YA 50 | Sobriety

 

Despite having the best job, the best relationship, and things that he’s never had before, Randy was miserable. His coping mechanism of doing drugs and alcohol had stopped working years before he did anything about it. Realizing how his life needs to be different if it’s going to go on, Randy took the step to change. He is now on his thirteenth year of recovery and he’s transformed from hateful to grateful. After doing inner work, he’s finally answered his calling in life, and that changed everything for him. Now, he’s sharing the lessons he learned when he finally faced his suffering and discovered its purpose in his life through founding the AAttitudeofGratitude.com, an online relapse prevention program. In 2020 his book, tentatively titled Relapse Prevention Tips for People Stuck in Sobriety, will be released. Re-visit his website to discover how to access your Kindle version when the book is released next year!

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From Hateful To Grateful

I talk a lot about those a-ha moments that we have. There’s a difference between hearing somebody tell you, “Randy, come on, you’ve got to sober up, you’ve got to think about what you’re doing,” and having an a-ha moment because there’s a felt sense in your body when you have that a-ha moment. When you combine the thought with the felt sense and sometimes with the vision of where you see yourself in the future, then it makes a difference. Without that felt sense and without having that sensory experience in the body, a lot of times the words go in one ear and out the other.

Countless times that happened. That’s the thing, “Why this time it didn’t go out the other ear and bounced around inside my cranium?” I don’t know but I’m grateful that it did.

It was the time that it finally sunk in because I’ve had those moments too. I heard you say that you went back and forth and you found yourself resisting. That seems to be part of the process. I do have to say I’ve not been through a twelve-step program. I’ve noticed that my addictions have been behavioral addictions in life, more so than substance addictions. Even the same thing with any addiction, whether it’s behavioral substance or whatever it is, there’s this back and forth, there is a resistance. How did your resistance show up? Did you go back and forth? Did you have relapses?

Relapse was part of it, even when there was a period of abstinence involved. You mentioned that there’s chemical and there’s behavioral addictions and such, I see them being the same. The symptoms may be different from it, but at the core, I had a worldview and behaviors that were congruent with that worldview. Basically, the drugs and alcohol were masking the feelings of self-hatred and the anger that got projected into the world. In fact, part of it is okay, now that there’s a moment that is a way, it got amplified. All the stuff that had been damaged was coming up. There’s a term that’s common in recovery called a dry drunk. You’re still a drunk but you don’t have booze in your system.

Usually, it’s displayed in a similar manner as an alcoholic. I don’t know, because it was so personal, it seemed like it was worse with me because I didn’t have my coping mechanism anymore and repressed thoughts and feelings from when I started using in my adolescence. I was about thirteen years old when I started smoking pot and drinking beer and stuff. I never had a chance to be a healthy person to process this stuff. My long answer is I would also be so uncomfortable. I would have to go resort to the one thing that I found some level of relaxation from. Some sense of ease and comfort, even though I could be cognitive that this was the wrong action. When I sober up, I have shame, self-hatred again and stuff. You must be weak. I would go back to that apathetic thing, but the seed had been planted. Once I became aware that there was something, I don’t know whether it was my soul had been reignited, that little flicker in me, it started to shine a little bit brighter. I kept on doing things that I didn’t want to do, but I knew I needed to do it. That was different than what I’d done before.

There’s this delusion and it’s absolutely a delusion from our friends and our family and other people in our lives who either don’t have a substance addiction. If they do have an addiction, like a behavioral addiction or something like that, they don’t even recognize it. Sometimes addictions appear in our life as good things. If we can label them as good, like being the helpy helperton, which is the sunny side of control, then it’s easier to smooth it over as something that’s being okay. Anytime we’re trying to work ourselves out of addiction, it’s like Pavlov working with his dog and it takes time to train yourself to be different. There is back and forth and that’s natural. It’s easy to shame ourselves and shame other people for the natural process of, I call it Pavloving ourselves out of a bad habit into a new habit that is more beneficial. It sounds like that’s what you’ve described.

YA 50 | Sobriety

Sobriety: If you’re more cognitive of what you’re doing and the results of your experiment, then you’re more likely to move forward and have progress.

 

You said something, you didn’t use the word blame but I heard it. There are lots of blaming.

The blame and shame.

If you had to deal with what I had to deal with. A person, place or thing, fill in the blank. I can say that even when I was abstinent from drugs and alcohol, I was still addicted to blaming for a long time for a few years.

As a collective, America is addicted to blaming. That is part of our collective consciousness as a nation, is to point the finger and blame other people and abdicate personal responsibility. Not only does it come from our family units, for most of us, but it also comes as part of the collective society. We see it every day.

It is a rabbit trail. It’s easy enough to go down. For myself, another moment of clarity was going through a process of a personal inventory, commonly referred to as the fourth step. For those that are not familiar with what a fourth step is, as you make a column of your resentments, still lots of self-hatred towards Randy. I’m on the top. You are working horizontally, seeing how it affects your life. You’re seeking to find clarity and confirmation on the causes and conditions that are brought you to this point in life. You’re increasing your clarity is a simpler way to say it.

At the end of that exercise, you make your list and you share it with another person because now it’s not as personal. It can be much more objective in the evaluation. At the conclusion of that, I realized that no one else was responsible for the quality of my life but myself or the quality of my sobriety because my sobriety is equivalent to my life. For myself, I made a decision to start all over because I realized I had continued with the behaviors of always looking for loopholes, always trying to cut corners, find the easy and softer way.

There's nothing outside of you that's responsible for your serenity. Click To Tweet

I think regardless of what somebody is suffering with and it seems like what they’re suffering from is something external. As we say as a society, whether it’s politics or the economy, whatever relationship they have with a person, place or thing. If they were to go through and do the exercise, there’s a strong probability that they’ll conclude in their own unique way when I did. That there’s nothing outside of me that’s responsible for my serenity.

There’s a process that it takes for us to get to that realization. That process is different for each and every one of us.

Why I mentioned this is this seems to be an effect. It’s not an easy exercise because typically what a person is doing is examining things that they prefer to keep in the dark. Some people refer to it as shadow work. It’s not an easy exercise, but everyone I know that’s done this has come out the other side a stronger person with very much more clarity on who they are in the world. Therefore, it’s not just why they’re on this Earth, but how they should conduct themselves and what therefore what they’re going to do with their life from here on.

I practice shadow work. One thing that you talked about already was when you had your moment of clarity and realized that you needed to get sober, it was looking at somebody you admire. That’s also shadow work is looking at the people we admire because Carl Jung stated that 90% of the shadow was pure gold. The things that we keep hidden from the rest of the world oftentimes are our gifts, our talents and our creativity. Those things that we’re afraid to express because we fear people will make fun of us or tease us or humiliate us if they know what we truly want to do with our lives. Finding those qualities that you admire in another person is a reflection of your golden shadow. Shadow work is important. Those things that we hide from the rest of the world aren’t always dirty little secrets. Sometimes they’re the little golden secrets.

My definition of success is being able to live every day like the person who was created to be.

I loved your websites. I think it was under the Mission section or the About Us somewhere. I wanted to pull this out because I hear people say all the time whenever they call me, “I want to get back to where I was before. I want to get back to doing this. I want to get back to my life before this happened.” You very specifically say on your website that you’re helping people find a new normal and that is so important in this type of process. Can you talk a little bit about that please?

YA 50 | Sobriety

Sobriety: Your sobriety is equivalent to your life. No one else is responsible for the quality of your life or your sobriety but yourself.

 

It’s something that is so common and let’s refer to the majority of my life being suffering. On a scale of one to ten, coping is a nine or ten. There was never a perspective that I could transcend the suffering. Using analogies like, “I’m playing the cards I was dealt and doing the best with what I have.” The normal being is realizing that I am better than my past. Letting go of some of the stories that I’ve held onto a long time is scary because that’s the only part I can measure. I can say if I’m going to do this action, it’s likely I’m going to lose some of my friends. It’s possible during that process I may also be embarrassed and so I can measure that. I can’t see on the other side though, that is I go through a process of personal growth. I meet new friends and people that appreciate and value me for me being my authentic self as opposed to the persona I created for these other people that now are no longer in my life. It is interesting that humans are tribal and as I’ve shared time with people that I felt were above me, were better than me and I admired that I felt less than all that type of stuff.

Once I could be open and vulnerable and be what I thought I was, all that stuff that was less than that I disliked about myself, I realized that I was now acceptable. Some people approved and some people appreciated the real Randy. That was so new and I questioned the sincerity of it because I am being open and vulnerable. People were sharing with me. You still don’t think you’re worthy of somebody appreciating and that’s going to fade. That will dissipate over the course of time but know that this person isn’t doing anything that they don’t want to do. These people that you admire, that you appreciate, that you call are great people, they want to be in your life because you’re also great as well too. For a long time, when I would express myself in that type of way, I felt that I was being grandiose and such, but now it’s not good, it’s not bad. It’s where I am. I have the same dignity that every human being has. I’m not better than anyone else. I’m not less than anyone else. It’s the thing where they say learn to love yourself. It’s still uncomfortable for me to say those words. For me, I’m at the phase of better saying I appreciate who I am.

It is a process to get there. There are many people out there who tried to lead us to believe that it’s as simple as a choice, just make the choice and the decision. That is step one to make the choice and make the decision and to get from point A to point B to become the new you. To go from a state of suffering to a state of gratitude that you were talking about before. It’s a process to get there and it is. It’s much more than just making a choice. Few people make a choice and then their life magically transforms all at once. That’s not how it works. It takes work. We have to work on ourselves.

The choice is a component of fault with us. There are conscious choices and unconscious choices. My perpetual suffering was due to unconscious choices, this story. Once I started realizing it was an illusion in my head. In fact, the moment of clarity on this was I was blaming people, places and things, everyone for my problems and sobriety. My friend, Alan, who became my sponsor, he pointed it out to me. I wasn’t accepting this point right away. I was resisting, rebellious and argumentative.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

This is certainly one of those moments where it would be applicable. Alan was a patient and kind man. He explained, “Randy, this position you’re taking is that of a victim.” I didn’t take well to that word of being bestowed upon me. As you expanded greatly, please understand there are real victims. Tragically, there are real victims in this world. Children that are sold off into some sex slavery and trades. It’s horrible. I don’t even want to think about it but it is a reality.

Give yourself credit that you've made a series of choices not to respond to temptations. You are stronger than you think you are. Click To Tweet

These people basically their only other choice is to die, “Randy, you’re not a victim because you have a choice. If you want to get drunk right now, the liquor store is open. You’ve got money in your pocket. You can choose to get drunk right now, but you have it. Give yourself credit that you’ve made a series of choices not to respond to temptations. You are stronger than you think you are. If you do someday, if that’s your choice to go out and drink, you will be able to make a choice whether you want to come back into this program and resume.” It was nice that he even though when he was pointing out something that was uncomfortable, he also pointed out that I had had an asset and that I had the ability to choose. I had demonstrated it over the course of time. The lesson through all this is that I can’t blame people, places and things for my choices. I can’t even blame the disease of alcoholism for my choice.

This is another moment of clarity. This was a few years in. The chemicals that had processed through my body enough that there wasn’t any type of DTs or stuff going on, which happens for some people. This was now when I was not dealing with the physical aspect of the addiction. It was the mental obsession type of stuff. My obsession has now transitioned away from booze being a solution to blaming being the solution. Any time I wanted to escape a difficult situation, I could mentally rationalize, justify my pain and suffering and deflect it over to Jennifer. If you had to deal with Jennifer, you’d be feeling and thinking these same things. That illusion is the type of stuff that handicaps a person very much.

It keeps us in a state of suffering.

You may have heard the phrase, “The gates of hell are locked from the inside.” It was a process there. There are many other moments I spent with Alan that gave me that truth pissing me off, which led to silence in the room for sometimes five, ten minutes and eventually in the stillness the answer came.

The silence is important and thank goodness he was able to hold space for you while you’re in that silence because that’s important too. It’s an uncomfortable silence when we have these realizations. That silence is when it sinks in into the cellular memory.

I don’t know that. I don’t know about so much about the cause, but I know the effect. I equated it that in the stillness, I didn’t have all the mental chatter. I didn’t have the verbal chatter and such and now there was enough space for my spirit, my soul to come in. In that space, there was that clarity, there was that big Truth coming through.

YA 50 | Sobriety

Sobriety: The twelve-step process is a wonderful, proven process of self-discovery.

 

You’ve already mentioned that on your website, AAttitudeOfGratitude.com that you have set up a twelve-step program that’s reflective of the alcoholics anonymous. Can you talk a little bit about what the similarities are but how yours is a little bit different?

The twelve-step process is truly the program of any of the twelve-step support workgroups. The fellowship is intended to introduce the program to those that are suffering. They can identify with others and see if this is something that might pertain to them or maybe start over that, “You’re like me.” If the problem is the same, then very likely the solution can be the same. The fellowship is designed to introduce the solution to those that are possibly going to benefit from it. Also, those that have had the spiritual awakening. I still speak for myself. It reminds me of what it was like once. Because things are so much different, it’s easy to forget the pain, suffering and misery. Most of all, although it does give meaning and purpose to us in from our suffering, it’s all not in vain that I’ve been able to, at the very most, look somebody in the eye and say, “I feel your pain,” and be silent and let them speak as others did for me.

One of the things is the isolation. I could be a lonely man in a crowded room. I couldn’t be open and vulnerable. I hated myself. I figured if anybody else saw the real me, they must hate me as well too. The room allows you to identify and realize you’re not alone and it allows you to see people not just talking about it, but demonstrating that their lives are transformed. The process that does this is the twelve-step process. It’s a wonderful, proven process of self-discovery. I’m told it had been used in over 300 different maladies. Once you get past sex, drugs and rock and roll, I don’t know many.

Co-dependency is a big one.

That’s actually 201. We’re relying on people in an unhealthy way. The reason why I felt led to do this was there’s a lot of people that for whatever reason, they go to the meetings and to go to the fellowship because it’s been conditioned into them to isolate and to have that force, that protection up because things have happened in their life. There’s been trauma. They have a very difficult time trusting other people, maybe even more so trusting other people. My hypothesis there is it’s not so important. There are people that don’t fit in. For myself, I’m very emotionally sensitive, somebody could be sharing about something that didn’t pertain to me at all, but I still took it personally and I felt insulted. Maybe it was the disease of looking for the loophole and such. All the reasons not to do what was needed. I have friends that hung around for a while. For whatever reason, they went out and started using again and it was a slow torturous death. I know others that are aware of other friends. It’s something that’s very tragic, especially for myself. I didn’t want to go to AA but I had concluded that if AA didn’t work, then there was nothing available to me. That I was back to dealing with a hand that was dealt me.

That’s a horrible thing to say to somebody. I’m sorry.

The first step is admitting that you are powerless over your drug of choice. Click To Tweet

That was certainly something I carried in me, but it does get perpetuated through there that if you’re a real alcoholic, that if you don’t do this process, you’re doing to jail institutions or death.

I don’t believe that. One of my teachers is Dr. Gabor Maté and he has specialized for years and working with addiction and not necessarily through a twelve-step program. I don’t think that AA and the twelve-step program is the end-all be-all for everybody. It certainly works for a lot of people. It’s not a sentence to prison or a slow torturous death for everybody if it doesn’t work for them.

If you get into that culture and if you’re like how I was very emotionally raw and very co-dependent, you’re not aware of either of those things. It’s in a situation where you happen to partner up. Certainly, this is not the case in every situation, but it does happen commonly. You get into a co-dependent situation where that person is now dominating you. They can focus their attention on your problems instead of their own. I went through that phase myself. I don’t have to look at me if I’m looking at you all the time. The person that is being dominated is over-reliant upon that need. I felt like I was less than. It’s not better healing. It’s taken on a different face and the dependency is no longer on the drug.

The dependency is on another human being. People express things that like, “I have to talk to my sponsor every day. I have to go to a meeting every day.” If the results are coming out that they’re happy, they’re healthy, they have peace and joy in their life, then that seems to be effective. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not bring them forth towards being happy, healthy and able to understand their self-worth. Understanding that a person, a place or thing is needed for them to have joy, to have peace and serenity. That was the motivation for this. Through my suffering of the language that gets used in such, the first step is admitting that you are powerless over your drug of choice.

You’re powerless over alcohol and because of that, your life is unmanageable. “This is your first step. This is even though I was a blackout drinker for a few years.” I could say to fit in on the meetings, “Yes, I’m an alcoholic,” but to concede to my innermost self that I’m powerless, whoever wants to say that. Those that are not suffering that we may not understand it, but there’s something with interpersonal. It’s like, “No, I’m not weak.” Of course, you’re not. In fact, I would say people in recovery are the strongest people. The grip, the resiliency of these people that are sober. How they have overcome all odds is a demonstration that they are very strong.

Your life is unmanageable. For myself, when it was starting to get into doing the steps and working this, there had been several months of abstinence and such. Because I wasn’t getting blackout drunk, my wife and I were not fighting, my performance at work was better, the bill was getting paid. “What do you mean I’m unmanageable? It’s the best that it’s been in a long time.” There was a challenge of saying this. I was very fortunate that a person asked me, “Are you struggling with this?” I was fortunate enough to open up and say yes. Up to that point I was trying to look like I had it all together and I was looking cool. I get back to the lies that I was living. He explained to me, “When you’re saying you’re powerless over alcohol, Randy, when you start drinking booze, can you control the amount you drink?” “No.” Once I start drinking and about the point where most people that are not alcoholic can say, “No, I’ve had enough. I’ve got to work tomorrow, I’ve got to drive,” whatever it may be. These are the people that can leave half a bottle of beer on the table. That’s never been my case. Just because you finished your bottle, that doesn’t make you alcoholic.

YA 50 | Sobriety

Sobriety: The process of self-discovery increases your clarity and your confidence.

 

The ability to say, “I’m done,” that’s something that is not the case with an alcoholic. They may have at some point in their life been able to do that, but I can’t control. Once I get alcohol in my system, there is a physical craving for more. The more you drink, your inhibitions lower and stuff. I’m a blackout drinker. I will drink until I can’t possibly be conscious anymore. That’s why with this dumb meeting, I can’t control my drinking. Your life is unmanageable means that you’re suffering trying to control it. You’re lacking control in your drinking and you’re lacking controlling people, places or things to meet your satisfaction, your comfort. Yes, that’s a big reason why I drink. The lack of control is the problem. It’s not powerless. It’s not unmanageable and acceptance is the key to this.

Words are important too. There is a difference between power and empowerment. Being powerless to the alcohol or whatever it is that a person’s addicted to, being powerless to the addiction is not the same thing as not being empowered within yourself. If you didn’t have a level of empowerment within yourself, you wouldn’t be approaching your thirteen years sobriety date. There’s absolute empowerment in that.

Even if somebody has thirteen relapses, they wouldn’t be approaching sobriety for the thirteenth, fourteenth time. They are stronger than their past. For whatever reason, humans seem to gravitate more towards the negative than the positive. That’s a big part of what the process does. This process of increasing your clarity. The process of self-discovery is also increasing your clarity, increasing your confidence and increasing the consistency of those moments of clarity and confidence. Eventually it does become more of a natural state. Where it was normal for me to be miserable and wanting to disconnect my head and heart regularly, it’s become regular now for me to be grateful and to see things in much more of a mindset of the solution than the problem.

Coming in and then into the second step, came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. A lot of people get stuck on this because of the God element. The program stresses this is not religion. If you are a humanist, you don’t believe in a deity at all, that’s not conditional on it as well. It’s something greater than yourself. That I get and I think a lot of people get, but my sticking point was the insanity, which we touched on. They reference all the crazy stuff when you’re using, but I haven’t used it for a while now. The craziness of the drinking there, this what I touched on earlier in our time together of saying, “I was holding onto stuff from the past.” Insanity is wishing for a different path. What is done is done.

The only thing I have with the power of choice is, “Will I let it affect this moment?” The illusion of the past, there’s illusion projecting into the previous life experiences, the fear of them repeating in the future. I’m carrying with me thoughts of regret. Worry is about me and these things are distracting me from the moment. Whether a person is spiritual or not, I don’t think it’s a hard thing to grasp that all that is real is right now. All those other things are fabricated in a person’s mind. There could be lots of stuff that’s bouncing around in there and stuff. These are the things that robbed me from the appreciation of looking somebody in the eye and to hear what they have to say. It’s the beauty of nature and such. Those things are priceless.

The second step came to believe life could be greater than you ever ask for or even imagine because up to that point, all we know is what we’ve experienced. We haven’t yet allowed ourselves to experience life in a new way. The principle under underneath that is open-mindedness. The principle for the first step is honesty/humility. Some people say it doesn’t matter. I think they’re synonymous. Open-mindedness, there are principles underneath all these steps. I could go on and on. There are twelve of them. I’ve demonstrated that there’s enough similarity here that it is congruent with a proven process, but it’s tried to have a little more emphasis on what I’ve encountered is sticking points. What I’m trying in this program is to share my insights, what worked for me throughout. With the book that’s coming out, it’s stories like I’m sharing. Similar to what I share would be in a meeting and stuff. It’s an alternative. Some of these people don’t want to go to meetings.

Tragically, a lot of people don't have something as obvious as alcoholism and addiction, and so they carry them through the world. Click To Tweet

If they’re going to meetings, it’s my understanding this could be a good support system in the meantime between meetings.

It could be but also, you go to meetings and wherever your state of mind is, your heart is at after, you can hear the exact same words one day and it doesn’t crack the concrete. There’s another day when for whatever reason it’s a very fertile soil and it’s, “I’m glad I went.” The heavens departed, the rays of the sun are coming down. It’s another one of those moments of clarity. All of it is you get. All of this was based upon journaling when Alan experienced a stroke. The gentleman I mentioned to you is my sponsor, my mentor. I was very codependent with Alan. What I know about codependency is I’ve lived through and I’ve become aware of it and I’ve done actions to no longer be that way. Alan, I’m not sure whether it’s an aneurysm or a stroke. The doctors when I asked him, wouldn’t say it, but basically where his spinal cord went up to his brain, it blew up.

The point of all this is that when Alan experienced this debilitation, which eventually cost him his life, I no longer had somebody to talk to and process my thoughts and feelings with. I couldn’t go to meetings and open up and be as vulnerable as I was with Alan. A friend suggested I started a journal. As I was doing this, one of the things I was aware of the benefit of journaling is to reflect back and read it, whatever it may be. You look back a week, a month, a year or whatever it is and you can see where your head and heart were.

As I was doing that, there was something that I couldn’t see in myself ever before. I don’t know if it was the muse, it was the flow of spirit going through me, whatever, but there was something special with it. I’d read it to my wife and my wife would go, “Did you steal that? It isn’t you.” I wrote the words and I was inspired by things. Maybe a paragraph, there was a sentence or so that started from somebody else. Something came out of this that was bigger than me and this was the realization of knowing that there was something that I could offer as an alternative to the world. It became my calling. It became my North Star. It’s not my map but it’s my compass. This is one of the other things.

When people have something that’s bigger than them, bigger than their addiction, that when temptation comes their way, to relapse and you can ask yourself a simple question. What’s more important, the immediate gratification or the long-term satisfaction of bringing this forth? This has been a few years but I’ve replied with the journaling, allowing me to process a lot of thoughts and feelings that I had no other channel within also feeling that I had something of value to give to the world. I have no idea whether this is going to benefit one person or a lot of people. I’m willing to give unconditionally. I’m willing for people to tell me that I’m full of it. As likely as it is to have people who you don’t give accolades towards this.

Either way, it’s me being true to myself. If you love it or you hate it, that’s thank you for your input. Thank you for your criticism. I don’t think it’s going to change my North Star, my path. I’m not sure but I think that was part of the process of it. All this is bringing forth, it has been basically as the result of a lot of pain and suffering I had in sobriety and I found a solution with this and that’s what I want to do. This is not so much something for if you want to get sober. If you’re stuck in sobriety and you’re asking the question, “Is it worth it?” This is hard. I feel that if a person has some meaning and some purpose in their life, if you’re driven by fears, “If I don’t stay sober, I’m going to lose my life. If I don’t stay sober, I’m going to lose my family, my job. I’m going to go to prison or whatever it may be.” As soon as that concern dissipates or goes away, so is your motivation.

YA 50 | Sobriety

Sobriety: When people have something that’s bigger than them and their addiction, that’s when the temptation to relapse comes their way.

 

If you’re being drawn to something bigger than yourself, your dream, your calling, that’s infinite. That’ll never go away. That will be expansive. In fact, I was told one of the ways to discern if this is the calling that your soul’s speaking to you. Does this feel expansive? Whatever the idea may be. It’s very personal. It’s only yours. It’s like your fingerprints. When you contemplate this, if you feel expansive and is this something you would do not for money, not for fame, not for fortune, but you have to do it. You do it for free. You’d even pay to do it.

You get up early in the morning, you’d stay up late and you persevere through all the challenges in life. If you can think about it being hard, it’s still needed to come forth, then it’s likely. That’s part one of the key things with this program. A Attitude of Gratitude is helping people find their why. It worked for me, and I’m not saying this is going to work for everyone, but it seems to me those that I have shared this within adopted it, it seems to be that catalyst for moving forth into living life in a more expansive and more open, much more beautiful world. That when you slow down enough that you get very grateful for all that pain and suffering, that there’s some value to it. At least it is speaking for myself that it was not all in vain. To some people, that may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was everything.

I believe the same thing. It’s important to take a step back and look at our suffering, turn around and come face to face with it because that’s been my experience too. There is a purpose in my suffering and it took me years to start to see it. I love that. I understand you have workshops that are going to be coming out on your website, which is AAttitudeOfGratitude.com. Can you talk about the workshops and what people can expect from those?

They’re going to be free of charge and I’m looking at the people that will be participating in this as contributors. They go through the experience. We’ll all be learning through it. It will start off as very simple, a consultation, onboarding call, you’re talking with them, getting to know what this is all about. If they get any sticking points, making myself available as much as I possibly can. It’s like any type of online learning program. There will be some videos, there will be some PDFs to download, but it’s very similar to AA. As I talk about using the framework that I’ve discussed with the addition of ten, eleven and twelve-steps, ten being mindfulness, eleven being meditation and twelve being a manifestation. I truly believe that when I am centered, when I can be still, when this calling can come forth, it becomes manifested in my life. That’s what some people in the program will refer to as maintenance steps but for myself, this has been the growth steps. When you sit the wow moments, when those things are practiced, wows happen much more frequently. Life’s a wonderful adventure.

The maintenance steps are proving to yourself that you are committed to yourself. Whenever you prove to that wounded part who craved the alcohol at one point that you’re committed to yourself, then you start to show yourself that, “I can do this.” Those a-ha moments come more and more. That’s where the shift comes is with the commitment to the self and the daily practice. That makes perfect sense to me.

As you start this, you have to make the commitment that’s like the third step. Commitment to discover what is blocking you from your potential. Frankly, those stories from the past that I’ve held on very tightly. They’re by subjective truths. Those subjective truths are at the core of my heart. My heart to myself. To enter the world to these solutions, these fantasies and such. Tragically, a lot of people that don’t have something as obvious as alcoholism and addiction and so they carry them through the world. They perpetuate victimhood and such.

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They teach victimhood through their programs. That’s a can of worms right there. Sorry, I opened it.

Why talk about the onboarding and assistance? It’s meant to be a simple process to show you the strategy and some of the insights. Therefore, a lot of the guesswork gets taken out of this process. We all seem to go through life as a laboratory and this certainly does make that clear. If you’re more cognitive of what you’re doing and the results of your experiment, then you’re more likely to move forward and have progress.

I also understand that you have a book coming out in 2020?

Yes. The book is basically in writing what I’ve talked about, in the video lesson plan and what we started touching on here. I joke around, I call it Outhouse Humor. You can sit in the bathroom. Most of this journaling is 500 words or less. Maybe if there’s a desire or demand, do some audiobook. You could sit there, you can read this and hopefully there can be a wow, much like myself repeatedly. I have moments where I say, “I’m so glad I was present. I’m so glad this lesson was before me.” I also do understand a lot of the lessons I get now, I couldn’t have handled it when I started. The journey, the progress, these are lessons that are building. A kindergartener could not have the curriculum of a high school student, even if you’re exceptional. It’s building upon that. That’s where I’ve tried to be cognizant of stuff as opposed to being free thought of being the first step. You don’t like being wrong and because of that, you’ve had problems of the principles, honesty and humility are most of those messages which you are realizing that you need to take the stance of being a student.

For any of our readers out there who are interested in learning more about Randy’s program, the workshops or to get a Kindle version of his book, that will be coming up on his website, which is AAttitudeOfGratitude.com. For my English major friends, that was by design because it does parallel the Alcoholics Anonymous twelve-step program. It’s not the same thing, but there are some definite parallels. Randy, thank you so much. It’s been an honor and I think you’re going to help a lot of people.

Thank you. One thing if I may squeeze in here is random recovery. My intention is for this to have synergy for more and more people coming together and collaborate on this. If there’s anyone reading this and there was something that stirred your soul and you’d love to be a part of it in your own unique way, I invite everyone to come in here. We will have a podcast if you want to be interviewed on that. If you want to contribute, if you want to do a blog post, if you want to review the materials and point out things that could be improved. I truly believe in reaching the most amount of people, I need the most amount of people creating this. I think this will also be evergreen as well too. As more and more people contribute, the synergy involved that much like the adventure of life, this program has meant to be ever-evolving.

To reach out to Randy, go to the Contact Us page on AAttitudeOfGratitude.com and he’s also on Facebook. Randy, do you have any final tips or bits of wisdom to leave with our readers?

If there was one thing I could bestow upon the world is to look for similarities instead of differences.

Thank you so much.

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About Randy

YA 50 | SobrietyRandy is an alcoholic whose sobriety date is 6 November 2006. Congratulations on 13 years in recovery! Randy used to hate himself and he hated the world. Now, he doesn’t. After doing inner work, he’s finally answered his calling in life, and that changed everything for him. Now, he’s sharing the lessons he learned when he finally faced his suffering and discovered its purpose in his life.

Randy is the founder of AAttitudeofGratitude.com, which is an online, relapse prevention program. Be sure to check out his website next month when his free workshop will be available to aid those in stuck in sobriety to help them prevent a relapse. In 2020 his book, tentatively titled Relapse Prevention Tips for People Stuck in Sobriety, will be released. Re-visit his website to discover how to access your Kindle version when the book is released next year!