42: Step Eight – Made a List of All Persons We Had Harmed and Became Willing to Make Amends to Them All (Sort Of)

8/2/20 Step 8 Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all (Sort Of). We talk about the 8th step in this episode, and attempt to see if there is more to it than just making a list of people. We look at how to become willing. We look at our actions and decide we are not okay with how we acted towards or treated others. We use this humility to assist with changing our defects from the previous step.

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Transcript:

i was still with like less than 600 bucks

he’s been happy with it it works good

well i got one similar to the one we were looking at upstairs and uh i believe it will handle whatever it is we need to do with it so that’s good the other side of that with the order i made for the microphones forever ago which are still out of stock everywhere um those people do that not good huh so i mean did i tell you that they went back and said that the boom arms weren’t supposed to be on the webpage so they came back with an offer they were like well look we’ll offer you an amount to you know make up for that they offered 25 for the whole order these boom arms are 99 apiece oh three of them holy [ __ ] yeah so in the place of 297 they offered me 25 bucks and then to add insult to that i went back and i looked at the price of all the things like the the different pieces of the the bundle which you know when you get a bundle you’re assuming you’re getting a

get it out for him the guy said there was nothing he could do that was the best he could offer i tweeted that they don’t order from there just you know to try to get their attention and somebody you know got back to me and said send me the information i said i will but i’ve already talked to your customer service people like i don’t think you’re going to be able to do much but so we’ll see i was hoping they would get the information i i even said to him i was like look dude at this point if i can send this back without paying return shipping i’m fine with that like i’d rather just break even honestly and uh he didn’t get back to me last night i figured he would and then i would just mail it today before i went on vacation but he didn’t get back to me so i don’t know maybe this other twitter person is going to investigate it’s not like so his big thing was well we had the right to change this stuff at any time it was a mistake on the website we used a stock picture but it wasn’t just in the picture it was also listed on the website like included boom arm or whatever broadcast arm i’m like so i don’t know i guess we’re not really any closer to professional professional gear well i mean even if you return it like hey don’t you have a right to return they have a new return policy no they have a return policy the the only thing is uh or the only hold up really is that because it’s a larger box on their website it states that they’ll make you pay the return cost for this like large box that i have sitting in my my house so i’m like i don’t really want to pay return costs but honestly i probably will over you know giving them my money well that’s what i was gonna say it might be worth it just to say look [ _ ] you go to the post office and say look what’s the absolute cheapest i can send this because it’s i mean i am shocked sometimes that how sometimes surprisingly cheap [ _ ] is the ship yeah oh compared to what it seemed like it used to be you know nowadays shipping is like [ _ ] nothing you could ship [ _ ] middle of idaho for like 11 you know like and they’re in new york they’re not like super far away so right yeah you know i’m gonna figure it out and deal with that if they don’t offer me something great then yeah i’d rather return it and then even but even then if i return it and buy it on another website in pieces or whatever not in the bundle they’re still in back order and i reached out to the company that makes the microphone and they’re like oh we’re just swamped everybody’s like needing this kind of stuff right now so yeah i wanted to get that [ _ ] uh the under armour exercise mask because of course i’m going to the gym and uh planet fitness and i guess everywhere now i heard in maryland like you gotta wear a mask the whole time you’re in the gym starting today august first yeah so i’m a little confused about that so plan and fitness went earlier this week and said all mass all the time and then two days later i guess because of backlash from people said all mass unless you’re actively working out but i don’t know how maryland’s new state i was gonna say maryland’s new law is anything inside right i would think the state law trumps i would think so too but i don’t know but anyway so i was like well i’ll get because that under armour went from what everybody said for working out it’s great because it’s like read some good stuff about that off your you know so i’m like oh that’s cool i’ll get one of them and then i look because i heard like i knew they were on back order till like sometime in august and then it was like august 16th is the thing that i saw and that’s why i went to order i was gonna order two one for me and one for jen and now they’re like in the [ _ ] end of september before you can get one like [ __ ] by then i’ll be done working i’ll have found some reason to quit again

no i get it it’s you know but it is what it is maybe it’s it’s obviously supposed to be slow moving we’re not supposed to have that right now we’re supposed to still be chilling here with their with our microphone that produces good sound it’s not like it doesn’t just a little better so you guys vacation is just going to be like a getaway to the beach yeah for the most part get the kids out of the house get them to the beach um we can stare at each other in some other house for a week i mean honestly it’s like just something to get away they’re excited i was excited and then yesterday i was feeling really tired and like [ _ ] i gotta drive all night that sounds [ _ ] terrible why are you driving at night i don’t like driving during the day there’s traffic and i were joking around five kids in the car it’s like ah just [ __ ] especially the baby so i said yeah you know cause she’s like why are you guys doing it so early i was like well jason wants to drive at night you know and she’s like oh she’s like i remember when we were young and stupid like that

now now and i laugh because that’s exactly where like [ _ ] old people like i get up especially with the camper five the camper i’m like all right we’re gonna drive from like nine in the morning after traffic starts to slow down we’re gonna stop by like six at night and if we get 300 miles [ _ ] it that’s all we’re going i don’t care we’re stopping at 6 6 30 getting dinner and we’re done because i used to try to push it then i’m driving at night and [ _ ] angry well every or we would drive overnight and then the whole you’re wrecked for two days because your sleep so we’ve done early to me i don’t know every time we’ve gone like to disney or something we’ve done the night drive because the kids have always been there’s always been at least one little kid and it’s like man rather than sleep man pestering me the whole [ _ ] trip pull over and go to the bathroom every five minutes god we had young kids we drove all the way out to montana we spent days in the car

i mean i guess they adjust but i think the baby’s more of my concern i don’t feel like dealing with that yeah she doesn’t sleep out of the car kids are older sometimes

i don’t know we’ll see how it works out i got hypnotherapy set up for when i get back yeah yeah wow try to smoking cessation through hypnosis huh let’s see what happens nice i’ve heard good things about that stuff i remember some lady in frederick when i was buying a cart with cigarettes like gave me a card and was like oh my god i had it done and it was great i never wanted to smoke again i was like okay can’t hurt i don’t want to stop struggling with the black one yeah i switched over to a different brand just because those have pipe tobacco and if you inhale that it makes it really hard to breathe over time so i switched to just normal tobacco cigars but it’s [ _ ] with that and then i got like a disposable vape to [ _ ] around with too i’m just like some successful days some not too much therapy can’t hurt all right i figured even if i managed to quit before then i’m still going to do it just for the [ __ ] experience right then my therapist was telling me she went on a goddamn mushroom trip dude cool and was like one of the best experiences of her life and i should do it and i’m like oh my god

there’s a difference one i have eaten mushrooms and i have but it would be different now oh yeah well that’s where i i try to tell i’m like man just don’t kid yourself i mean it may or may not that’s my only uh i don’t know what you want to call it like hesitation is like all right so i could go have this really great experience and all this other stuff or it could trigger addiction and that’s not worth it right you know right could trigger me to be like oh yeah that’s right i hate reality i don’t ever want to feel reality again it was funny so here in her who does not use drugs whatsoever describe her experience on it and how awakening it was for her i guess or insightful reminded me that like i feel like it was that way for me too i was just so caught up in the other aspects of addiction that like it was insightful but it opened my mind in ways that weren’t very useful right it’s like and i feel like now i’m like man i’m a whole different focus in my life like it probably would be interesting to experience but i don’t know it’s sketchy i thought i was like look i love the idea right i’m all for it i’m like i’m kind of in a 12-step program which might frown upon it and she’s like yeah but nicotine caffeine i’m like yeah i get that i hear that argument but try to sell that at meetings see what you get yeah i wouldn’t show

i would tell people i sponsored though if i was going to do it i would have to but oh yeah i don’t think i’d talk about it too much at meetings that’s not for that so her theory is you would do it she did it uh she had somebody who could get it and that was the person who ended up being her person and they did not use the mushrooms and she went over to their house when it was empty it was just her and the lady and she did it by herself with somebody there to make sure everything went okay yes and for me like i and i guess if i was going to draw lines in the sand i would say it would need to be one it would need to be like a legal medication that we now prescribe like these other medications and two there would have to be a real either psychological or medical reason to actually do it like i am really struggling let’s say i got cancer and i’m [ _ ] stressing out about end of life stuff or something you know what i mean like some reason like that where i would say well then i would do it under the guise of an actual doctor i’m not gonna like hook up with steve from the [ _ ] local you know fish concert [ _ ] get some mushrooms that makes sense and that makes it okay you know like i was picturing i was trying i was like who the [ _ ] would i get to be like my person and i i thought of my buddy jack and he’s like i don’t i love jack right and i trust him with my life for the most part but then i’m like you know he gets some weird conspiracy theories here and there like i can just imagine something weird about this i’m like i would have to like rent a cabin and billy would just have to sit there and [ _ ] watch me for three hours that’s all it is like that would be the only way i would do it i think if i was going to do something like that at least what i think of now is i would want to go to like one of those shamans in south america and do like an island like the toad or something yeah well they don’t actually lick a toad yeah but that’s the idea they scrape [ _ ] off its back that’s what jack was talking about that’s exactly what he was talking about yeah that’s those ayahuasca ceremonies they have and that’s supposed to be really amazing and cool but real short-lived i guess at ayahuasca those trips are like five ten minutes that’s weird but super extreme like like super intense but like for a really short amount of time but when you do it in that ceremony thing it’s almost like the sweat lodge like it’s a whole ritual you go out with these shamans to the woods and you’re [ _ ] in a tribe around a fire and singing songs and all this stuff and it’s ceremonial why they make up the stuff it’s like a hit of crack psychedelics yeah yeah jesus that would be crazy i don’t know my my standpoint when i left therapy the other day was i’m not gonna go chase this [ _ ] down if for some strange reason like my life just led me right to a thing that just made total sense i’d be like oh maybe i need to consider this then but yeah i if we thought about it with my mom i’m like i should find some way to get her to like trip on it because she was totally stressed about and they say it’s great for that kind of stuff they found really good benefits for people that struggle with depression on like you know i forget what they were using for that i can’t remember if it was lsd or something but you know bringing people into like for the depression stuff the extreme depression it was done like in a clinical setting with a psychotherapist i think they call it you know and and i don’t know i mean i guess if i i could start being depressed maybe i could work it out but it didn’t even sound fun the way they described that because the guy’s like well you know the guy talking about it’s like you know you go to doctor’s office and you sit in there and you put on these headphones and they start playing a certain kind of music and it’s a calming environment it’s not people around or anything and then they give you this stuff and you know it’s right i’m like oh that’s not what i want at all i want to be out in the woods [ __ ] seeing things

she was talking about just feeling more uh like open and in touch with everything and she had like a better understanding of some of her guilt and shame through it and i don’t know it was really the way she described it was pretty [ _ ] it was like damn i can’t imagine if you’ve never done drugs yeah it’s gotta be weird to then go to some place where your reality is all distorted like right super interesting i will say that i uh i’ve heard about the the people who are doing it as therapy now too where it’s like a much lower dose i don’t think it’s psilocybin either psilocybin i think it’s some other thing i want to say mdma and i don’t believe that’s the right one i think it’s the wrong letters but there’s something there’s a couple that so the stuff that’s in ayahuasca is similar to the stuff that’s the mdma you know what i mean like ones like the synthetic version and one they get off these toads they literally get this [ _ ] they just they don’t lick them they like you scrape this stuff off the back of the toads and then dry it out and make it into a powder and then ayahuasca they make it into a drink with some other [ _ ] and it’s crazy but it is crazy it’s crazy because i was sitting in a therapy training and the guy was talking about a whole different modality he wasn’t talking about drugs or nothing and somehow that question came up during it and he was like look i’m the biggest skeptic of this [ _ ] i think it’s [ _ ] crazy but i went and checked it out and looked into it and looked into the research and actually participated in it he’s like it’s hard for me to sit here and argue with it i’ll say that he’s like it’s kind of it’s something about it breaks down some of the barriers that people have put up over their life through trauma and they can’t get through them and like that just kind of melts it away and they’re able to do their therapy and it’s like what the [ _ ] that’s crazy who knew drugs were good yeah right uh i don’t know step eight yeah you do anything you do any reading for it or anything i read through it in the basic text and jen and i talk about it so it’s perfect she gives me some insightful things but i got some quotes this one’s pretty straightforward i mean it’s not that it’s easy but it’s pretty to me straightforward i think there’s a couple things in here that stood out to me i got a few quotes i figured normally i’m like trying to limit the quotes this one i was like well you know more quotes we might run out of [ __ ] to say about it so um we got a couple of messages to check up on from people from last week nothing profound i had a couple of extreme people actually two different people comment on the smart recovery guy say that was one of our best guests he had and he was really interesting and well i think what they’re really saying there is uh it’s better when somebody else talks than you guys because he talked a lot now he was great

so oh speaking of those kind of things i i was put in touch with somebody from celebrate recovery she’s like delaware northern delaware’s regional representative or something for it and you know i sent her a link to the podcast and i told her kind of what we do and i said you know we are a little recruiter so be warned and then she got back to me and said it just wasn’t the place for her to to come talk and i i told her i said look i appreciate that uh and she said you’ve really got to come to a cr meeting it’s it’s more of an experience and i was like i appreciate that i said i’m still going to try to find somebody that’s willing to come on because and not to i totally respect her decision but it’s like are you only going to go to church and expect to find the sinners or are you also going to go to the bar like the sinners are [ __ ] not like some of our people might eventually be christians i don’t know maybe they will one day not want to cuss or whatever and and not even listen to us anymore right because we’re crude but i’m like why wouldn’t you want to come on and spread i don’t know it just kind of maybe just irritate me because she said no i have no idea yeah i didn’t like it and i’ve been to celebrate recovery meetings and jen and i have been she’s spoken a couple when we know some people i just i don’t know that any of them would be like great spokesmen or interview people yeah but they would probably come on and do it the one guy i know he probably would um i just i don’t know him personality personality-wise well enough to be whether he’d be interesting because he’s just a guy over in hartford county oh biker dude you know or used to be a biker dude now he’s whatever bikers for jesus or whatever you want to call it i mean i’m definitely willing to do my i can’t promise i won’t press but i’ll do my best to tone it down a bit uh i wouldn’t have a problem with that i just uh yeah i don’t know man i would like to get that on here and then and there was the guy oh the people that reached out and i wanted to know our accounts for listening and all that i never even bothered to respond and then they they emailed again like later that week or something like hey we’re still looking to set something up and i’m like yeah yeah i always thought about like mentioning them on the podcast just to be like yeah but i was like yeah because then i’m giving a free press i’m not even gonna do that so yeah we gotta find somebody for this month for something i don’t know and you’re talking about exactly what i run into like i know people from almost every fellowship at this point but

i i’m trying to control the outcome and look for someone entertaining with a big personality honestly and it’s like maybe i should just bring on who the [ _ ] ever and see how it goes all right it’s bad it could be dull i don’t know yeah it’s almost like speakers and meetings you know you never know right somebody comes along and they’re [ _ ] great the next week you could have them on and they suck exactly i’ve shared some shitty ass meetings before i’m sure people were like who the [ _ ] that’s not who i am sure some of the best [ _ ] speaker tapes you ever heard them people have went out crazy or whatever you call you know not been able to put sentences together i remember my first sponsor and he had a pretty enthusiastic powerful share and then the last minute one day they got him to share like this speaker jam with a microphone and he had never shared in a microphone before and he got up there and it was nothing like what he normally did like he normally had this really good shared it was you know got everybody excited and he shared about like he like dissed a whole bunch of people and was like putting people down for what you know different practices it was very like any nazi type share and i’m like what in the [ _ ] it made me like cringe i was like god that’s my sponsor i’m sure i’ve had those i mean like when i go to share i don’t [ _ ] ever really know what i’m gonna say i don’t ever go prepared i don’t have a story you know per se i and times people have said that was great and other times you know you know like that just wasn’t good and i don’t i can’t even tell you going in like you know like it’s not like a certain feeling that i have going in or a certain thing that it’s just i feel like i’m just [ _ ] like that’s experience whatever i’m feeling right now is my experience you know and every day in my head isn’t [ _ ] great some days are dark and suck and not so good that’s depression there you go you can use mushrooms settled it for you cleared no i’m with you i’m with you i mean i have a general story but that’s not it does not come out the same way every time i woke up i’m gonna share a meeting for sure it’s you know there’s sometimes these parts come out sometimes these sometimes none of it comes out and it’s just some other babbling [ __ ] but i will say in in this in thinking that way with i do think it’s a little different here if we want to get someone to be sort of a representative of that program you want someone that has a good understanding of that program you know what i mean just picking someone that’s been around n a for a while wouldn’t necessarily they’ve never done like service or been to area service or been to events or you know what i mean like if they haven’t participated in the program a lot it’s hard to so maybe i should interview them like i used to interview speakers hey uh what step are you on do you have a sponsor are you of service right now do you have a home group and then if they meet those qualifications don’t worry so much about oh my god are they interesting like yeah right yeah how many of these meetings do you go to how often do you go it’s more of a question and answer really yeah it’s not like they had to be super interesting

hmm i dig it we’ll work on something

i don’t know you ready to do all this sure i’m not entirely not

you gotta have a mask on when you do that

here we are recovery sort of i am jason i’m a guy in long-term recovery or or some form of recovery i hope uh and here is billy i’m billy i’m also a person in long-term recovery and today we’re gonna talk about step eight which is a wonderful wonderful thing uh before we get into that we did have a couple of messages about spirituality last week autumn uh was the first message we had who said religion is for people who are scared of hell spirituality is for people who have been through it and i know like at first i’m always like yeah for one i forgot all about that saying right that i do like that saying i think it’s been pertinent at least it made me feel special when i first got here um but even after that like i tend to oh yeah you know it’s one of those cliches it’s got a little maybe truth to it but i kind of think there’s something to that because we’ve kind of talked about that too like religion is a comforting thing right and not to say that everybody that gets into it is people who haven’t you know been through hell or whatever but it’s people frequently we’re scared i think we’re all scared really of life or death or or things that happen tragedy and so we seek out a comforting place right and i think you’ve mentioned that too like the idea of like a an afterlife or a heaven is comforting and and you are almost jealous that you don’t believe something like that because it could be useful to you and so in in that sense you know the religion part being for people who are scared of hell but i think excuse me more for me and what i like about this is spirituality is for people who have been through it and i think i don’t think spirituality would work for me without the experience of the toughness of life or without the experience of tough feelings that i’ve had to deal with or tough situations i’ve been through like i think there’s some some real substance to that kind of thing do you have any thoughts about that at all from a strictly like analytical point i think that’s a terrible cliche i like it because it sounds good well for two reasons one it limits people it makes it seems like if you haven’t been through what i’ve been through you can’t be a spiritual person which i don’t agree with that at all i think there are just genuinely good people out there it doesn’t mean they had to get abused or be a terrible person in order to understand the other side of that um i have met some of the most compassionate wonderful loving people that i have ever met in my life through religious organizations um i think so it’s funny my wife and i were just having a conversation about religion last night and i was bashing it in the context that what lets me know religion is bad is that it’s way harder to pick if you had a group of 100 you know let’s take christians for example in a room you’d be lucky to pick 10 really great ones out of that the rest are probably or probably not even good people and that’s a generalization obviously it’s probably terrible to say but there are going to be probably 10 people in that room that believe wholeheartedly in the love compassion you know all the best parts of christianity and will go out in their life and try to do those things so those people exist they aren’t uh it’s not like if you’re in religion you’re a terrible person if you’re involved in organized religion you’re gross um and i don’t know if everyone needs to go through suffering if we’re lucky we i mean life is life so you’re gonna have some level of suffering no matter what uh the difference with addiction if i had to be completely frank is i caused most of the harm and destruction in my life i caused way more harm that was ever done to me so if the criteria to be a spiritual person is that you have to go out and wreck the lives of a bunch of people that you come in contact with i don’t necessarily think that’s a good way to look at it well yeah i don’t i guess for me and and when i was dissecting this in my head i wasn’t i kind of took the religion piece out of it because i wasn’t real focused on that oh and can i just and the other thing sorry i mean cut you off but when we say religion what we really mean is christianity because there are a bunch of religions that don’t focus on this afterlife piece as much i think that’s a main staple of christianity and it’s a main staple of i think the muslim religion but a lot of other ones don’t focus on that stuff so much you know what i mean especially a lot of the western religions and stuff it’s not about an afterlife it’s about what are we doing with our lives right here and now right right well when i was looking at this and i know you know it’s been said many times for people like us um about this concept and we look at it just as oh spirituality is for people who have been through it meaning been through addiction because addiction is a a living hell in some ways you know a definitely a living prison of our own making for us but i was just thinking of it in the sense of like could you possibly want or desire to be connected like we were talking about spirituality as this form of connection and and you know treating people in certain ways and everything could you possibly even see that as the answer to your life if you’ve never tried the other ways which to me all the other ways do produce you know either some suffering or more suffering than you’ve been through already like when i try to fix myself through eating or cigarettes or buying new cars or whatever it is like that always leads me to a better understanding of hey this felt good for a second and now i’m right back down to where i was before i tried to feel good do you think there’s people who have just like since birth been raised to to want to feel connected to people and haven’t bought into our culture and society of of consumerism and like that’s where i guess i was coming from i just felt like yeah i think people do have to kind of try the alternative and find their own little like hellish landscape of this doesn’t work before they can go to spirituality uh yeah i don’t think people need to do that i mean we spent some time out in utah with the mormons and they’re not people that have bought into this way of life at all and they were some of the nicest kindest people i’m sure some of them are fake i’m not you know i don’t think all mormons are great and my exposure to them was pretty limited right but no they just wanted to be kind and and they were very focused on like community connection and connecting with other people and not about materialism or pop culture or none of that stuff that’s amazing and so it was very interesting i loved it right oh yeah i almost became a mormon because these [ _ ] people were so great billy mormon yeah i i so and and i try to be an open-minded guy that says okay everybody’s experience is not my experience you know everybody’s got it a little different no not everybody has to go to where i had to go to to get to my understandings that’s stretching my ability to to be open-minded i’m like really people can just [ _ ] be that like i feel like you have to go i don’t know yeah well what if we take this whole thing and just twist it to a different way of looking at it so for example if you took you know one of your daughters or one of your kids or maybe not someone that’s one of your kids but a random person at 17 18 19 years old and just like worked with them and like sponsored them through the steps do you think that could lead them to some spiritual understanding or do you think you know that the program or the 12 steps only work for people that are at it i don’t think they only work for people who are addicts but i think they probably don’t work if i don’t see the need to do anything different like the steps only worked for me because i saw the need to change in me the ways i was going weren’t working and they were producing really terrible outcomes and so like it was only through that need to do something different that i really saw the need to do them and i guess i could have worked through them but i wouldn’t have changed nothing i’d be like well this sounds good but like what i’m doing is working i’m good you know what i mean yeah and i think by 17 i had already been through some suffering personally well again everybody’s going to have suffering in life no one gets out without a death of a very close loved one or some sort of level of abuse you know some more minor than others but yes we all everyone in life will have suffering there we go i think he just conceded and i won yes

but and i guess i go back to like i’ve always thought like this the steps just in general i mean maybe some parts would be pushing it a little bit but the steps in general like if we could get most people to work the steps in their lives the end result would be much better [ _ ] people like we would have much more loving kind compassionate caring people when we started looking at you know we’re looking at our own shortcomings the harm that we’ve caused to other people all these things like i don’t think you have to be an addict to say yeah i’ve done some shitty stuff in my life i’ve hurt some people when i didn’t want to i’ve acted out on character defects to fulfill selfish desires you know those i didn’t feel good about those things and so now hopefully i can learn from that i can get in a practice of a maybe you know meditation or some sort of spiritual connection to a higher power i can get into a routine of looking at my life doing an inventory and uh i can try to help other people in the world like i think anyone could benefit from that i would agree with that but i just i think that i guess from my perspective puts a little bit over stock in the steps like i don’t i think the steps are a great way to do it they’ve worked well for me and i think they can work well for anybody that would see the need to i don’t think they’re the only way i think people get a similar help in therapy i think people can find similar help in other types of you know recovery programs or things outside of recovery programs all if they’re invested in doing something different with their life so i would say our goal is not to to get everybody to work the steps but to get everybody to see the need for something different in their life to better it well i think the difference at least from my understanding with therapy is that you’re not necessarily focused on spiritual principles and spiritual living in therapy and that seems to be for me anyway the focus of the steps the focus of the steps is hey let me help you experience and learn about these spiritual principles and then as we get to the later steps into you know like 11 and 12 it’s like okay now let’s take these principles and apply them in our life i don’t think you get that from therapy i think so when we talked uh you know to jenny and we learned about the the buddhist principles like their principles are less i want to say less and she’ll probably correct me on this i’m sure less about the spirituality or connectedness of how we treat others their principles focus mainly kind of the way i look at therapy too it’s mostly internal it’s all about us right but in that correcting i hate to use that word in that change in us that it that it produces it ends up doing the same thing right and me seeing that i need healthy boundaries i’m more willing to accept others healthy boundaries and me seeing the need to forgive myself i see the need to forgive others right when i so they all kind of end up having the same outcome like we treat the world and are more connected to it because we’ve done work on ourselves to realize where we need that help but do you think they’re experiences that are unique to addicts or people that suffer trauma or are they just human experiences that everyone’s going to have i mean i i think every person in the world is going to have situations where they don’t know how to develop healthy boundaries and that they either cross boundaries or allow their boundaries to be crossed and then you know have to figure out like okay how do i establish healthy boundaries like that to me seems to be a human experience yeah i guess what i mean is i don’t look as addicts as terminally unique to having the [ _ ] uh corner on the spiritual living piece like it’s not like because i’ve suffered more than everyone else i can now be the most spiritual person like i don’t think that’s true i think anyone can be a spiritual person regardless of the level of suffering that they’ve had in their lives interesting i’m about to think more about that because i don’t know i might buy into the fact that if you suffered more you can actually be more spiritual i’m not really sure uh another another message we got now that we’ve beat up that message a little bit uh stephanie talked a lot about what we like she actually she sent me some pages from a book called no mud lotus which looks pretty interesting to read and it talked about the idea of how we try to fix ourselves even when it’s not the right answer like eating when we’re not hungry or you know taking that further to anything we do when we don’t really feel the need to do it but we just do it anyway instead of being with ourselves um and one of the things she talked about with just spirituality one of the old quotes of like you know realizing that we’re not the ocean we’re the wave that’s part of the ocean like we we kind of got to flow with everything right and i guess one of the things that brought up for me was that we also have to flow with like things we don’t like right when when society is kind of going a direction we don’t like not that i need to like it but i kind of need to flow somewhere with it at the same time right maybe to the outskirts but i still kind of need to go in that direction if not i’m having a i’m having that life where i’m mad at every [ _ ] other facebook post and things right like i need to find a way to flow and coexist with that even when i don’t find it to be what i believe yeah and so i agree with that but only a little differently in that i don’t have to go with the flow i can buck and i can stand up and be loud and [ _ ] about it but it doesn’t generally tend to make my life better it usually tends to make things harder and that’s not always bad you know my wife would tell you that you know bucking against the norms and and the trends and whatever we see like with you know black lives matter stuff like that’s what that is that’s standing up and saying well wait a minute this has been a norm or a trend that we’ve had to deal with for years and this is not [ _ ] okay so there are times that we need to to buck against the waves of life you know or buck against the ocean but figuring out when that is and where best to spend that energy is important and see i look at that more as like that’s and i know it’s not quite as easy as this that’s very uh split like there’s a lot of people on both sides of that you know debate but i think of that more as a societal shift where it’s more like the tides coming in and out right so it’s not so much that i need to really buck against the flow of the water it’s like oh okay the water’s starting to flow a little different like maybe that’s the settling point where we’re split evenly right now where okay it’s starting to settle the tide’s fully in and now it’s time for it to go back out or or you know whichever one you want to call that i don’t know which way it would be going but yeah i i agree though but no yeah some people do need to stand up against it i just think it’s a very tough position to take for sure and it definitely feels like you’re trying to battle the [ _ ] ocean coming at you and wave form when you’re doing that yeah or even doing it subtly i mean it’s like you’ve shared about like we have this weird materialistic pop culture [ _ ] thing going on in our society that dictates to our kids that that’s you know what you need to be and we need to well we don’t need to but you know in that case it’s almost beneficial for me to try to get my kids to look at that a little differently like i know everyone’s doing that but maybe not you know maybe there’s a different way of doing that i know i keep trying to get through to my kids with that kind of stuff i’m like very fruitless at times but and i will say this is the difference though is doing it in a spirit of like love and compassion and kindness like i don’t think what works is saying oh those people are stupid and they’re dumb and that’s so stupid you know and you shouldn’t do that you know like that [ _ ] doesn’t work yeah i’m always trying to inspire some kind of thought on their part i just feel defeated frequently when i don’t feel like i inspired the thought i was looking for damn it that’s not what i wanted me too well i think you’ve the one that’s told me like i think we gotta wait till later to see the results later i hope so i hope there’s some results good gracious so with that uh little wrap up out we’re going to talk about step 8 today made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all and uh you know we we joked about there not being a whole lot to talk about with this step you know you you make a goddamn list right you write the names of the people you’ve harmed or you pulled those names out of your fourth step uh you know in the fourth step i’m more focused on writing out this life story the places where i have these resentments these fears and it’s more about how it affected me and i think we can draw the names out of there but leave the focus of how it affected me there in the fourth step so i draw the names out or or the you know institutions and then i can put them in eight and then took a whole different focus of like well how did i affect them would you say that that’s kind of what we’re doing here yeah yeah definitely seeing how our our actions and attitudes affected you know people around us really looking at taking responsibility for our actions yeah it’s so in doing some of the readings for this i was a little disappointed because i feel like every step up until now it’s had some real quote worthy stuff i’m like oh that’s powerful and this one it was kind of like i had to dig a little deeper for that sort of stuff so one of the things that stuck out um was that we make a list and become willing nothing more like that’s all we’re really trying to do here and i think that gets lost a lot of times we connect eight and nine so tightly because you know spoiler alert for next month nine talks about actually finding ways to make those amends and so i think we can get caught up in how are we going to make the amends or which one of these amends do we really need to make right now which ones aren’t needed anymore we can get or at least i for sure can get caught up in that aspect of it as opposed to the parts where i have to i just need to make a list and then try my best to become willing to make them right and that doesn’t necessarily mean what does that mean to you to become willing to make them because i think i’ve always looked at it as am i willing to go do this thing and i almost think there’s another piece to it or or it’s something different where it’s like the becoming willing part is really just seeing my part enough to want to do something different yeah and for me the the you know becoming willing is i guess you’d say twofold like one recognizing what i think harm is what i think you know the hurt that i caused to others is and then two like not being okay with that um because the truth is if i haven’t done a ninth step and now that i have i know but you know up until that point i don’t even know what making amends really means you know what i mean in my head it means running up to everybody and saying i’m sorry but that’s not what it means you know yeah that’s that’s not it at all and you know now that i’ve had experience with making amends i can say you know for me i don’t even worry about the immense part you know what i mean like it’s most important that we don’t even think about enemies when we make this list um that we just look at you know did i cause harm to someone else and am i okay with that harm or not you know what i mean like am i okay with doing that or not you know and so and i think that’s might be uh i don’t want to say i miss that when i’ve gone through these but i i definitely didn’t completely appreciate that piece of it right my idea of willingness to make amends was like all right am i willing to write this check to these people that i took money from or am i willing to go tell these people that i was a crap head even though i’m still mad about what they did to me like i i tend to skip over the am i okay with that like am i okay with the way i treated these people it’s pretty shitty like maybe i’m not so that’s a i think that’s a good thing to get out of this willingness um yeah and the idea would be like okay you know if i’m out whatever on the playground and some kid comes up starts pushing me around tries to beat me up and then i turn around and beat the [ _ ] out of that kid you know what i mean just defending myself right like should i feel bad about that and do i need to owe that kid a men’s and that’s going to be different for each individual you know i mean there’s going to be some people that say oh absolutely i never want to cause any sort of physical violence towards someone else and then there’s going to be someone else who says no if someone’s coming at me and trying to threaten me or cause harm to me it’s okay to defend myself and neither are those i mean i have my own opinion about that but let’s hear it yeah but you know there’s not a right or wrong for each individual in that scenario of an eighth step and then a ninth step of men’s right you know there’s going to be people that say no i’m not i don’t think i did anything wrong i don’t think that’s a harm now if that person walked up and punched their little brother in the back of the head for no reason whatsoever then you probably gotta you know right then punching someone in the head is probably harm right i think i say yes to that like the i probably do have a right to defend myself and yet at the exact same time i will probably not feel good about harming someone after i do it regardless of whether it’s justified in that moment or not you mentioned you know how do we define harm and that’s one of the things that it starts to talk about it says one definition of harm is physical or mental damage another definition of harm is inflicting pain suffering or loss the damage may be caused by something that is said done or left undone harm can result from words or actions either intentional or unintentional and i thought this was kind of crucial to talk about um you know a lot of times we think about the harms we’ve done as in actual things we’ve done and it’s easy to gloss over or not pay much attention for me to the things that i left undone right there was a lot of things even in my life today there’s probably times when like my wife or my kids are looking for more comforting for me or something after a situation and i’m don’t realize it and just completely neglected and i gotta i think that’s where i gotta dig a little deeper in this and realize the times where like i didn’t do something that maybe i could have like that would have helped other people what are you yeah well or just things you know and um not standing up for or protecting other people when we see harm being caused to them you know things like that as well i mean we can be around you know if you’re around people using and there’s kids around that see you using or see you participate in an activity like is that is that okay yeah and and are you okay with that you know like are you okay you know or or uh those times in my you know i guess using period and probably afterwards that i would get involved with someone who had kids and you know all of a sudden i’m a part of their life and then however many months later when we’re not together anymore i disappear you know out of thin air again and it’s like that probably did some harm that i wasn’t paying any attention to because it was all about you know what am i getting out of this relationship and not how am i treating others that are involved in it and i think that speaks to the other part of this which was harm can result from words or actions either intentional or unintentional and i think that’s a before i got to the 12 steps i was definitely focused on my intentions a lot more than i am today like oh you know that’s not what i meant to do so it’s not really my fault and this step i think kind of gives me the awareness that it doesn’t really matter what the [ _ ] i intended to do people get hurt whether i intended it or not let me address that right or even my good intentions can cause harm you know what i mean even things i i thought would be good can turn out bad and and harmful and i still owe well i feel i still owe and amends for that so let’s let’s take a step back here and maybe try to you know we usually try to put this in terms of someone who’s not in a program or who’s new to the program like what would an who would do an eighth step who’s gonna make a list right and try to become willing like when would this happen in the the life of an earthling so in catholicism and catholic religion you they they are one of the few religions that has a practice of doing this through confession um you’re sort of i was raised catholic so you know you go to classes and you learn about you know hey this is you want to look back over your life and see where you’ve caused harm to other people that’s a sin against god when you’ve done these certain things and so in from a religious point of view that’s what that confession is about you know taking ownership of how you’ve wronged god so i i would agree i think that purpose is very much the same as as our eighth step um because it talks about you know it seemed to talk about throughout the reading that the purpose of step eight was to remove our guilt really which i found kind of surprising honestly because i did not think that was what i was supposed to be doing here uh and i and we can get to that in a little while but so i see that as a means of removing guilt like hey i go i confess it i talk about it i you know penance whatever comes afterwards but i feel like the penance is way different than the amends like the penance is more like oh i gotta do this punishment almost this detention for what i did whereas the amends is more i need to go do whatever in my power to try to correct what i did you know so that it actually affects the other person in some way what are you talking about from the catholicism well from the i mean yeah i would agree i mean what we do with a ninth step within a men’s yeah i think is different than but catholicism is all about shaming people into change that’s all it’s about i think we’re doing something different in recovery than we are in catholicism i would definitely agree and i think the priests want to know all your secrets so they can use it against you later is it to use it against you i thought they were just curious yeah maybe maybe they’re secret kind of weird perverts or something yeah well we know they are right came out a little bit i i could imagine that being pretty fun though to sit there and listen to all everybody’s dirt like that’s like gossip or something i i would probably enjoy that too much um excuse me um so what do you think about this purpose of removing guilt because i have always looked at the idea of steps eight and nine as the purpose is to get back in touch with humanity in society and i guess removing my guilt does free me up to do that in some ways but i’ve always looked at it more as a process of i’m doing this uh because i want to right the wrongs not just for me but also for others and i guess that’s not really true in nine it really doesn’t matter how they react to it it’s more about our side of the street but i don’t know something about that removing guilt just feels really selfish i don’t know well the truth is this whole process is selfish in a way and it’s it’s like the whatever paradox of you know through my selfish works i achieve like a selfless you know result it’s like through through doing you know this uh list and then the ninth step making the amends you know hopefully i alleviate some pain and suffering from other people but the truth is it’s really to try to just clean up my side of the street to own the wrongs that i’ve done in the world and then to allow that to be part of my past and hopefully not part of my future well i’ll tell you where removing guilt just seems to rub me the wrong way and that’s in the sense that there’s a lot of time well there’s times i always use i like a lot and always and many and there’s times where i’ve my understanding has been from from others that we don’t share what happened or or we don’t make a particular amends in a particular way because just confessing to someone where it’s going to cause more damage just to get it off of us right like i can relieve my guilt by going and confessing to my wife that i cheated on her or something but it’s actually not beneficial for the other person at all and so to me if i say the whole purpose of this is to remove my guilt then i’m going to go tell her right i’m going to go get it off my chest guilt’s gone thank god right she can deal with that [ _ ] now autumn painful feelings and i it’s like i’ve always been told that’s not the way to handle this it’s not about causing pain to others or in any way shape or form and so i feel like there it kind of deviates we’re not just or maybe step eight is about removing the guilt but nine’s not maybe nine’s about the actions we need to take to you know not harm people yeah well i’m just thinking back to like i don’t think whether someone knows the wrong or doesn’t know they’re wrong removes my guilt for me personally like i can i can do something wrong and everybody can know about it and i still feel guilty about it i don’t necessarily think people knowing about it makes it go away i think the guilt can can be alleviated sometimes or at least somewhat relieved just through the confession right when i’m holding it all in and bottling it up it hurts and then there’s like a freedom of like oh thank god i told him myself i don’t have to live in that secret anymore i don’t know while we ponder that let’s take our break for the voices that and and just to mention because we never recorded this their their rubber ducky race which is online is held in a month or so it’s early september i don’t remember the exact date but you can find them on facebook at voices of hope cecil county or something like that i don’t know and then you know if you do a google search for voices i hope uh cecil county you’ll you’ll come across their web page and you’ll see the how to enter the rubber ducky race it’s five dollars for a duck i got a duck i’m gonna watch it online i’m super interested for no good [ _ ] reason i guess my life is that boring in quarantine but uh so check that out and we will be right back i did ask jen about that a little bit and my whole analytical mind i got to bring it up at another time i can’t because she tells me what they’re going to do they’re going to drop them in at the bridge you know up in elkton and float them down it’s in an actual river oh yeah oh my god it’s even better you know so and she says and someone’s gonna i’m gonna follow him with the camera and i said and immediately my head’s like this is not gonna work this is not gonna go the way she thinks it should right so immediately you know i start thinking all right and i can’t talk to her about this because the media i say oh this is not gonna work it’s gonna be a fail don’t do it we’re not don’t do it but let’s think through this before you commit to this but that’s too late so probably in the next week or two i’m gonna have to get her to be like hey yes that was exactly it okay let’s go even if we get a couple of [ _ ] soda cans or something we can float like let’s drop them in where you say you’re going to drop them and then walk along with them to one see how the [ _ ] long is it going to take to get from this point to this point right you know does the river move the whole time you know or is there stagnant parts where these [ _ ] ducks are gonna float and then just sit there and you’re [ _ ] there for 25 minutes you know nothing’s moving and then are you going to be able to walk that whole path with them you know are you planning on being in the water you’re going to be out of the water can you is there bushes on some of these sides is one side better than the other like she doesn’t think through none of that how are you going to catch him at the end right well someone’s going to be down there to catch him at the end and i do know where it’s supposed to end is fairly shallow you can just stand in there at the end so that would be easy where they want to drop them in i think is much deeper um which is okay because you can just drop them over the bridge you hope but from at least looking at it it’s not like that water where they’re dropping them in is like moving real good it’s kind of still there i’m just like what this could turn into like an hour and a half of these ducks not [ _ ] moving and you’re just gonna be filming them and then you’re not going to know what to do like but that’s the way you plan [ _ ] out a long 2×4 and just push them to where they’re all moving i don’t know but yeah trial run [ _ ] oh yeah that’s the best way to go oh yeah we got a trial run this [ _ ] i like it oh i don’t know i think [ __ ] saturday at 8 am threw us off i felt like that was like tough to think for me yeah it’s like god am i going anywhere with what i’m saying and i don’t think it’s bad i just i felt the same way about this like i don’t know that it’s

yeah well we’ll see if any of these other quotes do anything pretty [ _ ] simple make the [ _ ] list well that’s the way my sponsor told me just make the list don’t think about it men’s don’t think about nothing else think about anybody that you feel like you’ve ever done wrong that you’ve caused harm you know what does that mean to you and what did you do not what they did to you not what you know justifications just make the list right i went okay i once made [ __ ] list

that was that i will say uh maybe we’ll save this part for the pocket okay you ready yep

here we are back talking about the eighth step i we pondered but i don’t think i came up with anything better about that uh so another quote we had was the a step starts the process of forgiveness we forgive others possibly we are forgiven and finally we forgive ourselves and learn how to live in the world i don’t know there’s much more to say about that i like the idea i don’t it’s interesting the the there was a different feel between each reading that i read about whether we should really put ourselves on this list and i know this is just saying that ultimately we forgive ourselves through the process of the step not so much that we need to put ourselves on it but i did find that really interesting that one book kind of mentioned like you know most of us don’t bother to put ourselves on it you can but like and then the other book was like yeah definitely we see the need to put ourselves on here and i’m like this is from the same goddamn place how did that happen right do you have anything anything in one of our readings all the time most of all we harmed ourselves so i mean that’s a thing we read in almost every meeting we do and i think the first reading out of the book i read was more like yeah we do harm ourselves but that’s not the point of what we’re doing here like what we’re doing in this step is about you know making it right with the world not about us yeah i think that depends on an individual basis too you know that’s that depends on how much you you know i i guess i’ve talked to a lot of people that get stuck in a place of where like my life would be different if if only this if if i done that you know and if you are stuck there it’s probably important that you learn to forgive yourself and let go of that stuff i mean i was never that person i was always just like whatever you know i mean like my life is what it is it’s whatever i make it now that matters and i wasn’t really hung up there in the past right um so i i don’t know i guess uh i think this specific quote at least is talking more about just through the process of uh you know forgiving others and realizing how much harm we’ve caused we ultimately do learn how good forgiveness feels and we can apply it to ourselves it wasn’t so much about like that’s the ultimate thing that we’re doing here is you know forgiving ourselves for the harm we did but i i mean it definitely says we forgive others possibly we are forgiven and i think that’s a valid point because you know and i don’t even know if i had this quote further down but it talked about uh god it said we and i lost it that quick that’s okay so again for me the point of you know doing the list and making the amends was to try to like this is one of the last points at least in my first round through the steps where i was really looking back over my past i was really looking back over my using life and and the wreckage and drama that came with all that and this is the last time through the steps where we really look back at that so it’s almost like this is where we get to kind of own what’s our [ _ ] in all of that and then say our final goodbyes you know right of like you know there this is this can be laid to rest now we’ve beat this [ _ ] dog now for you know the last however many months or years we’ve been stuck on four through eight right and now let’s put this [ _ ] to bed and leave it in the past i i think what i was trying to think of was we we can project right it talked about how we can project talking about step nine we project what the amends will be like with different individuals and it cautioned us not to project at all because we can project positively or negatively and neither one of those is actually beneficial right they set us up with an expectation of how something’s going to turn out or we’re living in this fantasy life and like that’s not where we’re supposed to be we’re just supposed to be becoming willing as we make a list here’s one quote that i did find that i do love and i’ve used in other places by the time we reach this step we have become ready to understand rather than to be understood and i think this might be one of the most quotable things that’s in the writing on this step i’ve heard it uh said more as like it’s more important to understand than to be understood and i’ve always thought that was interesting and maybe i find it interesting because so often in my life i don’t believe it like so often in my life my head says no people need to understand what the [ _ ] i’m saying like it’s not about what they’re talking about yeah and there’s a tremendous freedom in that in in not feeling like you need to be understood all the time you know i it’s for me was something that i struggle with a lot you know wanting people to know how i thought and what i felt and how important it was and making you know my opinion seemed to matter the most all the time in every interaction that i had with anyone and then realizing that that’s not that doesn’t need to be the case you know it can be any time i want it to be right but i learned to sort of rephrase that and like it doesn’t need to be the case and there are cases where you know i want to stand up for my beliefs but it doesn’t have to be all the time and i feel like this is super relevant for the political you know split or just the split in society right now is that we’re all on facebook trying to be understood and nobody’s hearing the other side right we just shout louder oh well you’re not hearing me you’re not changing your opinion well i’m not really hearing you either honestly right i’m not taking any time to try to see where you’re coming from or why you have these ideals or what you’ve gone through in your life that has led you to there because a here ago i was about to say a lot of us i tend to operate with uh this is what i’ve been through in my experience and so i will you know put this on every other individual and this must be everyone’s experience and how they you know need to understand and the fact is like that’s just not how it works everybody’s got their own uh list of experiences in their life and it leads us to different understandings of things if i take the time if i really take the time to listen to somebody i can at least understand usually where they’re coming from and possibly even some of why right not that i need to know why but i can at least understand where they’re coming from and how that kind of makes sense in some way it still might not be my belief in any way shape or form but i can kind of get it and when i don’t try to understand others i’m just in the shouting match of like telling everybody how wrong the other people are and so i just think that’s super useful man if we could all decide that we’re gonna be more understanding and worry less about people here and us right and i think it’s in that process of trying to understand other people where we really connect to humanity you know what i mean like it’s not so important that we agree on everything that’s not where the connection with people occurs the connection occurs with like a sincere desire to like listen and understand and like you said i don’t necessarily need to agree but i think if i can approach you with some respect and humility and listen to your points of view and listen to what you have to say like that develops a connection with humanity more so than whether i agree with you or not right it’s so quick some of the things i see that have really like bothered me lately are people that it’s very extreme it’s very if this if this side or the other side wins uh we’re screwed the whole world’s gonna end right like the we’re just gonna somehow blow ourselves up or something because a different party won an election one year and it’s like my experience honestly if i step back my life doesn’t [ _ ] change that much no matter who does what when they’re elected really not much a little right there’s some things i don’t like about what people do when they get elected but in general my life hasn’t changed that drastically and so i don’t need to go that extreme right and what’s better for me is to just be curious oh you think different than me that’s interesting why like what is that tell me about it or like at our office the other day we had a conversation i worked with you know five other people in office and we were talking about you know all this coronavirus stuff and lockdowns and what should be open and if people should go to school and all this other [ _ ] and i you know i brought up in the conversation i said all right well let’s i said this is why all this is so hard to figure out you know what we need to do i said because here’s five of us i said okay so who here would be okay with going out to dinner i think most of us are okay with that who here would be okay with going to like a movie theater that might be full of people you know we got 150 people in a movie theater maybe a crowded movie theater would you be okay going to a crowded movie theater all right what about a concert or a sporting event where you got 10 to 50 000 people and each of us has a different level of like where we’re okay with that some people are like yeah [ _ ] it i’d go to any of that stuff and other people were like getting up to a crowded movies man [ _ ] that like i don’t think i’d want to be there i’m okay with the restaurant but i’m not okay with the crowded movies and i’m definitely not okay with a [ _ ] concert and then other people are like it’s my [ _ ] freedom i can you know if i want to go to a concert i should be able to go to a concert but that’s just to to point out that within five people who are all relatively similar we all get along really well we like each other there’s almost five different viewpoints on what’s safe and what’s not safe and yet we’ll expect whoever politicians community leaders whatever to come up with like this one-size-fits-all to school or restaurants or the movies right and and we get frustrated when they don’t represent us right right well then we yell at each other that you’re stupid and i’m smarter and obviously my way’s better yes and so if you get one thing out of this goddamn podcast today try to understand more than being understood i think that is a hugely relevant part of this um and there was so for me i mean and it didn’t talk about this as much in there maybe they talk about it more nine but like it was the humility part that was so important for me and maybe just because i tend to be such a natural egomaniac or whatever but there was so it was so uh important that i see like [ _ ] man i’ve done a lot of wrong to people like i’ve done a lot of you know harmful things to people even with the best intentions you know even trying not to harm people i still caused all this harm to people and so every time that i’ve been harmed you know by other people doesn’t necessarily mean they were these nasty vile evil person that was out to get me i mean yes they’re out there too but if i look back over the list of you know times i was victimized or you know quote unquote victimized in my life um it doesn’t mean everyone’s out to get me it doesn’t mean i need to put up these barriers or walls to the whole world because everybody’s you know out to hurt me like no you know hurt comes sometimes it’s unintentional sometimes people don’t mean it sometimes i’ve done lots of harm that i didn’t mean and uh you know it i can be okay with that i can let down my walls my protective barriers a little bit to allow other people into my life and you mentioned humility in there which you know if we look back a month uh we talked about step seven and how important humility was to that step to trying to you know have these defects removed and there was a tie-in which i loved and i don’t even know that i’ve ever noticed this before it says in order to gain true freedom from our defects we need to accept responsibility for them and so it talks about basically that in making our list in eight and accepting that full responsibility that becoming willing piece of it we’re actually facing the humility to find true freedom from the defects in seven it’s like part of the process continued it’s like okay well i think i’m ready to have these defects removed well oh [ _ ] i really hurt people with these [ _ ] defects damn yeah it goes back to what you were talking about earlier with it’s only through like experiencing that full measure of that harm that i’ve caused am i really willing to change you know it’s like exactly what you said earlier today so i thought that was interesting i don’t think of i mean i know the entire 12 steps tie in right but i i guess i just i don’t know that connection was one i really hadn’t completely made that the the harm we caused and looking at that fully and eight actually helps us with the removal of the defense again i’ve never seen that either another quote while our efforts to make amends may make a difference in the lives of those we have harmed this process has its greatest impact on our own lives and that’s where i you know we kind of already sort of mentioned the steps are always about the quality of our lives not really others right in turn the quality of the lives of people around us generally improve because we’re being better people but i like that like it it could make a difference in the lives of those we’ve harmed when we make an amends but it might not affect them at all right that’s not really what we’re doing here and i know that’s getting ahead because we’re not making the amends yet but it’s just a reminder that the purpose of this isn’t about anybody else it’s not about how they take it it’s not about how the amends works out it’s just about let me do the right thing so that i can live in peace at the end of the day right at least in eight i would say there’s a little more consideration of others in nine because we do talk about you know uh the harm it might cause to them and making amends so so in nine we do consider but in eight yes it’s about us you know what i mean that list needs to be about us well i would say nine uh talks about kind of what you say often like do no more harm right you don’t want to do any extra harm now that you’ve already done some in your life and i think that’s kind of what nine is about it’s like it’s not so much that it can’t improve someone’s life but the important part is hey let’s not make it any worse right it may or may not improve it but let’s not make it any worse uh another quote would be we’re involved in a process designed to free us from our past so that we are able to live fully in the present and you kind of mentioned this already like this is our last sort of delving into the the past framework so that we can say we’ve beat the hell out of it and and you know done it up and really really taken the time to focus on it and i like how it mentions you know in doing that we don’t have to live there anymore like we can truly just be here when my son or daughter and they’re a teenager and they’re kind of being a little disrespectful in the way they’re talking to me i can just be here in this moment and know that that’s just kind of how teenagers are right they’re just sort of little disrespectful shits right i don’t have to take it back to when my father disrespected me or when the kid on the playground disrespected me i don’t have to bring all that with me into that moment i can just be here and say all right it is what it is yeah and i think up until i had made a you know this list and and got into you know making peace with some of this stuff the past was always like a painful place you know what i mean looking back over my life it was painful memories it was reliving you know abuses either that i had caused or that had been caused to me through different relationships and different things and you know it it just seemed to have a lot of emotional baggage in that looking back on things and now since i’ve made peace with most if not all of that stuff i can look back at my past more as like a learning lesson or like a history lesson of like let’s see what useful [ _ ] is still back here that i can sort of look at you know habits behaviors patterns that i’ve fallen into in my life right but i don’t need to experience all the shame guilt remorse you know that had been stuck in those memories absolutely uh so this part was interesting and it’s a little longer of a quote so bear with me here most of us owe amends to at least one person who has also harmed us perhaps we haven’t truly forgiven that person yet and find we are very reluctant to put her or his name on our list however we must we are responsible for our actions we make amends because we owe them we must let go of resentments and focus on our part in the conflicts in our lives we won’t get better and be able to live a spiritual life we be able to live the spiritual life we are seeking if we are still in the grip of self-obsession we let go of our expectations and we let go of blaming anyone for our actions our idea that we have been a victim must go in the eighth step we are not concerned with what others have done to us we are concerned only with accepting responsibility for what we’ve done to others a long way of saying you know it doesn’t matter if it was justified i think this speaks to what we talked about with the person coming up and attacking us and we defend ourselves i for me personally and and i i don’t disagree that people can see it different ways like you said for me personally i think we deal with the harm we caused if we hurt someone physically mentally whatever we did that like i agree it might have been warranted in the moment it might have felt justified and it might have been but after that moment i still have to own what i did regardless like i need to find some way to be at peace with that i guess if i’m not bothered by it there’s nothing to do but i don’t know i guess it’s just a long way of saying i can’t throw out another one actually oh boy this is more personal and this is a little what i would say more complicated and i’m okay with it so whatever your answer because it’s going to be about me so don’t don’t feel like i’m okay with the way i feel so whatever you think is fine um i just got permission yeah you got permission to say whatever you want freely so you know as i don’t know if we’ve ever talked about on here but um we had some a family member abuse our children and so we pressed charges took that person to court it ended up wrecking their lives and the life of their spouse as far as the legal and financial consequences of taking them to court pressing charges you know what i mean following through with all that we absolutely caused harm to him and to i shouldn’t set him but them and their spouse um i do not feel any least bit of remorse for that and you know what i mean and i could go through my rationalizations and justifications but i’m okay with them but it did 100 caused harm you know i don’t know that i would say you caused harm there i would say you took appropriate legal action and to me i would say either that individual caused that harm for themselves uh and they had when they had to deal with the consequences of their actions it wasn’t anything you did it’s not like you went and slashed his tires or [ _ ] chopped his car up or something that might have been more on you right but i would say and if you even want to go beyond that it wasn’t just him causing his own harm i would say the legal system caused him harm right or i guess if you want to take that one step further society’s agreed upon laws caused him harm but i wouldn’t say you individually caused them harm like you didn’t personally do anything you did the next right thing in your situation do you do you think differently of that do you feel like you caused harm i don’t it doesn’t sound like you feel like you caused no well if we’re just looking at so there’s a way that could be seen as causing harm i mean and maybe if not to them then what about their spouse who had to suffer the consequences of indirectly of the harm but again to me that’s their choices not mine they had other choices they could make yeah i don’t know i guess i don’t think of consequences for actions as someone actively causing that would be like me saying uh the state of maryland calls me harm because they locked me up for what i did like no the state of maryland didn’t do that i [ _ ] did that and then there was a law and i knew that and i violated that like that’s me causing my own harm to me that’s not the state of maryland so then i guess i would wonder what would be different in like a self-defense type scenario and and this is why i completely respect that other people might feel differently but for me if i actually won the fight i guess or whatever like i would just feel bad that i hurt some i don’t ever want to hurt someone right i don’t care if i have a right to or not i would just feel guilty about it and i would not want to feel guilty like i don’t want to punch somebody in the face that sounds [ _ ] terrible well so and the reason i i’m sort of going here is because to me like if i say all right this is wrong then this is a behavior that i need to change or amend or do differently in the future but if someone comes up and attacks me again the next time am i going to defend myself or am i going to say no i don’t want to cause harm to people and cross my arms and let them harm me that’s interesting yeah i guess i haven’t really so the the amend is nine we’re [ _ ] that we’re only dealing with we’re only dealing with the list and the willingness billy well that’s what i mean are you willing to you know what i mean like if it’s not i guess the willingness is the willing being willing to do something different being willing to change being willing to i would know that that’s a wrong and if i say something wrong i want to do something different i would be willing to own that i hurt someone and that i did not like it would it change protecting my life in the moment again probably not and i don’t know that it needs to honestly um i think it would continue my behavior of not harming people regularly for no reason or if i had harmed people regularly for no reason before that it might have meant that behavior but i don’t yeah i’m going to protect myself to the best of my ability i believe that’s interesting though so i guess what would be another way of handling that would be like if somebody attacks me to call the authorities and you know properly handle that through law um but i wouldn’t feel guilty that way like i wouldn’t feel like i had caused any harm then that’s what they did and the i’m thinking about like my kids right my son wants to do something to my younger son and then say it was justified because you know the younger son kicked him or something and it’s like well yeah but the proper thing to do is to come to me and let me handle it and i i know that kids aren’t going to do that right but i still say it and try to remind him because i feel like i as a third party can dole out the appropriate response not you know smack him or something across the back of the head uh and see this is where me and my wife almost disagree is that you know if my son goes and does something to his older sister and then she smacks the [ _ ] out of them i’m like dude what did you expect was gonna happen like this and that might be part of my response right like i might say buddy if you kick your older brother he’s gonna hit you like but if she goes too far then there’s a consequence exactly right and a lot of my reaction is more of like how do we deal with these feelings it’s more it’s not so much of like one’s punished or the other one’s not it’s just hey how can we both better evaluate our feelings but that’s interesting because you’re right if i was defending myself i would still feel bad and i would want to become willing to make an amends in the sense that i didn’t want to hurt someone and i did so i’m going to feel bad about that but i’m not going to want to change that behavior so that brings up an interesting question do you have to want to change the behavior was it the wrong behavior just because i feel like i want to mention so bad about it can i do the so more important to our own morals and values that we don’t feel bad about it you know what i mean is that a guilt or a shame that we shouldn’t i mean i don’t know i’m just right this is interesting for me to think about too because like say i’ve always thought well if i go through this and it’s defects and it’s harm that i cause that it’s obviously something that i want to change about myself and maybe not you know because i would feel bad if i beat someone up too right you know does that mean i want to change that does that mean i would do something different again and so that’s a that’s a very real question do we have to think that the behavior was wrong in order to want to make some sort of amends for it and i don’t know maybe the amends could be learning uh not physically harmful self-defense techniques right ones where you just like deflect blows instead of punching people i don’t need you right i’m going to do it going to your sponsors yeah i can talk to your sponsor get together about it uh well and i i say that because there are a lot of times where we can look at you know feeling like we caused harm that we didn’t you know what i mean like there are imagine guilt yes like and we talk about that through our fourth and fifth step you know there’s this imagine guilt and imagine shame where we feel guilt and shame about things that we shouldn’t right it wasn’t our responsibility yeah i don’t know i i would definitely say to our listeners like feel free to [ _ ] weigh in on that one because i am definitely curious about opinions on it and that’s what’s really fun about recovery or i should say fun but what’s to me makes it different than a religion for example it’s like we have the the freedoms to develop our own beliefs and values here i don’t have one that i get to tell you that oh this is what it is and i don’t care what you really think you just got to follow this because this is commandment number seven so you know this is a difference here of where you know this program will help us to sort out what’s right for us what feels right in my spirit what’s gonna help me be a better person at the end of the day it may be a little different than what’s you know you need or what’s better for you in your life this might be the first time on our podcast we didn’t know the answer

uh the next quote we’re gonna move on to is we are now looking for the people places and institutions we harmed not just the types of harm we inflicted we didn’t just lie we lied to someone we didn’t just steal we stole from various people i think that’s an interesting thing it made a point of right like i’ve i can definitely say oh this is my part i lied right i did this but it takes some of the humanness out of it when i don’t say who i did it to and i think maybe that’s where the the the four differs from the eight right and four it’s like oh this is what i did i lied and i need to work on me lying because it’s all about me and then in eight it’s like well yeah but i lied to someone and how did that [ _ ] affect that individual right i didn’t just steal i stole from this corner store and how did that affect the owners of that store and their inventory and their bottom line and you know yeah and i think though you can get totally bogged down with some of that um an example that immediately comes to mind for me is like co-workers you know like if i’m working with a group of people and i’m off getting high in the bathroom why my other co-workers are out doing their job you know like that puts more work or more responsibility on them and is a form of harm right well i’ve had i couldn’t tell you how many different jobs and worked with so many different people like to try to make a list of every one of those individuals would probably if not impossible i would miss people or not get it right anyway or some of those people don’t even remember their names and so in those cases i think you know it’s it’s sort of helpful to say well as a co-worker i was a bad person you know or or i did these harms i shouldn’t say i was a bad person that’s a terrible way to say that i caused these harms right well i think the the last sentence we didn’t just steal we stole from various people like i do think it helps to make it very deeply human to the one individual specifically that we can pick out but in that situation as long as you have one instance where you think oh man yeah i definitely hurt sally and all those other people like it just gives you the ability to see that it affected people i think it’s not so much about remembering each individual name well sally and [ _ ] there was bob and like it’s just you know i think as long as we can make it human that it happened to people and not just i [ _ ] off in the bathroom right yeah but i think it’s also important to look at like our community or society as a whole as well you know i you know drank and drove i broke a lot of laws i put a lot of people in in harm’s way through different different things i caused accidents i was in an accident i don’t really remember i don’t even know the people’s names whose car i hit you know because i ended up getting arrested and off to jail and [ _ ] those people you know i didn’t really care at that point in my life i could maybe try to go back and search and figure it out um but i think when i look at some of those behaviors the way i affected my community and you know society as a whole you know that’s helpful too to look at that as a as a general group not just individuals no absolutely uh next quote would be that this step does not say that we become willing to say we’re sorry although that may be a part of our amends most of the people we’ve hurt have probably heard us say i’m sorry enough to last a lifetime in truth we are becoming willing to do anything possible to prepare the damage we’ve done particularly by changing our behavior i thought that was interesting like i don’t know that i’ve ever gone into this step and thought my goal was to become willing to do anything possible i heard that anything in there was like yeah right like that’s a lot am i really supposed to become willing to do anything possible to repair the damage i don’t know so a lot of my not a lot there’s definitely some of my wrongs where i’ve harmed people that i’m not going to ever make direct amends for because i’m probably going to do some kind of more damage or you know cause some other chaos or it’s just better where it’s at for this point and a lot of that’s around relationships and the ways i treated women in relationships and i’m not going to hunt them down you know on facebook to pop in their dms you know with their husband and five kids or whatever so i i don’t know the whole become willing to do anything possible really i wrote it down i think because that stuck out so much and i wanted to hear what you had to say about that i’ll just chalk that up to that’s an idealistic goal that probably is humanly impossible that’s like saying i’m going to be honest for the rest of my life you know it’s like it’s it’s yes that’s what we’re striving for that’s what we’re shooting for maybe when you get to 50 years clean

then you’re you’re at to any lengths or whatever yeah it’s it’s super interesting i do i mean going back to the original part of it though that it’s not just becoming willing to say we’re sorry right uh and and i’ll get into a a little less than i learned and when we go over nine next month about whether we say i’m sorry or don’t or whatever uh but it is not it’s not just about becoming willing to say i’m sorry like that’s i think the easiest yeah sometimes the easiest part sometimes it’s hard but yeah it’s more about becoming willing to do what’s necessary i guess to prepare you know just take that [ _ ] anything out of there you know what’s possible to repair the damage if you stole money from someone maybe you’re gonna need to pay that money back right if you i don’t know there’s a whole lot of other things i think that’s more for nine though and so the only other thing i have besides that is a thing i found on uh jasonwaller.com it was a discussion about the h-step and it stuck out it was pretty interesting to me he says when you feel it’s pretty thorough take your list and break it into four categories with your sponsor and the four categories were uh one people to make amends two now once you’re on a good footing in recovery two people to make partial amends to in order to not injure them or others three people to make amends to later and four people we may never be able to make direct personal contact and i thought that was interesting and and possibly helpful i know it kind of borders on you know creating into nine as we talk about that kind of list of when can we make them and how would we make them but i almost think because i know we say we’re not thinking about the actual amends when we’re writing this list but we [ _ ] are i don’t know anybody that said they’ve been capable of not thinking about what it might be like to make the amends and for some of the more overwhelming ones if we need to put them on a list of like okay i do need to make this but it’s gonna be later like this my eight months clean right now is not the time to make this huge amends that i need to make i think that might actually be freeing to some extent what do you think about that um i think that process of trying not to act out on our self-centered thinking is important and mean like obviously we’re going to think about oh man i’m going to go to this person they’re going to say that and they’re going to say this and it’s important for me to say to myself look stop that you don’t know what’s going to happen and you don’t know how it’s going to be so stop worrying about the amends and just keep making your list like that that’s an actual practice that i have to do still in my life now on a regular basis oh i got to make this phone call to this person at work who’s upset with us for some reason and i’m going to say this and they’re going to say that and then i’m paralyzed to where i don’t even make the phone call you know what i mean because the the story in my head makes the actual action impossible and that process of of actively choosing not to worry about the ninth step is helpful i think it is too but i’m looking at it more from if we take like the feeling aspect of it out maybe someone we harmed financially and we just owe a very large amount of money to and we want to call this this individual or institution and make a repayment plan of some sort right because that’s our goal to do whatever is possible to make the amends and yet we’re currently in a minimum wage job and we’re barely getting by and we know we can’t really afford anything we can’t even make a good effort attempt to say hey i’ll pay five dollars a month like there’s just no money like that can be overwhelming to even think about oh my god i have to make this amends because i’m about to get to this point where it’s time to do that and so i don’t know i just thought it was interesting that you could possibly make this separation of categories and say okay yeah i’m becoming willing to make these amends that’s just one that’s going to have to wait until i’m in a better financial position like i can’t even call that person or place yet to even possibly deal with that so i don’t have to have that that overwhelming burden of like i’m not doing something i’m supposed to be doing right now like that’s on my list for later that’s what it’s for yeah and and i always just looked at the list as i don’t know when i’m gonna make these amends it [ _ ] might be 20 years from now right you know what i mean or i might get high tomorrow and i never have to make them who cares just make the list i mean and we were joking about this at the break and i said really you know the first time i did the a step with my sponsor he said just make the [ _ ] list don’t think a bunch about it just make the list of all the persons that you’re harmed and we’ll get to the amends and all that nine and that was it was that for me that was the most simple instruction that i got and i went okay i’m just gonna make the list and not worry about the amends and that’s what i did you know and it was and it doesn’t mean it was necessarily easy but it was fairly simple you know right um obviously there was something we needed to talk about and some stuff we went over in nine about what types of amends and that stuff but i and and i would say i was fairly lucky in that um coming into this an eighth step anyway like i was raised with good morals and values i recognized most of the harm i was causing along the way in life you know what i mean it wasn’t like a big shocker that you know when i stole from somebody and felt guilty about it you know like i knew what i was doing was wrong and chose to do wrong anyway i think there are people that come into this process with you know sort of i would say twisted or mixed up morals and values and and they may be able to justify certain kinds of harm or you know like say well i was abused as a kid so it’s okay to abuse other people you know that’s just what people do and that kind of stuff i think those situations get a little tougher but for me like i was pretty aware of the difference between you know right and wrong and causing harm to others it was it was fairly easy to see how much of that do you think is taught to us like i i know we can kind of be programmed in different ways by our society and i in no way doubt that right like i’ve seen some of the messages that hollywood or or you know the alcohol industry has placed into the world and how they’ve spread and how i’ve believed them for bits of time and you know how i almost had to like get to a different place in my life to be able to see behind those kind of messages but how much of this this spirituality that we talked about last week and these spiritual principles is taught to us and how much do you think we just kind of come to an understanding of through getting in touch with whatever it is our spiritual center is like i kind of tend to think and that not that we’re all gonna like get in recovery or or in a different place in life and plug into this you know one spiritual source and we’re all gonna share the same values like i don’t so much believe that but i do kind of think there’s some universal ones that even without anybody to teach us we would sort of come to on our own if we sought it not to say that we would come to it if we were you know using sex drugs and rock and roll to you know distract ourselves from it like i think that’s part of the problem is that we use these things to to move away from it but when we’re that’s our focus man i want to like focus on the universe and the world and just be more in connection i think some of that is going to come to us naturally whether we’ve ever been taught it or not what do you think um and i mean you might hear the words but that doesn’t mean you experience the feeling so or the the sensations if you will so what i immediately think of is okay let’s take a kid who’s been raised by an abusive father who’s physically abusive you do something wrong you get the [ _ ] kicked out of you and you never really get the message that that’s wrong you know what i mean because maybe he doesn’t just beat you for the sake of beating you maybe i only beat you when you do dumb [ _ ] you know then you get beat up and so you think oh well if somebody does me wrong then i beat the [ _ ] out of them like that’s the way that we live and the cops tell you that’s wrong but in my house that’s what’s right that’s our that’s become our values you know what i mean you don’t let people do you wrong or you beat the [ _ ] out of them right and so that because society tells you that’s what the value is supposed to be that’s never what you’ve experienced in your life so that is not your value you know what i mean right i don’t mean society telling us that that we need to change our values and and this is where i’m i’m so i’m looking at your example and i’m saying you know i had an angry-ish father he wasn’t as physically abusive as i’m sure you know happens out there all too frequently there was a lot of anger and and you know loud and bullying type behavior and it was emotionally you know aggressive and abusive in ways and like i carried that into my adulthood to my earliest children unfortunately to some extent

you i don’t know that i could change overnight for sure and i don’t know that i would have changed as fully without you know self-help books that i listen to and therapy and all these outside influences that have helped me gain the spirituality but i do know that even when that’s what i was raised with and that’s what i did as an adult it still didn’t feel right like there was just something when i was seeking this spiritual way of life there was something that just afterwards said that can’t be good yeah but once you became to seek a spiritual way of life i think is the important part there right and that’s what i’m saying so you were mentioning like i was raised with these good parents i had these good values and so it came naturally to me when i got clean whereas for others it might not and i think when we try to plug into a spiritual existence even if we’ve never had that teaching that it’s possible just plugging into this spiritual existence can kind of clue us into some universal spiritual principles whether we’ve ever been taught them or not oh yeah yeah yeah so yeah once you get into recovery or into a process of seeking you know a different way like yeah for sure i would agree with that yeah so i would think even people who maybe didn’t have the greatest upbringing or lessons or role models can still like you just kind of feel that ah oh yeah i definitely think they could do it i just meant for me personally like it was fairly easy like the eighth step wasn’t overly complicated or overly difficult like it was one of the most simple one some of these are a little deep and they’re asking you to [ _ ] dig pretty deep you know what i mean this was just like make a list of all the people you’ve been shitty to like and it was really bad kind of like okay i know them people you know like i know that’s the awareness of who i’ve done wrong to is is i think the deep part for me in that might have been uh some of the things we mentioned here it might have been like moving away from you know uh justifying my actions because of how the other person acted too right i might have had to really look a little deeper to become willing in a situation like that to say you know what this isn’t about what the [ _ ] they did this is about do i feel good about how i acted because what good does it do me like to only be good to people who are good to me right right like does that really say it a whole lot i think almost anybody can be good to people who are good to them right like i want to be good to people who aren’t good to me as well i don’t want them to be able to change my character or give them that kind of power and so i i think i had to dig deeper in some of those kind of aspects yeah and and i guess that’s sort of what i mean like it was those sorts of uh aspects were were very like i didn’t get hung up on that like it didn’t matter what people did to me it was easy to see like i did harm here who did what they did didn’t matter but this is what i did and that was maybe that’s part of being raised [ _ ] christian i don’t know i did go to christian school and had all these you know there was some good parts of jesus that are helpful and useful in your life you know if you don’t get hung up on the hate and the gays and the all the other weird [ _ ] you know there’s some good stories in that book i didn’t so i didn’t get as strict of a catholic upbringing but i definitely did the ccd and and you know was an altar boy for a short period of time for all the wrong reasons um and went through the sacraments and everything and i i don’t know i definitely struggled with i think because i took everything personally it was really hard for me to see where i was at fault when people had done something to me it was just hard to get past what they had done it was like and a lot of that [ _ ] wasn’t even really personal to me i just took it that way right so that’s interesting um so yeah i don’t know that there’s a whole lot more to talk about step eight i i there’s a question i got but i feel like it’s delving into step nine but i don’t know [ _ ] it i’ll ask anyway um so i noticed you and i don’t want to say i’m boxing you in here damn it um i want to say you’re more of a hands-off sponsor and i don’t know completely what i mean by that but more of like not that i know a whole lot of hands-on sponsors really i guess what i’m trying to say is like a lot of times you say hey this these are not my responsibilities as a sponsor you have those clearly laid out right and obviously some of them we know we’re not at financial advisors or marriage counselors or any of that kind of stuff that it talks about but you’re very you know my job as a sponsor is to walk you through the 12 steps and you know help you with that kind of stuff and maybe some other outside conversations and so i look at 8-9 as a place where a sponsor has a [ _ ] ton of influence over what amends will be made directly and how they’ll be made and if they’re appropriate i feel like this is a place where a sponsor gets a lot of like personal input or oversight onto how the amends process happens and what’s acceptable right and and i get it because they’re a third party and and they can maybe see a little more clearly the situation and say ah there’s probably some harm that can be done if you try to do it that way or maybe we shouldn’t contact that person right maybe she’s happy in her life and you should just let her be happy in her life and not remind her that you [ _ ] a bunch of people while you were with her um and so i don’t know i was interested in your take on that because i feel like from your standpoint of what a sponsor is you don’t want to have too much influence or or direction in someone’s life and so i was really curious about that for you yeah and i think there would be a part where i would want them to live out their values

another group coming in oh they were 10 30 right i believe so okay yeah we’ll we’ll be out okay thank you so much i mean

i’m charlie i’m billy i’ve met you i’m jen’s husband yeah yeah i’m new oh okay um so

pause for a minute

oh now they’re coming in anyway oh we might just wrap it up there hey how are you we figured it would be nobody

sorry about that

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