64: Revisiting Rona – How Has Quarantine Affected Recovery? (Sort Of)

We take a look at how months of quarantine, pandemic, coronavirus, Covid-19 has taken it’s toll on our recoveries. What we miss from before, how we feel about our current practices, guilt about not feeling as attached to our 12 step programs, what we have done in place of meetings to fill our lives. We look at the 4 legged table concept and how even without meetings, 3 legs of the table can be pretty sturdy.

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Transcription:

recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

welcome to recovery sort of my name is billy i’m a person in long-term recovery and i’m jason i’m a guy in long-term recovery and this week we were gonna just do a little i guess you’d call it a recap on covid how it’s affected us in our recovery what we’ve seen in our recovery community with some of the changes to covid and the impact it’s having on each of us yeah when ashley mentioned that and i was like oh we’ve got episodes on coronavirus and i was like it’s from may like yeah we haven’t touched it in months not that i really want to but i think it’s relevant you could go back and listen to the earlier episode we did back in may that was when covid had first come out and you know there was the changes happening to meetings and people were first getting into virtual meet now virtual meetings are just like a thing everybody knows what they are and that’s in some ways the only way certain meetings are even getting together anymore that’s back when i was like yeah it’s so cool i’ve been to hawaii in australia it was so fun italy now i’m like right just say all that enthusiasm burned out pretty quick huh it did i think it did for a lot of people i think it was novel and new and interesting and it’s like okay kind of like the quarantine it was like we get to stay home for two weeks that’s awesome and we’re saving the world right now we’re home nine months later yeah three months in everybody’s like what the [ __ ] i’m done with this can we just get back to normal so did you have anything to recap from the last week or last couple episodes yeah so we got an email from austin and he was talking about how he listens to us i’ve actually gotten emails and correspondence from his wife before i was like i recognized the last name i was like where do i know that last name from i was like oh i’ve talked to your wife he’s a truck driver and he listens to a lot of podcasts because he’s on the road all the time right brilliant and he said that he gets a lot out of us and he thanked us and he talked about the episode where i shared about my daughter and her attempted od and he lost a family member to suicide recently and he just really appreciated that i was willing to share and reached out with you know some condolences and some kind things to say and i just really appreciated that it was super kind of them so thank you austin i hope you’re safe out there on the road especially when the road starts freezing up man careful i almost slipped on some goddamn ice this morning coming here oh i know walking or driving driving oh yeah it’s only it’s 24 degrees it was very cool [ __ ] frozen and then we got a strange email from carlos who i don’t even know who the hell carlos is but apparently our podcast is doing very well in singapore oh yay so we’re like up in the rankings in the mental health category i didn’t even know people in singapore could understand us or hear us that’s amazing it was weird that’s true i was like that’s random this is are they scamming me do they want something like they want my credit card number now so they can pay us or so maybe we don’t relate well to regular americans but singapore people yeah they get us they get us they understand recovery sort of so i don’t know that was it yeah neat yeah maybe i’ll need to try to go to singapore there you go that’s my next vacation once coveted ends i’ll be like d-list celebrities right we’ll be on a billboard somewhere yeah there was just a lot of good feedback about the ego episode people who said they were laughing right along with us and uh i guess comparing in so if you haven’t gotten a chance check that out maybe because i’m an egomaniac or possibly it’s very ego deflating but i listen to every episode like a few days after usually i try to wait till midweek because i feel like by then i’ve kind of forgot most of our conversation and it’s kind of escaped my mind so i’ll go back mid-week and i’ll re-listen to the episodes and i gotta say when i re-listened to that one i was laughing just to start it was funny it was funny yeah so i mean you’re talking mid-week after it gets released so that’s like a week and a half after we’ve recorded it oh yeah and we record on sunday and then i edit on wednesday and by wednesday i forgot what the [ __ ] we said i’m listening to it like did we really say that right three days later no idea what we talked about well there’s some really hard things about listening to myself one i want to write down [ __ ] that i wish i had said and then come back and say it but then i’m like well it’s two weeks out no one’s gonna remember by then so it just it’s got to be what it was and the other thing is all the mistakes i make in the way i say words or how terrible a word says when i say it or or just the little nuances in language you know yeah i had a couple of goofs and one of those moments in the episode i just was editing yesterday afternoon and i literally thought about re-recording a sentence to shove in there that i thought would sound better and i was like i don’t feel like it yeah i think there i go see i’m saying i think i say i think a lot i’ve noticed people relate more to the personal stuff if it was too overly polished or too rehearsed and all that i i don’t think it would relate as well i think i hope that people are getting more out of the personal stories and personal reflections and the stuff like you shared with your family struggles or what we go through as individuals like that is more relatable than just coming on and talking about a subject that we read a bunch of [ __ ] about i hope you don’t want me to cut out those i thinks that’s too much too many so i actually for christmas we were dropping off some fudge at an extended family member’s house that we really like they usually have a little gathering but they’re not this year cause coronavirus yay [ __ ] you um coronavirus [ __ ] you coronavirus not you know family i like you guys but that so we went and stopped by and they happened to listen to us and it was just a little awkward to think of all the things i’ve said on here whether it’s personal family stuff or the excessive use of the f word at times and i’m like oh i mean it’s great i really appreciate it i think it’s beautiful and they said you know they enjoy it they like what they hear i just it was definitely a little strange to think oh man i say some oddball stuff on there and i have family members listening oh well yeah i’ve had a similar situation my wife and some friends of hers that were listening said they felt that now it was weird because i guess i’ve said certain things either about her or about our relationship or about us that of jive with their version of us which was kind of weird i didn’t know how to take that i’m like huh i didn’t want to change what i’m doing i said i’d feel comfortable with what i’m talking about so are they not listening now because we might need to change what you’re doing i don’t know it’s only one person okay all right so coronavirus and recovery and n a and uh what a headache yeah for myself and i’ve noticed this even more recently i haven’t changed a ton about my personal life what i’ve noticed i still get up and go to the gym in the morning i still go to work every day my interactions at work are pretty normal don’t wear masks at work for the most part i don’t know if i told the story on here of my mask wearing situation but i will wear a mask now it’s me and like one other person wear a mask in work but the other seven people that work inside six people that work in the building don’t and no one else does either the mechanics and the people that drive trucks and stuff no one wears masks and so i don’t see the overall impacts that much i see it reflected in outside things i personally have still been going to in-person meetings i go to two a week my home group is only a few people now but that’s not entirely out of the norm i mean there’s been times that that meeting’s only been six or seven people anyway that’s what it was when i first started there as a home group member that’s one of the reasons i love that meeting was because it would be six or seven people uh usually a core of the same people that were there every week and it created an atmosphere where it felt like you could be more intimate more vulnerable wasn’t so concerned what i said and it created a really comfortable place for me early in recovery so i like smaller meetings then there’s another meeting i go to right now that’s meeting in person it’s 10 or 12 people they do wear masks inside everyone tries to sit socially distanced my daily life isn’t really impacted that much by coronavirus for my recovery i think it’s actually pushed me to do some things a little differently in a good way i haven’t felt the impacts of it like other people have but i think you were saying that you had like it’s impacted your meeting attendance or meeting feeling about meetings yeah so okay the rundown of life let’s see when i started i was doing an internship yeah and working and then that all that stopped like instantly when coronavirus hit like the the job didn’t really have a thing to do the internship went virtual like it was all pushed out and then for most of this time i’ve done next to nothing and just been at home and been a fill-in substitute teacher for first grade a lot of times and now i’m back to work and we’re wearing masks not everybody does it all day like there’s a lot of not wearing masks at my job i try to wear it all day i think there’s like some people who wear it and have their nose out and everybody’s got their own version of what works for them i was wearing mine all day i still wear it all day but now i can tell it gets a little less caresome over time right it’s just one of those things it’s like at first i’m wearing it every day no matter what and i’m only pulling it down outside to hit my vape i’m going to eat my lunch in my car or in an empty room that’s the only way i’m going to eat and now it’s like there’s days where there isn’t an empty room and it’s cold as [ __ ] outside and i’m like you know what i’m just gonna sit in this room with my co-worker and eat like it is what it is like that’s not that much different like it’s not stopping me from work like you said i’m hitting the gym but i wear my mask the entire time i’m there and that blows ass honestly because it’s hard to breathe at times but that’s not that different that’s good to be back there i feel like that’s healthy for me to be doing that but meetings in general and that’s where i think my life is so much different like yeah there’s some effects on life in all aspects just little here and there like you said you don’t mind eating out at restaurants i’m not going to eat in a restaurant right now so that’s kind of disappointing but n a 12-step program in general i just i had this phone conversation like six months ago and my buddy who was kind of like he would hit his home group every week and hit some other fellowships at times and he just was explaining he doesn’t really feel that why basically just why am i bothering anymore like i’m not hitting zoom meetings i haven’t been to meetings in months i’m doing all these other things for my recovery and mental health on a regular basis why would i go back to meetings and and put my time and stuff there and i was kind of like questioning at the time like wow that’s a drastic response right and now i kind of feel that i’m like why why do i i get it i want to show up and give back that’s always been my purpose right show up help out somebody else but i just feel like frequently i get very little out of the things i do that are involved with the 12-step program and of course there’s a lot of factors in that i’m not in the area that i spent a lot of my recovery in so i’m in still a newish area to me right trying to fit in and make connections and i had a home group for like a year and then due to coronavirus that had to change because they were meeting when it was illegal to meet and i was like i’m not gonna do that yet i’m not ready for that and then i joined a new home group where i like the people but i just don’t know them that well yet right and then you were mentioning earlier like the before the meeting conversation the after the meeting conversation the going out to eat conversation which was like my favorite thing about recovery honestly going out to eat some dinner after a meeting none of that’s happening and so i’m like i’m going to my home group on a virtual platform every week once a week and that’s it that’s like my connection to that portion of my recovery and i don’t feel like i personally am suffering i feel i feel like i’ve done a lot of great things during this pandemic for my recovery but that portion of it i’m often struggling like uh i gotta do this why like what am i what’s am i gaining from this yeah i reflect back on the time that we did our traveling around the country and during that time i didn’t go to a lot of meetings and it was easy to come up with all kinds of excuses reasons at the time i had 16 17 years clean you know i felt pretty stable in my life in all sorts of ways you know i wasn’t at risk of using i didn’t feel like i wanted to use it was farthest thing from my mind we were traveling having this great adventure and initially when we set out to do that my plan was to you know we would set up in a new area i’d find a home group i’d go to a couple of meetings i’d make some connections you know be great because that’s the advice i had given to people that i sponsored over the years that had moved you know i always had the right answer for them even though i never [ __ ] had that experience it’s amazing how those things happen right oh you’re moving let me tell you all about moving even though i’ve never done it you know and so when that happened what i found was all the obstacles and challenges sort of turned me away from putting that effort into going to meetings and the obstacles and challenges were going into a new meeting introducing myself as new but not a new guy because i’ve had that happen and that’s weirdly embarrassing i don’t know why maybe that’s ego you know where it’s like i go into a meeting and you know oh yeah i’m new here and then you know they want to treat you like you’re a newcomer like well let me define new for you you know i have a bunch of years i’m not that guy which is you know just terrible again the stories we tell ourselves in our head about what we think other people think i don’t it’s it’s crazy and then meetings wouldn’t be there like i’d go to find a meeting and it wouldn’t be there because it wasn’t on the schedule or it’d show up and there was something the time it changed just all kinds of weird obstacles and so i was like man am i really going to put this effort into going to find this [ __ ] meeting and then it not be there and then i’m going you know so i stopped kind of hitting a lot of meetings the end result of that was i began to suffer i started to revert back inwards to being like a self-centered person to where it’s like well i don’t really need the influence of other people in my life i can just make my own decisions i know what’s best for me i know what i need i know what’s good for me i thought that [ __ ] all along while i was using right you know and and then at least in n a literature you know it tells us like we are miss managers we’re not capable of consistently making good decisions and now i don’t look at meetings is where i get my recovery it’s just that’s not it i relate back to something my wife has always said she tells a little thing about what her first sponsor told her about your recovery should be built on a four-legged table a table yeah the four-legged i like how it’s always specified that it’s four-legged too yeah most tables are yeah they’re three-legged tables there are that’s just interesting yeah actually a two-legged table that we’re sitting at technically so anyway four-legged table you would have a god leg a sponsorship leg a fellowship leg and then a step work leg and i think a lot of people including me at times fall into this notion that the fellowship leg is the most important that that’s actually where the recovery is and to be honest at this point in my recovery i believe that’s actually the least where my recovery is you know it’s it’s not in the fellowship part meetings are great that’s a place where i connect with like-minded people that kind of have shared goals and values but it’s to me more almost like a therapeutic thing to go into meetings it’s not where i get the information that i need a lot of times to fix my life you know that information i get from close intimate relationships from going out and talking with friends or people about the really intimate things that are going on in my life meeting with my sponsor to go over problems and issues that are going on in my life the meetings are just a part of my recovery and my whole recovery can’t be built or shouldn’t i can’t say it can’t be i’m there’s plenty of people that all their recovery is and that’s great there’s nothing wrong with that for me that didn’t work building it on that fellowship leg i mean to go back what you started with i i don’t want to be a manager of my own life like i got that down i figure out that that doesn’t work well for me and it’s not that i’m trying to leave to stop working a program it’s been more just the meetings haven’t done much for me lately like i still want to work steps i still want to have a sponsor i still want to connect to people that matter to me and that are in my network that help me figure things out like right now i hit the one meeting a week but i also do this other not in a group on a tuesday night and then every other monday i meet up with my buddy jack and we have like an hour long video chat and we do this every week right on sunday so it’s there’s not a lack of meeting up times for me like i’m doing that it’s just not n a meetings basically i don’t have any desire to stop my recovery i just i really felt very bland about the meetings in general and like you said like it’s cool when that’s a place to a hub to meet my people and have conversations and we can go grab bite to eat but i guess because of moving and then changing home groups and then pandemic i’m kind of stuck in a position where right now my home group is online again because the numbers went up and i i do kind of think that’s the safest thing for us i’m not against it right i’m not like oh they’re online that’s dumb i’m like that’s probably the right thing to do but it just doesn’t leave a whole lot of ability to get to know them and getting to know people is a process that just takes time like i’ve only been a home group member for a few months there and i’m still navigating all that and figuring out these people like i like them i like what they share i’m cool with that but i just don’t have those real personal connections with them yet and i think part of the struggle is they’re such a tight-knit group that’s been together for so long with just them that it’s like i’m like the new guy trying to fit in with these people that already all have close personal connections or something i i don’t know it just feels a little weird but yeah i don’t know i guess meetings i used to get like you know you get that shot of hope you hear a powerful message you hear some stuff you can relate to you hear some really cool sound and [ __ ] that blows your mind you hear a new way to look at something and it’s always just been a reminder of what i need to do like yeah hey life might be going well but i i’m still one of these people right and i still need to keep a focus and i still need to work a step it was like a good reminder place and lately i just haven’t felt any of that lately it’s just kind of like uh i gotta go here for an hour yeah i agree for myself that is definitely one area meetings are a reminder of what healthy things i should be doing for myself even if i don’t hear it from the individuals we have the readings that we read and there are some really good reminders in there about what we’re actually doing here and and why we’re here sometimes that’s the most important message of recovery i can get out of a meeting is the readings that we read i have found for myself i need those reminders it’s kind of like you know almost like the same role that prayer or meditation plays in my life sometimes it’s just a consistent reminder of what i can be doing if i want to live a healthy life i say should be doing there’s a lot of things i should be doing that i know i should be doing and don’t do so i’m going to say a lot of things that i can be doing if i want to see improvements in my life yeah i don’t think it’s helped a lot that like my home groups on a thursday and just happen to be this year that’s every holiday is affected by a thursday so like thanksgiving night i just was not really feeling it christmas eve i was spending some time with my family and then i attended the group but i was also driving around trying to do some other stuff with my daughter at the same time so i really wasn’t all in on it and it was hard to hear and and then we got a couple of like older guys in our group who don’t do the virtual thing exactly but they’ll call in but then they don’t mute themselves and they get frustrated when other people do mute them but their noise in the background is keeping everybody else in the meeting from here and whoever’s sharing it’s like oh my god what a mess and i have only been attending in-person meetings i did very few zoom meetings when my home group was meeting every week i i did that one pretty much every week i think or unless there was something really big going on but i tried to attend the virtual meeting and for our home group it didn’t last very long it was maybe a month or two and once we felt like we could legally meet back up and follow the guidelines or whatever if you even know what they are at this point i don’t even know it keeps changing and it’s so [ __ ] confusing how many people you’re allowed to have and how you’re supposed to be and if you gotta wear masks or not i mean it’s it’s just confusing so in any case i’m back to in-person meetings because i didn’t feel like i was getting what i needed from the zoom meetings personally i’ve noticed the biggest part of what i take away from meetings is the interpersonal connections seeing people consistently talking hanging out with guys catching up how you doing what’s going on in your life how’s things going with the family you know those kind of things watching new people come in seeing them grow and go through life and experience new awesome things right and that for me you know i’ve never been the person that’s good at telephone calls or doing that stuff i’m way better at in-person communication i really noticed with my wife and i went to some meetings together and she had a lot of fear about coronavirus and being around all these people and so it was you know we show up at the meeting and we kind of sit in the car until about two minutes before the meeting then we put our mass on and we go in and we really don’t interact with a lot of people say hi you know and she doesn’t like to really get into a lot of hugging and all that and then she wants to leave right away after the meeting you know and not really interact with people and for me that experience is like i’ll just stay the [ __ ] home if that’s what it’s about what touches my heart or my spirit the most in a meeting is not just the recovery message i mean i don’t maybe that’s wrong to say maybe whatever it just it’s the truth for me right and if all the meeting is about reading the [ __ ] literature and talking about n a stuff there’s nothing wrong with that but that’s not where i feel like i get the most for my spirit this episode has been brought to you by voices of hope inc a non-profit grassroots recovery community organization located in maryland voices of hope is made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity and respect of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment support resources and mentoring please visit us at w www.voicesofhopecilmd.org and consider donating to our calls

yeah and i think right now we’re in a confusing place because obviously not every last meeting because some people just kept meeting and didn’t care but most meetings immediately had to stop someone online some disappeared right and so that was strange but then you kind of at least had these big lists of where you could go to go to a meeting they were online and then over some months people started slowly finding ways to open back up during the summer a lot of them were outside people were doing outside stuff i was cool with that that was great when there was good weather or you had a roof whatever and now like i was going down to my old area a little bit down near baltimore they’re still going right but the state of it is so weird right there’s so many meetings that have just closed and won’t ever come back because of this so you’re gonna have less meetings then there’s like i’ve been to two meetings that meet in the same church one you even if you’re the speaker you can’t take your mask off the other one if you’re the speaker you can take your mask off same church but apparently they’re following the church’s rules both of them sorry then like my old home group changed locations so that they could meet because the location they used to meet at you can only have like 24 people and then you got to stand outside and tell people to go away and then there’s still groups meeting at that location on different nights that are only having 24 people i just saw somebody celebrating there the other night they’re like really oh you have 25 people that’s it like nobody else can i’m like how do you how do you even do that right like you turn people away from me so it’s just it’s so crazy right now if you go and try to find a schedule and figure out what meetings are online what meetings are in person what meetings are still in existence what meetings you have to wear a mask while you’re talking like there’s just so much chaos around it that i don’t even know how people do it like i for me hey i’m hitting that one meeting but i’m also doing these other like three meeting-ish things with people that i care about every week but what about the guy who’s new to n a and doesn’t have these other places to go and things to do and he’s just trying to hit six meetings a week like the new guy like how does he find six meetings a week in his local neighborhood that are still open that can take enough people that he can get in that like that’s just seems so hard right now i don’t i don’t know how people are doing it and the numbers ain’t going to this is what i don’t get the numbers aren’t going down they’re worse now than they’ve been through the whole thing and yet we’re probably more open now than we were in march right and i’m like that doesn’t make any [ __ ] sense at all i don’t know i i yeah the whole the management of the coronavirus stuff from the beginning even up to now to me in my logical assessment of things and everything i think i know about running a pandemic team right they have totally mismanaged the [ __ ] out of this and none of it makes sense and again i’m living my life according to what i think are my most important values and what i’m worried about and i have been tested more than any other person i know for what i feel like is personal responsibility we’ve done some traveling out of state you know i want to try to follow the state rules when they say you’re supposed to do these different things so you know i’ve been going to the gym i do go around other people during the week so i’m trying to make sure i’m not putting other people at risk to the best of my ability i’ll try to wear a mask when i’m around other people like i don’t this is super interesting i don’t see our different takes i feel like shutting my life down is the way that that really helps anybody i don’t feel like that’s a good way to manage it it’s funny because you say you’ve taken more tests than anyone you know out of caution and safety for others and my take on that is you’ve taken more tests than anybody you know because you’re risky well yeah well that’s yes that i mean that’s two sides of the same thing yes i am living a very what i would call risky life and i interact and work with people that i think are high risk so i have a concern for that i’m not worried about myself i mean if i was to be honest i [ __ ] almost want to treat it like chickenpox whereas just tell me the next person i know that’s got it and i’ll go [ __ ] hang out at their house maybe drink after them and we’ll just get it and then i can just be done with all this [ __ ] we’ll do virtual for a couple years i actually said that to my wife so we had an issue at work where a guy one of the truck drivers tested positive so everyone was all freaked out all of a sudden nobody gives a [ __ ] about masks nobody cares anything about anything until somebody gets it and then they’re all [ __ ] panicked and freaking out like what the [ __ ] what are we gonna do right and i’m like you guys have been the ones that act like you don’t give a [ __ ] i mean i know i don’t give a [ __ ] but i don’t give a [ __ ] that he got it like i you know i knew somebody was gonna get it eventually i mean we work around i think there’s close to 40 people that work there all together between truck drivers mechanics they’re all running in and out a lot of them are people that are like anti mask anti you know shutting down these aren’t people that are all like sitting at home doing nothing washing their groceries like these aren’t that kind of people yeah i don’t know about washing your crush so much there was no doubt in my mind that someone was going to get it i really thought it would probably be me if just to be honest and so i was trying to prepare for that embarrassment of being like yeah i finally got it so anyway that’s part of my decision making on wearing a mask at work because what i know is wearing a mask protects other people it’s not necessarily for me why get tested a lot because if i did come up with it i would want to stay away from all these people that are high risk and have grandkids or people that are high risk that they’re around all their reasons i get it but for me myself i’m not that worried about getting it so what i’m noticing about me is that i call myself a guy who’s taking it seriously and being respectful and and protecting others and myself and my loved ones and i really think the more you talked about that i’m just willing to do things that require less work if it requires more work i’m not gonna do that like you mean i have to go get tested that sounds like a pain in the ass i’ll just sit home like can i just sit home and be respectful that sounds great i’ll do that that’s less work so i will say that too and that’s part of the whole this is a [ __ ] show debacle from whoever’s i don’t know who to blame whether we blame the president or the governor or the counties i don’t know but it sucks from top to bottom just the process of trying to get tests i’ve been tested a couple different ways there’s the online test you can order to your house and part of this is i like to just experiment and try new [ __ ] so i’ve been messing with some of this stuff just to see like hey what’s this like so there’s an online test you can order it’s through lab core i think it’s called pixel by lab core you can actually order a test they send it to your house you do it yourself and then you mail it back and they give you the results didn’t cost me nothing it was paid for by insurance i got tested through the health department our local health department does i think it’s weekly testing it’s just a drive-through thing you get in your car you know you drive through the thing you know you answer some questions you take the test there that one the weight right before thanksgiving we ended up waiting in line like an hour and a half which was yeah it was a long time it was longer that i wanted to wait i was a little annoyed by the end i went another week and it was way shorter it was less than an hour still i mean it was still like 45 minutes of sitting in your car sort of snaking through the line i’ll quarantine for two weeks before i’ll wait for that [ __ ] test but uh the process of getting tested was pretty easy the hypocrisy though so i gotta point this out they tell you we highly recommend that you make an appointment now with the drive through one through the health department when i get there they don’t have two separate lines like for the line for people that have an appointment or a line for people that don’t have an appointment and if you don’t have an appointment they don’t turn you away you just sit in the same line so at this point i’m like why the [ __ ] would you make an appointment it doesn’t get you in front of anyone else and it doesn’t speed anything up there’s no point to having an appointment but they’ll tell you you should make an appointment so it seems so stupid that’s like making a doctor’s appointment where they just see you whenever they want to anyway right right and anyone else could just show up and be there before you and they get in before you yeah it doesn’t the point of making the appointment is useless so anyway that’s one of the hypocritical things that don’t make any sense but as far as the process goes that was fairly easy but then you have to wait three to five days for test results which seems kind of stupid and then you’re supposed to quarantine during that too right i don’t know when i’m i mean all the times that i’ve been tested other than this time with the guy that i don’t even know if i would consider it exposed to this guy you know he just he was works at the same building that i work at it’s not like him and i were like intimately in a car together or anything like that didn’t make out no and we weren’t really like close on top each other we don’t work together he drives a truck he just comes in the same building and uses the break room and the coffee machine but you know whatever we don’t exactly know how it spreads maybe he touched the coffee machine right before me and then i picked my nose and you know now maybe he just had covered and thought about you maybe that’s how you get it he come and breathed it into the ductwork you know whatever i’ve been tested all these times just out of i just want to be safe i don’t think i’m supposed to quarantine for that see i thought you were i thought if you were worried enough to get a test the point was you don’t go anywhere until you get negative results that was my take on it then i couldn’t go anywhere and do anything yeah yeah basically yeah that’s stupid that’s because government wants you in your house and tell you what to do but uh all right so the last thing about tests so the last test i got was i went through the local uh med express or whatever it’s called express care urgent care i think it is here in elkton and that’s one of the so they call it a rapid test 15 minutes get your result same day same you have to make an appointment before they’ll see you the closest appointment you can get is usually two or three days out so if you’re exposed or you think you might be exposed you know again you have to quarantine for days before you can even get a test 15 minute results three days from now right how quick so it’s so stupid and their whole process was totally ridiculous so you make your appointment they give you a time which is a totally irrelevant time so they give you a time they have a thing online it says fill out all this paperwork ahead of time you can pre-register and that’ll speed up your process so i did all that filled out all the paperwork so i get there at my appointment time i walk inside the lady says oh you’re here for your appointment okay go sit out in your car and we’ll call you when we’re ready and i’m like oh okay you know so that i go back out i sit in my car for 25 minutes or so they call me in i say okay good now i can get in there and get this test done i go in she hands me the clipboard with all the paperwork on it you know and asked me questions about my insurance all the [ __ ] that i already completely filled out online which i told her when i got there i said i did all the pre-registration online i put in all my insurance information on stuff oh okay great which she should have said that doesn’t matter that’s pointless this is like when they ask for your resume and then ask you to fill in the application with all the same information so then she hands me the paperwork i fill it out hand it back to her and she goes okay go sit back in your car for another 25 minutes and we’ll call you when it’s time for your appointment i was like when i [ __ ] walked in the door the first time why didn’t you hand me this clipboard of information and let me take it out to my car and fill it out and then you know it just was [ __ ] stupid it was totally stupid and so that whole the process took almost two hours to get a rapid test with 15 minute results because then i take the test so then they take me into a room you know a visit room like an actual you would see if you had an actual injury or were there for some real reason ask me why i’m there i tell them yeah someone at my work was exposed to covet i’m here for a test i don’t have any symptoms i just you know want to be safe make sure i wasn’t exposed okay great so the nurse leaves then a doctor comes in asks me all the same [ __ ] questions i gotta go through so why are you here were you exposed so i go through all the same information with him again like it just was stupid and then i take the test and they make me sit there and wait for i don’t know it felt like longer than 15 minutes for them to come in and give me the results and i was negative then too you know all my tests have been negative but i’m like you could not have made this more [ __ ] difficult if you tried like this could have not it was totally inconvenient it was totally uh what felt like a [ __ ] waste of a lot of time like no wonder people don’t want to get tested it’s annoying as [ __ ] no i i could get that i i don’t have any intention of getting tested unless i’m in a hospital emergency room and they have to like my goal is to not if i get sick i’ll stay home yeah but in all my understanding like that’s how the [ __ ] it spreads because i’m out living my life and if i get it and i’m asymptomatic then i’m just running around potentially spreading it all over the place whereas if i knew for a fact that i had it whether i was symptomatic or not i would 100 percent quarantined for whatever number of days or fights that [ __ ] keeps change it’s a negative test it’s three negative tests three months who knows what but if i tested positive and i knew i had it or if immediate member of my family my wife or my kids i would 100 percent quarantine to try to avoid giving it to anyone i don’t want to get it and i don’t want to give it to anyone else but i am i don’t want to shut my life down i can’t yeah no i i get what you’re saying but i i mean you’d have to get tested every day if you were like worried about being asymptomatic and running around with it you could you would have to get tested every day i’m like i’m not gonna i mean so there’s never gonna be a hundred percent guarantee on not spreading it at all i mean it’s even like a mask like i can wear a mask around all day and still spread it right it’s just it’s all about reducing the the potential so i i feel like almost maybe everybody in a 12-step program has learned a new understanding from this and i think it’s almost different for every person right some people who hit 12-step meetings regularly are learning what they actually got out of 12-step meetings before that it wasn’t so much the meeting it was maybe just the connection to some people they like that they went to dinner with afterwards i think other people are learning that 12-step programs are not the only way to recover there’s some other things out there that we can do on a regular basis that are good for our lives that put us in a good situation i guess i feel like everybody’s learning a little something different i just can’t figure out exactly what the lesson is that i’m learning because right now i just don’t feel much like it i’m still locked in having a virtual home group and a small home group that’s not big on organization i guess or group conscience or any of that i don’t have a position there i don’t know that they even need a position filled it’s very small there’s only eight or nine of us or something and everything gets taken care of i do have an area position right now so i guess i’m at least locked in to do that for a while so i’m not going anywhere i’m on the website committee like i just don’t know what i’m learning exactly about this except that i think there’s been times in my recovery where i’ve only hit my home group each week because i look i have a busy life i have kids i’ve been in school for like seven and a half years where i had classes sometimes two nights a week it’s not like i ran around and hit tons of meetings you know two a week is is a lot for me i like to but it’s a lot it’s hard with all the other things i have going on but i think i’m definitely i’ve felt guilty at times for only hitting one meeting a week like oh man i only go to my home group once a week that’s awful and i think one of the things i’m realizing is i do a [ __ ] ton else for my recovery and i don’t have to feel guilty about hitting one meeting a week if that’s what i have the time for and that’s what fits into my life and you know randomly i’ll get asked to share or there’s somebody i loves anniversary and i do hit another meeting but i do a lot of other stuff for my recovery and i don’t have to feel guilty about one meeting a week if that’s my lifestyle like there’s nothing wrong with that i would agree with that and i was thinking earlier when you mention newcomers and how they’re navigating some of this i can only imagine they’re like the rest of us like some of them are probably like yeah these [ __ ] zoo meetings are great you know i can hit meetings seven days a week now i come home from work if i don’t get home from work till late there’s a late meeting in [ __ ] that i can hit online ten meetings a day yes and then there’s other people that i know like i sponsor a guy that’s in a recovery house and he’s still getting out to meetings pretty much every night you know he’s hitting meetings in the neighboring county which is part of our area you know and he’s he’s getting out and he’s finding meetings and he’s making it work for him now he’s beyond that 90-day point so he’s not necessarily doing you know a meeting a day but he’s definitely hitting several in person and he’s all in-person meetings he didn’t care for the zoo meetings right so he’s hitting in-person meetings and making it work for him and again i can look at it for myself at the moment and say this has actually pushed me to do some things outside of my comfort zone i now like i have a sponsor that i he’s worried about coronavirus stuff or somewhat concerned he’s not that worried y’all are eating yeah and uh well he doesn’t like to go to a lot of like huge meetings or big meetings where there’s a lot of people not wearing masks he really again he’s trying to figure out what his comfort level is and that’s cool but yeah we’ll meet and go out to eat go out to dinner just to get together and talk and catch up rather than me trying to track him down at a meeting or trying to meet up with him and hit a meeting and that’s been interesting because it’s a much better opportunity for like a one-on-one intimate conversation for that hour and a half time that we have together versus you got a 15 20 minute car ride then you’re in a meeting and you come out of the meeting you got to restart a conversation or you know completely different conversation for 15 20 minutes it’s been good that’s not something that i’ve typically done i’ve typically only had like sponsor relationships where we kind of got together to hit a meeting or maybe got together to go over a step and that was kind of it i think maybe some meeting makers learned that the steps of the program throughout this like when meetings stop and you can’t get there like you want to and it’s not the same one zoom now what right and i think like step work is what changes us fundamentally from the inside to at least have the awareness to see something’s wrong and try to evaluate and try new options like there’s people who might have been clean on meetings for 15 years or something before that and never had to worry about it as long as they were in a meeting it was fine i don’t know i just i don’t know what to make of it all honestly and that’s kind of where i’m at with it i don’t want to leave the program that’s not my goal i just i’m definitely in a a life-changing place like i just finished school we got a pandemic going on which eventually hopefully will fade away and it will be safer again at some point in the future right but even when that happens like what is my new mode of recovery look like and not that it means leaving the 12-step program that got me here but it just doesn’t seem as influential like i guess i was all in before and it was all everything and now it’s kind of like ah you know it’s cool i mean i think it helps a lot of people and i still want to be a part of it in some way it was great when we used to have activities and special events and we could go play softball and like [ __ ] happened amongst it like i don’t have a lot of connection to the n a population right now and i think that’s definitely part of it yeah for me that’s definitely a consequence of some of this and like most processes that i’m going through in my recovery at the time that i was having my experiences with moving and hitting different meetings in different areas or lack of my willingness to hit meetings in different areas when we were traveling i don’t know that i necessarily recognized a lot of things when i was in the midst of that you know like it was after sort of coming out the other side of that experience and kind of sitting back and and reflecting on it and looking at you know why wasn’t i going to meetings at that point and what was keeping me away or what was my deterrent because in that process my attitude was never like ah [ __ ] a i don’t want to go to meetings anymore you know it was like no i still consider myself a recovering addict i still considered myself a member of n a but i bet you there was probably weeks if not months i didn’t hit a meeting right you know so i don’t know what the [ __ ] i thought my connection to n a was you know what i mean i was in a different state with my wife being the only other person that i talked to in recovery at all i was working and living life and not going to meetings for all intents and purposes i was not really a member of n a other than i [ __ ] said i was well that’s all it takes but if you’d asked me in the when i was in the middle of that i’d have said oh yeah i’m 100 still in on recovery i’m still trying to live these principles i’m still trying to work steps you know it wasn’t like a conscious decision about what was going on but you know now when i got out of that and reflected back it’s like no slowly those steps and those principles started to drift out of my life right and slowly i was just reverting back to just relying on myself being my own higher power and doing what the [ __ ] i wanted to do and you know i didn’t see that when i was in that process the other thing is i gained a different understanding of the role of meetings in my life you know now i know the purpose of meetings in my life and for me right now i almost feel like what you said earlier if i was in the same situation now where hitting meetings became really difficult or inconvenient i don’t think i would suffer the same as i did back then because i do have all these other connections to recovery this podcast has been great for my personal recovery my personal spiritual journey i have a relationship with a sponsor that i’ve been maintaining that is outside of going to meetings or anything to do with meetings i’ve been actively engaged with step work recently on my own and then with some guys that i sponsor so i have all those you know the other legs of my table are doing pretty well so that if the meeting or social you know leg kicked out i would still have three pretty solid legs and my table would still be pretty firm hmm what was the other three legs again god step work and sponsor

and i will say my personal interpretation or whatever of meetings is that that is a place where i go to get direction from my higher power you know what i mean that’s where i go to get like good orderly direction it’s not the only place but as a source of higher power for me going there i’ll hear things that i can relate to i’ll hear people going through struggles or hear how they dealt with the situation and think wow that’s beautiful that’s the kind of person that i want to be you know or i’ll hear them go through things and think man i could easily fall into that same trap those are places where i can get a message from my higher power but it’s not the only place that i get that right and i think maybe that’s where i’m at i’m just in a place where and it’s a little different at my new home group i think before my newer home group i was hearing a lot of early recovery messages and it’s not that i couldn’t relate like i do remember that experience and i i don’t think i’m better than that or anything but it wasn’t things that seem very relevant to what i go through on a daily basis today and my new home group does provide more of that like the guys are older guys for the most part or at least my age and people that have some time and they share relevant experiences to my daily life and i’m like oh yeah yeah i struggled with that tuesday i get it right like i i totally get what they’re saying so that’s nice but yeah i think that’s where maybe this podcast in a roundabout way has been great for my life and my recovery but it is changing my relationship to my 12-step program a little bit and it’s i mean it’s not bad for my life but i grieve things when i lose them even if my life is moving in a direction that’s better like i still grieve when i lose parts of who i thought i was right because we ego we tell the story of who we are i’m an n a guy i work the steps i’m hardcore i hit meetings i’ll share a great message all that great stuff but the reality for me now is yeah i still appreciate what na did for me i still plan to attend or be a part of it in some way shape or form but there are all these other things that i’m doing for my life and my recovery that are really great and it makes n a not as important not as not as necessary not as number one top priority and i there’s a part of me that feels really bad saying that and allowing that to be right like i’m going into this therapy world where i mean not that given therapy for people is going to be like a solution for me but in giving therapy to people i’m going to be reminded of a lot of my stuff which is going to then put me in groups to talk to other therapists about those kind of things and it’s like i have all these other type of groups these supports that are around that i rely heavily on that seem to more directly interact with my life today i guess and so i there’s just part of me that laments and feels sad about allowing it to be that na is not the great all and everything anymore it’s like yeah it’s great and it was very helpful and it got me here and i still want to be involved but it’s just not what i used to put it as yeah and i feel sad about that even though my life is actually i think moving in a direction that’s healthier i’m still like i don’t want to let go of that story i told of who i used to be who thought n a was everything so i guess through the process of recovery i’ve had that experience already before any of this coveted coronavirus [ __ ] like i i know a few people that don’t come to n a anymore that are still you know i don’t know clean i don’t know if they’d call themselves clean they don’t use right um but they have good lives there’s a guy i work with that i initially met him in recovery that’s one of the reasons he got the job there and he doesn’t really do meetings and [ __ ] anymore and but he’s a good person he’s not using his life hasn’t fallen apart before he’s doing well for himself he doesn’t seem like he’s turned into some [ __ ] angry dry drunk person you know what i mean like he’s he’s a decent human being living without n.a and yet he was a horrible drug addict at one point and they helped him out of that through that whatever you want to call it and for some other my own personal reasons of like drifting away like i have become comfortable with the idea that i don’t think i need n a to be abstinent in my life you know or to give me the life i don’t say give me the life that i want to live that’s probably not true i do feel like it gives me the life that i want to live i don’t feel like i need n a in my life or i’m going to use or die or my life’s going to fall apart right and it is an old saying that we say a lot to new people like it’s not for people that need it it’s for people that want it and so my journey has led me to a place now with a lot of time where it’s like wait a minute i want what recovery has to offer me i want the benefits of working the steps of living spiritual principles of helping other people in my life and if i really want that stuff i have to do the [ __ ] work to get it you know just like back to the gym stuff if i want the benefits of going to the gym i just don’t get to go hang out at the [ __ ] gym and look at people doing exercises and go yeah i belong to a gym this is great you know i’m a member i show up here you know i gotta do the [ __ ] work right and my experience of trying to be a member without doing the work i didn’t get the benefits and started to become pretty disenfranchised with the whole n a thing like n a it’s whatever yeah because i wasn’t doing any of the [ __ ] work to get the [ __ ] that they wanted to give right so now i’m at again i think the same i think i’m at a pretty healthy place where n a is a piece of what i do for spiritual growth and development in my life it offers me an opportunity to help other people that are still suffering it offers me an opportunity to interact and engage with a lot of like-minded people that in general share similar goals values beliefs it allows me to connect with people that have had similar life experiences as far as using and some harms and some damage that we cause there’s some ways that i can feel on any daily basis for me the the people have changed almost all the people in my recovery have changed throughout this process it’s not like i connected with this group of six people and they’re still the same six people in my life you know those people have all [ __ ] most of them have gone i think my wife i’ve known for 20 years and my boss that i work with now i’ve known for 20 years and there’s a few other people that have been around since i’ve been around but as far as my intimate connection of people people have come and gone throughout this process and what’s remained consistent is the program the steps the message you know and that is kind of why i go now is because there’s a spiritual aspect that i still haven’t found i get filled other places it’ll be interesting to see what happens as things finally do like i kind of thought we already had that moment when kobe was going away and and meetings were coming back and like oh we’re getting back to normal and now it’ll be interesting like i guess that’s next summer i don’t know and i don’t know for the the busyness of your life but would you consider even for experimental purposes like hitting a couple of in-person meetings and seeing so i did fine too for me two meetings is best i used to kind of almost take that as an insult like i don’t even need to go to [ __ ] any meetings if i don’t want to go to meetings but i’m going to my one meeting a week because i made a commitment to go there what i found for me personally is what ended up happening at my home group was i was only surrounded by limited people with a limited sort of viewpoint and a limited interpretation of recovery and by expanding that out to two meetings now i go to a meeting that has i don’t know say a lot but that’s probably a mix of people with some time and a lot of new people and then my home group which is usually just people with some time that aren’t quite as serious about steps in the program right and that mix is great for me like it really is good i feel like i get one thing from one meeting and one thing from the other meeting i definitely think something in my life has to go in order to have another evening free that’s more the issue like i’m giving three evenings to group or virtual type meetups right now and i just don’t i mean the other four are family what’s such a weird time with home groups what about even just switching your home group tonight and saying yeah or do you still like the virtual meeting i mean it i think the past couple weeks has just been inconvenient i don’t think that i dislike it see i don’t like virtual meetings so if a meeting goes virtual i’m not going but this just came up with my sponsor and me when we were met up the other day so anything we do can just be temporary you know it doesn’t need to be like oh i’m quitting this home group and leave them forever because that’s how i interpret things so we set up a therapy appointment you know and the only night they have i’m like well i could do any night of the week you know after five but thursday’s not good and they said well the only night we have is thursday at 7 30. and i’m like [ __ ] you know like that’s my home group time so my immediate decision there is like up i have to quit my home group find a new home group where the [ __ ] am i going to find another home group i don’t want to you know leave my home group i’d like it there i i’m comfortable there and my sponsor said well you don’t necessarily have to leave just see how it goes just let them know hey i got this thing every other thursday i might have to miss a couple weeks and then let it sort of play itself out another night could open up in a couple weeks and the therapist has another appointment or maybe not but i don’t need to make that decision right now good sponsor information i know that’s and then i have to pass it on so and knowing i know a bunch of people in your home group if you said hey look i’m struggling with this virtual thing i’m just going to hit some in-person meetings for the next couple of weeks and see how that goes i mean and who cares you’ll need to give them an explanation you can do what you want you remember when you say you are god damn it

but like you said and it is true we build those relationships through consistent connection and consistent communication that’s how that stuff happens yeah i i don’t i don’t know maybe i’ll try to get out on one night if you don’t feel safe you don’t have to i just i was just curious like for me i’m an experimenter person like it’s just like the covid test like i wanted to do all the different tests on purpose just to be like well what’s this experience like and what’s that one like and then i can make these comparisons and figure out how much smarter i am that i think i could figure everything out in a better way i know we don’t think maths do a whole lot for us but i’m down with feeling protected when i got a mask on so i don’t really get like i’ll sit in a room with a mask on i don’t give a [ __ ] that doesn’t bother me at all i’m not nervous about that aspect i’m more nervous about committing to actually leaving my house that sounds like work yeah i can’t leave the house why i’m home i told jen i’ll be honest and i don’t want you to take this the wrong way i love doing this podcast but sunday mornings i’m like [ __ ] i gotta go we should do this on a different time like a time that i feel like getting up and going somewhere sunday mornings i never feel like that’s that’s the thing every day that i have to go do something i feel that way yeah ah monday after work [ __ ] you should do it a different day yeah generally anytime i have to do anything i’m like really do i have to great so i don’t know i got nothing else i’m glad to share even though i feel guilty still about my stance and feelings of towards n a right now but what i can say is regardless of my feelings for right now i am still committed to being a member and being a part of even though i’m not really feeling it i think that’s healthy yeah i mean it’s better we be honest when we learn that about ego it’s better that we just be honest about ourselves and how we feel and where we’re at than to try to deny or fake it the great thing about recovery is that we have freedom to make choices in our lives today so if nothing else the pandemic the quarantine the coronavirus has all been a learning and growing experience right we’re learning about recovery we’re learning about our ourselves we’re learning about all this stuff what it takes to make us tick and go and i think that’s all we can do is just learn and grow and evolve like anything that stops evolving starts dying really yeah but don’t give up on the process this is a temporary blip i think it’s a temporary you know hiccup in the road bumping the road and a couple years from now we’ll look back and things will be different i can’t tell you exactly how they’ll be different but they will be different in another couple years and you know recovery will transform and morph into something new or different hopefully in a good way for most of us i’m gonna build a chip that puts the steps right into your brain

i don’t know i got nothing yep i’m out cool all right we will see you next week check out the website check out the episodes do your thing have fun share this podcast with people in your life who might enjoy it check out recoveryswordup.com to find our episodes and link up with us on facebook twitter and instagram we’re always looking for new and interesting ideas for topics sort of if you have any ideas for episodes or think you have something to come on and talk about reach out to us

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