Episode 172: Doctors in Recovery

Rich S., a physician from Portland, Oregon shares his experience as a healthcare professional in recovery from alcoholism, and he helps us understand the special challenges facing healthcare workers as they confront a global pandemic. 

Transcript

John: AA Beyond Belief is a podcast by for and about people who have found a secular path to sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. Hello, is anybody out there?

[laughter]

John: This is your humble host, John, and thank you for joining us for another episode. You might remember a couple of weeks ago, we had Sam S. on the podcast, and she was talking about the issues surrounding educators in recovery, and during that episode, I had asked if there were any other professions, doctors, lawyers, who might want to talk about the issues they face in recovery to please send us an email, and fortunately, we did get a response from our guest today, who is Rich S. He is a physician from Portland, Oregon, and I’ll just read you a little bit about what he wrote in his email as kind of a way to start this off. He wrote, “the stigma of addiction in the medical profession is real, and it is strong and persistent. As you know, mental health and addiction issues are higher in the health professions than in the general population, and despite this, we struggle asking for help. 

John: There are many reasons. I believe that many of us have codependent tendencies. We want to be the healers, not someone needing healing. As for me, I put myself in a position financially with my family professionally, where I felt I didn’t have any choices, my one choice was alcohol to escape. With regards to the current Covid situation, I worry for my fellow professionals, we are painted in the media and popular culture as superheroes, that’s a lot to live up to at a time when many of us are suffering from endless work and no time to grieve or give ourselves self-care. I fear that addiction and mental health issues will soar as the Covid crisis continues. 

John: Welcome to AA Beyond Belief, Rich.

Rich: Well, thank you. I’m glad to be here.

John: It’s nice to have you and I’d like for you to meet or speak with Angela. She is my co-host and as you know, from Boise. 

Rich: Yeah, hi Angela. 

Anglea: Hi, I’m so glad you’re here. I loved your email, it was very touching, and I appreciate the follow-up you sent and the article that you shared with us. Maybe you can talk a little bit about that as well? 

John: Yeah, it was an excellent article. In fact, I’ll post a link to that with the podcast description so people can read it. It was an article written by Dr. Lauren Rima, and she described an evening when she, I guess, was walking home from work, and if I got this right, she was walking across a bridge, and as she was at the bridge, it occurred to her why so many physicians might commit suicide. She described various aspects of her profession, and it was a really a very well-written article and very moving. 

John: So Rich,  why don’t we begin with you telling us about yourself, your history with substance abuse as a physician, and wherever you might want the conversation to go. We’ll just let you begin.

Rich: Sure, sure, thanks. I’ll just start, I guess, with the traditional AA story by way of introduction. I grew up in New York from relatively humble beginnings and I had loving parents, a good family. None were not alcoholics or had any trouble with substances. They were social drinkers at most, and we had a pretty happy family. I think I was one of the last generations in New York City who grew up with grandparents a few blocks this way and everyone is kind of in the same neighborhood, almost walking distance. That was a nice upbringing in my earlier years. 

Rich: My father ended up going to medical school. My mother was a teacher, and this is back in the mid-70s. When I was a young kid, my mother was into spirituality, and one thing my mother and I share is we don’t do anything halfway. I was raised Catholic, and I was a pretty observant Catholic, as was my family. I not only had to be a good Catholic, I wanted to be a priest too, and I wanted to be a priest until I was 16. I didn’t want to be a pilot, I had to be an astronaut, and I couldn’t join the Army, I had to be a Marine. 

Rich: So, extremes were always kind of part of my story, even at a young age. My mother shares that with me, so when she got into the 70s alternative culture, eastern mysticism, New Age kind of stuff, she went all in and she became an interfaith minister. Basically, in my teenage years, our house became a commune, I would come home and never knew who was going to be there. I would find people basically in my room, in my bed sometimes. 

Rich: By this point, my father was a doctor, still pretty conservative. He gave it a try, but he just couldn’t get into it. My mother was totally into it, and it was clear to my sister and me that things were starting to fall apart. They ended up getting a divorce. I went to college and there was a lot of anger on my part. All in retrospect, with years of therapy, I uncovered all this that was not apparent to me at the time. 

Rich: In college, I was a drinker in the 80s drinking culture. Movies and such, the college drinking culture was glorified, and I dove into that, and I surrounded myself with  my college buddies, and drank. We all drank and I probably was at the far end of the spectrum. I remember in college, you know toward the end, that scared me. My grades didn’t suffer, I didn’t get thrown out, but I was scared. I got out of college, I worked on jobs, and I stopped drinking. I stopped  drinking entirely for a number of years, and then slowly got back into it. In the Big Book terms, I was able to drink like a gentleman. I had a little wine on the weekends, but no cravings or anything.

Rich: So, I finished medical school, did my training, did fellowship, all while  drinking like a gentleman. I ended up taking an academic position. I think I was very idealistic about what I hoped to accomplish, and academics wasn’t for me. It was a very rough place, it was a rough career path to establish myself and establish myself in a way that I wanted to go and to  support my family. Academics doesn’t pay very well relative to other private practices and such. After about eight years of doing that, I ended up having pretty bad depression, and sought counseling. I actually ended up in a place for physicians in your great State of Kansas. 

Rich: I got my depression treated, and I was seeing a psychiatrist. Everything seemed to be going well, but things at work just were not. I was not gelling with the culture, that was part of it, but I ended up losing that job in a very inglorious way. Basically, when I was out there being treated for depression, my counselor told me that my employer, the university had decided to let me go. So they didn’t even tell me. My counselor told me on the second day I was there. That was devastating, but I was still going to therapy and drinking was not really an issue at that point.

Rich: I ended up taking a job in a western state and living in Vermont, so I was commuting across the country for 10 or 11 days  a month. I would live there, work continuously, and then go home. That’s the way it was, and now I recognize that I was the poster boy for risk factors for developing an addiction. I was isolated,  and not only isolated when I was working, but isolated at home, because I no longer felt part of my community.

Rich: I had been very active in the community, and when I lost my university job, a lot of those activities fell away and I was isolated there, I was working all the time. They ended up making me Director and it was non-stop stress. I can remember after all those years of drinking like a gentleman, I can remember just being home and just being unbelievably stressed and just pouring myself scotch and alot of your guests have talked about that, oh my gosh, that warm feeling and that relief. From there, it was off the cliff. 

Rich: It was three and a half, four years of daily drinking and hiding my drinking and having my family confront me. I was full of denial and lying. I was never a blackout drinker, I was what I refer to in meeting as a cruise level drinker. Taking the edge off and keeping the edge off for the rest of the day, go to sleep, maybe have trouble sleeping, have a little bit more to help me sleep. 

Rich: That’s the way I lived for those few years. Then one day, I was at work and someone smelled alcohol. They called the Chief of Staff, he came down, referred me to employee health, and I blew into a breathalyzer and had blood drawn. From there, I ended up in rehab at a very hard core, a 12-step rehab, which I didn’t know anything about. 

Rich: I had explored AA online, and I never got past the opening page because it was God, God, God, and I had long since through my teenage years with my mother, I’d explored Buddhism and obviously raised a Catholic and all of that, and I decided it really wasn’t anything. When I saw that page on AA, I knew it was not for me.  At the time, I thought hate AA was a bunch of old guys in grey flannel suits and fedoras smoking in a basement somewhere. I wasn’t one of those guys, you know? So, I went to this rehab, and I remember walking in the door and they said, and as part of this we’ll give you a big book. I thought a big book of what? So, I went through that very, very hard core, and very traditional AA. It helped.

Rich: I did have another great experience almost on my first day where I wasn’t drinking. I had been drinking for about a month, and I had been seeing a psychiatrist all this time, obviously not having told them that I was drinking, or that anything was a problem. On this one one day, everything she told me for the last five years made complete sense. It was like I heard it, but I never internalized it, and everything she told me just made complete sense, and from then on really the compulsion, again in the language, “it was lifted”, and I got home, and I got back to Vermont. 

Rich: I remember the first meeting. So I’ll set the stage a little bit. It was December 23rd. I got home from rehab, my whole extended family was in my house, so I rolled out of rehab to 20 people in my house. The next day, Christmas Eve is my first AA meeting.

Rich: I didn’t know where it was, I didn’t know how to find it. I was in a small town, everybody knows everybody, and I walk in and there’s a woman I knew from little league years before. She walked in and she just looked at me and threw her arms around me and said, “I’m so happy or here,” and that just relieved everything and I felt more comfortable. I got a sponsor, and he’s an agnostic and started an agnostic meeting. Very early on in my recovery, I went to the agnostic meetings , and it’s really been wonderful. So, that’s my story. 

John: Well, thank you. So, your hand was forced then basically? Do you feel there were issues surrounding your profession that prevented you from seeking help or was it simply denial? 

Rich: Yeah, the denial, it was unbelievably thick. That was part of it, but the professional consequences were potentially dire. On every license application, you have to answer questions about drug and alcohol use and mental health. Not about other things, not about other physical problems you may have, or medical problems you may have, just those things. I hear stories all the time from my fellow physicians who have asked their colleagues about getting help and they’re actively discouraged from it, because it could have a negative impact on their career.

John: Yeah, I’ve talked to nurses who have had substance abuse issues and have had to go to treatment, forced by their employer to get treatment, and there was a very stringent follow-up program they had to go through for years to keep their license to practice nursing. It was very, very strict. Did you have to do anything like that?

Rich: It, I’m doing it right now, and I get tested randomly for not only alcohol, which is the only thing I ever used, it was my substance of choice, but for anything else. I have mandatory counseling, mandatory psychiatric visits, I have a workplace monitor who is a fellow physician who is familiar with the work I do in my specialty, and he has to fill  out a monthly fitness report on me. So yeah,  and for most people, it’s at least five years of that. 

John: That’s a lot tougher than what most people would have to deal with when they’re in recovery, but when you were going through that, and as you go through it, I suppose your colleagues are aware. Are they supportive? 

Rich: Well, my, some are and some aren’t. Everyone at work knows I don’t drink, but no one has ever asked me why. As alcoholics, part of the disease is we become untrue to ourselves, I think, I have always been a nature boy, eating granola, so the fact that I don’t drink just kind of fits in with my persona. So, not drinking is not the aberration. Drinking was the aberration, the inconsistency.

Rich: So, some people know, some people don’t, and that’s actually something that I have struggled with. I would like to come out at some point and talk about it in a much more open way with my colleagues and with the medical system I work in, and hopefully help encourage other people who are struggling to get help. It’s incredible that I have that out… The doc who hired me, he basically hired me right out of rehab and he gave me a chance and he just retired, and I took his position as director and at his party, I pulled him aside and I said, “I would just wanna thank you for everything you’ve done, for me.” He just looked at me and he got teary eyed and he said, “it’s just the best decision I ever made.” I think in our profession, there are just not enough people like that out there. 20% of doctors in a recent survey, 20% in the past year on the questionnaire, answered positive for alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. That’s a lot. It’s a big problem, and it’s one that’s not being… It’s not being addressed.

John: Johnny had a question in our chatroom. He wants to know if there are two strikes and you’re out policy for doctors. 

Rich: You’re monitored for five years, and if you test positive for anything in five years, then you are monitored for life. Other states are stricter, some are less strict, it just depends. It’s very much a state-by-state basis. 

John: By the way, the phones are open for those of you who want to call in. If you are a healthcare professional and you’d like to share your story as a healthcare professional in recovery, or if you have a question for Rich, please do call in, the number is (844) 899-8278. 

Angela: So, Rich, do you go to meetings? AA meetings specifically for physicians in recovery?

Rich: Yes, yeah. There is an organization called IDAA, International Doctors in AA, and they have what’s called Caduceus meetings. They are specifically for medical professionals, and they are in most states. In the state I live in Oregon, there are three around the state, so they’re not very common, but they are around. IDAA is a great resource for health professionals in recovery.

John: I was reading as I was getting ready for this podcast, that drug addiction is a problem even worse than alcoholism among physicians, and it is at a higher rate than among the general population. I read that there are a number of reasons for that, one of those is just the accessibility to drugs. I wonder if you’ve noticed that? 

Rich: Yeah, and that is true, it’s accessibility is one issue, and it also kind of depends on your specialty. Anesthesiologists, for example, have access to and have a higher tendency to use opioids. ER docs tend to favor cocaine and marijuana, but the number one choice across all specialties is alcohol. There are some specialty variations, but alcohol and opiates by far make up the majority of addictions in physicians.

John: You know, a fun historical fact. I did not know this until I was getting ready to speak with you, Rich, but did you know that ether was first used in surgery as an anaesthetic in 1842 by a surgeon who was familiar with it from his recreational use of it? They called it ether frolics. His name was Crawford Williamson. Isn’t that interesting that already back in 1842, you had a physician who though, I don’t know if he had a problem with it or not, but he was certainly using it recreationally and he thought “you know what, this might work, this might help me take that tumor out of my patient’s neck.”

Rich: Yeah, it is actually an interesting thing, actually. I just read that some anesthesiologists get exposed to the gases that they use to anesthetize patients, and it’s thought that recurring exposure is a sort of trigger that facilitates opiate addiction. It’s a theory, and I don’t know if it’s been proven, but it’s very interesting to me. 

Angela: I would imagine the stress of pretty much any of the healthcare professions contributes to it as well. There’s so much at stake. There wasn’t much at stake when I was using or anything, and I still wanted to escape reality, but I imagine that when there is a lot at stake that option is probably given a higher priority for a lot of people. 

Angela: We have a person in the chatroom who asked how Covide has affected the alcohol addiction rates of healthcare workers, and you had mentioned in your email that you were really concerned about your colleagues and people in the healthcare field. What are your thoughts on that right now? Are you seeing it in your own area or is it too early to tell? 

Rich: For us healthcare workers, it’s just starting. We’re over the peak and now we’re entering the chronic phase and then there’s going to be a lot of people who think there’s going to be another peak. The horizon for this is not yet visible, and that is certainly a stress. 

Rich: We are as egotistical as everyone else, and we love the praise and people banging pots and thanking us when I come home in my scrubs and whatever. I like that, but like I said, that is a lot to live up to, and I think for many of us, medicine has changed in a way that is going to be difficult for a lot of people to re-address and to get to Angela’s earlier point, the stress is one thing, but it’s also the personalities that medicine attracts. We are perfectionists, and not only are we perfectionists, we’re prefects in a profession that demands perfection. No one wants to see their doctor and be told before they go in the room, he did sleep well, he’s not on his game today. That’s not the way it works.

Rich: We’re perfectionists, we’re compulsive, all of which are attributes that are in one way very helpful in the profession, but in another way, very self-defeating because perfection is an illusion. You can go through and re-examine any patient’s chart and find all the tiny errors that have no consequence, but if you’re a perfectionist, then that’s a problem. Not only is it the pressure we put on ourselves, but it’s the expectations that are placed on us from society, and now that expectation because of the pandemic is elevated even further. That’s where my concern comes for my colleagues. The nurses, especially in nurses working four or five, six hour shifts, 14-hour shifts, going  home, passing out, falling to sleep, cand coming in to do it all over again. Where is their time to decompress? 

Angela: Is there anything like trauma resources or employee health resources? 

Rich: I have seen a big outreach of promotion of EAP and clinician resources, and all of that is… All of that is available. The fact is, is that it’s always available, and it’s the problem of healthcare workers in general, to not ask for help, 

John: Hey, Rich, we have a call or we can take this call to see it says Hello.

Dale: Hi, John, this is Dale. 

John: Hi Dale! 

Dale: I was just wondering if there’s some criteria where a doctor might lose their license because addiction and how often this happens? 

Rich: There are definite criteria. Most of that is up to the state monitoring boards, and like I said, some of them are very strict in some aren’t, but if you are in violation of your monitoring or your monitoring agreement, your name is published, and your remediation plan is published, and then if the board decides that it’s appropriate for you to lose your license, that is also published. So it’s all public record. How often does it happen? I get my newsletter from the medical board every month, and there’s always a list of people who…

John: Rich… I’ve seen that, I’ve seen that. I was actually researching a doctor who gave a talk on YouTube and she had that happened to her where she had a problem with addiction, went to treatment, whatever happened, but it was made public, and then they had this website where people can go to check out their physicians. She came up as one of the people who had this problem. It can be very stigmatizing. I can understand why you’dn’t want to have that happen. 

Rich: Exactly. The idea is that you get help, you get monitored with your recovery program very closely, and you stay in compliance, and if you do that, then your name is generally not made public, but if you’re in violation, then it can be made public.

Angela:  That can be an extremely shameful, obviously a shameful experience and a big deterrent, one might not voluntarily want to go seek help if they realize they have to go through these five-year programs and constant monitoring, and if they fail, it’s publicly acknowledged. I can see how that could be a deterrent. 

John: Dale wrote a secular version of The Big Book, and I was thinking about that story of Dr. Bob when he went to operate on somebody and they had to give him a bottle to keep his hand steady… How would you like to be that patient?

[laughter]

John: I think Dr. Bob needed some monitoring. 

[laughter]

John: Well, thank you for calling Dale. It was nice to talk with you. How are you doing over there? 

Dale: I’m doing fine, thank you very much.

John: Well, thank you for calling. I appreciate it. 

John: The phones are open, so please do feel free to call in, the number is up there. It’s a (844)-899-8278. 

John: I was going to say something when you were talking about the impact ov Covid. I was thinking that right now you are dealing with what’s in front of you, but there will be post-traumatic stress syndrome, like returning from a war. 

Rich: I agree with that. 

Angela: I think that there’s more awareness for healthcare workers regarding healthcare and trauma, but I don’t know that necessarily all the resources are there. I have a friend who works in ICU, and they were going to seek some trauma resources for just that job, it was very traumatic sometimes, and in this area, there really weren’t any, which was surprising because we’ve had several first responders a couple of year ago, commit suicide, so there was a big community demand for resources for first responders. Yet when this person called to get those, they really didn’t have any licensed counselors who specialize in healthcare and trauma. I had to seek things outside of what was provided within their employee system, but I think that I have heard people are at least doing that now, trying to seek out trauma help and when they do that, and I don’t think they have to admit that they have any sort of addiction problems, and so it’s not looked at as badly. So, a way for them to get help without having to get the attached diagnosis 

Rich: Yeah, I think it’s something that patients as well as healthcare people have to advocate for and because it’s not a big stretch to think of how stressful all of this is on healthcare workers, and it can be rather system-dependent. When I was at the university, there really wasn’t anything like that, like your friend is experiencing, there really wasn’t a great system. Where I am now, after a stressful event, we have an immediate debriefing and time with a mediator, and it is unbelievably helpful.

Angela: See, but I think all systems need to definitely have that mechanism in place or to provide support and I… We as healthcare workers, we have to get out of our own way, ask for help, and… So it’s a two-way street. The systems have to make it available and then we as professionals have to recognize it and recognize the problems and access it, and I think that there’s a big issue of trust that is going to stay confidential, is… Am I gonna be able to keep these issues provided… That’s a big concern. That’s a big concern.

John: Another interesting fact though, is those doctors, physicians, medical workers at large, when they do seek treatment, the success rate is pretty high. I was reading on the Internet, there was a study that reported 81% of participants in a treatment program were still sober after five years from treatment. That’s a pretty high percentage of people remaining sober, and I think that percentage is higher than the normal population. I found that kind of interesting.

Angela: That’s amazing.

John: Maybe it’s because of the knowledge that you have? 

Rich: Yeah, it’s… It’s the knowledge and I think it is the support and the PHP. I have said in many meetings that I completely respect people who got sober on their own. I have to answer a lot. I have a lot of people and a lot of systems keeping me on the straight and narrow, at least externally, but people like you and Angela who do it on your own. I completely respect that.

John: Do you  happen to know somebody from Vermont by the name of Peter T? 

Rich: I wasn’t going to drop his name…

John: He just posted a really cool story. He says that he can’t help but connect the dots. He said John and Ben’s podcast inspired him to come out as an atheist or an agnostic recovery, and then he attended the convention in Austin where he met me and Ben, and he met Dale who inspired him to start the meeting in Vermont, which is how he met you.

John: Yeah, and then you heard him call in to our podcast, and you connected back with him…

Rich: I did. I was at one of my meetings, I did the 90 and 90, well, actually, to come clean, because I am a perfectionist, I actually did 89 and 90, because on the 90th day, I had to fly out here for a job interview, so I couldn’t make a neat 90. He made an announcement at one of my meetings when I was out of rehab about a month, that he was starting an agnostic meeting. I didn’t get to the first one, but I believe I got to the second one. Not to tell tales out of school, but he was my first sponsor. 

John: Oh, cool. 

Rich: He was incredibly good at talking me off the ledge when I would go to a traditional meeting and get outraged about something that was said. He was an incredible resource.

John: Another little known fact about Peter, he has an app, I think it was called AA Bingo? If it’s still online, I’ll have to put the link out there. It was really kind of funny, but it’s like you play this game so that any time you hear a certain phrase in AA, It’s like a bingo game. It’s kind of funny. 

Rich: Sober Bingo! 

Anglea: Tracy is asking if medical doctors who are in that program, and I’m sure it varies by state, but do you know if any of them are allowed to seek out and use medically-assisted treatment? 

Rich: Yes, it’s okay. When I was in inpatient, I was offered Suboxone and I declined it. I didn’t feel like I needed it at that point, but yes medication-assisted treatment is accepted.

Angela: Yeah, that’s good. I’m one of those who believe in all of the above to try to help people, because it’s not a one-size fit all treatment. 

Rich: Yeah, I am too. 

John: It makes sense that they would. That was a really good question, but what is used to treat addiction isn’t itself addictive or problematic at all anyway. 

Rich: It’s a medication that, like any medication for any problem needs to be managed properly and expertly, and I’m with you on all the above… All of the above works.

John: So another question I had for you. Do you run across patients who have substance abuse issues, and do you think that your own personal experience helps you guide them? 

Rich: Oh, absolutely. My perspective has changed, and not only with substance issues, but as someone with a dual diagnosis, depression and substance that my perspective is completely changed, and I have spoken privately to patients who are going for in-patient treatment and said, “You can do this.” I don’t tell my story, but I say I have some experience with this and I speak in general terms. I think that has been helpful. For some of them, I hope it has been. 

John: I read, and I think that this is probably true. In fact, actually, I got this from Dr. Ray Baker that in Canada, there’s very little education given a medical school about addiction and addiction treatment. 

Rich: I can just speak for myself but basically you heard the terms methadone and in residency, we would do acute detox for alcohol, but you  kind of learn on the fly. When I was at the university, I taught in medical school, and as far as I know, there was very little of the curriculum devoted to tha. 

John: So, we’re coming up on an hour here pretty soon. I think we can wind things down. I do appreciate you coming on the podcast to talk about your experience, Rich. It was really interesting and a lot to think about, in particular what you said about how healthcare workers are seen as heroes and lifted up. It just reminds me of how veterans felt coming back from the Iraq war and being thanked for their service and just having that… I don’t know, that feeling of somehow being different and not having the same experiences the rest of the population. That’s what healthcare workers are dealing with now. They’re on the front lines dealing with a huge problem, we’re all in this together, we’re all in our isolation and so forth, but I don’t have Covid patient’s breathing on me every day. 

Rich: I think same as similar to the veterans, you don’t want to let people down, you feel admired and respected and again, a lot to live up to, and admitting that you’re having difficulties, it feels a little bit like letting people down, letting the people around you, your co-workers letting them down, and that can be a very shameful experience, and we all know what shame gets us. 

Angela: I can see on a much lower scale, kind of like when you have been sober for a little bit, if you show emotion or go through a tough time, sometimes it’s hard to talk about it because you’ve got a little bit of time and people with some sober time shouldn’t be having these kinds of problems.

Angela:  So my last question for you though, is, for those of us in recovery, how can we support our healthcare workers during this time? Do you have any suggestions of things that would be helpful for us so that we can be a community and support them in a way that’s useful? 

Rich: Well, I think Angela that you mentioned that you have some friends who are healthcare workers or people you know who are healthcare workers. I think that really checking in with them that you can on a deeper level than simply asking how it is going. Really, let them know that you care. I guess  that’s the thing, it’s empathy. That essay I sent you guys that she talked about, she finally spoke up and other people said, “Yeah, I’m having a tough time too.” She was expecting scorn and shame, and she got a lot of empathy reflected back. 

Rich: I think just being open and listening, whether they’re in recovery or not. You may hear some things that you may not want to hear.

Angela: Just being there and listening, being willing to hold the space for them so they can talk about it and not fall apart. 

Rich: Exactly, we… Exactly.

John: One final question for you, Rich, that is coming from Johnny, and you may have already answered this, but he’s curious what you think about naltrexone. 

Rich: Again, everything is on the table. As far as I know, for alcohol anyway, it’s an off-label use, I believe, don’t quote me on that. I have had friends in recovery who it has really helped, so yeah, I think, again, supervised by someone who’s an expert in its use, I think it can be a helpful tool. If it works for you, I’m all for it. Even if I don’t agree with it, or it’s not for me. Whatever keeps you going. 

John: Rich, thank you gain.

Angela: Thank you so much.

John: So you, that’s it.

John: That’s another episode of AA Beyond Belief, the podcast.

John: Thank you everybody for listening, and thank you for your patience. I think that the Internet machine wasn’t working so well for us today, but that’s okay. We all had a good time.

John: So one last thing, thank you, people for donating to AA Beyond Belief. It’s been fantastic to see the extra contributions in our Patreon page. The patron site wasn’t doing anything for a long time, and now we’re getting a lot of these dollar contributions. Again, I just can’t tell you how much that helps. So, if anyone out there wants to do that, just make one dollar a month contribution, you can do that at patron.com/aabeyondbelief. It’s something we really do appreciate.

John: So,  thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Thank you, Angela. Again, it’s always great to have you on this podcast with me. Thank you, Rich, and best of luck to us all as we somehow make it through these difficult times. 


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