founder of Pro-Recovery, CEO of TPALS, Co-founder of "Become Empowered"
Angela began her career in the behavioral health field while attending Penn State for a psychology, in 2016 I became a Certified Recovery Specialist. During her training she learned about "SMART" recovery, she became a SMART facilitator and began the first SMART meeting in Lackawanna County in 2016. In the past 6 years Angela has obtained a CAAC, with a specialty in Gambling Treatment, also becoming a certified Smoking Cessation Facilitator through the American Lung Association in that time. Her therapeutic techniques utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, and Mindfulness practices, along with other evidence-based methods.
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Joe Van Wie 0:08
I'd like to thank you for tuning in to another episode of all better. My name is Joe van wie Lee, and I am your host. Today's guest is Angela Kilgallen. Angela is the founder of pro recovery. She's also the CEO of tea Pals is an outpatient service level of care for substance use disorder. She's also the co founder of a movement called become empowered. And his undergrad studies in psychology or at Penn State. In 2016, she became certified as a recovery specialist on Sylvania. She's also a facilitator, and smart recovery she'll be talking about today and started the first smart recovery meeting in Lackawanna County. That was in 2016. She's also obtained her C A C. And that's the specialty in gambling, addiction treatment, which is certified smoking cessation facilitator for the American Lung Association. And always approaches her treatments with positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices. Let's meet a bunch.
So we're here with Angelico gallon, and we're going to talk about smart recovery today. And thanks for coming in.
Angela Gilgallon 1:53
Thanks for having me, Joe.
Joe Van Wie 1:55
And first and foremost. I've already established who you are, but I want to just jump right into it. What is smart recovery? How would you describe it?
Angela Gilgallon 2:06
So smart recovery, SMART stands for self management and Recovery Training. It is based on a four point system. Those four points are the first is building and maintaining motivation. The second is coping with urges. The third is managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors. And the fourth, fourth is living a balanced life.
Joe Van Wie 2:42
So there's a four points in smarts just actually an acronym. Yes. Do you think calling it smart recovery was kind of a way to draw and a more intellectual mind that was maybe floundering and a 12 step program was?
Angela Gilgallon 2:57
Possibly, possibly I think, because Smart Recovery utilizes evidence based techniques. I think that's an appeal for calling it smart is that it is utilizing a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, psychological treatment modalities are implemented throughout the Smart Recovery Program.
Joe Van Wie 3:28
Yeah, I guess that's that's a refreshing approach for anyone who would be in a long time. And maybe feel stalled out a bit secular, not driven by God or kind of a theology that can underline their 12 STEP program. So I found it appealing when I read the book. So smart recovery is pretty much its infrastructure is cognitive behavioral therapy. Correct. And that's, it's kind of a, you know, all therapies, kind of new to some degree less under ears, but I think it took hold in the 50s. And then by the 80s. There's a lot of evidence based When did Smart Recovery start?
Angela Gilgallon 4:15
I am not sure the exact year that Smart Recovery started. I know that as far as the fields goes, typically it takes 20 years for practices to be calm, evidence based best practices. So during that time, if the research takes about 20 years to be proven, it's safe to say we're always about 20 years behind.
Joe Van Wie 4:52
Quick history, a social worker in California by the name of Jack trampy founded a movement called Rational recovery. Then he decided to turn rational recovery into a for profit organization. The organization's Board of Directors laughed and formed Smart Recovery incorporated in 1992. As the alcohol and drug abuse self help network, the organization began operating under the Smart Recovery name in 1994.
Angela Gilgallon 5:31
Gotcha something that is going to be effective
Joe Van Wie 5:35
those standards are given or at least the standard of practice is the American Psychiatric Association would then claim this as an evidence based approach to a cognitive problem or disorder.
Angela Gilgallon 5:49
For example, positive psychology, the founder of that as Martin Seligman. He began his research back in the 80s. But here we are 2021 saying it's evidence based, it's it's amazing. It's being taught and universities and being studied and proven effective,
Joe Van Wie 6:10
I guess, you know, it's always a great thing to go that slow. So you don't have the rise of some wackadoo or autocracy and psych approaches. But you know, the window of the 20 years of people who didn't get to experience it, because it wasn't, you know, approved. Oops,
Angela Gilgallon 6:29
yes, well, even still, I'm people are, human needs are going to be skeptical. So anything that is new, or to any change, sure, people tend to be comfortable with what they know,
Joe Van Wie 6:47
I think smart recovery people, when what came out, like when I would hear it talked about, or as an offering as a rehab, especially around 12 Step communities, they would scoff at it. And I think a an NA, there was a ground already laid for them, of about 6000 years of religious history. And this was our approach to psychology. So when a came, it wasn't a really gruff, or rough overlap of the two because they complement each other. And a wasn't something new, it was just numbered was a numbered approach to
Angela Gilgallon 7:26
write. It's very linear. So if you already have a religious background, it's a linear movement to adapt a 12 step recovery program versus smart recovery is there are similarities between smart and a 12 step program. I think if you look at the 12 steps from a cognitive behavioral therapists perspective, you can see the CBT in it, especially with step number four, when you're writing down and then you're disputing smart recovery would utilize a technique called disputing irrational beliefs. disputing the right. So here's an event. Maybe an example would be the event being my employer corrected me on paperwork I submitted. That's the event. Well, what am I telling myself about the event? I'm a, I'm going to get fired, he corrected something I'm going to get fired. That's the belief. So then disputing that belief will is that what are what is the evidence of that being true? Are you have you called off recently? Do you think that person's after you like to do and
Joe Van Wie 8:45
this is peer to peer kind of relationship? How do you you're not doing this by yourself? Are you? Are you doing it with a mentor in the program
Angela Gilgallon 8:53
and smart recovery, the facilitator during the meeting would break that tool down during the meeting? So smart recovery, the meeting outline, would you would gather, the facilitator would go over the four points, and then individuals would participate in a check in so you go around the room and individuals say their name, it's first name only. No Labels.
Joe Van Wie 9:24
So label I'm not Joe and alcohol. I'm just Joe Correct.
Angela Gilgallon 9:27
Oh, there is no label.
Joe Van Wie 9:28
What's your position on doing that? Why did why did they depart from the identification identifying oneself with a disorder or the alcoholic or an addict?
Angela Gilgallon 9:39
Well, I think words, so words have meaning. When we attach ourselves to a label. There are associations that come with that label. Yeah, well, if I say I am an addict. Well, what else?
Joe Van Wie 9:58
are we sharing the same definition? Is there a bias connotation to it? I can appreciate that. And I understand it. It's pretty powerful. Yes. And there's evidence behind it.
Angela Gilgallon 10:08
So, and I understand that some people have, might want to say that as a reminder of where they came from, or things like that, like I know, for myself, when I had been active in a 12 step program, I never formally really attached myself to the label of I'm Angela, and I'm an alcoholic. Because to me, I knew there were other qualities that I have. And that was just maybe a part of it. But that's not who I am.
Joe Van Wie 10:48
And it's, you know, words, sharing a dictionary is one thing, we're all sharing some kind of lexicon we're agreed upon. But that doesn't happen for months for someone, especially in a 12 step program, they have to what word are we sharing, here's the definition. And then that doesn't include every bias or lens that affects you with that word, or trauma might invoke. So I do appreciate that. And that's a very clinical approach to describing yourself. I, I've always I've come to terms with personifying my alcoholic like the werewolf me, yes, because it's the same guy. You know, I haven't, I haven't drank and a couple years. But that person still was meek. It's weird. I've come to a reconciliation with it. But I by no means would browbeat someone who had a position against it. I appreciate it. That was new to AAA. It's hard to tell most of the know this the right way to do it.
Angela Gilgallon 11:50
Right. This is what you have to do. So for me, I would say it but because I value respect. Yeah. So I would say that, but I wouldn't attach myself to it. But I'm saying it as a form of respect for this program. Similar to if I walk into a temple. Yeah. And my background, I am not Jewish, I'm going to respect their program, program and philosophies and I will change my attire, I will do whatever because my value is, respect is a value of mine. One of the components of smart recovery is learning to identify what your values are.
Joe Van Wie 12:34
Well, let's, let's take pause, let's maybe if we can unpack it this way, because I'm thinking, you know, most people who would be listening may be active in a 12 step program. And it's probably hard to understand what what are we talking about? So if someone came to smart recovery, do you think we could do an exercise where we describe their first year? Like, like, how do they get involved? What's the first step you find a meeting? And what is the literature? How do how does the program unpack itself from my first day smart recovery? But what am I going to achieve over the next couple of months?
Angela Gilgallon 13:10
Well, like you said, you would find a meaning attend your first meeting, during your first meeting, you have the option to throw out check and share where you're at in your recovery on or you're looking to get out of the smart recovery. So
Joe Van Wie 13:28
I share, I'm brand new, smart recovery. Yeah. And what does that look like? How does that unfold throughout the meeting, if someone was knew
Angela Gilgallon 13:41
someone who was new then and during the meeting, they announced that they are new to smart recovery, we would welcome them and then we would say we can go back to you welcome to this meeting. And then we would continue to check in if they were others to check in and then we would open the meeting. The facility specifically makes facilitate, I would open the meeting up to individuals. So if any individual would like to share their experience with first entering the program, because a smart recovery meeting, crosstalk is encouraged.
Joe Van Wie 14:19
Okay. So and what do you what would you define crosstalk as addressing someone directly,
Angela Gilgallon 14:25
directly conversation style, multiple people talking about that, similar to being at the dinner table, and just each other helping them out is is different than AAA and that their cross talk would be not encouraged or a double share type of thing where verse smart recovery, meaning crosstalk is encouraged and sharing your experiences and offering on it's more
Joe Van Wie 14:55
academic than the formal kind of structure of a meeting. There's a breakdown of groups conversations. Yes, addressing each other, that we're not some autonomous speaker at the meeting.
Angela Gilgallon 15:10
Right. Okay. So and then the facilitators there to offer guiding points on to reiterate the Smart Recovery literature. And does
Joe Van Wie 15:19
the facilitator in the structure of Smart Recovery have some kind of milestone they reached or a training to facilitate the meeting? Or is it just someone who volunteered?
Angela Gilgallon 15:32
The in order to facilitate a smart recovery meeting, you have to have had completed a training. The training costs money, there are scholarships available for sure today to become a smart recovery.
Joe Van Wie 15:48
And the money usually costs the time in literature. It's not You're not talking about some Herculean kind of
Angela Gilgallon 15:54
amount of money. No, no, it's on online. It's very simple. So
Joe Van Wie 15:58
I never took the training, or I've gone to a couple of meetings. But what's the basic do they have a basic text, they kind of run things off,
Angela Gilgallon 16:07
they utilize a smart recovery handbook, a handbook. And within that, we'll have different tools and techniques that can be utilized. They the facilitator, I know for me, so my personal experience with starting smart recovery. In Lackawanna County,
Joe Van Wie 16:26
that's one footnote and started was four years ago.
Angela Gilgallon 16:30
We've been five now five, five
Joe Van Wie 16:33
years ago started Smart Recovery here in Scranton. And it's been flourishing since. And that is an offering I could post that where that meeting is on the podcast, too, if you want. Is that fine? Yes, that's fine. So you started that meeting?
Angela Gilgallon 16:51
I did. And I guided I have thought about I guided a lot of others in the process of becoming a smart recovery facilitator or becoming a host.
Joe Van Wie 17:08
What's the host, like just a place to have the meeting?
Angela Gilgallon 17:11
No, so a smart recovery facilitator. Once they are able to start their own meeting, and with that meaning comes a number that is placed on the Smart Recovery website. If the facilitator can't be there to facilitate a meeting, they can have a host to host cannot start their own meeting, okay. A host can just cover for a facilitator or be similar to a coal chair person for an AAA meeting, a host would co chair a smart recovery.
Joe Van Wie 17:50
Just out of my own curiosity in the last five years, would you say 100 people you come across been involved in and out over the last five years of smart recovery?
Angela Gilgallon 18:00
Yes, yes. I would say that's a fair how,
Joe Van Wie 18:02
if you were to break that down, that like just just say for the sake I know, we're not talking about concrete numbers, but what percentage do you find are people who've were active in a 12 step program? Or have fallen away from one or disillusioned how many people have already attempted a 12 step life or might have already been practicing? What?
Angela Gilgallon 18:27
All of them? Wow, I would say all of them.
Joe Van Wie 18:31
Wow. And then how many of them would you feel are secular to the or they're atheist? They have non belief in God or deity?
Angela Gilgallon 18:41
A few of them? Yeah, I would say not all, but not all, I would say a few of them. Smart Recovery has a reputation of being non like completely non spiritual,
Joe Van Wie 18:59
non denominational, non spiritual,
Angela Gilgallon 19:01
which is not true. It's it's not true.
Joe Van Wie 19:06
How would you describe that not being true? Because I've, I've always had that sense. I glanced through the workbook. What would you call spirituality and smart recovery?
Angela Gilgallon 19:17
I would call that the point. When you get to a point for living a balanced life. What were the four points again, maintaining building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors and living a balanced life
Joe Van Wie 19:39
and this is the frame of that house. That would be the only way comparison to say to compare it to a 12 step program would be the steps. You have four points from those four points. you unpack confronting and addiction?
Angela Gilgallon 19:53
Correct. And they're utilized simultaneously. Yeah, because I know with a 12 program you have to do 123 and then move forward. Yeah. Versus implementing these four points is occurring on
Joe Van Wie 20:09
Zen. Yeah, you're flowing. You're moving. Yeah. All right. Well, yeah, I mean, there's been just just for point of reference, like I was introduced to step 10. And I do that to people say, if I was active in a 12 step program, and I'm helping someone through the steps, step by step two or three, I'm like, you could be doing step 10. Let's start you, you should be reviewing your date night, so you don't cause any more mayhem.
Angela Gilgallon 20:35
Right. Right. So and there's a lot of points, but then a 12 step community that it is, it is contingent on the other person's perspective on
Joe Van Wie 20:47
it. Yeah, it is. Yeah, it really it. You do your best to be non biased, but it's hard to be non biased. Because you have to explain things the book are like, a was written in 1938, the book is not revised, and a was written in the 50s. So there is this, there's going to be an editorial if you like it or not, it pours out unless you're going to refer some scholarly approach to what people were, you know, why is there not she and he's used as a universal pronoun? Yeah. What has got like, two wives? Why was it written by a man?
Angela Gilgallon 21:21
Yes, yes. And, and what that regardless, it is all up to the individual's perception, it's, you can't take away the viewpoint of somebody else or see something solely based on another person's perception, because what that person's perception comes their own experience, their values, and everything that makes an individual, unique. So smart recovery is aware of that. So their program is broad, in the sense of an individual can apply these. There's no modalities, regardless of what the addiction is. Further, it doesn't have to be specific to I've had individuals attend my smart meeting, that we're there for sex addiction,
Joe Van Wie 22:17
sex addiction, marijuana, which isn't always recognized as but some compulsive use,
Angela Gilgallon 22:23
right. Dangling? Yes.
Joe Van Wie 22:27
And you're all in the same room together. Now, you had the sort of similar experiences me growing up and being around 12 Step programs. You always there was always a boogeyman story of if we're not unified in this room about just drinking. Like that was the first Boogeyman. You can't have addicts in here. And if you're in here, hide, attend your something else. It's kind of counterintuitive to living an honest life. And, you know, I don't shame it. I understand the fear and the tribalism behind it. Something sacred saved your life. You don't want it to be ruined. This could ruin it. This nativism of alcoholics, we need to hold tight. How do you see that work? How did that did that go against something you were taught? Like you're seeing a group of people suffering from all kinds of addictions. But now you have a universal reproach. And it's psychiatric. And you know, the way you just described, it really deflates these positions of having power between a sponsor or mentee, a mentor, someone's just not going to hijack your, your mind. Was that hard for you? Were you still feeling some resistance? Like how is this gonna work? Being around 12 Step programs?
Angela Gilgallon 23:39
No, because I actually utilized one of the philosophies from the 12 step program, which is open mindedness. Yeah. Okay. So that became a value of mine. And that became a value from being active in a 12 step program, and then it was through that lens that I thought, well, then this can work. This can work for so many people that may struggle with a 12 step program. And yes, Brazil. I do believe in individuals, if where there's a will, there's a way and that resiliency natures so if 12 Step is all there ever has to be offered in this world? Yeah, somebody can make that work. Sure. But that doesn't have to be the case today. So why not offer it to the community. So that was my motivation in starting smart recovery because I was in the field and I saw so many people struggle, and yes, you can work and manage. But why do that? What is the motivation when you've already struggled in so many other areas? Why not just simply offer an alternative?
Joe Van Wie 24:52
So you are at T pals and I've addressed that just for anyone listening T Pals is outpatient, and you see lots and lots of people, especially from our local footprint was there in Lackawanna County. Do you see a common thread of people that were attracted to smart recovery? Or is that just is it too microscopic? Like, was there a common?
Angela Gilgallon 25:13
I actually would say there is a common thread, what
Joe Van Wie 25:15
would it be like? Like from your your interesting going? Did that match a universal? Can you describe that did what was your desire to seek out? What is smart recovery that you weren't feeling was being fulfilled and what you were practicing, approaching your lifestyle to keep a addiction in remission? What? What is it?
Angela Gilgallon 25:39
So I have to say that I was first exposed to CBT during a placement at through the SI P program, which is a state correctional facility.
Joe Van Wie 26:04
CBT what is it? Oh, here's a summary from the American Psychiatric Association. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. Numerous research studies suggests that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as or more effective than other forms of psychological therapy and psychiatric medications. CBT is based on several core principles, including one psychological problems are based in part on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking to psychological problems are based in part unlearned patterns of unhelpful behavior. And three, people suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.
Angela Gilgallon 27:29
And there, I learned about the stages of change, which is a CBT model. And I learned about the stages of change. And I thought, this is everything that I thought about recovery and my recovery process. It's everything that I thought, but I, it was never validated because I didn't know anything. It's not like I was going to a therapist, and they're teaching me
Joe Van Wie 27:56
yeah, you can learn that with but not everyone could afford therapy. And the therapists that are offered through, say a Medicaid program are not going to be able to spend that kind of time or might not even have the training to do that. What are the stages of change? How would you describe them that that saying to you, what do they say
Angela Gilgallon 28:13
you have pre contemplation, okay, denial, contemplation, I think this might be a problem, maybe not, not onshore uncertainty, and then three preparation, preparation and moving towards like, a solution. I am aware that this could be a, this is a problem, and I'm going to make a plan to rectify this problem. And then it would be action, putting your plan into motion. Because how many times do we come up with a plan and just don't follow through with it. We know all of our resources, we have a list and it's just like, I am not motivated to doing it. And that's why Smart Recovery encourages building and maintaining motivation.
Joe Van Wie 29:02
I think addicts even an act of addiction and people suffering from substance use disorder have a really beautiful for a long period of their addiction have a beautiful, rosy picture of what the future will be. I could always take care of this all gonna come clean in the wash, especially when they're in the planning mode to approach something, but it's not going to be today.
Angela Gilgallon 29:24
Oh, no. What is that saying the best laid plans to hell or like yeah, built on like intentions or something like that.
Joe Van Wie 29:33
So that being said, so we're that's someone point of it. And that point, say you come up with a plan. Now you're gonna execute it. For a lot of people. They need stabilization. And that could look like a detox seven days. That could look like a 30 day treatment center. Where if they've approached smart recovery, they've been going to meetings and they're thinking now I might need to go Treatment? How does that jive with where they go into treatment? That smart recovery is leading the charge? Because is it hard to find a treatment center that's based off smart recovery? Is there any I don't know.
Angela Gilgallon 30:14
So there are some there are some. And if you go to the Smart Recovery website, they will have them listed. However. It's my belief that if you are going to a treatment center, any substance abuse treatment center, and they are utilizing best practices, which it's an offering, which they need to own, then clinically, they would be aware their clinicians would be aware of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques
Joe Van Wie 30:53
and that person, I don't know any treatment center that wouldn't recognize this. Personally, I don't if they're using best practices, if that person went to the treatment center and asked, I would like some literature, and some more discussion, I'm going to be using smart recovery. They'd be accommodated to I don't do you not? I don't know anyone who would accommodate?
Angela Gilgallon 31:14
No, that approach would always be
Joe Van Wie 31:18
Yeah, I just don't see people leading with that. Well, but I see really good clinicians and counselors out all week. And it's always an offering, but it seems you know, it's an offering if asked for, it's not something that's always on the deck of tools. Correct. Okay. Yes. I would say that's accurate.
Angela Gilgallon 31:38
But I think things take time they do.
Joe Van Wie 31:41
And the population is not there yet smart recovery, you know, not because of its results. It's still growing, it's still new.
Angela Gilgallon 31:50
Yes. And to your point, when you might ask, like, is there a specific clientele or participants that I see that adapt to it, it would be individuals within the criminal justice system? Yeah, that appreciate smart recovery. Because smart recovery is a entity that empowers the individual, and empowers their decision making skills and empowers them, that they do have a choice that they have, yeah, they're not, um, they're able to, they're able to identify what recovery looks like a means to them without somebody else, without judgment, and somebody giving them another another list of things that they have to obtain in order to be somewhere further along on. Because with individuals in a criminal justice system, they have that all the time. They have a probation officer giving them standards they have. And they people within the criminal justice system tend to have a background of being given standards that they continuously cannot meet. You work
Joe Van Wie 33:06
with a lot of women that are in this situation? Yes. And do you feel that they're they have an appeal to smart recovery? Do they? Do you find a lot of them are using both 12 step and smart recovery? Yes. How does that look? What does that look
Angela Gilgallon 33:21
like? I think that approach, especially for individuals early in recovery is a really great balance to somebody's recovery, because Smart Recovery does not have the connection for the after the meeting, it is very much on an individual doesn't say like, oh, you can't link up with somebody after the meeting and go for coffee and things. But it is not
Joe Van Wie 33:48
the old flavor of a come to the diner. Exactly. I went to a couple meetings. And you know, if I had to just my kind of summary was I liked smart recovery. I liked its language. I like its language gives you more options, cognitively, of who you are, and where the space is between my impulse and who I want to be in between. There's my addiction, how do I combat it? I really like that idea of the one of those points that you're just unpacked. But fellowship is so important in early sobriety. I went to two meetings, a meeting today I would have went to more smart recovery meetings if they're off, but I needed people around me. But I think smart recovery in early sobriety. What I can see the value is you're learning a new language of recovery that's not 80 years old. It's keeping your mind open to explore intellectually more about cognitive behavioral therapy from the practice smart recovery. More about who founded this and more ideas of spiritual mindfulness terms of daily meditation practices. I just find it just it's It's up to date, but it's language. And that can be appealing to a lot of people. And I think it's it's a peer to peer almost. Therapy.
Angela Gilgallon 35:09
It is it is I always Yeah, I will say this and I'm probably will shoot myself in the foot someday for Samus well, but after practicing smart recovery after learning about smart recovery, I thought, this is free therapy. If somebody can implement this, all therapists would be out of a job. If it grew to the extent of AAA, it would be I would think problematic.
Joe Van Wie 35:44
I don't even think it has to, to grow to the experience of AAA because it doesn't need to flourish with this churning of finding new recruits are you there's no apostates like you're in a really sick, it's just an unbelievable way to put a group together would you know some credentials that are shared as the facilitator, this is how we operate. And now someone who only has the resources to be on probation, go to screen counseling. You're they're getting resources from you at outpatient AT T pals. But AAA is not therapy. It's really a fellowship. And it's a it's a branding, can we go on this, this exercise of working the steps together? And that can be rough language, you don't know who you're going to meet that's going to do that, even if it happens at all, from going to meetings. Smart Recovery is this ability I think, for all of us to have access to psychiatric language that is profound and has proven results cognitive behavioral therapy. I think coupling that with people who don't have the resources won't get that even language from the workbooks. I'm not knocking screen counseling. But that's a huge caseload. They have 35 Each like that's that's tough. This is a beautiful thing. I hope flourishes and grows as a resource for people who have been in a for years, maybe they have a problem that's embarrassing to bring up now, because there's sober at the meeting. Smart Recovery is a place to approach that maybe the relationships and collapse, maybe they're gambling, they've been sober 10 years, or some other strange scenario that could be compulsive. I think it's a I think it's a haven for people who are in 12 Step programs that need to focus on something else to
Angela Gilgallon 37:30
it. So that that has been something else that I have seen is that individuals that have maintained their recovery through a 12 step program for several years, and they just keep coming up with like, your problems that they're like, I keep applying this looks like, for me, I don't know what's wrong with me. And but if they utilize some of the strategies through smart recovery, coupled with what they know, it definitely helps them well.
Joe Van Wie 38:01
I think it's hard to make that you see, you can feel maybe some strange, Misty betrayal, to the core principles of AAA that all things can overcome. I don't think it is, I think people need to give themselves a little less judgement. Because some problems you'll have in sobriety aren't the base crisis, this five alarm fire of when you got sober, you're like a life and total collapse. And you can be sober six years, and unfulfilled at work unfulfilled in a relationship and you're trying to make it work. You could be unfulfilled with how to use money, and you're compulsively shopping or something that's causing a new crisis in your life. But it's not recognizable to go into a detox after crashing a car. And so you're not having this experience and the steps something's missing. It's not that maybe this isn't working, you need new language to grow. You need a broader terms, more specific definitions of things. And so even though this new problem is not the crisis of an addiction, it's a crisis that could really benefit from these four points. It gives you more tools.
Angela Gilgallon 39:13
Joe Van Wie 39:16
Yeah. You know, after speaking, we and I'm wanting to go to another Smart Recovery meeting, and
Angela Gilgallon 39:22
you'll have to come. Yeah,
Joe Van Wie 39:25
I will. I will. I'm very interested. Because people ask us, usually people in metropolitan areas, the people I'm experiencing curious about smart recovery, are not in the criminal justice system. And so there is a broad desire to find out what it is. It's people who've been in a long time, or feel unwelcome because of theirs, where they live. If they're in a rural area. They're atheist, not atheists from a resentment, or I think there's they're very curious. So I'd like to be You're more versed on it. And I'm glad you came on today to talk more about that. So where would I list resources for people discover the website,
Angela Gilgallon 40:08
website, and then the website queues? Looking up smart recovery, a local Smart Recovery meeting, just type in your zip code, and it'll
Joe Van Wie 40:19
win when do your meetings? Are they open? Are you guys back in meeting in person or online?
Angela Gilgallon 40:25
There's a meeting on Fridays at five and then the recovery bank, I believe, Kyle does that one. It's Tuesdays. I think it's Tuesdays at noon. I'll have
Joe Van Wie 40:37
to go down. Oh, cool. Yeah, I'll list those two. Just before we end, what were the four points again, I wanted to
Angela Gilgallon 40:46
show it is building and maintaining motivation. Okay. Coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors and living a balanced life. And the balanced life I think is the is the component that ties in with smart recovery, you identifying what, what is in your life on creating a pie chart. So that's why I said that smart recovery is, is not this anti spirituality program, because they are encouraging mindfulness practices. And they're saying, like you identify within your life, you know, maybe in your pie chart you have attending church on Sunday, I'm going to protest being involved within your community. But it is, again, it's just very up to the individual.
Joe Van Wie 41:39
And do they encourage community engagement? Yeah, that's pretty. That's some distinct language. I remember reading. And I always liked that. Yes.
Angela Gilgallon 41:48
Because I recognize that as humans, we need that human connection, we need to
Joe Van Wie 41:54
know addiction is isolation. To its cognitive isolation, its physical. Joe Regan was just on here. And he's a recovery detective. And he was saying, you know, he does search in locates for people with mental health disorders, and sometimes it's addiction. And once he can get the Locate of someone hiding, who does say doesn't want to be found within an addiction, they're limited to a couple block radius, they don't want to leave the nest. It's an isolation. It's a real position of isolation. And it's, it's nightmarish when you experience it, but
Angela Gilgallon 42:31
I think it was, um, has been, Johann Hari is and he, I could have botched that, but he has a great TED talk about everything we think we know about addiction is wrong. Oh, you.
Joe Van Wie 42:47
Did you email that? Yeah. So
Angela Gilgallon 42:49
yes. And he talks about, you know, the opposite of addiction is connection. It is its
Joe Van Wie 42:59
leader, I want to get past stabilization, like for me with with saying I can finally be removed from active use of what was hurt me? alcohol, cocaine, trying to balance that with a benzo. So I didn't feel like it was a mass. Connection. There's when I did a mindfulness practice added every day in my life. I was seeing what the contrast of what I felt during addiction. I felt isolated, stuck in a universe, that the universe was ugly, and I'm stuck in it. Mindfulness kind of broke that barrier that no, you're in it, you're a part of it. be activated. Why am I closing myself to something I'm already a part of?
Angela Gilgallon 43:46
Yes. I mean, when you said that, you felt that the universe is like, Oh, I could just immediately pressing
Joe Van Wie 43:52
into me making me dirty.
Angela Gilgallon 43:54
Wave like crud that's like, heavy. It is, versus bigger than yourself. So if you're thinking that
Joe Van Wie 44:02
and you're not separate of it, you're not something separate watching it consciousness is, you know, gives you this illusion that I'm watching a movie and it's my life. It's, it's kind of it's hard. When you get that little space mindfulness. There's hard to find a distinction between other people like why aren't we more in common than we're, I'm always looking for distinctions in my shame. The thing with addiction shame and guilt, really isolate someone that I'm just different than everyone no one's gonna want me around. It's it's a horrible thing to suffer. People only see the use, like you're using drugs every day. Why are you using them? This is what's going on. Right?
Angela Gilgallon 44:43
And that's why smart recovery and current utilizes those motivation, techniques. Yeah, is what is motivating, you know, and questioning your motivations.
Joe Van Wie 44:54
Does smart recovery. One more question, does it encourage therapy for someone who may be experiencing some kind of trauma, either an event or like micro traumas that have collapsed and emotional life? Do they address that anywhere?
Angela Gilgallon 45:08
Like just, I would say it was similar to anything that they would just say like, these are other resources, because smart recovery is not trying to be this all encompassing. fix everything. Oh,
Joe Van Wie 45:20
the other thing, I was curious, because I don't know, do they address origins of addiction? What causes addiction, or they're just confronting the addiction where it's at?
Angela Gilgallon 45:29
Well, Smart Recovery standpoint is again, putting on the individual. They themselves aren't saying they are not saying like, Oh, this is not genetic disease concept, things like that. It's just kind of like, you know, like that's on. Again, the program is very much what is on? It's you think, Well, here's the materials, these are best practices, these are proven to be true. But what you do with it, but your perspective of it that's on the individual, and does that
Joe Van Wie 46:07
what do you be? How does the fellowship looking at what if I needed help through the workbook? How do you guys shared numbers? And can I call for someone to kind of walk me through a workbook?
Angela Gilgallon 46:22
If somebody ever asks me like, Oh, hey, can we sit down? Can we go through this?
Joe Van Wie 46:27
Yeah, yeah. So and do you have a title? Like, how does that really is there no title, no handles like this person? And just helping me not sponsor? Not
Angela Gilgallon 46:37
no sponsorship, nothing like that. There's no counting time. Yeah. Which I? Like, there's no coin, there's no, you can during check and say, You know what I met my goal. I've maintained absence for 60 days. And certainly people will give you accolades for that. But there is no celebration of this, which, to me, in my experience, to some individuals, that counting of the time almost creates this, like OCD tendencies, and almost Yeah, creates this, were, the motivation doesn't necessarily
Joe Van Wie 47:18
it's a zero sum quality, it's
Angela Gilgallon 47:19
more about quantity. And like, I have this and then, you know,
Joe Van Wie 47:24
it's devastating. It's like a zero sum game before, you know, I started drinking again, I was sober 14 years, I was smoking pot for two years to kind of reduce anxiety. And I was going to meetings now, I told a group of friends, but that spread, I felt like I was losing credibility. Like, man, this is awful. But that was I think a lot of people experienced that my friends that live out west don't. A and I think smart recovery for them was an approach for them to find people that had a, you know, they find people that shared a value of recovery that they did that wasn't I don't know, fundamentalist of that approach. But I think smart recovery serves people like that very well. Yes. Well, Andrew, would you come back again? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Well, that was Angie go gallon. We got to speak on smart recovery. If anyone wants to find resources. I'll put some links up to their website, their social media, and some regional meetings. Thanks for listening. Thank you. Thanks so much.
I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better to find us on all better.fm or listen to us on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer John Edwards, an engineering company 570. Drone. Please like or subscribe to us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Looking forward to seeing you again. And remember, just because you're sober, doesn't mean you're right.
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