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041 - Dirk Eldredge

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

Dirk Eldredge joins us from Momenta Recovery where they offer trauma specific care for women. He talks about getting past “low self-esteem and a high sense of failure” in order to find his true calling in life. He had a successful career during his 20 year “functioning addict” bender, but realized he was chasing the wrong goals. He became a successful interventionist, helped the Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks as a life coach, and has found home with his bride in the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado where they focus together on helping women with trauma. 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 ( 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): dirk eldredge joins us for momenta recovery where they offer trauma-specific care for women he talks about getting past low self-esteem and a high sense of failure in order to find his true calling in life he had a successful career during his 20-year functioning addict bender but realized he was chasing the wrong goals he became a successful interventionist helped the super bowl winning seattle seahawks as a life coach and has found home with his bride in the roaring fork valley in colorado where they focus together on helping women with trauma 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 practices cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates today we are super excited to have dirk eldridge with us dirk is the ceo of momenta recovery in colorado momenta recovery is an inpatient residential healing center for women only the primary the primary clinical focus is attachment trauma and co-occurring disorders momenta believes in always leading with love community and the most robust clinical offering available anywhere the client safety is primary the gender specific approach to restoration and recovery allows clients to immediately feel loved and understood rather than condemned and judged surrendering to a new way of thinking and rewriting the narrative you have told yourself for years are two key approaches to newfound freedom and meaning in life this is what is being done at momenta and dirk we are super excited for you to be with us today thanks shelly thanks kurt yeah thanks for taking the time absolutely excited to be here hey dirk maybe just take a few minutes to um give us some history how did you end up in the recovery industry and um and kind of some of of your background where you come from okay i'll give you i'll give you the reader's digest of my 60 fun-filled years on this earth uh yeah my folks were married for 63 years my lost my father a couple years ago to dementia and mom is on her way out now but they they enjoyed a great marriage um they were 18 and 20 and then i got a sister who's two years older than me she i call her still to this day my perfect sister kim because we grew up under the same roof and life laid down in a beautiful way for her and i um i had all those same advantages and when i went to usc and played ball and graduated i started on a 20-year bender basically what i think those of us in recovery would define as a high-functioning addict alcoholic where i thought the recipe for success in life was money and just to make as much money as i could would would take care of all my ills and all my fears and and that's what i did and um never missed a day work started off at ibm out of college and then figured out i was never going to make the kind of money i wanted to make so i switched to commercial printing because my girlfriend's dad owned the best printing company in the country at the time and uh in la and there were a couple of open bars and some apartments and a 24-hour day seven day at work seven day a week work week and it was a perfect place for me to reside as a budding alcoholic and addict because it was all about just taking care of the entertainment industry in la as well as the automobile industry and yeah i just went into a 20-year progression as we know from this disease and i won't bore you with with the the the story behind it because we've heard the story a thousand times but the bottom line for me was that as long as i was drunk or high or both i could deal with my low self-esteem and my high fear of failure by just staying numb and doing what i thought i was supposed to do and that was make money and you know towards the end of that i was fooling almost everybody except for myself of course and and god but i i was gifted with my body breaking down in my late 30s i kept going to the er throwing up and not being able to stop and uh i look back on it now after nearly 20 years of recovery and realize i was gifted with uh you know an esophagus that was stopping its functioning and my kidney and liver shutting down and i was you know i went to treatment one day i called this guy pierre he was town drunk in palos verdes where i grew up and he had been sober for a couple of decades at that time talked to him in the parking lot of san pedro recovery center and he convinced me to check in so i went to treatment for 30 days sat in the front row did everything that was asked of me and decided on the 31st day that i was mindfully and bodily different than everybody else there i was smarter and then i could manage this thing so i went back out for a couple more years and and did some more research as we say and then uh again was gifted with a few rums to the er and uh this time my four or five best friends showed up at the end of my bed and said we're on to you and we're not going to be a part of your life unless you get help because we're not going to watch you die and that time i went to creative care up in malibu and checked myself in and stayed for 90 days of a 30-day program and when i left there i knew while i was there that this recovery thing was the only thing in my life that ever made any sense and i heard things in the rooms i heard things in group rooms and individual therapeutic opportunities and uh when i left creative care i drove to my printing company which i owned part of at the time and we had a couple hundred employees on the on the shop floor and i said i'm a drug addict and an alcoholic and you'll never see me again and i packed up my office got my car and drove to lmu and went back to college in my late 30s because you know studying the disease of addiction was not just interesting to me it was the most compelling thing i'd ever really addressed in my life and uh you know as they say i changed everything my wife left me while i was in treatment that second time because she didn't think i'd ever stay sober and uh i went back to college and i had this amazing therapist dr randy gunther um who had been with me through all of this and she suggested that i become an interventionist and i didn't know what the hell that was at the time but a gentleman by the name of ed storti who in my opinion wrote the book on intervention and uh he happened to be you know he's living in san pedro which was about five minutes from where i was sitting so i i pursued ed and um he taught me ultimately i won't bore you with the details but he's a very busy man and i had to strong-arm him into getting his attention and uh we're still dear friends to this day but ed taught me everything he knew about intervention and i took off on a 10-year maybe 12-year odyssey into family interventions went as far away as bangladesh did hundreds and hundreds of interventions and loved loved the process and still do i see it as a craft and an art that is super important uh but through that i ended up in the nfl i was uh i be pete carroll when he was the head coach at usc um gave me a job as the life coach for the usc trojan football team uh and then the year after that he decided to go up to seattle and i went with him along with kenny norton and rocky and a few other coaches and we we built or pete rebuilt seattle seahawk football into a super bowl winner and we we got to do that and again at the end of that game i was crying and thinking you know how the hell did i end up here and it's just none of it's lost on me that in recovery things that are unimaginable become very imaginable and very tangible if we just show up as the best version of our authentic self and from there you know i'm blessed now and been married now for 15 years to stacy lee and i missed her so i got out of football and got out of the airplanes really and went up to jaywalker lodge in carbondale bobby ferguson created a beautiful thing up there for men and was i was privileged to be able to to run his company for four or five years and fell in love with colorado and momenta was born out of another family that i worked with dan johnson who is a is a great man and a solid citizen in northern california where he's in the affordable housing business and assisted living and he's a i i would call him like a serial entrepreneur and he got interested in mental health through my helping him and his family with his son uh probably a decade ago and he started momenta here in the valley of the roaring ferc valley and asked me if i had run it and uh i was looking for a new challenge um women's treatment women's trauma treatment specifically is i'll just say it's a hell of a lot more interesting than helping men i i find it to be more challenging more clinically robust and just an amazing opportunity to create a safe place for women to heal in a 90-day program as a minimum and stacey lee and i show up here every day because it's our passion it's not a job and we have been in business now for three years and every day is an adventure so it's a pretty long-winded answer to your question but it's kind of a aerial view of my my time in recovery well i can tell why it's why you just have to give us an aerial view because that's a pretty dynamic story and it sounds like you've done a lot of a lot of incredible things and had some incredible opportunities like you said so i love the wisdom that you bring to this conversation and kind of the experience that you have because not everybody gets those opportunities no no it's uh i tell the ladies every morning like recovery is a promise of your future not a consequence of your past and uh i really believe that you know a lot of times when you sit in in the rooms you hear these old people like me talk about being a grateful alcoholic or a grateful addict and it sounds like a load of and it's not it's it's an absolute gift and i do see it you know as something that if i hadn't gone through it i would never have hit the pause button or been gifted with grace and and life to really understand the essence of the fact that life is an inside job you know it's like i thought everything and all all my freedoms and my goals were outside of myself and what recovery has taught me and still teaches me every day and that is that it's an inside job yeah that's the truth but i think we chase it so long that we don't even know it's within us right and we're just chasing it all every day so it's a powerful journey of of turning inward and figuring out what's going on inside i love that um and you know i you know i can tell by the way you share your story that you've done your work and that you're in a really good place when you talk about being grateful that your body started to break down and send you to the er right it's like who's grateful for that but you're grateful because of the journey that puts you on because otherwise you may not have have chosen recovery no i'm quite sure you're right shelly i would i would tell you unequivocally i would have taken it to to death um i was well on my way and i i really had no clue um what was in front of me when i surrendered uh the second time and hopefully the final time to this this progressive brain disease that i happen to have and uh i i do believe that you know one of the frustrations and i know the two of you and anybody else in recovery knows that we lose so many people to this disease and you know why i was extended grace and an opportunity to heal multiple times as opposed to so many of my friends that we've lost um is a mystery to me i don't i don't know why and i'm sure i'll never know exactly why but i i was gifted with like a slow roll breakdown of my physical body which brought me to my knees and then i was able to to surrender and i really i remember it like it was yesterday i was at the front door of creative care with my board shorts and flip-flops on and my five best friends off my shoulder and this really pretty therapist named dominique answered the door and she said who are you and i said my name is dirk and i don't know how to do life can you teach me how to do life and from that moment to this moment i have not been compelled to use drugs or alcohol and i've been gifted with this awareness in the unknowing like that same low self-esteem and high fear of failure which which paralyzed me for 20 years is now the same thing that frees me and uh i have never been so certain that i don't know and that it's absolutely okay and it's like it's just the story we make up in our head and the the thought and i remember as a teenager and a young adult and that was that i thought everybody else in the world had all the answers except for me and that i was you know isolated and alone in this scary world and the only thing that got me by was to get numb because the the sensitivity to it and the overwhelming nature of it was just all-consuming and uh so the same things that captured me for a couple of decades of addiction are the same things that have freed me to just show up as the best version of my authentic self and have that be fine well and i think it's interesting because it it's it's sometimes our gold or those positive characteristics that we have that that drive us in the wrong direction right as we're just focusing our attention in the wrong the wrong space is the wrong the wrong direction and when we can turn that around and and like you said see that it comes from inside and not outside then it's those very things that create a powerful life and a healthy life yeah amen um you know you work with women um and women's trauma like you said is um maybe a whole lot more fulfilling than working with men which i don't i'm not sure i understand that dynamic as much but uh but i do love working with women that's actually my passion as women in trauma and um and uh and they there's there is something about their intensity but i also imagine that with many women their trauma is men and here you come in as a ceo and you're talking to these women about their trauma what's that dynamic look like that's a great question shelly and it's it's absolutely true and i think you know again uh an unimaginable path but one that makes perfect sense and to answer your question is to show up as a man and as a loving husband at the same time because my wife is a is a very gifted therapist and um is one of the best psychotherapists i have ever known and we show up in this space together so i not only get to model what a safe man can look like but also a loving husband and uh for many of these women it's the first time in their lives they've ever been around a man that is safe and uh it's it's an unbelievably important dynamic and also you know just again on the scope of growth uh i happen to be fully and immensely in love with my bride and uh it's an opportunity that in some ways is symbiotic of of the fact that you know in prior to recovery i didn't have any healthy relationships with women and it was um it was very you know kind of typical um inclusive of the very poor design of my parents marriage which i referred to earlier where you know it's a generational piece where my my mother was basically a servant to my father and that was what i thought was normal and healthy because they were married for 62 years but the fact of the matter is it was incredibly unhealthy and the minimization marginalization of women has become you know a flag that i get to carry and not just to empower women but to surround myself with women that are trying to find their voice and trying to find their foundation and if i get to spend a little bit of time with them every day because i i am very much of boots on the ground ceo i i know everything about all the women we're trying to help and how i might best be a non-clinical uh puzzle piece for their healing and it really just resides in in healthy boundaries and leaning into the art of listening and just meeting people where they are because i i do think that that is the essence of so much of our pain and that is that that like so many of these women including and not not exclusive to the orthodox jewish community um which is you know i bring it up only because the oppressive nature of it all is coming through and living color uh as i continue to manifest and grow momenta it's just uh something as simple as sitting and listening to somebody is is a huge privilege and a gift and i think a grounding space for creating safety and being patient with it uh nothing i think happens uh that's gonna shift your perspective or become a part of your constitution in 30 days and i don't think it's going to happen in 90 days either but i i do believe that a foundation can be built in a safe place that leads with love to to connect and to hear and rather than to condemn and judge if i can just create as we have here at momenta that space for these women then that that creates purposefulness and it creates a a space where i think not only will we be around for a long time we'll will help one family at a time in a very intimate way um let let these ladies not only understand their their voice but to find their passion and i do believe that that's the key to the kingdom um for each of us as humans male or female well and it's incredible what you talk about is so true is because you're right they're not gonna they're not gonna change their life in 30 days but they're gonna start that process and the only i think the only way that someone can really feel safe enough to really dive in and look at those you know those incorrect messages that have been sent to them for decades for a lifetime sometimes is to have a safe place where somebody else is talking about it and gives them permission to open their mouth and go wait that happened to me too but it has to be a safe place or they just won't do it right and so creating that safe place allows them to do so much healing and start that process like you talked about so that's super powerful i i'm imagining that um some of these women are pretty triggered by you what are can you think of some of the interactions that you've had with them i mean i just i think back to working with women and some of the horrific things that they had been through and even being in the room with the man was almost more than they could tolerate at times have you experienced that absolutely and um you know that's it's again patience and safety and the fact that you're absolutely correct shelley and and it's it's a brand new opportunity for many of these women and you know to be real with you i mean some of these ladies end up looking at me and and we enter into relationships that where i'm showing up more like a father than anything else um just an encouragement piece a place that if i can model healthy listening and behaviors around these women the the doors and the walls begin to fall and open and i i just i know my role and i stay in my lane and we're gifted with a really profoundly unique and powerful clinical team and it's notable to say that that clinical team is led primarily by another male and every other every every therapist we have is is a female and every employee we have a female other than dennis and i and you know it's it's just a it's a really rich and and important role for each of us and that is to to lower expectations and show up in space and and really not worry so much about what comes out of our mouth as much as we're showing up and modeling what a safe male can look like and because i'm as old as the hills now i i get i guess i take on the role of of dad um because many of these women that never had a dad or they had a dad that was uh profoundly abusive um so i it ties into the purposefulness of what we we touched on earlier and and that is is to stay in my lane understand that i'm not a clinician dennis happens to be a really gifted clinician and and works with families as well as anybody i've seen but my role is just to hold space and and to to show you know what what an unconditional piece of love can look like with you know a servant heart and no agenda that's powerful dirk i appreciate you kind of sharing and talking through that because i mean we can talk through it all day long but seeing it happen is the miracle and seeing women shift um how do you guys address at momenta how do you address the challenge of sending someone back into an environment that wasn't very supportive to begin with well great question and you know we don't um we we we do great work around family and with women it's it's different and oftentimes it it means a divorce or it means a uh connection with the family of origin with her family of origin that is inclusive of coming out here and working with their loved one on what life's going to look like moving forward to do a lot of therapy while they're here in the second and third month around that systemic family to either understand that going back is not an option or to go back with a set of very different boundaries and expectations from everybody involved but i mean the short answer is nobody's going anywhere without a plan and a very specific plan that um you know needs to be executed and maintained and manifested over time because it you know nobody comes in here or any treatment center on a winning streak and to send them back as you're suggesting shelly into a unhealthy environment would be not just irresponsible it would it's just it's not gonna happen and um that's why you know we we understand we've got a disease of isolation and the antidote is community and so many of these ladies are staying back here most most all of them that don't have children and that's really the the gravitational pull that only a mother can understand and we're we're working with these with these ladies while they're here and we're working with them every every week that they're gone one of the reasons momenta is small intentionally small is because of this equation that you just suggested and that is to understand that long after they're not they're stopped cutting you checks for inpatient residential care that worse we're touching these people every week i spend a good part of every day talking to our alumni and asking them that very question you know what's it looking like um how's it going sometimes it goes great sometimes it doesn't and you know i want to be that that provider that person um that shows up at your front door after you're done with our program and after you're done writing checks and says you know saying let's do this let's let's jump in the truck and and go back to community that you know is there for you and and loves you and immerse yourself in it because this is clearly not working um because there are those cases i i had one just this weekend with a an amazing woman um left us a couple weeks ago to to go back home where there was no community other than her youngest daughter and it didn't it didn't pan out the way she wanted it to so she's coming back um and not to check into momenta but to engage in this community that she developed here in the roaring fork valley um while she was here which which made sense to her and worked for her and that is kind of the essence of what we're talking about and that is we got to do this together well and it's an interesting you know kind of parallel to your journey as well of you know you were smarter and better than everybody else your first time through and you were gonna you know be able to go out and manage that much better than you did before and you know sometimes we have to go back and and try it out remember how bad it was because we forget right yeah attempts to control yeah i remember working with a woman who was in a she was in a woman shelter and she had two kids and she would just tell me of these horrific things that would happen to her in her relationship and i mean scary life-threatening kinds of things and after months of you know treatment and therapy and working with her and creating a safe community she went back and it just broke my heart i'm like no how can you do that right it seems so it seems so hard to wrap our heads around but sometimes they have to you know it's the journey and that's not the end that's really you know just part of the journey sometimes absolutely it seems like there's a lot of elements to that right because there's the emotional element of like why would you ever go back just like this seems like obvious you know move on but at the end of the day there can be children there's family relationships there's the survival right we need a place to live and food to eat and all that kind of stuff and i'm sure there's other criteria that you know drive these individuals towards what looks like a bad decision because they've got to survive so in order to leave that they obviously need to figure out all of the logistics of how to live without that so what does that community look like you know when you mention they come back there's obviously those other elements right it's now they're not writing checks now they're not you know inpatient that kind of thing are you kind of building you know this bigger system right within that community where you know a lot of a lot of our the people that we talk to have it an alumni community right where people are connected and they're staying in touch and all that kind of thing but for a lot of these individuals it it seems like there would be kind of a bigger need than that right there's a housing need and all those other things you know do you help them figure out ways to get engaged with employment and that kind of thing or what does that community look like really long term that's a great question kurt and i gotta credit bobby ferguson the founder of jaywalker um because he figured out long ago that you know this roaring fork valley the aspen valley is kind of what what he calls and what i call a sticky zip code meaning you know if you grew up in new york or dallas or l.a and you come to a place like this it's pretty attractive not not to everybody but to to most people because life slows down a little bit and you know the valley is gifted uh with a lot of employment opportunity um it's a very robust recovery community the valley spans you know 20 miles from aspen to glenwood and it's it's kind of a magical place to wake up there's a there's a small college here and there's huge levels of tourism you know up in aspen obviously during the winter and in glenwood in the summer uh with all kinds of you know everything in colorado happens outdoors and um the fact of the matter is it's kind of galvanizing because it's attractive to so many people they don't want to leave and and so many of these young ladies and and elderly ladies um find find safety and comfort in in the smallness of this valley and again you know because of recovery in the communities that come with it and and the the level of depth and the relationships that they garner while they're here um they may be and often cases are the the first healthy authentic relationships that that they've ever had so the attraction to do this together um is it's just magne it's just magnified like la you know where i was born and raised has an incredible recovery community but it's obviously spread out amongst you know tens of millions of people and here it's it's just more intimate and seemingly more tangible and more attractive because it seems more manageable uh because of its size but we you know we do practical things like sober living we have that as a part of our offer another thing you know to spare you the sales pitch with momenta but to indicate that your primary therapist here at momenta will continue with you as a as a therapist as a as a safe and understood relationship for as long as you want and uh so we're offering an incredible outpatient program run by an amazing woman named jillian and you know it's the pandemic has has shifted it to zoom and and it it's now you know getting more normalized with in-person meetings but it's really about just the decision to leverage authentic and and really intimate relationships that can only be found in a trauma center such as this um and obviously many others across the country and then to leverage that into day-to-day existence with a small town where people know each other and people support each other and i think a more intimate way because of of the size again we're okay with the sales pitch that's part of what we want to hear because it's it's the tip of the spear a little bit right the way yeah the sales pitch is essentially what you're doing to differentiate yourself you know in in the market but that also ends up being the ways that you really can serve people so that's we're not afraid of the sales pitch around here we like to hear it um this is um kind of a curiosity of me and of mine and maybe it's selfish to even go in this direction but this feels you know the the momentum crowd feels so much different like a 180 from the seattle seahawk crowd right the professional football player crowd what was your role like you know there and at usc you know you see you call it being a life coach but um i would i would anticipate that there are kind of more specific elements of that you know when you take somebody like pete carroll who's looking at putting together a winning team you know what what are the what's that short-term role look like when dealing with those you know team players and what's the kind of long-term role that you try to mix in there you know with the day-to-day activities what did that role look like for you well pete deserves credit for all of it because he hired me originally to do an intervention on a coach and then on a player and pete if you know him and study the game of coaching really is a an amazing human being and is incredibly authentic and he is an outside the box thinker so he saw this guy dirk in the mental health industry serving as his interventionist and he came up with the idea i remember i went into his office one day at sc and he said i i want to hire you to and he used the word life coach i don't know where he found it but that's the word he came up with and he said i want you to get out in front of some of these train wrecks and see if you can stop them and from that discussion um was born not so in college it's different kurt in college the coach can say hey kurt you're going to meet with dirk two hours a week every week for the rest of the year and kurt's response is going to be yes sir and when you go to seattle and any other of the 32 teams and tell the player that he can he can give you whatever vernacular for an answer that he wants because he doesn't have to do anything so it's shifted um and it's not unlike momenta in the sense that you know you're dealing with oversized super fast you know just high performance athletes that at the end of the day are just like the three of us um they're just broken scared individuals trying to find their way and i needed to establish rapport and safety and the fact that they're really only worried about their next contract and they have oftentimes come from broken homes with you know the absence of a father for example is is more than typical and the fact that they've never been told no because they are special you know kind of freakishly great athletes and that doesn't bode well either and then you put a little bit of cash in their pocket and it's off to the races so my job was first of all to let them know with pete's help and other coaches help that that i was not a snitch and that i wasn't there to report back to anybody but i was kind of a boost on the ground counselor to help them navigate life um a lot of it was you know i'm married and i got my girlfriend pregnant or i just i just ran into a tree off the road so some of it was you know rescuing people um in crisis and and kind of getting them grounded in the best most healthy way to address said crisis and to manage that with them and to show up for them without an agenda um you know everybody everybody understands or at least thinks that you know professional athletes have all this money and all these resources and the fact of the matter is they don't uh they're broken and scared just like the rest of us and my job was just to get them grounded in a place where they were playing football in this case without distraction and without fear and uh that was just a an immense gift that pete gave me and he has subsequently found somebody far smarter than me named dr michael gervais um who is an amazing soul as well and he you know he's taken the ball and run with it and works very closely with pete in just what we're talking about and that is being present for each moment and playing without fear um it was a a very different day-to-day existence you know traveling with the team and being with the team you're you're in a bit of a bubble but when you leave the bubble and go home you know stuff happens and uh i was simply a gifted resource to again practice effective active listening and to be a safe place for these players to talk about what was really going on in their lives and how to navigate it and uh it was uh it was a chapter and i do think life is a series of chapters that we never know exactly how many we're gonna get but that was a chapter that i would never have imagined and and certainly would never regret because i got to touch a few lives and the answer to your question kurt is there ongoing you know there i'm still i i worked for gus bradley and dan quinn and other great coaches around around the country um with one-off you know situations of crisis where you can show up and and not ask for anything or want anything from these people but rather just show up and hold space so that they can make their own informed decision on how to move forward in the healthiest way that's cool dirk i am you got an incredible story and go seahawks right that was my team growing up so um hawks football fans are the best i don't care what they mean the loudest place in the nfl and and the fan base is incredibly astute and devoted oh it's just fun brings back memories makes me think growing up and all the fun right yeah it's a good time for sure well the work you do is incredible durkin and just your presence um in the way that you you present yourself here makes it pretty clear how you present yourself with these women that you work with um you know even the relationship that you have with your wife and the way you talk about her and the way that you um you know the adoration that you have for these people that you work with and the work that these women are doing says a lot for you and i appreciate i appreciate you showing up that way and and you know developing into the guy that you have been oh thank you thank you i know i hear you use the word you know to listen that you're listening to understand and holding that space and i've heard you say it over and over again and i don't know if there's a more important concept to capture for any of us when it comes to relationships i would agree i would agree i again i don't want to bash on either one of my parents but i grew up with a very dysfunctional like my mother was there to hear what my father wanted next and it gave me a very skewed perception of the importance of listening and in recovery it's been my primary uh driver besides my spiritual growth is to make an art out of of active listening because i think it's a lost art and i think the generations that have come before us have really botched it up in a profound way um where we're you know we we hear somebody we love say something whatever it is like they're in a binder and a struggle and my reaction the you know the human condition indicates that i'm gonna stop shelly after that first sentence and tell her how to fix it um is an ineffective model for for life and uh in recovery i've gotten you know some awareness around that and some acceptance around that and i've i've made it my personal mantra to zip up my lip and you know listen twice as much as i speak because we should and it's it's really the greatest gift that we can give one another as humans and that is just to hear and and not have to fix or or judge or condemn something that's coming out of another person's mouth but just to just listen and and through it gives us the ability to meet people where they are in a much more effective i think manner i could not agree more and i think you know any relationship that's struggling i think that's the first first step right is to learn how to actively listen and stop trying to listen to answer questions or to tell them how they're wrong because so often we do and we don't even recognize that that's been a pattern for our entire life so i love that super super powerful um dirk what's uh what's in the future for you ah i don't know um i i give it a lot of thought though i can tell you that it's 60 you know and i remember i mean 60 is horribly old and now that i'm 60 i feel wonderfully young meaning you know the body doesn't work like it used to but my mind is is full of curiosity and i think i'm exactly where i'm supposed to be um i have no desire to do anything different um i want to manifest uh and grow momenta hopefully to be recognized as the best women's trauma center in the country and the future will reside in that and finishing you know what the gift of of recovery and that's like i've got five kids three from that i helped bring into the world and two that i took on his step kids who lost their father to this disease who's a dear friend of mine and a good man but he asked me to raise his kids for him and if i don't do anything other than finish strong as a good dad and a loving husband that's good enough but i i think i'm i i know i love the rocky mountains i love momenta and and helping one family at a time here and again just trying to show up and be the best version of myself that i can for my bride and and my kids that'll be a good finish but uh i don't have any plans on doing anything other than what i'm doing right here right now yup dirk i couldn't agree more i think that that's probably the strongest finish anyone could have in this life so i think that's pretty profound um i have to ask this because it's just a burning question in my mind but if you were going to recommend a book for someone to read what would be that recommendation the gifts of imperfection oh i love that one rene brown she's amazing yeah i'm a disciple um i absolutely love her and uh aspire to be more like her and uh i i think that's a good one i've got i've got books though i mean i give away the shack i give away the alchemist i i like it stories that make you think and and find and define god as as you would like but i i firmly believe that we need to have an active relationship with something greater than ourselves in any book that would draw me closer to that understanding there's a book i want to read i love it i love it maybe in our next podcast uh episode we can we can dive into a little bit of the spirituality piece and how that's played a role in your life because i always find that fascinating i think you know some people everybody looks at it a little differently and i just love being taught by you know people's experiences around around spirituality so in our next episode we'll definitely have some fun with that dirk i just want to um really appreciate um who you are and what you've brought to the table and what you've shared today in our episode thank you thank you shelley and thank you kurt this has been fun and um yeah if you you want to have me back and talk about spirituality on men fantastic i am one one last thing i expect people are going to want to connect with you what's the best way for them to to get a hold of you uh email is d for dirk eldridge is e-l-d-r-e-d-g-e at momenta recovery one word dot com um yeah that's probably the the smartest way i'm hesitant but i would give up my cell phone i get i guess i can give it to you two and if somebody wants it um i want to be there to pick up the phone oh perfect that sounds great dirk thanks so much it's been great thanks kurt have a good day

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