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Today we have Chris Wright joining us on The SHAIR Podcast. He’s a good friend of mine. We met in Costa Rica when he was at Costa Rica Recovery in rehab. Now Chris has recently celebrated one year clean and sober. The plan was six months ago that on his bucket list was at one year he was going to be on The SHAIR Podcast and here we are. This is cool.
Clean Date: March 9, 2015
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about that and I said, “I don’t know. It sounded like a good goal.” Keeping people off the streets, you know?
Omar: That’s the goal, man. That’s the goal. Whatever it takes, dude, seriously.
Chris: Whatever keeps you clean.
Omar: Expect a miracle. I have had an opportunity to hear a little bit of your story and it’s heavy, man. I know that your parents have been pulling for you and I’m sure reconnecting with them has been a blessing. I want to hear all about that kind of stuff. Let’s dive into your story.
Let’s talk about what you were doing today. Take us into your normal daily routine including recovery.
Chris: All right. I try to center myself as much as I can in the morning, not very much. Once I’m off it’s like a cup of coffee and go kind of person. It’s important to me. Some people get down on their knees and pray or whatever. Whenever I’m conscious of it I’ll just take a moment. Pretty much what I do is I ask a higher power for strength just to kind of do their will. Then I move forward with my day. Right now I’m working full time Monday through Friday so I do that. I’m an organic biodynamic farmer so I do pretty labor-intensive work and usually come home exhausted.
I have a dog who’s pretty much my child. I hike, walk with him even though I’m exhausted every day. I’ll eat something, put something in my body and then I usually hit a night meeting. Right now I’m trying to do three nights a week which is good for me and then I hit both weekends whenever possible. It’s been kind of a transitional phase. I wasn’t working full time through a large majority of my first year which was kind of a blessing. I hit well over three sixty-five meetings in my first year which I think was quite pivotal.
Chris: I just kind of had to hear the same things until they clicked.
Omar: I know the feeling.
Chris: That’s what that means, yeah.
Omar: No, that’s exactly how it works. That’s exactly how it works. Tell us a little bit, because we were talking a little bit about this new gig and since I’m totally now into this whole organic movement, save the planet kind of a deal, a big, big fan of Rich Roll who’s also a recovering alcoholic, a vegan, triathlon athlete – just a bad ass.
Now I’ve quit eating red meat and chicken and dairy. Tell us about this job and what you’re doing. It’s very exciting to me.
Chris: What I’m doing is I’m working on a small local farm. It’s actually within the area. It’s called Community Supported Agriculture or CSA, essentially is mainly how this farm makes money. People within the community or around the state I live in will make an investment. They’ll pay x-amount of dollars. I think it’s either four hundred, five hundred or seven hundred depending on how much produce you want to receive on a weekly basis.
Throughout the months of June through October you essentially come to the farm once a week. You can see where your produce is coming from, meet the farmers that are slaving over these things. Essentially you get a quantity, a certain, whatever you pay for, a certain amount of pounds of produce you can take from our farm and bring home each week. Everything that we do is totally organic. We don’t use any pesticides. It’s all natural. We fertilize with a lot of fish oils and stuff. Everything is done by hand.
Omar: What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Chris: Fear and ego.
Omar: Yup. Absolutely.
Omar: That’s number one on most of our lists.
Chris: The stigma of addiction and on not just being educated about addiction and alcoholism. I’m a huge advocate about that. I think had I known or was the preconception of that different, then I might have been more apt to say, “Hey, maybe that’s me.”
Omar: At what point did you have that spiritual awakening, that aha moment in recovery when you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol for the first time but had developed the hope that you could recover?
Chris: I describe the moment of the spiritual kind of higher power moment at the pool with my roommate in rehab. That was definitely one. Just thinking back for me, another big moment was reading the text, the big book and it was like reading my biography. I didn’t have to write it. It was already written for me and not being able to deny that anymore.
Omar: Absolutely, yes. It happened to me in the same way. When I was working step one. I was right in the middle of working step one and was talking about manageability, internal and external unmanageability. I’m going over this with my sponsor and I’m like, “Oh, my God, this is it. I totally get this.” It was one of the first times I’d gotten anything in so long. Like it clicked and I went, “Dude, I’m so into this.” I just dove into the steps right after like a fiend. It was awesome.
Do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to a newcomer that you read in early recovery?
Chris: An early recovery book. I think I tried to keep my reading light. Can I suggest a non-recovery book?
Omar: Yeah, absolutely.
Chris: All right. The one I read was Steal Like an Artist.
Chris: It’s all about the creative process. It’s really short and it’s by Austin Kleon. I don’t know, it kind of helped me decipher some things in recovery and work around, help me make my own discoveries.
Omar: Perfect! Now what is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Chris: The best suggestion is I think stop digging.
Omar: Stop digging. I know this one.
Chris: Maybe my hole’s not deep enough. Well, stop digging.
Omar: I just remember hearing it and going, “Dude, that’s so awesome. I get that.”
And if you could give our newcomers only one suggestion, what would it be?
Chris: If you’re doing Twelve-Step Program or whatever you’re doing, don’t leave before the miracle happens. Myself I like everything immediate. I like it to be on my time but unfortunately that’s not the way our world works. Write a list of all the things you like to do when you’re sober, when you’re clean, people you care about because if you’re an addict, you’re an alcoholic like me, you will, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but somewhere down the line you’ll lose all that stuff again so …
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NEWCOMER
“Give AA a good chance…”
Thanks again for your SHAIR, Chris!
See you then!
Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.