92: AA Versus NA – Which Program is Better? (Sort Of)

This week we look at the battle between AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, and NA, Narcotics Anonymous. Which program is more helpful? We have on Louis to discuss the misconceptions that each program has of the other, and the truths behind those ideas. Is NA getting it wrong by taking so long to do the steps? Is AA not really getting to the heart of the matter by just talking the steps? Do people in AA only use alcohol? And why do people who use heroin go to Alcoholics Anonymous in the first place? Do alcoholics only do the steps once and then they are done? Do people in AA work on other aspects of their problem, the areas that our disease tends to move into when we remove the drugs or alcohol, like sex, gambling, shopping, etc. We dive deep into the rumors and hash out which program might be the best fit for you. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com,  or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or find us on our website at www.recoverysortof.com.

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Transcript:

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

welcome back to recovery sort of i’m jason a guy who is not drunk today and i’m here with i’m billy i’m a person in long term recovery and today we have on lewis hi lewis hey i’m louis i’m also a person in long-term recovery and i’m in the aaa program excellent and that is exactly why lewis is on today we’re gonna investigate some of these misconceptions or possible truths um depending on how you look at it that i have heard and that billy has heard from our time in one particular program and actually maybe even after we have you defend your program enough maybe we’ll give you some time to tell us some of the things they say about us yeah and hey that’s interesting

what do we okay well we’ll get into that yeah so do you want to just tell us like a five minute version a quick version of your story and how you got here and look at you where you are at absolutely so um you know for me this started my recovery journey started in 2013 uh in january 2013 right after all the christmas money was gone i decided that i needed some needed some help years before that i mean it started for me with it started with drinking of course and i’ll kind of get into this a little bit but after that it turned into a prescription pain medication i mean that was the thing that kind of brought me down and then from there i was doing a lot of iv heroin um going down to the city all the time getting what i needed and you know once all the money was gone and the pain was great enough and i had enough you know interventions i guess by like friends family law enforcement things like that i decided to get sober so i went to treatment and there was a young guy working there who you know i gotten pretty close with and and told a lot of my story too and he told me that there was a really good group of young guys in aaa in hartford county and that’s how i got there and you know from there i’ve been working in a a program i got an a sponsor a home group i’m trying to help some people and and by working over a long time you mean speaking all the 12 steps in the first week and then not doing nothing else because hey we can jump right in it’s okay so scary that’s one of the first things that uh i was always told and of course most of my information comes from bitter old men in n a but that you know in n a we have a step working guide and we write the answers to all these questions and and what i found out later on is that i believe we all use it wrong actually but that’s okay uh we write them right we spend time we’re thorough and i hear that in a a you generally only write like four and eight maybe or something along the lines yeah so i mean it’s it started you know yes so you write you write for four and eight absolutely can i just give a minor disclaimer so we’re going to talk about our experience in n a and you’ll talk about your experience in aaa and that could be completely different for we’re the now three white guys given a caroline we got a slight uh dig online because we’re all here at the perspective of two white guys and that’s what we are and so what um if you don’t like it start a podcast it’s free um but you know our perspectives aren’t necessarily everyone’s perspectives and different people work programs differently and so this is just our way of having fun and and i keep saying we sort of joking about yeah not we and it’s all made in good spirits this isn’t you know it’s it’s just meant for i don’t know we’re about a conversation programs that saved all of our lives we love them so you know it’s just fun to laugh and have a good time sorry no it’s fun well as the spokesman of aa right here’s what i’ll say yeah we’ll be the spokesman of n.a and you can be supposed to hash all this out so you know a little bit to go back in time a little bit what i’ve learned is that aaa started when you know these two guys got sober they started helping people yadda yadda um back in the day um you went through the steps often and quickly and that’s how it was and they used to have what they said was like a 70 success rate because as a newcomer you would come into this aaa meeting right you come into the front door there’d be a speaker meeting going on and some the greeter at the meeting would ask you like hey are you new here have you been through the steps if you say you hadn’t been through the steps yet they would take you into another room and someone would start taking you through the steps so that’s kind of like how it started you know groups only had one big book so like everybody was helping each other and borrowing it and taking multiple people through the steps sometimes so that is kind of true there are people in aaa you know the first time i went through the steps was quick we went through one two three on a car ride home to my recovery house and i was like what what do you mean you know that’s so funny because it takes months sometimes years yeah for people can you imagine walking into your first meeting and they’re like if you work the steps and you’re like no and they take you into a back room like i’d be sir come with me what the hell is going on strip search what’s definitely a cult but i wasn’t ready for that kind of you know quickly through it you know he asked me he said are you an alcoholic i said yeah i think so he said you know do you think that god can help with this and i said yeah oh he just laid right in there right into it he pulled the curtain back real quick that’s funny and he we were like step two’s not god over analyze the [ __ ] out of it freeze god right not too intellectualized yeah so he he brought that in quick and you know i just said yes because i felt like it was the thing i should have said and he started me writing on a four step which i think i wrote on like a napkin or something i was like mom dad god that was like oh my fourth step they jump right in because they’re way closer with spirits but you know to me um there’s a lot of different ways to go through the steps you know i mean i’m right now i’m sponsoring a guy who i’m using a sep working guide with um it was you know kind of a different model that somebody else used along the way that has a lot of you know just regular kind of general 12-step values on it it’s like a general way through the 12 steps the old hazelton manual it’s it’s similar i forget where it originated but um one of my sponsors along the way took me through it and i feel comfortable taking certain people through it like that he’s also the the intellectual who wants to read the book cover to cover and he might get a lot more out of doing it like that so does aa have like an official step working guy that’s like an alcoholic synonymous it’s just the book yep it’s the first 164 pages of the uh big book because like jason said we have like a in a step working guide yeah uh workbook it’s a workbook with a bunch of questions like it’s pretty specific i don’t know that this is true for every other fellowship or program but i’m pretty sure everyone i’ve gone to has some no that’s not true i was going to say that has some more formal version of writing each step but i don’t think the s a a did

no i can’t remember but a lot of them work with some kind of workbook yeah so it’s interesting that aaa kind of holds to that that they don’t yeah everything i mean it’s a 70 [ __ ] i think

and i learned that from a friend of mine who uh you know i kind of met along my professional journey who was the archivist for aaa for a long time i love the history of this yeah i mean he he i’ll never remember half the stuff he said but it’s it’s amazing some of it and he swears by this back to basics program that they used to do and i mean the recipes in the book that’s what they say you know if you read through the 164 pages the first 164 of the big book it lays it out pretty easily it tells you when you’re at step one and when you’re at step two when you’re at step three it’s got a prayer it gives you you know how to write your fourth step it’s got pretty much everything in there

so i was just going to ask about in the reading of the book like i have tried to read some literature and researching for this and it is so difficult it feels like i’m almost reading the bible in that old english these and that yeah like are they not willing to up like our edition of or i shouldn’t say our in narcotics anonymous our the basic text has been rewritten like six times in a very short amount of time every couple of years they’re like oh this is offensive we got to change it up we got to take this out somebody might not like it we need to add new stories and they just change this [ _ ] all the time it’s getting there yeah you know i mean it’s i agree with you it’s it’s old-timey some of it’s nonsensical it’s written as a you know i’m not trying to bash the program but it’s written as a stream of consciousness from a drunk who just got sober i mean it’s it’s tough to understand and you know i’m i’m told that there’s a certain enough forget how many but there’s a certain number of passages in that book that pertain to step work completely that’s the ones we focus on when we’re doing step work you know some of it there’s chapters like two wives and two employers that i don’t read yeah we don’t read that like personally so why don’t they just take that [ _ ] out like i’m pretty sure the atheist or something i’m pretty sure in 2021 everybody’s well aware that that’s really shitty to have a section two wives yeah like that’s pretty cruddy so why why what is the pushback against like changing this updating the language taking that kind of crap out you know i’m not 100 sure i mean there’s we have plenty of you know general service meetings and intergroup meetings where a home group can bring something up like at my home group we could bring up the fact that like hey this old timey language into wives is a nonsense and b it’s offensive right and we can bring that up to the next level and it can keep going up to the ladder you know to world services i think in my opinion that there’s a little bit of this you know how in baseball they don’t want to change any of the rules right it’s like the constitution it’s kind of like that it’s like why change this thing that has worked so well for so many people that you know have has you know is the father of all these other things and why change it i don’t necessarily agree with it but and people will always debate that stuff because it happens with the n a basic text over the years you know certain verbiage has been changed slightly there’s little things like it used to be the only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop using and they took the word honest out now it’s just a desire and people will debate that [ _ ] like it’s some sort of major crime so i’ve never opened the big book are you saying that the big book is basically just like straight through written it’s not broken down into chapters or topics or anything it’s it’s it’s broken down into chapters and topics but a lot of this stuff i mean there’s certain passages that you know when they’re talking about let’s say like the second and third step there’s a lot of examples that you know the author gives and you get through it and you know especially for someone like myself who i wasn’t that into reading when i got sober i didn’t want to have to open this like textbook you know to do all this work and i get through some of these chapters and i’m like what in the hell did i just even what did i read i have no idea he gave me 36 different examples on like you know the wright brothers and the breaking of the atom and i’m just like what does this have to do with it i would joke with him because i really started reading a lot of that when we got into tradition stuff i said of course all this you know these 12-step fellowships come from aaa they’re all founded on that so let’s go read some of that before we get into these traditions and half the time i read it i’m like i don’t know what the [ _ ] i just did like i have no idea like you said it is it’s these examples of like the wright brothers and yeah bizarre and there’s certain chapters and certain steps that you go back to where it’s like okay well this part was let’s say on page like 40 but you know the second step part is on page like 32 you know and it’s like why am i going back here because it’s you know they’re talking about it and writing it all down because it’s i gotta do it i gotta write all this stuff down and it’s it’s like a stream of consciousness sometimes the da vinci code wow but it’s all better it’s like it’s that’s they’re telling you that’s funny jesus oh so the thing uh i have heard the idea get people through the 12 steps because that raises the chances of people staying clean we had a a big large sponsorship family in baltimore at one point uh jimmy the pope and you know all his people underneath him which was like tentacles everywhere and they were doing a step a month for the first year with everybody like that was their rule and the theory was if you get through the 12 steps you have more likely chance of staying clean and there was debate about that and i don’t i don’t know where exactly i stand with that like i know i could work through the steps quicker than i did but i don’t know that i really would have gained that internal felt understanding of it until the right time came whether that was a certain amount of time clean i needed a certain amount of recovery experience like i don’t know what it was but all these factors came together so there’s parts of step two that i might have worked it in the first year but i like they really hit home in year six right because it just took that kind of time to get it do you think it really helps to speed through them or go through them faster or do you get it when you get it there’s certain parts of this you’re just gonna get when you get you know i mean you brought up the second and third step i think that’s something that you know for me in the beginning i didn’t even look at i ended up relapsing and coming back working the steps a different way when i worked them again i didn’t really get it then either i was told you know as far as the second step goes if you believe that i believe that’s a good head start um when it comes to the third step you should probably do the rest of the steps and that’s kind of the way i looked at it then and that’s the way i was taught with my sponsor over time my concept of a higher power started to grow i started to realize you know this is certain things i should put into practice but i don’t see any harm in going through the steps early often i just don’t think it’s for everybody well i i guess if all we had to do was talk about it for a couple minutes i wouldn’t feel like i wasted my time too much if we had to like write on it and go over for three hours i might not want to invest so much yeah i mean they talk about it in in terms of like peeling back layers of the onion you know your fourth your first fourth step might have two names on it and if that’s as thorough and honest as you can get in the beginning you know that’s it but you’ll go through it again in the future especially when you’re doing the steps this kind of way you’ll get more out of it you’ll be able to you know contribute more to your step work well and i did notice i mean we do i keep saying we as well in narcotics anonymous there is a saying that says you know this program is a set of principles written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives but if it takes you [ _ ] 12 years to get to step 12 how you know are you really practicing in your daily life if you haven’t even thought about it for 10 years so had you said step 11 i would have said no but step 12 when people ask me to speak i show up and i’d be of service so yes i was already giving it back i was surely not praying and meditating well before step 11. that didn’t happen so yeah i mean you kind of got a point yeah i mean we talk about the steps every meeting we always read you know the 12 steps so you kind of got an understanding you know i think in aaa and i’m sure it’s the same way in na2 but you know we talk about working the steps on a daily basis you know gotta work step one every day obviously you know step two and three not necessarily working a fourth and fifth step every day but at least bringing those you know values into your life like i’m not trying to make any more harm and when i do i try to fix it pretty quickly you know turning my will and my life over turning my defects character over these things you do every day oh we don’t we don’t say that working the steps every day sounds hard it doesn’t work yeah we say we live the steps every day you just do the best you can and then just try to look for spiritual principles no work man i’m in the wrong and i guess the only thing that sounds a lit to me is like a little bit uh i don’t know frightening about that is like an eighth and ninth step and trying to make amends with a few months clean of like do i have i really dug into how selfish and self-centered i am when i’m trying to make these amends i mean yeah that’s the only one that sounds a little bit stuffed like that’s tough you know with a couple of months clean yeah i wasn’t even aware of the depths of myself right i’m still not you’re right i’m still learning well thinking about my 8 9 i was super thankful because a lot of the people i owed the amends to had already experienced most of the living amends for i’m not going to tell you how many years but quite some time by the time i got there to do that and so it was it was actually a lot easier and less overwhelming to do this step but i mean i screwed up trying to make it amends before i did the step at all early on with like six months and and i’m thinking had i done this step i would have had a better understanding and been a little more prepared for when i told somebody something that they didn’t want to hear um i still don’t think like billy was saying i really would have been able to come and and motivate myself from the what i would call today the right place to do a ninth step right i i would have been following through with the motions but i just wouldn’t have had that not at six months yeah good sponsor you would think that you would still like you would that’s a feeling at least i would like to think you would reap the spiritual benefits of just going through the motions i would say it would still be spiritual growth if i made my amends at six months i would probably then have to make those same amends at three years when i got a deeper understanding and then make those same amends when i even got it and i mean look i do this in my life now like i’ve apologized to my wife for the same thing four and five times as i as i grasped the more damage it really did right like i can only see what damage i did on the surface at first and then a little while later a year later he’s like oh [ _ ] that was really [ __ ] up that i did that like now i gotta go say and i do and i go apologize again right but that’s interesting i guess it doesn’t matter in that context i mean most people um from my understanding especially around where i live in harford county don’t make it to eight

spot got me there most people it takes about i want to say between like nine months in a year to go through the steps over most people yeah oh we got the idea it was like a week no no a month there’s different sects of aaa that do that um the more like purists i guess people who are like you gotta do it exactly how the book says um but especially from my understanding my neck of the woods it’s it’s more of like the nine months to a year through the steps um reasonable yeah reasonable but there are still people who go through it real quick i mean they told me to make my first amendments my first time i mean i had a couple months over and like you said i messed it up completely with my dad and it was painful and it took years to fix yeah and when i went back through it and it took me about let’s say 11 or 12 months to get through the steps i wasn’t ready to make that amends yet because i was still working on calling him and having a conversation nonetheless like saying you know an apology and trying to fix it i wasn’t there but you know a lot of people especially the younger guys that i sponsor now we start with family and it’s usually around like 10 11 12 months with these amends with the guys that i’ve sponsored recently start with the mom the dad you know and then go from there ones that like i know you have a relationship with let’s start there let’s get them out of the way and we’ll snowball from there to like tougher ones you know ones that you might get an answer you don’t like and and you’ve kind of already answered this next piece of talking about like generally i was always given the idea that in a a you do the steps once like there was no following through and doing them again and then n a i was always told my experience is that you just keep working through them as soon as you finish 12 you start back over one and you’ve alluded to working these multiple times but that is definitely not what i heard is that i mean i’ve been through steps six six times uh now and different ways like i said the first time i wouldn’t necessarily count that because i didn’t really get through them completely but then i used a step working guide and then i went through it you know right out of the book like the book says to do and then i did this back to basics program which was we actually a group of people went through the steps and you kind of paired up with somebody else who was like your sharing partner for the day who i would you know somebody i didn’t know i would share my certain parts of my forced step with that were pertinent to that time in my life um that was one day of step work went through all 12 steps yeah i mean i’ve been through them a couple of different ways i don’t know if everybody does that a lot of the guys that i kind of run with we’ve been through the steps multiple times and i’ll tell the guys that i sponsor this isn’t going to be your first time or last time we gotta call up jim with his two times through in seven years this guy’s got six times six man yeah and is that so those other sort of programs was that i don’t know how to say this within like the aaa fellowship context or things outside yes it’s just different different ways different recipes to bake the same cake you know it’s it’s people’s what’s worked for them with their sponsor you know chain sponsors i’ve had really three different sponsors during my time three different ways of going through the steps and then you know the back to basics program was was something completely different but yeah i mean everybody does it differently you can get two people who have went through the book the same way and you’re gonna get a different outlook on it from these two people so so i’m curious and this is something i have always wondered because when i first got clean i was told by my sponsor that all the guys in a.a didn’t drink but they still like snorted coke and smoked wheat and [ _ ] and so i always thought that was interesting i was like i’m sure at this point in my life i’m like i’m sure there are people who probably believe that right that probably live that and [ _ ] but in general do alcoholics really think that their only problem is alcohol or do people in aaa meetings understand that they’re talking about addiction yeah this is a complete aaa is a completely abstinent space program of everything everything that’s weird everything don’t you find that weird

no really um i mean right now that’s that’s a tough question because like i know personally that i can’t do i mean i’m here because of heroin right you know i’m not i wasn’t ever really that big of a drinker it’s just i’m just naa so i know that i can’t put any substance into my body that’s mind or mood altering you know if i do it’s got to come from a doctor who i have tried other methods of solving this problem or i’ve had some sort of catastrophic injury you know that’s how i think about it i don’t think that you know we ever talk about oh you could do a little bit of this or a little bit of that you know it’s it’s everything it’s completely abstinence-based so nobody’s like up there getting sober medallions or coins or whatever the hell they got chips and and you know they’re dabbling on the side just no i didn’t say smoking weed there are there i mean i’m sure it’s the same in n.a too i mean people lie about clean time well i i i’m thinking people who aren’t lying yeah who are saying this yeah they’ll claim sober or more the thing is say like look i’m sober i haven’t drank in eight years but i smoke weed every day like there are those people yeah and so i guess in na like yeah obviously there’s people that lie about being clean but that always happens well i see i see plenty of people who you know will post on their social media oh i haven’t you know it’s been six years and i’m like yeah well i know you do this so see i don’t know what they’re thinking yeah are they thinking that you know i’m i’ve been in aaa before so i don’t i don’t know yeah it’s weird well and this sort of ties into some of that and again i’m going back to what i can’t say it’s been my personal experience but what i’ve heard or what people have said is that if you go to certain meetings and talk about drugs or using that you’ll be told you know we don’t talk about that here or that isn’t where we deal with that there’s another place for you to go and it’s not here yeah and so that’s sort of why it’s sometimes like well how come and if you have a drug problem you would go there if you’re told it’s not okay to talk about that there like that seems weird that’s definitely something that still happens um you know i still say that yeah you can get some salty old-timers who will be like you know we don’t talk about that here there’s a fellowship for you are there meetings that you go to aaa meetings where everybody’s talking about heroin absolutely absolutely that’s weird there’s meetings where almost 100 of the people in there are in there for heroin and yeah but there are those meetings with those old-timers who are like you know there’s a fellowship for you how i don’t go to those meetings how many pure alcoholics are there that literally never took a pain pill never snorted a line of coke just alcohol how many of that’s got to be a very small number these days i would say how it’s immediate in my circle the circles that you know i run with

i could probably tell you one or two huh i didn’t think there’d be any bears it is few and far between man yeah yeah that’s weird but yeah i mean i don’t the good thing about that is like you don’t have to go to those meetings you know it’s a it’s a crotchety old-timer who’s stuck in his ways and don’t go to it it is but i gotta say this is kind of [ _ ] up to me so i read a piece of literature one time it was a pamphlet it talked about why they don’t talk about drugs in their meetings and how it could ultimately if they don’t put a stop to that there could eventually ultimately one day be a meeting where an alcoholic just alcoholic walks in and doesn’t relate in right he compares out because he’s like these [ _ ] are talking about shooting heroin and this that and the other and he could die and not hear the message right and so i i kind of as much as i hated it i i respected it i was like well that does kind of have a point and so i wonder like with people not really upholding that i get it that guy’s kind of a bitter old guy who’s holding on to some old [ _ ] but at the same time this is where i get really confused and i think billy was kind of alluding to this like and don’t get me wrong i get why you went there right you you met a guy in your rehab he made it seem comfortable and inviting he clicked with him makes total sense why you went but in my mind i’m like this is why it doesn’t make any [ _ ] sense when

Heroin addicts go to AA

heroin addicts go to aaa and this is why alcoholics at some point might die because the [ _ ] meeting is full of heroin addicts and a a like this is why we have n a what the [ _ ] is going on and i’m not trying to be no i i’m glad you brought that up because i don’t get it you’re you’re absolutely right i mean it’s important to the fact that there is multiple fellowships right there’s a a there’s n a there’s all these other a’s um when you have a a which is alcoholics anonymous people will come to alcoholics anonymous let’s say there’s some guy who lives under a rock never heard of any other of these things never heard of treatment and he comes to an aaa meeting because he’s got a drinking problem right

so he comes to aa thinking that this is a fellowship of people who one time had a drinking problem and they figured out a way to deal with it if there’s 20 young kids in there just talking about heroin you’re right he’s going to say well this isn’t the place for me so it is as far as traditions go and it’s important to uphold that i think that some of the things that i do to make sure that i’m in line with aaa traditions is if i’m at a meeting where or if there’s a newcomer in a meeting i make sure that we first talk about aaa what a is i i don’t talk about a bunch of drugs and i don’t get graphic with anything i make sure the person feels comfortable that they’re here for a reason the reason that they think they’re here you know is that it’s a room full of drunks when i share in a meeting and i don’t know everybody in the room i say drink and i feel i put that in for every other drug in my story just because it’s the tradition of a like you said i want to make sure that if somebody’s here for just alcohol that they feel comfortable we could talk about more after the meeting you know you can substitute and i’ll say during my share you you can substitute anything you want into it you know i’ve done plenty of other substances we could talk about that after the meeting but you know i i just and and maybe this is me being my own little stickler which is very like me so that’s fair um but like if i had a problem with going out and buying prostitutes every day i wouldn’t go to gambling anonymous to try to fix it and not talk about the actual exact problem right i wouldn’t substitute uh glory hole for gambling dead or whatever the hell yeah that was a terrible analogy but whatever like it made sense to me right right so i just don’t get it like wouldn’t it make a lot more sense if heroin addicts went to na and alcoholics went to a.a and and this was kind of my theory and this was more like some carryover thinking from my early days when i had a sponsor who hated aaa and all that [ _ ] right and it was more like a a would die off at this point honestly uh but what are some reasons that people who use drugs go to alcoholics anonymous instead like i know there’s billy’s talked about location and there might not be an n a meeting um is it social acceptability to be an alcoholic over an addict or is there something else that really is you went for comfort because you ran into somebody who happened to be apart from your face yeah what what other reasons so i think there’s you know you brought up the like the stigma aspect of it you know it’s you know i mean we know it’s way more acceptable to drink than it is use heroin in 2021 i still think so yeah and a professional well yeah it’s more acceptable to drink than to use heroin currently yes you can’t say i’m going out to bang a few heroines after work right i get that but i think the recovery aspect if you’ve got five ten years i don’t think there’s that much difference in them personally maybe that’s me you’re skewed i would think in a place of business really in

AA

a in a professional setting if you told your coworkers you went to aaa or you told them that you went to n a there would be a very different stigma yeah well [ _ ] them people yeah i agree okay so i definitely think that’s there um accessibility you know i still think i mean there’s way more i’m guessing there’s way more aaa meetings than there are ina meetings really i would venture to say so so yeah it’s surprising actually cecil harford county yeah i don’t know how they divide up their areas and yeah i think how many districts kind of includes harvard county like during a week we at one point before covid had about 150 a week a week oh that’s definitely more oh that’s way more yeah what about in baltimore though i feel like baltimore’s got like 582 n a meetings yeah but three quarters of them don’t actually meet even though they’re on the schedule so our schedules other websites is bad i haven’t been doing any websites that’s recently yeah we got some pretty rough ones yeah yeah but so there are quite a few more meetings that sounds i think so i i would venture to say so i mean i’m just looking you know if we go down and i was talking about this with somebody the other day just like these more um you know like marijuana anonymous and cocaine anonymous like you’re only going to be able to find some of these meetings in major metropolitan areas you know so i think it scales up to aaa as being around the longest there’s probably more aaa meetings well in our experience traveling is the more rural you get the harder and harder it is to find anything but aaa meetings i mean we’ve been in areas where even as the grand canyon so we spent some time out in the grand canyon and that are they actually in the canyon uh there was a meeting in well at the top south rim right uh but yeah they you know they only had aaa meetings there weren’t any meetings around i get that in rural areas and i totally buy in i’m like yeah that makes sense there’s more aaa out here it’s more acceptable for you know more even then you’re talking a super limited like two three a week not many but there’s none of the other ones and i’m not i guess i am doubting you i don’t want to say you’re wrong right but i would really be curious the numbers in more metropolitan city areas to see if it’s more equal or if aaa still skews way more because i’m shocked by that honestly i would think i would think if anything they’re more equal it but in certain areas it’s probably close i wonder if there’s a cultural piece to it too i mean it just means like why do people go to nfc well or i mean white sort of hate to say this but almost equals affluent but when you have an affluent drug users compared to like inner city drug users you know i mean through my experience i know it’s kind of like that in washington dc right you know i know plenty of you know affluent people who might have a really good job too and i know that they you know they’re in there for a certain thing but they’re going to aaa how many black aaa members you got over there in norfolk it’s not a lot wow it’s not a lot yeah do you think aas were and i’m not saying this about you lewis i swear to god but do you think aas were like maybe more traditional christian possibly slightly still racist people go i don’t i wouldn’t i wouldn’t say that’s the motivation no i would say it’s just an and result because i mean just to be honest there is a certain level of behavior to uh what a i don’t know what you call a lower and heroin addict that’s gonna do anything to use you know versus someone who’s got parents with money who doesn’t have to resort to the same stuff is aa just a sober vfw is that all the [ _ ] this is now yeah with a golf course behind it and none of it on like it is [ _ ] me talking out of my ass now but none of it on purpose it’s all just where you’re comfortable like you’re gonna go where you’re comfortable you know and if i went to a meeting in the city with a bunch of people that i wasn’t really comfortable with i don’t know how often i would keep going back i would search out a meeting that i felt more comfortable at whether that means a bunch of other white guys or just people that used like me or had a similar story to me you know i wasn’t a crackhead so it’s sometimes hard to relate when someone starts talking about the crazy [ _ ] that goes along i never delve through the carpet picking [ _ ] out of the carpet or peep through the blinds you know thinking the cops were there like that’s just not anything that i ever really experienced man i’ve never before been thankful that i was a multi-drug user i did i didn’t like hair uh crack that much i like i like the small better but anyway it’s just you know i like i just didn’t have that experience so if i went to a meeting no matter what they looked like and it was 10 people sit around talking about crack yeah i probably wouldn’t go back that much i mean if they stayed with the feelings and got away from the specifics behaviors it would be easier but you know that doesn’t happen all the time i don’t know i feel like i came in here and i might end up being more judgmental at the end of this like is this about the races go but but like you said not on purpose but just people who are seeking out and people who are less comfortable getting outside their box sometimes right might like to associate more with people more like them and that could you know the socioeconomic statuses the different levels of that that’s interesting i think it i think it comes down to region as well too oh yeah you know i mean i don’t know the numbers but you know i’ll make them up we do 60 of the 70 there you go no but just to tie into what you said i would imagine i can’t say this for sure but aaa meetings in towson area of baltimore probably have a way different makeup than aaa meetings in hampden you know what i mean like those two areas are going to have a very different feel and vibe and you know thing going on clientele if you will to the to the meeting now they’re fancy yeah yeah we’ve only only the towson aaa has clientele yeah the hampton aaa’s just got some [ _ ] people we got homeless bums i’m fine with uh [ _ ] on towson too we have a long-standing beef oh okay good yeah [ __ ] up yeah yeah rich pastor this episode has been brought to you in part by voices of hope inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at www.voicesofhopemaryland.org and consider donating to our calls

i mean i ended up in n a solely because when i got into recovery uh the places that i went said young people are over here go to these meetings and so i ended up in n a meetings it’s almost and i didn’t necessarily pick it’s not like i went to both and then said oh this one fits me better it was almost like you know you had mentioned like someone said you should go over here so i went over there and that’s all that went into the thinking behind it you say that but if anybody would have said hey heroin addict there’s alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous i’m pretty sure you chose the n a meeting like that’s how i felt like yeah obviously i’m not well and it depends on how you frame the question so if they said hey you can go over to these meetings there’s a bunch of crazy old biker dudes and meth heads over there and there’s a bunch of well-established people with some real recovery over here i might have made a different choice you know and that could be how it is in some regions with you know with the disparity between aaa and n a you know you could have a lot of really strong sobriety in certain areas just in aaa and then just maybe not that strong at any you know why because all the [ _ ] drug addicts are going to aaa instead of spreading themselves around they’re all over identifying as alcoholics that’s the problem that’s why we got no leadership wrapping them up like draft picks all the leadership took a step up do people in a a that alcoholism is different than addiction no okay i was always curious about that i mean we had a guy on here that says it is uh what’s his name [ _ ] the hundred percent success rate yeah i want to call him ricky bobby rob kelly rob kelly yeah rob kelly uh says that he thinks alcoholism is different than addiction and you’re like who the [ _ ] rob kelly right yeah the addiction doctor apparently i don’t know we had him on it interesting super likeable to that episode it’s pretty fun yeah i’m not sure i bought in when he said that but that was definitely he said through his research he felt like there was a [ _ ] brain he said in the chemistry in the brain yeah i don’t know i the things he described that made you a true alcoholic are the exact same things i feel like makes me a true addict honestly right i don’t know but i mean i i don’t believe that there’s any difference i mean it’s coming from somebody who’s you know probably should have a seat at the n a meeting anyway but uh why are we trusting his information he’s confused true alcoholic they don’t exist but i work with plenty of them who you know there is no during a meeting there is no wavering on the any difference between alcoholism and addiction you know there’s never any talk of well we’re different because we’re alcoholics you know there’s it’s the same what about the whole california sober idea here come on

i mean so this

California Sober

california sober thing yeah this was exactly what like my first sponsor kind of sold me as what a.a was about so can you explain that i’ve heard the term i think i know what it means but generally just that you don’t drink alcohol but like you know chilling out with some weed and hanging out and and maybe i guess some pills or this or that or the other but basically you just don’t drink is the main point of it i’m pretty sure they would frown upon you know shooting heroin or something too but but generally like drugs are okay for a good time recreationally yeah but no drinking though no matter what i mean that might work for some people you know the a book it says that there’s different kinds of alcoholics right there’s the manic depressive there’s the problem drinker and there’s the true alcoholic i don’t know even where i fit into that yeah you know i don’t know where you guys might fit into that i don’t know where somebody who thinks and is successful with this california sober thing fits into that but i mean not everybody who’s in an aaa meeting might be necessarily have to be there uh if na had three different qualifications for different types of addicts we would judge the [ _ ] out of each other we would be like no no the manic depressive addict is an [ _ ] he’s the worst yours only accounts for half of them right right we need the true addicts in here but that’s that’s something that in my experience has gotten um a.a into trouble in bel air uh there’s been times you know since i’ve been

Sober

sober where there’s a certain small sect of people who are like you know you’re not doing the steps the right way and only true alcoholics should be sponsoring people and it gets way into cult type stuff and those people go away so we don’t that’s not necessarily something you it’s in the book like i said not all of its super pertinent information but it is in the book we just think about the wright brothers help me stay sober

you said you didn’t have a lot of experiences going to n a meetings or you went to a few or just i’ve been to a few n a meetings i mean i don’t see any fundamental difference you know between the aaa that i’m used to in and and a i really don’t see any difference i mean you guys have a different book that’s probably got a lot of the same type stuff in it no we don’t talk about the wright brothers at all i mean the steps though or you know um i don’t see any real difference i i mean personally i just think it’s just about where you land at this day and age i i do take into effect into affect the traditions that you brought up it is important to keep aaa as a a for the newcomer who’s coming in but once you get here i mean it’s really all the same thing isn’t it is it important though are we creating and perpetuating stigma by keeping this idea of alcoholics separate from the idea of addicts like oh well if you’re an alcoholic you can be more socially acceptable if you’re an addict or not should we just make two anonymous programs at this point if you guys want to merge them all we can start leading the charts

we don’t think any of it we’re going to fix everyone’s problem with our program yeah are all these programs working the same 12 steps pretty much are they so that seems to be an area where people would at least again traditionally what i’ve heard in

NA

n a is that through a a and saying alcohol you’re only a dealing with a substance whereas addict deals with the all-encompassing like the spiritual self-centeredness around all your behavior so addiction can manifest through sex money gambling whatever and where alcohol or just using the word alcohol focuses specifically on substance yeah well we we do that too it’s it’s a lot of the behaviors you know people come in and they are problem gamblers and they’re running around on their you know spouses or whatever it gets getting down to the root causes and conditions is prevalent throughout aaa too i mean we talk about i mean we have the sex inventory list on the fourth step and page 69 and you know the uh one thing i like about yours i got that one right good place for it we we have all that stuff and you’ll through a good run through the steps if you got a good sponsor and you’re working a good honest program you’re gonna cover all that stuff too so it’s a good honest program yeah i mean you gotta be honest if you go through it like i did my first time you’re like i just ate my mom and dad you know you’re not gonna get anything especially in the young crowd you may hear this do they still say you go to n a to get laid you go to a a to get recovery that’s a an old cliche that i heard we got a lot of long-standing beefs between a and m yeah what is that i don’t know but i go to n a and that’s not working neither of them i i don’t know i just i was like an old again most of what i know goes back like 20 years i haven’t been i think there’s uh some misinformation about the amount of sobriety in n a and i think that a a people think there’s just more sober people in a with longer amounts of time and i mean there’s a lot of you know we’ll say like i mean go to n a but you’ll you won’t get through the done the steps through your 4d so you know things like that might be true i mean most of us don’t get here till 54 so probably averaging it out sure yeah that’s always something that i just really i don’t understand that part of it why it takes so long and you know i know you know the step working guide but i’ve heard people going through a step a year and that seems outrageous to me i don’t think it’s that the process itself actually takes that long i think what happens is like you get clean you get 90 days you finally choose a sponsor or whatever if you take that long right you get into step one it’s a [ _ ] ton of questions it really is like 96 69 so that’s why guys i sponsor that are new i don’t do the step working guide with them i give them something else i don’t blame you that’s part of why because that’s [ _ ] you open this book and there’s all these questions like this is like homework but either way you you run through that because you don’t even have a job yet then you start to get a job step two is not quite as bad so you get through it three you start to get into four four is a [ _ ] time-consuming step with all the writing it is right yeah and it’s not so much that it really the process takes that long i think at different portions in time when you’re going from four through twelve there’s times where life gets busy oh hey look i made a family i bought a house i’m working 70 hours this week and you set it down for quite extended periods of time until you get miserable yeah and then you pick it back up and so it’s a lot of these like three to six month breaks in it is what i think it is i don’t think it’s the fact that the yeah i mean for me specifically was that you know i went through my first three steps in the first couple of months because i didn’t have anything else a lot going on i yeah yeah and the same for me right my first time too through took quite a bit um but i have noticed that if i steadily work at a very easy convenient pace for me that doesn’t seem overwhelming three two steps a year is not a problem at all three by four but that is a downside to the to all the writing and the step guide and all the questions is it does seem like a lot i mean i’m in between working a step right now and i got to pick it up and start it i’m like [ _ ] this is like a commitment it’s not like i can just go talk to my sponsor for an afternoon we can go [ _ ] have a hot dog and you know well what the [ _ ] out on the backbone have a conversation about step three it’s like i gotta do all this [ _ ] homework it’s gonna be like three hours four hours of writing i justifiably set down six in last september and have not yet picked it up yeah i mean i that just is something that i don’t know if i understand enough to have a decent opinion on it but that seems like too long it is i mean that’s a valid criticism yeah my point would be where the [ _ ] you going wow if you want relief when do you want it well and my justification now is well i’ve been through the steps once already like what you know now it’s different i want to be more thorough i want to be more engaging but even the first time through we could definitely do more pushy and and it is again not being at many aaa meetings in our meetings it’s almost upsetting when people don’t talk about working the steps as the program and there does seem to be a lot of that and it’s people talk about oh i’m living the program and all this stuff what step you on when’s the last time you picked it up oh i you know i [ _ ] don’t even talk to my sponsor when i talk about the program i’m talking about i go to my home group i hang out afterwards with some clean people and yeah you know we hang out on the weekends and we don’t do drugs like that’s the program like no that’s not it is that is that an aaa too the

12 Steps

12 steps are the program but yeah i mean do you experience oh you see plenty of people who you know will come to meetings and you know they might be going to seven ten meetings a week and they go out and get coffee with you afterwards and go to the diner but they’re not doing anything oh yeah meeting makers make it right i mean the steps are the program the book is the steps you know it’s just but i feel like something i try to easily get lost in our meetings how important that is i mean oh man we’re gonna make up percentages again i would say half the meetings i’ve been to in the last eight years never mentioned a step not from any one chair of anybody so i try to be that person that’s what i’ve learned that’s my responsibility but i don’t know that [ _ ] helps but yeah gotta slip it in there somewhere and that’s always been my i don’t even know if it’s a criticism but i guess it’s just misinformation that’s in my head just about and then something that i question is like why does it take so long why are we waiting so long to go through this life-saving work yeah well and i think from from my perspective which is more justifying why we do because that’s where i’m at i justify for you marshall

i would say when i say the statement like where the [ _ ] you going right yeah i say that to mean kind of what we talked about earlier i don’t think i could have experienced the understanding of these steps that i got later yeah any sooner no matter how quick i worked them right the the understanding in my body came long after i worked them anyway so what was the rush to get them done why not sit down and be thorough right right i wasn’t gonna like i i picked up on the concepts and the spiritual principles of the steps just by being around like oh hey we suggest you show up and be of service and get back right well okay i’m working step 12 now man you should probably like pray and like try not to keep so busy oh well i kind of understand 11 now hey don’t forget when you’re making mistakes to keep a daily record of that right and and may try to change them oh [ _ ] well i’m working 10 already it wasn’t about i think we start to apply them in our life long before we physically write them out on paper and when we’re writing them it’s not about the rush it’s about hey let me try to thoroughly examine myself as i go through this there’s no rush i’m not going nowhere it’s hopefully true yeah you’re way better than me i was like oh [ _ ] i’m not on 10 yet and i don’t have to do that at all i’ll do that when i get there just sounding good billy i was just trying to have sex early in recovery not worried about it right just sounded like a good defense it’s like oh [ _ ] she’s on steps sold there for a minute well she’s on six and i sleep with her and she’s on seven i’ve worked 13 steps that’s great osmosis so in n a and well no let me not say an n a because i’ve heard this is different in other areas i’ve seen a lot of people online complain that they’ve gone to n a and maybe this was just their perception or maybe it’s different in their area but they’ve complained that it felt not religious but definitely too pointed towards a christian type god from the na fellowship in their area right and like i said maybe that was just their perception maybe they just went to a meet and saw to step on the wall and were pissed off and left no idea my experience in the baltimore area has always been like people really defend the idea to a higher power of your understanding atheist whatever the [ _ ] buddha whoever flying spaghetti monster whatever bro that [ _ ] is yours don’t let anybody take it from you right to the point where like somebody might mention uh old jc in the meeting and uh and that gets pooh-poohed right people hey you can’t talk about that [ _ ] here take that somewhere else right i don’t feel like that is the idea around aa whatsoever i feel like it’s a lot less defended do they do they buy into the concept of freedom of choice of your god i mean absolutely you can you are i think the i don’t know if the amount of times god is said in the literature is more than n a i’m guessing it probably is just because i think they say jesus substituted that guy rob kelly said they said jesus on page 11 in the big book i don’t think i see jesus i don’t know i don’t have a [ _ ] baby yeah i would be pretty stunned of kind of dancing around it and capitalizing you know phrases like the broad highway and things like that [ _ ] is that if you capitalize something it’s supposed to mean like is that where the wright brothers flew the highway it’s not capitalized uh there’s nothing about religion in the big book don’t y’all end your meetings with the damn with the lord’s prayer yes that’s pretty religious it is how the [ _ ] does that work some people are really uncomfortable with that i i think i was at one point too i don’t think i wanted to hold anybody’s hand either you hold hands yeah yeah we put our arms around people that’s way cooler yeah we gotta hug your arms way better yeah i don’t know though i feel like i shake hands i feel like i’m closing a deal right all right got business meeting how you doing bob i feel like some women might be more comfortable with the holding hands in the circle though just because it’s less violating yeah with holding hands but but yeah i definitely dig the hugs but the handshakes so and this is going to be maybe a dumb question hold on did he defend the lord’s prayer yet um tradition that’s really probably most of it yeah it’s like the language in the book it’s absolutely right i think it’s tradition and you know i’ve my home group we end with actually sometimes it’s the lord’s prayer sometimes it’s a serenity prayer sometimes i feel a little bit uncomfortable with the lord’s prayer i don’t know why it’s there it talks about heaven and hell yeah religion specifically oh absolutely maybe it’s like the addicts in a.a need to be overly sin i mean the addicts in na need to be overly cynical and critical of every single minor decision and people in aaa are just more accepting like man whatever it’s tradition [ __ ] it god damn it billy i’m highly offended by this lord’s prayer in these meetings i don’t go to bothers me greatly

i can see how that would be off-putting to some people it’s a little weird i there was a guy who started an a meet and i had joined that home group and they were saying that at the end and i was like i do not [ _ ] like this at my home group like but in general at this point in my life i don’t give a [ _ ] what other people do yeah but we’ve been so bad like jewish people who are muslim people yeah say that lord yeah yeah that would be really weird it’s not very inclusive yeah it’s not hmm what were you on yourself oh so does uh i mean i’ve heard of like spiritual retreats and things in aaa do they have conventions and other i guess lots of activities i guess that they call unity or something yeah we have we have plenty um they do bingo we do a lot of bingo yeah yeah one time i was in a uh i was in like a gsr meeting like a group service you know meeting i was the chair for my home group and we were talking about events that we could hold to you know possibly raise some money you know to spend on you know coins and things like that and i brought up bingo and there were some old timers there who was like oh so now we support gambling i’m like oh [ _ ] i never even thought about that no no no i actually kind of agree with them i was making fun of them being old white guys playing bingo but i kind of agree with that point that is a it is a point i don’t believe i’m not affected by gambling but i could see 50 50 is gambling yeah gambling for sure 350 that’s what that was that was part of my argument like finally i see the [ _ ] bingo is over the top that’s the line right there right yeah throwing balls into it it changes everything

what about the board that falls in the middle that’s a gray area what events do you guys have i mean there’s dances there’s sock hops they call cops

there’s bingo there’s breakfast um do you have a speaker at your breakfast yeah we do same thing yeah we had paintball one time just saying just once that’s pretty cool all right was that like a yeah just one district-wide event yeah we called here area yeah but yeah same [ __ ] inner group there’s an area

i don’t know what your inner group is but yeah they did a paintball once i tried to talk my old area into laser tag and they kept being like well you should join the goddamn events committee and i’m like i don’t have time i just want to play laser tag i just want to throw an idea and then come to that event yes i just want to not go to another goddamn dance where i sit there and look at people everybody dances frustrated do they have anything cool we got conventions i mean you guys got conventions too so you know we’ve got young people’s aaa which is waipa events ypaa young people say damn they just discriminate automatically don’t even worry about it they do it from the top level there’s plenty of like wi-fi events all over the world which are tech i mean usually more like cooler stuff like paintball and things like that usually they’re trying to raise money to have a bigger conference what’s the cut off age for that it’s just young at heart man it’s almost like young and hard tie your hair dye your hair a lot of people come there might have got sober young hair transplant might be like 70 now and got sober young it’s a little weird i’ll tell you the one i think the biggest thing i’m jealous of is when you go on like a cruise or something and they’re gonna have a meeting and it’s like just says like 7pm friends of bill like that’s [ _ ] so cool yeah yeah and you hear it at airports too can i have a friend of bill come to gate c right that’s so cool sometimes and somebody is like recognizing me i’d be like you

Friends with Bill

friends with bill yes that is yeah so someone said that to me early on and you know they knew my wife and this first time i met him and she’s like oh you’re friends with bill w and i’m like i don’t who is he like what’s he look like like i didn’t get the rest met him before yeah right i might have met him before and she laughed because she realized immediately like i had no [ _ ] clue what she was talking about that’s hilarious and then i needed them to explain it to me i’m like oh okay yeah i got it i’ve seen friends of was it friends of jimmy on like boats before and yeah yeah and see i would know that in a minute if you said oh friends of jimmy k like i would know that reference i’ve seen that that’s the only time i purposefully identify with a.a and i don’t even go to the meeting but just with whoever i’m with because i want to be like i’m cool i’m like yeah yeah i’m friends with bill it’s cool i know i know what that means i’m allowed at this

i’m on the list [ __ ] i don’t know well are there ever any times where you’ve met people or seen people where you thought well you know maybe you should go check out n a or maybe that would be a better fit that’s a good ass question yeah

i mean you also work in treatment offices and that’s that’s going to skew my answer a little bit because that’s okay that’s i mean that’s when i’m when i’m in a treatment setting it also depends on you know it could depend on age where they’re going home to whether i know some people who are in that area who might be in n a um if they’ve had experience with aaa that didn’t necessarily work out they got blue if they want something different earrings anybody that’s wearing cookie monster pajamas if they’re going out there outdoor attire if they’re going home to his area and he doesn’t think they’re gonna stay clean let’s check out the enemies around there

i mean i i would recommend look honestly to my core i believe it’s it’s one in the same but it depends on in a professional sense sometimes it’s like where are you going home to who do i know in that area that i could kind of be your almost like in between to meet somebody who’s sober in n a um so yeah i’ll recommend it a lot bra size yeah yeah that’s that’s huge hey i mean how much free time you’ve got to work with

right free time

all right i’m i’m going to chomp down here chill you got anything else i don’t think so what’s your uh you you really do believe both programs are the same thing yeah i do i believe that i believe that we’re doing the same work right we’re going through the step trust god clean house help others you know that’s what we’re all doing you know a n a was i think created and correct me if i’m wrong as a more inclusive way through the steps a more inclusive fellowship i think aa has kind of turned into that it might not be following the tradition of aaa as it’s written but i think we’re doing the same work i think if i would have you know for example ended up in n a and i had you know the same kind of people that were teaching me how to go through the steps and help other people i think i’d probably be in the same boat yeah and i mean just my limited experience with again traveling we spent some time out in utah very few meetings there was mostly aaa meetings that we went to and of the five people that went to the meeting like two of the people were like yeah it’s exactly the same [ _ ] and we started an a meeting and then the other like three guys were like no [ _ ] that we’re only over here like it was just you know it was almost like a divide and and they were all very supportive they were like oh yeah you go do that in a meeting that’s great but they’re like that’s not for us that’s just for you guys like it it was something different so it was interesting i would say at this point because i’ve heard of so many people with your type story that go to aaa exclusively i would say we there probably is basically the same [ _ ] in both places but i don’t think that an aaa that’s following the literature per se like i think their literature is still very different from what irish says i guess and i still i hope one day i can let go of the fact that i’m just like picky about the whole you’re a [ _ ] addict go to an attic meeting there right like i just hope that one day i get to a place where i can let that [ _ ] go because what the [ _ ] does it matter what i think right people are getting happy and healthy why do i care where and why do i need to be a stickler to wording well i think that the book needs to be updated that is my you know just one person i mean the [ __ ] i’m a drunk yes i think that the book needs to be updated i mean you’re a heroin addict in an aaa meeting i don’t know why i don’t know why we’re taking any of your suggestions really

but i mean i you know i love a.a you know i’m never gonna switch i don’t find any reason to i got everything i need in aa yeah like i said the book’s a little outdated but it’s all in there and areas and different stuff change so it we’ve been in areas where one fellowship was stronger we’ve been in areas where the other fellowship was stronger and it just that can depend just on the i don’t know what you call it home crowd or the area itself you know which one’s more supported and more recovery and more attendant yeah i i mean i’m pretty sure i would never switch here but if i had to move i can’t be sure of that right because it would all depend on what it was like i might go to dna somewhere else it might be junk or not serious in that area or there might not be any n a or something like so i i can’t say i’d never switch but i can’t imagine yeah i considered it in this immediate area recently when i was looking for a sponsor because i didn’t have anyone right in this immediate area that appealed to me let’s go to a [ _ ] very much i mean billy so i let’s swap well i mean there was someone that i did you know end up picking that was right in harford county which is still our same area and it’s someone that i could easily maintain a relationship with and i know that if i drove 45 minutes down to baltimore and that area i could easily find someone i just am totally unwilling to drive a half an hour it seems so far busy you know i want to drive five minutes um but i thought about hitting some aaa meetings to find a sponsor directly in this immediately if you talk to anybody that got cleaned in the early 80s from the baltimore area and i don’t know what it was like up here at that point but in the 80s in the baltimore area there were not even seven n a meetings for the week in the early 80s and so everybody did both like it’s just what you did to get a meeting every day and none of them had any problem with it right so it’s almost like as n a meetings picked up and there became one for each day even though this was all over the city not like in your local area people started having the ability to have resentments against a.a and not like it right like before that there wasn’t even that that was you needed a.a you needed everything so i guess it’s a blessing we’re in the place where we can make fun of each other and and dislike each other like there’s plenty of places to go am i delving into some n a history and having more whatever mature sponsors that know a little bit about that history have always had nothing but respectful things to say about aaa and that fellowship and you know getting all this started i mean that’s where all these things came from so yeah they all owe all that credit to bill wilson and dr bob for coming up with you know this formula that they came up with now we’re [ _ ] splitting hairs on you know are you addicted to this or that are you opiates are you yeah we’re blessed yeah that’s definitely not a bad problem right i’m glad that if somebody has a bad experience with n a there’s a different meeting if somebody comes to me and they have a bad experience with aaa there’s a different kind of meeting if you don’t like the people that are at your meeting find a different one if you don’t like the program find a different one there’s plenty if you don’t like shuffleboard and playing bridge and [ __ ] you can come to n a yeah yeah and knives and you’re reading something if you’re scratching out first i’ll leave my phone number we’d be happy to have you okay man louis thank you so much for coming on thank you lewis we appreciate it being a good sport yeah i think you know dispelling a lot of the myths that i’ve heard over time and and just having a good time talking about it too it’s a blast yeah so if you’re out there if you’re considering which program to go to do whatever man check them all out go to six meetings of each type and see which one you like better wherever you’re comfortable wherever you feel home same 12 steps same freedom all right see you see you

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