Ed McDonough GateHouse Treatment CEO and alumnus has switched over to strictly a podcast! This week the Hope Dealer comes back for episode 13. The guest for this week (and hopefully returning for more episodes) is GateHouse Alumni Coordinator and alumnus Bobby Pinciaro. Ed and Bobby discuss having fun in recovery and what it took to get there.
Bobby said, “I wasn’t going anywhere outside of a 5-mile radius of my house, because I had no gas money and nobody invited me to go anywhere.” That resonates with almost any addict, we never had money to go anywhere, and we weren’t the most pleasant of people to be around. When we were using, we couldn’t imagine doing anything without a substance in our body. The idea of facing life sober terrified us.
Ed talks about how once he got sober he had no choice but to deal with life. The drugs and the alcohol were the only things that kept him from having to deal with his problems daily. Once those were taken away, it was a startling realization for him. Now he’s grateful that he can be present in his life and able to be in the moment.
Ed asks Bobby what he’s tried since he’s been sober that he never did before. Bobby has now gone hiking, can enjoy nature and is going camping for the first time in his life for the Alumni Camping Trip. GateHouse Treatment has an Adventure Therapy Program that has proven to be very beneficial for showing that you can have fun in sobriety. Bobby is a self-proclaimed “city kid through and through” and has learned to love nature through sobriety.
The Alumni Camping trip will be 40 alumni and staff enjoying a weekend together doing numerous activities from hiking, canoeing, kayaking and enjoying the company of others in recovery. Ed points out that in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it points out that “we are not a glum lot.” Bobby says some of his best memories in sobriety were at the GateHouse Sober Living Houses.
Ed and Bobby also discuss how in active addiction that they rarely had “good things” happen to them or were involved in. Now that Ed is in long-term recovery he has been able to notice that when he does the right things, the right things happen. Bobby also points out that he gets to be included in things now because he’s not the same miserable person he used to be when he was using. That he has now started to become the person that he’s supposed to be.
Ed and Bobby both talk about the anxiety of what will life be once you get sober, but they’ve realized that you can find happiness and fun in almost everything when you get sober. Expanding your horizons and overcoming the fear of our comfort bubbles is how we grow in our lives and our recovery. That is another reason why sponsorship in the fellowships is so significant, if someone is doing the right thing in their recovery program they will be available to help the newcomer. They help you walk through fear and self-doubt.
People in the fellowships that you surround yourself with will pull you out of your comfort zone and get you out of yourself but in healthy ways. It is uncomfortable at first because you have to learn to live in your skin again, but others have been through it and will help you through. The whole purpose of the program is to be able to give back to the still sick and suffering, to help another person find their path to recovery. Ed and Bobby have both found that through their time in GateHouse and sobriety.