Revealing Our Top Ten Recovery Truths We’ve Learned Thus Far | The Way Out Podcast Episode 300

Summary

I’m Charlie in this 300th rendition of the They Way Out we’re counting down our top ten recovery truths we’ve collectively learned up to this point from each of our individual recovery journeys as well as through the work we’ve done on this very podcast. Each and every person we’ve had the distinct honor of having on the show has taught us and reinforced universal recovery truths that have had a profound impact on our individual recoveries, and therefore our lives and we’ve been able to increasingly incorporate this collective truth into each episode for the sole purpose of aiding you, The Way Out Podcast listener in your journey to and through recovery. Regardless of where you are in that journey, our primary purpose is to Recover Out Loud with as much spiritual and recovery truth as possible so that others understand that Recovery is not only possible, it’s absolutely worth every ounce of effort we put toward it. What’s about to unfold before your very ears is our best effort in presenting a culmination of everything we’ve learned through our individual recovery programs and journeys as well as everything everyone has taught us about Recovery so listen up.

*It has come to our attention that we neglected to cover #7 (Self-Care is critical to our recovery and well-being) on our Top Ten List of Recovery Truths in this episode. Our bad! Just another example of how easy it is to neglect self-care! The good news is that we’ve done two entire episodes on this topic, so check ’em out:

Episode 174 – https://tinyurl.com/yz7rnat5

Episode 128 – https://tinyurl.com/2p93xhy8

Top Ten Recovery Truths We’ve Learned Thus Far:

https://1drv.ms/b/s!Agoc2NGKvVF2malvs3e9rzfKLFgYyw?e=bpIpIB

Blog post referenced in this episode:

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

Out of the Dark and into the Light with Vincent Garrett | The Way Out Podcast Episode 299

Summary

In this edition of the The Way Out the finest recovery podcast co-host in all the land had the distinct pleasure of talking with Vince Garrett and as you all will soon find out they had a ton in common. This commonality is no more evident than when they delve into the depravity that intravenous drug use brought out of them in their respective active addictions, such as the insane, reckless things they were capable of just to feed the proverbial monkey on their backs. On the flip side Jason and Vince also discuss the tremendous blessings that came from finding a safe space to share, and how the God of their respective understanding works in the most unexpected ways! Without question this discussion goes unflinchingly deep into the dark spaces and unapologetically into all of the light places so listen up.

Contact Vince- siwatugarrett@gmail.com

Book recommendation: Narcotics Anonymous: How it works and Why

Best Advice: “Do what’s right in front of you”

Song that symbolizes recovery: Don’t Give Up by Gil Scott Heron

Don’t forget to check out “The Way Out Playlist” available only on Spotify. Curated by all our wonderful guests on the podcast!

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love with Amanda White | The Way Out Podcast Episode 298

Summary

In this rendition of The Way Out I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you what turned out to be a conversation that was at once extremely resonant and outright entertaining with Amanda White. Amanda is a licensed therapist, author of the new book Not Drinking Tonight – A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love, and person in long term recovery since 2015. Perhaps one of the most enlightening aspects of Amanda’s recovery is the immutable truth that our last bottom doesn’t have to be our lowest or worst bottom, that we don’t have to hit a proverbial rock bottom, and then ultimately our bottom is when we stop digging. Equally as instructive is the undeniable value of adding therapy to our program of recovery, especially if we have experienced trauma, adverse childhood experiences, or have a mental health issue. Finally, as you’ll soon hear, much of the work Amanda does professionally and writes about in her new book is centered on the truth that we are not stuck with our default thought and behavior reaction patterns for eternity, that indeed we can change and choose to mindfully respond instead of reacting to our counterproductive auto-thoughts. Often referred to as emotional sobriety in 12-Step recovery and an aspect of recovery we work hard to highlight and demystify, this next level recovery allows us to recognize these counterproductive auto-thoughts, pause, and then make a choice to act in a way that’s consistent with the people we truly want to be – and that my brothers and sisters is more than half the battle and what it looks like to get out of our own way so we can authentically connect to ourselves and then others in a meaningful way. Amanda shares with us her journey to and through recovery to this point with disarming humor, clear insight, and with the unique perspective of a licensed therapist who’s herself in recovery so listen up.

Contact Amanda:

https://amandaewhite.com/

More about Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love:

https://amandaewhite.com/book

Recovery literature (Quit-Lit) recommendation – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown:

https://brenebrown.com/book/daring-greatly/

Best piece of Recovery advice – Willingness without action is fantasy. We can be willing to be willing!

Song that symbolizes Recovery: Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

Don’t forget to check out “The Way Out Playlist” available only on Spotify. Curated by all our wonderful guests on the podcast!

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

The Journey to a God of My Understanding

By Charles LeVoir

My history with God prior to entering recovery in December 2014: 

I was raised Roman Catholic largely through my mother’s insistence that all three of us boys be raised and confirmed in the Catholic faith. I hated church (except some of the singing, which I secretly liked). My mom was diagnosed with Cancer when I was 9 years old and died from Cancer when I was 11. I still remember the day we found out, getting called out of School early and walking home to have my dad deliver the news to us while us three boys were sitting on the couch. The overwhelming grief and pain that struck me, my dad and my brothers was totally devastating.  

My relationship with God changed at that moment in a way that would have significant consequences. I was taught to believe up to that point that everything that happens, good and bad is God’s doing. I remember crying myself to sleep while listening to my dad wale while I cursed God. In short order I made two very clear decisions: that I didn’t need a God that would take Mom from us, and that I should not get too close to people because it will only hurt when they go away. I spent the rest of my adolescent and adult life up until entering recovery in December of 2014 half believing God didn’t exist and half believing if there was a God, he wasn’t a God I wanted any part of based on my personal trauma and the endless list of tragedies and evil that exists in the world. I felt vindicated and powerful when I actively rejected God, and empty as hell. I felt fiercely independent and hopelessly alone. 

Early Recovery: 

After 20 years of substance use, abuse and ultimately alcoholism and addiction along a toxic relationship with most people, and God (if there was one) I surrendered to my alcoholism and addiction initially in an attempt not to get divorced for a third time. I can only describe what happened during my intake at Hazelden as nothing short of an act of providence. I was trying not to get divorced, and I had no plans to get completely honest about my drinking, substance use and addictive behaviors – but I did. For the very first time I got completely honest with another human being about all of addictions and alcoholism and what came next was a total surrender. I was done trying to constantly convince myself and others that I didn’t have a problem. Immediately following my honesty and surrender was a willingness to do whatever it took to get better, and if that meant abstinence then I was willing do that and anything else that was recommended to get well so I didn’t have to feel the way I had been feeling for so long anymore. 

Along with treatment, it was required for us to attend 12-Step meetings, which I had attended in two other prior stints of sobriety. One in my teens and one in my early twenties. I didn’t work any Steps either time, but I was perfectly willing to wax poetic about Steps I wasn’t willing to work. Bless the hearts of those folks that put up with my extra-long shares that weren’t based on any personal experience. Part of me really wanted what the folks in 12-Step recovery had and part of me really believed I didn’t have a problem and didn’t need what was on offer in 12-Step Recovery, especially the God stuff. When I came back to the rooms of 12-Step Recovery it felt like coming home. I truly related to folks who felt like I felt, drank like I drank, used like I used, did what I did – and got better. There was a unmistakable serenity about them and they spoke of a relationship with a Higher Power, which varied greatly from person to person, but it was clear that those who got well and had that certain calm had a relationship with a God of their Understanding.  

A God of My Understanding: 

I wanted what these people had, and I was willing to do whatever it took to get it, so I started doing what they did. I worked all 12-Steps in order with a sponsor. As I was working Steps 2 & 3, I was listening to the Joe and Charlie “The Big Book Comes Alive” series and reading the Big Book. The big message I kept getting was to just try this Higher Power thing. Run the experiment. Don’t judge the process, judge the results. So, I wiped the slate clean on all things God and acted as if I didn’t know anything. It didn’t make sense to me to “Create” a Higher Power, because if I could create this Higher Power, it wasn’t big enough for me to believe it could help restore my sanity. I suspended my disbelief and gave the possibility that there is a power greater than myself the benefit of the doubt. I was willing to entertain that there MIGHT be a Higher Power because others who were just like me also didn’t believe, and then they CAME TO believe, and it changed everything for them. Practically that meant praying to a God I had no concept of and no understanding of every morning simply asking for help to stay sober and every night thanking this unknown entity for another day sober. Continuing to work the 12-Steps and continuing to read spiritual literature and my simple prayers along with a mission to be of maximum service to this God of My Understanding, which I had an infinitesimal understanding of, yielded a profound change that I could not deny. After just a couple of months, my entire outlook on life had changed 180 degrees. The boss and job I hated became a wonderfully promising career. The relationship with my children began to transform. The ankle biter problems, disappointments, and frustrations were suddenly rolling off my back without causing old familiar restlessness, irritability and discontentedness that invariably led me back to drinking and engaging in addictive behaviors. It suddenly occurred to me that it wasn’t the world that had changed. I had the same boss, same job, same children, and same everyday problems. No, the world didn’t change, I had been changed by this Higher Power. I know that because I had tried changing many times before with no ability to sustain it. The only difference was this budding relationship with a God of My Understanding. The ingredients that manifested this change was Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness followed by simple actions that were genuine and authentic. Out of these genuine, mindful, and simple spiritual actions a God I once hated and doubted turned into the single most powerful aspect of my recovery. A God I hated and doubted to a God I didn’t understand, to a God of My Understanding that truly changed me and actively worked in my life. This experience changed everything for me and is one that I draw on still today 7 years later. My spiritual journey has evolved since then in some profound ways but that early experience of beginning to pray to a God I didn’t understand, and that God changing me is at the core of my understanding of what God means and how that God works in my life. 

Brett Morris and The Recovery Survey | The Way Out Podcast Episode 297

Summary

In this edition of The Way Out The best recovery cohost in the business has a tremendous conversation with new friend, Brett Morris, who created the Recovery Survey Podcast and Co-hosts the Recovery Revolution Live podcast! Brett is also a new Dad, a loving husband and an all-around fantastic human! His passion for spreading the message of recovery is only surpassed by his commitment to it! Brett shares so much of the good stuff in this episode, including how to maintain a healthy balance through it all, which may be the most elusive recovery goal of all so listen up.

contact info: brett@recovery-revolution.org

http://www.recoverysurvey.com

https://m.facebook.com/recoverysurvey

https://www.instagram.com/recoverysurvey/

https://mobile.twitter.com/recoverysurvey

Book recommendation: NA Basic Text

Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text 6th Edition Hardcover: Anonymous:

Best piece of advice: ” You can’t have one foot in and one foot out of recovery. You’re either all in or you’re all out.”

Song that reminds Brett of recovery: Modest Mouse – The Good Times Are Killing Me

Don’t forget to check out “The Way Out Playlist” available only on Spotify. Curated by all our wonderful guests on the podcast!

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

Resolving Spiritual Skepticism in Recovery with Andrew G. Pierce | The Way Out Podcast Episode 296

Summary

In this edition of The Way Out we have for you a phenomenal interview with addiction therapist, person in long term recovery, and author of The New Book “Resolving Spiritual Skepticism in Recovery: Putting the Universe to Work for You, Andrew Pierce. Perhaps one of greatest hurdles folks have in embarking on the 12-Step program of recovery or the compatible Minnesota Model of addiction treatment is the concept of adopting a Higher Power that can aid in our Recovery. Those of you Way Out faithful that have listened to this podcast for a hot minute know that prior to entering recovery I had deep seeded resentment, skepticism, and an unhealthy dose of ambivalence on the idea of God, especially one that could help me in any meaningful way. Andrew’s work in his new book centers squarely on this barrier that I and many others have faced in a particularly practical manner in that it focuses on what the problem is, which is the maladaptive thought and behavior patterns that make up addiction and precisely how spirituality both functionally works and can be of enormous value to our recovery journey. His work passes the proverbial smell test in that what he lays out in the book aligns with my own collective spiritual experiences and journey to this point. The HOW of Recovery, Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are essential in an effort to embark upon an individual spiritual journey and to develop a relationship with a Higher Power that can really work for you no matter where you are at with regard to your current attitudes and beliefs with respect to all things spiritual. Andrew’s work amounts to a field guide that can help us understand the nature of addiction, the process of recovery, and how even the deepest spiritual skeptic can develop a sense of practical spirituality that can make a real difference in our lives. What we’re ultimately working to achieve is first authentic connection to our true selves, then authentic and rewarding connection to others and ultimately an authentic and meaningful connection to a Power Greater than Ourselves and to that end Andrew’s book is an essential contribution to that goal and the interview that is about to unfold before your ready and willing ears will most certainly make a compelling case for resolving your own spiritual skepticism so listen up.

Contact Andrew and learn more about his new book Resolving Spiritual Skepticism in Recovery: Putting the Universe to Work for You

https://www.andrewgpierce.com/

Book – Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza:

Advice – You have Choice what you choose to hitch your emotions to. You don’t have to be victimized by your emotional response to life’s events and circumstances

Song – She Talks to Angels by the Black Crowes:

Don’t forget to check out “The Way Out Playlist” available only on Spotify. Curated by all our wonderful guests on the podcast!

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

Scattered Pink with Honesty Liller | The Way Out Podcast Episode 295

Summary

In this rendition of The Way Out, our extraordinary co-host Jason speaks with woman in long term recovery Honesty Liller. Honesty is the Author of the new memoir “Scattered Pink: A Diary of a Woman in Recovery” and she is the CEO of The McShin Foundation, a nationally recognized nonprofit Recovery Community Organization based in Richmond, Virginia. Truly living up to her name in her discussion with Jason, Honesty doesn’t hold back the truth of how messy, difficult, and beautiful recovery can be as she shares her extremely relatable journey to and through recovery to this point. Out of her harrowing bout with addiction, Honesty began to truly connect to her peers in Recovery at McShin, got to work on her recovery, and began to work for The McShin Foundation, which she credits for saving her very life and his given her true purpose and a meaningful and enduring recovery so listen up.

Contact Honesty:

honestyliller@gmail.com

Instagram: @diaryofawomaninrecovery

FB: @honestyliller

Recovery Resources and her book:

Scattered Pink – eBook

Scattered Pink – Paperback

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scattered-pink-honesty-liller/1140956208?ean=9798985274103

The McShin Foundation

Home

Book recommendation: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Best piece of advice: “Don’t use no matter what!”

Songs that symbolize recovery:

You don’t do it for me anymore by Demi Lovato

Is This Love by Bob Marley

Don’t forget to check out “The Way Out Playlist” available only on Spotify. Curated by all our wonderful guests on the podcast!

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

Decades of Recovery & Advocacy with Tom Jackson | The Way Out Podcast Episode 294

Summary

In this edition of The Way Out, our prodigious co-host with the most has an outstanding discussion with person in long term recovery, peer recovery specialist, mental health professional and recovery advocate Tom Jackson. Tom is a longtime and self-proclaimed “policy nerd” who has been doing recovery advocacy work on the national legislative level since the days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s. Tom shares his decades long journey to and through recovery to this point with us along with his hard earned wisdom and experience, all of which is yours to relish in the interview that’s about to unfold before your very ears, so listen up.

Contact Info: jacksonta@gmail.com

Resource links:

http://wsh.dbhds.virginia.gov/

https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaRecoveryAdvocacyProject

Home

Book recommendation:

The Urge: Our History of Addiction by Carl Erik Fisher:

https://www.harvard.com/book/the_urge/

Listen to Carl Erik Fisher’s interview with Charlie in Episode 254:

Flourishing After Addiction with Dr. Carl Erik Fisher | The Way Out Podcast Episode 254

Best piece of advice: “Don’t take yourself so damn seriously”

Song that symbolizes recovery: Elton John – The One:

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

K.I.S.S. Recovery 101 with Bridge May Sky | The Way Out Podcast Episode 292

Summary

In this edition of The Way Out, our spectacular recovery co-host Jason brings us a must listen interview with a tireless, passionate, and humble servant in the Minnesota Recovery community, Bridge May Sky! Bridge has had a long hard road, especially with her recovery. Service turned out to be the magic ingredient that she needed to achieve meaningful and enduring recovery. Bridge shares her journey to and through recovery to this point and how being of service has completely changed the game for her. A single mother of 5, Bridge is an absolute superstar – a true champion for the recovery community and a fantastic mom to boot! Bridge is also the creator and host of her own live interactive podcast called K.I.S.S. Recovery 101 where both Jason and I had the honor of being guests to share our stories and talk Recovery. In addition, Bridge is also a recovery coach at Minnesota Recovery Connection and true to her M.O. she has some other exciting things in the ‘ol works! You’ll definitely want to stay tuned to hear Bridge’s amazing recovery story and all of the spiritual and recovery wisdom embodied within it so listen up.

Contact:

Bridge Sky

Recovery Navigator

MN Recovery Connection

612-584-4158

minnesotarecovery.org

Recovery Resources

KISS Recovery 101

Bad Mom’s

https://www.facebook.com/groups/badmomsclub247/

Back to Basics

https://www.facebook.com/groups/3608037505877185/

Serenity Shores

https://www.facebook.com/groups/495983208307652/

Treatment/Literature Committees

https://www.facebook.com/groups/7232320436841673/?ref=share

Rise Up Hour

https://www.facebook.com/groups/riseuphour/?ref=share

Best Advice- “Don’t live in the past, or the past won’t let you live.”

Book Recommendation:

5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Song that reminds Bridge of recovery: Meet me in the woods by Lord Heron

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription

Hope on a Mission with Cara Mia Bacchiochi | The Way Out Podcast Episode 290

Summary

On this edition of The Way Out our tremendous co-host Jason brings us an interview with the Director of a New York based nonprofit organization Hope on a Mission, Cara Mia Bacchiochi. This woman is a true warrior for her community. Her street outreach started and grew on one street corner, simply by loving on the people in the neighborhood by providing those in need with meals and personal hygiene products. Cara shares her journey to and through recovery to this point, how all of her community service came to be, and how it has continued to evolve. Cara’s recovery story is one of redemption and the transformative power of the God of Her Understanding working wonders in her life and as a result the lives of many others so listen up.

Contact Cara Mia at hopeonamission@gmail.com

Recovery resources and related links:

https://www.hopeonamission.org/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

https://oasas.ny.gov/

https://www.asapnys.org/

Best Piece of Advice: “Stay in your square”

Book recommendation: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Song that symbolizes recovery:

You Say by Lauren Daigle

Touch the Sky by Hillsong UNITED

(c) 2015 – 2022 The Way Out Podcast | All Rights Reserved Theme Music: “all clear” (https://ketsa.uk/browse-music/) by Ketsa (https://ketsa.uk) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/the-way-out-podcast/message

Transcription