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Episode 109: Simon P. | AA Beyond Belief

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For this episode, I spoke with my pal Simon P., who I met a couple of years in the past on the We Agnostics group in Kansas Metropolis. Simon has lately began a secular AA speaker assembly which has been doing properly. Actually, we’ve got turned the assembly right into a podcast, which is enjoyable but in addition makes the assembly extra accessible. It was good to have Simon over to my home and to get to know him higher as he shared his journey of restoration. 

Transcript

John S: That is Episode 109 of AA Past Perception: The Podcast.

[music]

John S: In at the moment’s episode, I’ll be talking with Simon P, a pal of mine who I met on the We Agnostics Group in Kansas Metropolis. Just lately, Simon began The Secular AA Speaker Assembly right here in KC, which is doing nice. In reality, we’ve turned it into its personal podcast. You possibly can take heed to these episodes at secularaaspeaker.org or wherever you obtain your podcast.

John S: I met Simon, I assume, perhaps three or 4 years in the past you began coming to our group?

Simon P: Yeah, I feel it was a few yr after you guys acquired began.

John S: And then you definitely just lately began this speaker assembly, The Secular Speaker Assembly, which goes actually good.

Simon P: To date, yeah.

 John S: Yeah, and it’s been a variety of enjoyable hanging out with you recently, so I assumed it’d be good to have you ever over right here to type of share your story, as a result of I haven’t heard it.

Simon P: I respect it. I assume, I actually don’t speak about my private life a ton, sort of on objective. Once we’re in teams, I all the time, I assume once I share, I attempt to think about a option to clarify how I’ve used issues I’ve discovered which have helped, and it typically doesn’t contain going again and remembering the, I don’t know, occasions in my life that I used to be actually depressed, distant from what I contemplate actuality at this level. And, I don’t know, I assume, remembering these occasions intimately out loud to different individuals is, at most, typically entertaining or enjoyable for me, however it’s often not productive. I wasn’t doing properly then, and I didn’t have a superb perspective on life. So, I assume I’ll type of although at this level, begin again, offer you a quick rundown of my youth, and what perhaps led to consuming, and what led to me eager to cease consuming.

 Simon P: Once I was actually younger alcohol was an enormous a part of my mother or father’s social lives. I used to be all the time allowed to drink alcohol, and I wasn’t getting drunk on the age of 5, however I might have sips from my dad’s beer once I was getting it from the fridge. I keep in mind being fairly younger and attending to style arduous liquor for the primary time. I feel, I didn’t actually benefit from the taste of liquor at that time. Beer, I did just like the odor and the style, however it simply wasn’t an enormous deal, and everyone who did drink that I used to be round rising up, had fun, loved themselves. I didn’t see the social conflicts that occurred inside households due to it again then. It simply appeared like sort of a celebration. Then once I was a young person, perhaps 14 or 15, I acquired drunk for the primary time, swiping beers from my dad. This was all nonetheless nicely and good although. I keep in mind in the direction of the top of highschool I began, once I would drink, I might drink lots, and I used to be type of generally known as the man who might drink lots. I knew that it took away what I felt to be crippling, social nervousness, and I wasn’t unpopular and even… I don’t know, I used to be fairly sociable. However I nonetheless obtained nervous once I was speaking to individuals. I used to be an adolescent. I used to be nonetheless determining who the hell I used to be.

Simon P: And it eased pressure, I assume, at that time. However I wasn’t doing something greater than the random weekend bender social gathering or no matter, and it was nonetheless very social. I moved away from house, and once I ultimately acquired to the purpose the place I used to be round individuals who might get alcohol, I used to be in conditions the place I might get it myself, I nonetheless wasn’t fairly 21, I observed that my consuming ramped means up, and I had an enormous want to have it often. I type of created, simply by way of the buddies that I had, the issues that I loved doing, and the roles that I had, I created a life for myself the place alcohol was all the time accessible and all the time acceptable, so I might drink on a regular basis. And I typically take into consideration what got here first. Did all the issues that made me need to drink closely in the long run begin in my life and by no means acquired handled, and consuming got here alongside. I don’t know, my life type of fell aside in that construction. Or did I simply drink means an excessive amount of for therefore lengthy…

John S: Proper. [chuckle]

 Simon P: That it induced me to get actually depressed from simply being in that state for therefore lengthy. I used to be, for actual, drunk each single day, a lot of the day, for no less than… I keep in mind at one level considering, “You’ve drank each single day for 3… ” And I work out, I don’t know, some type of a system to get this underneath… Then about three years later, considering once more like, “Oh man, it’s been one other three years and that my life has not progressed. Consuming, I assume, has progressed. And once I was about 26, it began to have an effect on my social life, and I began to cover my consuming. I knew it was an issue, and that’s when the bodily results began to take over. I didn’t know what to name it again then. In reality, I might say I used to be a really relaxed individual, and I wasn’t. But when I ended consuming at any level, the overwhelming nervousness made me really feel so horrible that regardless of how a lot I didn’t need to drink, it was a greater choice than how I felt.

Simon P: I didn’t understand that it was solely going to worsen, and the one method out of it was by means of that distress you needed to undergo, and it simply appeared so horrendous each single time, profusely sweating, not sleeping. I had an enormous worry of not being… And never with the ability to focus, simply not feeling like myself, not be capable of take pleasure in any… So I began to struggle consuming more durable, however I didn’t cease. I received to some extent the place I used to be dwelling in Oregon, and my household just about come and get me, deliver me again to Kansas Metropolis, as a result of every thing round me was failing. My physique, my thoughts, jobs and relationships have been beginning to crumble. And I obtained again to Kansas Metropolis and was capable of isolate extra. Liquor was extra accessible right here than it was in Oregon. Within the off hours, it’s somewhat bit more durable to get motion in Oregon. Lived by a fuel station down right here in Westport with my sister. That was a very exhausting time in my life. I’d been launched to AA by my cousin who… Alcoholic. He truly simply lived a number of blocks from… And I used to be preventing very exhausting once more. I didn’t like AA. It made me really feel uncomfortable. I don’t know. I’m going to step apart for a second and say, I don’t know if any of this might have been prevented. I actually don’t. I don’t know if in my life I ever had… Really had the chance to keep away from this entire sit.

Simon P: There are even occasions once I assume I sought it out. And I attempt to see that in different individuals, and I get, I feel, a greater perspective on how they’re coping with their drawback. Once I consider it like they’re not liable for the place they’re in. I wasn’t accountable. It was a collection of loads of circumstance, perhaps biology as nicely, however some purpose, that was a part of my rising up, part of how I acquired to the place I’m. And I type of respect the wrestle now. Going again, although, I used to be dwelling with my sister, and that was very troublesome, as a result of I knew she was in wrestle. And I used to be consuming a lot. Very, very hazard… And dealing restaurant jobs, simply barely surviving. I needed to, for my well being and my sister’s, transfer out of her home and into my mother and father’ home. And I sort of acquired collectively some dry spell… I used to be not comfortable in any respect. I’d satisfied everyone in my life that AA wasn’t proper for me. I had grit my tooth and simply beginning getting bits of sobriety. I had achieved numerous studying. I used to be absolutely conscious that I used to be an alcoholic. Step one. Completely comprehendable and accepted by me. I simply couldn’t cease. Each every so often, one thing would occur, a stress in my life that I didn’t know tips on how to cope with, I might find yourself consuming. It might spiral shortly uncontrolled. And there for some time, although, I used to be capable of type of piece collectively some totally different items of sobriety.

Simon P: I received higher jobs, saved up some cash. I used to be type of prospering. And I type of… I had all my buddies again in Oregon. I felt like I wanted to get again. Virtually proved to myself that I used to be… I hadn’t actually completed lots of… So I acquired again there and was doing okay. I obtained a telephone name someday that the cousin who had launched me to AA, dedicated suicide. That brought about a spiral. It will definitely acquired to the purpose once more although, the place my pals have been calling my mother and father. They got here again to Oregon. I needed to get out of there. I needed to have some kind of a help system put in place. You realize what? I don’t know. I may need completed high-quality now. However there are individuals who did care about me. They have been afraid I used to be going to die. So a few… I spent one other yr out in Oregon, and I got here again to Kansas Metropolis. And I used to be doing properly once more and began going to AA group. And I’m getting intriculated again into that inhabitants. I didn’t actually have any buddies, so… And I used to be nonetheless scuffling with melancholy severely. So I fiddled with that, tried having some critical relationships that didn’t work out, additionally did somewhat little bit of consuming right here and there. For probably the most half, tried to remain sober, and I did a reasonably good job. I’d say about 80% of the time, after I moved again from Oregon, I managed to remain pretty sober. Once I did drink although, the alcohol consumption was harmful.

Simon P: I might drink to get drunk. Instantly flip off utterly. That was virtually all the time my… After I began being afraid of consuming, and after I didn’t need to… What I all the time used alcohol for was to close off fixed drone in my head that was my internal dialogue. It was always spouting unhealthy issues, worrying about unrealistic factor. I might lay awake at night time and drive myself fairly loopy. So I might drink. I might shut that voice off. Might fall asleep. Have part of my day that wasn’t excessive nervousness and really low melancholy. So I used to be nonetheless coping with the heavy points in my life. By way of associates of a pal, anyone talked about that they have been going to an agnostic AA. And I had type of fizzled out of AA once more at that time. It doesn’t go well with what I used to be supposed… And I began going with my father who had additionally had a consuming drawback, and stopped, I feel with much more ease than I did, which was irritating. So we began going, and I don’t know, I actually… So far as the secular conferences go, I actually fell in love with the quantity of thought that went into the explanation why issues work for individuals.

Simon P: As an alternative of following a algorithm and anticipating illogical… To me, illogical issues to occur in your life due to following these arbitrary guidelines, I used to be capable of speak to individuals concerning the physiological and psychological processes that they went by way of that made their lives. I nonetheless wasn’t accomplished consuming, and that was once we met 4 years in the past. I can’t inform you precisely why I didn’t take to not consuming. It took me… So after I began making an attempt to not drink, it took me about seven years. It was very exhausting, however I feel I lastly acquired to the purpose the place I had seen my life ruined. And I imply, fairly… I don’t know. I’ve nothing, no job, no buddies, all the best way. So many time. I assume, that was the purpose. I used to be prepared to do any… So once more, I type of simply grit my tooth and received… Firstly. Once more, I had type of stopped coming to AA however I had… I had began a relationship with somebody who crammed plenty of the holes in my life that AA now fill. I assume it was… We talked about our emotions lots. I used to be capable of… And she or he didn’t drink. Not as a result of she had an issue with it, however I feel simply because she… I’m nonetheless studying the right way to cope with totally different issues. However for a yr, once I was together with her, I used to be capable of not drink. And it acquired sufficient time between… I had sufficient experiences, I assume, and I didn’t cope with them than alcohol.

Simon P: All of that constructed up. I used to be capable of ultimately even simply think about myself not failing. And I used to be capable of… I assume… No, I feel that’s the easiest way to place it, as a result of I had by no means imagined myself not failing. I all the time thought one thing would crop up, I’d begin consuming once more.

John S: So, one thing occurred once you have been capable of get previous that.

Simon P: Nicely, it wasn’t one factor, it was simply numerous issues occurred. And a few issues have been arduous. Some issues have been simpler than I anticipated. I simply didn’t drink. Ultimately that relationship sort of dissolved, not in a horrible approach, however I did know instantly that I used to be going to need to fill that. I nonetheless don’t. In truth, I don’t assume most will do properly alone with their ideas, I particularly. So I went again to AA, and I felt instantly relieved.

John S: Yeah, it looks like once you got here again, you bought actually concerned too.

Simon P: Nicely, I did, I did. And I used to be sort of fascinated by that. I nonetheless do get plenty of satisfaction and self-worth from considering I’d be capable of assist one other. Typically I take that. I’ve even completed that in current… However I feel that I’m actually efficient on this setting. Not simply individuals who have gone via it appear to have lots to say about it. And getting along with a gaggle of like-minded people regularly to speak about your emotions and reinforce issues going by way of your head that you could be not see on a day that’s working, however in the event you take a second to mirror, you assume.

John S: So do you assume it’s… Do you get probably the most profit out of what truly occurs within the assembly there… On the precise assembly? Or is it like simply the relationships that you simply’re creating with the folks that go to the conferences?

Simon P: Nicely, I’ve conversations with individuals from the assembly. I’ve loads of buddies. I’ve a variety of conversations with individuals from… Like to speak about this stuff that we speak about in AA, outdoors of them. So there’s pure conversations very comparable. I’m getting advantages. I feel plenty of the considering I do about sobriety occurs in and across the meet, however I hold returning to the conferences as a result of I’ve relationships.

John S: It’s enjoyable, I feel, to observe the individuals are available, as a result of there’s been numerous the individuals are available that weren’t coming to the conferences whenever you have been first coming round. It’s enjoyable for me to observe these individuals over time type of get themselves collectively.

Simon P: It’s. It’s actually fascinating to see the waves.

John S: Yeah. It’s, isn’t it? That group has modified personalities during the last 4 or 5 years, hasn’t it?

Simon P: It positive has. And yeah, I assume simply… You virtually don’t discover it.

John S: Yeah, yeah. It’s very sluggish, gradual, individuals come and go.

Simon P: So, I assume, speaking about conferences extra particularly. Nicely, truly, I need to speak concerning the social facet actual fast. I feel perhaps individuals inside our group, who know me, might consider me as a reasonably social individual. That isn’t essentially the case. I’ve a robust tendency to remain residence alone, and now that I take pleasure in my very own firm, then simpler. However I do know that I don’t do properly alone, and I work very arduous to take care of my relationship… That’s one thing that I… It labored.

Simon P: And to type of dovetail into our assembly. I actually love the people who we meet. I’ve obtained a connection. I don’t know although at this level a secular assembly. I feel if I needed to begin over in one other metropolis, and there wasn’t one out there, it will not be an issue. I do really feel although, proper now anyway, we’re filling an necessary… I see individuals who are available frequently, say that they have been particularly in search of an alternative choice to AA. Whether or not or not AA is meant to be any sure approach, there’s a basic cultural outlook, or view of AA, that’s spiritual. For those who see it depicted in popular culture or films, it’s virtually all the time in a scene with a prayer, hand-holding or one thing sort of ritualistic. And occasions change… The tradition has modified in a approach that that’s not essentially how individuals need to cope with their issues proper now. I’m not saying it… Faith is dangerous or good. I’m simply saying that there’s a hole that wanted to be crammed, and I’m glad that we’re…

John S: Yeah. I discover it fascinating as a result of when the… So our group is like from this lengthy line of teams that have been began by agnostics and atheists. However anymore, I’m starting to see individuals are available to the assembly that they don’t essentially determine as atheist, agnostic, or something. They don’t actually… You recognize.

Simon P: I even have observed over the previous yr, the dialog about faith doesn’t… And complaints about conventional… I’m holding air quotes up proper now. Conventional AA doesn’t come up. I actually didn’t like that.

John S: No. Me both.

Simon P: I don’t assume that… Man, for those who gotta get one thing off your chest, then AA conferences a very good place to do it. I simply don’t have plenty of room in my life to be occupied with issues that…

John S: Proper. Similar right here.

Simon P: However I don’t know if spending our one hour at greatest…

John S: Properly, I feel it’s humorous as a result of I feel that the group primarily consists of people that in all probability actually weren’t going to AA earlier than they got here to our group. That’s in all probability one cause.

Simon P: I might say, at the very least half of the those that I see regularly now have gone to only a few, if any, conferences outdoors of…

John S: In order that they don’t actually have a nasty expertise. They don’t actually have something to match it to, actually.

Simon P: Yeah. And I do know we’ve talked earlier than about it, and also you’ve written a weblog about it. However we don’t speak quite a bit concerning the steps, or the traditions, and even sponsorship that a lot. I do know that that does rub individuals, some individuals, the fallacious approach. And I do see the good thing about these. However I see individuals coming again to the conferences, see them not consuming.

John S: Properly, it’s sort of humorous as a result of I used to be having a dialog with somebody about that, and I stated that, “You realize what? Individuals are staying sober, they usually’re coming again.” And as I actually watch what’s happening, I see that each one these things that’s occurring anyway. Individuals sort of get curious, “What are these steps about? Will you assist me? Will you clarify this to me?” And I’m beginning to see it a bit of bit occur just a little bit extra.

Simon P: Yeah. It’s, and the folks that I’m nearer pals with inside the group have type of naturally sought it out. I feel when you begin down the trail of wanting inward and altering, it leads you to widespread questions. And I’ve learn a variety of self-help books, AA type of books and Buddhist sort of books, and simply really feel higher sort of books. A variety of them level in the direction of the identical types of remedy for… I discovered a whole lot of aid within the concept of staying targeted on the second. And I assume, you understand what, I’ve gotten probably the most out of simply staying dedicated to altering. The place I see myself missing in an space, or if I really feel myself telling a narrative to myself about how I’m not a approach that I would like… I now actively work towards that. I don’t know if it’s… I simply work to vary, and I’ve not thrown away my life for an extended sufficient interval now.

John S: So I’ve a principle about these steps. I feel all of the steps are an outline of what these individuals went by means of again within the 1930s, they usually have been describing it the best way that they have been experiencing at the moment. However all it was, it was what occurs naturally once we cease consuming and are available collectively to help one another. And that if we have been to put in writing them out at the moment, it might be just about the identical factor.

Simon P: Yeah, very, very comparable.

John S: I feel so.

Simon P: In a really common sense, I really feel the 12 steps, they are saying, “Take a look at your life. See the place your issues are, understand the place you’ll be able to and do work on these issues. Settle for the issues you’ll want to, make modifications the place you possibly can and be prepared to make progress alongside it. Perhaps assist others.”

John S: Yeah, and I see that taking place. I simply assume it’s like… Nicely, that is like an natural, only a pure factor. And I feel it was again within the ’30s too. I feel that that they had their little group that they went to and every part. And perhaps they have been just a little bit extra dogmatic, however, principally, it was simply what occurred once they obtained collectively, I feel. Perhaps the entire concept of wanting inward… I don’t know if that may have been one thing that might of come round pure or not, however perhaps it does as a result of perhaps it’s only a pure response as a result of I feel it’s once I give it some thought, as a result of for me, I used to be type of shocked that I couldn’t admit that I had an issue. And so virtually instantly I began questioning, “What the fuck was happening with me?” [chuckle] So I assumed I might speak concerning the speaker assembly slightly bit, as a result of I received to the purpose… I’ve gotten to the place that’s been my favourite assembly within the week now. And I feel early on in my expertise in AA, I feel I type of favored speaker conferences, after which I went by way of an extended time period the place I didn’t like them. However now I actually like them. I get numerous worth out of these tales.

Simon P: I do too. I began the speaker assembly for a mess of causes. One, we didn’t have night week and meet, and that’s go-to time for… You hear your mates out doing different issues when you’re used to hanging out with that. And we didn’t have a daily speaker assembly that was actually sticking. It was half scheduled into it right here and there, however it didn’t essentially ever work out. And I favored the thought of someone sitting down, fascinated by a message they needed to convey to a gaggle of individuals and getting a while to play that out. Within the conferences, we frequently converse from our coronary heart at our assembly. There’s lots of people talking from their coronary heart, and it’s spontaneous, emotional, however typically leaves you wanting extra. Or typically I consider the issues I needed to say after the assembly and didn’t get an opportunity to. I feel they’re essential. And, yeah, I simply needed to vary it up too. So right here we’re a number of months or months into it. I’m getting somewhat bit burdened as a result of I’ve one way or the other weaseled any person to point out up each week however I’m apprehensive that one week, it’s simply going to be me there questioning what’s going to occur. I assume I get one free move. I can do it myself in a single week. [chuckle] Nevertheless it’s been thrilling, and I’ve gotten some individuals from outdoors of the group. I’d love to do some extra of that, and I’m prepared to see the place it results in. I’m not caught in my methods.

John S: It’s been enjoyable that we’ve got had individuals from different teams, and we’ve had guests from out of city too, which have come to that assembly. And I don’t know if they’ve ever been to a gathering like that earlier than. They by no means actually say something, like [chuckle] it’s totally different or something. They only appear to take pleasure in it. [chuckle]

Simon P: Yeah, we’ve by no means actually gotten a grievance. You recognize what, we have now. There have been a few surprises. Not at speaker assembly however within the secular conferences. Surprises when anyone doesn’t know we aren’t going to do a prayer. I feel they actually anticipate it. I all the time really feel actually dangerous at that time, as a result of I do know anyone from our teams are pissed. For probably the most half although…

John S: I feel that we’d be okay with audio system. I hear individuals say, “Oh, we’re going to expire of audio system.” I don’t know, however there’s truly a bunch of us in that group. Plus, such as you stated, reaching out to different individuals. I like the thought of getting individuals from different teams.

Simon P: Yeah, I hold making an attempt to get… I have to do some extra leg work myself. My time’s skinny lately.

Simon P: I hear you.

Simon P: I attempt to get individuals scouting out for me if I hear that they’re going to different teams, however perhaps sometime I’ll be capable of move the reins off to any person else, they usually can work out what to do for some time. Perhaps I’ll have a enterprise and see what… Nevertheless it’s been actually enjoyable, and other people speak about service work rather a lot, or, truly, in different teams individuals speak about service work lots. We don’t actually. Nevertheless it does actually assist to plug your self in, and if you wish to get snug with the group, you gotta get some pores and skin within the recreation. And also you get a bit little bit of reward occasionally, and also you get to really feel such as you’re part of one thing, and hopefully you’re serving to individuals.

John S: So is that this the way you’re dealing, the elemental factor that was type of driving your consuming was melancholy, it appeared. Is that this the way you’re coping with that now? Is there… Are you doing anything for melancholy?

Simon P: Yeah, I do, my whole life… Of tips I do… Melancholy each second of the day, just about. And I’m not complaining in any respect, but when I really feel myself taking place a wierd path, and I’m getting higher at figuring out that, I gotta do one thing to vary it. I nonetheless get depressed, I nonetheless get indignant, however I don’t keep there, however I discover what’s occurring. I both settle for the feelings that I can’t do something about for what they’re, or I take motion, that’s…

John S: So I take an antidepressant. Have you ever ever considered that or did that…

Simon P: I did. I took an anti-anxiety medicine, or I took Gabapentin, which is for nervousness, and it labored nicely for me. It was onerous to return off of additionally, which isn’t one thing I used to be informed or conscious of, however I feel simply naturally, when you’re taking one thing that offers with nervousness or melancholy for you, and also you come off of it, you’re going to naturally really feel these results of melancholy and nervousness once more, and also you’re not used to them.

John S: That’s proper. as a result of I’ve accomplished that and since my physician has talked to me about perhaps going off of it, and my drawback was that once I would go off of it, it appeared like I simply fell off a ledge, however she stated my drawback was that it is best to by no means cease it instantly, you need to… You might want to…

Simon P: Yeah, you already know, I…

John S: And I didn’t know that.

Simon P: I tapered off factor… I additionally need to be clear, I’m not saying that one ought to attempt to get off medicine. That’s one thing I’d considered for a very long time and talked to docs about earlier than I did, however it brought about different unwanted effects.

John S: It does. Everybody does, it does.

Simon P: And I additionally, for me, I felt like I wanted to have the ability to take life on its… And I didn’t need to filter it out anymore. And truthfully, perhaps I wasn’t clinically depressed, perhaps I didn’t have these chemical imbalances, however I’d drank for therefore lengthy that it mimicked that intently sufficient that it might be recognized, and properly, or I did for a time period have these signs, as a result of I put myself.

John S: Proper, yeah. Yeah.

Simon P: However I made a decision to give up someday, and I did. I didn’t taper this final time without work medicine. I had actually dangerous nervousness, and I used to be irritable for some time, and it slowly received higher.

John S: Yeah, it’s one thing I need to take into consideration too, such as you stated, you gotta speak to you physician about this type of stuff, and I do, I do speak to her, and I’ve talked to her a lot of occasions. As a matter of reality, she’s the one which brings it up about getting off of it. And since I could be at some extent the place I’d be capable of… as a result of what melancholy I’ve might be fairly delicate, actually. And, such as you, it was, I don’t know what got here first, if it was that or the consuming or what, however it was all sort of combined in collectively.

Simon P: Oh, and I assume we have been speaking about what I do. I’ve an excellent bodily demanding job. And earlier than that I used to be doing fairly bodily demanding work, and I didn’t have a license for some time due to consuming. And I didn’t… So I didn’t have my license for a yr, as a result of… Then I simply didn’t belief myself to get a license for years, as a result of like I stated earlier, all I might think about ultimately… After that pale. So I get a ton of train, and I can sleep at night time.

John S: That’s nice. That’s…

Simon P: Once I don’t really feel like I’m going to, I take a Benadryl, and name that what you’ll, nevertheless it helps me fall asleep.

John S: No, I had a physician inform me to try this. So, yeah, that’s one thing I have to do. The train undoubtedly does assist.

Simon P: And I’m simply actively conscious of my emotions and ideas to the conditions I’m placing myself into, and if I really feel myself slipping… So like earlier than, once I was taking treatment, earlier than I used to be taking treatment, once I would get depressed, it might ship me to the sofa, or my mattress for every week at a time, and I might really feel unmotivated to do something. I nonetheless get that feeling, however now I simply begin doing issues, and it doesn’t really feel proper or snug or enjoyable at first, however I’ve finished it sufficient now that I do know by way of my actions, I can change my thought patterns and my emotions.

John S: Yep. Yeah, I had a therapist inform me that, he stated that the most effective issues for melancholy is exercise. And he stated that again in just like the ’40s or the ’50s, once they had individuals, we had depressed sufferers in psychological establishments, what they might do to assist them out, they’d have them scrub the partitions and stuff like that. Any type of exercise appeared to assist them out. And he’d all the time inform me, he stated, “Simply go for a stroll, simply transfer. Drive your self to maneuver.” And I feel that helps.

Simon P: So, I’m positive chemically that’s good too. However for me in motion, taking a bodily motion is usually sacred. It’s a approach for me to bypass no matter is occurring in my head and put myself right into a process, and all of my psychological issues disappear. I simply take into consideration what I’m doing, and I attempt to deliver that concept, and I take into consideration that lots, into increasingly elements of… The toughest place I discovered that to do is whereas driving. It’s sort of comical, nevertheless it actually is likely one of the solely locations in my life that I really feel really sad.

John S: If you drive?

Simon P: And have a very arduous time getting out of my head, proper?

John S: Proper. [chuckle]

Simon P: So, it’s getting higher.

John S: Yeah. [chuckle]

Simon P: However I, if I discover myself interested by one thing that’s bothering me, it’s often simply the considering is the issue, and if I can cease it, all the things else… If I look down at my arms and my ft, I’m virtually all the time in an honest, I’ve acquired all my fingers and toes, can anticipate a meal and a spot to sleep.

John S: Nicely, I feel you’re doing nice, man. I’m glad that you simply got here again to the group, and I’m glad that you simply began the speaker assembly. Like I say, it completely is my very favourite assembly of the week. I really like all of them. I beloved Greg’s speak, and I’m wanting ahead to that. Jenny’s speak. I imply all of them have been actually, actually good. Individuals have put some thought into what they’re going to say.

Simon P: They’ve, yeah. I’m truly actually wanting ahead to the speaker tonight. I’ve been capable of sort of cherry decide individuals up to now that I take pleasure in listening to. And he’s one in every of them. I’ve been making an attempt to select individuals who thus far have gotten extra sobriety time than I’ve received, and I feel do put some thought into what they needed to say.

John S: Yeah, yeah.

[chuckle]

Simon P: And if anyone is listening, they usually really feel like I’ve been discriminated towards them, for them, these functions, you’re prepared to convey it up with me, it’s in all probability not the case. [chuckle] Yeah, I do. I actually take pleasure in listening.

John S: And I like additionally the dialog afterwards. Typically it’s actually, actually fascinating what individuals should say.

Simon P: It’s, and I’ll undergo one of many speaker conferences and never decide up on every thing that any person else picked up on, and it expands the dialog, and it additionally… You get to really feel such as you’re attending to know someone a bit of bit too. Whether or not it’s manufactured or not, it’s an actual expertise.

John S: Completely.

Simon P: So it’s a second that I get every week that brings me nearer to different individuals.

John S: Yeah, I’m wanting ahead to when the climate will get nicer too, and we will hang around afterwards, as a result of it’s actually been a bitch of a winter.

Simon P: Oh, yeah. [chuckle] I’ll guess attendance tonight is a bit mild.

John S: Yeah, yeah.

Simon P: I additionally guess as quickly because it does get good, everyone comes out of the woodwork, as a result of the stuff’s a lot there.

John S: Yep, I feel you’re proper, yep. Alright, nicely, it was very nice to speak to you want this, it was good to listen to your story. I’ve rather a lot in widespread with you. Truly, I began off fairly younger and all that myself, however you actually have had a tough street, and I’m glad, I’m glad you’re doing properly in the present day, man, I’m glad that you simply’re right here.

Simon P: Nicely, I’m… [chuckle] I’m particularly glad I’m doing nicely, however I’m additionally glad you’re right here, John.

John S: Thanks. [chuckle]

Simon P: You’ve offered a whole lot of necessary construction to the Lifetime of Restoration that I’m needing proper now. Hope we each proceed to assist.

John S: I do too. [chuckle] [music]

John S: And that concludes one other episode of AA Past Perception: The Podcast. Thanks a lot for listening, everyone. We’ll be again once more actual quickly.

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