8: Stigma (Sort Of)

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Transcript:

recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss the recovery and addiction 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 views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

okay welcome to recovery stored up we’re here again it’s Jason of course Billy a has illness and man so some interesting stuff this week we we got a couple of emails which was awesome I feel like and it’s not so much awesome I mean it is cool that people are listening I’m not gonna say it’s not but it’s it’s less about hey look how awesome we are that people listen to us it’s more like damn man it is really fun to be a part of conversations about things that interest me and guess what recovery does interest me it’s a big part of my life and then you know along with those couple of emails just the interactions that I’ve been able to start having on Twitter which I don’t know why the [ _ ] I didn’t at any point in time just start a Twitter and talk to people in recovery but it never occurred to me and and now that it’s become a thing it’s it’s pretty damn awesome so one of the things that came up and a lots going on this morning I happened to go on Twitter and I came across a post that mentioned that you know and I think it specifically referred to alcoholics but just any person I imagine with addiction that could be stigmatizing to be referred to as being in recovery and I took a little bit of exception to that from my standpoint and I looked up the definition and screenshot of it and started the a polite conversation I believe I wasn’t trying to you know start an argument or be mean to anyone I acknowledged that I could understand how they felt but I felt like I was on the other side of that like I think being in recovery is pretty empowering to me not stigmatizing and so you know they pointed out that in the definition I gave them which hold on I can actually look up the definition for you just so I don’t say the wrong words I don’t have to paraphrase so the definition that I put was of return to a normal state of health minder strength and I think what I was trying to say like their original post was about if you say you’re in recovery then you must have said that you were struggling to return to this normal state and I was pointing out that I don’t feel like I’m struggling and the definition doesn’t say I need to be so they you know commented back and said that that would mean that at some point I would have had to have been in a sub normal or abnormal state to need to return to a normal state and I I do see what they’re saying there right like I get that side of it um I still for me I don’t think it applies like I needed to make a change in my life in order to get to recovery because I was in a not optimal state it was not where I wanted to be anymore I get how the word normal kind of sucks at a third in there but it definitely wasn’t the state I wanted to be in I wanted a change of state to a different state and that was the state of being in recovery for me and so for me I find it empowering to say hey there’s this portion of my life that was [ _ ] and then you know thankfully through whatever you want to call it miracles my own work whoever you’re talking to has their own opinion I call it a higher power I was guided to a place where it’s way better yeah and some of this language gets tricky you know are we recovering recovered are we in recovery I think for me a lot of it is the context of who we’re talking to what the conversation is where we’re at and what’s going on in you know recovery meetings in 12-step meetings it’s common to say you’re a person in recovery it seems to me if you’re going to meetings to maintain a healthy state of mind from whatever addiction or whatever other reason you’re going to meetings you obviously don’t feel like you’re done or I don’t know maybe you do maybe your ego tells you that you’re done and you’re just there to help everyone else I don’t know for me I go because I feel like I need to continue to go there to continue to grow and change and there are things that I need to work on so in that context I am still in the process of recovery I’m not done I also don’t feel like at least today my belief is that I will never be able to you know use drugs or alcohol or whatever successfully like that a part of me that’s an issue that I’m gonna have to permanently deal with in my life that it’s that’s never just gonna be recovered that’s that part of me is never gonna be fixed in that next week I’ll be able to go drink and manage that successfully is my belief so when I say I’m you know in recovery or recovering like that’s what I’m referring to now in different conversations I may address that a little differently I know there’s been some things around the sort of peer recovery movement with recovery languaging and things like that first off I’d like to say why some of this matters like it seems like who cares you know we go to meetings we talk to people in meetings and who cares and the truth is in meetings it doesn’t really matter I don’t think what we call ourselves or whatever I don’t think it’s as important in those conversations I think where it matters is you know in even in mainstream media now I mean you hear every day you’re hearing about the opioid epidemic and you know different things that you know around addiction and treatment and you know the maintenance programs and things like that like that stuff is coming up in mainstream media and we as a recovery community recovering recovering recovered community whatever you like to call yourself you know we sort of I don’t want to say need to be careful but it’s important how we address ourselves I mean I have been in recovery for you know 19 years and so you know when I go out and represent myself I don’t want to necessarily represent myself as you know like I have a lot of successful things going on in my life now as a result of recovery and so depending on the people that I’m talking to in the community I want to make sure that I get that out there like hey you know at one point I was a you know strung out heroin addict with a couple of duis I had my license taken I have one of those breathalyzers in my truck I did time in jail like you know I did all those things I was you know as trash off the side of the road you know drinking liquor out of liquor bottles off the side of the road like those kind of things that’s who I was and I’m so far from that as a result of recovery like that is not the person that I am you know now it’s so funny that I shot like pissy oily [ _ ] gutter water but I’m like do you drink those and you know I like it’s important to me that I convey that message when I’m talking people about recovery now I don’t go talking about that [ _ ] to like the parents at Little League I wouldn’t recommend that even though I’m trying to get a good message of recovery out there but there will be times in conversations are in public you know where things come up um I often have conversations with people at work about the things I used to do and the things I do now and as a result of that some people have reached out to me at different times for different reasons whether it’s for issues with family members or things like that and so I want to present myself as I hate to use the word successful recovery person because that’s you know sounds a little bit misleading but you know I am a person that is successfully at least for today you know overcoming my struggles that I had with addictions right yeah so I mean you touched on a lot of stuff there one thing that popped in my head where you said maybe in meetings the language doesn’t matter so much reminded me of when I first got to the 12-step rooms and my first sponsor who you know they like to call people like that any Nazis I hate to use the word not very strict na policing type people and he was very adamant about the fact that some people would introduce themselves as grateful recovering addicts and some people were recovering addicts named so-and-so and some people were human trash cans named so-and-so and he hated that because to him he said the whole point of just being an addict or just being an alcoholic named such-and-such made us all equal right as soon as the guy with ten years started being the Grateful recovering addict named so and so now the newcomers gotta wonder if he’s good enough now because the MMI grateful recovering at all right right like so I guess the language mattered even there about stigma and and excluding people so that was one thing you had mentioned the other part I so I get I get you know knowing our audience and maybe I’m gonna if I’m given a banquet reception speech which I never will but if I ever was in front of like important people and not that important alcoholics were all important oh god there’s just no way to say any of this right so if I’m giving this speech around a non recovery community and I’m trying to say it a little different I almost still don’t like changing it though right I’ve it almost to me ties into some of the problems in the world today so I don’t have a problem saying hey I struggled in you know drug use and today I’m in recovery and things are different they’re not like that anymore whether you want to call it God a higher power I call it divine intervention of some sort right but some people just think that they like learn some better thinking and that’s great I don’t care whatever got us here I don’t have a problem saying I struggled and now I’m here I equate that to hey I’ve made a mistake in my life and now I don’t and I’m trying to make amends and be better for it right but when we just stopped being able to admit that we made a mistake like that’s what I think is part of the problem that we deal with we talk about our politicians and stuff they’re not they don’t own mistakes right because they’re terrified of stigmatizing themself maybe that they made a mistake so they got to just continue on making mistakes like why can’t we change why can’t we get smarter than yesterday and not make the mistakes and admit we were wrong like I don’t know I don’t see that as necessarily stigmatizing to say that we were wrong at some point and now we’re trying to do something different yeah well I guess I’m trying to get back to the room full of people at the banquet thing I’m trying to kind of get an idea so what I think about is like alright if I am in a room full of people that say it’s politicians or police officers or professionals whatever that aren’t people that are familiar with recovery or addiction so much they have in general outside view like they the addict is like there you know sister’s kid that steals all the money or can’t come to your house cuz it’ll steal your television like that’s what they know addiction and they don’t really know much about recovery or recovering or and they don’t really care the truth is they don’t care what you call yourself you can call yourself whatever you want they really don’t give a [ _ ] so in those settings I have you know this is that recovery messaging stuff it’s like I call myself I am person in long-term recovery and what that means is I have not had a drink or a drug since and then I’ll give my clean date and that sort of sets the tone for what that means when I say I’m in recovery especially nowadays it seems like there’s so many different you know quote unquote you know recovery pathways and it’s gotten and I hate to say this but it’s almost gotten to a case where you can do almost anything it’s like well as long as I’m not shooting dope I’m in some kind of recovery pathway like whoa and I don’t know that I agree with that but whatever I’m not the drudgery of that definitely better yeah it’s better I mean that’s that’s that whole harm reduction thing like well that’s great you’re on you know I guess that’s a path likes Adam I don’t know how to be the expert but that just that thing of recovery pathways you know and a person in recovery like that has gotten to mean so many different things to so many different people depending on who you’re talking to and what program they’re in and where they come from like say when I’m in a meeting you know of our fellowship where people know we all have a general idea of what that means it’s different than when I’m in a room full of people even people that work in the addiction field that know that there’s ten or more different pathways of recovery right um does it touch on for a minute the language in in meetings even like I used to care about that stuff I don’t care about it anymore because obviously you know in the particular fellowship you know we go to we have this clarity statement where you’re not supposed to identify yourself as addict and alcoholic and blurring the message and all that stuff I used to really love that I hate now I hate it it drives me nuts and I think almost for the opposite for the same reasons as what you said your previous sponsor said are the reasons that I hate when people dress themselves as cross addicted and dual diagnosis and all these other things you know that my belief now is because I used to it used to bug me and I used to think we’re all addicts we’re just you know that’s what we are I’m an addict my name is blah this is how you’re supposed to say it so that we’re all the same what I’ve learned is you know most of the time new people are the ones coming and saying it weird if it’s people that have been around for a while that are saying it differently they’re doing it on purpose um for whatever their motivations are and I don’t really care um but most of the time that trying to overly correct or overly police or overly set rules on people pushes them away more than it pulls them in especially early on in recovery I don’t give a [ _ ] what you call yourself just keep coming you know what I mean and call yourself dual diagnosis cross addicted trashcan whatever you want I don’t care welcome keep coming back hopefully I’ll see you next week you’ll fix that [ _ ] eventually I don’t need to tell you you’ll be you’re gonna point out the one example out of how many so and here’s where I’m at with no he’s one [ _ ] in the Box like this gotta be and he’s you know what he’s a recovering [ _ ] he’s a pretty good dude like I don’t really have a problem with that I like him um so uh with what you just said I hold on to disliking it right I hear it a lot in a particular meeting I go to and it’s somewhat newer people but I feel like newer people that aren’t brand new and they’re hearing it somewhere and going with it right but I think I don’t even know if I dislike it anymore personally or if I just hold on to that thing I was taught earlier kind of like the other day my daughter got sick at school and I went and picked her up and brought her and later that day she felt better and wanted to go out to dinner with her grandmother and my initial reaction was just when I was growing up if you didn’t finish school or go to school because you were sick that day you didn’t do [ _ ] that night you’ve got signed up to be sick for the whole day right and so I just that was my initial gut reaction I thought about it I’m like why do I really think she’s gonna start like coming home every day sick if I let her like him I really think I’m rewarding this I know I thought he feels better and she can go to [ _ ] dinner it’s not a big deal and so I I don’t even know if I’m holding on to that old information or if I really care but there is something about it when I hear it in the meeting that just rubs me wrong like [ _ ] I’m not even a grateful recovering addict right even though I believe I am I’m not gonna say I am so just shut the [ _ ] up being addict right just shut up being alcoholic like why do we have to be more different I know we’re terminally unique right but that’s what keeps us killing ourselves fatally cool tragically hip all that good stuff like I don’t know I struggle with that but so the whole stigmatizing language I struggle with right I get it I buy in I don’t want to stigmatize a soul I don’t want anybody to have to feel less than I’m all about it I’m about the people first language like someone a person with substance use disorder not an addict a person with depression not a depressed person like I get it we’re people first this is one aspect of us right I’m all I’m all in on trying to not make people feel bad about things and not say it in ways where it sounds worse or stigmatizes my problem I I think that I run into is that at some point I run out of [ _ ] words right like at some point somebody’s stigmatized or offended by every word and I’m not trying to say not to be politically correct right we’re not to be non stigmatizing I think we should try but at some point what do we call ourselves if I’m not in recovery then what the [ _ ] am i I’m doing something different than the normal average Joe I put in more effort than the average person I go to a meeting at night some nights I don’t get to sit home and watch TV right right I can’t sit home and watch the connors or whatever I gotta go to my home group right it’s like I’m doing something different and I need to work to describe that so what is that word yeah I’m all on board with recovery recovery recovery yeah I mean is there another word listeners tell us but now I you know I think we tend to get hung up on silly things that aren’t as important as we want to make them it’s a real struggle point though because this is like a thing I see a lot and the politicians can argue about or people who follow politics argue about both sides of this about how we’re too politically correct or we’re you know too worried about language and we can’t say this what can we say and I’m not I’m not trying to take it they’re right I do believe in loving people and being kind and compassionate and and really doing our best not to make people feel bad with the way we describe them right I just at some point yeah I do run out of words to even describe myself and I’m like well what the [ _ ] am I know I’m something different right I am NOT the norm I don’t claim to be and I don’t really know that I want to be honestly I’ve seen the norm like I’m not impressed right well and I look at some of that too even with the recovery languaging stuff sometimes of like where I hate to say it this way we’re wasting energy arguing we with each other over new on see things when we should be out arguing with you know our politicians or people in local government or people in the community you know that are fighting against you know opening another Recovery Center or opening another halfway house or the people that are actively out there because they don’t give a [ _ ] what you call yourself no matter what you call yourself you can call yourself whatever you want they’re still gonna try to shut down the halfway house they’re still gonna try to shut down not have you know a treatment center like you know those are the people we need to be arguing with not each other over what names we call ourselves and one day you know how we identify it’s like we need to have sort of a unified organized not organized but like a unified front of like you know we are people that struggle with a in whatever names we call ourselves shouldn’t really matter that much you know take that energy that you spend arguing with each other about are you cross addicted or dual addicted or in recovery or not recovering or recovered or whatever and focus that towards people that are the real enemies of progress and the real enemies of you know treatment resources coming into the community right now I agree if you’re if you’re somebody out there voting for jails and and police forces over funding for you know recovery centered ideas and things that help to get people away from using moments then yeah we should we should probably be arguing with you and thankfully it wasn’t an argument I said I do feel guilty now though cuz I didn’t know about that like wait a minute I don’t like this Twitter idea let me you know confront this individual it wasn’t it was a very nice confrontation it wasn’t a a mean thing but I do feel like maybe I should have just let them have that opinion and I could have gave him a little heart and then went and bitched at a senator or something instead yeah well and that’s the truth of it though is us not taking it to arguments and confrontations because you see groups and people get divided over this stuff and it’s kind of silly from the outside looking in but when you’re in the middle of it it feels really relevant and important but the conversations are fun I mean just like this you know this was like oh this is a fun conversation let’s talk about it just to to throw ideas out there and see what you know different people think and to see what you know think through my ideas on stuff but I think understanding the audience and who you’re talking to and and those things are gonna be important in conversations as we talk to people do you think it’s possible that they can find a word to describe anything any group anywhere right that will not bother someone and this is where I guess my real issue is it’s not that I want to stigmatize anybody but I thought recovery was a pretty sound word and I’ve never even I’ve never taken time to think that maybe it’s not right maybe it’s stigmatizing it’s never even occurred to me so I’m kind of blown away by it but say 99.5% of people are good with the word being in Rico and then there’s that 0.5% that’s not is there ever a word that’s gonna be 100% okay with everybody right to call a group and at what percentage do you say all right look we just got too many people that are okay with this one we got a we got a role in it right I’m sorry that there’s some some people who don’t like it but we gotta roll with it cuz this is the largest percentage of people that’s possibly gonna be okay with it no they’ll never be a word I mean we can’t even identify ourselves now and singular words for genders or whatever you know there’s how many knows my heart rate that we should just say we’re human but ya know I mean there’s always people that are gonna find you know there’s always the people in the bunch that want to be different that want to be unique or special or take the alternate point of view and that’s good for conversation you know it’s good to keep us sharp on our codes I personally am a person that likes hearing counter points of view and I think it’s important to us I hate like in our typical political dialogue nowadays it’s like you’re supposed to hate anyone with an alternate point of view you’re supposed to argue yell and scream it like that’s to me is not effective it’s it’s actually uneducated you know I become educated in subjects by talking to people about different points of view trying to be open minded trying to look at things from their perspectives and then I can develop you know a fully informed decision doesn’t mean I have to agree with them in fact they can say a bunch of things that are intelligent and based on some evidence that they believe is important and I can still say well I really don’t agree with that point of view and here’s why I appreciate where you’re coming from right and understanding where they’re coming from helps to I want to say find better points of argument but helps to you know help to sort of possibly bring them around you know on on some of these things you definitely started there see real open-minded and virtuous and then he were like yeah I just want to learn more information so I could [ _ ] him over in the convince him that I’m right you know but that’s constantly and that’s the battle that’s in my head all the time right is you know I always want to be right I always want to be you know that and that comes back to you know addicted what I’ve learned about myself is addiction and low self-esteem stuff I gotta be the rightest right I gotta be the most informed ayah and recognizing that about myself allows me to sometimes hear points of view that I don’t like and I’ve learned like nowadays like there are certain times I don’t get into those conversations and I just leave it alone like there’s certain people that you just start to go you know this isn’t really worth going down this road you know Facebook isn’t the place where I’m gonna start arguing with people about treatment pathways and what I call myself and all that other stuff because other discussions yeah most of the people on there already have a point of view that they’re not looking to be opened they’re not trying to have an educated informed opinion they’re trying to be angry yeah so I listened to a podcast this week that happened to be all about the science of changing your mind or other people changing their minds and it was pretty interesting even though I gotta say the people they interviewed they definitely they had the most monotone voices ever I was like oh my god seriously this is so intriguing and yet you were presenting this terribly um but it was really super interesting about the process of changing our minds and it ties in to what you were talking about one of the things I agree with is it’s so easy nowadays to limit our surroundings to only people that think like us no matter what it is we think like the Internet has created such connectivity that even if we think that trees should be elected as president we could probably find a group and just surround ourselves with those 300 people that believe sure you should be president right right and and so we limit our thinking and we don’t ever get exposed to the other side and so I really do my best even though I [ _ ] hate some viewpoints and opinions and I definitely super hate some delivery of them when I see it my initial gut reaction is AB delete the [ _ ] out sorry I can’t stay in this [ _ ] anymore but I’m like you know what I need to hear the other side because that’s I’m like you said I’m ignorant if I don’t know what the other side believes and what that where they’re coming from and I need to hear them out and hear their viewpoints they might be right right it’s doubtful but okay right and I need to hear that I need room to take in new information and adjust to the way other people think it’s not only the way Jason thinks in this world one thing that drives me crazy so I’m not gonna get in I’m gonna do my best to not you know clarify any political viewpoints right here but people in my house we have some older people who watched some political commentary all day long of a particular side and it drives me [ _ ] bonkers honestly right I can’t stand hearing it and it just like permeates into my ears any time I walk anywhere near this particular room where they’re listening to it and it just says oh my god it’s so much gibberish and chitchat and shut the [ _ ] up right whatever here’s the thing that blows my mind though these two individuals that watch it are really good [ _ ] people and this is what I don’t get right so I have humanized that people who believe these other beliefs these are really good people that I don’t even understand honestly how they believe the [ _ ] that they’re listening to because that’s not how they act in their personal life and so I I get really confused about how they can be these people on a personal level and then their political beliefs are like [ _ ] them all right if they ain’t here kill them or something I don’t know exactly what it is but it’s just it’s so odd see that but it does help to humanize that these people probably aren’t terrible people that believe other things yeah and I’ve done enough I don’t know research I guess you would call it into politics to realize that a lot of that is like just how do you advertise and get people out to vote and stir up emotion in people and as we’re seeing with algorithms on Facebook and all that stuff it’s like negativity is what breeds that emotion to get people activated to do stuff and so with politics it’s almost become like football teams you know what I mean like I’m a Baltimore Ravens fan tried and true so guess what Pittsburgh Steelers fans are [ _ ] you know what I mean like I hate that might only I don’t know any of them but I hate them their ass and actually it’s funny I do know one guy good friend of mine you know that I like the guy a lot but he’s a Pittsburgh Saiyan so [ _ ] him you know sort of that mentality um so you know with politics I think it’s gone there it’s it’s almost like you pick your team and the other teams you know [ _ ] them yeah yeah no I totally agree uh so let’s just take a break before we get into football conversation and go to the head and go to our advertising 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 and 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 www.canadianoutback.com it’s fan well ok personally I’m a Ravens fan but I’m also a football fan but really I [ _ ] hate the Patriots I don’t really hate the Steelers and so if I’m scrolling through Facebook or Twitter and I see hey the Ravens did a really cool thing and you know bought gifts for these 100 you know lower socioeconomic status families I’d be like oh man that’s nice maybe I’ll like that post right but if I saw like hey Tom Brady sucks dicks I’d be like yes I’m sharing that right because negativity does breed that emotion that makes me want to [ _ ] them right there they’re terrible they’re the wrong or people they don’t do it like we do yeah and I think with politics and that stuff that’s what that is motivated by it’s like what is what is the call to action um we see some of that negativity and different you know fellowships sometimes you see one fellowship thinks there’s something quote/unquote wrong with the other fellowship for those guys do it this way over there and they’re [ _ ] wrong and we’re right and I can’t tell you how many times I heard that alcoholics had quit drinking in AAA but still snorted coke you know it’s easy to take that bait well I think what that does is it solidifies your commitment to your side right know what I mean and then you’ll even sort of adapt and address the the more obscure ideas that you might not have been so on board with you know let’s say you’re like a atheist person and you’re struggling in recovery but all the sudden your your team says well those guys suck look Carol they’re doing it wrong and then you get you just strengthened yourself and your beliefs and you’ll suck in some of them less popular ideas and you know that’s what we see in politics all the time it’s like it’s easier – I agree with one or two of the things you’re saying so I’ll just adapt the other five because it’s easier to hate the other side when I’m all on board so in politics that sounds terrible or it sounds like I’m changing my morals but the way you just made that sound like if I’m struggling in my recovery and now I can hate those bastards over there and get stronger in my recovery that’s almost a good thing really well I think that’s what happens with like you talked about like that quote-unquote NA Nazis or that you know like that’s what is happening there it’s like all the sudden I mean so I’m so in that I’m the protector of all the rules you know and then after you’re around for a while you realize you don’t need to be the protector of the rules to be in you don’t need what is it from the crack house to the convent first and so you know that it is though that that negativity you know stirs up you know an emotion that calls us to action you know that’s advocacy

it’s funny we just talked about some American football analogies and I was thinking we just noticed we had a couple of Canadian listeners where who might be familiar with American football but I guess for Canadians we should say something like I’m sorry you had to listen a and then we had like an Australian listener too and I guess for that we just say [ __ ] or or something how are you crikey like proper English I’m arriving sorry way off topic so to switch it up here a little bit and I guess are you done with the language okay so we’re gonna move on I had a I had a user dream last night right and so you know some people call that drug dreams I guess people in AAA might call that drinking dreams I guess wet dreams

yeah I don’t know so anyway I had a use in dream last night and it was I’m not gonna get too descriptive about how it went um just because I don’t want to like make anybody feel awkward or anything about that but you know basically I purchase drugs and I never got around to the using portion of it I don’t think tonight not that I remember but I woke up and as always I felt weird at first I was like yeah like you know I got that yuck feeling going on and then what a [ _ ] wash it off and I’m like why right why am I having a using dream does this mean that I want to use does this mean that if I’m stuck in a situation where there’s drugs I’m going to use because I was definitely all about it the dream right I wasn’t saying no and there’s so there’s always that question of does a using dream mean that I’m doing something wrong in my recovery or that I need to address something my recovery or I need to put more effort into my recovery like is there a meaning behind it or is it just you know I had a [ _ ] dream about something I did before yeah I’m in the camp of its dreams are just dreams you know I have crazy dreams all the time most of time I don’t remember a lot of my dreams um but I’ve never put much into them my wife remembers a lot of her dreams and is always telling me your crazy dream stories and what they mean or what she thinks they might mean or what I think they might mean and I never think much about it at all I was laughing so I don’t remember many dreams but I remembered one a week ago where I was like a really like big black guy and I had just gotten out of jail and I went home to my mom’s house this Rose let me in the door yeah just for reference Billie was not a big black guy yeah I’m probably the opposite of all of that I’m a skinny small white guy so you know I did my mom wouldn’t let me in the door cuz I was some violent criminal and it was such a weird bizarre dream and then to remember it when I woke up you know so I was laughing about that with my wife but I don’t think that means anything you know I don’t know maybe I’m wrong but to me like I’ve had using dreams throughout my life at different times some the worst one’s always seem to be the ones where I actually use because I always really liked it and uh you know even when I stopped use and I always really liked being high it was all the other [ _ ] I didn’t like so the ones where I actually get high are usually the worst dreams for me where I woke up feeling the worst but coincidentally even you know we shared about this this morning like I had a dream where I didn’t use this is just last night I didn’t use but I had decided I was gonna go to another recovery pathway that allows me to use so that I could start socially drinking now because I thought I could do that in my life you know and I had like made that decision and was in the dream I was trying to figure out how I’m gonna have that conversation with my wife and what our marriage is gonna look like after that how she’s gonna be with me socially drinking right you know and it’s like wow that’s crazy but I don’t that isn’t my plan that I woke up and now that I’m saying you know so I think it’s interesting so I do kind of I don’t look I don’t give dreams a lot of credence like I’m not gonna say oh you dreamt that so this is what that means we should probably lock you away for 20 years or something like but I do fall into a camp of believing that dreams mean can mean something I’ll say that if we want to give them some meaning that they can identify some things in our life maybe some sticking points some repressed thoughts or emotions or something like I kind of buy into that and so I would say yeah I don’t think you dream about your mom not letting you into your house had anything to do with like you being a large black man on the inside or anything along those line up but there could be some connection to the idea that you can’t go home again or maybe you struggle somewhere internally subconsciously that you’re not living good enough or you know it could have a subtle message in there and I don’t think it’s a terrible thing to think about I think it’s you know like most of the stuff we do in recovery is self-awareness its introspection like all of us usually pretty useful even if we find that nothing’s wrong it’s just a good idea to take an inventory it’s kind of I think it’s one of our steps right yeah so yeah I don’t know I don’t I don’t know that it means I definitely know early on in my recovery for sure if I had a using dream I was [ _ ] terrified right yeah cuz it like you said a lot of times I actually used and in the dream and it felt great and I wanted to experience it again um you know I put this out there on Twitter this morning just because I was curious what other people’s thoughts are and somebody had commented that they believe the opposite they believe a drug dream means you’re like in a really strong place in your recovery because you know you’re doing so well that something’s trying to lead you back and I kind of I’ve heard this idea before and it I’ve heard it mostly explained in a in a christian-based sense so I like the concept I’m not a christian-based person I wish I had a better way to explain it other than the devil honestly but I don’t but the idea that the devil doesn’t need to come after you if you’re already in the devil in every way all right so if you’re just living a normal life and you’re not being tempted to do some [ _ ] you ain’t really doing nothing right you don’t need to come get you and the Christian idea is that like when you start living on a path to righteousness or to doing things in a better way that’s when the most temptations gonna come and so that’s just a sign with all this temptation not a sign that all [ _ ] it you might as well give up you’re just gonna be super tempted to rest your life it’s a sign that hey you’re on the right path because he’s scared he’s nervous he’s losing you he’s got to come get you I wish I had a not Devil way to explain the [ _ ] content because I like the concept all right that’s pretty good and I think in our lives a lot like I get this this is my take on one of the common things we hear in like recovery you’ll hear people say a lot be careful what you pray for because you just might get it and then people say oh it’s praying for patience and then all of a sudden you know life went to [ _ ] I needed all this patience right and for me the truth is no it really didn’t what happened was you prayed for patients so that awareness popped up in your mind and then you became more intuitively aware of all the situations that required patience in your life you are called to need more patience you just your awareness of the amount of patience that you need to apply in your life was there if that makes sense very much like the psychological idea that there was like two Jeep commanders on the road until I bought a jeep commander in 2007 and then there was four thousand eight hundred and sixty-four Jeep commanders on the road it’s the exact same thing to me so like if you’re in a place where you feel really good about your recovery and everything’s going well and you’re feeling really solid you have a drug dream it’s easy to go you know oh it’s because of this negative thing you know vice versa like we we tend to see a lot of patterns or take things as signs that aren’t really signs you know I completely disagree I’m all in on science yeah and you know it’s interesting it’s and I heard a guy that was like a statistic or logician you know break a lot of this down and it’s that theory of like if you’re driving down a road you know and another car is coming at you and then there’s a guy on a bike like it always seems like we both cross the bike guy at the exact same time where we’re all three in alignment like that seems to be how it happens every time there if I slow down or speed up or whatever but really you don’t count all the times that you passed a bicycle or on the road that that didn’t happen cuz they’re not special they don’t stir those right they don’t stand out in your head so you just drive past a guy on a bike you know a thousand times let’s say and and the one time that another car is coming at the exact same time stands out as some fluke thing right it’s that idea no I get that and I do know that we stand definitely on opposite sides of the court on this you know higher power conversation and how that works and that’s totally cool I remember my first sponsor telling me along I had like private [ _ ] I don’t know five weeks clean so I didn’t know you know I didn’t know my ass from my elbow really uh and he was like hey so you know you’re walking down the street and you’re don’t understand this situation going on in your life and you’re just praying for a sign you know what to do and which way to go and you walk down the street and you’re standing there and a [ _ ] bird lands like two feet away from your shoulder and it just isn’t a sign or is it not right as I come I don’t know and he’s like the answer is if you believe it is it is and if you believe it isn’t it isn’t right and I’m like that doesn’t make any [ _ ] sense right and it is a sign or it isn’t and he’s like no if you believe it’s a sign it is a sign for God because you believe it is and it’s gonna guide you in the way you need to go it’s like and if you believe it’s just a [ _ ] bird two feet away from your shoulders and it’s just a bird two feet away from your shoulder okay and I’m like that’s [ _ ] crazy right but I I get that concept and I so I do believe in science I think my life has always guided and and to put me in a place where I’m supposed to be not so much that I’m just kind of living in things happen yeah and see for me when I talk about like an 11th step in prayer and meditation the whole basis of prayer and meditation for me is to make sure that my awareness and my consciousness is stirred up for all the positive things that I want in my life so that I can practice them and and become aware of situations where they’re needed you know and those kind of things like I’m not praying that some deity outside of me gives me something I’m praying that I become aware of these powers and these forces acting in the world so that I can act in accordance with them so can you hear us breathing on the podcast when you land I think I breathe really loud but I’m excited I don’t know that’s funny because I was talking about I’m really like just amped up this morning I like must have been that [ _ ] drug dream rested or something so last you know like whatever it was nine days ago a couple weeks ago I’m not vaping still by the way for anybody who cares it might be you I wasn’t up yesterday I don’t know so I read that those last couple of days of vaping right I knew I was gonna quit I knew when the juice ran out it was over and I was [ _ ] nervous right and I’m praying about it I’m like dude look I don’t know what to do I’m scared I’m scared this has been 20 years of smoking four and a half years of vaping like I’m [ _ ] nervous to not have this crutch right this suboxone for cigarettes or whatever it is like what do I do and the thought occurred through talking to some people like hey if every time you think about vaping you remember to pray then thinking about vaping now becomes a positive in your life you’re right so reminding you to talk to your higher power it’s not no longer a negative and so those couple days leading up my son came to me on two different days the last two days I have ached because I had told my family and he said man I thought you were gonna quit that right and if I don’t know I’ve just always heard that whole God where through people and all that stuff and I’m like if there was ever God’s words coming in my direction I mean here it from a ten year old boy all right I just I don’t know to me that was [ _ ] God and that was a sign and those two days after I quit when my brain was saying all my [ _ ] god this is dumb go pick up a vape at the store and get some juice and do this thing the voice of my son saying I thought you were gonna quit wouldn’t stop ringing in my head yeah that’s awesome and I’ve said a lot in recovery like I am always you know jealous of the people that have this absolute faith in a higher power and you hear them share and say oh I know my god and I’m straight you know and I’m just like oh you suck you know like I wish like I wish I could take that from you and just have it like I would love to have that level of confidence you know about that and you know we had talked about this morning so you know with financial situations we’ve been struggling and I’ve been working all this extra to try to make extra money so that we make sure the bills are paid and all this stuff and my wife is like she doesn’t care she’s still planning trips places and saying oh you know maybe this summer we’ll take our camper and we’ll put it somewhere down the beach for the summer so we have a summer place to go and you know she just she doesn’t have that same worry or concern over finances that I do and I get angry because she just has a faith that it’ll work out it’ll be fine and if we do it things will get paid and you know life will go on and like I don’t share that yeah I wish I did I wish I had that faith to be like yeah [ _ ] it let’s just call the place and set the camper there and we’ll give them a couple hundred bucks and we’ll figure it out as it goes and we will and it’ll get paid and things you know cuz we’re responsible people and we’ll do what we have to do to get it um but to me like that whole concept of just trusting that things are gonna be okay just for the sake of being okay is difficult you know a lot of times for me I still struggle with that anxiety right I can but a lot of times for me past experience helps me a lot so one place I noticed it a lot in college like writing papers I wait to the last [ _ ] day or the last minute I can like if if it’s due Sunday in the last free day I gots Thursday and shit’s getting written Thursday right and I just cannot help myself most of the time there’s been a couple times I’ve deviated and did it early but it’s very super [ _ ] rare but I stressed the [ _ ] out of it up until the moment it gets written right so even though it’s due on a Sunday and I’m writing it on a Sunday and it’s getting done the two weeks leading up to that Sunday have been two weeks filled with anxiety filled days oh god damn it Jason why aren’t you writing your [ _ ] paper you could be you’re sitting you’re doing nothing and it actually took me like five [ _ ] years of school to finally be a piece where it was like alright I write these last minute like I’m not gonna stress it it gets done every [ _ ] time I’m a 4.0 student I haven’t not turned one in yet like just get the [ _ ] over yourself and be alright until you write it that being said it’s still it’s hard I don’t know like I I look at you know I know your wife and I know some of her ventures and it could be argued that even though she believes these things will just work out they don’t always do not for the picture she has right but I would argue countered that they do always work out yeah and that’s she here that’s always her point it’s like God’s got a plan and this just wasn’t it and you know things are gonna happen but if this might not be with me you know in the picture or whatever and I don’t know I struggle with that but you know signs and stuff like I used to believe a lot in that I used to put a lot of stock into to that like signs from God and sighs from a higher power and and I don’t know somewhere along the way I I sort of I think listening to too many like logician type people and people that explain away mysteries I better ruin the magic of God in your life which is funny to me right because so I I used to be more aligned with Christianity right but I did notice that the deeper I tried to believe with it the less I really had the faith so I kept it real sure exactly what happened to me too exactly that path so I kept it surfacy for a long time and then eventually at some point I just had some other another deeper spiritual awakening I guess and it led to just a different understanding than Christianity I guess for me and so but what I found is everything I’ve learned like sciency wise or physics or any kind of intellectual information that’s come into my life has only like deepened my belief in a higher power just the exact opposite of what I hear people say about it like when we learned about you know physics and the big blood the Big Bang and all this stuff and I’m like that makes my spirituality make perfect [ _ ] sense to me right like why in the world was all the energy in the universe in one singular [ _ ] spot before the Big Bang there’s no reason for that except that it was God right that made perfect sense to me there’s no other [ __ ] reason for all the energy in the universe to all be in one spot what it liked itself that much like I know right and then it all exploded outward and created life imagine that makes perfect I don’t know I logician logistics and logic don’t take me away from God I guess and it’s so they don’t rule out my belief so like with the Big Bang Theory the first thing I usually think with most of that is well that’s just the best theory they got going and what we figured out most about space is everything we thought we knew five years before that was completely wrong and as soon as we learn something new we go oh we had all this wrong for the last 40 years we believed it was this way we learned this new thing and figured out that shit’s all wrong no they were completely wrong and so now we developed a new theory so anyway I don’t know that I even fully buy the Big Bang Theory I mean I get it I understand what they’re talking about

but and that’s you know like with God or a higher power stuff it’s like I’m not saying there’s not I don’t think it’s impossible I’m not a like God hater you know like nothing like that I’m like well yes I mean I believe that could be a thing and you know like I’m totally okay with it I don’t feel a point to like argue you know some negative side about it I just to have my understanding of like faith in that is this unshakable belief that it’s just gonna happen and that’s the part that I get hung up on like I don’t have a unshakable belief that anything’s gonna happen you know we you know we say oh the Sun will come up tomorrow I don’t know it is you you know what was it last year or so ago where they almost had the in Hawaii where the nuclear bomb thing went off and you know they thought a nuclear bomb might be coming and you know any dumb little I mean if anything that should tell people how [ _ ] shaky we are with having a future because it could have that could’ve easily went sideways you know really quickly and there’s been a few different instances like that over the years that we actually don’t well they’re out there if you research them you can find out we’ve actually almost come to shoot nuclear bombs at people a couple times in our history and like those kind of things you know just lead me to believe like we aren’t guaranteed there’s no guarantees here of anything yeah yeah I think I guess that’s where the faith for me is is less about any particular outcome and more just that it’ll be alright even if that alright this is a [ _ ] a nuclear bomb dropped on my house and I’m not here anymore I guess that’s alright I don’t have to worry about it right like it’s just more of a sense it’ll be okay somehow and then exactly the way it’s supposed to be like I think that’s where my liking to be the rightest of the right comes into play because you can’t argue that it’s not always the way it’s supposed to be because it is obviously right like how can you argue that what is shouldn’t be it just is yeah well then I think yeah if I woke up you know let’s say tomorrow my god whatever accused of some murder that I didn’t commit and ended up in jail like do I think I would be okay well yeah I’d probably be okay like I know how to survive or manage that situation but that isn’t I’m supposed to believe that some kind of deities will for me you know it’s like those kind of things where I get because that happens to people you hear about these people been in jail for 40 years and you know DNA cleared them of whatever murder or whatever rape and you know they get out and those are the issues that I get hung up on and look I’d love to say that you know if that happens that there is something that you need to go through to like or learn from that experience to guide you in your life right but that’s what I want to say when that [ _ ] happens to you that’s gonna hurt my goddamn feelings and I will try to apply my understanding of my higher power to it right I’ll try to say hey this is this must be where I’m supposed to be for some reason because that is my belief but it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easier it’s not gonna hurt me to [ _ ] be in the situation that’s gonna suck ass for sure framed for something horrible yeah so the email we got from you know Britney was about her struggle with understanding her higher power and how she’s really not a fan of calling it God because she believes praying to God is almost like being a child and asking not to be judged or scolded and I get that I’m not a personally a big fan of the god word either I use it because it’s three letters of one syllable and really easy to say I don’t like the connotation that it gives people cuz I think you say God and everybody just thinks Jesus least in this country right and she mentioned going to you know a different kind of environment and here in Great Spirit and she said that gave her like freedom to feel like she was really praying into something that was maybe not so much an equal but just something she could talk to from a place of being an adult and loving and kindness and compassion and I thought that was interesting that the work again back to the stigmatizing language or how language changes the way we feel about something like her belief in a higher power didn’t change whatsoever calling it God or Great Spirit but the way she felt about it completely change that’s crazy yeah that’s pretty neat yeah so I don’t really have a lot more on that

stigmatizing language and for currently and then oh using dreams I have to figure out a title for this [ __ ] oh yeah this one’s all over the place yeah but now I definitely had fun today we’d love to hear any of your comments or things you’d like to add in I think that really gives us even more talking points I’d love to hear different opinions but if you don’t have nothing else I guess we’ll wrap it up for today no I’m good awesome everybody have a great week we’ll see you soon that wraps up this episode please subscribe rate and review this podcast on your preferred platform if you have ideas for topics you’d like us to talk about or just want to add an opinion contact us through Anker email us at recovery sort of at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at recovery sort of

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