034 - Rebecca Reeder
Updated: Jun 2, 2021
“Our bodies are wise. Our bodies are constantly communicating something.” Rebecca Reeder from Recovery Café joins us to talk about eating disorders and substance abuse. She talks about finding her own path through recovery and invites others to do the same. Enjoy.
The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates (illuminatebilling.com). They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.
Transcript (no grammar): our bodies are wise our bodies are constantly communicating something rebecca reader from recovery cafe joins us to talk about eating disorders and substance abuse she talks about finding her own path through recovery and invites others to do the same enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt neider i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing and collection simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and industry-leading reporting improve your practice's cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates so today kurt and i are super excited to talk to rebecca reeder rebecca has her own story and works in the recovery industry she is in communications and development specialist in the recovery cafe network she is all about growth joy and solution seeking um she's after my heart right i love that stuff she's deeply dedicated to fostering collaboration increasing awareness about mental and behavioral health and discovering creative valuable ways to serve the community uh rebecca thanks for being willing to be on with us today yeah so excited thanks for having me um i know that we've we've chatted a little bit here but um it might be a good idea to let the our audience kind of have an idea of your background where you come from and what get what got you into this particular industry because i and i've said this before but i don't know of too many people that grow up and go yeah i really want to work in substance abuse or i really want to work in with eating disorders right life has a way of kind of directing our path so maybe talk about how you ended up here sure so you know as a person in my own recovery we are like we're trained in in how to tell this story and when i celebrated 15 years last december it was during a time globally where we were having kind of this social reckoning around equity and inclusion and white supremacy and racism and um it really made me rethink my the way that i conceptualize my own story and i'm still you know wrestling with all that and have a lot to learn and figure out still but you know i used to tell the story like the way 12 step teaches us to tell a story which is you know this is what it was like this is what happened and what it's like now and and none of the facts really have changed about who i am or what i've experienced but the lens that i'm looking at all that through is now so different and i'm cognizant of how much privilege i've had along the way really from the beginning um and always having access to help and so i may not have wanted that help i may have been really sick and not been able to see you know what was what but i've had access um in a very very privileged way to all the things that enabled me to recover so i want to say that first um and then um my the longer i'm the longer i'm on this recovery journey in this growth journey the further back i can name things that were just so uh difficult and unhealthy so you know both of my parents struggle with mental health still they don't choose to engage in any kind of recovery for themselves and so they're still living with active you know mental illness my dad has an eating disorder as well which is a form of mental illness but that really colored my whole growing up years um and so i you know developed some pretty disordered eating real young seven or eight and found substances around age 13 and that went on until i started my first attempt at recovery at age and you know there's like all these markers around like in my mind around what was hard and what you know and really it just now it all just kind of blends together and i don't think my story is that unusual um even punctuated with all these different separate experiences of sexual assaults and violence and things like that it's just so common my story is just so common and that's what breaks my heart is that most of us are walking around trying to figure out how to live life in this joyful free way um that feels like it's worth living just under this really really heavy cloud of reality um so well and what you share is super powerful it took me back to um when i was in when i was in college getting my degree in mental health counseling and i read i don't know if i don't know what course i was in but that what i read was that as a white american i was entitled and i'm like what are you talking about how can i be entitled what like what do you what what is the message you're trying to give me here and as i read that you know that information i'm like oh i'm i'm i didn't choose to be entitled but just the fact that i am a white american it gives me privileges and opportunities that i just take for granted are mine and so when you talk about that it's an interesting shift to go oh like you were able to even get into treatment so many people i mean i think it's 10 if i threw out a random number 10 of people actually reach out to get treatment and so that that does begin to make that a pretty huge privilege um and and we can say entitled but it's not a ch it's not that we chose that it just happens to be our situation which then also requires some responsibility on our part and i think that's the message i think that's why you know your story is not so different than a lot of people but it's what you've done with your story that really is where the power lies i think thank you and and i agree i i agree that there is a level of responsibility that people with immense privilege should kind of rise up to especially given you know things are not more equal things are not more equitable um mental health institute and substance use rates continue to rise you know despite everything that's i mean just in this country alone everything that's opened i mean you guys do billing you see how many programs are operating and how many people are having these conversations about like who deserves care and so um even you know walking into my first 12-step meeting um i was this you know white hetero looking cisgendered female who was you know an appropriate age my body was the appropriate size i was dressed in an appropriate way i you know there was all these things that i just i never understood how much that was greasing the wheels for me to participate and then later choose to not you know to leave the 12-step community having learned so much and being so grateful for all the things that it taught me but it just not being my place anymore um and even just having the ability to do that you know and make that choice and have other places i could go and say hey i want you know i i'm ready for this kind of healing i'm ready for this kind of work i'm ready to just all the things i mean it's just really hard to even think about my own recovery story anymore without thinking about those things well i wanna i wanna ask you a question i just heard you say um you know that 12 steps taught you an awful lot and it was a part of your probably your early recovery but that's not part of your recovery now can you talk about it that little bit because some people are like you know you know once an addict always an addict and we stay true to our you know to our club and you know there's a lot of controversy around that so talk about that a little bit there is a lot of controversy um you know when i when i was first introduced to 12-step recovery it it was appealing i mean it's appealing it was appealing to me for the same reasons it was a p it's probably appealing to a lot of people is it provides a lot of structure and predictability and um kind of norms you know operating norms as a human and when you when i was so dysregulated in my eating you know untreated eating disorder untreated substance use um i needed i needed some guardrails i needed to just like show up somewhere and know exactly how to behave what to do what not to do it's very black and white and that is you know to a person whose brain is like you know my brain is totally dysregulated from all my trauma i'm severely malnourished from my eating disorder i'm still you know processing substances out of my liver and kid you know um it was really nice it was nice to just like show up and know exactly what to do so that i was doing it right and over the years you know aaa taught me it taught me how to take a hard look at myself it taught me how to be honest about myself it taught me how to like tell the truth about myself without drowning in so much shame and embarrassment about who i was and just kind of own up um i think it helped nurture that that part of me that already existed which was just kind of like um i want to grow and i want to fight to be better and i want to like you know i just want to push back against everything that's wrong and it nurtured that part of me on some level and then you know a few a while in i mean i spent several years in and out of a a in and out of aaa um because i didn't understand and no one else did either that my eating disorder was really preventing me from doing any kind of real work and once i once i sought help for that you know my sobriety stabilized but after a while it just became very confining and restricting and i did not i was no longer thriving or growing i was performing and i was trying to fit in and i was and i was trying to make what was right for everyone else be right for me and while i still know you know i'm i have no interest in using substances i still want to grow i still want to work on you know my spiritual life and all of that 12-step community just no longer felt like a safe um supportive place it just felt really restricting and confining so i made the choice to leave which was terrifying you know and it wasn't like one day i was going and the next day it wasn't it was a slow you know transition out and having to figure out what else needed to take that place which was a ton of therapy it was trauma work it was energy work it was a support system that was really diverse and healthy um it was my family you know all that and so it wasn't like i'm cured and you know i'm gonna go out into the world but it was a lot less um it was just a lot less rigid i needed a more free-flowing way to continue recovering well i think i think you're you're what you're describing is is really is really part of recovery is to have have all of the resources that work for you wrapped around you and and although 12 steps is incredible and it does an amazing you know amazing work at helping people it's it's only one resource it's not all of them and some may choose i love 12 step right i love going it's not something that's been a huge portion of my life but i've always loved going and thinking about the 12 steps and how i can live them and how those can help my life but i need so much more than what the 12 steps offers and i think that's what you're talking about and i don't think i don't think that i mean you know some people get sober on 12 steps but i don't think that's because that's the only you know support and and resource that they're utilizing right i think it takes a whole community sometimes to raise somebody right can you talk about some of the other i mean you did you talked about therapy and um trauma work and you know doing those things that you that you did in order to continue your recovery um and and something that i don't hear i mean i think it happens a lot um is talking about eating disorders and how that plays into the picture can you talk about the the role and i'm curious um do you see an eating disorder as as synonymous with addiction how do you see addiction and eating disorders differing and and and then what did you have to do to kind of because i heard you say until you got your eating disorder under control your your addiction really was not manageable talk about that a little bit yeah so my struggle with food and eating and things like that definitely predated any substance use that was a part of my life and so from a very very young age i learned how to i just i learned behaviors from my dad and you know things were normalized in my house around food that um were just really disordered and so as i you know grew up in a in a i mean this whole world like culture as a whole it's very diet culturey it's very um shaming we are given license to police each other's bodies and you know have comments about everything um and so you grow up in that and then you also grow up watching someone you know living out there activating disorder so it of course you know of course i ended up struggling myself but when i came into my first detox facility i was still very very sick in my eating disorder you know those behaviors were just a part of everything as much as drinking and using substances and so every time i would you know go to a tree you know go to intensive outpatient or go to detox or something like that you know everyone had all these ideas around how to help me with that but i also didn't really understand how how much help i needed with my food and so what i would cycle in and out of of aa i would put some time together maybe like six months eight months but as soon as i stopped using substances the only other tools that i had were related to food in my body and so all those behaviors would intensify and you know your brain and your body cannot there's no healing there's no it's like just still being stuck in that really traumatized space you know your brain is offline you're shut down um you're showing up and going through the motions but nothing's really integrating my brain was severely malnourished i was constantly in a trauma state and you know there's just not um there's just not a lot of recovery that can happen when you're in that state and so later you know i cycled in and out of a like that for five or six years and i ended up tearing part of my esophagus from purging and you might want to mention in the beginning of this like some people find these descriptions kind of triggering but um and it scared me and so i agreed to go to treatment finally for my eating disorder and um still thinking you know i didn't i didn't need to go um really having a lot of fears around like seeking treatment at that higher level for something that i had lived with my whole life and um once i had that a little bit i think just some awareness around that i was able to then come back to aaa and have a different my eating disorder was not it wasn't cured i wasn't better i was still but there was a level of awareness around this needs to be part of things that i'm getting more honest about and getting help for and so slowly i started to incorporate more of that into my recovery and the more the more work i do on things as a whole um you know the deeper and broader my recovery gets and so i will say eating disorders are a mental health condition i do not i am not a believer in food addiction sugar addiction which is also very controversial for people um you know our bodies are very very wise and our bodies are very very um our bodies are constantly communicating something and so there's the mental health part of eating disorders um and then there's just this other part around like i'm hungry i'm hungry and i'm not nourished and i haven't been nursed since i was very very young maybe ever and that's okay you know my body has changed immensely over the decades that i've been traveling my own recovery road that's been great and that's been really hard and you know bodies change brains change um everything is meant to change and so being able to embrace this part of me where it's like really fighting back against the diet culture aspect good and bad food clean and dirty food what's allowed am i allowed to have this appetite right now is it okay to feed myself for a purely emotional reason yes it is it is um there's nothing wrong with you know there's nothing wrong with just riding these waves of figuring out how to be in my body more and more which is what substance use is all about it's about not being able to tolerate the distress of living in our brains and our minds and our bodies and so i don't see the healing process as different really other than you know initially there's a lot more very specific you know medical interventions that have to go along with eating disorder recovery um i'm still on medication you know i think that's a part of staying healthy um from an eating disorder mental health standpoint but also my substance use um you know i've stayed compliant with my medication for a long long time and that's a big part of just how i stay well so there's a lot of pieces that overlap well and i'm run and i'm curious and i love that you bring up the medication part because you know we again we need to wrap these resources around us and it can't be you know we can't be fighting against the stigma that if you're on a medication you're not truly sober um and i know that that's shifted in the industry a lot but it's still kind of there um those medications are wonderful resources how i'm curious and um eating disorders is not my specialty so i'm curious how the um medications help with eating disorders what does that look like i mean you can talk about your experience i don't know if that's generalized yeah so for me um get finding a psychiatrist and you know this was all done in conjunction with a therapist and all of that and now i just you know i know what works and i'm able to i've had enough practice you know i know um but the the medication that i'm given helps with my part part of what can be an underlying piece for eating disorders is um obsessive compulsive disorder and there so there's an element of you know looping thoughts racing thoughts compulsivity things like that and so the medication helps with with those kinds of that pervasive uh looping rumination around certain things and so it just kind of interrupts my brain um from some of those patterns and for whatever reason you know my brain just doesn't make chemicals the way that it was designed to i came into this world you know born into a family who you know my parents were both come from highly traumatized backgrounds lots of substance use lots of poverty lots of domestic violence um you know their own sexual abuse stories um you know i come into this home as you know their first child none of this has been resolved for them and so what i understand now is you know when we think about those first relationships that we form and what does it mean to have secure attachment in your family of origin and how that how attachment and safety and security really prime the brain to wire and develop in ways that make us able to function like normal adults i don't really know that means function like normal adult but i mean you know my brain just it had a lot to contend with from a very very you know early early age and so that was the environment i grew up in like many many people do your brain just it's doing the best it can and it's going to wire in a way that it can make sense of and so for me it just wired in in some pretty haywire sideways ways and you know i've done a lot of work to rewire and heal some of those parts of my brain and some of those parts of my brain are just never it's just never gonna magically totally rewire you know and so i need some help and that's okay that is totally okay um that is genetics that is epigenetics that is biology that is physiology you know that is not a moral feeling or because i didn't go to enough meetings or i didn't get honest enough in my step work or i'm not doing the right kind of service work you know my brain is just it's had a rough go and i'm gonna help it out a little bit so that i can have a shot at a good life i love that i love that mentality too is that you take you take those outside opinions and perceptions and you own what's yours right and i also love the way you talk about listening to your body your body is sending you messages constantly and when you start to listen to those messages you can interrupt patterns and and provide what your body's asking for and you can specialize your approach to what you need and not what everybody else might think you need which is that's tough because we you know we like to please people we're you know we're wired for connection i also love the way you talk about the neural pathways i mean i'm imagining and this i do this often when i'm talking with a you know a client or anybody is what must that have been like for somebody to grow up in an environment where what wired for you and your neural pathways was what you were in right you were wiring together how to cope with what was shown you in your in your environment and so of course those are pretty tightly wired connections did you come with them naturally or you know were you're born with them or did you develop them yeah both and and who really knows how to decipher that because now they're there and now you've got to address what's there and what what is real for you and i love that they love the way you've kind of come to that because i think it's really powerful and it lends to the idea that um that you get to choose what to do with what you've been given um and i think i don't know that's pretty powerful for me and and i think about the ability to choose and and choose our stories and choose our outcome and choose what happens to us and i think the ability to choose grows as we wrap ourselves around these resources and and we do our work talk to me about um some of the things and some of the things that that some of the things the feelings that you have around what i just said and how you're applying that in your life in other words some of the choices that you have made and you've talked about that a little bit now now you're in the let me i'm going to rephrase my question because it was way too big now you're in the recovery industry and you've got this wealth of experience and this wealth of knowledge how are you sharing that with others what are you doing with that huh um gosh you know my plan was not to go into this work professionally that was never like i had been sober probably i'd been in recovery um i don't know eight or nine years before someone suggested um that i should explore this as an option and i thought it was a very silly suggestion but i was also uh kind of at a loss for like what else am i gonna do and so i decided you know what i'll i'll try it let's try walking down this road see how it feels see you know um if it doesn't feel right then i'll turn around and do something else um and so my first you know aside from like participating in mutual aid groups was working at a residential treatment center here in arizona and i was lucky enough to you know be given a chance to kind of start my career there and i got the lowest level level of licensure in arizona that allows you to work in a facility you know and i had and i spent years there just growing blooming blossoming it was an amazing amazing experience and i learned so much so much about myself so much about you know what does it look like when we're bringing in all of our unresolved stuff to relationships with others where we're trying to impart some kind of healing um you can't you know like you just show up as yourself no matter where you go or what you're doing whether you're a staff member or you know a resident um your stuff is your stuff and so i wanted to be really good at my job and so i had to i had to start working on my stuff you know in a whole new way um and so i did i ended up back in therapy and you know blah blah blah so there's a professional part of getting this message out or being you know a change agent or being you know what however people describe themselves like being an advocate being you know um i just genuinely love watching the lights come on for people i genuinely love you know being able to provide some sort of safe connection or space for people to explore parts of themselves to see what they want to do you know you want to keep you you want to continue to be a person using substances okay like that's okay um you want to be a person who you know is still active in your eating disorder or still you know you don't have to get better and it's not a it's not it's not for me to decide you know that that is the benchmark that everyone who struggles should enter recovery um and it took me a long time to really believe that because i thought why wouldn't you you know if life was this hard and it's i know how much pain that is or i knew how much pain it was for me like why wouldn't you want something different um and it's just it's not for me to decide and so that's part of it is like doing enough of my own work that i can take myself out of the equation um and remain really neutral but safe and loving and like you know attuned to what people are saying and not saying um i've done some other creative projects that are you know we're just like fun community stuff and i'd love to do that again but i'm also just like i love working and i love learning and so i put myself in positions where i can use these natural skills or my personality to make parts of the process that are usually really hard for people a little bit easier which for most of my career has been more of an admissions role in different facilities and you know being that person that helps make that process a little bit simpler you know however i can if you want to come let's make that happen if you're not ready to come okay um you know whatever and i love that i love that i get to hear people's stories and i get to you know take all the crappy stuff that makes coming into treatment really hard to kind of take that off their plate and yeah so well and yeah that idea that that you can accept people exactly where they're at i mean that's that's not an easy thing to do because if somebody comes in and says you know i'm i'm still gonna use i still want that to be part of my life or you know i'm still going to restrict food intake because that's so important to me like like our whole body scream and say no you can't do that because that's dangerous and we have to save you right but there's there's a lot of work that goes into being able to sit in that space and go okay if that's what you want to do let's help you be successful at that and not die or be successful at that and you know have the greatest joy in life right the greatest rewards in life that you can while you choose to do that right that's not that's not an easy place to sit it's not an easy place to sit and i think it's even harder when i was working like that first those first few years i spent at a residential facility i mean i would get so so bent out of shape and just consumed with you know patients on my caseload that that you know end up back at the facility or i know that they're going to leave here and not be okay or you know they're making all these but i was determining to be really you know unsafe choices really poor choices and you know i was just so full of myself i was so full of myself and it just it just seeped out of every pore you know that i have some and that's what we're trying i mean as therapists like you get in some way like you're trained to be that way you're supposed to have the answer you're supposed to you know guide your little chickens into the safety coop and you know all of that but like there is so little dignity um in that and i would much rather spend my time learning how to be just more loving and open so that people feel like they can be who they want to be and a lot of people end up in treatment that don't want to be there and so we think that resistance is a lot of things you know we label it even resistance what would it be like if what would it be like if there were just truly truly safe and attuned spaces where people could come and explore and just start to ask them questions um and not leave with a label or a diagnosis and not leave as a person who you know failed at treatment but we just had spaces where people could explore that and that interests me much more than you know the treatment treatment as treatment is usually done which is really different than that well and it's fascinating too because what you're talking about is shifting the paradigm you know and and it's not that it people don't push up against it but you're talking about an entire shift um which you know might be valuable to talk a little bit about recovery cafe network and and what you guys do i just pulled a little snippet off the website and it said that recovery cafe network is comprised of member organizations committed to serving people suffering from homelessness addiction and other mental health challenges using the recovery cafe model every member of the recovery cafe network is dedicated to these core commitments and then it lists a bunch of core commitments which are really it's really about changing the way we look just like you've talked about changing the way we look at someone that's different than us that may be engaging in behaviors that we consider unhealthy or unsafe um and trying to figure out how do we help them at the same time that we're you know serving ourselves there's there's that's a tough thing to change that kind of a paradigm but it sounds like that's a lot of what recovery cafe network does can you talk some of some of that sure so the cafe model in a lot of ways is you know part of what i hope just becomes a very um staple addition to every community globally nation let's start with the nation um because it is that space it's you know it's it's meant to invite people in um give them a meal give them connection give them access to friendships and relationships that you know they can be deeply what we talk about at the cafe is deeply known and deeply loved and so there is no requirement that you identify a certain way that you ha there is no agenda for your treatment or your recovery journey there's people who come into cafes across you know across the us who um they come for the meals they come for the classes they come because their friends go there they come because people are nice to them um they come for conversation but they're not there to get resources they're not there to like i want to get housing or i want to get into treatment i want you know to stay free from substances and i love how much respect and dignity there is in that and saying like you were deserving you were deserving of my attention my love my support um the food that i make um the building that we pay for you know you are deserving of all these things because you exist that's it that's it and so you deserve that and there is no um bait and switch there's no like well now that you're here let us talk to you about this thing well now that you're here let us you know have you thought about this have you thought about that all of that is member driven so people accessing services at the cafe which are like classes and workshops and you know yoga and um sewing and art and you know whatever they want there is no agenda for them or like trade-off you don't have to do x to get why um and so we're just learning how to as an organization like what can we remove as a barrier to people just being deeply known and deeply loved which i think is the most transformational thing that happens to any of us um and how do we preserve all that dignity and respect and not expect something in return which is really the spirit of service that's the spirit of love and servant says there is no expectation that's heavy stuff that is heavy stuff but it's it's so it rings true to me because i've often thought this too and i've heard you articulate it so well is that i've wondered what what changes or what what um options are available when somebody feels truly seen and truly loved what opens up to them and if you're in an environment where people do not want to be told what to do they want to have their free space and they're going to do it how they want and they're coming to you and they're receiving they're getting something from that and you're giving them the ability to be known and to be loved and accepted exactly the way they are what do you see happening in the lives of these people oh gosh our cafes are just full of stories um you know that that run the gamut i mean there's what you would do what you would think of as like typical success story you know that people love to hear because based on their own you know morality scale or success scale people are doing the right things but then there's all these other little tiny moments there's these tiny moments happening in our cafes across every day every day that are just that's it's those little tiny things that make life so joyful and so worth living and when i think about my own life and what gets me so excited um it's not these big huge things that make me come alive it's these little moments of connection and joy and happiness and um you know it sounds so i don't know what it sounds like but sometimes i hear myself talking i'm like wow you know um that all sounds really hokey but it's true it's true you know that's what we're all after is you know that moment of like oh i can take a deep breath um i'm really relaxed i'm laughing like really laughing um my stomach is full i'm not hungry i mean imagine that imagine like you know we we forget what the trauma of homelessness feels like and and people who experience that for whatever reason um imagine you know just imagine and um a lot of us don't have to you know a lot of us even in 12-step or in treatment centers or you know these fancy places i mean i'm on linkedin like i look at you know it's there's some pretty posh treatment out there um but there's a lot of other stuff happening there's a lot there's a whole other world um and you know bringing a cafe to your city can really transform the landscape for people it can really transform what's possible by just creating that space well and rebecca the way you talk about it it's transformational to the people that are there to to know and to deeply love those that's transformational too and and i think this is um i absolutely believe and somebody might disagree with me but i absolutely believe that this is a human experience and it doesn't it doesn't have any boundaries right there's no entitlement in this experience that to be known and to be loved it affects every one of us in deep ways and and changes our lives and i can think of countless you know places where that made all the difference to me in an entitled life right and if i call it that a privileged life an entitled life that that experience of being known and loved deeply changed changed me too right so um that's huge let's take the last you know a little bit of time that we have i think i'm really curious about two things two questions that i have that i'm really curious about is one how does ca how does the recovery cafe get funded who pays for that because obviously a good share of the people coming in don't have any resources you know financially and two what does somebody have to do to get maybe connected with you or connected with with the recovery cafe if they really want to make that part of their community because i do think it's powerful yeah so the cafes are funded through grants fundraising um you know every every cafe that operates operates as its own entity and so they're doing their own fundraising their own grant writing um things like that and then there's things that the network provides like training and onboarding and stuff like just you know some infrastructure support at the front end but um every cafe is is the goal is to become you know fully financially sustainable through grants and fundraising and members pay for nothing you know obviously there's some paid staff but a lot of a lot of classes and workshops and even open time that the cafe is run by volunteers um and then you just got people who worked their butts off you know they it's blood sweat and tears into these cafes to make them places that people want to be in and it's a really really awesome network and it doesn't take much actually to start a cafe it takes a team of people applying and kind of getting some ducks in a row and then you join a learning cohort and so a couple times a year we pool groups together and kind of do a launch and then like we just did one in april we'll do another one in october um and there's a way to apply on the recovery cafe network website um we're also you know you can find us all on linkedin sarah burgess is the director um so reaching out to her i mean really we all of us respond so um you want a cafe let's bring you a cafe uh we'll make it happen what's incredible in the vision that that the the recovery cafe and that you have shared i think is transformational for people whether they want to stay where they're at but they can be seen they can be known and they can be deeply loved and i can't think of anything more powerful to allow somebody to let go of what they've been holding on to so tightly and look at pos the possibilities right if anything can change somebody i think those pieces are the most powerful in anybody's life so incredible i love i'm very fascinated by the work you do and i appreciate you coming on and being willing to share is there any last thoughts that you have that you'd love to share i don't know i guess if there was anything left to say it would just be like an invitation an invitation for people who are already doing this work to kind of double down and look a little deeper inside themselves um and and then a reminder that the solution is actually not that elusive that we spend a lot of time trying to figure out why people don't get better and i think we already know we already know it just requires each of us to do so much work internally to be able to show up in a way that where we can have safe safe space to be connected and to explore you know a lot of us it's really hard to do that it's hard to it's really fun to be a person in in recovery working in recovery getting paid to be an ambassador of recovery uh making great money um and you know i've held those roles i've i've done marketing i've done outreach i've done you know for-profit non-profit um you know in-network out of network eating disorders mental health i've done it all um and it's fun but the real the real work is when we can kind of stay a little bit more grounded about what is actually healing and transformational and we've known that answer for a long long time um you just can't monetize it as easily you can't you know create a curriculum it's just it's just the real work of being human so i'm you know i'm constantly working on just trying to heal my relationship with myself enough to show up as a person that i'm really proud of um and i would just invite everyone else to keep doing the same i love that rebecca thank you for what you've brought to the this episode and been willing to share of your story and your passion and the change that you're looking for in the future for our communities and for those people who who need what you're talking about the very most right the ones who are the least seen the least unknown you know and the least loved and bringing a space where they can have that which is such a human it's a necessity so i love that thank you thank you