is just someone trying to be polite and you know then to get this from someone who has no you know history with me at all or history with you at all to take some time and make a nice comments like wow maybe you know just maybe it’s not all [ __ ] in my own head like maybe we are actually helping somebody like it’s awesome it is truly awesome and another cool thing about it was that autumn was able to point out the the very obvious that we missed the topic of sponsorship somehow and then we need to do that at some point yeah it’s like if you ever said hey let’s do a podcast about recovery with a general focus on possibly a 12-step modality sponsorship would probably be one of your top five top so we were saving it for later that’s what it was yeah I had every intention of pulling that out at some point in time next year so I definitely as always we really appreciate any feedback or comments or anything you have we love it we’d love to hear from you and interact with you but I think that’s all about what we have to catch up with we are going to move into our conversation with Matt today on a completely different recovery modality and so to start that off Matt I would like what is your recovery modality called well I hold a meeting called all paths recovery through voices of Hope I’m I’ve been in recovery since 2012 I’ve battled with addiction all my life all the way back to being a child with little things like candy and soda to cigarettes to alcohol and so on and so on and it only got worse each time I went out um all paths recovery is a place for anyone in recovery we’re open to the idea that not one recovery mode works for every single person we encourage you path the progression no matter where you are in your recovery um if you need to use a form of maintenance assisted treatment we welcome you methadone suboxone vivitrol a medical cannabis all these have worked for people trying to extend their time between their most recent use of whatever drug of choice or behaviors that led them into their unmanageability of life and to where they are today if used correctly these people can progress their lives too and everyone deserves a safe place where they can feel comfortable

and not now cast we welcome everyone to share where they are and take our encouragement for progression in self-care because that should be number one in our recovery taking care of our own mental health physical and spiritual well-being gosh that sounds pretty inclusive one of the interesting things I found out recently we got into this whole pandemic we’re in quarantine we’re you know stuck at home on these virtual meetings and through our Twitter we’ve run into some people a lot of alcoholics on Twitter for some reason that’s their preferred method or people just claim being alcoholics because it’s more socially acceptable I don’t actually think that’s true I thought that at first I was like they’re just claiming that right now I actually think they’re all alcoholics I’m like okay that’s weird or maybe they’re just easier to find because when you type in sober alcoholics come up and when you type in clean people who do laundry come up I don’t know one of those two but anyway what I found on there was that a lot of these people talk about this xa right and it’s not like I don’t think it’s an I don’t know maybe I should really have fun he’s got damn people I don’t think it’s an actual like physical program that they have I think it’s just like a cross recovery is what they’re trying to say and it really doesn’t matter if you generally go to na a AGA sex addiction meeting of any sort like anybody is welcome to come and talk about recovery but in that everybody I don’t know if there’s limitations I don’t know if they’re like oh well if you’re on suboxone maybe that’s a little different than what we’re talking about I really don’t know if there’s rules to it I have no clue right so hearing about this kind of reminds me of the inclusiveness but I like how you know you’ve laid it out to where anybody truly now did you find that you had this idea that this is what you wanted and yet there was no like maybe nationally based program and so you felt like you had to create your own sort of meaning well sort of I’ve a little bit of research on other meetings out there around the country and what’s open and I’m actually going to my first smart recovery meeting this Friday I’m trying to just feel it out and see what all is out there so we’re not really a program yet we’re just an open meeting space for people to come and share their experiences their struggles and triumphs and we’re working on building that so I’m trying to find out what we can do to set us apart from these other meetings to still be available for everybody but not be piggybacking off what someone else is doing gotcha yeah I mean I think you know borrowing what works for some other programs but also differentiating in what you offer is a I think that’s kind of what everybody’s done with AA’s 12-steps basically for the most part everybody it’s been done quite a bit if it was I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the 12-step fellowships right I think a lot of us had that same idea in our head like we wouldn’t be here so do you know and and and I don’t want to talk about a different modality but I’m just curious since you brought up going to smart it is there limitations on recovery and smart recovery like did they define it as not being on maintenance or can you be on maintenance drugs and being I think they do have are open to maintenance recovery or maintenance assisted treatment right I’m not exactly sure like I said this Friday will be my first meeting attending them because I’m just trying to feel for what other people are offering and what else is out there I wasn’t sure if you were if you were checking them out because they they fit in more with your beliefs or not I was just curious so what have you found so far about people who come to your meeting is there like a particular not not the stereotype anybody but like have you found that mostly people who come there live like this or mostly people who come here live like that like is there any specifics that you found suppose actually been a wide variety of people I’ve had if we’ve had a few people that have came from na and AAA meetings just to check us out to see what it was all about um I’ve had a couple people that just came from rehab who were just looking for an open meeting to go to and a few other people were just didn’t feel they a few of our home group members didn’t feel they fit in in either na or AAA and heard what we had going on and started joining us and had been there ever since gotcha so a lot of our questions generally that we had come up with for different recovery modalities have to do more specifically with like the rules and you know for better like a better term the rules and regulations of recovery modality programs and so since this is more of a meeting space a lot of the questions wouldn’t apply you’re not gonna you know have specific higher power or anything like that there’s no qualifications for membership obviously or okay so that’s not completely true is there any qualifications for membership like this ahead to be somebody in a form of recovery do you have to abused a drug or anything at some point I took notes on your questions so give me one second this is I’m definitely curious about this answer I want to know if like I can send my mom to this meeting she’s got I want to say she’s got shopping problems we’re open to all forms of addiction so we

our recovery process is a state we aim for progress no matter where you are on your journey as long as you desire for progress from whatever substance or behavior that has brought you to the depths of your misery we offer support and resources for people on a personal basis if they’re interested outside of the meeting before after we share our triumphs and struggles and hold each other accountable we reach out to each other throughout if they fall off and kind of we don’t hear from in a while we reach out to them asking what they’re doing ask him if they’re doing okay um we’re still small groups so this may change over time but we welcome anybody and acknowledge that all forms of addiction are real and if they need help with something we’ll help direct them in the path to the resources they need okay so that’s cool I’m just curious what if it was somebody who didn’t think they had an addiction they just wanted a a peer group to find some support and how would you feel about that do you think that fits in or do you think they might I wouldn’t be opposed to it I’d like to see where they stand if they want to share and share where they’re at in life short if they if we all sharing can help them come to acknowledge that they may have an addiction issue by all means please sit in it’s so interesting when it’s a new small you know program slash fellowship that you’re almost I mean you’re really not almost you’re creating this to look like what you want and I always forget this thing like I always have this idea kind of like with our podcast I’m like oh well we got to know exactly what the [ _ ] it is from episode 1 and we got to do it right from that alone right and there’s I think really over the time we’ve been doing this we’re discovering what the hell this is and and letting it turn into that and so you know you might start with the idea oh well this is a bad addiction and then you might find you know Katie who’s a schoolteacher and never done a drug or a behavior addictively just really wants someplace to come hang out and talk for an hour each week and feel like she can vent her problems and you might find you know what like this fits great with our program that she’s perfect so maybe we don’t need to just be about addiction or you might have her in and you might say you know what I don’t think this is working we need to stick to just helping addicts because that’s what we do better I guess you can feel that out as you go yeah it’s all been trial and error that’s that’s it’s kind of like the growing pains and yet at the same time the joy of doing something like this you get to experience all of it absolutely because I’ve seen so many people come into our meetings and just share the things that they’re going through and the progress that they’ve made in life and it’s been so rewarding and at the same time it holds me accountable like I may not want to get up and go to a meeting but hey I mean I started this meeting I need to be there to hold it for people look I felt accountable at some homegroups but damn starting to meet yeah exactly so what I’m assuming you guys just found though the general disease model of addiction is that what your belief in addiction is is that it’s a disease yes addiction is a disease I believe that I say addiction is a compulsive need for any substance that the mist diminishes our thought perception and our health a search for instant gratification that we must address within ourselves when it arises we acknowledge the drugs are not the only things people struggle with an addiction and like I said if they need help with something we do our best to provide the resources they need and point them in the right direction mmm man you did your homework I’m not setting these questions out anybody else any more I want to hear their responses now that’s a that’s a really good answer to what addiction is I mean there’s so much to tie into there so I guess if we I’m trying to come at this like from an OpenMind perspective so most people in like abstinence based recovery feel like you using any drugs if like if you’re an addict and you use any drugs you know it’s it’s dangerous they don’t they’d be shocked to find out that there are recovery modalities out there that that practice like you can learn social using or that you can have like social using even after you’ve struggled with addiction that’s kind of contradictory to what most 12-step fellowships views are do you feel like this program is more open or is open to people that want to recreationally use or really just people that are on like maintenance type programs well I know some people that recreationally use or whether they want to drink on the weekends or smoke weed on the weekends or whatever it is they choose but have struggled with shooting heroin or some other kind of illicit drug that they’ve been struggling with for decades um some of those people did recreationally use before they got into all these other harder drugs some of that may have stemmed stemmed from pharmaceutical use it’s open to either or I’ve personally found that some people not one recovery path works for all people there are some people that can’t come off of pharmaceuticals or have debilitating diseases where they need something to help them just to get through life and maybe they’ve been on pharmaceuticals for a long time I’ve seen these people come off with medical cannabis and find a lot better way of living and being able to actually function on a daily basis without having to worry about getting sick without having to be out of their mind on pills or whatever it is interesting and so I think maybe this is probably something we should have like brought up at first for some reason just not to put a spotlight on it but more because I think people will find this conversation interesting to know exactly the direction that’s coming from and so I do want to bring up that that Matt you do smoke marijuana I believe correct I’m a medical cannabis patient are you more in jest my cannabis than I do smoke it I do from time to time they but mostly I ingest I make edibles I make my own capsules I make my own tinctures I buy my own Tinka Church from the dispensary frequently it’s been mostly CBD more than THC and I find that relieves my anxiety it relaxes me through the day and it also is healing my body and providing the Natural Resources to my endocannabinoid system which a lot of people aren’t educated on okay yeah I just I wanted to know how we forgot that honestly that’s one of the more interesting aspects for people who have been told their whole you know recovery life that there’s this one way to do it kind of like Billy was just talking about there’s one way to do it and that’s complete abstinence right I mean even even in that complete abstinence like Billy was just saying before you got on this morning we draw these arbitrary lines it’s like well coffee and cigarettes is cool but you know you can’t smoke joints and just just marijuana cigarettes and so it’s definitely interesting to us to consider the concept that there’s something else out there that’s not complete abstinence and how that works and so I don’t I don’t ever want to come off during any of this podcast episode is like condescending or better than I didn’t want to bring that up though because I think it’s interesting for people who don’t have any experience in that realm to hear oh [ _ ] people are people are like still living a good life and trying to grow while they’re you know on a substance that I would consider using that’s incredible like that’s a whole mind-opening idea one of the things I’ve actually noticed is that in normal society like I know me as an addict when I first stopped and first went around like my family and stuff they didn’t even understand the idea that I could like never drink again you know to them it’s like oh you’re not you know you’re not doing error when you’re not doing heavy drugs anymore why don’t you you know when we come over and have the crab feast you can have a beer or two right like for most people this idea that you can never use any kind of substance again is sort of foreign but within the recovery community it’s hilarious because there is there almost the most judgmental about that concept it’s like people in recovery are the most critical of anyone that wants to try to socially use after they’ve come to a 12-step fellowship like they’re like the first ones to put people down well in the defense of the recovery community I will say that I know from my own personal experience that portions of the trying that at different points in time in my life did not work for me does that mean that they couldn’t work for me now I have no idea I don’t hope to try anytime soon because what I am doing is working but I do know that at the points in time when I tried to use you know certain substances and not others and and I’ve heard a lot of people share this it didn’t work for us right and so I think it’s easy to generalize that that oh look and I just said missed ability you know 20 minutes ago I’m self-centered I think that everybody else’s life is just like mine they feel like I do and their experiences are gonna turn out just like mine and what I’m finding more and more is that’s not [ _ ] true and so I can’t generalize that everybody is gonna struggle with a couple of beers on the weekend or you know with the marijuana usage or with anything like I don’t know that it just didn’t work for me at the time I tried it so before we get any deeper into questions let’s go ahead and take our break for the voices add and then we’ll we’ll come right back hey I gotta take a very quick bathroom break okay I feel so far met good I was actually a little nervous uh leading up to this and yeah I went I said I got up at six o’clock this morning to go over these questions I went got me a red bowl a damn computer I’m like cuz I I would have blanked some of your questions and like uh inside there like uh happened to think about it so I’m like right right I got yeah it’s uh I would imagine anybody doing this for the first time would probably get a little nervous coming into it for sure but yeah we’re we’re chill man it’s just like sitting here having a [ _ ] conversation for the most part yeah that’s what Billy said I loved I loved listened to you guys like I said you you guys entertained me for my freakin three four-hour drive and it’s wonderful I think I’ve seen you at my at my acupuncturist you got a black yeah yeah we see in Rebecca acupuncture is a bit I can’t wait till they open back up they’re not talking till the fall but that was a big part of my recovery we use that very frequently yeah I was a I did an internship there and then they offered me uh services with Rebecca to try it out and so I tried it out and I was I was digging it I did it for like I want to say it was like six weeks before the pandemic kid I had just started and I did like six weeks and I I don’t look I don’t know I was it seemed like I felt different I she’s amazing it does wonders I love it but we got my girlfriend in there cuz they have a trauma grant through birdie so my girlfriend and her kids started going in there and we’d take my girlfriend in for acupuncture because she has a debilitating nerve disease and it’s done wonders for her as well with her pain that’s awesome man yeah I’m definitely interested in going a little further and seeing how it feels I’m really curious it’s definitely worth a try try the Accu detox they stick like ten different needles in your ears really yeah it’s very relaxing they did that they did that mean they offer that at a rehab I went to over in Harford County they did that when they were detoxing us and it was pretty awesome that’s whoa she actually helped me through getting off my suboxone when I came off of it and she didn’t she’d seen me three days a week just for the ackee detox that’s incredible yeah it’s amazing I did so much to really alleviate symptoms hmm you good bill yep good to go welcome back well that’s also the families leaving and stuff they’re getting ready to go out we got a family things they’re coming in trying to talk to me and stuff that’s why we need to be back at the office can’t do anything here next week no you coming back in next week I I think so I think we’re gonna grab the microphone and meet over at the new bode building nice all right here we go all right we’re back and so as we come back into this conversation Matt one of the things I wanted to ask is so you have the meeting you’re sitting around with these group of individuals that you see generally each week you know you guys are talking about whatever is going on during the meeting in an ad you know the recovery modalities I’m used to they generally talk about your support network and the people around you being your eyes and ears right like sometimes we don’t have a realistic view of ourselves and so we rely on these people around us that we trust to help us with where we’re at so what kind of signs it’s trickier I think for where you’re at possibly it seems like it would be trickier maybe it’s not but what kind of signs would say that people around you are in their recovery process and what kind of signs might say you know whoa hold up the stop sign y’all need to like change course you’re going down a slippery path here um well you’ve already heard me mention numerous times about progression and progressing life so trying to better yourself making attempts and showing effort that someone wants recovery or is in their recovery process is working is a good sign but you see someone start coming off negative not showing up for the meetings not responding back to messages frequently because like I said we hold each other accountable so we have a group chat that we add everybody on that comes in if they want to be added just so we can check up on each other see hold each other accountable ask him how they’re doing call them on their [ __ ] so any compulsive behaviors that might question their actions

anything showing them they’re not working on the right path not working on their selves kind of backsliding as you would we try to call them on it ask him if they need any help ask him if they can we can talk to them anything anything that we can provide to encourage somebody if we see him coming off like they’re backsliding or not working on themselves we’ll try to catch it now in in the modality you focus on is there any specific rule so the question itself was specific rules to be clean or sober but that’s I think a little Mis worded for for this representation of recovery but is there any rules to to say that you’re in recovery or you aren’t like is that a thing well I guess this is still early on again we’re not a program we’re just a meeting so there’s no really guidelines or rules of being clean and sober I mean we don’t want people coming into our meetings all messed up and intoxicated because we’ve got people that are still in early recovery that are still trying to figure out where they’re at and which path they want to take we don’t suggest to anybody that they go get on a maintenance program or this or that we tell them to find their own path and we help them find it if they need to 12 steps we’ll put that out there as a process naaa um other fellowships we just there’s no really rules to it right now to being clean and sober as long as we see a person is one progression in life is wanting to work on their recovery wherever they’re at even if they are using a maintenance program if they’re using it correctly if they’re showing that they’re wanting to work forward in their life trying to work on their to credit trying to make amends with family members that they’ve burned bridges with in the past anything of that nature I got so as long as people seem to be moving towards some form of personal growth then it just seems like this family the paths of recovery so have you found so far and I don’t I think this is actually I really thought it was a great question until I started asking it to people and I’m like I don’t know that this is a good question at all because the question is what type of is there a type of person that maybe your program works better for or I guess the idea was like maybe like there’s this type of person or this personality type that like completely you know completely staying abstinent would work better for and then I kind of asked this for the recovery Dharma like is there a person that maybe would find more recovery in Buddhist ideals like is there a personality trait that leads to that but the more I think about it like 12-step recovery programs and fellowships are so diverse that it does not seem like there’s any one personality trait that it works for right cuz everybody’s different there’s no one person that fits one program or one program that fits one person or every person so any person could walk in it’s just all a matter of preference yeah delete it might have to delete that question that was not working for me so when you were doing some of your research before you decided to start your meeting is there any other program even similar that you came across um I started looking into the m80 and seeing if it was a program but I haven’t really I didn’t really start doing research until after I started the program I just heard the started meeting and I was offered and put a place at voices of hope to hold this meeting and it just kind of fell into place and we just took off running with it I gotcha oh now so if you did come across like if there was something very similar to what you’re doing that already had a national program type available and there weren’t any real adverse effects to joining that national program like say they you know they they were accepting and inclusive of all they didn’t have any like rules of that type would you consider joining a national program if that type existed absolutely especially if it was something that wasn’t provided around here because all my whole process with this and my whole thought process was bringing something to to the community that wasn’t here that wasn’t a bit readily available hmm something that other people felt may be outcasted or didn’t know where to go had a place to go because I know that’s how I felt sometimes in the meeting when I before I got my medical cannabis card and started on this when I was just on suboxone and going through the rooms and I was told I wasn’t cleaned and I knew from where I had been to where I was now was I was definitely cleaning my eyes I was just trying to keep from going backwards that’s really interesting you paint a completely different picture I think than a lot of people that are maybe in the 12-step meeting see like the picture that that’s generally seen from the perspective of a saya na member who’s got a few years clean and has worked the steps what they’re seeing I’m gonna speak for them what they’re seeing is okay this individual is in my program they’re medically assisted treatment which is not from my understanding completely abstinent and now they’re mad that I’m telling them they’re not following the rules of my program to be clean like why don’t they just go somewhere else and and so I think that the whole thing is from the way you described it that people are so excited to be free from you know years of maybe heroin usage and struggling with these illicit drugs that are really rough on the body and dangerous and you know know what you’re getting all the time and now we’re on a dosage of something that keeps us completely away from that we do know what it is it’s prescribed by a doctor it’s made in a you know a real certified factory somewhere and I can feel safe about it and I can generally function in my life and I’m so thrilled to have that freedom that it hurts my feelings for you to say I’m not clean because I feel so much different I’ve seen I’ve seen people leave meetings and relapse because of that and I mean it’s even scarier someone were to leave and not come back you know you’re muted bill alright for me personally I think that’s one of the things that I find sort of most if I were to use a word upsetting it’s like as a member of na like I wholeheartedly appreciate our sort of stance on abstinence based recovery like this is our program this is what we do here and I’m a defender of that but what’s discouraging is that our members are so critical when these other programs pop up or when people come looking for help because as matt said like I know currently in this area there isn’t anything else you have a a and na and that’s pretty much it there are no other types of support groups so you think that we would be or want to be more encouraging of some of these programs you know something like you know the m80 program fellowships or any of that but what we found is there’s a percentage to the large percentage of people that wanted to sort of poopoo it and be angry about it be like it’s not real recovery if they’re not abstinent and you know I I think it’s important that as a recovery community we try to support other people in different things and and while we can do that and still defend our position on our fellowship like look this is us this is what we do this is our lane you know let them have a lane over there that’s fine we can you know encourage people to go there if that’s what they need just for the record I’ve seen a whole lot of people completely abstinent that I would say don’t have real recovery oh there’s some people that a hundred percent abstinence doesn’t work for people with medical issues people that are just scared to come off of certain things and there’s other avenues that we can provide for them yeah I can say this I know unfortunately being in a city environment for most of my recovery time and being around here for a little while I’ve seen a [ _ ] ton of people die right and it said spot sees friends guys that I saw in meetings who just got a year clean and now they’re not around ever again for the rest of my life like it’s it’s shitty and I know a whole lot of people who post I miss you messages on Facebook and other places that would love to have that personal and m-80s right now right so we can sit here and say to the end of time hey complete abstinence is the way but would you rather have somebody dead or you know using a medically assisted treatment for a few years or for the rest of your life right right and so and I think that’s okay though I was gonna say and I will say as sort of to play devil’s advocate of what I just said because I held this belief for a long time there was a belief and I’m becoming more educated more open-minded and at these days that the m80 programs were just legalized drug dealing that you know here you just had doctors and pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of addicts by you know getting them hooked just getting them hooked on a different thing so what they’re not hooked on street heroin but now they’re hooked on suboxone or they’re hooked on methadone and now it’s just you know the government or some doctor’s office that’s exploiting addicts like that was it this is a position I held for a while and that these programs weren’t really beneficial to anybody they were just taking advantage of addicts as of done you know a little more sort of research into that and and this I’m gonna call it a newer concept of harm-reduction maybe it’s not newer but maybe it’s getting more notoriety or more sort of talked about these days is like the harm reduction like if you can take someone who’s you know shooting heroin living homeless out on the streets and you can get them on a maintenance program where they can at least you know maybe maintain a job maintain a residence you know and start building a life forward like that’s better even if they are on a legal drug from a legal drug dealer like that’s better than letting them live out in the streets and shoot heroin and potentially overdose all the time like that’s an idea that took me a while to sort of open my thinking to you know it was it was much easier to minimalize it down to legalized drug dealing than to look at the nuances of how like stepping in the right direction is still progression I 1 billion percent you know I make up these percentages all the time but I definitely agree with what you’re saying man like I felt the same way I was like oh and this was before the suboxone phase really hit it was more the methadone and it was like oh that’s just continued using but the fact is if you can get that steady dose every day of what it is that you need to survive right that is way safer so you’re not gonna OD on it generally right it gives you the ability to show up for your children every day gives you the ability to go to work and support your family why are we all gonna criticize this form right when it’s bettered your life like the OP the alternative is you’re out there like stealing crab meat from giant or ibuprofen Rite Aid right to get another hit like you’re never around taking care of your children you’re not bringing home money to pay the rent your family’s on government assistance now so the same people that [ _ ] about you wasting my tax dollars are the same people that [ _ ] about why the [ _ ] are you on suboxone or methadone and it’s like well [ _ ] you can’t have it both ways which one is right do you want these people to pay their goddamn bills so you don’t have to or what like it’s just so frustrating to have that but I’m with you I look I’m one of those people who had to learn more information and you know through that new information changed my mind and you made another point Billy and I think this is where we talk about how important it is what Matt’s doing because we talk about okay these people come into ma and they’re excited to be in a new version of their life where they feel so free right and na people say well you’re not [ _ ] clean you don’t belong here specifically you’re not following our program right you can’t really share here and and I’m not saying that’s wrong right the Narcotics Anonymous program has a version of itself that works for complete abstinence and we do have our guidelines in there and so I’m not saying what they’re saying is wrong but those two worlds don’t mix well right and and these people who might be on medically assisted treatment or like well where the [ _ ] else am I supposed to go to get the help I need because I do want to come here and continue to grow and so having this alternative having somebody like Matt open this meeting and have their own lane which is where they need to be like we should be supporting the [ _ ] out of this this is hugely important this is where people need to go and we say oh well medically assisted treatment always leads back to using again well maybe that’s because they don’t have anywhere to [ __ ] go talk about their problems look that’s why it’s using back going back to that so sorry let me get off my soapbox for a minute that’s all right I couldn’t have said it better Jason thank you no I I love it I love that it’s going on I may be you know medically assisted treatment Anonymous or something I know that’s maybe a little limiting call it matter these people matter so is is there any kind of I guess that’s not really program so there wouldn’t be an end or a graduation to it it’s just about continued growth as you said yes

what’s so and this is more specific just for you not really for everybody that comes to the meeting but what kind of things what kind of new passions have you found in your life and what’s replaced your your time and attention that used to be – you know finding ways and means to get more maybe obviously you’ve had a different path the recovery so a lot of people I would say not allowed some people they use then they go to their treatment center they’re 28 day detox whatever they get clean they come out this is the the recovery modality I’ve been sold right they come out they’re clean and then life is different from there and so you’re saying you you used and then you got suboxone um well I used got went into rehab sober homes rehab sober homes back and forth I did the 12 steps for almost a year when I first went into a sober home and so I was back and forth prison time I did four years of prison and I wanted to come home and get back to my community so that’s what led me to where I am today my times actually filled now so much I don’t even have time to think about using but I mean raising a family work um I’ve been taking classes recently to be a certified peer recovery coach through voices of Hope um and majority of my time I’m a medical cannabis advocate I help patients register through the state I help them I schedule them for a doctor that I helped open here in Perryville who’s actually a suboxone doctor and one of this stuff was tired of seeing tired of losing patients so she’s working on helping patients get off with suboxone with medical cannabis and I’m appeared through her office with that as well as scheduling for her and I consult with patients who need help with their meds whether it’s how to make it what meds would be good for their particular ailments and just educating myself in my community and giving back in any way possible I have a little bit of a question more on the medical cannabis aspect which I think you’re pretty educated on this stuff so what’s like the difference so I know for myself like the CBD oil seems to have a lot of benefits people talk about with different things and it’s non psychoactive and then I get the CBD with the THC in it and that seems to have some benefits as well are there are there different benefits between you know the non psychoactive and the psychoactive okay so yes there’s they’re coming up with more and more benefits on a daily as we get more um scientific research we’re allowed to do CBD coms as an isolate which is just the CBD by itself and then a full-spectrum CBD which has the legal limit of THC it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects but it has been scientifically proven that the plant works better which is called with what is called an entourage effect and that’s the whole plant working together the THC combined with the CBD Countians together with your receptors and works throughout your body better but for some people who maybe work government jobs or can’t have THC pop up on a urine test that’s what CBD isolate is therefore interesting so you’ve talked a lot about the accountability in your program right or not in the I keep calling a program so hard to get away from the language that I’m used to but at the meeting you speak about how the accountability is an important part right and accountable to each other and ways you keep track of each other and I think that’s a huge part of you know the 12-step programs I’ve been in I know we say the 12 steps are the program in those programs and I agree but I think there’s a large portion of the you know the emphasis we put on meetings is about accountability it’s about having a service position being a service being you know having a home group so that people call me when I don’t show up and say where the hell are you like I think that’s a crucial thing I’m curious along with that is there any similar thing so far that you’ve worked out to be kind of close to a sponsor do they have anything like that going on in your are you not there yet or figure sorry now we’re not there yet like I said we hold each other accountable it’s a very small group so we add each other on messenger if there’s new females will have the females who have been in the group for a while get their number same with it same way the other fellowships would do it we try to keep men with men and women with women to try to not cause any friction between people and the people who need to help each other can help each other and provide resources and we can all work together to hold each other accountable so that’s interesting I was actually going to skip this question but since you decided that the men stick with the men and the women with the women is there any kind of like general suggestion about relationships early in recovery do people suggest not to do that or well again we kind of go with how the other close ups do it and if you’re not in a relationship and you’re just getting clean you should probably stay that way focus on yourself because that’s where most of the healing is when you’re starting off and recovery you’ve got a lot of inner self work a lot of self work to do all around you don’t need somebody else distracting that are you trying to get that happiness or instant gratification from someone else you’re just meeting focus on yourself if you’re not already in a long-term relationship with somebody who is conducive to your recovery we try to encourage you just stay that way for a while it’s interesting I do know some people that aren’t a big fan of the stay out of a relationship for a year suggestion just because it really doesn’t exist in our literature and it was kind of you know somebody sort of made it up along the way I see Billy smile and I think he’s one of the ones who doesn’t like it yeah it came from recovery I mean it came from treatment centers is where it came from you were in treatment centers you weren’t supposed to intermingle sexes we’re supposed to get involved with each other and of course I met my wife I had three or four months clean let’s say we I mean I met her a long time ago but we got in a relationship she had 12 years I think and I had like four months clean and we got in a row so we did all the cliche you’re not supposed to do things and we just celebrated a 15-year wedding anniversary last week so that’s what I have roommates no rehab romances I don’t know as a guy who falls like so I went to there’s a fellowship called sex and love addicts Anonymous and a lot of the idea of love addiction is that I can get a lot of the basically the same comfort and feeling I got from drugs from a new relationship you know every three months basically you know falling in love falling in love constantly and so I I don’t know I’m kind of a believer in the stay the hell out of a relationship until you figure out who the hell you are but you know would I be clean today if I didn’t have those relationships early on that I needed to like kind of buffer getting clean I don’t know I’m not sorry I think that just highlights like the point of like you know a program like Matt is doing or whatever it’s like we’re not all the same and I can’t say that you know what I did is good for you or that what happened in my case is the best that you know advice for someone else like I know I’ve sponsored some guys that had relationship issues and I would tell them stay the [ __ ] out of relationships don’t you know you have this habit of doing this thing and going and getting distracted by all this stuff so you know again what I did isn’t necessarily great for everyone you know I love that you say I can’t tell you if what I did is good for you I can’t even tell you if what I did was good for me did you have something Matt I’m actually I was gonna say I’m actually right there with Billy I had gotten me and my girlfriend had gotten together I was still kind of early in my recovery and I actually helped her detox off of some of her last of her pharmaceutical muscle relaxers and stuff and gabapentin nerve medicine that they had her on when we first got together and I used her medical cannabis and essential oils and different stuff helping her to help her detox and I mean we’re on our recovery path together and we help hold each other accountable we help teach each other help each other grow encourage each other to go out and learn new things in the recovery community so my story’s not gonna be the same as somebody else’s but I’m still not gonna suggest to go out and do it right right so and that’s like you know I don’t know sometimes Billie situation worked out and I’ve heard other people who shared hey you know I met a girl when I had four five six months clean and she was had no clean time and yet we’ve been married 20 years and life is great and it’s like well that’s awesome but that’s not the norm right generally like that’s the one-percenters right that’s that’s almost like saying if if we were trying to say that that’s okay because it worked in this one case that’s like saying there’s no racism because Oprah made it right that doesn’t really make sense so yeah you know we all got to find our path and do what’s right for us to get slightly controversial here for a second Matt you have a medical cannabis card right which means that doctors have you know evaluated you you guys have worked together for a treatment plan for you know your whatever issues you got going on and it’s been decided that a doctor has prescribed you this medicine as the best form for how to treat you moving forward and so in in say na right if you go and have a surgery and a doctor prescribes you pain medicine and you take that as prescribed you were still clean right as far as I understand so would you say that if you went into na today and said you were clean would you say that people would disagree with you absolutely

what I’m doing here today so right right well and I can say that I know I’m not gonna break anonymity here I’m gonna keep this very general but I specifically know of at least two different people that are on regular suboxone maintenance that are heavily involved in Narcotics Anonymous not on our specific area but in an area very close to here and they seem to be accepted and okay in that community it’s open what they’re doing they have service commitments on H&I I mean yeah that’s and and that I mean it’s controversial to me I don’t know but I know that that does happen in Narcotics Anonymous I don’t necessarily think that it’s the norm but I can like say I know two specific examples where that is what’s happening that these are people that are openly on a medicated assistant program and yet are still seem to be accepted in those in a community so I guess what we do or what might be common isn’t always everywhere here I thought we were gonna talk about sponsorship next week [ _ ] that we’re talking about dying but know more about this yeah I don’t know no so I I would agree I would say if Matt walked into a meeting today and you know shared hey I’ve got some clean time you know got my medical cannabis card and I use it as prescribed people would be like you’re not [ _ ] clean right and so that’s interesting why why is it that we would you know as a fellowship in general not everybody of course but why is it that we would say this person using doctor prescribed medication is not clean and this person using doctor prescribed medication is is there any like is there a differentiation uh-uh I mean I can tell you at least my view or my limited understanding of it and I don’t know that this speaks specifically to Matt’s case this would speak more to the m80 suboxone methadone but in Narcotics Anonymous it’s it’s viewed that you don’t treat drugs for an addiction problem you don’t use drugs to treat an addiction problem now you can use drugs you know medical drugs for other things but not specifically for addiction so that historically has been why you know Narcotics Anonymous hasn’t accepted people that are on maintenance programs whether you’re on drugs for other reasons I mean we do allow or accept people that are on mental health medications and things but even that I’ve heard that be controversial with some people I’ve heard people get really upset that you know people are on certain sorts of mental health medications and I’ve even heard people tell other people they needed to get off these health medications which to me is completely insane how some [ _ ] idiot in Narcotics Anonymous can dictate to anyone what a professional doctor thinks they should be on or not is is crazy but it happens you know what I mean and I think it’s done in a good spirit I think it’s done in the spirit of hey this is what works for me this is what I think you need to do if you do this your life is going to get better we just need to sometimes take ourselves down off our high horses and realize that you know some again we’re not all the same addiction isn’t just a one-size-fits-all thing that fits the same for everybody I love my high horse by the way but did you know did you have something that that I was okay I do that all the time it’s just yeah so that’s really interesting I definitely I agree with Billy I think there you know that’s oh go ahead if the Medicaid assistant treatment isn’t for treating drug addiction if it’s treating for something else pain management like you said mental health medical cannabis can be used for many different things I’m not using medical cannabis to treat my addiction from the doctor I’m doing that on my own but I’m getting it from the doctor for PTSD in my mental other mental things I’ve dealt with in my past right I think that’s where it gets really interesting is like where do we draw these kind of lines and and what does you know how and a possibly and maybe it doesn’t maybe n/a is just fine the way it is but how does n/a possibly need to evolve as we’re realizing that marijuana is really a different drug than a lot of these other drugs and a lot of these states are legalizing it in different ways shapes and forms now I know you know that might not mean that the average Joe can like alcohol is already legal right and I can’t be a na member and go to the bar every Friday night at least for me that does not work like that might work for people it doesn’t work for me so I can’t just go out because marijuana is legal and be like Oh bro we’re smoking joints on Saturdays now like that’s not going to be okay for me probably but as a medical option I think that really changes the way na might have to look at accepting that in the future like that’s going to become more of a thing over time because I do think there are some some really valid medical applications for marijuana usage well and I personally think so where some of the real I’m gonna call it the challenges to with some of these decisions is take like a recovery house so you have a what I would call a typical recovery house with eight or ten people that are living in there that that want to be on some sort of recovery program and then you bring in you know a member who has you know either a medical cannabis card or suboxone or whatever else is that going to be you know and then that person can can legally legally rightfully I would say have these substances around other people who do have a severe addiction problem and are really triggered by those things you know see in this you know that that smell a weed around might really trigger someone in a recovery house and I don’t know I’m not trying to say there’s a right or wrong I’m not trying to say those people should or shouldn’t be in those houses but that is a real issue that we have to be able to kind of talk about and address we can’t just act like it doesn’t exist and I think it’s the same thing for Narcotics Anonymous like it becomes a place where there’s a real kind of risk reward that we have to try to balance out like if we start saying it’s okay to be on these certain substances is that gonna kind of become a trigger or or lead way more people astray and so you know these are tough decisions it isn’t there isn’t an easy we can just draw a line here and and fix it with just this one pen stroke right across this line unfortunately we have to you know and I think you’ve said this before Jason it feels like you unfortunately we have to kind of pick a line somewhere and say well I’m sorry to say but this is the line and and really we aren’t all-inclusive maybe like we want to be or maybe I idealistic aliy like we want to be but the the push there is that we can encourage people to go to other fellowships that’s what a a did for Narcotics Anonymous all those years back you know they had all these drug addicts going into the AAA meetings in a a kind of said hey look this isn’t really what we do here but we can encourage you guys and help you guys to go over here and do something a little different and so the hope would be that we can do that in our fellowship too as a bridge this gap to some of these other programs to say hey look this isn’t exactly what we do but we want to encourage you we want to help you to continue your growth now maybe we can sort of guide you guys over this direction where you can get the help and support you need interestingly I always heard when I first got around to the the rooms of NA I was told that people in AAA were free of alcohol use but they would like snort coke on the weekends or something and I don’t really true but I did hear that kind of stuff and so they all smoked me but yeah I just heard a new turn the other day and that’s called California sober which is people who smoke weed but don’t drink alcohol so I thought that was interesting so maybe na could have like California clean out Rado clean or something you know I don’t know it’s it’s really it’s really interesting so to kind of follow through with that same line of reasoning of like you know na would probably in general not consider what you’re doing clean right now but you you did mention that you worked some 12 steps for for a time in your life were you completely clean when you did that yes I was a hundred percent I was a hundred percent absent I lived in a server home I did my 90 and 90 uh I did speaking commitments almost every weekend from my house owner I was living in the three quarter house working on a daily basis and just doing my thing in recovery and doing everything I was supposed to how I was supposed to working with my sponsor working out my 12-step Guide doing my 12 steps I just got too much freedom at one point and I still wasn’t ready I started going out to concerts and stuff and put myself in the wrong positions and around the wrong type of people and it just led me backwards what was it at a specific concert that you relapsed what do you mean a specific concert I didn’t know if you were like at a show see in a particular group and that’s what was going a few different ones I had actually relapse before the concert okay I was just gonna tell you if the band was worth it or not that’s all it takes to learn to get to where I am today right and so I’m curious I I can I look at my life right and I say one of the really interesting things that I see in the world especially in the world of mental health treatment is that there’s some talk about usage of hallucinogenics in mental health treatment right you guys talking about that not that topic yeah it’s it’s super interesting right but it’s also for me a guy who really predicates myself from complete abstinence completely terrifying to because there’s an attraction right there’s an attraction truly I want to try this for the right reasons but also am i tricking myself into thinking of the right reasons and so to ask yourself it is right and I don’t know completely how to know the whole true answer until almost until it would be too late to turn back right like I would know after the fact if I made the right decision but I wouldn’t necessarily know that ahead of time and so just so I’ve considered that concept okay maybe one day I will do this and and what does that look like if I would one day choose to do this and I’m I’m not like considering doing it this year or anything like that it’s just I thought maybe one day in the future five years ten years from now maybe I try that what does that look like for me and I say well I kind of have to leave na like I can’t really claim clean time if I did this I think and I don’t think I’m gonna hang out and be a guy with one day clean again and just because I decided to do this for a mental health experience and so I’ve like really thought about that and weighed out like what that would look like and I’m just curious for in the recovery community people in na who practice complete abstinence seem highly accepted right there they’re the they’re definitely recovering right whereas people who are on medically assisted treatments there might be some questions about whether they’re really recovering or not right there might be some judgments thrown in their direction and so how hard was it for you coming back to this knowing you were coming back to recovery how hard was it for you to choose I’m not gonna go this route where I know I will be accepted I’m gonna go this route where there’s gonna be some judgments tore in my way but I really believe this is the right way for me how difficult was it to make that choice that was kind of simple on my behalf because I’ve kind of been judged and outcasted all my life I mean I got my first possession charge for marijuana in seventh grade my second one in ninth grade I wrote papers all throughout middle and high school and the legalization of medical cannabis and then I moved out to California when I was 19 to be a medical cannabis patient so I’ve always had a passion for this and recovery is something that I knew I needed it was only since I came home from prison in the past few years that I started realizing that I could put the two together and actually using cannabis medicinal weigh and dosing myself and keeping track of everything that I put in my body and how it affects my body and what helps my body and what makes my body react reacting an adverse effect that I realized that I can help people and educate others and do this to help myself at the same time while helping others I think one of the most incredible things is that there were some years in my life not-too-distant ago where I would have said oh my god this guy’s just [ _ ] getting high he’s not cleaned at all right and yet I’m sitting here listening to you today and I’m like the way that you are listening to your body as you put different amounts or you know taking at different times a day to figure out what works best for your can you know your mental health and how that all works out you’re probably more in tune and present and conscious than I am on a lot of things like like I know people who’ve said oh man when I eat steak I feel you know overwhelmed the next day with tiredness or my body feels fatigued and it’s like I’m like I don’t [ _ ] have any clue how I feel what I eat and so I’m just amazed that how I could look at that so different at one aspect or time in my life and then from today look at it and say damn dude you’re really you’re pretty in tune with what you know you’re trying to do on a regular basis that’s awesome everything you put in your body has an effect when you like that whether it affects your mood even up down to what kind of food you eat with and the people you eat with to how it affects your mood and just being in tune with that and being able to realize how certain foods affect you and how certain people affect you and then being able to cut those things out or change those things around to make your body and your mood feel better throughout the day it’s amazing it’s so interesting it’s definitely an interesting topic and III think this entire conversation has been interesting just because we generally maybe not some more open-minded people I know you know the entire voice is the hope community and and a lot of this peer movement into anything that works to get people to stop dying right is a good thing and and I’m all in on that so maybe not to some people in that aspect of it but to a lot of us in recovery who basically have like fallen into a program and just bought in and stayed there and you know I was even sold the the information one program one disease you know I don’t go anywhere [ _ ] else for your information you don’t need to it’s all right here and I have found that that’s a complete I don’t want say a complete falsehood I want to say I’ve gotten a lot of assistance from a whole lot of other programs and fellowships that I found hugely beneficial to my life that I wouldn’t have gotten had I just stayed with this one program and so just more and more open minded is where I want to be right and to hear you come on and tell me about something that I’m completely unfamiliar with and and it sounds it’s definitely not who I thought I would be talking to if you’d ask me five or ten years ago I’d be like that’s just a [ __ ] stone or a pie search and I think a lot of people can hold on to those judgments until we hear somebody like you who’s brave enough to step up and come on a podcast and talk about something differently and so I really applaud you for having that courage to walk through like we can say we’re okay with ourselves and we all try to be but there’s always some hurt when we get judged you know and so for you to walk through that and come out here and explain to people what you’re trying to present I think is great thank you very much I appreciate that absolutely Billy did you have any questions my only thing would be about like barriers like do you feel like you’ve been running into any barriers as you’ve tried to get this kind of program going or have there been any surprises like good or bad that have a barrier to anything right now has been just the whole kovat thing and trying to get people on line to something that not too many people have heard of right now so just trying to do it without promoting it but still having to promote it a little bit because nobody’s ever heard of it so we just try to put it out there to give people a place to come and be able to speak openly I said no that just led me to another quick question have you reached out or been in contact with India like the maintenance programs in the county I know there’s a couple of doctors that are big on maintenance obviously in this county we have two methadone clinics has there been any sort of communication with any of those places or have they reached out to you or you to them um not yet I’m working on it I’ve been to the methadone programs and to some of this box and programs and cold them about some classes me and my girlfriend we’re teaching on detoxing with cannabis but not with the all past recovery yet so that’s still something like I said it’s still something in the process of growing that we’re working on just in general trying to figure out which way to go with it that’s all so yeah but a little bit I know about smart I think that’d be an interesting thing for you to check out you know I think from what I know about smart recovery they are not abstinence base they are open to things and I think that’s a combination and again I didn’t do a deep dive I just spent a little bit of time researching it at one point they use some behavioral therapy techniques to help develop a recovery pathway for each individual and then recover that way so that’s that’s another pretty interesting recovery model that’s out there as well yeah I’m excited to check them out this week I think Billy they made a good couple good points they’re actually the the one about going to you know places who are prescribing medically assisted treatment I think that’s a great idea to give people a place to come you know like you got to go and tell people where you’re at I know we did we say it’s attraction and not promotion but yeah people also have to know we exist in order to talk Ovid is doing everything online and people not knowing it and trying to promote it without actually promoting it to get people to come and just know we’re there if they need us when I say that because we had an issue in the county a few years back and it’s not currently happening but one of the methadone maintenance programs I guess somehow they had gotten in contact with na and and wanted a meeting there so we ended up actually having na meeting in the methadone clinic that was still an NA meeting and that was of course very controversial there was people there had strong opinions one way or another and should they be giving out key tags and what does all that mean you know and again it’s it’s the idea this the spirit behind it’s great on both sides but I just don’t know that that was the avenue for Narcotics Anonymous to be trying to navigate you know it I mean like it was it created some controversy but at least it seemed like they were open to some sort of outside support groups and outside help so that was a plus I was interested when you asked about if they’ve run into any barriers and I was trying to think of what kind of barriers they could run into I’m wondering how many churches would be open to having a meeting like an allpass type meeting you know like hey if you’re trying to describe this to a church hey you know we still have marijuana use and and we do these other medically assisted treatments along with that it’s all prescribed by doctors but people might have issues with that the same way people and they have a judgement of it you know church members could also have judgments of that and don’t and don’t mess up the church goddamn you’re gonna be those guys who are those druggies yeah they come to our church and mess it up like I could see that being a barrier you might you might have to meet more outside of churches and other locations you’re absolutely right hmm super interesting I can’t imagine what other barriers but I’m sure there will be barriers to it for sure

I will have Matt to make this national program if it doesn’t exist because I’m like I don’t have enough initiative to do anything like that myself but to know that it would be really cool that’s why I’m trying to branch myself out and learn anything I can about all the different paths of recovery yeah I would imagine that there’s probably some you know small groups that have attempted to start something in different locations and localities like they’re neat this is a need right now I think and the more I’ve talked to you about it the more I’m realizing that like we need a place just like this for people to come to that’s what I told Billy when I first reached out to him I’m like this is a need in our area I mean people are being turned away and they need a place to go I would 100% agree and I think this is actually even though as soon as this does become a thing there’s gonna be like this this you know different sides of the argument that na is the right way or this way is the right way it doesn’t have to be that at all I just think it’s the perfect solution for the problem that na is having right now with you know hey we’re saying you you’re not clean and people are thrilled to be right where they’re at and so it’s like I had you can’t I don’t think there is a rectification for making that work together honestly I think we need to form another program and that’s what I’m working on that’s so awesome well if everybody has done their questions I think we’ve had a great episode today I want to definitely thank Matt for coming out and and talking about it and tell us where we can find you at in Cecil County Maryland thank you guys for having me we can be found at voices of Hope on route 40 on Thursday night at 8 o’clock outback by the fire pit Thursday night 8 o’clock now after kovat are you gonna meet back inside were you meeting inside before well no we’ve actually we were meeting inside in the basement but since it’s warmer out now we’re doing it outside and due to Co that we’re trying to trying to keep everybody apart my girlfriend’s high risk so in order for her to go out she’s trying to keep distance and just feel comfortable being able to do the meetings in person so last week was last Thursday was our first time gathering out by the fire pit went pretty well we actually had a couple new people show up and we got to see everything voices I hope is done new at the house and it looks good that’s awesome so Thursday nights 8 o’clock that’s where you can see Matt and and you know show up to a meeting that might be unlike any meeting you’ve been to before and hopefully that’s in a great way and Matt I hope you know I wish you continued success if there’s anything we can do to assist with that always feel free to reach out I would I hope you can get out to those you know recovery centers and and drum up some support or at least let people know that this is available because I think right now this is something that people don’t know about and it’s a very valuable service I’m definitely taking notes thanks for all your input absolutely so it’s been a great episode I know this by the time anybody listens to this it will be Monday so a little late but happy Father’s Day anyway to everyone and we’ll see you again next week awesome take care

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