AllBetter

Remembering 25 Years of Recovery

February 21, 2022 Joe Van Wie / Matthew Quinn Season 1 Episode 16
AllBetter
Remembering 25 Years of Recovery
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Over the last twenty years, Matthew has worked to improve large and small businesses around the world and has practiced as a therapist to help people confront and manage the challenges that occur at the intersection of self-awareness and emotional regulation.

With a background in counseling, consulting, addiction, negotiation, cultural sensitization and people management, Matthew brings experience and a valuable and distinctive angle to each client session.

License No. PRC14886 District of Columbia

Education & Experience:


  • M.S. Mental Health Counseling, Fordham University
  • MBA Strategic Management, Pace University Lubin School of Business
  • B.A. International Politics, Pennsylvania State University

In therapy, Matthew uses an integrated approach of narrative theory and rational emotive behavior therapy. He specializes in Emotion Management, Relationship Issues, Career Strategies, and Life Coaching. He uses ideas and models that are easy to understand and strategies that can be applied outside of the session. You will discover that these are useful tools that you can keep forever. Matthew will partner with you to find the solutions to create the life you desire.


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Joe Van Wie  0:13  
Hello, and thanks for listening to another episode of all better. I'm your host, Joe van we today's guests is Matthew J. Quinn. Over the last 20 years, Matthew has worked to improve large and small businesses around the world and as practiced as a therapist to help people confront and manage the challenges that occur at the intersection of self awareness, and emotional regulation, with a background in counseling, consulting, addiction negotiation, people management, Matthew brings experience and a valuable and distinctive angle to each client session is education and experience. As follows Matt has a master's in mental health counseling from Fordham University. Matt also has an MBA in strategic management, from Pace University, Lubin School of Business his Bachelor's is in international politics from Pennsylvania State University. In therapy, Matthew uses an integrated approach of narrative theory and Rational Emotive behavioral therapy. He specializes in emotional management, relationship issues, career strategies, and life coaching uses ideas and models that are easy to understand and strategies that can be implied outside of the session. You'll discover today that Matt and I are friends are over 25 years and Matt's been sober 25 years. Today's a kind of unbridled discussion on my part with attention deficit disorder as we scramble through the last 25 years of Matt's life that has brought him from Scranton to State College to Cambridge, London, as a radio host in Africa and Tunisia. And back to the United States, where he is currently in the District of Columbia as a therapist. So today, we'll bounce all around and you get to meet my friend, Matt. Let's see what happens six, five. This is cool,

Matthew Quinn  2:50  
isn't it? The studio studio?

Joe Van Wie  2:53  
Well, we're live you gotta hop, Mike. We're with Matthew. John Quinn from Scranton. Matt, thanks for coming on.

Matthew Quinn  3:02  
honor to be here. Joe.

Joe Van Wie  3:04  
I have to have a show to talk to you more.

Matthew Quinn  3:07  
It seems like that is the direction we're going in.

Joe Van Wie  3:10  
And I'm glad we have the same wardrobe beard beard. I had to take my cardigan off. I was like, Do you have a cardigan on

Matthew Quinn  3:17  
our heads? The whole everything. It's, uh, I didn't know if you were on the camera. If it wasn't Mike.

Joe Van Wie  3:23  
I think it's been 20 years since we last hung out pretty much daily. And 20 years has passed and we've kept the same wardrobe.

Unknown Speaker  3:31  
Yeah, I've just sweaters gotten bigger. Yeah, thicker. It's like growing with my wisdom.

Joe Van Wie  3:39  
Well, anyone who's tuning in Matt is does drug and alcohol and all kinds of mental health therapy and DC and before we we get to that and unpack it like a lot of my guests are friends. I wanted to give some context who is Matt Quinn in Scranton first 20 years and Matt Quinn, how would you sum that Matt?

Unknown Speaker  4:02  
Good question in the sense of as a witness in my own life, probably an unreliable witness. But I guess that was more Clarks summit right. I feel like I wasn't Scranton until till I went to high school. And yeah, interacted with all the Scranton people. Even though like fifth generation screw antonian. But still that move across the mountain. What a different world over there. The only thing linked us all was like the Catholic school system. Yeah. And I don't even know how we didn't really interact as kids like in grade school and stuff. Right? No,

Joe Van Wie  4:37  
I didn't meet you till High School. And I remember where I want to see if you remember but the Quinns were synonymous with South Scranton, like in my house. Yeah, your dad. All your uncles and aunts. They were orchard River Street. My mother was Walsh's not to bore people. But it was it was all the Irish people who left Bellevue or settled in South Scranton and its nativity section so I knew all the Queen's I didn't know you because you were in Clarks Summit. I know who the Queen's wore

Unknown Speaker  5:10  
yeah and I think as we got to know each other I got to know more about your senate family and I can't remember who through who out of the tree house but I think my mother called my dad out of a tree off

Joe Van Wie  5:19  
broke his arm. Yeah, she pushed him out of a tree house in the back of their house and his arm broke.

Unknown Speaker  5:26  
It is the I've listened to a few of your podcasts. It is very strange like in whether it's you know Scranton or New York or California. When families know each other for generations I think that is such a wild phenomenon.

Joe Van Wie  5:41  
I never knew it was until maybe my 20s It sounds like we're what you would see on True Detective in New Orleans like these generational cuz it sounds like weirdos know each other that

Unknown Speaker  5:54  
there is like that history repeating itself so much. Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  5:59  
Maybe we could talk about that. Because I mean, as I get older, and luckier to survive, or at least reflect more, it seems like it's an unending generational trauma I don't even like calling it alcoholism anymore. Now because of mistake they just it gels more in my head that drinking has very little to do with drinking just a street medicine to something that is already existed in my family prior to drinking

Unknown Speaker  6:24  
and never really got the whole drinking it's just a symptom of the illness or just like you can even be broader and say condition because it's a condition second condition the way your brain is

Joe Van Wie  6:37  
conditioned to using

Unknown Speaker  6:39  
yeah

Joe Van Wie  6:42  
just like thought is like before we go into the deeper because I want to talk to you about that what's happened in the last two years. You went to prep? Right? That's where I met you and I didn't go to prep Do you remember?

Unknown Speaker  6:57  
No I imagine it must have been at like one of the houses in green Ridge somewhere

Joe Van Wie  7:03  
you're not going to believe this I've remember this I was in happ it was higher achievement learning program. It was like for poor kids to go to prep in the summer and fried summer reading. And I ran into you there you were like I'm preps campus, you just, you know, hazing. The kids that have that's how we met.

Unknown Speaker  7:24  
I was being like a basic, like addicted people.

Joe Van Wie  7:27  
Oh, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  7:29  
That is the one like when you said who you know, who is Matt Quinn from then? It's 45 years old. And like even thinking, you know, I graduated high school in 1995. It is. I almost don't remember who I was. Or they gave him the idea that we're going to talk about early sobriety and you know what drinking was like and those kind of what it was like then yeah, it is getting foggier foggier as time goes by.

Joe Van Wie  8:00  
I feel things are coming back. 20 years is the same age stuff is starting to come back without willingness, like I'll be doing something. And I'm like, is that a real memory from childhood? And these Misty recollections just start to Well, up in May what? What do I think how Brian? He's looking at, like colors and things, and I'll have these flashbacks or what have just little nuances of childhood. I'm like this bizarre?

Unknown Speaker  8:29  
Yeah, I mean, well, I definitely think I mean, even thinking about today and what we were going to talk about, there was that pushback in my mind that's like, Oh, you don't want to go, you don't want to go back there and think about those things. No, but I'll

Joe Van Wie  8:44  
come back because the children that what my point was being like, you remember High School and 1015 more years in a new light when you see your child. Whatever

Unknown Speaker  8:56  
reason my clients I have a lot of like, I usually don't work with people under the age of 18. But sometimes I think in there, but my 1819 20 year olds, that I remember the emotional side of like that, hey, you know, and I said I was hazing. People are being like, if so now now, if someone had put their hand on my shoulder and said, Are you full of fear right now and just need a hug? I probably would have broke down crying.

Joe Van Wie  9:19  
Yeah, yeah. Well, no, that's how that's how I remember it. Like you were anxious around but I didn't get to know you until years later. And you're really just funny. I think you've just after you tried to Hayes's for awhile, you got really funny.

Unknown Speaker  9:36  
Yeah, I always remember like humor. There was always one person not laughing. Right? Yeah, one person you've chosen to make the joke. And I think that has faded a lot only because I think I I've learned so much more about how much pain most people are carrying. But Scranton has such an interesting like the humor of Scranton does not work in Tampa or a lot of views. England I tried to I mean, even you know, living in different places that sarcasm does not translate.

Joe Van Wie  10:12  
No, no, I've experienced it. I've fallen. I've failed on a lot of jokes either even in Hoboken.

Unknown Speaker  10:19  
Yeah. Or even in relationships. Like, yeah, the things we say sometimes are so cutting, and so extreme that the person is like, are we breaking up? And you're like, No. But if

Joe Van Wie  10:31  
you're self deprecating, I think there's a way to disarm people in a lot of skirts. There is some wonderful people self deprecation and humility that just disarms everyone. And then you find out they're like a wizard are brilliant. And they've totally disarmed you.

Unknown Speaker  10:48  
I agree with that. But how long were

Joe Van Wie  10:51  
you? Like, let's skip past the boringness of prep and Scranton, why did you get sober? Like and almost unpack it? Because it's generational now? Yeah. Variety. Recovering.

Unknown Speaker  11:06  
Yeah, there's some like you and I think you see the patterns in your own work. And it's kind of a cliche story in a lot of ways, but or at least predictable. So you have like, alcoholic parent, and then you're, you know, 10 years old, you get caught drinking and blackout, and then all the therapists and everyone around you say, that kid is going to become an alcoholic, they drink, like do not water the seed. I think that's what maybe Nikhil Angelou said to my dad when I was like, 11 really waters that seed, it will grow and destroy his life. And I remember hearing them say that and thinking like, oh, well, that's unfortunate. Like, let me get some more water. But I think the reason I stopped drinking was really not by choice. I had to I had no more my no more options. Yeah, like, getting evicted. I was fired from my job. My friends were the worst of like, characters. My drug dealer was like, You got a problem, buddy. Like you gotta

Joe Van Wie  12:12  
make me feel bad about my adventure here.

Unknown Speaker  12:15  
Yeah, yeah, I would watch. I would watch Jeopardy with him. And he would I would always this was in Pittsburgh. Yeah. And I go and get the coke. And I'd sit there with him for like a you know, 40 minutes sometimes. And he's like, you're the only one that stays here with me. Everybody else just takes it and goes. So with that, you know, I said, I feel like you're a good guy. You're just you really you're not doing well.

Joe Van Wie  12:39  
Yeah, oh, you're testing script and humor on him and it's failing.

Unknown Speaker  12:44  
Cat and it my allergies would act up. I'd be like trying to snort through all that mucus. It was terrible. But I did not want to get sober. It was like, I I had my family. I talked to them a year. They said you're kind of serious problem. Nobody was enabling me. I think my dad had like a secret insurance program on me right in case like catastrophe happened, but I was totally on my own. I crashed really quickly. It was like a year after I'd left Scranton that I really like, fell apart. And it's even scarier. I was like, just about to do heroin with this waiter. And he missed he didn't come. And then we were gonna meet again. And then something happened to him. And then like, things fell apart really quickly. That's when I broke my hand. And I was like, Well, I can't work at the bar.

Joe Van Wie  13:35  
Were you getting any relief? From like, Were there moments of relief? Like if he went out drinking? Can you pretend none of this was happening? Was there windows?

Unknown Speaker  13:45  
It was sad. It was so sad. Last year. Like I always felt alone. I always felt very. I remember my, my clothes. They felt like they weren't touching my skin. They felt like there was like the space between my clothes and my skin. I don't know how to describe that. Yeah. I would be I just would cry a lot. I just I would say okay, I wouldn't be throwing up before I went out. Which was a weird thing. It was like anxiety, anxiety. Say I'm going to Okay, I'm going to I'm going to like just drink you know, maybe a 12 pack. That's it. You know, I'm not gonna like fall asleep next to dumpsters. I'm not gonna like knock on a window and break it by accident. I'm done now.

Joe Van Wie  14:28  
How old are you? 20 So out of curiosity did initially alcohol even even cocaine when you first started using does it Did you feel it relieved? Some sense of social anxiety. Cocaine kind of brought ordered.

Unknown Speaker  14:44  
Just literally pure relief like I remember the first time I got drunk I was about 10. And I remember drinking wine out of like a glass like a beautiful glass wine container. Like with a really cool knob on Top you would like put in like a cork glass cantor. Yeah, exactly. And somebody slept over I can't remember who. But he took like two drinks. It was like, Oh, I'm good. I'm good. And I remember I just kept drinking it and then I drink like a Genesee or something with like you peeled off the can. And we were laughing so hard. I mean, I just remember laughing, just hysterical. My mom came down, she was crying. The parents came and picked up the kid I was laughing. And then throwing up just like, yeah, and the next day I woke up, and I didn't remember. And I came down to watch cartoons. And my mom is the one who told me this story. I don't really remember it so clearly, except for the laughing. And she said you were fine. You just watched cartoons. And we were all everyone was crying in the house like worried about you. I don't think my dad had gone to rehab yet. And it was just like a sad thing. And I was like, I don't get why everyone is so upset. Yeah, I just don't what is the problem? And he was like, bother going to rehab. I thought, what an extreme reaction to like some just some harmless drinking. Like, just can't they let him just have his drink. Like, why are they being so angry about all this?

Joe Van Wie  16:15  
Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's, that's too much for a 10 year old. You're only even spending about two years thinking you're a sovereign person from the age of eight. Now you're making critical judgments on the crisis of adults.

Unknown Speaker  16:31  
Yeah, but that is the weird thing when you meet like a 12 year old or 14 year old, and you think about what we were doing. Like, you know, half a pack of cigarettes a day. Like daily wherever you could, yeah, like stealing beer from people's garages.

Joe Van Wie  16:45  
I had a paper out, I was leasing paper outs to selling brass knuckles mace, I arm the entire sixth and seventh and eighth grade of St. Paul's with weapons.

Unknown Speaker  16:58  
Or with a tiny file in my pocket. That was my big weapon.

Joe Van Wie  17:02  
I got I got a case of

Unknown Speaker  17:08  
but alcohol was pretty. It was just I think my you know, my parents got divorced when I was like 1011, maybe 12. But I lived with my mom for some period of that. And then basically, they're like you're out of control. Go live with your father. Yeah, my mom and dad are two totally different people. My mom is like, basically like, she's a big Christian, but she's like a hippie, kind of parent where she was just like, You're your own person. Do what you want. You know, like, let me know where you are, you know, just very hands off. Well, my dad was like, I'm trying to save you from killing yourself. Yeah. So fear was so controlling because he was so worried. But man, the minute I got out just any kind of freedom. down as much alcohol it's muddled as possible. Because, again, yeah.

Joe Van Wie  18:07  
I just slid off my roof. So jumping back, I know we're jumping around. Do you have a podcast? Give it some flow? You got sober.

Unknown Speaker  18:19  
24 or 20? No. 2021 in rehab.

Joe Van Wie  18:22  
Only one? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  18:26  
It was 25 years. In June. It'll be

Joe Van Wie  18:28  
and you went to a 30 day treatment center.

Unknown Speaker  18:31  
I did 14 days at Clearbrook. And then they sent me four months at Blue Mountain House to hope. Oh, I know. i You're an alumni. And then they sent me I was at a halfway house for two and a half months.

Joe Van Wie  18:44  
Can we talk about should we have a bet that place was Blue Mountain? Nylon? Yeah. Oh, bomb Island fingers. So in South Mountain PA. It was Blue Mountain House of Hope and what it was. It was a recovery house halfway. It wasn't a halfway house but it would be the equivalent today of a PHP transitional living facility. It's true marketing and advertising. There was a fireplace. There was the hint of a pool, volleyball all kinds of you know what would be deemed adventure therapy today. They call it all of that. It had all the trimmings. It can fun. You get that you're in the middle of nowhere. You're sitting acres of desolation. And you get the top of a mountain and it's one cabin with a bunk beds in the basement, which was previous to that a couple of years earlier. A crystal meth lab Yeah, this is Sergeant in arms for the bigger bike.

Unknown Speaker  19:57  
He was such a character They will do such cool things, which, honestly, it works for me, but it also institutionalized me a little bit because I was ready to leave

Joe Van Wie  20:10  
it don't confuse work for you versus your survivor. It's like saying a concentration camp work for me. I've just I see life differently. No.

Unknown Speaker  20:24  
For the record, we will definitely not compare it to a castrate Oh, no, but it was.

Joe Van Wie  20:30  
It was torment, sadistic sadism. Yeah, he would it was really

Unknown Speaker  20:36  
build those walls, and then he would knock them down with a skid stir and say do it again. Or he would tell us that. Were they maybe it was the, you know, all the counselors working together, but I think it was him. Yeah, I would say you're having visitors Sunday. And there was no plan visit. So you're waiting, waiting. But there the madness was if you can react in a positive way to that. You're ready to get out of here. Well,

Joe Van Wie  21:00  
that's how you had to play the game from. I was I was there for about four or five months.

Unknown Speaker  21:05  
That's why I've stayed so long. Because the average day is like three because people lie. They're like, Yeah, I'm good. I'm fine.

Joe Van Wie  21:11  
I got no visitors. Until like month two brought us guitars one evening and Tom Osborne went to play a guitar in it and it went a minute past 10 and bomb came right in that room, took the guitars and smashed them off the walls. No one said a word and he looked at us he goes remember the same Disneyland and he had all gold teeth. He drove $150,000 lotus in front pull up. This was madness.

Unknown Speaker  21:44  
Crazy. He was a cigarette remember? would do. I would be eating like eating cereal with a spoon. Spoon in one hand cigarette in the other hand. Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  21:52  
you could smoke or anywhere. You make a chest

Unknown Speaker  21:55  
really well there. That was a good thing.

Joe Van Wie  21:57  
Chess and I learned how to make bread. We had a bead the bread. We did. Did you guys do that? Yep. Volleyball was a really effective

Unknown Speaker  22:05  
prison. They were like, eff this. I'm not. I don't need this.

Joe Van Wie  22:10  
the AMA's I've seen while I was there. Dozens and dozens of guys choose County Prison. Who I've seen guys who didn't have charges choose county prison. That's right. We're dealing with bomb because once you left, you're under this kind of leverage to once you walk off this property. You're trespassing for about three or four miles. You're going to jail.

Unknown Speaker  22:35  
My buddy came back the custody to Bob of my friend. They arrested him in a phone booth downtown.

Joe Van Wie  22:44  
Yeah. Can you imagine a place trying to operate like that today?

Unknown Speaker  22:47  
That's like got shut down.

Joe Van Wie  22:49  
It'd be criminal. It's criminal.

Unknown Speaker  22:52  
Yeah, I think he died. In a pretty not a good way. Ma'am. Like, broke, basically. Yeah, I

Joe Van Wie  23:00  
can't even say I liked him. There's an endearment and a romance memory to him. It's like surviving bootcamp with a drill sergeant, though with that psychological effect that it well, I don't want to be stupid. So this was good for me.

Unknown Speaker  23:12  
Yeah. Cosmograph that, like, crap. Like throwing books at your head. It's like, oh, you're like me. That's why be you. He was

Joe Van Wie  23:21  
hiring women counselors and you know, having affairs with them openly. And we would be out raking leaves, our hands blistered. I didn't have clothes there. For about three weeks, all I had was two suits. And it was getting cold. It was passing fall. And I'm like, I thought this I'd be sitting around in libraries reading. I'm in a mulch pit with penny loafers on. There's like food going into my shoes, and summer, and just 30 yards away. He's sitting there smoke in a Jacuzzi on his porch just watching that mulch pit.

Unknown Speaker  24:02  
But you know, one of the things that was good with that place was like they would do these blackouts where, you know, you couldn't talk to anyone in the community for like three days or something. You were just feeling needed. But you had to write down everything that you want to say. Yeah, and one of the things that I learned that and that goes back to our original conversation with like humor or about the way we talk, it was so cutting like everything I wrote down my comments. They were just like, I was stabbing people all over the place. And to me, it was funny. But there was always like a wound like a blood trickle somewhere. Yeah. And that was the place that I learned that that that my type of humor was like a little bit harsh for a sensitive person.

Joe Van Wie  24:46  
Wow. I stayed sober 14 years after I left there. That was from my relapse and you stayed sober from that place. And I'll tell you what, in hindsight, but in the treatment of just boys being boys He's kind of Lord of the Flies with a sprinkle of recovery up there. Yeah. Regardless of that, the people I was there with we cared about each other, we kept each other out of trouble. We would talk people out of not going to jail. community would rise out of there, regardless of Bob's tensions or his derangement. I think Bob had a psychopathy but wanted to somehow help. They have some discipline to helping people.

Unknown Speaker  25:28  
He had, like that was her name Valerie or there was a lady there. That was great. And there was another guy there was like they had a pothead. So they had these characters did the work while he would come in and do like the show, but they had some solid and really just like any group of people that have a common problem. They it does. It does organize itself in a way that can really have a solution oriented space.

Joe Van Wie  25:58  
No, we would get good good clients will make the like four or five it was contagious would make other people around them better. Yeah. Yeah. When I got there, we had a fight pet the volleyball if there was dispute, gloves on it, and we went up to the volleyball court and you would toss. Yeah, they didn't. Like, yeah, he's he brought it back for character. Yeah. And it was only Bob, it wasn't counselors, because the one clinical director, I remember was gonna quit if you didn't get rid of the fight pit.

Unknown Speaker  26:29  
I believe it. I mean, I think that's why that's crazy.

Joe Van Wie  26:33  
It's a bizim is out of control. But But the other thing is, if you give someone who had late stage addiction, like you and me and drinking, like the, like, if I had an obsession, I'm using, like within an hour, whatever resources. So too late brain take its natural course outside of like the psychological behaviors and problems and thoughts that come with addiction and trauma, and your brain naturally starts to find and I think, a harmony to want to get back to soothing yourself, and getting more space in between just having an eighth of a second to respond to, like an obsession. And they say the key day is 90 days after treatment. Your brain will try to seek its own relief. But the thoughts will bring you back to an addiction but your brains trying to give you more relief and time to make decisions. And we spent a lot of time there. I think that that is something that shouldn't be ignored to just time.

Unknown Speaker  27:35  
Yeah, once the seasons were changing. Like that was real realization that you were there a long time.

Joe Van Wie  27:41  
Yeah, you're in you have a serious problem. Why? Why am I here yet? Well,

Unknown Speaker  27:48  
until I went to the halfway house, I was saying to this guy, he was like, What are you here for? And I was like, basically, I've been set up like, normally is like trying to teach me like where I'm going to end up if I keep going down this path. And he was like, you don't fucker, you're here. And I was like, Oh, it really liked it. That was the big kind of take away from my own. Wow. Yeah, like almost the most obvious things in life seem to be. Yeah, like, like, No, you're here dummy. Like, this isn't a This isn't no one's playing a joke.

Joe Van Wie  28:26  
Yeah, well, you're living another life in your head. And it's not matching the one that you're experiencing. You're you're waiting for like the iconic. I'm saying this because this is what I relate to. And yeah, I was living in an entirely different experience in my head versus the reality I was I was going to

Unknown Speaker  28:43  
I remember my sister. I went to a party once and I remember walking into the party thinking I looked amazing. Just like cool as could be like Chippewas on my Marlboro Man, jean jacket with a burr underneath it. Yeah, and I look great. And my sister basically tried to have an intervention on me. They're in your style. They threw me in a shower, but they were just like, you looked fucking terrible. Yeah, you're you are not doing well. And I was like, What is wrong with these people?

Joe Van Wie  29:14  
What are these people gonna get some style?

Unknown Speaker  29:17  
I think I was like hitting on her friend at that in the same during the intervention.

Joe Van Wie  29:24  
Oh, that's wild. Blue Mountain House of Hope. I didn't even think we I didn't even remember that like that we've

Unknown Speaker  29:33  
like that's what I mean about time and I think we're gonna get the more history there is there and there's just so much space for your brain to keep on that forefront there. And it just you have these memories of all right. I mean, you remember, like, I'm aware we're on a podcast though. But that early sobriety. I mean, to me if you're in your 20s and you're getting sober and Scranton or really anywhere it's very Hard to get sober because everyone's drinking in that environment, or not everybody, but the ones that we want to be with are drinking. And just all the time we like it was a real fellowship of that little crew spending time together.

Joe Van Wie  30:13  
We spent the two years hanging out every day. And it got us better. I I love it. We get hit with memories of things that I forgot how much fun early sobriety became for guys who really, you know, you see they want to get sober that was initially but we were we were sober. We were, we were enjoying life.

Unknown Speaker  30:40  
You remember that first party I went to was like first like, I don't know, maybe two years sober year and a half sober. We went to a party at the University of Scranton was a graduation and Linden Street. Yeah, and that guy was like, told me he stabbed me in the heart if I didn't have a drink. And I went to pick up that, like, Ashrita smash off his head. And you were like, No, brother. We are men of peace.

Joe Van Wie  31:05  
Already, I was reading Aquinas every night realizing man I have such I have to change my ways, man.

Unknown Speaker  31:11  
I know maybe like a man of God.

Joe Van Wie  31:14  
Yeah, I was really attracted to the idea of being a Jesuit. Because it didn't look like a soldier. And like some intellectual soldier.

Unknown Speaker  31:23  
Yeah. Like, basically. No.

Joe Van Wie  31:27  
Yeah. But it was hard to suspend the other conflicts I was having with the idea of faith, but the allure of the Romans if just reading on their nipples by the Iroquois as a test of strength, it was like, Yeah, this these are kind of dudes

Unknown Speaker  31:46  
are different. That's where I'm like, Yeah, I'm all about Go ahead. Go ahead.

Joe Van Wie  31:55  
That was 2000. Or 1997.

Unknown Speaker  31:58  
Yeah. 98.

Joe Van Wie  32:02  
That's freaky to say. So bizarre? Yeah, that Jeep Cherokee.

Unknown Speaker  32:06  
Yeah, that was stolen in New Jersey. That's what I learned that. Remember when your car was the license plates have two license plates, the front and back. I was like, you know, what's the license plate on the for the front, the back on my front, the back? What are you talking about? Buddy?

Joe Van Wie  32:26  
What? You were sober. And then you went back to school? Because you left Pittsburgh and you went back to Penn State? What did you start studying there?

Unknown Speaker  32:34  
So I went back in I did international politics. At Penn State, which was great. I did Worthington for a year. And then my last two years at Main Campus. And that's where I met my wife. And it was very interesting, because like, she was the first person that I really met. That wasn't like us. Like when she was in high school. They were at like Denny's having coffee talking about politics. Yeah. And to me, that was just so bizarre, like what do you mean? Like, where do you guys drink in the woods in Florida? She's like, What are you talking about? The Everglades. She's never done any drugs? And I'm like, don't you want to know? Or the other day this like a year ago, but she had some like, an espresso and felt really jittery from it. And then like, ride the dragon Honey, just ride the dragon the caffeine. She was like, No, I don't want to feel altered at all. So having that relationship taught me like, oh, there's a whole nother section of the population that gets stimulation from, from life from like living and doing curiosity. Yeah. In service and like, community and all these things. Not a self centered. self destructive path that has the illusions of expansion.

Joe Van Wie  33:56  
Yeah. Yeah. Or they have resolved pain to, like, carry. Yeah. Yeah. That's why it's so how did you meet your wife?

Unknown Speaker  34:08  
Well, geography 128. We were in class together. Yeah, but 200 people. But actually enough, she was she's a genius. You know, like, PhD, probably average. But she was in the front. Like second row. I was in the second to last row. Yeah. And the professor asked, What's the only true nation state and I don't know why I knew that. But I raised my hand and said Iceland, and he was like, nobody ever knows that, like all and she said, she turned around to see who said that. And that's where she noticed me a little bit, just a little bit and every day I moved up like 10 rows to get closer to her. And then it was like a six months of like, just pursuing as a friend. Wow, she was having none of it, having none of it. And then a friend of hers said, Hey, you please really liked this guy. Give him a chance. And then that was it. Yeah, remember

Unknown Speaker  35:06  
the courtship?

Unknown Speaker  35:08  
Yeah, she's a pretty amazing person. And really, I think you know this as well, in a relationship, like when you're when you have this condition you're in you're a recovering alcoholic you. It is not about the alcohol or the drug. It really is like a in my view. And I know, there's lots of different types of us, you know, yeah, I don't think you and I happen to be really similar. Yeah. And I, even in my practice, I do that, like I, I do not make my alcoholism, someone else's alcoholism or even recovery path, or, you know, the guys who want to keep trying to stay, drink and do it. I'm not like shaming them and telling them they're failing. Like,

Joe Van Wie  35:49  
how did you learn that? How did you learn that? Because we kind of, we had the same experience in a and we we get this kind of fundamental little education here that it's all the same. And it's just not true. It's just not true.

Unknown Speaker  36:04  
I went to a I went a for like, 15 years regularly. And then when I moved to Tunisia, there was no a there. Yeah. And I didn't go to a like two years

Joe Van Wie  36:15  
into Tunisia, just to we were. We were

Unknown Speaker  36:18  
working with the African Development Bank. And then I was a consultant with the who and in the ADB. So the world. Yeah, it was a really great experience. It was before the revolution. Yeah, we had moved three months before the revolution started, and we moved to England. And it was there that that's where two years of no meetings and like, I mean, I was like at parties all the time. Yeah. had diplomatic status. So it was like, you had like a lot of ego inflation. So there was just like,

Joe Van Wie  36:51  
you had a radio show.

Unknown Speaker  36:52  
We had a radio show. Yeah. So but we would talk. What

Joe Van Wie  36:58  
I would talk to you, I felt like I talked to you every like two or three months, when you were in Tunisia. There was some kind of I remember talking

Unknown Speaker  37:06  
while you're there. Probably Skype. Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  37:10  
Just kidding. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  37:12  
But you were such an important part of my recovery. So it was basically I was talking to you and my dad was related to only alcoholics. I was talking to England, I was really dry, like really dry. And the pubs in England are the most charming things you could imagine the doors charming spaces. Yeah. Rabid stew pheasant. Like all the things you want to eat as like a with the DNA of like an Irish habit. Like, so. That space mixed with the cloudy, rainy, just depressing weather. And then the lack of all my friends became like Eastern Europeans. Like I wasn't connecting with like the English people. Yeah. One like 20. And unlike Tunisia, where it was like, I felt like I was meeting new friends every day. So there was like, isolation, loneliness. I hadn't had my work visa yet in England. So I knew I was going to drink because I remember walking. And I just glass of scotch, like, I wanted some rabbit stew and a glass of scotch.

Joe Van Wie  38:17  
Now can you? Was there any points prior to translating like I want to drink? Were you recognizing that you were more irritable, restless, distracted,

Unknown Speaker  38:29  
I was watching the wire. Yeah, theater in the house. And like, I started acting weird. I was like collecting, like recyclables like glass, putting them in the shelf. So like, there was this huge shelf, like 100 bottles of like, a black green glass white class. And my wife was just like, What is this? And I was like, I don't know, just collecting that stuff. And just I was getting weird. Yeah. I was kind of like going a little like getting mentally ill I think like almost depression. Sure. Actually, I probably if I took a depression, you know, test. If I sat with a professional, they would say you you have depression right now. So I said, I'm going I said it to my wife, I gotta go back to Scranton. I need to go to like meetings. I'm not dying, because I tried to go to english meetings, or meetings and I got in a fight with a guy there. I had gone one day introduce myself. And the next day I went again, and he said anybody new here, and I didn't say anything. And he kept staring at me. Staring staring. And finally I was just like, Are you fucking looking at me? I said, cuz I introduced myself yesterday. So I don't know what you want from me. And then it was just like that. I was just that dry. Yeah, and I remember I think I was 12 years sober at the time. You made it a prison meaning you leaving the meeting with a buddy. The first week of sobriety is the hardest. And I thought oh, I'm

Joe Van Wie  39:56  
how embarrassed like Oh, Well, thanks for the help, like,

Unknown Speaker  40:03  
five, seven years was like the most time. Yeah, you're not like in, you know, in our in, in Scranton or in New York or Philly or Florida like there's like 40 years, 30 years. So outside

Joe Van Wie  40:13  
of not having a social connection and that like recovery community like we do any kind of practice of the steps or mindfulness.

Unknown Speaker  40:22  
No, I hadn't lost all of it like that last year, like I had the values and principles of like, I was vigorously honest. Yeah, that was always been like a core thing for me. But that also came with brutality. Like, yeah, it was rigorously honest, but brutally honest.

Joe Van Wie  40:37  
Yeah, that's, that's yeah, that's mean. You've always had that ability to be brutally honest with when we were.

Unknown Speaker  40:45  
fashion, but now I'm doing it with like, a massive amount of compassion. Yeah. Which is, I think clients need like, they want that and they value it. So that's good. Because you have

Joe Van Wie  40:57  
How did you survive that without drinking? How would you describe how did you come back to like, a balance that you're like, oh, this, this is alcoholism. And this is what I need to pay attention to?

Unknown Speaker  41:10  
Well, I went home. Because I knew I was losing. I knew I mean, I knew I was in trouble. So I'm like, I'm grateful for that. I wasn't in some kind of denial. Right? I wasn't. I wasn't sick. I was talking to people about what I was going through. So that just, I think, like, that's, I'm grateful for that in the sense like, you know, a lot of us. People will relapse, and they'll say you never told anybody. Yeah, I don't have that disorder. I don't have that. Like, private keep it to myself. I'll tell it like I was telling my dad, I think I was telling you tell the Queen like I'm not doing well. I'm thinking about drinking. I'm thinking about maybe I should smoke weed. Maybe I should like, yeah, I want to use something.

Joe Van Wie  41:58  
Yeah, I remember. I don't know, on the timeline in my head. But then I remember when I drank it wasn't telling anyone I told Bruce, he's 80 years old, and I started smoking pot. And you know, the wheels fell off fairly quickly. I remember speaking with you, and I remember your just stunning curiosity of asking questions to make sure that you were like, I this is why I'm not doing this. Because I was telling you this. I'm living in a nightmare.

Unknown Speaker  42:28  
Yeah. And I was like, thank you so much. I appreciate your time. Because I believe that we were so similar, that if you could do it, I couldn't do

Joe Van Wie  42:37  
it. No. And I was rooting

Unknown Speaker  42:39  
for you.

Joe Van Wie  42:40  
Yeah, well, I because I talked to you, I told you I was smoking a lot of pot and I was getting relief. And I said oh, I'm drinking too. But I don't think I think I was mentally ill young man now that I could do mushrooms and DMT on the rag, you know, liberating some broken parts up there.

Unknown Speaker  43:01  
When I came back to Clarks Summit, like to the region, I was going to two meetings a day for like a month. And that and I had never gone to two meetings a day in 12 years of sobriety ever. And that's when I really knew was serious. And I stayed at my mom's which was really healing because there was like, during the divorce there was she moved away. So that was like a really great, like, very spiritual moment. And then I went back. And when I went back to England, I had met this pianist, this guy from Lithuania. And he said to me, you have like 1213 years of sobriety we need you here. He said, I have two years sobriety I'm trying to run a like you run it in America. And they're that the way they're running to here is like relapse is part of it. Don't worry about it. Everyone can relapse just come in here and talk about how you can't stop drinking. He's like, nobody wants to do solution here. He's like, I need you to do teach us your American AAA way. And that gave me like a whole another purpose of I mean, really, he saved me in so many ways, because he said he was just like, basically, you're a selfish asshole for not using your Yeah, Friday to help people you're not doing the 12 step.

Joe Van Wie  44:17  
Well reintroduces purpose to I mean, did you feel responsibility to do that? Then

Unknown Speaker  44:22  
we had sponsees. I was like, you know, we go into a meeting every day. And I did that for like two years. And then I was working, I switched nice switch careers. I was working at an independent living home for people with autism and special needs. So I was like bathing people washing people like my life. I was on a bike all the time by you know, biking all over Cambridge. It was the most simple village life. Oh, wow. We were going on picnics. It was very much like our early sobriety days in Scranton.

Joe Van Wie  44:54  
And that was that's what healed another crisis like 100% So, I mean, it's the basic tenant of AAA, which is sounds reckless to someone who's suffering some kind of mental crisis or self pity, depression, anxiety, is to consider someone else.

Unknown Speaker  45:12  
I was obsessed with self. I was self centered, isolated, and alone, and starting to authorize you catastrophize more and more.

Joe Van Wie  45:20  
Me too. It's a nightmare to win. Because it's like, it doesn't happen in an immediacy. It's like going into a warm bath, last meetings, less responsibility to others, it's my time to take care of myself, I gotta do things. I don't know how to keep that teeter totter.

Unknown Speaker  45:38  
It's really I think you're right, because we meet these people in AAA where they are taking care of everybody but themselves. And that in itself becomes a very toxic lifestyle.

Joe Van Wie  45:50  
Yeah, there's it but it's easy to see what it was, I feel there's a different it's not that they're not authentic. But there's you could see the helps could only go so far from that person. Or if you get to know them, you realizing they're not becoming your friend, or there's there's a, you know, sincere line over there to let you know they are. And it's that can either look like, Hey, I don't I don't want to be your friend. Or there's there's beyond that. While you're not well,

Unknown Speaker  46:22  
yeah. I mean, that was why one thing I really appreciate in the in the program is like the idea of going through the steps like but actually going through the steps like having a system of doing that. Yeah, then completing the steps, and then implementing those principles in your life. So that to me was the program, where a lot of times a lot of us are just in the program. Yeah, not really doing the program. And that's where I think it gets. That's why you and I would say to my new younger, even people I'm sending to a to checkout. And there's other things I want them to check out too. But AAA is one of them. And I'm always hoping I always basically say to them, I think I might even use your name. I'm like, you want to look for the Joe van wie e in there, like, you want to look for the person that you'd have a drink with, that you'd want to be friends with? Right? Like somebody that can show you how to be sober and happy in that.

Joe Van Wie  47:19  
Rehab, find some friends, you find a friend, don't ask for a sponsor, ask someone if you're becoming friends, or you kind of like them, or they look like someone you you admire or want to rep. Say, Have you worked the steps? We show me how you don't ask them to be your sponsor. Just Just make it like that. It commits him to what he's supposed to be doing. It's not power base. We're on the level. Let's see if we can figure out

Unknown Speaker  47:45  
if we drop each other. Yeah. One thing I will say is I know we're getting close, but the idea of drinking being like a symptom of our condition. Yeah, do not have any desire to drink now. Right? Yeah, I think that is really been a gift. I had early sobriety, I never would have thought that would be possible. But I don't have a desire to drink. But I do have a desire to be altered. Right? Yeah. So that is always there, I think and I and it's instead

Joe Van Wie  48:17  
altered, not for relief altered for more meaning.

Unknown Speaker  48:24  
I guess experience, which I think now there's, there's like the whole movement of you know, psychedelic psychedelic. But I think that,

Joe Van Wie  48:33  
but it's not to escape, is it for some what what experience are you feeling would bring more value? more value to your life?

Unknown Speaker  48:43  
I don't think it would. But I think that at the core, like when I do a, kind of below the iceberg exercise. It's it's that idea of more, right? wanting more, were like the now isn't good enough, or the experience isn't good enough. There must be more to this. And I think that is a false goal. Or a false, you know,

Joe Van Wie  49:07  
did you ever do you ever hear the call that Cohen's but there's a there's a meditation, train, you can follow. It's called the headless way. And it's freaky, but what you're describing, I know what you're describing, because I feel that way. And I think that comes and goes a fleet to me for experience a more and if you really unpack it, it's not intelligence, you really want a revelation of meaning, or unification to the experience of life. Why do I feel distinctly different than everything else? But am I

Unknown Speaker  49:42  
your size is the trap so like the thought exercise of oh, why I need to be more connected. I need to be more connected. I need to it's actually like, connect it. Right but also it's like that metaphor of someone sitting on like a chest of gold being like I need money. I need money. Yeah. Yeah, it's within is

Joe Van Wie  50:02  
it is action. But what is within is like if you do the headless way. Yeah, you see that consciousness just it's just rifling into your experience. You can't see your eyes without a mirror. You can't see your face most of the day. You're just experiencing the world as a flat screen. It's just there. Observer. Look for the observer in the meditation. Where's my head? am I experiencing life through my head? Why don't I feel it through my chest? Yeah, my hand. Other people's feelings. It starts to expand the idea of consciousness, how fragile it is, like, what what is what am I seeing when I look at things? And why do I think I'm like it's me an object to me an object when it's that's why it's only happening in my head.

Unknown Speaker  50:52  
It's an Untethered Soul book because it was so like even Eckhart Tolle like Power of Now like you talking to you about you, like who? Who's having this bed early?

Joe Van Wie  51:03  
How much impact did you think the idea is the power of now? Is, is really safe. You took alcoholism, we stopped you from drinking, just to sum it up. The idea is to be present. What is beyond just be of the moment, there's nothing. And he's saying, you know, whatever, if it's alcoholism, torment, gambling, whatever. This is what we're trying to escape the how uncomfortable it is for us to be present. Yeah, I remember you read that early. That's why I read that book you told me to read. And we were we were young, you have a profound effect. Got that idea?

Unknown Speaker  51:42  
Well, it's removing 90% of the noise in my head. That is like, all those future events Appearing Real. Right? Is this podcast gonna work? Will the internet be good? You know, is our is is it going to be deleted? Like all the nonsense that happens in your head? Will I be able to like, drop like two F bombs, not 40? Like all the things that you overthink? I think when you practice that concept of now, it is so much easier to let all the things go that are not real. Yeah. And to acknowledge that voice like, why is someone in that Untethered Soul that he talks about? How

Joe Van Wie  52:22  
what Oh, wrote on tether, so I'll put an insert, I gotta look at them read it.

Unknown Speaker  52:28  
It's great. But he says, if you're, if the voice in your head was your good friend, following you around all the time, saying what they're saying, Would you want that person in your life. And it's like,

Joe Van Wie  52:42  
it's hard, because who you talk to, like, I know that feeling. And it's the feeling when my anxiety really untethered, it's their voices louder, and what I'm doing, you know, sometimes unconsciousness, your flood attention and your spotlight attention. And to just cite, what that would look like is I'm driving in a car with you. And 80% of my consciousness and ability to be alive is driving falling traffic signals, people, other people, and I'm driving, but I'm also talking to Nietzsche, which is like, I'm not looking at you, but you're in the car. That's my focused attention. This is my flood attention. They're saying flood attention. That's reason why I say I'm beating my heart right now. That's just happening. I'm not choosing the heartbeat. Am I so out of touch with this part of my body, my life experience, knowing the way back home from a place, that's where spirituality is, I'm hearing and I'm feeling this time around at 40. I've been ignoring my real life, the actual driving, because I'm trying and so they venture back into the task that's at hand, even if it's simple, why would be boring, or it's not intellectually stimulating. But if I take the risk to do some to paying attention to one of those projects, I find a little I'm missing the largest portion of my life that could be enjoyable. Like, at first, I'm thinking this is stupid like that. My, my intellect has grown beyond me. Now. It's in my mind, I'm living in an imaginary life. Yeah, I want to let me be present. And that kind of spirituality says I'll organically be prepared for threats and plans. I jump into the world of the spirit, being an atheist. That was that was making sense to me. That's where I've been. I haven't been present here. That's where I need to live.

Unknown Speaker  54:46  
Yeah, I agree. That presence is a type of spirituality.

Joe Van Wie  54:50  
Yeah. Yeah. I still struggle with it. Like it's too boring to pay attention to I'm gonna want to do this. But like why So weird space

Unknown Speaker  55:01  
your daughter has introduced you to Daniel Tiger yet, but no, they're my son, Daniel Tiger song. It's basically like find the while find the wild. Yeah, man. And it's, it's, it's essentially saying like, Stop. Look around, find the Wow. And it's like all over the place

Joe Van Wie  55:22  
that's like Alan Watts find your bliss.

Unknown Speaker  55:25  
Yeah man but so yeah in the bliss it's like because sometimes people say oh you know I want I want to be happy or I want bliss and I say well that's a terrible goal

Joe Van Wie  55:35  
yeah it is terrible cheesesteaks might be happy

Unknown Speaker  55:42  
you do think and live does usually dictate your emotions first

Joe Van Wie  55:47  
yeah and even the the negative parts of life you know tragedy grief, a true fears are truth, truth that's threats are coming at me to be present. And not not feel I have to run from that emotion that it's the same part of life as being happy. Reading these ideas is opened me off this is this is where this the direction I have to go. If I'm going to be alive anymore, because my mind collapses when I feel I just have to avoid negativity and look, seek out pleasure or no trauma, PTSD, detachment wire your brain. For that thinking you have to seek out some kind of pleasure, you're deficient of feeling good.

Unknown Speaker  56:34  
Yeah, or the discomfort of just suffering like feeling. That's why I am very attracted to like, a lot of Buddhist ideas, because it is like, Who am I that I can't suffer? Or when I feel we need a line and it's not moving fast enough? Why? Why am I the one that has to like, be upset about that? Or Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  56:57  
It's tough that they're hard to reconcile the first thing I reconcile when I was starting to read refuge and dharma recovery, which I have found helpful, going during Dhammika I was going on Zoom. They listened to a seminar that described you know, Western ideas of man and nature. And especially for Christians and Jews is that man is trapped. This position. By nature, we've been just in a flesh body put in here. And less like Asian Asian philosophy from Buddhists, to me, even most of Asia is that you know, you you're the apple on a tree, you dish you arrived from your produced by nature you weren't. Hmm. And there's a really huge distinction there. Because nature is the torment than if you were put into nature. And if you're arise from nature, you can find harmony, you belong here, you're not separate of like, your house isn't artificial. It's what humans do from nature, they build houses. But that

Unknown Speaker  58:05  
word you use is I think key to kind of even the theme of what we're talking about whether it's addiction or depression or anxiety, but separation. Yeah. You know, and I think people forget, we're practicing, like even practicing sobriety, or therapist or podcaster. It's like, you're practicing. So you learn, you get better and you but like the way people traumatized themselves from not doing it well, or from failing or Yeah, and then if they have our condition, instead of working on it, you're just like, well, I guess I'll burn it all down to the ground. Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  58:40  
Your brain lock. It just sees let me just seek out pleasure as a relief from this. Hopefully, I'll have enough time if this was a bad idea. Before we kind of wind down you've been in DC last couple of years.

Unknown Speaker  58:58  
You know, so I've been I'm coming up on 20 years, married and we lived in Scranton for eight months on River Street.

Joe Van Wie  59:07  
I remember street yeah, I've had dinner there anytime. We left

Unknown Speaker  59:10  
and we moved so we basically moved around for 12 years. Yeah, first 20 And then now we've been here for almost eight but we are Luneberg city here.

Joe Van Wie  59:22  
I can get all them Brooklyn Tunisia. We had like three Penn State Boston London. Yeah. Know it's, that's the best part is great. And I've been friends for 20 3040 years. Or parents could coincidentally be friends or grandfather's Russell Perino was on here at speaking of podcasts. Yeah, it's funny it sounds so weird, but it's it's kind of just a Scranton PA.

Unknown Speaker  59:51  
He is right in the sense of like, the time in which people are getting sober. So like my dad got sober at 40 I got sober at 25 Well, my daughter is have to go through this. But if she does, she'll get over it.

Joe Van Wie  1:00:03  
And, yeah, well, there's an awareness of waking up to. And in dealing with the traumas that just took longer than the past that it's just history. It's just emerging into this point of history, as you emerging as a Quinn, are available from Southside. How different can people be? I mean, we're just growing up to get where we are as fast as our slowest member here. But DC, what do you been doing? Like, in there,

Unknown Speaker  1:00:37  
outside and practice down here? And it's great, because as like, you know, I've saved maybe 20 to 30% of my practices addiction. And it's nice being an addict, and a therapist, because particularly a sober one, I suppose. But because it's, we do see each other much more clearly than a non addict or alcoholic. Yeah. So it's nice when I'm working with, you know, somebody, I'll say something and they'll say, how do you know that? Why do you know, I'm thinking that. And it's just like, in so many ways, looking in a mirror, or I would say things to you, when you were sober two years or three years, you would just know exactly where I was at. So that I am so grateful for,

Joe Van Wie  1:01:21  
do you see yourself staying in this field?

Unknown Speaker  1:01:24  
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's such a great to be able to work with someone and say, like, there's really nothing wrong with you, except like the human condition. Yeah. And your goal now is to figure out, what do you believe in? How do you want to live your life? What are your values and principles? And how do you process the things you're thinking? And if you can get that in order, you can have a reasonably happy life. Right? You can like, you're going to suffer, you're going to have trouble, you're gonna have pain, but that's what it is to be alive. Well, we don't have to do such destructive things, or we don't have to be our worst enemy, in the constant commentary in our head about how we're living. So to be able to walk that path with people. I mean, that is, to me that's like, that is a great, great way to spend the day.

Joe Van Wie  1:02:12  
So you're spending time relating to their emotions, challenging their intellect, or their perspective on life, their view? Do you introduce any mindfulness practices? Or do you speak to spirituality, the idea of a practice,

Unknown Speaker  1:02:27  
you know, you always meet Well, for me, I always meet someone where they're at. So if they're an atheist to speak to them, like, you know, another atheist if they're a Christian or Muslim, I speak to them through that language. I mean, I say so many times. So like, my, you know, I'm working with someone with great faith. I will say, like, Have you prayed about this? You know, yeah. And I've had clients say, I really appreciate you saying that, because I didn't think you'd say that to me. I thought that was just for my, you know, preacher or whatever. Yeah. So I think pick the tools people have to get mindfulness. And mindfulness is exactly what you said it was before. That disconnecting from the existence of chaos.

Joe Van Wie  1:03:10  
Like I'm different than what's happening. Yeah, just like, yeah. Like, how do I? How do I think I'm different from emerging in nature? Life reality, I mean, in the cosmos, but somewhere, there's a little man in my head, like, like, Where does this idea come from? disconnected from what I'm experiencing? I don't want to feel that way anymore.

Unknown Speaker  1:03:35  
Yeah. And that's why I always go back in. Yeah, to thinking because the thinking is what leads so much to the emotional consequence. You know, in the authorizing the catastrophizing, it's almost like 90% of the things in my life are not someone's blocking my car in my driveway. Immediate autolyzed moment, when really, it's like, I don't know what's going on over there. Someone broke their foot trying to get into their rowhouse. You know, like,

Joe Van Wie  1:04:04  
do you find Do you think that just starts from not having before you're like, you know, a fully developed mind losing an idea that you're safe?

Unknown Speaker  1:04:13  
I heard you say that about like, kind of the early the way your brain develops? Yeah. Basically, like a young child. I love attachment theory. And I do believe in like insecure attachment. I think,

Joe Van Wie  1:04:27  
I don't know enough about it. I mean, I'm, I'm asking you, because I just kind of armchair layman's readings. That's why I brought it up to you. I'm like, What do you know about this? Because I know. Yeah, and I make sense. It's, it sounds like it makes sense

Unknown Speaker  1:04:41  
to us. And I think we're learning more and more about neuroscience. And I think we're going to understand the brain so much better in 10 years, and I tell all my clients that are on some form of,

Joe Van Wie  1:04:53  
you know, just waiting for 10 years.

Unknown Speaker  1:04:56  
What they say this, they say I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life. If I say maybe, yeah. Or you're gonna have somebody connected to your scalp for 10 minutes, twice a week, but

Joe Van Wie  1:05:08  
yeah, you could be in the metaverse, you could be

Unknown Speaker  1:05:14  
talking, I do know things are changing, like I do know where we're understanding depression, anxiety, even addiction, way better than what we had before. Which, you know, I know we're kind of getting close. But that's why even though I, I'm so grateful to the 12 step program for building the foundation of my sobriety, as a therapist, I am so open to whatever works for that person to either be sober, or figure out how to have a relationship with substances if they can't, and if they can't, I used to be a much more fundamental person. Yeah, in the sense of like, this is the way

Joe Van Wie  1:05:53  
me too, anymore. I mean, either. I think it's just a product where we're from time and space of that idea. And once I let go of that, but that being said, what you just said, did it was there ever scenarios where you would have to challenge someone because what their beliefs was, could be was too delusional or destructive, that they thought they were pursuing spirituality? Homeostasis with demand with the idea was bad. You have to do you find yourself ever having to challenge that?

Unknown Speaker  1:06:27  
I guess the only time I really like outside of like a criminal act. Yeah, a whole different path. But the only time I really will get a little bit more aggressive. Our guests are super direct, is if I think someone if I'm working with someone, and they have a ex partner, and they are going to make them love them.

Joe Van Wie  1:06:52  
Okay, yeah, that

Unknown Speaker  1:06:55  
get real clear about what's going on there and say, yeah, what your need your insecure attachment, your need to have them be your your solution. Yeah, like you think they're going to cure you. And I can tell you, it's further from the truth. But those I always find that to be the most challenging when someone is like, someone saying, Do not contact me, and my client is like, I'm gonna reach out. that I find is really unhealthy.

Joe Van Wie  1:07:21  
Yeah, that can be scary. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  1:07:25  
But a lot of times, just like you said, you know, your own reality. For them. The reality is not one of unhealthy behavior, but one of like urgency, and love. They can have very different definitions of love, which is usually full of control. So I do enjoy couples counseling a lot to like, help break those patterns.

Joe Van Wie  1:07:48  
Do a lot of people that see you in DC, Are they active and other recovery or therapeutic communities that are peer to peer?

Unknown Speaker  1:07:57  
I've had some tried the smart programs.

Joe Van Wie  1:08:01  
I think our recovery, there's one meeting here in Lackawanna County.

Unknown Speaker  1:08:05  
Yeah, there's a couple here, but it's the same thing. You know, like I'll send an alcoholic and he'll say it was Bucha meth addicts. It was a bunch of heroin addicts, like they, they are so picky and who they want to be around. And then like, you're all in the same spot. What are you talking about, but

Joe Van Wie  1:08:20  
they branded me?

Unknown Speaker  1:08:21  
Yeah, that's why he has such success because of it runs on time foundation. Yeah, it's

Joe Van Wie  1:08:28  
foundational. 80 years old runs on time. And there's different types of AI. Hey, there's fellowships therapeutic? It depends on the community environment.

Unknown Speaker  1:08:42  
Yep. Town, everything.

Joe Van Wie  1:08:44  
Smart Recovery. Have you been to smart recovery? No, but

Unknown Speaker  1:08:49  
the I went to one. Like the practice I use is our EBT. So Rational Emotive behavior therapy? Yes. recoveries based off that

Joe Van Wie  1:08:58  
they got to fight. One dude, the dude that wrote rational recovery got in a fight. But

Unknown Speaker  1:09:04  
yeah, there was a Yeah, he did not dispute.

Joe Van Wie  1:09:07  
It was a coup against them. And they took off and started smart recovery. But he wrote rationally. Yeah, it was whilst I was reading the history and why it was my previous guests, maybe three weeks ago, she is the facilitator. Yeah, and I like smart recovery. I think it's hard to get it to flourish a little bit unless you become a facilitator. Someone has to commit to really, the training, the reading,

Unknown Speaker  1:09:33  
but I find the two mixed together is perfect. Yeah, that's one. Plus smart recovery is a perfect path.

Joe Van Wie  1:09:41  
I think so. I wish it was going to go down to the one here more. But, you know, I think I'll wait till I'm not I was going to doing therapy and counseling was profound. In the last two years. I needed as much help as I could get. I didn't want to I was afraid I'd run out of time and slip up or Yeah, So smart. Find smart recovery is exactly what you said, it's a real help for people, more tools that are immediate to recognize what the how they're thinking, can I? Can I pass can an urge? Because they'll show up as other things, if you don't deal with, say the impulse to use could just reinvent itself for the impulse to spend money.

Unknown Speaker  1:10:29  
Yeah. And the religious spiritual side of A is a real turnoff to a lot of people. Yeah. I was able to, I can get over that. That's like, I liked the definition. You want to make it but some people say no, I don't

Joe Van Wie  1:10:42  
hear it that way. The word God use too, too much. Not that I'm saying don't use the word God. Yeah. It's such a bloody, confusing word. to unpack. You don't know what 30 people in a room they're unpacking 30 different gods in their head.

Unknown Speaker  1:11:01  
Not only that, but there's people who will use their beliefs to create an environment of shame, and environmental, you know, your nothing, you know, surely God can

Joe Van Wie  1:11:10  
help you then why am I here? Why couldn't he help me from my couch? I was just there watching Netflix screaming for help.

Unknown Speaker  1:11:21  
But the best thing someone said to me in early recovery was like, take what you want and leave the rest. But I think most of us, and that's why there's so much, you know, rejection of things. Because it's like, if there's 1%, or 2%, I don't like that whole thing's dead to me.

Joe Van Wie  1:11:36  
Yeah, I think it's a way to quell someone to just not be up in arms about what they heard at a meeting. But I used to be a little more fundamentalist, take what you leave, what is this a smorgasbord program? It's

Unknown Speaker  1:11:50  
kind of 10 commandments, not the eight commandments.

Joe Van Wie  1:11:53  
It's on tight rails like, so. I appreciate that. The more I read it, but I liked that advice for meanings because language, not everyone sharing the same definitions are the same word.

Unknown Speaker  1:12:07  
No. And I will tell you this, the older I get, the more I am. You know, I read this a while back, but you know, someone says two plus two is five. I'm like, Okay. I'm just not into. Yeah, maybe. Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  1:12:21  
yeah, maybe not. I don't know, maybe five, but it's not here.

Unknown Speaker  1:12:27  
And I don't even I just if you talk and like listen for a living. At the end of the day, you just are not going to try to dispute another irrational thought. If you don't know what the openness of the person is, you don't know if they want to change you don't like so unless someone says, Hey, I really want to talk about this. I'm not doing it.

Joe Van Wie  1:12:49  
Yeah, you're juggling grenades.

Unknown Speaker  1:12:52  
Yeah, and it's risky doing that.

Joe Van Wie  1:12:55  
Yeah, I got handed, I got handed some last two years, like prayer cards and stuff. Let's get better. Because I really saw how sweet and thankful I was that that person is paying attention me is kind and I don't think they were shaming me. But I could, I could easily misinterpret that, as you tell, what do you just assuming I believe in this shit. Like that, and then go, instead of seeing another human being who either has a religion or values myth? Like why can I value myths and stories that are, are probably the easiest approach to really large ideas of why we exist? Why did we become conscious? I'm gonna resent a history of religion being God here. I was like, I had to get over that. So. But I'm really grateful for that. Because there's so many beautiful people I would have been mad at for no reason except for my own.

Unknown Speaker  1:13:53  
Yeah. Which is isolating.

Joe Van Wie  1:13:54  
Yeah, it's Sox. So it's

Unknown Speaker  1:13:57  
kind of end on this idea. I think and maybe you'll have the same experience, but like having our daughters. The thing that was the most profound part of that experience was, and again, what I spoke of earlier, what is what's be clear to everyone else, it is not clear to me was that we were all babies. Yeah. Frankly, or maybe I was a baby, that guy yelling at you in traffic was a baby. Someone loves these, you know, that child or did or right, or whatever their trauma is from their life. But the idea that all these people were just babies at one time, just allowed me to see people very differently. And even clients like, you know, I'm dealing with like a 55 year old person, but that's like someone's son, someone's brother, like, it just makes you see people. So for me, it made me see people so differently, and then treating them or at least seeing the spirit in the way of it's just not to adults arguing or doing anything. It's like you're talking to like the spirit of something. Yeah. Yeah, there's a miss there. Yeah, yeah,

Joe Van Wie  1:15:02  
it's weird. It's a vibration of a person. It gets freaky. We should but you'll come back. Of course, I gotta send you this and see if we made sense for record the record

Unknown Speaker  1:15:21  
but thanks, Tom probably these are your your you're doing some good work with everything you've been a part of.

Joe Van Wie  1:15:28  
I gotta get going. I'm really busy today. I gotta

Unknown Speaker  1:15:33  
just play that last compliment, like 10 times when you're on the recording.

Joe Van Wie  1:15:38  
I'm swamped today I'm like,

Unknown Speaker  1:15:40  
make sure you Venmo me that money for that compliment.

Joe Van Wie  1:15:43  
Yeah, give me your your show fee.

Unknown Speaker  1:15:46  
But thanks for 25 years of friendship and we'll do

Joe Van Wie  1:15:49  
more okay. Yeah, man. Thank you. I'll talk to you soon.

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, I Heart Radio, 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.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Intro
Big Fam
Alcoholism
Blue Mountain
Fight Pit
Early Sobriety
Tunisia
LONDON
Foundation