9: Helping (Sort Of)

12/15/19 Is there a difference between “helping” time and time “off” from helping? What is it like to experience unforgiveness? Is compassion easier to express to strangers online the same way anger and frustration are? The difficulty in taking a compliment. The debate of the 12 steps working functionally or miraculously. Would we ever leave the fellowship? Should we celebrate anniversaries or is that rewarding what we already “should” have been doing? Throw in come CBT and classical conditioning, along with our new segment, “How to change the world,” and you’ve got good times.

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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 hi this is Billy I’m here with Jason hey more hair with recovery sort of this week I kind of had a weird situation Jason was there and we had an interaction that was interesting and one of those experiences that I thought about afterwards and just caused me to think a little bit about how I interact with people that are using using addicts you know outside of meetings and outside of the comfort zone of how I feel about dealing with addicts in meetings um so we Jason and I and another friend of ours Jason had went to a meeting we went out to eat afterwards we were standing outside the restaurant just all of us having a conversation and a say young man probably mid to late 20s maybe maybe early thirties hard to tell um comes up you could tell he was a little I don’t know officially yeah he looked a little sketchy but he wasn’t overly threatening he wasn’t you know he came up pretty meek or whatever you want to say and so he walked up and he asked for a cigarette and Jason and I don’t smoke the other Jason did and he you know he kind of does this hey do you have a cigarette you know I’m sorry I’m a piece of [ _ ] and you know I’m sorry and you know so Jason gives him a cigarette and then he’s like you you need a light yeah yeah I’m [ _ ] I’m garbage you know whatever and he’s talking down about itself and so give them a cigarette gives them a light and of course I think the three of us are standing there at least my expectation was then he would just turn around and walk away with his cigarette and he doesn’t he stands there and becomes like a fourth in our conversation and he walked over right mid we were in the middle of talking about something and of course all three of us I think forgot what we were talking about I know I did hilariously whenever I tell people to be a part of things in meetings I’m like just woke up and [ _ ] be a part of the conversation so you’re part of it let’s do it yeah so uh yeah no so he stands there and he’s like a fourth in our conversation and it was just for me personally it was awkward and weird like what is up with this steel is he gonna start asking me for things you know cuz that’s always awkward and so he stands there and he keeps goes on to talk about he just got out of or left AMA the hospital and now he’s out there on cold and it’s you know 20-something degrees that night is pretty chilly out and he didn’t know what he’s gonna do and he’s probably gonna freeze to death and I think Jason made the recommendation of a couple of different you know treatment Barbra missions and things down that way and he kind of blew them off and he didn’t really say much and I mean the truth was in the moment of all that all I wanted was an out out of that whole weird situation you know is this awkward it was weird you just interrupted our conversation what do you want you know and I just didn’t didn’t feel good after we left it the whole thing in the moment I was just glad to be oh and then as we’re standing there talking he proceeded to say oh excuse me for a minute and pulls a bottle of liquor out of his pocket and starts drinking his bottle of liquor which was like the I just want to get out of this you know moment for me and so we kind of hey we’re gonna go now you know gave each other hugs that guy was there and maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s not but he looked like he wanted a hug or whatever and I did the old you know stuck my hand out to give him the handshake kind of thing and it was just a weird whole situation that as I thought about later is like wow I really wish I would have done some things differently there not that I feel guilty or anything that I did anything wrong but I wish it would have handled myself differently and so I don’t know York if that was pretty accurate take on that situation or if you had anything oh yeah that seemed pretty pretty accurate one one minor detail that didn’t get thrown in that I did want to point out just to give him credit was that the other Jason did hug the guy when you and I shook his hand and I was like god damn it don’t be better than us I saw that too which is what probably imprinted that on my mind so yes I did catch that yes so just just to give him credit that was pretty awesome that he did so uh I think that was a pretty accurate description I have not thought about this particular situation much throughout this week since it happened but similarly in the past I have and so I run into this I say I’m somebody who cares I say I’m addict in recovery that wants to help other people whether they’re other addicts and that need recovery or just other people in general you know I’ve made it part of my life’s goal I’ve gone into the the field of Social Work where you know we say we give a [ _ ] and and all these things and like these situations are always a struggle for me right there’s like a lot of dynamics that go into it one thing that I’ve noticed is that I don’t have any problem volunteering to go do you know work in any kind of field where it’s like hey we’re gonna volunteer we’re gonna show up we’re gonna go into places and do good things for people and yet I don’t do it as well on my time right like it’s it’s fine when I’ve signed up and I’m that’s where my brain is that like I’ve got my brain and my heart all in one place hey we’re here to help like we’re here to be a good dude right and then when I’m on my free time sometimes I just cannot click that on in an instant right it’s kind of like two separate places for me and I don’t maybe that’s a healthy thing to be able to do that maybe if I was always running around with my heart wide open it might be a little dangerous and I might burn out I don’t know another thing that that catches me is that I shut down when people are just not ready right I will do a little bit I will try to mention some ideas I will gauge their you know where they’re at in their stage of change per se and if they’re like real far into pre contemplation where they’re not even considering it there’s a problem yet or that they need to do something I shut the [ _ ] off right and that’s what I kind of did with him I he just he was saying he just left the hospital right and I’m like well that was a terrible idea you’re cold out here like you had a wet warm bed and then you know I mentioned a couple places and he didn’t really have any interest and at that point I was like okay I don’t think I can really offer you anything that you want and then when he pulled out the the alcohol I was like and now I don’t want to be here and yeah so all that I think I agree with all of those things I think for me and this is just my my personal thing one and I kind of mentioned it and you touched on it there very well is it’s funny how I would feel in that situation if that was in like a meeting if I was in a meeting and you know you can smell when people have used through you kind of know if people are high in meetings but they’re there and maybe there’s something there that to me and my brain is like at least they’re looking for help but the truth is some of them probably aren’t they’re just there for whatever whoever yeah a cup of coffee and it’s warm but the truth is my like say maybe that part of me is more turned on at meetings and I’m Way more receptive or willing to like give that person a hug and try to talk to them and say hey man you know looks like you’re struggling or you know what’s going on or or really to engage them in conversation when I am you know in a meeting but outside of a meeting or outside of that environment it just felt very different it was it was weird to reflect on like I don’t know that I was so aware of that so they reflect on that afterwards was interesting just to look at it I think it’s a pretty universal concept of something people I don’t know if it’s a struggle or a positive we still haven’t really established that nor do I think we will in this episode I was about to have my fur ever session with a client in therapy right and I reached out to two people who I know are compassionate therapists people right and both of them I was like hey I’m concerned I’m nervous this is my first client ever I’m really scared and both of them said you’ll be great and left it at that and kind of walked away and I was like what a [ _ ] unvalidated uncompassionate thing to say to me right that shitty now look I know neither of these people would ever tell somebody that in a therapy session all right they’d be like they would validate the hell out of them and normalize it and talk about it and delve into it and yet I caught both of these people not in that moment of when they’re used to providing that and so I don’t know I guess people struggle with when they’re not ready to provide maybe we should all be more trained to provide it more regularly or maybe we do need to turn it the [ _ ] off so that we have a chance to like recuperate almost like when we sleep all right we need time to like let all that [ _ ] processing and and manifest and maybe we need to turn caring off for a while so that we’re not I don’t know always in pain for someone else yeah and like so in in this situation we were in as I reflected back on what I wish I had done I don’t wish I had given more or been this source of advice that was going to change the person’s life like none of that what I wished I had done differently is just been a little bit more and it’s just for me personally like a I would say a compassionate human being to just even to just be honest and say hey you know all three of us are people in recovery that have struggled with addiction over the years we’ve all been down a similar path to what you’re going through just to let you know you don’t you know you don’t have to do this there are people that can help you if you want help even just saying something like that and then opening the door to maybe that possible conversation more saying hey so what do you what are you trying to do for yourself or what are you looking for what do you you know just to see what they say and again not that I’m that means I owe them anything or that I have to give them some sort of answers to their problems but just to treat another human being with dignity and compassion and respect you know even though it’s a homeless alcoholic on the street who’s not just done this whole weird social interaction and again for me what what the reflection was is how awkward and weird I felt in that moment and so just I just wanted to get away you know and it’s that stigma like is that a sense of stigma of like oh my god here’s this homeless alcoholic guy coming up you know to ask to start begging us for stuff you know and I don’t want to be around this guy I definitely want to clarify that I don’t feel like we did not treat him with dignity or compassion I think we were like a decent human being oh yeah yeah I don’t know I kind I mean I don’t think we were degrading at all maybe we could have definitely been like [ _ ] you right we do that made me think of a song first like that what it’s like song or whatever no so yeah no I mean now that you bring that up yeah do do I wish we would have shared a little bit about our story it would have been nice I definitely the one thing I wish I would have done different giving him a hug right like in that split second moment the hug thought was there and I didn’t right I just did and and I do wish I woulda I don’t I don’t know though that’s a that’s a tough one there is some stigma there is some uncomfortability I can’t say is completely because he was drinking or an alcoholic or an addict or homeless or any of that like mine is a lot just that I have a [ _ ] social anxiety at times and struggle talking to anybody I don’t know and so I just want to get the [ _ ] away from everybody at all times if I’m not used to talking to you now give me comfortable with somebody and I start a [ _ ] podcast in camp right foot around people I don’t know I’m very much like

me too I don’t know if that was so much had anything to do with who he was or just the fact that I didn’t know him now and this is something else I thought of and I don’t know that I don’t have an answer to but do you think there’s anything to the fact that of course I’ve been clean you know 19 years you’re what 16mm something and Jason’s got what the other Jason that was errors yes has a year so there’s a big separation of that you know being actively engaged with using people and and like say I’m not bringing that up to be a good or bad but is that just something that happens like as we stay in recovery longer and longer I mean my interactions with actively using addicts is almost non-existent at this point in my life I see them on the street I might see them coming to meetings but not a lot of new people asked me to sponsor them anymore so I don’t have that influence or input into my life you know most of the people that I hang around with or talk to or people that have multiple years of recovery or you know a completely different life than what I had at a year clean right and is there something there so being from Baltimore and I’ve only been up here about seventeen months or so I don’t know it is a little different up here I don’t have that direct interaction a lot of times with I got some newer people around but I don’t have the direct interaction with people who use frequently I guess it’s just not not in my network right this moment right but down in Baltimore I did frequently sponsor guys who could not stay clean for whatever reason they weren’t ready to work well and um a few of them have died over the last you know five six seven eight years and it’s hard to watch it’s hard to do but I do agree with you that there is some separation still like I remember having like 18 months and if you ask me to go share an H and I like I was like yeah this is where my message is most powerful right I could definitely help the guy who can’t get a day clean and now if you ask me it’s like like nothing I’m talking about really identifies or you know relates to those people who are struggling just to not use you know I talk about the struggles like we talked about on here dealing with life and my wife and my kids and all this and they’re like what the [ _ ] are you bitching about these I wish I had a job and all that stuff so I do think there is a natural separation from things kind of I guess everybody like anybody who went to college and partied in a frat or a sorority or just partied in college and then you know at the age of forty might not associate very much with like keg stands and college football games anyway you know what I mean so we do remove ourselves but I will say that I don’t know I don’t know that that’s who I want to be right I’m glad I don’t hang around with using addicts for one like I don’t want to use but I’d much rather be the guy that’s more closely identified that gives that guy a hug right and that’s this is the instance where I think I can learn from the guy with less clean time or whatever you however you want to refer to that like he did the thing that I believe I should have done in that moment and so I can learn from that and I’m glad he’s around to show me that that ain’t who I still want to be yeah absolutely so yeah anyway that was probably about all I had on that I just thought it was a weird interaction that stuck in my head and I didn’t know if you know sometimes we have those interactions in life and our version of reality is different than what reality well if we were to switch gears a little bit so we talked I think I talked about on here that I baked at work like a while ago did we talk about anything I’m glad you know so apparently I just thought this was one of those things it was not a very comfortable moment when my supervisor brought it to me and and but I thought it’s been handled really well right like okay first thing don’t they even work bathroom anymore even though I think I’m pretty sure I’m learning that more and more of our clients do vape in the bathroom as I as I’m being there for a longer time so I was like well that’s a good thing just follow the rules hey yeah that’s a good recount of reaction to being told to do the right thing do the right thing and then I quit Nathan which is still going on I don’t know three weeks now or whatever it is that’s awesome not gonna face no more so I’m like Dan this is a really good outcome for this for this you know what’s seeming like a really bad moment and apparently like it didn’t go well for my supervisor like it did for me like she just had some hangups I guess with me or the vaping or something along the way and uh so Thursday she decided she was gonna let me go basically like she can’t do it anymore and uh it kind of it really had really caught me off gotta back I’m like what in the [ _ ] right like what did I do that was so bad that you don’t feel like you can see this commitment through that six months ago you couldn’t wait to sign up to do right like she wanted this it’s like it was throwing on her like she volunteered for this position and then took me on and then doesn’t want to finish it out and I’m like I don’t my experience with me and look I know I have a misguided judgment on myself right it’s one-sided I see myself probably a little better than some other people that have to deal with me do but generally like the the feedback I get whether that be in grades in school or promotions at jobs or anything like that the feedback that I’m given that I can take from the world is generally pretty good it’s pretty positive right it’s like hey you do a good job cool I like that feedback right what the hell happened with me and this lady that I had to be let go is is the really curious part for me and and I made my peace with it like I spoke my peace to her before it all happened and so I’m like [ _ ] it is what it is she is sort of affecting my grade I’ve been a 4.0 student for seven years and she’s pretty much gonna make me get a B for the first time ever and it kind of pisses me off I’m like you’re not even gonna see any more like that doesn’t seem fair but I’m just it’s really weird to get that opposite feedback and not get it very well to where I even know what the hell it means honestly and especially after what doing what I feel like was every next right thing after our you know conversation about things maybe not being right yeah with that yeah okay so immediately what I think there’s couple of things but at the very end I’ll I’ll say this when we do like an eighth and ninth step and we make our list of amends you know we make our list and then we go make the amends we are taught in there that we don’t get to control the outcome of that amends obviously we want everyone to go hey no problem it’s water under the bridge I love you and this damages you know it’s okay and we’ll move forward and then we have all these great expectations of that’s gonna happen but the reason we talked about that in that step work is because there may be people that go no [ _ ] you I hate you or I’m hurt by what you did or you violated you know me in this way and I’m not you know I’m glad you’re sorry but I don’t doesn’t make it better and that’s a reality that can happen and has happened too and at least surface see wise like that’s kind of what this sounds like like that sounds like this person says well it’s great you’re doing all these other things that’s wonderful but you did this wrong thing and I am NOT okay with it no matter what you do afterwards it doesn’t undo the wrong thing you know making amends doesn’t make the pain of the damage that we did go away it helps to make it better going forward with all that said you know obviously we all make mistakes in life and we all you know get [ _ ] wrong sometimes um I’ve learned you know part of humility for me is learning that I have some really good characteristics um that make me a really good let’s say employee at work you know there’s there’s some things that I’ve become aware of that make me a really good employee that doesn’t mean I don’t have you know downsides that doesn’t negate you know the the liabilities of my character you know I have some things that aren’t so great and again thank god I’ve done some step work to help me see like hey these are some areas that I got a watch that I’m prone to certain behaviors that I’m prone to certain attitudes that I but not so great feedback usually comes from my family there’s more aware of that right and so that’s a you know with all of your assets that you might bring to the table at therapy or school work or home you still have liabilities you know and and we don’t get unfortunately in most of life we don’t get judged on a total some kind of thing like you have a plus B equals C and you’re just to see like that’s not how it works yeah you build a thousand bridges but then you suck one dick and you’re longer a bridge builder yeah something like that so you know maybe this is just an opportunity to recognize our humility in that you know most people in your life professional career might like you but some people aren’t going to for whatever I don’t like everyone in the world you know no doubt I have my liabilities or my drawbacks or my difficulties in dealing with me right I I know that they’re there I I guess my experiences they don’t usually come out outside of well I guess they come out outside of the house but my immediate people in my life are the ones who see that the most right who deal with that the most and generally even though they have come out in work environments or school environments before it’s generally not in the first six months of being there right that’s the kind of [ _ ] that like first my representatives they’re he’s the guy you know handle and everything with grace and class and then later on once I’m a little more comfortable than the real the real [ _ ] starts to come out a little bit same in relationships you you did say something in there that made me curious about something um so you talked about the step and I love that too eighth and ninth and how people don’t have to you know be okay with it and how we need to go in knowing that the part we’re doing is just being okay with us and making it right and not worried about that outcome right because I’ve had that experience on both sides of that and it’s rough sometimes knowing that people aren’t going to accept that so I was just curious when you said it my thought was oh man well everybody deserves forgiveness and a second chance right we all make a mistake we all like I I make a lot of [ _ ] I think a [ _ ] ton of mistakes right maybe even on a daily basis and I need another chance to try to get it right or a chance to apologize and still be looked at as human so everybody should get that and I tried to think real quick in my life if there was anything that someone done to me that I wouldn’t if they came to me in the form of some eighth or ninth step you know spirit of like hey I [ _ ] up I recognize it and I really want to make it as right as I can and do better from now on right if they came to me in that spirit is there anything that someone’s done to me that I couldn’t allow them to to do that and be comfortable with it like maybe not let them in my life again but at least you know accept their apology and I can’t personally think of anything that was done to me that I find that I couldn’t get past but I know that you have a different life set of experiences than I do and I’m curious your take on that yeah personal sorry okay no I don’t have a problem talking about it um I think I’ve talked about it on here anyway so yeah so you know I assume what Jason is referring to is we had my stepfather had molested two of our kids and in that situation so there’s a lot of things that I learned about my understanding of forgiveness in all of that so I will say that I have forgiven him he’s passed away now I will say that I forgave him but not in the sense that I would ever a let him off the hook for the responsibility of what he did and by that I mean we still press charges with police and moved forward with all the legal you know possibilities of punishment that we could write and you can forgive someone and still do that you can say hey I am NOT going to hate you or you know spend my energy thinking negatively or being angry or wanting to hurt you because that was a lot of it for me I can let those things go but you are still liable and responsible for what you did here and I’m gonna make sure that there is some accountability held ie that’s to me is the making amends part right it’s not just forgiveness you know and making amends Oh

then B that doesn’t mean that I would ever put myself in a situation definitely not with my children where I would ever let my kids or any other kids that I ever knew of be around him but I don’t want him in my life either you know what I mean like that’s that’s a bridge that’s burned you know and again I don’t have to harbor all this anger and resentment ill-will towards the guy but I don’t care if I never see him again and when he died I can’t say that I was overly depressed or sad or that and even there wasn’t a little bit of like [ _ ] good you know like there was a little bit of that there so that’s interesting so I would say if you talk to me when I was on like step 7 you know and had I don’t know a year and a half clean that’s not really my circumstance but early on when I first got an understanding of eight nine and just the idea of forgiveness and what I would hope to get out of you know these situations or the first time I read that hey everyone might not be receptive if you to talk to me then I would have probably said yeah that means you don’t forgive me right that means that this did not go kosher Lee because my idea of kosher Lee Orwell is that you like me again because that was really my goal earlier like me right right I need your approval yes it was I can completely understand at this point in time where you’re coming from I would say yeah I think you can not Harbor anger or bitterness towards the person and still press charges and still be living in a pretty spiritual place I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that but that does make it trickier to understand like if I really don’t want the person in my life anymore do I really believe that they’re different right I can accept their apology but do I really believe that they’re different if I don’t want them around because if I believe they’re different then they should have completely unthinkable art of my life that’s tricky yeah so in this situation the he never came and apologized or took ownership or anything so I can say in my situation I don’t know if that would change or not I like to think probably not I mean I can’t imagine that if he had come and said he was it was in fact it was quite the opposite like after he admitted it to us to our face he went to the police and and lied and changed his story and said no I you know so does he did that in the beginning when when it first came out and we confronted him he said I don’t know what’s wrong with me I’m sick I’ll go to counseling I’ll get help love above habla you know now of course it turns and we were like well fine whatever great and then we still turned around and called the police because you know and then when the legal part came he lied and changed his story and says something completely different so to me all that was just a show to try to get us not to call the police sincerity there you know whatever but uh you know I’ve always sort of went down the road with spiritual principles that spiritual principles I live them and act them in my life um and it sounds selfish to say but it’s like for my own self for my own spirit um I’m not kind to you because I’m doing you some favor I’m not compassionate towards you because it’s doing you a favor and that’s a whatever you call it a bonus consequence of living these principles but my goal isn’t you know to gain like say to try to gain love and acceptance and those things from other people so like as I’m doing step work and going through steps you know with people and teaching them about these principles and living them in their lives like you know my understanding is that’s me turning my will and life over to you know the Power greater than myself like that Power greater than myself is living these spiritual principles and these principles have ripple effects out into the world you know they they affect all the people around me right in spite of myself you know and and I don’t do them because I want praise and accolades and rewards then that twists the motivation no I agree you mentioned ripple effects and and I like the I love analogies I love putting a concept into pictures the one that always does it for me is that you know a circle or a dot you know that that is a circle a little period right is a 360-degree entity but it’s a tiny little [ _ ] dot and we say oh man I only changed this little tiny thing in my life I only change one degree right and that seems like nothing but the further you get out away from the center of that as life goes on that one degree is a huge [ _ ] difference right and then maybe you make another little 1 degree change and and keep moving further now I agree with I don’t think I live spiritual principles to help other people I’m Way too self-centered for that to be [ _ ] true but what I do kind of tend to believe in more of a communal spirituality or shared existence where I almost think that me living in spiritual principles and how that affects other people very much is an effect on me it’s almost kind of like I guess the the Christian belief would be sort of like hey treat everybody as if they were Jesus and I kind of believe that the universal you know God energy isn’t everybody so I feel like when I treat you well I’m also treating me well I’m treating the universe well I’m treating God well I think it’s kind of all and that’s sort of my I don’t know how now I think that’s pretty much my belief system about spirituality right and I so I kind of think yeah in living these for me I’m treating everyone exactly how I want to be treated kind of the Golden Rule idea and I think in a weird sense I am treating myself well in treating others well you know I think there’s part of me in them the same part of me that’s connected and plugged into whatever it is is that the shared existence that we have you know right yeah and I think there’s the shared principles are how we are connected I mean it comes out in these little whatever new onsie interactions oh I work with so-and-so or I talk to this person or that person but really it’s the principles behind the actions that affect those relationships or outcomes from if that’s making a lot of sense but you know I can go do a conversation with somebody say yeah I had an argument with my neighbor well really it’s the principles behind that conversation that dictate that interaction you know if I can go talk to my neighbor about an issue we have over like a parking situation and I approach that with love and compassion and understanding and say hey man you know your parking hearing this in my way versus me going over hey you [ _ ] [ _ ] why are you blocking my car every morning like it’s easy to say you know that the interaction is based on a parking situation but the parking situation really isn’t the interaction that’s getting a little philosophically beep I think you know I had a couple of online interactions that might tie into that a little bit but let’s do our little ad here first and then we’ll come back and hit on them 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

www.canadianoutback.com I headed all the time but it was up to me it came across as like it’s it’s more how you do things not what you’re doing right a lot of that aspect it’s not so much do I disagree with this person but how are we dealing with that how are we interacting together how’s that working and so an interesting thing that I found I was on reddit and you know a lot of people have differing opinions and I’m on a lot of these recovery sub categories look I’m suck at write it I don’t even know what the shit’s called half the time there’s little you know groups of people can vary or whatever and I’m a part a whole lot of ones that are about recovery in addiction just to interact with people maybe plug the podcast here and there but I find I don’t really do that I’m more just talk to people who have questions and so this guy came back on after I had posted a comment and and disagreed with what I said and so I you know counteracted I took into consideration what he said and commented back and had a little counter action and so what I’m used to is we have this concept of people have found it easier to be nasty online right because they’re they’re not face to face they’re not present they’re not physically there a to deal we say it’s because they don’t have to deal with the consequences my Webster ass or something I guess but also they just don’t have to really deal with the pain they’re causing or the hurt or the trauma they’re causing somewhat another individual as they’re being rude or mean or however they are you know and this is an old concept a little self disclosure I guess I might already said something about being in prison before but when I was in prison they called him cell gangsters right you had a lot of mouths when you were locked away and nobody could get to you and then you know you weren’t so tough when he came out for break and now we have you know the the Facebook people who rant and rave and have these like you know freak reactions online and yet somehow you don’t see this at your local you know gas station going on because it just doesn’t exist the same way in real life but what I found what this guy was that we had a very classy respectful conversation online right and one of the things I mean it was awesome right and I even commented back to them that like I just really appreciate that so many of these people have very respectful dialogues with each other like whether it’s Twitter whether it’s read it that’s the places I’ve been hanging out lately and everybody seems to even if you disagree they’re really respectful about it and I love it dude it’s so nice to be able to have a discussion and conversation and ways some different opinions and be challenged on my thoughts because I could walk around and believe some [ _ ] that I just started believing ten years ago I don’t even why I believe it right and I need to reevaluate do I still believe this why and so I made me wonder if people have an easier time being angry and violent behind closed doors I have found that when when these people are posting about having you know a certain amount of clean time or a question about getting in recovery or a challenge or a struggle with addiction in some way shape or form I have found it easier to be compassionate online and I know is that a thing like it should it be harder to be nice online because you don’t have to is it easier to be nice online thoughts um well I thought when you started talking about that it reminded me of you know the telephone was the same way people would say and act a certain way on the telephone when they weren’t looking at someone in the face so the idea of online being rude and then being different to your face isn’t like say it’s nothing new it’s the way things have been I’m sure back in the day when people had to write letters write write nasty letter you know that was always the thing I wasn’t ready to let nasty letter you know and you might write this nasty letter you know cuz you don’t have to deal with your negative attitude you can just say what you want to say or on the phone you’re gonna say what you wanted to say without having to face someone and online it’s just a newer version of that it’s a I mean when you think about like online interactions and social media you know they’re 1015 years old at this point and all of us are still trying to figure it out but we’re still trying to work through the kinks and quirks and assets and liabilities and there’s gonna be some good things about it and some bad things about it you know I think I heard someone recently talking about I guess there’s different versions of social media out there I think one of them is called gab and there’s some places where you can just go on there and say whatever you want like they don’t have a Terms of Service that they’ll kick you off for sayin ‘racist angry violent stuff you can just go onto these sites and say what you want whatever you wants total freedom of speech or you know with obviously there are always got to be some limit you can’t you know give out people’s information and put out hits on people and stuff like that but it’s very loose as far as conversations and stuff and the point is right now what I’ve heard is it’s described it’s like a dumpster fire of you know just hate and angry and because you have all these people that feel like I can go out here and say whatever I want and that’s true they can but the idea or belief is that that eventually will kind of burn itself out um it’s like print media like yeah you can go write a book about whatever you want to write a book about but you know it doesn’t mean people are gonna read it doesn’t mean people are gonna like it and it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be successful and do you want to waste and put all your time and energy into that if it’s gonna be to a really small crowd or to not a lot of people I think the thing with internet communication at least as a right now is it’s completely free and completely you know you can be anonymous in a way that nobody knows who you are and it’s hard to separate out what is genuine genuine and what’s trolling and once people just saying stuff because their 14 year old boys at home with nothing better to do and you know you had fishing you know and all that stuff and the motivations you know behind all that so that’s a long way of saying this is just new platforms of communication that we’re all trying to figure out yeah there’s some so there’s some science behind the idea of all these the letter the phone the Internet we know now that there’s these mirror neurons and our brains that you know work well in face-to-face interaction with other people and they start as when we’re a baby and they help us to understand the world really they help us to figure out as we’re growing and developing how to interact with the things around us when we’re sad or when other people are sad like we learned through mirror neurons to also be sad in those moments and we learn when’s the right moment to be happy and what’s appropriate to laugh at and like we’ve always called these like social cues but really there a piece of our you know brain chemistry that does this bless you yes quite a sneeze ever and so I get how taking that aspect out of it like when we’re not in front of somebody no matter if that’s letter phone or internet we don’t have the ability to gauge exactly where they’re at and I think that might be some of what tempers like me not angrily spewing venom at someone and to show some of my you know liabilities and not-so-great parts when I’m yelling at one of my kids when I can look in their face and see what it’s doing to them and how they feel it generally stops me from doing it further right like I’m like oh [ _ ] that’s bad now if I was online or on a phone how do I get that I don’t get that that feedback from them and so I get that I just I guess what I don’t know if it’s so easy to do that online is it also easy to be nice or is it harder to be nice like that’s I guess where I’m going like I don’t know it seems like if it’s easier to be hateful it would be harder to be nice right because you almost have to tap into something more but I’ve almost found it’s the opposite I found it’s been really easy to be compassionate to these people whereas sometimes okay so sometimes in in face-to-face setting somebody constantly saying that they have this many days clean or it just feels like they want something from me right whereas online it’s like I don’t know anymore about you except that you’re putting this problem out there and I wish you the best right maybe your if somebody’s struggling to stay clean oh man I’m really struggling my girlfriend left me just that any other in a meeting I’ve probably seen you probably said that forty eight times on a project oh my [ _ ] god this guy again just nice a clean dude whereas online it’s been easy for me to say holy [ _ ] dude I know that’s tough right I really hope you you can figure out a way through it man keep you know I’m with you I’m stay strong and I it’s weird to me I thought it would have been harder to be nice and kind and yet I’ve found it easier yeah and I think so where I guess my intention behind what I said earlier whether it being a new media is that we we’ll figure it out like in essence both of those things are equally true so it’s as easy to be nasty and mean to someone that you don’t know as it is to be kind and compassionate to someone that you don’t know and that you know for most of us as that becomes a more regular and more normal form of communication let’s say for you as a person I would think your genuine personality is going to come through the other benefit to us at least I think people that are actively engaged in what I’m gonna call recovery through the 12 steps and and you know the practicing of these spiritual principles that we learn through 12 steps is I believe you know maybe secretly or not so secretly but the goal in there is for us to just become our authentic selves to become who we are be comfortable in our own skin figure out what our morals and values are so if I’m a person that you know believes that in general it’s you know best to be kind and compassionate loving and caring towards other people I hope that that comes through in all aspects of my life but I could read it did bring you to bring up an interesting thing you know because I thought about people in the meetings you know we’re in a small area here so it’s easy to hear gossip or maybe it’s not even gossip maybe it’s just facts that you know about you know this guy was dating this girl and he cheated on her or she cheated on him or you know he was sleeping with his sponsee or you know whatever else kind of stuff that we just know from our personal interactions and then it’s hard not to carry that into when you see that person again or when you interact with them like I know you’re the guy that you know you’re the guy that stole from your boss for 15 years while you like you know you like you know those things about these people and sometimes it’s it is a challenge to our morals and values to let some of those things go like oh look it’s the wife [ __ ] Sheriff Dona

so you know maybe that autonomy of the internet gives us that because maybe you’re giving some helpful friendly advice to some [ _ ] who [ _ ] kicks his dog when you’re not that’s good cuz that guy needs that right you know that’s funny it relates into what I’ve always said about we we did a lot of travel into other areas at different times throughout my life I’ve done a lot to other meetings you know just an hour away from home maybe a little more a little less and you go to a new area and you hear people and it’s all fresh and it sounds good and it’s exciting and at some point you kind of realized that like those are the same [ _ ] [ _ ] personality types that you’re tired of hearing in your own area right exactly it’s just that you’ve never heard them so you don’t have the backstory to annoy by it you’re not judging them while they’re sharing you’re just listening and enjoying it and it’s like that it’s the same guys it’s the same people in every goddamn meeting honestly and you just you don’t have the background to be annoyed by them yeah and it’s it’s fun I mean that’s what makes you know there’s social media and all these platforms get a lot of bad press you know but I don’t know that there I don’t think they’re all bad I think it’s still a work in progress thing and we had just kind of talked about earlier you know a situation with my son where he they go to this alternative school there’s not a bunch of other boys his age at the school and we found he’s 11 and we found out he was doing some online chatting with you know strangers in essence and of course as a parent you’re a media and and everything you hear about social media is like oh my god we got to tell him to stop and he shouldn’t be doing this and he’s you know it’s dangerous and all these other things and that was my knee-jerk reaction to that was like we shouldn’t have these interactions we don’t know who obviously he’s talking to some dangerous pedophile 43 year old man who wants to find out where he lives so he can come abductor molest them or get money from them or whatever scam they’re running and that’s the knee-jerk reaction because that’s sort of the what you hear a lot in media is the worst case scenario but the truth is after kind of sitting with it for a couple minutes and thinking about it I thought well a better approach to that would be to sit down and talk to him about hey you know here are some dangers these are things you need to be aware of we need to look out for we need to know and there’s a healthy way you can use this as a positive in your life and at least it sounds like for you that’s what Twitter and some of these things are becoming me so I have been awful out of those platforms for the opposite reason is that I would get on Facebook and someone would make a political post then I would try to go into this with like a conversation being informed and educated and open minded and try to give different points of view and it just never seemed to get anywhere and it seemed to be a lot of you know if you make any kind of valid point they just changed the point some other direction and you’re like wait a minute we weren’t even talking about that so yeah so to me like my interactions were very different and so it kind of turned me off to social me and so I you know I don’t do a lot with and maybe I could go back and revisit it maybe it’s just politics you know it’s what isn’t there a thing about it family things you’re not supposed to talk about religion or politics you know maybe it’s one of those things where well recovery subjects you know maybe that’s a better subject to talk to people about versus well yes you like that because I didn’t really do much on social media before we started doing this podcast my social media interaction was definitely lacking and boring and [ _ ] if anything is aggravated the [ _ ] out of me and now it’s like being more involved in these communities has really been a breath of fresh air yeah and talking to you about some of those and I’m I was just telling my wife like I’m on the fence about you’ve presented an appealing side to it like though like wow I wish I was doing more this I think this could be a positive thing in my life just engaging with people I obviously love to talk about recovery and recovery principles and you know applying this stuff in your life and the struggles and challenges and stuff it’s all fascinating to me so to be able to engage in that way a with other people sounds really interesting the trade-off is for me if I start doing that am I gonna be able to keep it to a healthy level where it’s like what else in my real everyday life am I giving up to give that time to that social media and how do I keep a healthy balance of I do have people that I interact with face-to-face on a regular basis I have guys I sponsor I have a sponsor myself I have friends and people in my recovery network and am i ignoring or negating that besides my kids and family obviously but am i ignoring those relationships to go have some anonymous relationship with some stranger online because it’s more appealing well I happen to have with you know winter break from classes right now I happen to have a inordinate amount of free time honestly that I have devoted a lot of to being online just because it’s been good for my life at the moment but I agree like if there is points in time where I don’t necessarily want to not be on those you know sites talking about positive things but I do have other things that need to be done and so I you know hopefully I don’t neglect any of my real life responsibilities for this other world but I have found it interesting um one of the things that that popped up last night for me and I want to mention this so I posted on Twitter last night just because I I don’t know I was excited about this morning I was ready to like [ _ ] do this and I said and a little bit of you know make hey everybody that doesn’t know yet I’d do a podcast right it was a little of that too I’m not gonna be totally dishonest so I said I don’t even know we will talk about tomorrow morning but I’m so ready to record the podcast love Sunday mornings did not [ _ ] expect anybody to say anything honestly because generally people don’t react to podcast I’ve shared a couple of our podcasts on there and they’ve got like three or four likes all by other people who have podcast shockingly right they’re like oh I guess podcasters listen another podcast or at least like them and so this this guy responded I’m assuming it’s a guy I should say this person but there their handle is at alcoholic dad for right which is kind of humorous to me I’m sure it’s you know a couple tears up from like at big booty clapper 42069 but he said or they said love your podcast sort of and then laughed which is pretty funny actually and then they said seriously loved the show and it [ _ ] me up seriously like it just [ _ ] my whole world up when they said it and I was like I don’t I don’t know what the [ _ ] to do now right I really don’t know what to do so I get the whole concept of like cognitive behavioral therapy and and and you know which we refer to as CBT and the idea that we have these core beliefs or schemas and when we don’t like ourselves we deflect anything that sounds like a compliment or a positive and we can’t hear it and I live my life like that for a long time right I’ve been through some therapy that’s not where I am today I can take in compliments I still not always sure what the [ _ ] to do with them though right and so I felt this I was able to take it in and feel it like man this guy like apparently likes what we do maybe now maybe he’s never [ _ ] listening he just made that [ _ ] up and here’s to being nice either way okay it felt really nice and I was like I just don’t know what the [ _ ] to do with this right if you just said what do you want out of this podcast I have said millions of adoring fans obviously right uh and and now I got somebody that says hey what you’re doing is kind of cool right and they [ _ ] me all up and so I did manage to put some words out there and I said holy crap I’m not even sure what to say or how I feel which was really just saying that I don’t [ _ ] have anything to say thank you I’m humbled and I hope it assists you in your journey in some way hey that’s pretty cool spots right and so then he responded they responded back he’s saying he I guess dad throws me off right it could be a female dead it probably is a he but it could be who knows I don’t want to judge and then they said back to that I’m listening to a few episodes relaxing to listen to great work mate so I’m assuming they’re from Australia since they said me I don’t know anybody else who says that and I really again had no [ _ ] response I threw a gif up there of a guy who didn’t know how to talk you know at a loss for words and I just what the [ _ ] is that do you have have you had that experience where like somebody complements something you’re doing or says so I don’t know I like honestly I don’t know what the [ _ ] we’re doing here really like I love talking to you I love talking about recovery I enjoyed that aspect of it but in the sense of are we helpful or useful to anyone or is anyone going to enjoy it I have no [ _ ] clue I posted on reddit this week like what mental health podcast do you people listen to and why and they gave me a whole slew of them and I’m like checking them out one by one and I’m in the process of that now but I’m like I don’t know that people will ever get anything out of listen I don’t know [ _ ] I don’t even know what direction we’re going are we only four people in recovery are we relatable for people who are just living life who’ve never dealt with drug use I don’t I’m so clueless and so for somebody to say that they liked it it just [ _ ] me all up do you have an experience in your life where somebody complimented something you were doing that you weren’t even really sure if it was a good thing or not and you just didn’t know what to say about it I don’t know about if I’m sure it’s a good thing but I sort of feel that way a lot of times about sponsorship like I don’t I’m just showing up and helping you along your way and you know sure the compliments feel great but I don’t feel like I’m really doing anything special or special or magical special that’s a really special or magical but I so with this podcast I like to think we’re really just talking about like practical application of spiritual principles for me a big area that I struggle with for a long time is going to meetings and sitting on my hands and thinking if I just sit on my hands and be good all this magical amazing stuffs gonna happen and that was always my struggle with religion was always this if you just believe in God like enough some like magic thing happens and poof you’re better you know you’re just better and that that’s how this it was some sort of magic and my understanding or belief now is that no it’s not magic it’s a lot of work and in actually in essence is very practical and very systematic in an application and approach that the work that I do in the steps is more like math and less like magic you know in that if I do a B and C the results are gonna be D um and I think we missed that I think what happens to a lot of people they come into meetings they hear these people and they talk about these steps and this mystical stuff and they just think it’s something they don’t grasp and you know so I like to try to put a practical approach to recovery and the application of principles and and how we live this thing how we how we do it on a regular basis not only just to get off drugs but to be better human beings and be more healthy people in society and I think that benefits everyone not just addicts and not just our families but it benefits everyone these principles when we can take them out to apply them in our lives um so with all that said I don’t know I think a lot of things happen in life where if I’m just applying spiritual principles to the best of my ability good things come from that again in spite of myself I’m at my job if I’m just courteous and polite and compassionate to the people at my job and it makes their willingness or ability to just show up and do a good job that much more you know that’s I don’t I mean take credit for is a like I don’t think I get to take credit for that I think it’s just a benefit to everyone just like my taking my trash and throwing it in the garbage you know or putting my recycling bottle into a recycling thing you know don’t serve me on the cleaning up after yourself yeah but well I’m just saying like I take care of my part of the street and everyone benefits you know or a majority if they may not everyone benefits but in general the public benefits by me just taking care of myself and keeping my part of the street clean and I think that approach to life would help a lot of people yeah right now I agree uh I will say that my my humbleness my humility my loss for words lasted only about 10 minutes I was really caught up in it I shared it with my wife and I was like hey man this guy has me at loss for words and I read the whole interaction again and then good old you know Jason brain took over again and I was like did he just say our podcast was relaxing we’re not supposed to be [ _ ] relaxing I’m like do amped up we should be we should be funny or we should be I don’t know not relaxing [ _ ] what does it mean we’re relaxing right and I was all [ _ ] up after that I was like I don’t know I don’t think we’re supposed to be relaxing right I have no clue relaxing is good for us to be relaxing but I don’t even know it just it was like it was funny to me it was actually hilarious to me how it went from in all of this person that actually enjoyed a little bit something we were doing to feeling criticized by the compliment so I’m gonna take this in a little bit different direction because I did this the idea just popped in my head it’s fun I thought about over the years and I really agree with a lot I believe that everyone in the world has some benefit to offer to the world okay you know and that if you give them the right environment circumstances motivations and and I say that in my interactions with other people so it’s easy to go into meetings and you hear people that you get mad at because they say certain things or they talk about certain things but you know I believe that every human being has something to offer the world and that if we can support and love each other enough that that thing will come out and and shine so that we obviously have something you know not to sound egotistical but in that context we have something to offer the world to just like anybody does and I think you had said it and I’ve done it I’ve told a couple people hey if you want to come on and talk sometime we meet at nine o’clock on Sunday morning row you know just let me know or just show up and we’ll you can be part of the conversation too disappointed I want more messages too I want people to tell us like what the [ _ ] what do you want like we’re thinking about doing a step of the month we’re thinking about doing recovery tools or acronyms or cliches or all these ideas and it’s like I would love some feedback through email or message or however the [ _ ] you can get in touch with it’s like let us know what would be useful to you I want to or if you are interested in coming on [ _ ] I don’t know maybe you suck maybe you don’t we’ll have you on try yeah and uh you know I think the result of those like the result of living these spiritual principles is you know our higher powers will in action in the wound you know it’s like these and again I know we’ve kind of gone different ways with this but I don’t believe like there’s just some greater you know higher powers will at work that’s going to happen in spite of me and how I act I believe that God’s will is acted out through our actions in the world and that you know the result of God’s will is if you’re abusing this three-letter capital g god thing you know the result of God’s will is me applying these spiritual principles in my life and it’s not me that’s doing it it’s me practicing these spiritual principles and the result of that is God’s will happening in the room in the world and that you know so yeah when we’re living these principles and trying to do them to the best of our ability you know we are God’s love and will in action in the world yeah you’re you’re where you were going with everybody have a talent or something to offer reminded me a lot of that I think it was the iron stein quote about the if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a wall like you’ll you’ll find it lacking like we to judge people not by what they’re not doing so well but maybe they have a different talent that we’re just not seeing another thing to go along with that kind of is I had read one time if you look at somebody that you really really [ _ ] hate right or resent or whatever somebody you just can’t find anything positive about if you really examine their life you would see that they probably have a couple of close friends and chances are there’s a reason that they have a couple of close friends like there’s some positive attributes they have that these friends enjoy or like and even if you can’t see it everybody has those good things about them you just might be in a position where you’re only seeing some negatives but it’s doubtful that they have friends because they’re a dick right like they probably have friends because they’re nice to some people at least so you brought up something interesting and I think we’re getting to the portion of the podcast where everybody turns it off because they have like an hour’s attention span you know meetings programs for that at that hour but [ _ ] it I want to talk a little more you you mentioned you think the program works more in you know a practical way of how we act and look I I would agree right so there’s a lot of science behind CBT 12-steps kind of have some CBT related things going on there a lot of what we do reprogramming the way we think our thought processes right that does change us in that factual like way but I would say with your your statement about not being the miracle that makes the change or feeling in meetings that people were talking about this miracle that you didn’t get or whatever that makes me question your take on what the spiritual awakening is that we have you know at before we are when we get to 12 at least if we haven’t before that because it says we’ve had it and then your take also on like 6 & 7 where it says like hey I did all these practical actions trying to remove this [ _ ] character defect and I [ _ ] can’t please help me take it from me right I beg you to take it from me because my way ain’t working so what’s your with not believing in so much in the miracle side of it what’s your take on those two places I’m curious um so if I were to get into 6 & 7 so what I understand of you know 6 is getting into understanding my specific character defects what makes me do what I do or what drives me to do what I’m doing what yeah the underlying issues and then in 7 where we humbly ask God so to me that is trusting that living their spiritual principles is going to be better than the what I thought would happen for myself for example let’s go back to the you know my trauma lesson father-in-law you know for me for a couple of years I spent a lot of time justified and if I talked to 10 people I could get 10 people to sign off on my justification of being angry and resentful and bitter and I was mad at the court system because the [ _ ] guy didn’t even get sentenced any jail time you know there was a whole lot of laundry list of things that I had to be resentful and angry and bitter about other cause and I spent a couple of years in that anger and bitterness and resentment because I was hurt you know because I was hurt and angry and you know in pain right um it wasn’t until that trying to practice forgiveness became the result of the relief of that pain so what I mean by that is it isn’t like I said okay I’m gonna forgive this guy and poof all those feelings went away you know what happened was I said alright I’m gonna practice forgiveness here and what I’m gonna say is that I’m gonna let go of my anger and hate and resentment and I’m gonna just turn that over to God and when I think those things I’m gonna just try to say alright I’ve let that go I’m gonna be loving and caring and I’m not gonna feed into those thoughts I’m not gonna feed into that resent me I’m just gonna let it go and think something else or changed my mind you know changed my mind like really and I’m just not gonna actively engage in that thought pattern and in the beginning that took a little bit yeah like it was just a matter of saying alright I’m gonna not be I’m just gonna not feed into those negative thoughts and I equated to like using thoughts like if I think about using me personally like what I learned early in recovery was I don’t sit there and just keep thinking about using and play with the ideas like I do some [ _ ] I call my sponsor I go to a meeting I talked to somebody about it might say something to my wife but I don’t sit there and keep mulling that around in my head and keep thinking about using and thinking about using and what it would feel like and where I can get it and all that stuff I’ve learned that’s not a good place to be so I learned that with anger and those things is the same way like I have to let that go and not Mull it over in my head and rationalize and justify and relive the situation like I let it go I’m not gonna do that I’m gonna gonna forgive this time you know and then for me that meant saying you know Donnell get why should I said his name but you know he’ll get what he needs to get out of this I don’t know what the outcomes gonna be it’s not up to me to decide what the outcome of this situation is gonna be it’s it’s not up to me to get vengeance you know and all those things I’m just gonna not worry about that and just try to move on with my life and be loving and caring and let that go mom and in that something magical happens you know and what that is is over time the amount of energy that I spend being angry and hurt and resentful goes down and eventually now I can talk about him without anger and hatred and bitterness popping up in my heart so there is a magical result of that work it’s [ _ ] incredible to me that we can talk about the exact same kind of thing right the exact same situation in their life and you know you can have a take on it that fits one direction and I can see it from a completely different direction and neither way can be proven or for sure explained to be right so I’d listen to everything you said and I’m like okay I agree right all those things you said I totally agree with I just for me I can’t take spirituality or the miracle out of it right in my head it just can’t I can’t separate them like I look at all the times I wanted to quit using and I couldn’t now look could science say that you just weren’t ready like you hadn’t been through enough mentally you’re bringing head and got into a low enough point probably I mean they could probably say so I don’t know to me it felt like I kept trying and failing and then something else helped me right and I found that same thing in 6 & 7 with character defects I want to stop these I’ve written about him in 6 I’m tired of being this [ _ ] dick that I’m looking at on paper in front of me and I just can’t and then that moment comes that I can and I don’t feel like it was me doing anything different that made that moment happened I did the same exact things I’d been trying to do all along and that for some reason on attempt 6 it works one attempts 1 through 5 but [ _ ] didn’t and so I to me I equate that as there must be something else driving me behind the scenes that is that it’s making this like that’s giving me that boost that’s giving me that miracle and look I I don’t know that that’s any more right than the theory that just for whatever reason the science of it worked out I really don’t um that’s my belief system I like it I enjoy it so I’ll stick with it but it is interesting that we have two opposite takes and and there is no right or wrong that’s beautiful yeah and I think what’s neat for me is I don’t so nowadays in my life like I don’t feel a need to be right I don’t feel a need to convince anyone of anything and that doesn’t and when I say that it’s not like I sit back and go oh I know I’m [ _ ] right and I don’t know what you’re talking about no it’s really like I don’t know either like I’m done this is just the best theory that I got now it’s not even the same theory that I had five years you know like five or ten years ago I had a completely different understanding and take on those steps and how the stuff worked in my life and what it meant um and five years from now it’ll probably be different than where it is and it could be completely back around – it’s all you know God’s will and miracle magical and I don’t rule either of those out you know room like it’s I’m open to all that and I’m always just trying to look for the best understanding of this isn’t even as much about recovery it’s more about life I’m always looking for the best understanding of living a good life being caring and compassionate and and healthy what I call healthy because those are the things that make my spirit feel the best yeah you know yeah and I say all the time like I don’t know if I’ll go to like we go to you know 12-step meetings I don’t know if I’m gonna go the rest of my life I go now because I feel like it helps me and it does great benefits for my life there may become a point where I feel like it doesn’t anymore or that it’s holding me back or that it limits my ability of spiritual growth I don’t know I’m open to either way yeah I don’t I don’t close the door and say this is just what I have to do for the rest of my life or I’m never gonna do this or I’m not gonna do that or at least I try not to I try to just be really open to like hey this is what’s working this things are a positive influence in my life I may add things in or take things out or supplement in different ways all as part of spiritual growth interesting that I enjoy the debate and don’t feel super right as in there’s only one right way in conversations like this and yet in my household definitely [ _ ] right my wife is super wrong my kids are definitely [ _ ] wrong like I’m right what the [ _ ] is wrong with y’all and I why can’t I carry that home like at all well some of that’s because I think in recovery so a lot of these conversations I don’t have with people that either I don’t sponsor or aren’t people that I’m close with and I have a different role in those relationships that I have my household really like my household I feel like I have a pretty specific role as the leader of the household mom I don’t know no we’re gonna go into that topic yeah well this isn’t anything my wife doesn’t agree with and it’s and again I’m not saying that every male like a figure of their house is right this is the way things working in my household um you know my and again my wife would say she puts certain expectations and certain you know and the way it’s been described or the way we’ve kind of talked about it is that I am the thermostat in the household I set the tone for the rest of the household if I come in and I’m grumpy and angry and you know stomping him from work in a bad mood everything in the household kind of goes somber you know whereas if someone else is in a bad mood I tend to be the leader that can sort of help bring us up out of that man so that’s cool like but you know if you’re 84 degrees and everybody else is [ _ ] hot and agitated too and I get that that’s a lot of pressure on one person man to try to it doesn’t give you much space to be attitude one day right if things if for whatever reason the thermostat is a few degrees off the barometers off that day or that week because you’re having a rough week you’re sick whatever that puts a lot of pressure on you like that I almost feel like I wish somebody else had the ability to step up and be that person to write like it would be nice if it wasn’t all on you to be the the thermostat yeah but isn’t that most of life I mean isn’t that at my job and everywhere else like yeah I wish some people at work could be more responsible which is um I would say that’s it’s great to want other people to step up and take some responsibility but ultimately it doesn’t for me personally it doesn’t negate what I still feel is my response like I still the responsibility is still mine whether I like it or not you know the the and like you know just like being an addict like yeah there’s a lot of days I want to be able to go out and socially have a couple beers with some guys that bar whatever after work about the football game that’s great but it doesn’t negate that I’m an addict and that I still have limitations and responsibilities on my life so again for me personally I feel like I have a role in my household that’s my responsibility that you know whether I like it or not and I have choices I don’t have to take on that responsibility and in fact there are plenty of times I fall short and there are plenty of times that I’m the guy that stomps in and you know slam [ _ ] on the counter and start screaming about why the dishes aren’t done or the kitchens not you know there’s plenty of times that that happens yeah you just got me thinking about the temperature I’m set so it but again it doesn’t negate the effects of that and it doesn’t negate my responsibility to try to do something different well this this analogy would obviously explain why my family is all [ _ ] up no matter what temperature we’re at nobody’s [ _ ] happy right I’m the cheap ass that wants to keep okay so it’s winter and it’s cold here so I want to keep the the temperature you know warm enough to survive but look it’s [ _ ] winter you should have one long pants if you need it long sleeves and [ _ ] it if you really need it a blanket right we’re not turning the temperature up to heat it my daughters believe in the middle of December in January that you need to turn the heat to a level where you can wear shorts around the house and t-shirts and you know I’m like no that’s not how this [ _ ] works and so it would make sense that my temperature in other ways you know of me trying to set the tone of the house even though I’m setting it the way I think it should be it would make sense that a 14 year old would not agree yeah like it would make sense that even if mine are making sense and maybe I could be more flexible maybe it doesn’t have to be 69 degrees maybe it can be 71 right maybe I don’t have to be quite as cheap but also they’re just not gonna be happy because their life is revolved around whatever it is I’m not getting is what I want to make me happy right I got blonde hair I wish it was brown I got you know straight teeth I wish they were crooked oh I don’t have facial hair I wish I did like everybody just wants what the [ _ ] they don’t have in my house it seems like we’ll stick with the house analogy your kids are the drafty windows look they just a band flow with whatever the mood outside you know that [ _ ] like [ _ ] then I don’t have the ability to maintain a nice even tone they don’t have the ability so what you’re saying is I can fix them with duct tape did you have any oh no you did say something else that came to mind about not being sure you would go to 12-step meetings the rest of your life and I don’t you know believe that that means you’re gonna switch your ideas today or tomorrow or next year at all but I found it interesting because I don’t think I don’t know that I go to 12-step meetings the majority of the time for me like it’s a good reminder of what I need to do in my life and I think it gives me an opportunity to show up and give back which is hugely important for me not that I couldn’t find that elsewhere but I do have some kind of tied into the belief that maybe I need to be there for a good long time and then look if it became unhealthy I’d stop but that program gave me something freely and I feel like it’s a little bit of my responsibility to show up and give it back whether I’m really feeling like it or not a lot of the time and I don’t know what would change that okay so I’m going to give you some what might change that this is gonna get a little bit I’ll say quote-unquote political within that twelve steps or anybody’s listening there yeah right we don’t lost everybody at this one so within the 12-step community obviously we belong to a fellowship that is based on abstinence from all drugs there’s been some push at different times by different people to say that maintenance programs can and should be included in our form of recovery that people should be able to celebrate they should be able to work steps while they’re on suboxone methadone those other programs and there seems to be two pretty contradictory sides to that one that obviously is in support of that the other one that is not in support of that right and as of right now the Fellowship believes that you know maintenance programs are not abstinence um if that were to change and they all of a sudden said hey cuz there’s a push there are things in the works motions that have been brought up things like that to change that attitude and to say that if you’re on a maintenance program that prescribed by a doctor that’s just like medication from any other doctor and that you should be able to be clean and this isn’t to make you pick side I have my opinion whatever but I’ll gladly share I can understand because if you if you just had a surgery and you need pain medication you are using a narcotic prescribed by a doctor for a period of time or if you have some sort of mental health issue that you prescribe medication for this does alter your brain and your mood and your thinking right so I get where they’re coming from but the point of all that is to say so if our fellowship decided next year that now being on maintenance programs is recovery just like your 16 years you got the guy that’s been on methadone or suboxone for years he is also equally as clean and has the same equal recovery you know a would you want to continue to support that and I’m not asking to make that decision right this minute I’m not putting you on the spot and be how would that change our fellowship in the direction that we go and and what it looks like because I think the abstinence part of it is a big

influencer of the message of recovery so and that’s just to throw out a bunch of hypotheticals to say if that happened next year three or four or five years from now would you still continue to support that and then Justin right okay so here’s a few take quick tips on that one I don’t have any problem with anybody that does something to better themselves today the best they can if that is a harm reduction method and that better is their life if they’re not shooting fentanyl and about to die and instead they can take methadone and go to work and support their family [ _ ] awesome bro do it if that’s the best you got today that’s an improvement for your life and I appreciate it right but I am assuming that if that happened if you know a fellowship decided that that would be okay that something else would give there would be enough people in dissention of that that they would either form their own fellowship they’d switch over to some other form of fellowship like there would be something going on and I would probably have to make the move with them right so it’s not so much that I’m counting on that I would still show up for the particular place I’m at I guess I might have to switch should something like that happen because I do think there’s a difference I’m not against people celebrating you know harm reduction methods or medication assisted treatment I’m not against people celebrating that I just it’s not what I want to talk about for me right because I’m honestly just really [ _ ] glad none of it was available for me because I’ll probably chose it because and not that I’m saying it’s the easier softer way but for me in my situation knowing now I can look back and say obviously I can do it without it before going into it I wouldn’t have said obviously I can do it without it I just said oh this looks like more attractive I still get to have a crutch which is what I always want it and I know saying that I’m not trying to say that people on you know m-80s are using a crutch it’s not what I’m getting it right just for me I’m glad it wasn’t an option because I would have taken it I believe and I’m glad I don’t have to wonder about it or question my cleanness or any of that I don’t want to right right I want it to be clear and evident that I’m free and I don’t have to rely on that same way I feel off of aping right my suboxone for cigarettes I feel freer now that I don’t think to and I want to do a whole podcast on maintenance programs and recovery pathways they sale arm reduction Yeah right I think all of its interesting and fascinating and creates some

philosophical ideas that we need to kind of that I have struggled with over the years and again I was one of those people ten years ago I’ve been like ah so I’ll just using you know and I had no open mindedness about it all that’s changed over the years my attitude about that to change so I so one thing I’ve changed to believe that they save lives I [ _ ] absolutely believe that the research is out there it’s not a big shock right it makes sense one of my hang-ups is that I still kind of believe that the ultimate goal is abstinence though and that might not be for everybody and that’s hard for me to see like I think these are a great stopping point along the way right I just still think we’re aiming at complete s and it’s an that’s not everyone’s goal and I don’t know how ok I am with that yeah that’s right I don’t even know that’s the right goal I mean it depends on what you’re you know whatever that’s again that’s a whole podcast of stuff right um but before we went down that road it was to say that you know I don’t I can’t say ten years from now that I’m still gonna be in my same home group showing up for meetings and and have that commitment to recovery that I have now things I never know what’s gonna change and how life’s gonna AB and I don’t even know I’m gonna be clean you know there’s no guarantee that I don’t use next week you know some [ _ ] happens or I get a car accident and go in they put me on pain medication and before I know it I’m [ __ ] yeah I would not get any more ugly feedback about this podcast if it was only me talking yeah yeah but you know I don’t I’m never guaranteed anything so to say that I know that I’m gonna be in meetings the rest of my life is you know like saying I know I’m gonna be alive next week like I don’t take any of this for granted I try not to don’t say I don’t I do obviously I’m playing in two months from now and I’m gonna be at this summer thing or you know what I’m going but you know it’s it’s the idea that I try to just maintain attitude of open-mindedness willingness you know an ability to just live life to the best of my ability and practice these principles in all my affairs and you know you talked about like a 12-step and how do I apply 12-step well I believe that just by trying to be the most spiritual person that I can you know i oughtta practice spiritual principles in all areas of my life you know that that spiritual awakening is the realization realization that like when I’m doing that I am the absolute best version of myself that I can be I’m a positive influence on again not just my work or my kids but the world you know that these these actions love and kindness and compassion have a ripple effect and that learning to apply them more and more and more those ripples of waves get bigger and bigger and bigger and it’s just like the interaction with the kid the other night do I know that if I would have said this or said that or whatever it would have made a drastic change in his life no but if he walked up and had an interaction with some people that ended with you know us saying hey man we used to be just like you you know what I mean we know where you’re coming from and what you’ve been through and you don’t have to do this your life can get better and you know here here’s a cigarette in fact here’s a hug leave this knowing that people do care and people do want to help you if you want to help yourself and again does that mean anything great would have changed in his life maybe maybe not but that I would hope in that moment that he would have felt that connection of love and compassion and humanity that somewhere down the road might make a difference and that is the spiritual week three sixty

a spiritual awakening you know and I mean realizing that all these little interactions and little moments that we have with people in our lives have the operative the potential to be a really important and big thing okay well I can’t possibly record any better than that I do or do you have any more to say about it all right so cuz nobody’s listening I’m gonna do a quick little segment that I’ve been thinking about that we’ll probably never do again alright so here we are we’re gonna do a little segment we’ll probably never do it again because I don’t even know if I’ll ever have another idea like this again but it’s going to be called how to change the world so here we are how to change the world which is going to be ridiculously terrible awful ideas that won’t really do anything and so today when I came up with is that if you’ve ever watched American football or probably any sport they have some version of fouls or Flags or or you know penalties that you can commit and so I related to American football where they throw a flag and from now on instead of only having unser sportsmen like conduct and penalties for the things we do if you listen to behavioral psychology they will tell you that people are much their behavior is much better changed by rewards than with penalties right we change better when we’re rewarded for a positive behavior than we do for being punished so we will now have things like sportsman like conduct right so every play if you help another guy from the other team up off the ground you get a yard for that right so five guys help five other guys up you get five yards after that play and then if you Pat a guy on the but after they you know block the pass that you were supposed to catch that’s a couple of yards for that and just we always are penalizing in all these sports right and in basketball you know oh you double dribble well what about when you don’t double dribble let’s reward that right hey you get a free foul shot because you [ _ ] dribble down the right way and I just think we don’t ever acknowledge this in sports we have no reward for positive behavior in sports it’s all penalties and so from now on that’s how we’re going to change the world we’re gonna have positive you know rewards and gifts to all sports for all positive things what do you think I hate to say this I could not disagree more and here’s here’s the first thing I thought of with that I remembered I’ve actually said this in meetings like I think it’s [ _ ] hilarious that we go to meetings and we celebrate not being a piece of [ _ ] with a cake you know that I deserve some [ _ ] special accolades or special rewards for not sticking drugs in my body and being a total piece of [ _ ] I stole from my family I lied I cheated I got arrested I broke the law any opportunity that I got and then I think I deserve some special [ _ ] accolades because I’m not doing that like and I get it we do it because right it’s it’s for us it is a struggle and as a recovering person like it was very hard to get off of drugs but that to me outside of that meeting in that fellowship and sort of a personal celebration for myself is sort of funny like and I look at some of the things like that it’s like the thermostat of my house kind of attitude like I have a personal responsibility in this world not to be a piece of [ _ ] I have a personal obligation to not just run around and wreak havoc and cause harm because it’s convenient easy fun for whatever reason like I feel like it’s my personal responsibility to try to be kind and loving and compassionate and if I’m just doing it because I’m being like spiritual bribery then like it is it really worth it well so the whole process of us still being alive evolution right we [ _ ] other people to make babies because it feels good right things have to be rewarding in order for us to continue doing them we eat because it feels good like there’s these processes that keep us alive and we continue to do them because they’re naturally rewarding to us correct that’s the whole process of evolution so if we could reward positive behavior in everybody I get that you say that seems like your spiritual bribery but at the same time if everybody’s a nicer person is there really a drawback to that so when I talk about like one of the sayings and our Fellowship is being happy joyous and free I am happy joyous and free as a result of living spiritual principles like the reward is in living the principle and I struggled with that forever I thought that I needed a reward to live that way and that those things were like [ _ ] weaknesses like being kind and generous and helping somebody out without getting something in return like what the [ _ ] man I can’t cook I’m gonna come help you move like you at least [ _ ] owe me a pizza and some beer like I’m not gonna come do that out of goodness now I’ve learned that helping people that are my friends or even people that aren’t my friends like that [ _ ] feels good you know if I help a stranger change a tire at the ill my way home from work who’s someone I don’t even know I just see some guy or lady broke down on the side of the road scratching their head not sure what to do and I pull over and give that person assistance when I go home and lay down at night how about you I feel like a good [ __ ] person no absolutely and and behavioral psychologists handled this right exactly what you’re talking about where the you know we do deal with some rewards that are in rained sex feels great so we’re already gonna do it we don’t need nobody needs to pay us to do it right like we’re already rewarded for doing it but as we saw what like classical conditioning Pavlov the bell did not make the dog salivate it was the pairing of the Bell with food right feet up time it was the food that the dogs were really salivating for and so we do this with children when we want to modify behavior do we want them to ultimately not piss their pants by themselves because that’s rewarding to not piss your pants yes initially not for every kid though some kids don’t really aren’t bothered by the pissy shitty diaper right and so what we have to do is encourage them with like an M&M or something like that a treat we give them a reward at first right and then through the process of them always having dry diapers or dry Underpants they learn to like that feeling all by themselves and it becomes its own reward so it’s almost like we need to give them a little reward that already does it to get them to the place where they can feel that secondary natural reward of liking it for themselves yeah well that’s gonna get a whole road of I think that’s what school should be for

learning those things in school like if you want to learn some useful [ _ ] learn how to treat other human beings with compassion and understanding I’ll do even if I completely agree with your theory of we shouldn’t celebrate people doing the you know what they should be doing already I [ _ ] love cake so I disagree always have as much cake as possible in fact just start having cake at every meeting and then for anniversaries have to and it is so and what you just ended that kind of with reminded me of their idea I heard someone recently explain and I’m gonna mess it up here but they recently explained the fake it till you make it theory and it was exactly sort of that idea it was like you come in and you learn a new principle and you don’t necessarily know why it’s good to do it or that it’s good to do it and you may not even believe that it’s good to do it but you do it anyway you fake it right and then after you do it for a little while it becomes part of your mental conditioning and that’s when you make it when it’s like oh yeah that’s right this is what we do here be there’s benefits to it and so I had never heard fake like I hated that saying when I heard it in meetings like fake it til you make it like that stupid I’m totally doing a cliche [ _ ] but then I heard someone say explain it completely out of the context of meetings had nothing to do with meetings or nothing to do with any of his own a TV show actually great and it wasn’t even about recovery or anything but they were talking about it with therapy they were talking about fake it till you make it there’s a therapy tool they were using and I thought that’s a good funny like anyway yeah I think we’re going on like two hours an hour so what the [ _ ] ever I don’t know so you got anything else now all right quick we’ll wrap it up everybody have a great week thanks for listening please leave some messages and interact we love the [ __ ] interaction that’s what makes this all worthwhile 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


One response to “9: Helping (Sort Of)”

  1. Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this info.