Life without alcohol can eventually become enjoyable and not boring. This takes work, and initially, after quitting drinking there is typically a transition period that can be challenging to get through, but it’s well worth the effort. In episode 258, Matt Finch and Zack Reeder discuss a step-by-step customizable framework that anyone can use to create a healthy alcohol-free lifestyle that is not boring.
About Zach Reeder
Zach Reeder is a Fit Recovery Coach who specializes in helping clients overcome alcohol addiction using the Hierarchy of Recovery model along with customized strategic plans and much more. He is a certified personal trainer and has been counseling in addiction recovery for 3 years.
How To Create a Life Without Alcohol that is Enjoyable & NOT Boring (Step-By-Step)
STEP #1 – Identify how you want your life without alcohol that is enjoyable and not boring to look. Write a paragraph to a page or more. How do you feel? How do you look? What are your mental health and physical health like? What are your relationships like? Your work? Finances? Intimacy? What do you do for recreation and for self-care? Where do you live? How do you manage stress and what is your overall life outlook?
STEP #2 – Identify why you don’t already have this in your life: What are the decisions, indecisions actions, inactions, beliefs. Habits, rituals, procrastinations, and thoughts that have led to your current situation.
STEP #3 – Identify what you need to do to achieve a life without alcohol that is enjoyable and not boring which you envisioned and wrote down in step 1.
STEP #4 – Identify the price or trade-off you’d need to pay to the piper to achieve this dream life without alcohol that is enjoyable and not boring?
STEP #5 – Are you will willing to make these trade-offs and pay whatever these prices are to achieve your envisioned life?
STEP #6 – Will you start paying the price now? And if not, when? And why wait?
Areas to Work on Discussed in this Episode:
- Goals & Routines (including diet, exercise, supplementation, mindset, spirituality, etc.)
- Pro-Social Connections
- Vital Absorbing Creating Interests (VACIs)
Links to Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0
- Zach Reeder & Fit Recovery
- Book a Free 20-Minute Discovery Call with Coach Zach
Here are some ways to learn from this episode:
- Watch the video
- Listen to the audio
- Read the transcript
- Right-click here and save as to download this episode on your computer.
Zach Reeder: Beginning with the end in mind. It's that habit to begin with the end in mind. You got to know what you want. You wouldn't start building a house if you didn't have the blueprint. You don't just find a spot and then start laying down bricks and then seeing what happens. That would be the dumbest thing, right? You know where every element of this wants to be. And I think a big part of that too, is understanding your values, right? You have to understand what you place value in. Is it I want to be financially independent? Is it I want to have a minimally stressful day or life? Is it I want to have meaningful relationships? Are relationships important? Are they a value to you?
Announcer: Thanks for tuning in to the Elevation Recovery podcast. Your hub for addiction, recovery strategies hosted by Chris Scott and Matt Finch.
Matt Finch: Welcome to episode 258 of Elevation Recovery. My name is Matt Finch. And today, I'm interviewing and chatting with Fit Recovery coach Zach Reeder. We have a topic planned out for you that we think you're really going to love. The title is how to live a life and create a life without alcohol, that is both enjoyable and not boring. I don't know about you, but when I used to get sober for a few days or a week or a few months, and then all my friends would still be drinking and going to parties and the bars and hooking up with girls. And at that age, in my mid twenties at that point, life without alcohol was so boring. It was not too enjoyable. If the waves were really good, which happened sometimes, life was great, but whenever there was no really good waves to go surf, I didn't really have too many other tools.
Matt Finch: And life was not that enjoyable and not that exciting. It was pretty boring at least at that age. And I know a lot of people are looking for things on YouTube about life without alcohol, how to create a life without alcohol. What does living without alcohol look like? Can you enjoy it? Can it be really, really exciting and adventurous and fulfilling and not boring? So these are some of the things we're going to tackle. And Zach and I also created a little step by step system that should help rather than just, talk about our lives without alcohol, how we did it. I'm sure we'll do some of that too, but give you a blueprint so to speak. A step by step framework or mental model, a way to think about it. So this is going to be one that would be really cool to take notes, even watch a second time, because we guarantee you that if you use what you learn here, use this process, it is a proven roadmap that is 100% customizable for your exact preferences, personality, lifestyle, situation, needs, resources, all those different... and many other variables.
Matt Finch: So this is kind of a... not necessarily a one size fits all treatment approach, but most likely a one size fits all mental model or framework that you can individualize. SO getting right into it. Thank you so much, Zach. Good to see you. It's been a while before we've talked, and I know you just got engaged. So congrats on that.
Zach Reeder: Thanks, buddy.
Matt Finch: You also have a few coaching spots available, your first one since 2022, which we'll get into a little later. So how you been, man?
Zach Reeder: Dude, I'm fantastic. It's been way too long since you and I have been able to chat or had the opportunity, but I have some really great things happening with the local agency that I work at here in Ohio regarding creating a holistic and comprehensive model to incorporate health and wellness within the treatment model. Normally you'd see that in an inpatient type of facility where that's a lot more present, but to take it and use it in an outpatient where we have multiple... a network of providers. So we're partnering up with a local hospital, Ohio Health, to provide addiction medicine and dietary and nutrition. And we are in the process of finding grant funding to build a fitness education center in our new building. And, so we'll be able to incorporate, like I said, addiction medicine. Being able to get appropriate nutrition that is custom fitted to someone that's been nutrient deficient due to chronic substance and alcohol use, and getting them learning how to properly work out.
Zach Reeder: Because that's one of the worst things I know for a lot of people whether it's addiction or just trying to make some lifestyle changes. You walk into a gym and there's... you have all these complicated machines, and it can be very intimidating. You have all these people that really look like they know what they're doing, but having the courage to walk up to somebody and go, "Hey, I don't know what I'm doing here can...". So being able to incorporate a clinical model of treatment programming that incorporates fitness education to teach them how to work out and then sending them to their respective corners of the world to find a local gym they can go work out at, but then also still offering all the normal clinical services, individualized counseling, mental health, drug and alcohol, group therapies, things like that.
Zach Reeder: So that's taken up the lion's share of my time in the last few months. And right now it's kind of a waiting game on getting a couple pieces, getting approved on the funding and still needing to meet with managed care Medicaid providers and things like that so it can be an accessible service to all people of all different financial constraints. So, it's been a lot, dude, but I'm super excited to get back on the train with Fit Recovery and really excited to be taking on some new clients. I love being able to have the ability to extend beyond just my local reach here and being able to work with clients all over the world. What a phenomenal opportunity, man. It is really a blessing.
Matt Finch: Oh yeah. It's really a miracle. It's really a miracle that for as many issues and negative consequences that technology can create, the internet, binging Netflix and porn hub, and scrolling through the smartphone and just never ending and getting distracted and escapism. For as many negative obstacles and challenges, it has so many positive benefits. And for my life situation and for your life situation and probably the majority of people it's immensely adding net wonder and miracles to their lives rather than a net deficit to their overall life quality. That's my favorite thing is being able to work with people on the phone, on Zoom, on FaceTime, on Skype, depending on where they are and what their preference is and video or no video, depending on what their preference is. that's super cool on that project of holistifying that outpatient program, right?
Zach Reeder: Yep.
Matt Finch: Adding the biochemical optimization pillar, there needs to be so many more people undertaking that project. It's just like imagine. I know, Julia Ross and the rest of the people with the Alliance for Addiction Solutions, Chris and I are both professional members of it. It's a nonprofit organization. They've been trying to do this mostly for inpatient centers, but also for outpatient to help them to holistify using their amino acid charts and dosing protocols, nutritional therapies, and other parts of that biochemical pillar. I tried this one time, many years ago. I met a guy that was the director, founder and director of a outpatient program here in San Diego County and a mutual friend or not a mutual friend, my friend that was on LinkedIn thought that we might have ways to help each other. She set us up, and I met him and how can we help each other out here?
Matt Finch: So I told him I could help him out by helping him to bring his recovery center to the new age where there's supplements, gym, nutrition, and many other physical therapies to get the brain healing faster and to help with mental health, help with sleep, et cetera. He thought it was a bunch of snake oil, Zach. He thought it was hog wash. After giving my little spiel on it, he was like... And this guy had like decades of sobriety according to him. He was like I've been sober for, I can't remember if it was 30 or 40 years. It was a long time. I've been sober for, 40 years. I don't even take a multivitamin. You're telling me that people really need these things.
Matt Finch: It was totally obvious to me that he had, if not narcissistic personality disorder, at least NPD symptoms and almost guaranteed, he had ADHD. He would cut me off. He was not paying attention when I was talking. I was like, dude, I could tell you a supplement protocol that could help a lot. No, nobody needs supplements or nutrition or diet to get decades of sobriety. Many people do it without, but it helps so much. It's not mandatory. All you need to survive is food, water, oxygen, and sleep. That's really all you need, right?
Zach Reeder: We're talking about quality of life versus doing the bare minimum. Like grit your teeth and bear it or cultivate the best quality life possible, right?
Matt Finch: Exactly, and an early recovery that is a much more vulnerable time. Whatever he had 40 years of sobriety, at that point, you probably, I'd seriously doubt there's still much residue left from his alcohol use. But people in early recovery, yes, homey, supplements can help, exercise can help. It was quite comical. All right. Now the introductions have been underway. Let's get into this process of creating an exciting life, a pleasurable life, an enjoyable life without alcohol, without ethanol, without dehydrating yourself. It's a cellular dehydrator without robbing your brain and body of nutritional deficits. It robs your brain of nutrition. Dr. Ken Star, when Chris Scott interviewed him, he said that alcohol causes a nutritional wasteland in the body, depletes you of B vitamins. It almost always leads to a severe or at moderate, NAD plus deficiency.
Matt Finch: Alcohol gets rid of all your NAD. NAD is antiaging. It's DNA repair. It's epigenetic optimization. So you're drinking alcohol, cellular dehydrator so instead of anti-aging, you're advancing aging and it's making your brain need alcohol to produce those neurotransmitters, GABA, dynorphin, dopamine. It's making your skin unhealthy, totally screwing up your sleep. Yes, life without alcohol can be enjoyable, pleasurable, and definitely not boring. Does that mean life's going to be easy? Absolutely not. Does that mean life's going to just keep getting better and better the longer that you're off alcohol? Absolutely not. But as cliche as it sounds, my most fun day, partying and drinking, using drugs as fun as some of those days and weeks were really, today, just today, not drinking any alcohol at all, just feeling super good, clearheaded, drinking some iced coffee here. And I've just been working today mostly.
Matt Finch: This is a better day. I can't imagine living like that anymore. I just can't imagine. It was okay for my twenties and early thirties, but I found out that there's way more to life than that. Let's do the step by step process. Step one, identify what you desire. In this case, we're talking about creating a life without alcohol that's both enjoyable and not boring. So what is your goal? Life without alcohol. Step two, identify why you don't already have that goal. The step one is know what you want. This can be used for other goals as well. You want a life without alcohol, that is way better than your current life. Well, why don't you already have that? What are the actions, habits, behaviors, thoughts, and belief systems that have led to your current situation in life?
Matt Finch: If you get really detailed on this and really write out why don't I have the life that I desire and just let the pen or the keyboard roll, get really detailed. It is going to be so well worth the time. The time you invest in that is going to pay off big time. Then finally, step three, identify what you need to do to achieve the life that you want, in this case life without alcohol, that's actually really awesome. That's actually way better than you could probably possibly imagine. Maybe you've had a taste of the good life without alcohol in the past and had things going great. I'm here to tell you that you can make it even better and better and better. You can really, really optimize your biochemistry, your brain health, your mood, your energy, your focus, your productivity, your sleep health, your bliss, your joy, your love, your compassion, your peace.
Matt Finch: I'm 42 now. I'm really realizing that at least for me, the older I get the better, pretty much everything gets. It's you become so much. If you're doing it in certain ways, you can become more loving, more compassionate, wiser, better at discernment, more curious about things. It's really a fun process. After you get over the initial difficult part, whether you have to detox or whether you just have to quit binge drinking, there's many different situations. That's the thing. That's the process that I came up with. Then we're going to go into, Zach's really awesome, kind of subheadings of this overall topic. What's your goal? Life without alcohol that kicks ass. Why don't you already have that life? What have been the habits, thoughts, all those things, the actions, decisions, belief systems that led you to this life that you would rather have the life without alcohol.
Matt Finch: And three, what do you have to do? What are some of the things you'd have to do to get that life going to get some momentum towards that? Then what would you have to do to keep that life once you have, one version of it that you can later on have more and more iterations of optimization? Zach, your first thing here is you're going to talk about the magic R word.
Zach Reeder: Yeah, routines. Yep, oh man. My ADHD fired off super hard on me today, but just now, when you were talking about setting goals, because really before a person can decide what routines they need to implement, they got to have those goals, right? Something fired on me as far as Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, right. Being proactive, taking ownership, but also beginning with the end in mind. Habit two, begin with the end in mind. You got to know what you want. Like you wouldn't start building a house if you didn't have the blueprint. You don't just find a spot and then start laying down fucking bricks and then seeing what happens. That would be the dumbest thing, right?
Zach Reeder: You know where every element of this wants to be. I think a big part of that too, is understanding your values, right? You have to understand what you place value in. Is it, I want to be financially independent? Is it, I want to have a minimally stressful day or life? Is it I want to have meaningful relationships? Are relationships important? Are they a value to you? Right. So there's a big, I think there's a huge piece right there that certainly I would never want to just mall over what is it exactly that you want? That should really, really encompass some serious introspection, sitting down in a nice quiet place. And I certainly don't think that it has to be an exhaustive thing right away.
Zach Reeder: It's like you sit down and maybe it's you take 15 minutes here, right now. I'm taking 15 minutes just to think, what do I want? That piece right there is going to help you decide and identify. When you get to step three and you identify, how do I get what I want? Because the framework that we're going to talk about is all going to be relevant to what do you want, because it's subjective, right? The same routines, aren't going to be the same for everybody. Pro-social connections look different for everybody.
Zach Reeder: Not everybody's going to want to go do a spin class or yoga, or maybe not everybody goes to church and meets people there. Maybe not everybody goes to AA or NA or smart recovery, maybe not everybody's on social media. And then not everybody has the same passions. Not everybody has the same brand or not everybody cares for the same brand of personal growth and development. All those four concepts are what we're going to talk or what we're going to spend, I guess, the most quantitative time talking about. But I don't know. What are your thoughts on how do you come up with what's your routine for deciding what it is that you want?
Matt Finch: Something that I did intuitively for many years, but then I learned a cool way to discuss it, to communicate about it, to think about it. That I learned from Mel Robbins, not her newest book, but I believe it was her book before that. It wasn't a book. I think it was a audible only, and where she was coaching people. I forget the title of it, but Mel Robbins, she is awesome. I've read one book of hers, listened to another. The way I learned about her was she was at a seminar I went to as a guest. She was the keynote speaker, actually. This was when she was at the height of her massively, hectic, crazy. She was the number one most booked and highest paid speaker, even out of males, out of everybody in the world for a while, when she was peaking. Then she got burned out, stopped speaking. Now she's been hammering out amazing books. There's the Mel Robbins show.
Zach Reeder: Yeah, High Five Habits. High Five Habits, phenomenal. I just got done with that one not too long ago.
Matt Finch: That's the book that I had. Then, gosh, I forget the coaching one. It was like an audible, something about overcoming fears or something, but she was....
Zach Reeder: 5-4-3-2-1.
Matt Finch: Nice.
Zach Reeder: It's talking about the 5-4-3-2-1.
Matt Finch: Yep. 5-4-3-2-1. That's what her keynote speech was all about. I was like standing ovation, the whole place. Thousands of people, there was 13,000 people somewhere around there at the seminar. She had this dress on and she had like sneakers, running shoes and a dress just totally, she's very unique. But the way she says, and the question you asked was well, how do people even find that, right? She says to follow what gives you energy. Try many different things out, right? Learn about something new, go do something new, these types of experiments. what you're doing is you're finding what lights you up, what lights you up and gives you energy. I was already doing that intuitively back then. Nowadays, I only do things for as much as I can that light me up and give me energy.
Matt Finch: Right now, you said you're reading essentialism for the second time. I've only read it once, but after reading it once I totally became not a minimalist because I'm not a minimalist. I like things. But now I'm an essentialist. Anything that's not essential for the most part is not a part of my work or my work goals or my apartment or my activities or my habits. I used to want a big, huge mansion, Zach. I used to want to be this multi, multi mega millionaire. I wanted a mansion, wanted super nice clothes. I wanted to just be... Lots of nice vehicles. I wanted a place right on the ocean in front of a great surf break. I wanted to be recognized in the field of addiction. I wanted to be like out there and people knowing who I was.
Matt Finch: So what people should know is that over the years, maybe what you value and what lights you up and gives you energy, changes. And actually, it pretty much should be like that because that's what growth is about. That's what I would answer to your question is try different things out. Like you said, some people, AA is not for everybody, smart recovery's not for everybody, church isn't. The only way people are going to know what is for them and what isn't for them is if they try something out or at least learn about it and see if it starts lighting them up. See if it starts giving them energy.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. I would argue even that it's worth trying something more than once, especially if we tie this back into early recovery, from a physiological standpoint, emotional, mental during acute and post-acute withdrawal from alcohol or other substances, we're going to have some dopamine deficiencies, right? So the things that we're going to actively want to pursue might not feel, they're not going to be as loud, right. Internally, we're not going to feel that intrinsic motivation toward things like we would when our brains all cleared up and it's starting to heal, when our dopamine threshold comes back down, and more organic things that we seek reward from start to feel stronger, right? Because I think it was the last podcast we were talking about, or maybe it was the first one. We were talking about having to accept that nothing is going to feel as strongly as drinking or drugging because from a pharmacological sense, it's not possible for the brain to have that much dopamine from things that are organic in life, right?
Zach Reeder: From emotional connections or sex or good food. You're not going to get the high feelings that you do, or you're not even going to feel the sense of motivation to pursue those things because we don't get that kind of dopamine from things that naturally occur in our daily living. I would argue that trying things more than once, because maybe in early recovery, you try to experience something and it's anhedonic for you. You're in a anhedonic state so nothing feels good. Right? Nothing feels pleasurable or motivating. So I think that's definitely worth noting is your brain is going to trick you in early stages of recovery, because from a neuro biological standpoint, you're not where you're going to be several months from now. So maybe if you don't like something, maybe give it two times, three times try. Does that make sense? I guess?
Matt Finch: Oh, it makes perfect sense to me. I'm listening to, I had a free credit recently, maybe about a week and a half ago on Audible, my monthly free credit. I got the book Dopamine Nation by Dr. Lembke. I might be getting her last name wrong, but Dopamine reset. I found out about her from Andrew Huberman, Dr. Huberman. his Huberman Lab. Yeah, his podcast on YouTube is great. I saw her podcast with him, and I was like, this is cool. Her audible, while so far, I'm only on chapter four. Most of it's really basic beginner, dopamine stuff, lots of review. But the way she's creating metaphors and analogies is so beautiful because even though I know the mechanisms of action of dopamine, the pain, pleasure, balance, drug or alcohol or compulsive behavior, cold turkey withdrawal to where the dopamine's gone.
Matt Finch: You could even have a dopamine at a level of zero, depending on the substance. Like taking a hit of really good methamphetamine, I learned this from the book, lots of cool statistics. Taking a hit of good methamphetamine is the same dopamine you'd get from 10 orgasms during sexual intercourse. Lots of cool stories from the past about how heroin was developed. I knew that, but there's certain things that I know a lot about, but then she's adding more to my knowledge. The way she talks about the pain pleasure balance, talking about how there's little gremlins camping out. Highly recommend the book so far from what I know up to chapter four. It's a really good beginner's book for people that don't know much about alcohol addiction, drug addiction, substance use disorder, gambling addiction, all these types of things for people that don't know at least the basics on dopamine, the reward pathways, the neuro circuitry.
Matt Finch: This is a great book because it's not so heavy, dense in the neuroscience. It's really, really basic neuroscience, at least so far. It's really understandable the way she gives really good metaphors and analogies to help you go, oh, now I understand how that works. Because when she's talking about neurotransmitters and synaptic clefs and all these different things that are involved in neuro transmission and the pain pleasure balance, the amygdala, basal ganglia, giving real world life examples that you can visualize and you go, oh, that's how it works. Oh, that makes perfect sense.
Zach Reeder: Good stuff. What about, you think that's adequate for step one? How do I identify what I want?
Matt Finch: Yeah, absolutely.
Zach Reeder: Step two, why don't I have what I want, right?
Matt Finch: Yeah. Yeah. Why don't I have what I want? If I was going to do this, if I was going to do this exercise, how I would do it, and this is customizable too, as I would write down what's my dream life? And I'd get as detailed as possible and just have that as a rough draft. Even if it's a paragraph, write something down. And then step two, I'd be okay, what's the main reasons I don't already have that life? I'd do at least a paragraph. I'd probably write a page or two. But even if you just write a paragraph on your dream life, alcohol free and why you don't have that, what have been the main things that you've done, said, decided, believed, thought that have put you in the position that you're in today with your current lifestyle and situation. So I write those out. And then three.
Matt Finch: ... down situation. So then write those out. And then three, identify what you need to do to achieve the life. So, you don't already have what you want, what would you need to do to get what you want? One of those is routines. Really quickly, I don't want to confuse people, but I just thought of two more steps. Step four, are you willing to pay the price to do the things that you need to do to get that life going? Are you willing to pay the price, pay the piper. Step five, will you start paying the price now? Routines-
Zach Reeder: Yeah, that's great.
Matt Finch: ... have routines is great. Another cool word for that is rituals. I love how Tony Robbins talks about rituals. I learned so much from him on routines and rituals. Those really are... Your life is your routines.
Zach Reeder: Sure. And that's funny you mentioned Tony Robbins. I was thinking as far as language, how we talk to ourselves. So it's like when you're asking why don't I have what it is that I want. And maybe even a better way to ask that question is how do I get it, right? So, I mean, I guess so we're still... That's what I mean, we're getting into the step three right there. But so in keeping it with alcohol, so how would you come up with why isn't... So let's say just for simplicity's sake, I don't have the life that I want because I'm a chronic user of alcohol or some other substance, right? And I maybe even identifying because the substance use, as problematic as it is, the substance use, we've been using it as a solution for something, right?
Zach Reeder: It's not the problem, it's a solution. It's a solution to whatever it is we're trying to enhance or escape from, right. So that's why. And those are some notes I made earlier be before we started talking is, why do people drink? And I had to enhance perceived feelings of enjoyment, right? Like yeah, this is fun, but it could be better if I tie one on with it, right. Or to escape pain, whether that's physical or emotional pain, even part of that being anxiety. Even as a social lubricant, I'm sorry if you can hear this in the background. I think my fiance and kid are fighting about Mario Brothers. So, but social lubricant, I feel like I can talk more when I'm drinking. So it's identifying what it is that you get out of it.
Zach Reeder: What are you getting out of the drinking or the drugging? Because obviously it's going to create problems to being the best version of yourself. But it's obviously also been a solution to something. Maybe you don't feel like you're... Maybe you're a really insecure person. Maybe it's really hard for you to be in social settings. Maybe you have a lot of anxiety. Alcohol's a great way to get rid of your anxiety while you're drinking it, right. I mean, there's no way to dispute that. It's going to increase GABA, it's going to sedate you. It's going to lower inhibitions. That's what it does. And this isn't everybody, I guess, but some people just start drinking because it's a social pressure.
Zach Reeder: It's just a normal part of society. I mean, alcohol is such a normalized part of American and certainly other cultures around the world of daily living, right. I guess what I was getting to is, in step two, is if you've come to the conclusion and you've made the decision that alcohol for everything it gives you. You've done some cost benefit analysis and it's costing you a lot more to use that as the solution than it is to deal with whatever the underlying problems are. So what are the real problems why you don't live the life you want. Because maybe it's because you're undisciplined. You haven't learned how to be disciplined. Maybe it's a low distress tolerance, a low pain tolerance of how... Maybe it's trauma.
Zach Reeder: Maybe it's a trauma that you haven't dealt, right. But it's easy enough to go, yeah, the only reason, it's I don't have what I want because I'm a drunk, or I'm a junkie or whatever the terrible language is that you tell yourself, right? You beat yourself up, victimize yourself. I don't have what I want because I'm doing these drugs. Well, you're doing those drugs to deal with another problem. So what are those problems? What are those reasons why you don't have what you want?
Matt Finch: Getting to the root. So if you imagine a tree, I see where you're going with this. I think let's stay on this for a bit. If you imagine a tree, at the top of that tree, the branches and leaves that are coming out, that's the symptoms, that's the behaviors. Whether it's over consumption of alcohol or drugs or even things like procrastination. So, a lot of times people will treat, if those trees are messed, if those leaves are messed up, people are treating the trees or the leaves. So it's like that's the symptoms. Hey, let's just slap a medication on this, which can work great. I'm a huge proponent of medication-assisted treatments, but that's probably not getting to the root. Let's do some psychotherapy. Well, maybe that gets the root, maybe it doesn't.
Matt Finch: So for each person, they're going to have a constellation of symptoms, in this case, over-consumption of alcohol. What are the reasons they're doing that? So you really have to go down and down and down below the ground into the deep roots. It's manifesting from the roots and growing upward. With me, I think it was a combination of many different things. Probably the main root for me was probably lots of childhood trauma and lots of sensitivity. That was pretty much you add those two together, just being a really sensitive kid growing up in person in general and having lots of trauma growing up. That's probably what I was covering up. So it took years and years to work through all that stuff. That's a huge one for a lot of people.
Matt Finch: That's it. The root is self-medicating mental health disorders or trauma, but it's not the root for everyone. For other people, it's different. So finding that root. Another thing before I forget, I wanted to mention, when you were talking about routines and giving up alcohol, not giving it up. Replacing alcohol, so certain benefit it's giving them. Well, before somebody even quits and makes a stride towards recovery in their alcohol-free life. Here's another exercise. Write down the benefits that you perceive from alcohol and the reasons that you think you're drinking, mostly the benefits, right. Then write a list of what are other ways, what are healthier ways that I could get these same benefits that I can do them alcohol-free. So for example, with alcohol as a social lubricant, what are other ways that you could feel more confident and at ease, comfortable in your own skin socially, or in the workplace with family, whatever, with people, that wouldn't take alcohol? If alcohol is anxiety mechanism, write down a list of 10 or more things of alternative ways that could possibly help to deal with anxiety.
Matt Finch: Usually, if people do quit drinking, if they haven't figured out and adopted and fostered and cultivated new ways of getting those same benefits that alcohol was giving them and thus the reason for them using it, usually doesn't stick, right Zach? Usually it's like-
Zach Reeder: Absolutely.
Matt Finch: ... oh, well I'm still anxious or shit, well, I'm still feel awkward socially or crap. I still have all this trauma that's bubbling up. If alcohol is the only solution or one of the only solutions, we're going to keep choosing that solution most likely. So we have to find other solutions. And for each person, it's like baking a cake, different ingredients for each person's recovery cake or recovery jigsaw puzzle. Putting all the pieces together, each person's a different puzzle.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. And understanding that when we stop using, because like we've already talked about, we were using that thing for a reason. We were using that as a tangible solution to some realized or maybe even unrealized, problematic element in our life where we're getting something out of the use, or we wouldn't keep doing it. People don't use drugs because they suck. But eliminating... I think this is where a lot of people, including myself at times have gotten extremely frustrated with the recovery process. I stopped using so my life should get better. I should feel better, right?
Zach Reeder: No, fuck no. Excuse my language, but no. You just gave yourself space to learn how to feel better. When you stopped using, you just took away the one thing that you knew how. So the only thing you can do is deal with the pain and learn some more solution-focused long term way to cope, right? I mean, how many times do you hear that in recovery jargon, putting down the drugs, the easy part. It's learning how to live life on life's terms. And so, to clearly define that, when you stop using, you're giving yourself the space and the opportunity to get better.
Zach Reeder: And that requires the work, the uncomfortable work of surrendering to the process of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and giving yourself the time and having the open mind to learn what you need to learn. What you're talking about, different ways to feel less anxious. I guarantee that none of them are going to work as fucking fast as alcohol. I guarantee it. But they're not going to come with the consequences of that either. So obviously, and really what that's talking, what we're talking about now is the pig, right, the problem of immediate gratification. So, I don't, that's my two cents on it.
Matt Finch: Yeah. The pig, hyperbolic discounting. I totally understand why so many people have not been able to create an alcohol free, enjoyable life. It's not boring and that they don't miss alcohol, it's a moot substance. Because the initial part for most people, there's this initial, for some people it's a week, for some people, it's two weeks. For some, it's a month or longer. There's so many different lines depending on their severity and their resources, they can use to get healthier. But there's this initial phase of discomfort. We'll just use the word discomfort. When you're used to drinking alcohol to get rid of whatever the discomfort is, it might be a discomfort from GABA deficiency. It might be a discomfort from a stressful day at work. It might be a discomfort from a unhealthy, argumentative, combative relationship. It might be the discomfort from the weather just being horrible and you're going through seasonal effective disorder.
Matt Finch: So all these different types of discomfort, mental, physical, spiritual, emotional discomfort, relationship discomfort, work discomfort, financial discomfort, if your finances aren't good, procrastination stress discomfort. There's just seems to be a never ending armada of discomforts that we are often bombarded with. And yeah, like you said, alcohol's fast. It gets through, passes your lips, goes down your throat, rapidly into your blood and into your brain and into the GABA receptors. And then it's all of a sudden, get that GABA induction, that endorphin release, get that dopamine surge. And all of a sudden, what was discomfort before, maybe two or three sips into it, it's just such a noticeable relief of that discomfort. Maybe not all the way, but substantially significantly can reduce rapidly all forms of discomfort for the most part. And then, so yeah, alcohol is really, really quick and it's all wired up in our brain too.
Matt Finch: It's like our brains are designed for that to make it so most of the stuff we do throughout the day, we don't have to consciously think about. Driving, brushing our teeth, our shower routine, everything. That's how the brain saves energy for other functions. And so a lot of people just get stuck in the autopilot and the reactivity, just having the same life, the same feelings, the same thought processes, the same beliefs, the same things that they're eating, the same things they're watching day in, day out, because it's easy to get into that kind of self-hypnosis of life. We all do it to certain extents, and with alcohol, then there's that added element too, where it's actually really changing the brain. So yeah, routines are epic. A couple of good books I'll recommend, number one, Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Zach Reeder: Great book.
Matt Finch: Number two, Master Your Time, Master Your Life by Brian Tracy. Yeah, those are probably my top two books on routines and habits. Got any recommendations for routines before I move on to the next category?
Zach Reeder: Man. As far as books go-
Matt Finch: [crosstalk 00:45:23].
Zach Reeder: ... Yeah. The 5:00 AM club. That's a great one too. I guess it really depends on what you define, and where do you start with routines. I guess that could be an entire podcast all by itself, is where to start with implementing routine strategies and how habit stacking works and all of that thing. But I think another one, man, Make Your Bed, the book, Make Your Bed. And I get clients all the time, it's I have a really hard time developing start with something really small. How hard is it? I'm not even telling you to get up at the same time yet every day. I'm not telling you to get up at 5:00 AM. I think getting up early is an extremely powerful thing to do for anybody, but we're not even there yet.
Zach Reeder: Just whenever you do decide to get up, before you walk out of the bedroom, make your fucking bed. Just do that, and do it every day. Start check, maybe you got a notepad there on your nightstand or something. And you track, just start keeping tally marks and how many days in a row you can go making your bed. Start with that little thing. And I guarantee it's going to change how you look at implementing routines. But then you only got people like Ed Mylett who talks a lot about... So great podcast, Ed Mylett Show. His whole program, leadership program of MaxOut.
Zach Reeder: But something that comes to mind is if you can control how you start your day, and if you can control how you end your day, everything in between is going to be a lot more manageable. It's not that you won't ever have crisis, or you won't ever have things that come up. But if you can develop a really solid routine around your morning and really solid routine around your evening and things that help you feel really good, and you stick to that as often as possible. You have people like Jordan Peterson or Andrew Huberman to talk about. If you can hit that 60 or 70% of the time, you're doing better than most people, right? Yeah. Routines and from somebody that has a severe alcohol use disorder and addictive. I follow the dopamine for sure.
Zach Reeder: And I was diagnosed with ADHD as a young child and I left. It was treated for a couple years in my childhood, but then went severely untreated for most of my life. I'm just now in the last few years, doing things to, without stimulants, doing things to mitigate and teach myself how to manage my ADHD, avoiding certain types of foods and taking certain kinds of supplements, doing certain behavioral practices. But routines are what keep me sane. I was just having this conversation the other day, the what-
Matt Finch: Congrats, keep going.
Zach Reeder: Yeah, you're good. One of the biggest things that trigger my... that old neural pathway that makes me want to go have a drink is uncertainty in my day. And what I mean is if I have a gap in time where I didn't schedule something, I didn't have a task to pull into my day or somebody to meet with. If I have this open window of time, this chunk of time, the first thing that pops into my mind is you just get plastered. Go have a drink.
Zach Reeder: Go have a drink, because for some reason that uncertainty with what am I to do with this two or three hours is the most gut-wrenching anxious feeling. It's like falling down a hole, and I immediately want to escape that feeling. I mean, you can call it boredom or uncertainty, whatever, but that has been bar none, the biggest trigger that I've ever had or ever experienced to make me go back into old habits or old feelings to want to drink is just having open chunks of time in my day.
Zach Reeder: So, at this point, routines look to me like you have, if you can break your day down into hour by hour by hour. And it doesn't mean that you're this powerhouse of productivity from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed, it means that you're intentional with how you spend your time, where you're spending your time, who you're spending it with, and you're doing. It's certainly okay to set up recreational time or time to relax or time to space the fuck out with intention, right?
Zach Reeder: I'm going to take this hour right here and I'm going to do nothing. I'm going to sit here and watch fucking paint dry, or I'm going to catch up on a TV show, or I'm going to play some video games, or I'm going to take a nap. Whatever. But the idea is that you're not leaving gaps in time, where your brain has that limbic friction of going into, if there's nothing to do, might as well get fucked up, or I don't know what to do. That's the worst, is I don't know what to do, right. So that's my two cents on routines.
Matt Finch: Yeah. In a lot of respects, I'm so much like that. There was a few weeks, probably like three weeks right before... Couple weeks before Christmas, and then, maybe it was just before... Yeah. It was just before Christmas and then a few weeks after Christmas. There was this duration of time, this window where it was not sunny whatsoever. And not only was it not sunny, it was, chilly for San Diego, California, which is not cold, but gray, really gray, dark early, and really gray skies. My entered, and plus I had family visiting for Christmas and new years and my daughter had two weeks off of school. So she was home all the time. And then she stayed home an additional week when the kids all went back to school because she was sick. She was home for three weeks, I had family in town for almost a week.
Matt Finch: It was Christmas Eve and Christmas day and New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. And between that, and then all this horrible no sunshine weather. And I had to get my energy and mood from the sunshine and sleep sunshine for me is good energy, good mood, good sleep. When it's a week or longer, or even sometimes a few days without any sunshine, for whatever reason, like when I take my vitamin D three supplements, even with K2, they just don't seem to work a fraction of as good as vitamin S, vitamin sunshine. So between all those different variables, oh man, I went through this rot, this anti-routine duration of life. And it sucked. I got through. Well, I didn't become addicted to things again, but I wasn't going to the gym.
Matt Finch: I wasn't even like binge eating, but I was, oh man. Watching shows because I just couldn't get out of bed. I was so tired. I was working still, but I was doing a lot less work than usual, was nowhere near as motivated to work. And it was just a hard patch to get through. Then we got a bunch of sunshine. It was the new year energy came in to the mix. And then like really good sunshine for several days in a row, maybe six days in a row, and I was out there soaking it up. Yeah. And ever since then, for most days, most of the time since then, now we're getting into February, yeah man, back to writing my whiteboard, back to making my bed, back to regular cleaning and organizing. And my keystone habit that sets off all those other habits for organization, for anti-ADHD, for feeling good about my life, for mental health, for energy, for anti-procrastination, for making progress towards getting your responsibilities done, at least most of them, and also having fun.
Matt Finch: I have to take a shower. Well, I don't have to, but my day's much more effective at getting what I want to get done and enjoying it if I take a shower. And with a couple minutes, or sometimes only 30 seconds, like in the winter time right now, I end with freezing cold water for maybe 30 seconds to a minute. In summertime, it could be two to five minutes, depending. So, when I take a shower and end with freezing cold water, come out, put my robe on, put some trance music on or put some other music on, I don't have to think about anything then. I automatically, as soon as, because I'm energized with the norepinephrine, it boosts your beta-endorphins and norepinephrines. So you've got a stimulatory and this pain killing endogenous molecules being released from that cold water.
Matt Finch: I immediately go over, turn music on, start making my bed, erase the whiteboard and then start writing. Then I go sit on my bed or the couch with my coffee and I'll write in my journal. Then I'll write in my planner. Nowadays I keep my planner face open on a new little kind of small desk I have right here. So, it's like always in my face. I can't miss it. So then, I transfer all those things from my planner. I also write them up on my whiteboard. So now, I've got them in two places, big huge on the whiteboard and right here written down. And then I'm just working from the whiteboard and the planner, the rest the day. Therefore, by starting the morning off with that shower and in cold water, get in my robe. It sets off all those things. Music, make bed, coffee, journal, written planner or notebook planner, whiteboard planner, the same exact stuff I write on the whiteboard start. S Taking supplements. Then all of a sudden, I've got this checklist, two checklists, they're identical, but they're in two spots.
Matt Finch: Now everything that I do, I get to check off twice and I do it in different creative, colorful, artistic ways. I do it differently in the planner than I do on the whiteboard. So I'm like that's extra dopamine boost. It is. Just crossing it off, checking it off, and here I fill in a triangle. And it's just I'm like, oh great. I'm like, it's kind of almost feels like cheating, but it's a hack that I just thought of and it's a little bit of extra work of course. But I get more dopamine boost and that makes me happier and more productive.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff.
Matt Finch: Oh, I was going to mention real quick too. I've been taking this NeuraVie. This is a caffeine-free neutropic drink blend. This is a palm berry flavor, 20 packets, supports the brain's cellular fuel systems, supports gut health and strengthening of the brain-gut connection. Increases response time and decreases cognitive inhibition in memory trials. This stuff is okay, NeuraVie gives you the power to optimize your mental capacity and performance by supporting the systems that influence your cognitive health. Immediate. Focus, concentration, short term, accuracy, reasoning, long term memory learning. Two packets a day, one in the morning, one midday. The problem is it's damn expensive, so I can't afford it all the time. So when I have it, oh, I really noticed the mood, the productivity, the pleasurable feelings and mood states. But this little box right here is like around $80. $80 plus tax and shipping. I think it works out to about $4 a packet. Is that right?
Zach Reeder: Yeah.
Matt Finch: $354. Yeah. It's not cheap stuff. And they're pretty small packets too. So yeah, having strategies for other people they're on low dose Adderall to get rid of their ADHD type symptoms. Other people, they're drinking green tea with maybe citicoline in the cognizant brand. So people can figure out an experiment with supplements, with neutropics, with cold showers, just or for eating exercises. So many different things to start off your day. A book I'll recommend now is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and you don't even have to wake up at 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM. It's just when you wake up in the morning, I think according to him in the book, preferably by 8:00 AM.
Matt Finch: I could be wrong, but preferably sometime in the actual morning. And then starting your morning off with these rituals. Customizing your morning with a set of rituals, that's orderly sequence and thus gearing your day to be better than if you didn't do something like that in the morning. If you just woke up and, let's just start going and don't have any rhyme or reason. Or you have a morning routine, but it's not something that you consciously intentionally created, but it's just a reactionary morning routine that has become bad habits.
Zach Reeder: Yeah, I think.
Matt Finch: Hold on. Hold on real quick. I'll edit this part out. My kid just got home.
Zach Reeder: Yeah.
Matt Finch: Come in.
Matt Finch: I'll edit this part out. My kid just got home.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. Yeah.
Zach Reeder: (silence).
Zach Reeder: [inaudible 01:00:26]
Matt Finch: I told your grandma that I was doing a podcast.
Speaker 1: Okay. Well, I told you [inaudible 01:00:37]. Should we call grandma after this? [inaudible 01:00:40]. Sorry.
Matt Finch: I'll probably be done podcasting in a little bit. Could you just keep it down?
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Matt Finch: How was school?
Speaker 1: Good.
Matt Finch: You want to meet my friend, Zach, that I'm talking with on the podcast?
Speaker 1: No.
Matt Finch: No. Okay. All right, I'm good, Zach. I'm just going to take a leak now.
Zach Reeder: Yeah, no worries.
Matt Finch: Take a pee break if you got to.
Zach Reeder: Sure thing.
Zach Reeder: [Inaudible 01:01:15].
Zach Reeder: (Silence)
Zach Reeder: We call them a potty break.
Matt Finch: Yeah, that was good, huh? It was a long leak. That was like a race horse.
Zach Reeder: It's going to be a two parter.
Matt Finch: All right. And so moving along here, you wrote down, Zach, pro-social connections. So we've talked about routines a lot. Super important. We've provided some of our favorite resources. Now, pro-social connections. That was something that I had in early recovery. I had my AA sponsor. I wasn't doing AA after 30 days. I stopped going. But I went to school with him. And so we were together a lot, we were in the same classes and we would go surf and we'd hang out. So he was a great influence. My parents were sober. I had family members that lived close that were sober and I had some other sober friends too. And that was very helpful for me. I quit hanging out with all my drinking buddies and drug using buddies.
Matt Finch: I just avoided them, for the most part, like they were the plague. As hard as that was at the beginning, it did get easier and easier. And ultimately had I not ever done that, I would've kept bringing myself back to drugs and alcohol simply by hanging out with them. That's why I kept slipping and relapsing after periods of sobriety and recovery all throughout my 20s and early 30s is because I just wasn't able to cut my ties with those people. They were the only friends I had. I didn't want to go meet new friends. I didn't want to develop a new sober, social support group. I didn't want to do that, but I finally did and that's ultimately what I had to do, really.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. I think that's super important to make that connection. There is this time, this period of time. It took me a long time to figure that out that it's one thing to not demonize alcohol or substance use, or even the fact that other people use it. I mean, most of my family are reasonably social drinkers and things like that. So like holiday events, things like that, there's alcohol there. But I do think early on, making that connection that it is a very lonely feeling when you make that realization, if I keep hanging around the same people doing the same things, I will gravitate to toward that behavior because it's that adage of, you're the sum total of the five people that you spend the most time with, right?
Zach Reeder: So, if everybody that you hang out with is drinking and partying and living the same lifestyle that you're trying to get away from, I mean, it seems intuitive enough that you would have to spend less time with those people. And as we get older, it's definitely harder to make new friends, especially when we're feeling low or when we've used alcohol as a social lubricant, right? But creating that space or finding those new connections to tap into is a really, really strong piece. I think that looks different for everybody. For some people it's church. I think this is worth adding is service. Acts of service in the recovery process. So being able to volunteer your time, that's a really phenomenal way to meet people that are not obsessed with themselves, not self-obsessed and self-centered, right? Because when we spend all of our time pursuing, using, and recovering from substance use or alcohol use... and even if we're spending time with other people, they're concerned about that too, right?
Zach Reeder: They're not concerned about you or your feelings or what they could do for you. When I went to the bar, my concern, number one. Yes, I was social. Yes, I was having a good time with other people. But my first concern was getting my drink and keeping my drinks coming. And then we can talk, right? Then we can be social, but it's this thing. Me first, then you. Me first, then you. Me first, then you. And when we create pro-social activities, it's the other way. I'm concerning myself with other people. I'm connecting on a real organic level that is truly present, instead of concerning myself with some mind-altering substance prior to that connection. And then there's the whole idea that that connection's not even real. When you're in an altered state of mind, that perceived experience that you're having with that person is not legitimate. It's not reality.
Zach Reeder: I mean, the same people that I would sit and drink and have all these crazy conversations or be passing plates of cocaine around with, we'd be talking about all kinds of like, "Whoa!" types of mind blowing shit. If I saw them at the grocery store the next day, I might wave, but I'm not having a conversation with you or like, "Hey, how's your mom doing?" Or whatever. I don't give a fuck about that. I'm there to get groceries. And the only time I connect with you is when I'm tanked. I took a side row there. I guess the thing is pro-social connections have to be, and as uncomfortable as it may be to initiate, those pro-social connections, places you can go with like-minded individuals. That's the one thing with AA and NA even knowing, the dogma of it or the ideology, the steps and principles and all that.
Zach Reeder: Maybe those are difficult for me to abide or agree with, but the fellowship is real, right? The fellowship is real. Being around sober people that are just trying to be sober like you. And everybody's there to help everybody. At least that's the overarching goal. That might be different from meeting to meeting. The idea is that you're developing this core group of people that are trying to live life differently. That makes a huge impact because we're social creatures. We are tribal, right? We need other people. I mean, we have to feel a sense of belonging and that's not the one thing, but that is a major piece that we take away as when...
Zach Reeder: And I realize there's solitary drinkers and I know you and Chris just covered that, but for a lot of people, there's a huge social element to drinking. I didn't like drinking at home alone. I wanted to go out and be around other people. I wanted to commiserate, right? That connection is one of the first things to leave when we get sober because now we feel alone. Now we feel disconnected, and that's like Johanne Jarry. He says, "The opposite of addiction is connection," right? And we have to be able to connect. So that's when I say pro-social connection, pro-social activities, church, groups. I'm a smart recovery advocate. That's my group now. I've been snowed in for the last two days. I've probably went to four meetings in the last two days just to connect with other people other than my clients, right? I do it for me. And it's such a meaningful piece to the recovery process. You have to be able to start thinking about other people and ways that you can connect with other people and tie yourself into a community. Yeah.
Matt Finch: That's where we get the most growth too. The most opportunities for growth and for healing and balancing ourselves for learning, it comes from mirrors. Other selves, other people that act as mirrors. And through that, if someone's a hermit their whole life compared to somebody that's had a lot of relationships throughout their life, the person with all the relationships they've built and maybe faded away and built new ones, that person's going to have so much more growth and diversity of experience than a hermit. I'm really glad you started to talk about the self-serving, self-centered, self-seeking stuff too. There's really two consciousness polarities. Here we have on Earth and humanity. And it's a spectrum, so if you imagine a horizontal spectrum, on one side of the spectrum is service to others. I think of Jesus Christ is probably the epitome of being totally on the very depth of that.
Matt Finch: The very edge of that spectrum. Service to others. Jesus was all about service to others. Moving to the opposite side of that spectrum to the very end, I think of Genghis Khan. He's probably the epitome. Not necessarily Hitler, because Hitler was... A lot of the stuff he really believed he was helping other people. It was service to others, at least in his own mind. But Genghis Khan was just all about himself. Man, if you study that guy's history, which you're nodding your head, I assume you have at least somewhat. Service to self. You look at certain politicians and elites and globalists out there. You can just tell they are super service to self. Mother Teresa. She was very, very, mostly service to others. Nelson Mandela, service to others. A lot of people have made that choice consciously, some have made it unconsciously, whether they're going to be service to others-based life or service to self.
Matt Finch: That's not to say that you don't also serve yourself. It's just that you are very, very focused and clear about, "I want to help others." Most of humanity, I believe falls not on the service to self or service to others side, but in this deep, deep, long stretch of in between, somewhere in between a couple decisions for serving myself, I'm going to pull one over on this person so I can get the advantage. And then here and there, some service to others. So it's this huge middle ground between those two polarities. I find that when I consciously decided to make my life about service to others, my professional life, at least, my life got way, way, way, way better. And it had so much more purpose and meaning. Before I had made that choice, I was still in my addiction and I was so service to self and I pretty much had consciously chose that.
Matt Finch: Yeah. I did some nice things for others sometimes, but I was all about myself, man. How can I make money? How can I get better fit and better looking? How can I have the best, most comfortable life possible? How can I get all the girls? How can I get the mansion and the cars? Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Me, mine, I, me, mine. Then when I switched to thee, thine, service to others, it just made everything better. Before I was nihilistic service to self. Now I have purpose, service to others. And yes, of course I still serve myself. If my well is not full, topped off, or if I don't have my well, my inner well of water, whatever you want to call it. If my well is not filled up enough, how the hell am I going to be any good to serving others?
Zach Reeder: Yeah, amen.
Matt Finch: It's going to be a disservice to them and to myself. So it's like, fill your own well first, and the more you optimize that through your routines, your pro-social connections, your habits, all these things we're talking about. Staying off alcohol and other, behaviors that lead to debilitation of life. Then the more effective I can help others. The more energy I have to help others. So I love this topic. I was against it for a long time. Like, "I don't need anybody, man." But I've slowly, slowly, slowly developed wisdom around this topic.
Zach Reeder: Can't be the center of your own universe. And pro-social connections are a way to tap into this, but I really do think that if someone hasn't discovered their purpose or their identity, why are they here? What is their main focus of contribution? Getting involved with others is the way to find that and something else that just rang out to me was something that my pastor said. So we're talking about, obviously you can't give what you don't have, right? Self-care is super important. And there is a dichotomy between self-care and self-centeredness, right?
Zach Reeder: What he was telling me, and this comes back to the routines and establishing routines. So discipline is an act of love. If I can have the disciplines to be the best version of myself, it means that everybody else, God, and everyone else gets the best version of me too. So if I'm disciplined and I'm able to overcome the wantings of the flesh, so to speak, and my spirit can be louder than my flesh, that's an act of love. I'm telling everybody else in my world that I love them more than I love me because what I want right now, isn't as important as how I contribute to the world around me, right? And you can tie that back into, I want to drink right now, but I know I won't be worth a shit to anybody else, including myself, if I do that.
Zach Reeder: Yes, I'm uncomfortable right now, and this hurts, but this is temporary. And I'm here for a much bigger person. My contribution to the world I live in is important. And it's so much more important than how I feel at this very moment. So discipline is an act of love. Impulsivity is an act of selfishness. Impulsivity is self-centered. That's saying, I love me more than I love you right now. And there's certainly a need for self love, but the way we contribute to the world around us makes us feel so much better about ourselves, right? I guess the overarching concept of getting into pro-social connections is stop making you the center of your own fucking universe.
Matt Finch: Yeah. That's a hard one to learn after years and years, decades and decades or a whole lifetime thus far of... And it usually comes from fear, lack consciousness, fear, uncertainty like, "Oh, I got to make sure I'm okay. I got to make sure that I'm comfortable." But yeah, two of my favorite Tony Robbins quotes are, "It's not about me, it's about we," And "The secret to living is giving." Yeah. When you help other people, you get a bigger dopamine and oxytocin boost than they do. When you, say for instance, you see somebody that's homeless and has a money sign for food, and they got a little dog and they just look really hungry and skinny and frail and beaten down. If you give that person a $100 bill, say, it is going to make them so stoked, but it makes you even more stoked.
Matt Finch: You're like, "Wow, that felt..." Through those pro-social connections and mirror neurons too, we feel what they're feeling. And maybe even more so in many situations. So it's like serving others also serves ourself. That's the genius and the mathematics behind it, or the science behind it, is by serving others, you're also serving yourself because, for whatever reason, that's just how we're created. That's just how we evolved, is when we do serve other people like that, even if we're not contributing to them in any other way than just by being ourselves and just being the best version of ourselves, that's a form of contribution in my opinion.
Zach Reeder: Absolutely.
Matt Finch: Just really developing, working on yourself is also service to others. It's service to the vibration of humanity. To the collective unconscious, to the vibration of mother earth, by just becoming, transcending the levels of consciousness. Out of guilt and shame and fear and anger and into pride and then into courage and willingness, acceptance. Love and peace, tranquility.
Matt Finch: And the higher you go on that, the more your frequency affects the people that you're around. And even if you're coaching them long distance, or even talking to a relative or friend long distance, even though they're not in physical proximity to you, they may be 3,000 or more miles a way, but your communication, your throat chakra carries that. And it affects them in a positive way. And then since they're in a better mood and they're affected, they're going to affect other people positively. And it's this gigantic worldwide butterfly effect of evolving humanity.
Zach Reeder: Absolutely. For the people listening, the pro-social connections could include anything in terms of mutual self-help groups. So that would be AA, NA, Smart Recovery, Celebrate Recovery. It could be your church. It could be a local soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. Maybe go join a gym and do some group exercises, right? Orange Theory or some... Chris told me I should join a boxing gym. I've been trying to find new ways to do cardio because I hate cardio.
Zach Reeder: But it makes sense. It makes sense. And then right there though, I'm thinking, "I'm having human contact with this person. Yeah, we're sparring or we're fighting, but you get up and you shake hands afterward, right?" Anytime I've been in a fight, there was no shaking hands afterward, so that's a really interesting concept to me too. Can you think of any other ways or other type of pro-social activities that would be a good fit for people?
Matt Finch: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. CrossFit gym. Although, the Orange Theory Fitness, that's like the same thing. Group workouts. When we workout other people, it increases our oxytocin way more than when we work out by ourselves. There's a lot of cool meetup groups. A lot of people love those. I guess it depends on probably primarily whether someone's an introvert or an extrovert and just how extreme those polarities are as well. I'm an extreme introvert. So for me, I'm very selective with the types of pro-social connections that I develop, engage in, and keep over time. And also I don't need as many or as often of connecting as extroverts do. I still need connections for sure, but I don't need as big of dosages and as regular and of long of dosages to get the same benefits that an extrovert needs.
Matt Finch: Additionally, animals. That's the only thing I think I can add to this other than all the great things that you brought up. Rational recoveries and other great self-help group. Animals, papaya. A lot of this winter. Your kids can even be pro-social connections of course. It's human connections, but doesn't just have to be human. In my opinion, animals, maybe not all animals, maybe not like an ant or something or a mosquito, but depending on the person, hey, whatever floats your boat. This bird right here, Papaya, who some people have called a he, and she doesn't mind but she wants people to know that she is a female. She is my little Green-cheeked Conure here. My belief is that this is a pro-social connection for me. Birds are totally social. They are flock animals. There's some solitary animals. Birds are flock animals.
Matt Finch: And Papaya has adopted me into her flock and vice versa. It's like we're a flock of humans and one bird. God, I get so much oxytocin and dopamine and endorphin release hanging out with her. I talk to her, man. She talks back to me. Not in English, but I've learned how to understand her body language and certain chirps. So it's social. It's man, bird social communication, and co-habitating and loving each other and sensing each other's moods and helping each other out through things. And I'm feeding for and caring for her, and in return you can tell she's very thankful for that. Pet therapy, being with animals can be a huge strategy. There's some people that at the beginning of quitting drinking or quitting drugs, maybe for a variety of reasons, or even just one reason, they don't want to be with other people. No big deal, get a dog if you don't have one. Or a Green-cheeked Conure, or some other type of animal.
Matt Finch: Some people have a really great connection with nature and they talk to trees, and they go and meditate with plants and different herbs. And that's not necessarily a social connection, although it could be, but it's a connection with other living thing that has consciousness. They've proven this, man. If you play classical music and say nice things to water versus gnarly hardcore mean things that you're saying to it and playing hardcore loud death metal. When you look under the microscope, when you say loving things, and when there's praise, they have these awesome, geometric, kaleidoscope shapes at the molecule down deep level, really microscopic. With plants, if you say loving things to them play classical or relaxing music, they will grow and flourish more. Versus if you either avoid them or say mean things to them, they'll whither away more.
Matt Finch: So plants are definitely conscious. Different than human consciousness, but all living things, even rocks have consciousness. And then for people that believe in, God or the Universe or source, or some type of higher power, or even angels. Guardian angels, spirit guides, for all that type of stuff, those people can also really get connected with that whole invisible metaphysical aspect of reality. Time space versus space time. So I think people can really explore these pro-social connections and if you don't want to, don't stay in the box. I just talked about some way out of the box ways to connect with people other than human beings. Maybe you've been super traumatized by people that fucked you over. People that you thought would never jack you over like that. Stabbed you in the back. Just really did one over on you. Maybe that happened many times and you're not ready to just go start hanging out with people. Animals and plants, spirit guides, whatever you're into, whatever-
Matt Finch: Spirit guides, whatever you're into, whatever you want to learn about, there's no box that people need to stay in. And then moving on, I don't know really anything about this aspect of SMART Recovery. I thought I knew quite a bit about SMART Recovery but I've never seen this V-A-C-I, VACI. Let's talk about that, this is what you came up with here.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. So it's really just another way to think about sober activities. So VACI stands for Vitally Absorbing Creative Interest. So these are things that get your juices flowing, these are things that turn you on, what can you get passionate about? I think this is a really important piece because in early recovery and even... We talk about post-acute withdrawal syndrome can last up to two years and you've spent God knows how long doing the same rigmarole of seeking, using and recovering from. And maybe you were doing things while you were using and your brain knows that too, things like, for me it's music. Playing music does not have the same luster I guess, or at least it didn't for a long time. When I was working on getting sober, picking up my guitar was almost a trigger.
Matt Finch: Yeah. The cocaine?
Zach Reeder: Yeah. Of drinking. It didn't bring me any joy to do it. That's gotten better over the years, I still play out and I certainly, much more enjoy playing with my friends and playing it and entertaining people versus sitting here in my office-
Matt Finch: [crosstalk 01:32:15].
Zach Reeder: ... yes, exactly. Writing music doesn't really do anything for me at this point but I digress though. Really, what we're talking about is finding new things to get excited about, new hobbies, maybe it's different activities. I guess, really to sum that up is, vitally absorbing creative interest, things that you can get really excited about. And that comes back to trying things more than once. So sit down with yourself, make a list of things that you would like to try. Maybe there's some off the wall shit, maybe it's like, "Man, I'd really like to try skydiving one time or cliff hanging."
Matt Finch: BDSM.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. That'd be one too.
Matt Finch: We've got to add some jokes in the serious recovery podcast.
Zach Reeder: That never made it to my list.
Matt Finch: That was number one on mine for [inaudible 01:33:31].
Zach Reeder: That's a good laugh. What can you get passionate about BDSM? Fair enough, whatever floats your boat man. As long as it's not hurting anybody else.
Matt Finch: Consensual [inaudible 01:33:49].
Zach Reeder: And it's not hurting you, that's the thing. Obviously, you don't want to get into something else that's going to be counterintuitive to your best quality of life. That's not the kind of vitally absorbing creative interest. It's not like saying, "Well, I really don't want to drink anymore but heroin, I've always wanted to try heroin." That's not the route you want take.
Matt Finch: Hey. But Zach said, "vitally absorbed."
Zach Reeder: I'm all about it, I'm super passionate.
Matt Finch: Good disclaimer there.
Zach Reeder: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So what I mean by that is meaningful interest, things that can excel your life forward, things that you can get really interested in. For me, I love taking my dog hiking, that's one of my absolute favorite things to do but by myself. I don't like to go with other people, I like to get in nature, just me and my dog and that is one of my absolute favorite things to do and I don't do nearly enough of it especially, this time of year. But I love being in nature, I love reading. I didn't read a single solitary fucking book when I was drinking every day.
Matt Finch: Me neither.
Zach Reeder: No. But I love to read now, I love to learn things. I love contributing to other people's lives. I'm introverted as well but I get true pleasure out of finding ways to contribute to other people's lives in a meaningful, positive way. So I think that again, just like pro-social connections I think vitally observing creative interest can also help you on the spiritual sense of identifying who it is you want to be and where you fit into the world.
Matt Finch: Speaking of these VACI, V-A-C-I's, I played with myself last night, Zach, on acoustic steel-string guitar.
Zach Reeder: Nice.
Matt Finch: I had the best jam sesh with Papaya. She was singing, she gets so into it when I'm jamming those chords, lot of open chords, just cool jazz fusion, melodic progressions. I'm not great or anything but definitely, good enough to keep a nice in-tune, melodic rhythm that's got a good chord progression going. And she was just getting into it and singing and chirping and going to it and putting her head up and down. I've been working on these different riffs and chord progressions over the past few weeks and finally, a few days ago, it all came together into "Okay, I'm going to patch this with this, I'm going to add this to this part, I'm going to change this a little bit, I'm going to take that part out and do this instead."
Matt Finch: And now it's like this whole acoustic song that's four minutes long maybe and then I got Papaya singing so I'm not really playing by myself because I got a lead singer right here, Papaya the female green-cheek conure and she can boot it out. She can belt it, man, "Woo, chirp, chirp." And so you said you like to perform for people, you have way more fun when you're performing for people and you're playing with other people. Well, I view Papaya as a very toned down version of what you're talking about.
Zach Reeder: Sure.
Matt Finch: I'm jamming with her, technically and I'm also performing for her and that's what's getting her inspired to start free-styling, jamming in with me. But music, same thing for me I won't go long into it but I had the same experience you did when it came to music. In fact, to this day I don't have near as much fun. I have great jam sessions every now and then but usually I'll pick up the guitar and just play by myself with myself for a little while. And then sometimes I'll play for two or three minutes and I'm saying, "I ain't feeling it." Sometimes I'll play for 15 minutes just to kill some time and get a little practice, it's just the alright.
Matt Finch: Even last night, as great as the jam sesh was nothing even close to back in the day, just playing in bands several times and being out at clubs and being under the influence. But despite those being more dopamine-boosting and high-sensation experiences, I enjoy these ones more. I enjoy because these ones are grounding these ones don't have negative consequences. And I already experienced all those huge high experiences for a long time, I did those. I got my fill for 20 different people, 50 different people, regular people so I don't miss it. Things are different now but I wouldn't trade any of this stuff now for any of the stuff that I had going on back in the drinking and drug using days.
Zach Reeder: For sure.
Matt Finch: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It was a whole chapter. Last but not least, you wrote down, "Investing in yourself, personal growth and development."
Zach Reeder: Yeah. There's a lot of science, there's a lot of data-driven statistics showing that when we're trying to get the dopamine threshold back down after chronic use and overcoming pause on a behavioral side obviously, in our profession and working in coaching, we talk a lot with our clients about different supplements like DLPA and tyrosine and 5-HTP, things like that that can boost serotonin and dopamine. You get boosted dopamine, you get increased motivation for all intents and purposes. But behaviorally, learning new ideologies, new philosophies, new ways of thinking, new ways to do things is huge in overcoming those old neural pathways that served us like they did for so long but we have to learn new things. So personal growth and development is, you're developing new neural pathways, new lines of thinking.
Zach Reeder: And again, we were talking about when you put down the drug, put down the alcohol, now you've given yourself space, you've given yourself the opportunity to open your mind up to new ways of living. The only way to learn is to have mentorship through people that know more than you. Now, it's one thing to have those pro-social connections and get in rooms where you're not the smartest person in the room and you can learn things but there's even an easier way to do that is pick up a book, watch some YouTube. People like Jordan Peterson and Mel Robbins and Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn and Greg McCune and Robert Greene and all of these people, Ryan Holiday, all of the people that can teach you how to be the most eminently qualified human being that you can possibly be.
Zach Reeder: So I think and I'll leave it at that is, what are you learning, what are you learning about yourself, what are you learning about how to live? If you don't know how pick up, if you don't know how to establish new routines or habits, pick up a book like Atomic Habits, James Clear or The Power of Habit, the author of that escapes me. But I can't remember if I'm in the way of it but Matt, that whole bookcase is personal growth and development books. Books on spirituality, there's so many different things in here but my Daily Stoic Journal's in there, Hooked, Indistractable. I just picked up Brene Brown's new book, Atlas of the Heart, I haven not read it yet.
Matt Finch: Wait. Before, I saw that was upcoming, are you saying that it's available to read now? Oh man. Okay. I'm going to buy that physical book that hard copy looks nice.
Zach Reeder: It's not a huge book and yeah, it is. Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience.
Matt Finch: I love her. She's such a great author and speaker.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. Oh, phenomenal. So I guess, the thing with that is what are you learning? Because you spend all this time in the same mode doing the same thing over and over again, getting the same result but maybe the definition of insanity is expecting a different one. Maybe, step outside of yourself, step outside of your current knowledge base because that's going to be crucial to developing the person that you're striving to be. When you said, "What do I want? What do I want out of my life? Why don't I have it?" Well, there's a good chance that you don't know how to have it. Maybe you know what's stopping you from having it but what are the skills that are going to be necessary to acquire to get what you want?
Matt Finch: So glad you just brought that up because I would not have probably, brought it up if you didn't bring us here. What you're just talking about is one of the main reasons definitely, in the top reasons why I didn't think I was going to live till I was over 30 years old while I was partying all the time, I didn't care about the future was because I thought that I had a fixed mindset. I'm so glad you brought this up. I saw other people being successful in life and being fulfilled and even young friends of mine at the age of 20, 21, they just seemed to be able to go apply at all sorts of different types of jobs and learn and have confidence to do it and go to all sorts of social gatherings and just, wow.
Matt Finch: I was so picky and selective about the jobs that I felt capable of doing that I felt like I'd see myself at, same thing I felt so selective of the people and the situations and so incapable because I thought I had a fixed mindset. I had never heard of personal growth or development, self-development. I didn't know about a growth mindset back then this is a long time ago now, I believed that I was just killing all my neurons, all my brain cells from all the alcohol and drugs. I didn't know about neuroplasticity. I didn't know that I could read a bunch of really great nonfiction books, learn a bunch of stuff and actually, get better. Actually, significantly enhance and widen my mindset, the mind is like a parachute it only works if it's open. My mind was just so fixed and reading, oh my gosh, a month after I quit drugs and alcohol, I got so into reading and I felt that was like miracle grow for my brain.
Matt Finch: Every non-fiction book that I was reading, same ones as you, personal development, spirituality, health and wellness, fitness, alternative medicine, just so many religions, different types of theologies and philosophies, Stoicism, Buddhism, just on and on. And I felt that improving my brain health a lot, it was novelty. Each new book was a completely novel experience, each chapter's on something different. So all the novelty, you need to have to stay alcohol-free to create an alcohol-free life and to stay that way that's enjoyable and not boring that doesn't mean it's going to be easy and everything's unicorns and rainbows and milkshakes for the rest of life. No, there's going to be hard patches and struggles of course but it can still be enjoyable and certainly not boring and you can be healthy. It's like this constant optimizing and coming out with new iterations of mindset and skillset. Keep enhancing your mindset, your emotional regulation, your emotional maturity, your beliefs, your thoughts and also your skills.
Matt Finch: I didn't have any skills back in the day. Guitar, hacky sack, skateboarding, surfing, video games, I didn't have a lot of skills and it was all self-seeking, self-centered skills that provided me with pleasure and euphoria and all those types of things, a lot of hedonistic stuff, certainly. But after I quit drugs and alcohol then I was in school to become a drug and alcohol counselor. That was the perfect environment to learn new skills, to enhance my mindset and then the books. I've learned more from self-schooling myself at home, in my car listening to audibles and podcasts and even listening to YouTube videos. Drive University, baby you can do that in net time, no extra time when you're driving somewhere and you're learning, that is not taking any extra time out of your day.
Matt Finch: I think I learned to turn net time from Tony Robbins, first. The next person I heard talk about it was Eric Worre, Ryan Tracey. And that's another way of not necessarily, pro-social connections but pro healthy mentorship to where maybe people don't like to read, no big deal whatsoever. Maybe you don't have a lot of extra time, no big deal, every time you're driving somewhere, be listening to some type of nonfiction, personal development, spiritual development, time management, whatever, so you're learning on a regular basis. I swear that grows your brain, that changes your brain in good ways. If you're reading like crazy Stephen King horror books even then, you're still learning something going through experiences. Reading is just all around epic.
Zach Reeder: Yeah. I like that you brought up podcasts, too. I mean, obviously this is a great podcast to learn from. One that I've personally been getting a lot out of over the last year is Lewis Howes, School of Greatness, phenomenal. And Huberman Lab, Andrew Huberman is phenomenal, too. I think podcasts are definitely, worth mentioning in that personal growth and development because there's a ton of great ones out there.
Matt Finch: Yeah. I love Lewis Howes interviewing skills. I read his book, School of Greatness, I'm on his email list. So as soon as that book was available I got the hardback copy of it. I read it pretty quick, it's not too long. On audible, I have the next book he did after that which is The Mask of Masculinity. I got maybe a third of the way into that book and it was just not only review but it was just boring. There was not much novelty because at that point I had done a lot of research into masculinity and it was something that he was just recently in his life learning about and coming into. That's why he wrote the book on it and going through growth but he's one of my favorite interviews as is Joe Rogan as is... I'm going to forget his name. What is the host of Impact Theory?
Zach Reeder: Oh, Tom Bilyeu.
Matt Finch: Thank you for that. That pitch right there that passed me like Tom, all I needed was the first name. He's a great interviewer, as well.
Zach Reeder: For sure.
Matt Finch: Yeah, I watch a lot of YouTube sometimes if I don't have a bunch of work in an hour or two a day but most of it is I'm learning things. Yes, that's also entertaining but a lot of it's just learning and some of it is entertainment geared towards making me laugh, comedy channels. I'm subscribed to comedy channels, prank channels, those get me laughing a lot of them are really funny and I have subscribed to the ones that make me laugh the most. And so I try to get a daily dose of that and if I slack off on just getting silly and watching prank videos and comedy videos.
Matt Finch: The other morning, yesterday morning, I was cracking up for 30 minutes because I was just in bed I was like, "Oh, I don't want to, I got so much stuff to do. I'm just going to sit here and listen to some music or watch a little bit of some of the podcasters that are coming out with stuff that I like." And then I found, I was recommended this new comedy channel on YouTube or not new, new to me I had never known about it. And this one dude's skit had me just dying the whole time it was like six or seven minutes. I could not stop laughing, I sent that one to you, Zach. Wasn't that hilarious, were you laughing too?
Zach Reeder: That was good stuff.
Matt Finch: That was funny. So I watched a bunch of short clips from that channel and then pranks. GilstrapTV, he's this guy that does these wet fart pranks so a lot of the time... And here up in Pacific Beach where Chris Scott comes to visit and I drive up and meet him. I sent him one of those fart prank videos, I'm like, "Look. That's right in front of the hotel that you come to almost all the time." There's pranks and whatever, like we've said a couple times, whatever floats people's boats. We are all different, we all have similarities, some more than others but we all have differences too. And the more self-knowledge we have and the more exploratory learning and experiencing, the more we can figure out what our likes are, what our dislike are, our preferences, our avoidances, what lights us up and gives us energy, what makes us tired and makes us in a crappy mood and then just following that path.
Matt Finch: So that's all I have to say, Zach. Now I want to talk about how people can... Because I know you don't do this too often, I think the last time you did it, it seems like four to five months ago, maybe even longer ago, where you opened your coaching. So you are taking on a few new clients right now, 2022. We're still at the beginning of it for the most part and people can somehow connect with you to actually, have a free 20-minute phone Discovery Call. What does this process look like of how people can first learn more then book a call if they want to, a free call and then what that call entails and what the outcomes could be regarding that?
Zach Reeder: Yeah. So with Fit Recovery, I am currently in the process of bringing on a handful of new clients, I do have really limited availability. I only run usually, eight or ten clients at a time because I like to be able to give the clients that I'm working with full attention. So the customized coaching, Fit Recovery has phenomenal courses, the individualized coaching can be supplementary to that or it can be something in and of itself because all of the Fit Recovery coaches contribute a little differently and have different modalities.
Zach Reeder: So the process, I'm sure Matt, you wouldn't mind putting the link for my Calendly Discovery Call in the comments or in the description on this video and you could click that. That's probably, the easiest way for the people that are watching this podcast on YouTube, click the link, schedule a time with me. We'll take about 20 minutes to see if you're a good candidate for coaching most people are, some people aren't. So click the link, schedule the 20-minute call with me. That's at no cost or risk to you so schedule that and we'll go from there. We'll talk a little bit about your problem and see if there's a way that I can help you in a deeper way.
Matt Finch: Sounds great, yeah. We'll make sure the link to that Discovery Free Call, is in the description box of the YouTube version of the podcast as well as we'll pin it as a pinned comment on elevationrecovery.com, too, elevationrecovery.com/podcast. You can click this particular, episode and we'll put it in the show notes for that too that way people can book it. I use Calendly, too, it's just so slick and simple and seems like it works perfectly all the time, it's fun. Like you said, it's no investment except for the time 20 minutes and that's not too big of an investment. I've heard that a lot of the clients that you've had, have just absolutely, loved you. I've heard this from Chris, I've heard this from you. People absolutely, love the coaching and people love you on the podcast too, Zach.
Zach Reeder: I appreciate you saying that, man. That's awfully nice.
Matt Finch: People whenever I've interviewed you or Chris has interviewed you, man, you get such great comments underneath talking about you. And it's just, people can tell with their discernment, with their heart they're like, "This guy's heart-centered, this guy's service centered, this guy's authentic, this guy's not trying to come out with this persona mask of trying to be something he's not." It's very obvious to pretty much most people, I'm sure, that you're just a all around great guy. I can't even imagine if the old me and the old you met in partying days.
Zach Reeder: We'd kill each other. We'd have a great time doing it.
Matt Finch: [crosstalk 01:57:40].
Zach Reeder: But we'd kill each other.
Matt Finch: Yeah. So you and I both, in these healthy lifestyles, we get along great. We have a great synergy, energetic chemistry and also we've read a lot of the same books. We enjoy a lot of the same things so it's brother to brother.
Zach Reeder: For sure.
Matt Finch: We may not be related by blood but this was a super pro-social connection for me. This was definitely, personal development for me, the podcast as a routine for me and it is for you to come on here as a guest.
Zach Reeder: I always enjoy it.
Matt Finch: Part [crosstalk 01:58:14] Zach and Matt episodes every once in a while and VACI Smart Recovery. What would that stand for again?
Zach Reeder: Vitally Absorbing Creative Interest.
Matt Finch: Man, doing this episode with you was that in every sense of the acronym. Well, my man, that's all I got. Have a wonderful rest of your evening, I know it's a little after 9:00 PM there now. So thank you for staying up a little bit past my bedtime.
Zach Reeder: Oh for sure, man. I had a blast.
Matt Finch: Right on and congrats again on your engagement. Thank you-
Zach Reeder: Thanks bro.
Matt Finch: ... so much my brother and have a good night.
Zach Reeder: Bye, Matt.
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