The LoCo Experience

EXPERIENCE 75 | Brian Bauer, Founder & Executive Director of the Abundance Foundation

August 08, 2022 Ethan Lee Season 2 Episode 76
The LoCo Experience
EXPERIENCE 75 | Brian Bauer, Founder & Executive Director of the Abundance Foundation
Show Notes Transcript

Brian Bauer is the Founder and Executive Director of the Abundance Foundation here in Fort Collins. The Abundance Foundation is a nonprofit that supports men and women in rehab or programs to engage sober living.

This is a story of Brian's own path into dependence on alcohol and his inspiration for the company. We discuss personal topics like substance abuse and he has a strong message to be heard.

Brian can be a role model to anyone who struggles with some sort of addiction, so I hope you'll tune in and enjoy it! 


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Curt:

My guest on today's episode was Brian Bauer. And Brian is the founder and executive director of the abundance foundation here at Fort Collins. And abundance foundation is a nonprofit that walks alongside. Men and women in recovery and living in sober living environments. So it's a community and a program to help people, successfully complete rehab or detox or programs to engage sober living. And it's a really innovative model that Brian's come up with and he's had amazing growth and amazing outcomes here in the Northern Colorado DMA county region. So, this is a story of Brian's own path into dependence on. Alcohol in his case, as well as a lot of the key moments of his journey, of recovery and how many years it took really for anybody to say, Hey, you need some help, man. And so I hope you'll love it. I think you will. And I'm thankful that you're listening. Welcome back to the local experience podcast. This is your host Kurt bear, and I'm here today with Brian Bauer and Brian is the founder of the abundance foundation, a local nonprofit. Uh, he's also the executive director and we're gonna learn about, um, kind of some new things in the study of helping people I think today. So Brian, let's just start off with who does abundance

Brian:

foundation serve? Thanks. Thanks for having me on here, Kurt. This is awesome. Um, so we are a nonprofit that does, uh, substance abuse treatment for Medicaid specific clients. So we work with people that are low income coming outta detox and treatment centers or jails and prisons is our, is our demographic.

Curt:

So it's a little bit, little bit what we might have used to call at least a halfway house kind of thing is that yeah, we,

Brian:

we, yeah, we do get some people out of the halfway house actually. Oh, then they go

Curt:

into your program and they go into the program. Cause those houses don't necessarily have the, the treatment program as part of it.

Brian:

Right. So there, so that's even like a step down. So if they're coming outta jail, they can go to a halfway house and then we try and get them from the halfway house into a sober living, which is a little bit more freedom and a stable environment where we can work more independently with them. Okay.

Curt:

And so let's talk about, uh, this is a relatively new venture. Um, let's just talk about where the roots. Of it started, um, here locally. And then I wanna jump back into your past after we do that.

Brian:

Yeah, definitely. So we started in LAER county in December of 2021. Okay. Uh, so I got some grant funding, uh, through the state to be able to open up, uh, services in LAER county.

Curt:

And was this associated at all with grant funding related to like the pandemic and things like that, or even extra needs? Or was it a known need and it was already in process. There were programs.

Brian:

Yeah. So it's, uh, I think it's kind of a, the evolution of like the opioid crisis just nationwide, uh, a lot more federal funding opened up, uh, in that respect and states were able to get certain amounts of money allocated to do, to serve those populations. Um, and so Colorado has, um, there's an organization in Colorado called signal behavioral network, and they were able to get a whole bunch of funding kind of pooled together, and then they distribute, see grant funds from there.

Curt:

Interesting. Yeah. And so what did that first grant do and who did you serve and like, did you have to set up the whole program from scratch or talk to me about,

Brian:

yeah, so that would have to be, I guess, going all the way back to the beginning, but as far as the grant funding goes, um, I had the idea for what was possible to do with the grant funding up here. Um, and the idea was that I could establish this program where we could serve this population and it was, and my whole game plan was just. basically throw all the money that we got into that one general direction gain as much momentum as possible, get a, get some notoriety in the community mm-hmm and, uh, really just kind of show some outcomes. Right. Just show some outcomes, get the data put together and just go on faith from there that we're gonna be able to continue.

Curt:

And how many people are you serving now? Or how many people have you served in that? Uh, what 18 months now? Yeah,

Brian:

so right now I was actually just looking at it this morning. We are almost at, uh, a hundred clients that have come through the system. Okay. Or we haven't necessarily given services to all 100, cuz people have, some people have been in for short amount, so it's

Curt:

gonna be a lot of work and they're like, yeah, you know, I was

Brian:

I'm kidding, but I would say, but actively right now we have about 60 active clients

Curt:

in the system. Okay. when you're talking about measuring outcomes, what's that look like? I assume this is like straight up sober living for one thing, you know, there's no drugs, there's no drinking and you're getting tested pretty regularly to prove

Brian:

that. Yeah. So there there's are the rules to the sober living houses that they're in. Uh, we don't actually own any of the sober living houses right now. That's gonna be our kind of next phase of development. Okay. Um, but the, the sober livings that they are in, in the area have their own program structured around, be able to maintain their sobriety and, and UA, Testament, everything. Okay. Um, but our program is based on 90 days. Okay. So over a 90 day period. Um, and in that time, so our success rates are based on them accomplishing their three treatment plan goals that they set out to at the beginning of that 90 days. Okay. But also maintaining sobriety in that first 90, our ultimate goal is to get them to the six month of sobriety period. Okay. Um, and I mean, obviously longer than that,

Curt:

but you've kind of proven something after six months, is that right? Yeah.

Brian:

And so the, the national statistics show that it's about it. Oh, it's over an 80% long term sobriety success rate. If you can get somebody to that six month market. Wow. So it goes from basically single digits before that, and, and early recovery to 80% after. And it's like, that seems to be the, the, one of the biggest markers of people having long term success is getting that

Curt:

point. So it feels like we might need to lay the foundation of this story a little bit, if we're gonna tell this story. Right. So you speak as someone. Has experienced both on both sides of this, perhaps that I do. Um, why don't we take it back? Let's talk about, uh, before that, let's just talk about, uh, that 10 year old, where were you at? What was your family dynamics? Uh, things like that. Uh,

Brian:

yeah, so, so I, um, I'm, we'll just say I'm coming up on 10 years of my own sobriety in, in August. So August 5th will be my 10 years. Congratulations, which is awesome in a couple weeks. Um, so the 10 year old me, um, I came in comparison to a lot of people in that are, that have become addicted and that are in this whole lifestyle and everything else. I came from a really stable and loving family. Okay. I grew up down in, uh, in Littleton, Colorado. All right. Um, had a, so it was a nice little suburban area down there. Uh, good family life. My mom's a, a preschool teacher. My dad was a salesman and, uh, so I came from a, a good stable household, um, 10 year old me, um, I played, you know, played sports, you look super

Curt:

athletic,

Brian:

like always in all that grew up playing sports with the kids in the neighborhood, uh, liked to have fun. I had a good, uh, good amount of, of friendships in the area and whatnot. Um, but I knew there was something in me from a young age. I remember maybe being around 10, maybe eight, nine having, uh, sips in my dad's beer when we were watching football game. Hmm. You know, just like, it's one of those just like, and he wasn't an overactive drinking. No, my, my, neither of my parents, uh, have problems with drugs or alcohol. Okay. Uh, was never, never a thing on, on for either one of them. Um, so it was just like one of those things, like, and I, and my dad would give it to me cuz he would think that, you know, an eight year old would. Yeah. And also like wouldn't like the taste of beer, you know? But the opposite thing was for me was I didn't really like the taste, but for some something in me, like triggered in that like gravitated toward it. Yep. And

Curt:

it was just, and did I to turn into like stealing beers when you were 12 or 13?

Brian:

And so like that yeah. Down the road, it ended up being that. Um, and I don't really, and I couldn't really like kid, I didn't really know why at the time, like, and it wasn't really like a conscious thing. Sure. It was like just like a subconscious deal. Um, do you have brothers siblings? I do have a, I have a younger sister. Okay. Uh, she has no problems with it either. Yeah. So it's one of

Curt:

those kind of, yeah. That flip weird on your chromosome tab or whatever.

Brian:

Yeah. So it was, it was that aspect. And then I guess, and this kind of carries on through and we can get into this later, but uh, I, I do remember as a kid that started with their, I had this like internal. This internal feeling of Discontentment is the best way to describe it. Yeah. It wasn't like an overwhelming sense of, I mean, every kid I think feels awkward at some stage in their life. That's like every human in general. Right. It's just, that's part of like life and growing up and everything. So I wouldn't even say necessarily cuz it was that in combination with things like that was just normal kid stuff, I think. But there was an internal feeling of just being discontent and just being in the world as it was. Yeah. Um, and I couldn't really like describe it at

Curt:

the time. Yeah. Fair enough. Um, and did you turn into like a high school student that was cutting classes to go boozing with your friends or things or it didn't manifest that quickly? You

Brian:

kind of, no, it was, I was actually able, so I was able to maintain sports and school and grades, grades and stuff. Yeah. And everything else along those lines. So I was able to maintain that appearance. Um, in high school though, was when I, I guess I started to get into some of the trouble with it. Um, but not anything major. Right. I got a couple of underage drinking tickets and those things. Um, but overall, like I was able to, I was able to maintain playing sports and I was able to maintain higher grades. Yeah. Um, I was kind of, I guess in school I was able to maintain a lot of that stuff, but I was still bored. Yeah. It was like, school was just like, not necessarily overall easy for me, but it was just not. I was always looking for something not compelling. Yeah. Not compelling something more. Yeah, not that interesting. Yeah. But so when I found the party lifestyle in high school and I got in with those crowds of people, it was almost like, oh, this is it.

Curt:

We were talking even earlier in a chapter meeting that I have, uh, we have a, we were, I was doing a, an unfolding of the Hallis relational intelligence system. Mm-hmm and most of the members of that group are, are what we call orange, the achiever entrepreneur mm-hmm and one Clint shared. And he was on a podcast recently, like, you know, I was really good at drinking. Like I prided my, he's an achiever. And one of the things that he came to that, that disrupted a lot of his other pursuits, like getting good grades and meeting suitable girls that he might wanna marry someday and stuff. But instead he was really good at being a very capable drinker. Did you have that same kind of sense? I

Brian:

can definitely relate to that. Yeah, that was, and that was one of the things with it. I guess that started in high school too, was, um, we would go throw to these big parties and everything else and I'd wake up the next day and I felt great. And I was like, let's just do that again. And everybody else was hung over and struggling. Like I'm never drinking again. I'm never doing these drugs. I'm like, man. And I was like, oh, well it doesn't have that effect. I was, I don't know what hangovers are. So let's like, why would we not do that again? Right. Everybody's

Curt:

like, man, I get it. Nap And so did that carry on? Did you go to college then after? Yeah, so, I

Brian:

mean, so I got in some trouble in high school. Um, I got the, the drinking tickets, but I had it under, I had a fake ID when I was young, 16 and 17 years old. Wow. Wow.

Curt:

Um, did you look old for your age

Brian:

too? No, not at all, but there was a, there was a little, uh, like Korean liquor store up the street. Right. And I passed there for a while. Right. And I mean, I always had cash, so he, he didn't care. He didn't know I don't looking after I looked back on it, there was no way that I passed for 21. Well, but it, but it worked for the time being. Right. Um, so I got in trouble with that and I actually got a DUI when I was 18. Okay. Um, and, uh, that DUI was right at the end of my senior year after, right after I graduated and I ended up taking it to court and I beat the court case. Wow. On a DUI, which was just a whole story in, in and of itself. Can you nutshell it for

Curt:

me? It's cause nobody beats the DUIs. Right. Very often. I mean, they have blessed Elis and blood tests and all that. Yeah.

Brian:

And so my, my blood tests that night, so I was just with one of my friends. Uh, my blood test that night was over. It was probably tripled the legal limit. It was wow. It was sort of high level. Um, I had pulled over on the side of the road, so I didn't get pulled over. I. Pulled over on the side of the road, because I was just gonna sleep. Cause I couldn't see straight down right down the road that I was driving on. Well, so at least you had that much sense. You're right. Sorry. That much sense. Somewhere in that almost near blackout period. Um, but then the, the person whose house I pulled up in front of at three o'clock in the morning called the cops. Mm. And I was, I was asleep in the car, but the keys were in the ignition. Right. And so the car wasn't running though. Um, so I took it to court and uh, I had a public defender and the public defender had a good argument. Yeah. That I, that I didn't actually drive that. That was where I parked. Cause I did, I mean, I did drive, but not that far. So yeah. It was close enough to my friend's house that it looked like I could have parked there. And so, oh, I see this whole series of events kind of played out, oh, that you just slept

Curt:

in your car. I just

Brian:

lept part your friend's house. Right. And slept in my car. And there was my word verse, the officers. And I had a, a jury that felt sorry for an 18 year old, I guess. Right. Um, looking back after that, I definitely feel like I should have suffered the consequences of that.

Curt:

Right. That might have curved some of the worst things that happened later. I

Brian:

mean, it might, it might have curved or slowed down. I don't know what it would've done necessarily, but at the time, what it did was tell an 18 year old who feels invincible already. Right now you're above

Curt:

the law. Don't get hangovers. I beat DUI tickets. Right.

Brian:

All this stuff. I can get, whatever trouble I get in, I'm gonna be able to get out of it.

Curt:

Yeah. And were you chasing girls and things too? Yeah. Just living kind of the party

Brian:

lifestyle. Yeah. So that was, I mean, that was all part of it. Um, I mean it was, but it was always, but alcohol was always the priority. Number one. Yeah. Like even, even then, especially when I had the fake ID and I didn't have to, right. You know, most high school kids have to find somebody that can get them right. Alcohol when I had access to it at any time, um, it was to the point where, you know, I could go to the liquor store when I got off of school and I could right. Pick

Curt:

up whatever I wanted. Well, and, and for a certain demographic of the other kids, uh, you're

Brian:

very popular. And that was the other aspect was, you know, I knew where then all the parties were gonna be on the weekends. I could supply the parties and then by, you know, default, and then I was at all the parties on the weekends. Fair enough.

Curt:

Yeah. So where did you go from there? Did you, did you go off to college then, or no, it didn't go to school.

Brian:

I didn't, I kind of, uh, started working and, uh, did some, did some odd jobs around for a while. Okay. After I, after the whole court thing, uh, and then I, after about a year. Or two a year, uh, maybe a year or two, somewhere in that range. I moved up to, I wa the girl with the girl I was dating then at the time moved up to Breckenridge. Okay. So I did kind of like a, I got a job with Wells Fargo, so I got a, a bigger job working on yeah. A bank up there. And so I was able to have that job and do like the ski bomb lifestyle, my early twenties. Right. Um, but if anybody knows anything about leaving that ski bomb lifestyle or any mountain town lifestyle, that's all it is, is just a party scene, right. Every day,

Curt:

Jill and I went up to Avon, uh, for our anniversary back in, uh, end of may. And because we were hanging out on like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, happy hours, uh, we've met some of the locals, uh, that work at different restaurants and this and that. And they all know each other it's and cuz it was kind of mud season mm-hmm and it was very clear that that was their lifestyle, you know, and like Targon country club here in town, you know that the people that live in tar again for the most part, um, Party a lot and drives their golf course, carts around the neighborhood, going to all these parties, you know, that's, if you, if you don't want that, don't move to Parin.

Brian:

Yep. Yep. And so that's what it was. It was, you know, I went up there to kind of get away from the, the culture that I was around in and friends and stuff in, in the Denver area. Yeah. Um, and coincidentally, those friends that ended up moving up there anyway, and we had a blaster so like there was a period in time where it was actually, I mean, it wasn't completely outta control. Yeah. It was good for a while. Um, and we were able to, you know, be in our early twenties and enjoy it,

Curt:

but that's kind of the, what they, at least sometimes I've heard said is like, you know, there's problem drinking or problem, substance abuse and things like that. But it's obvious that it's addiction when there's significant negative consequences and you keep doing it anyway.

Brian:

Exactly. And so for a while up there, I did, I didn't have that. Um, during that time though, I also, so I had the job at the bank that I was saying, but I would, I also realized that I could drink and go at work. And so at the bank. Yeah. And, and the thing about it was so, um, they, there was all these working in the bank. There was when you get into the personal banking side and all of that there's sales goals, obviously that you have to hit. Right. Um, and I realized that I become a lot more social when I drink. And so my hair, when

Curt:

I'm social, then I sell more PLOS.

Brian:

Right. And so exactly. And so my, the sales numbers and everything were great and I was able to pull it off at the bank. And after I did it, a couple of times, I realized like, Oh, well, I'm really good at this when I drink. Hmm. And then I remember on the days when I didn't drink, I wasn't as good. Yeah. And so I got to this point, I was like, well, I'm just

Curt:

gonna run and maybe wasn't as good. Or your body's growing addiction to alcohol is, and that your ears saying, you know, you're not as fun or as successful when you're not

drinking.

Brian:

And that's exactly it. Tap, tap. Yep. And that'ss exactly it. And so I was able to, and I was able to like be, so I was able to be a different person. Right. I was able to, to have that, you know, the social lubricant, but I was also able to kind of create this character in that, that,

Curt:

and that

Brian:

guy was content with himself. Exactly. And that's kind of who I created when I was in high school too. Mm-hmm it's like from the time that I started drinking and with the, and if I look back at the fake ID and everything else, it was like, I created a, I, I was living in a whole, I was living in two different identities. Mm-hmm um, without really consciously knowing it. Sure. And so like, when I was, you know, going to the liquor store with an actual different ID, I was a different person. Yeah. Um, and so when I was able to create that same persona as an adult, it was just a, a yeah. Addition to that

Curt:

personality. Right. Made Superman even stronger in your own mind kind of in some ways. Yeah. And so, so when did cracks start to form in this lifestyle? Would you live that way a few years? It, it, yeah.

Brian:

It was without really any consequences. Yeah, it was. So I worked at the bank and then I went from the bank. Were you with the same girl this whole time? Uh, for a little while. I was for a couple years. I was. Yeah. Um, and then that re so that relationship ended. Um, I mean, I picked looking back at it, you know, there was obviously the picking the alcohol over and party lifestyle over her was, you know, part of that too. But that like formed cracks in, it was like, all we did, all we did together was even was that it was party. Yeah. So it was like, we didn't really have like a foundational relationship yeah. To be based on anyway.

Curt:

Um, so yeah, take me to where things started to change, I guess.

Brian:

Yeah. So I, then I, from the bank, I went and worked for enterprise rent a car up there for a while. Okay. Uh, that was kind of wild too, because then I was a functioning, if you call alcoholic with cars around with cars

Curt:

and oh, and I wanted to ask like, do you drink vodka or something? So vodka. Yeah. A lot of things smell vodka less, so

Brian:

vodka less. And I was, and I got really, I had a really good pattern for covering it up. So for, it gets to a point in drinking where you can't cover it anymore and we can get into that. But, um, for the time being, it was, I could drink brush my teeth, mouthwash, cologne, all of the things that covered up. Wow. And it was good enough to get by and nobody really paid attention and

Curt:

it's kind of a stuffy, personal interpersonal environment. You're not too close, you know, as far as me and you are right now is probably about as close as you usually get to most of your coworkers and stuff. Right. Especially when you feel like you might be smelling a little bit

Brian:

right. Yeah. So, so I was like, I mean, so, and it was, and I figured that somebody, it was almost like, it was almost like I was waiting for somebody to call it out. Hmm too. Mm-hmm like, I was, I was like, I'll do this, like, I'm gonna do this until I get in trouble for it. And the longer that it went on, without anybody saying anything, it was like, well, I guess, I guess it's not a problem if nobody else says anything. Yeah. That was kind of the justification

Curt:

of it too. Um, I probably shouldn't tell this story, but I remember I worked at a banks as well. Mm-hmm and, uh, one time when I had a, a hangover and marijuana, of course is the best hangover cure. I remember I smoked marijuana before I went into work at the bank and I don't know if he smelled it or saw my red eyes or what, but my boss kind of called me out in a sideways way. And he was like, you know, I guess we're gonna start, uh, doing random drug testing out here at the bank. And they never did, but it was basically his way of saying don't come in here, uh, smoking weed period. And I never did again. I ever tested it, Tom, just so you know, just one time's like

Brian:

do that on your own time. Right. but yeah. So, um,

Curt:

so you kept pushing until somebody

Brian:

called you out. So I kept pushing, um, and then I ended up moving back down to the Denver area after a couple years, um, out my friends and everything, kind of everybody got to that point of yeah. Going on to do their own thing. And I was still kind of at that point, going pretty hard and. Going down my path that, yeah. Uh, it was getting to that point. Did you have a

Curt:

vision for where you wanted to take your life at that point in time? Or was that part of the problem? You didn't have to think about that question. You party.

Brian:

And that was it too. It was like, there was just this, and it wasn't even just the party and it was just, this I'm just, it was almost, I don't really even know how to explain it. It was almost just like, I'm just going to do this until yeah. You know, there was no really end game in sight. Um, and I didn't really have a, a purpose or a desire or anything that else that was going on. Yeah. Um, I know that when I was from one of the time that I was younger, it was just, I liked to do things fast. I like to go fast. I like to yeah, go hard, go hard. And, and I didn't think that I would really, by the time I was, you know, 24, 25, 26, um, I didn't really know that I was actually gonna live that long. You know, that kind of going as fast as possible. Yeah. Far as possible all the time. Um, you figure that at some point I'm gonna go out in a blaze of glory, I guess.

Curt:

so what did, uh, what did moving back to Denver look like? What kind of work were you doing? And so I was still, still living that lifestyle basically. Yeah.

Brian:

I was still trying to kind of maintain it. Yeah. And by that, so by the time I moved back to down to Denver, like the. The physical addiction to, it was pretty bad at that time.

Curt:

So that like you're getting up in

Brian:

the morning, had a, up the drink. It wasn't just like, I'm doing this to do it. It was, I'm doing this now to get up in the morning to get, well, it was like, I just need to, I need to get stable. Yeah. And I need to get to a baseline.

Curt:

And, and what does that like look like or, or feel like, I mean, I've, I've been what I would call a binge drinker at times in my life where, you know, he hit hard for a whole weekend. I just came back from camping for the weekend and my, you know, alcohol consumption cuz you start at noon and go most of the day, you know, and shut her down late in the evening. But then I might go a week without having anymore drinks. And so I've, I don't think I've ever felt like that physical call that I need to have a drink to feel right. Or normal.

Brian:

Yeah. It's uh, it's a scary place to be in. Yeah. It's um, you knew that even then. Yeah. Even then. So that's why I was, did anybody else know? Uh, you know, like looking back on it, I know that like people had known that I. That I like to drink too much. It would be okay if you dried out a little bit. Yeah. Yeah. And then from the time I was a teenager, like my family knew that, I mean, I had, I got in trouble a few times and then they'd find bottles and this and that. And so they would, there was always a party pattern of it. Yeah. Um, but while I was able to hold life together, it was like,

Curt:

yeah, you weren't asking 'em for money. You weren't getting thrown in jail regularly losing your driver's license.

Brian:

Right. Right. And so, because I was able to kind of piece it together like that it wasn't

Curt:

that bad, but you started to see within yourself that, yeah. Hey, I've got real challenges here. Yeah.

Brian:

And that was where the scary part was. Cuz it was almost like, well, nobody's called me out on this. Um, and so nobody, so nobody else thinks that it's, if nobody else has called me out on it, it must not be that bad. But internally I knew it was that bad because I was having to get up in the morning to make it better. Right. So I'd have to get up in the morning. Um, and I mean, at, for it would, it was like, I could get up in the morning and I could drink some, like make a drink, vodka, orange juice, whatever. Yeah. Um, and that would get me to a baseline level. Eventually that got to a point. Um, and I ended up with the, with the enterprise job. Somebody actually ended up calling me out on it. Oh. Um, and so one of the other guys that worked there, there was, and there was several days actually or where, um, either I didn't show up for work or I showed up late and it was, you know, it was not and not sober and not sober. And so, and so that's where that I basically, I never even quit that job. I actually just stopped going. moved to Denver. Well, it was when I was in Denver, so I transferred with enter enterprise down to Denver. And so it was with, in the enterprise office and somebody called me out. Um, there were guys like when I was doing it in the, in the mountains, there was me and one other girl that ran in the office mm-hmm and she partied almost as hard as I did. And so it wasn't really, um, there wasn't accountable place. Really? Yeah. And it was, you know, we kind of pushed the rules and everything on that place anyway. Yeah. But it was more of an office structured environment endeavor. Yeah. And so there was a lot more people around environment. Um, and I got called out on it and that's when, you know, I just was like, okay, well somebody called me out on it. So I just need to not be there. I just

Curt:

can't listen now. Interesting. I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna, even though that's kind of what you were waiting for was somebody to call you out. Exactly.

Brian:

But, and then when it happens, it was a whole different yeah. Whole

Curt:

different scenario. I just can't hear it. Yeah. I've known people with that personality actually, where they just, if you confront any part of their character in a, any kind of way, they just, they can't hear it. Right. So, um, so where does that take you from there? Did you just check yourself into some?

Brian:

No, not yet. No. So then I, from that point, I still had another, maybe two years. Okay. Left of a run still. I mean, you wanted to get into, I guess we can wait on a crazy story till later, but you can,

Curt:

you can, uh, yeah. Bring the full details in later if you want, but,

Brian:

but, uh, yeah, so it was two years. I ended up, uh, ended up trying to leave Colorado and then ended up back in Colorado that didn't work out. Uh, got a story around that part. Um, but ended up at 28, I was, I had pre I had been working for a, a tree company tree trimming and actually doing power line clearance, which is, oh, wow. I guess that leads us to another crazy story I got let's I can't just

Curt:

let's get the power line stories outright. Now.

Brian:

I can't just pick one, but, uh, so the last job that I had before I got sober, I was working for this, this tree company and we were doing power line clearance up around the evergreen, uh, con for area okay. Bar and all that. So along go wrong along that 2 85, uh, stretch of highway I've, uh, stretch a highway. Um, so I was so all the trees that run along there, we would spike, climb the trees mm-hmm um, and then we'd tie our ropes in at the top. Oh.

Curt:

And then you have to, so you don't have a rope while you're climbing, so well you, you got those

Brian:

strap. Usually I the lanyards to, to climb up. So it'd spike climb the trees to the top, um, with the lanyards and then you tie in at the top, um, and then use one of. tools to pull back the branches mm-hmm from the wire. Okay. And then with the other one, you'd be able to run the chainsaw to saw off the branches. Okay. Right. So you'd saw off the branches. So that the one that would snow, the whole idea is that one, it snows. Yeah. The tree, the branches don't come down, take out the power lines. Sure. So

Curt:

you're just kind of trimming the branches that are above the power lines on that side of the tree.

Brian:

Right. So, but either way, I'm at that point, this is another two years from where it was already a physical problem. Right. And so I'm drinking in the morning to drive up the mountain to go do this type of work. And so I try and get as much of the hard work done early in the day as possible because I was still physically stable. Right. But either way, as I'm at the top of these 80 foot pine trees and, um, pulling back branches and running a chainsaw, smoking a cigarette and there's 12,500 volts of a power line, right. That are right here. It's like, if you, if you touch that, if there's any contact with that, it's they find you with, they identify you with dental records. Wow. And you're just until somebody can break the contact, you're just basically right. You're the conductor. Yep. And so, but there was like this aspect of me, it was like, well, that's okay. I'm Superman anyway. Well, and it wasn't even that it was like, I die. Yeah. And it was just, there was just no fear in it because it was like, well, if that was how I'm going out, then that was how I'm going out. Mm. Um, and so there wasn't really a thought of it. It was. I'm just gonna do this. Yeah.

Curt:

I'm hearing a lot of, kind of learning to love yourself kind of stuff is part of your journey. I suspect because you weren't yeah. Giving yourself much love at that time.

Brian:

Yeah, definitely. And it was, and, and I'd never expected to make it that long. Yeah. So it was, you know, if this happens like this, then, um, you know, but then I guess there was times in that where it was, it was interesting because I'd be at the top of some of these trees and just like, look out over the mountain range. I'm like, wow. That's an incredible thing to look at. Yeah. And then just run the chainsaw and then everybody ever sees that tree again and it's gone. and were you working with a partner too? Oh yeah. So there's a team of four of us.

Curt:

Okay. Um, so there's not really an opportunity to like drink while you're on a job. Right. You're having some in the morning and by the time you're done off of work, heading, done a hill, you're like, err yeah.

Brian:

So I would, yeah. So keep it in the truck and then right. You. Drink on the way back down the mountain.

Curt:

Yeah. Which is super safe too. Right. Um, and so,

Brian:

and so that, so that ended up leading to, so I'm doing that job. Um, and that ended up leading to the physical aspect really overtook me. Uh, there was, it was going into, so the early summer of 2012, maybe like June, okay. May, June, somewhere in that range. Um, I started to have, I started to have these seizures in my sleep and I didn't really know that's what it was at first. Um, I didn't really know about alcoholic seizures, anything. I never really did research on like what could happen and how you die of alcoholism. Mm-hmm that was never on the plan. Uh, but I started I'd wake up in the morning and I couldn't move. And so everything in my, everything in my body was completely tense. My jaw was clenched and I just couldn't physically get up. Wow. Um, and then it happened when I was still awake and some, and somebody saw it like somebody that was living with one of the roommates saw it and it was like down on the kitchen floor. And

Curt:

then I just not like a wiggle seizure, more, just like a

Brian:

frozen. Yeah. And it, yeah, it was kind of, and I don't remember the, all the details of what that looked like, but I know that it happened a few times. Um, wow. And so there was a day in there where, uh, where I woke up and, and, you know, I was gonna go to work and I just actually know there was, so there was a day in there. Uh, it was probably the last day that I was gonna go, I. Was driving to work. And I, and I had drank before I left and I had, and the night before I had one of these mini seizures or whatever you wanna call it. Yeah. And so I'm kind of in a weird state of mind. I drank before I left trying to clean myself up and I got pulled over that morning. Mm. And, uh, and so it was probably like 6 30, 6 o'clock, six 30 in the morning. And I got like, just for speeding or whatever for speeding. Yeah. It was like five miles an hour over or something, something done like that. But I was like, well, I can't get a, I'm gonna get a DUI at six o'clock in the morning. This is all bad. You know? And like, and the car that I was driving, cuz things had been, had kind of gotten outta control. Uh, I didn't have registered, I didn't have, so I didn't have tags on it. Oh shit. Um, and so there was it, I didn't have insurance on it, so the cop, so I didn't have any of that when the cop came up and, and talked to me and so he was going to impound the car. Wow. And, but he's like, okay, I'm just gonna write you a ticket for not having these things, but you just can't drive this vehicle anymore today. And so I'm sitting there after he leaves and I could have gone up the mountain and just, you know, done it. And so, but I'm sitting there and I was like, okay, well I guess I'm done. And I drove back to the house and parked it. Um, and I actually wasn't making payments on the car either. So it ended was your driving for a long, it ended up, it ended up getting repoed about a couple weeks later. That's part of it too. Um, but I ended up going back home to the apartment that I was living in. Then I really didn't do anything for the next month and a half, two months. Wow. Um, and I was just kind of basically gave up. What you drinking? I was drinking. Yeah. I was drinking and like spending whatever money I had left and on, on drinking. Oh. Um, my parents ended up going out of town, so they lived still in the Littleton area and I was in, uh, Aurora at the time. So I ended up making it over their house when they were out of town. Uh, kind of just like checking on the house or whatever. Yeah. And just hanging out there. Um, and then by the time they got back in town, the night before they got back, I had a, a pretty intense conversation with my sister and she called me out on it too. And, uh, you know, and I was like, I don't know what else to do. And so when my parents got back in town, I, you know, told, broke down to them. I told them, I don't know what to do. And they helped me get into a, a treatment center around California. Wow.

Curt:

And what was that conversation like with them? Were they pretty accepting? Were they angry? Were

Brian:

they, no, they actually were. And, and I guess my, I almost had a, I almost had a resentment towards it at the beginning of that because they, uh, they were so accepting of it that they were like, yeah, we've known that it's a problem for a long time. And you're like, well,

Curt:

why didn't you try to

Brian:

stop me? I've been waiting for somebody to try to stop me, you know? And the reasoning was that, yeah, you wouldn't have listened. It's pretty

Curt:

interesting that that even non ticket, you know, you got a little speeding ticket and yeah, you got your car impounded or whatever, but it should have been a lot worse. Yeah. But it just needed some little nudge. Yeah, that was direct.

Brian:

Exactly. And it was, and it was like, I was ready for it at that. And the physical

Curt:

recognition. I mean, you had to been after being so athletic and, and things like that to have that stuff. And is that like a, the liver revolting against your body or is it, you know, neurons

Brian:

more? Yes. Delirium tremors is like the, the what's the DTS are called.

Curt:

Oh yeah. I've heard the DTS before, but I didn't really know what that

Brian:

means. So that's yeah. So that's it it's like the, the bodies, you just physically need to have it. Yeah. You need to have it to be able to calm your nervous system back down.

Curt:

Wow. It's just firing, firing, firing angry. It's like gave me some alcohol. I need some of my

Brian:

lubrication. Yep. Yep. And so once the once that physical side is there and that's why you can have the seizures, which is, um, because having that, that type of dependence on it yeah. Can lead to, to lead to those seizures.

Curt:

So chipped off to California for like some kind of a 30 day intensive, a 90 day program,

Brian:

like you got here. Yeah. So I went out there for, uh, I went out there for, uh, it was gonna be a 30 day treatment program. Um, that was my intention was like, well, I, you know, my for, so for me, you know, if I could put 24 hours of sobriety together, that was a long time. Right. So I figured 30 days of sobriety, I'm gonna be cured. I'm gonna, right.

Curt:

I'm all good. He's peasy. I'm good at everything. Anyway,

Brian:

I'm coming back. I'm gonna be fixed. Everything's gonna be good. Yeah. Maybe someday I can, I have a casual beer, like the rest of the normal world does. Yeah. You know, like that was kind of my mentality going into was that mm-hmm Um, but my parents were really, you know, I, I talked to my mom and she was like, if, you know, if this doesn't work for you, like, don't basically like, don't bother coming back. Oh, wow. You know, it was,

Curt:

this is our one shot of just, you're gonna, you're gonna get a chance of support. You're 30 now.

Brian:

Yeah. And, uh, yeah, I was, yeah. I was 28 at the time. 28, whatever. Yeah. Right. So, um, that's pretty intense to hear. Yeah. And, and so that was part of it and that was, you know, what kind of, what I, and I, and I was ready to go out there. Yeah. And I was, you know, I guess I was, I was prepared for it. Um, and so when I got out there and I got through that first 30 days of, of being in treatment and whatnot. Yeah. And it went super quick, you know, it, as a plank of an eye, it was 30 days. And I was

Curt:

like, you know, and what's that look like? I, well, I like I'm thinking about like, I know with like heroin, they give you like whatever, a light duty opioid to kind of soften that physical thing. And then try to get you off of that later. Is there any such thing with alcohol or is it just

Brian:

cold Turkey? No. Well, there's, I mean, you should go through a medical, there's a medical detox protocol for alcohol. I see. Um, which I didn't follow. Oh. So I, so I basically, there was like between the time that I told my parents that I had a problem. And when I actually got into the treatment center, there was about a week. Okay. Um, so I used, um, lower amounts of alcohol, I guess, like just wine and whatnot. Okay. To kind of like wean myself to a point where I could get

Curt:

stable some platform from which to jump

Brian:

from. Yeah. Right. And, uh, and so by the time I went out there, I wasn't not drinking, but I was at a place where it was relatively stable. And then they put me into a detox house where they monitored me and whatnot. Okay. While I was out there for the first few days, cause I was still kind of shaky.

Curt:

And then what, what do you spend your time on playing chess with

Brian:

the other? No, there a lot of therapy groups, one on one therapy sessions. Um, we went out to the beach a few times. I, but I guess in the things that, that all treatment centers around the world do is, oh, we're gonna take you to baseball games. I'm gonna go do all these fun. Like we didn't do any of that stuff. It was, we was your lockdown most of the time, um, talking about your feelings and doing

Curt:

activities and things like that. Was that like your first time really talking about your feelings and stuff?

Brian:

Yeah. I mean, that was, yeah, that wa I had never really experienced anything like that. And I wasn't really like an open kid. I was kind of shy around those aspects of things. Yeah. Um, it wasn't really a whole lot of, like I say, I came from a super loving family and great parents and everything, but it. all of that stuff wasn't really ever talked about either.

Curt:

I bet there's a lot of different, you see, notice a lot of diversity in those settings too. Like for you, you're a goal oriented driver kind of, I'm gonna be really good at drinking alcohol, and then it caught up to you for others. It might be more excessive shyness or it's, you know, other factors, other family types, different things like that, that got

Brian:

them there. Yeah. So that was when I realized, well, in the, in the realm of, I don't understand really where my addiction is because a lot of the stories that I would hear there and a lot of the stories that I've heard since and everything else, people come from from some really traumatic backgrounds. Right. You know, so it's like, my story is, you know, like, I, I really like my story of recovery more than my story of drinking. Um, because like my story of drinking is like I drank, I liked it. I got, I had a pretty easy,

Curt:

yeah. It's not like, like I drank, I liked my uncle used to abuse me. And so I drank to cope with the anxiety of knowing my uncle was gonna visit again next weekend or whatever. Right. So there's a

Brian:

lot of these trauma stories and I didn't have any of the trauma. Right. You know, there was, you know, I knocked out some my front teeth when I was young. And I guess that kind of made me a little more self-conscious when I was like in, and the soil was probably about 10 years old. If I was like 10 year old, we go back to the 10 year old me. It was like that I knocked at interesting front teeth and that kind of made me like self, I guess that was when I became self-aware. Yeah. Um, so that was kind of a shyness aspect. I was kind of a shy kid in that aspect after that, um, But, but really, I didn't have any like major traumatic experiences as a kid. So my story is like I drank and I partied and I loved it and it was great until it wasn't anymore. Got too good at

Curt:

it. Uh, one of my friends said what? He

Brian:

stopped drinking and I just, I just didn't have an off switch. Yeah. Like I saw. And that was kind of the frustrating thing is I saw other people go off to college party. I would go see them at college we'd party. And then they would just be able to turn it off. Yeah. I was

Curt:

like, I don't want years later they're married and have children. And I don't know where

Brian:

the off switch is. Right. My, I don't have an off switch in that respect. So

Curt:

did this first treatment session just

Brian:

stick? Boom. Yeah. So I ended up staying for the, they were, I ended up staying for another 30, so was it like 60 days? Okay. Um, and then going into a sober living house after that, out there too, out there too. No out there too. So I stayed, I decided to stay in the area. I actually got a sponsor in, uh, through AA cuz they would take us to AA meetings. So we'd have to go to a meeting in the morning for AA and meeting at night. Yeah. So we were really connected to the community out there. Yeah. Uh, Southern California is kinda like Florida and the respect that, um, they, they have these really large recovery communities. Right. So you're either, but you're also with that. You're also in recovery or you're not, like there's so it's like right. You can go and you have the choice. You can go either way you want. Right. But there's really big communities of both sides of the fence. Right.

Curt:

You could find people that have been through the program and treatment that are. Sober. Yeah. And you can find a whole bunch of people that have been through it a bunch of times, and

Brian:

they're not sober and they're still going, not even thinking about it are still going hard. And so you get to make that choice in it. Interesting. So I, so I got a, I ended up getting connected with a really great sponsor out there. Um, and he got me involved with the celebrate recovery group out there. Mm-hmm um, which was started by at Saddleback church. Uh, Rick Warren was the pastor out there. I read a book or two of his yeah. Purpose driven life is sure. Yeah. well, so that was a, so that was actually a big part of my recovery too. Um, but celebrate recovery was huge. Yeah.

Curt:

To give you some purpose that was lacking all through what I, I hurt for. Right. And were you from a faith background with your family, your parents and things?

Brian:

No. And so that was, so that was the thing about, it was, uh, from your first brush with God in a way. Right. And I. So, I guess if I, I guess if I back up too, um, just real quick to the very end before I told my parents like that I had a problem. Um, and before I actually went to their house, I had this night where I was trying to basically, so I'd gone through these multiple periods, I guess, where I had tried to whiten my sobriety for days at a time. And this had happened over from that time where it first started to become physical until then. So over this few year, period of

Curt:

time, I'm gonna beat this thing. It's gonna hold of me, but I can beat it. Yeah.

Brian:

Because I was like the, the attitude, like I'm strong enough to be able to get through this on my own. Like I can make this happen. So I basically dry myself out for four or five days at a time. And the, the scariest part was on that fourth or fifth day when the physical side would go away. And I didn't understand how to function in society as a normal person, like right. I knew how to function as alcohol, but I didn't know how to function in society as a

Curt:

person. I'm thinking almost like a agoraphobia or some of these kind of things. Like, I don't know how to be me when I'm not me with alcohol.

Brian:

Yeah, exactly. Wow. And so that anxiety took over and that's what kind of led the, to the perpetuated cycle

Curt:

right. Of drinking. I don't, I like this anxiety. Even less than I like these risk of

Brian:

physical problems. Right. And so it's like, I'm gonna do whatever I have to do to not have to face that to not cuz I, cuz I don't know. And who am I gonna go talk to? I didn't, I had never been involved in AA or the church or anything like that. So that's I didn't have a faith background. Yeah. Um, and I, the only my parents were just, they weren't against it. They were just never part of the church. Yeah. I had some friends that were growing up and so I had exposure to it occasionally, but it was never a thing. Yeah. Um, and so for me to not have kind of a direction to go at that period in time, um, was just, I'm just gonna do what I know how to do as my tool. Yeah. And so alcohol was my tool. Yep. Um, but so when there was one night where towards the end of that, where I was trying to just white knuckle it again. Um, and I was kind of almost in this, I was in, I was basically in like a hallucinating stage. Wow. Um, and I had no background with, with God or to the church or anything. And I, that was when I cried out to God and it was oh, wow. And it was that like, you either need to take me out cause I've tried everything I can, you know? Yeah. I've, I've tried as hard

Curt:

as I can within my own strength.

Brian:

I've survived. I've cheated death a number of times like, and I don't know what else to do to cheat death, you know? And so either take me out and just let this kill me or give me a way out. Um, and there was a very clear answer to that and that answer was not yet. Hmm. And, and I don't know that it was and I, and I'll still say that it is the voice of God today. Yeah. Um, But I was in this

Curt:

incredible halluc well, the word delirium, you know, is indicative of. Yeah.

Brian:

And it had been up for days at a time on this. So it was, um, this really weird, weird phase. And so, but after I kind of came out of that and the next day, and I was okay, I brushed it off. It wasn't, you know, if God, wasn't a thing. I was like, okay, well I was just, I was whacked out, so yeah. Right. God's not here. Right. And so, and so I get to this place of, uh, I get to this place in, in California with my sponsor and everybody that they, there was, they were really connected with the church and the recovery community there. And so when they plugged me into that, I go to this celebrate recovery meeting out there and everybody's in there singing and praising Jesus. And my sponsor actually got me to go there because they were having pizza and hot dogs. Sure. that's how they, that's how they get you. Right. So, and I didn't have any food I'm in sober living. And so, uh, they got me to go because I could go there and eat. Yeah. Um, and so I go in there, I'm like, what is this place what's going on? And so I just kind of sat in the back and, and kind of just took it all in and met some of the guys there. And everybody there was just so genuine and warm and loving, and I didn't know how to accept that. Right. I

Curt:

don't love me. How can you? Yeah.

Brian:

Right. And, and so then they just, and they didn't care, you know, like it was, it was, it was unconditional.

Curt:

Yeah. That's really cool. You know, and so. That is that a turning point that kind of started you on the path to a career in that space then, or that not yet. That,

Brian:

no, that was still not yet. Yeah, that was, yeah. So I had a lot of, obviously there's a lot of work to do yeah. In that. So

Curt:

let's kind of, yeah, don't take me too slow, but take me through some of the major. Yeah.

Brian:

So some of the, like the, the big parts of that is that I got in involved with that group of men from that community was that took me in and I started to hear these guys' stories, you know, and somebody would be like, uh, I was selling meth on skid row down in LA, and now I have a house with cars in the garage and a nice family. And I live in Southern orange county and Dana point. Right. And, and it's within a 10, 15 year period. Wow. That this guy made this transition. And so, and they, you know, and some of these guys, like my sponsors, you know, got all these prison tattoos and everything else. And one of the other, one of the guys that he actually had fought before he went to prison and they tried to kill each other were now best friends in this community. Wow. And so they had, they had literally tried been in this knife fight, tried to kill each other down there, you know? And I so, well,

Curt:

it really shows the power of redemption of

Brian:

sorts. Right, right. And so, and I wasn't seeing that anywhere else. I wasn't seeing that in some of the AA meetings and NA meetings I was going to. And so what I did was just try to push myself into that group of guys as much as possible. Yeah. And what that group of men did was showed me how to be a man in regular society. It wasn't just, here's how you don't drink and use drugs. Here's just our new standard and expectations of operating in society. Yeah. When you're hanging

out

Curt:

with us and here's some things we see about you that are special and good and, and fulfilling for the world and whatever, you don't have to have this anxiety about showing up. Yeah. Perfect

Brian:

Superman guy. Right. And so then on two, once a week, we'd get together for a two hour meeting with just that group of guys. And we talk about our feelings. And so when you get this whole group of 12 or 13 grown men in a room crying, you know, and there's a lot of emotion that comes out of these. Some, a lot of this stuff it's really getting super vulnerable with the, with other guys in the room about, you know, where you're failing as a man. Right. You know, what are your shortcomings as a person in, in society? Like where have you gone wrong? Like what, what is your trauma areas at? You know, like all of these

Curt:

really deep, right. And what traumas have you caused and all those things

Brian:

and getting, and working our way past that, you know, getting rid of all that baggage through a 12 step process in that. And so we went through that over about a year and a half period. Wow. And I spent a lot of time with those guys in that meeting, but also we would do things like go to the gym and go to the grocery store and like, yeah, you go to church together and do these normal life. Now,

Curt:

are you like working. as well, you're tree trimming or doing this. I can't imagine your folks are still like sending $7,000 a month to

Brian:

California. No, my, my parents helped me out for the first couple months of, uh, sober living. So that was definitely super helpful. Um, but then I, so I got, but my, I got a part-time job as, uh, working at a dog daycare center. Oh. And so I was yeah. $9 an hour, cuz they said get a, get well job. And it's a job that you're just doing in this pro part of this process. Yeah. Like you need to

Curt:

something that doesn't expose you to too much risk of parting and things. It's just good. Meaningful work. Yeah. And

Brian:

it's just super basic. It's not gonna take a lot of effort. It's not gonna take a lot of time, but it's a place that you have to show up to every day. Yeah. And do the work and go home and go to your meetings and do whatever else. It's not like a career path. It's just that. Um, so I went and did that. I was like, well I like dogs and everything, but then, so I'm in this, you know, basically this big warehouse in Southern California in the summer, you know, trying to control a hundred dogs that are just like. Pooping everywhere, peeing on things and trying not to get 'em to kill each other, fighting each other. Yeah. And so it got to be kind of like, uh, I got to this point where I was like, I don't know what I'm doing here. I'm 28 years old and I'm working with a bunch of 18 year olds at this dog daycare. Yeah.

Curt:

And I've finished purpose driven life the second time. And I know it's not to be the best dog poop. I actually hadn't.

Brian:

I actually hadn't read purpose driven life yet by that point. Oh, fair enough. But, uh, yeah, you knew there was something more. I knew that there was, I knew that there was something more, but the, so here's the aspect of that that was super important was I met a guy outside, an AA meeting and I never saw this guy before and I never saw him after. So I don't know where this guy came from, but this is one of those blessing, those God moments, mckle deck or something, but right. This was one, this was one of those, this was one of those God shots in there. Um, but he told me and I was complaining kind of like to him, I was just kind of venting to this older guy about this job and everything else. And he, and he said, um, something to the, something to the effect of, well, what else can you do at that job to move up? Hmm. Where else can you take it? And I was like, well, there's this other, you know, you can do the medications for the dogs and you can do this. And then you can go to where you're at the front desk. And then you can go to, you know, there's like three more levels that I could go to. I was like, then you can run the team of people. He's like, okay, well, focus on doing that on just going to the next thing that you need to do. And I was like, okay, well, that's, you know, I don't know how long it's gonna take me, but I'm just gonna do that. Yeah. And what he said was because of how you he's like. how you treat a $20 problem is how you are gonna treat a $20 million problem. The process that you're gonna have to go through to get to the front desk from being in the back, picking up poop is the same process that you're gonna need to go through through every other company. Yeah. That you're gonna bring an or to get

Curt:

that house where you have two car garage and,

Brian:

and he said, he said, and what's been your pattern so far. And I was like, well, if I'm honest about it, I just walk away or quit everything I do. And he's like, and that's your pattern. So he is like, you need to do something different than what you've been doing. And so it really, and so for whatever reason, like that moment in that stuck with me and I just kind of dedicated myself to this. Yeah. And so I'd write, and the worst part of this job was even anything to do with the job is that I was riding a bike to work every day. Huh. And the hill that I had to go up was a mile long up like 1.1 mile, something like that. And it was uphill so it was great coming home. Right. So it was like straight this downhill cruise all the way back. And it was easy five o'clock in the morning. It was an uphill ride for a mile every day to go pick up dog poop sounds like a choice. And, but it was, I made that, I made that switch where I was like, I'm gonna be dedicated to this. So I worked that job over the same course of time that I was going through the 12 step program with that group of men. And so in combination with these things and going to church and being involved in being of service and picking up service positions and these type of things. Kind of just created this, these habits in me that

Curt:

like was a full well, people began to see you as somebody that could be relied upon, you began to see yourself as somebody that could be relied upon.

Brian:

Yep. Yep, exactly. Um, and so that created these habits where, when I got to the end of that job and I did everything I could do, and I talked to my sponsor about it and he's like, okay, well, what are you gonna do next? Right. Right. Because now it's time for you to be able to. Professionally know that you did everything that you could do, you maxed it out and now you can

Curt:

go to the next thing we talked about, um, before we actually got recording here, the kind of big five or whatever name that you have, those, those important things that you do every day. And if you get all get 'em all done. And it's only one o'clock well then knock off early homes. You

Brian:

did a good job. Definitely. And that was part of it too, was learning how to, you know, prioritize things and prioritize my health and fitness. And the gym was a big, the gym was a big part of my early recovery. If there was any, if there was any way that my addiction manifested itself, it was in the gym. Mm. It was, you know, I spent a lot of hours in the gym working out and just training myself and pushing my body in that aspect. And I, you know, was able to do that. Yeah.

Curt:

And the discipline that you exhibit there carries over to other areas in your life. Right. Right. Very cool.

Brian:

So what was the next, uh, so then I actually ended up getting a job at a, a treatment center out there and it was, uh, basically like, almost like a glorified babysitting job. Right. So I'd known somebody who was close to the, I got my first apartment out there, so I had my own place and it was down the street from there. So I didn't have to ride my bike anywhere anymore. And it was, that was great in itself. Right. Um, so I ended up, uh, working at the streaming center and kind of getting my foot in the door with that drive the guys to meetings, kind of just get to sit and talk with guys. And by this point, I'm at like about two years in my own sobriety. Um, so really started to actually get to use my experience, to share with other

Curt:

guys. And you're like seeing what you can do to add more value to this organization. Right. And working

Brian:

your way up there. Yeah. And so now I had like kind of a pattern of, you know, what, what I could do to kind. Add. Yeah, exactly, exactly. That add value to that situation.

Curt:

And so did that transpose and then, and becoming a leader soon or yeah, I

Brian:

rapidly. Yeah. So, I mean, I ended up going there wasn't a whole lot of movement that you could do in that. It was, unless you wanted to go back to school and get certifications

Curt:

and all yeah. A lot of those, um, kind of adjacent medical kind of things. If you do all this, then you can talk to people about,

Brian:

right, right. Yep. So I, so I was there for about a year, um, and one as far as I could with it, but it was a really great learning experience because I saw and interacted with so many people in early recovery.

Curt:

And when we first met, we talked a lot about kind of some of the things that you do differently than what some of the practices and things. You were initially taught or organizations that you worked on, is this a good time to talk about some of those kind of shortcomings in the systems that you were seeing? Or is it not

Brian:

yet? So, so, so that's the, so the thing was, is the, the importance of that group of men that took me in yeah. Right. The importance of what happened during that period of time. Um, and the people I guess, that I was working with and like that, that's why, like, I, I pointed out those kind of moments in aids, that group of guys that took me through that period of time in life was super important because it was once I got did that 60 days in the treatment center and I got out, I knew all the things that I needed to do. Yeah. And I knew how to do a lot of the things. And because the background I came from, like I knew how to write a resume. Right. And I knew how to apply for jobs. And actually before I got the job with the dog daycare, I probably applied at 50 or 60 other places. Wow. And I applied at other banks and these type of things and I would interview. And what I realized was like, I didn't, I have the skill as a person interacting in society. To be able to, I thought that I would do great. Right. If

Curt:

you just drank a little bit before you went in for the interview, you might've got those

Brian:

jobs. Yeah. But I was so nervous and so anxious to do it. Like I had it, it humbled me so much to, to have to take that, that final position. Yeah.

Curt:

Yeah. That's interesting.

Brian:

Yeah. So, so yeah, so the, so the gap in the system that I would see is, and even being in it and going through it, the people that I saw would relapse is there was just, people would go through treatment. And I saw people that had gone through treatment centers multiple times. And I was like, I don't want to ever do this again. Like I don't wanna have to, you know, be sharing just with other expensive. Yeah. I don't want to share rooms with other guys and I don't wanna have to like, just sit around and smoke cigarettes all day. And, you know, I did, I don't want to have to do that forever well enough, like multiple times. Right. Um, but I saw people that were doing it. And the things that I was doing were different was the things that I was doing with those guys. Mm-hmm because I knew how I felt and how I acted and how I interacted with people when I was with them. And I knew how I felt and interacted and the level of the people that weren't on their, that weren't doing anything proactive in the other part of the time mm-hmm cause I would go back to the same sober living house and they would just be hanging out playing video games and whatnot right after I had just been at church praising and worshiping and learning and growing and interacting and having these real conversations in depth conversations with people to go back to the other environment. I saw this like, like dichotomy. Well, and

Curt:

with successful men that had been where you were. Kind of, but now we're successful and considered you peer. Exactly. Even before he had proven

Brian:

it. Yep. And so, yeah, and they, and they did, and they gave me opportunities to do that. I went to the celebrate recovery summit, which was a, an event with 3000 church leaders from 14 different countries across the world that was wow. Out at Saddleback church over the course of three days. And so these are people that were leading churches that had gone through a 12 step program of their own recovery. Wow. And they had basically scholarship me in to just kind of cuz they knew that I just was just hungry for more. Yeah. And so I was like, I just want to do more. Um, and so because of those group of guys and that period in time, there was that it, it filled that first year and a half period for me, it filled that yeah. From getting outta treatment to that year, to that 18 month mark, it gave me some something to just keep me accountable to yeah. Over that period

Curt:

of time. And that's kind of the gap that you're starting to elucidate

Brian:

there. Right. Right. And so that, and that, so in comparison is like, that's where I saw other people not have that. Right. So I would try and invite people to it, you know, and people got turned off by the church idea and I was like, okay, well it's awesome. They have food, you

Curt:

can white knuckle it if you want to. But I see all the people that try to white knuckle it with their own strength

Brian:

fail. Right. And so I would see that over and over and over again, you know? And then when I work, I worked in the treatment center and I would see. These guys come out of our treatment center and we would do, and they would make really great progress in the 30 days that they were there and then they would leave. And, and towards the end of my time there that towards the end of that year, there was a whole group. It was between, it was a right around, I believe, like six guys that all left at the same time, back to the east coast. And there was a bad batch of heroin that came through. Mm. And they all died. Mm. Like within the first two weeks that they were back out. Wow. You know, and they relapsed and they both, and they all died. And I was like, there has to be, there has to be some way to get these guys connected. I was like, it's I know what's working for me. And people just don't want to come along and do it. Yeah. Um, and so like, I, I was experiencing it, but I couldn't get other people to do it. And so I was like, well, so my kind of mentality at that point was like, I'm good in my sobriety, which is a dangerous place to be. I'm good. My life is good. Yeah. Like, forget everybody else. Like I'm okay. You know, and so then I came back up to Colorado at that point I wanted to

Curt:

ask, were you strictly a, a booze guy? No heroin, no weed, no Coke, no meth.

Brian:

I, yeah, I smoked a lot. I smoked a lot of weed in high school and stuff too. Okay. Um, I did a lot of that. It was,

Curt:

you didn't really care about that

Brian:

in comparison though. Yeah. I mean, I, yeah, I did it a lot and then, but I actually quit smoking weed a long time before I quit, before I quit drinking. I see. And started getting like paranoid and all kinds of other stuff, but I experi I experiment with other drugs, never heroin. Um, it wasn't a big thing when I was, when I was growing up. Yeah. Because it was almost like that's what those people do. It was still like

Curt:

the, the junky. Well, and even the culture where I grew up, which is very, has a bad relationship with alcohol, you know, 15 year old kids drive around in the country, roads and drink a bottle of whiskey together and stuff. Right. Yeah. Um, but then they. Looked down on the, at least at that time, the marijuana was like, that's what the bad kids do. Right. Good kids drink. Yeah. Bad kids smoke weed.

Brian:

Right. And so the, and so the, the scary part is now in society, heroin is being, being looked at in the same way that weed was during that time. Mm. So smoking heroin, if you're not shooting it, like why as well, not smoke. Like why would you not smoke it? And I, and I know that like, that's the mentality in high school kids right now. Right. And even younger middle school, you know, it's coming up from

Curt:

12 to the problem is you smoke heroin for a while. And then after a while you start shooting it and

Brian:

it's a lot cheaper to do it that way. Right. So, and you know, and so, but that, wasn't a thing when I was growing up. Interesting. It was it, wasn't cool to do that. And, and, but I'm glad that because I definitely would've done it. Right. You

Curt:

know, and now these rehab centers, you were talking about these guys that went back and then overdosed on, on heroin. So are they treating the, the alcoholics and the heroin addicts and the cokehead and whatever, like they're treating all these people in the same kinds of facilities together.

Brian:

It is the same it's treatment. It's the same. Yeah. It's the same type of treatment. Interesting. Yeah. And so, I mean, it's really addiction. It doesn't, you can have addiction. So many different things, right. Uh, when it comes to substances, it's really about all the same. I gotcha. Um, I was actually one of the only alcoholics in that there was 25 of us and there being, they're like, oh, you're old school. One of them being like one another 50 year old, two or 50 year old dudes that were alcoholics, you know, you know, interesting. So it was really, and I thought it was gonna be mostly alcoholics, but it was mostly heroin. Um, which I, which surprised me at the time. Yeah. The treatment is all the same for

it.

Curt:

Yeah. Fair enough. Okay. Um, so take me back into the, you said you come back to Colorado then?

Brian:

Yeah. So I, so I came back to Colorado with a, I moved back out here with a girl that I was dating at the time. Okay. Um, and my parents had been taking care of my dog out here, so I wanted to get my dog back and, you know, and start kind of start over in Colorado again. Yeah. So I moved back to, she got into CSU at Fort Collins, so. Okay. Um, so we moved to Fort Collins and that's where I thought, you know, I, that there's gonna be a recovery community everywhere. Right.

Curt:

And this is like 20 15, 20 15.

Brian:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So I came back out here and for that first, uh, six, nine months, I didn't do a whole lot of anything for my recovery. Mm-hmm I started working. Um, I actually got a, a job as a drive because I had a CD B license at the time. Um, driving party buses out here in Leno and limos was

Curt:

NOCO party bus

Brian:

over here. It was a, yeah, it was a different one, but it was down in yeah. In the area. So, uh, which was a, a.

Curt:

Well, it proved to you how capable your sobriety was because you're like, look, I got this job. I can hang out with all these partiers that are going from brewery to brewery and I'm not gonna touch drop cuz

Brian:

I'm strong. And that's where my ego is definitely super based in that too is like, I'm like, I'm good. My sobriety's good and everything else. But I was almost like craving that lifestyle still because you know, on some of these parties, you gotta get around it, you know, out at, you know, strip clubs till three o'clock in the morning. And you know, I'm still like living the lifestyle without being in the lifestyle. Yeah. And I'm not waking up hungover the next day. And yeah, I got money in my pocket. Yeah.

Curt:

No delivery on

Brian:

tremors. None of that. None of those, none of those negative side effects of it, but it was affecting me spiritually. Mm. Like my, you know, cuz I wasn't doing anything right. Good. Might

Curt:

not myself. Did you have a church community reach that?

Brian:

Not at all. You know, and I had been, and I kind of contacted some churches around and tried out a few and it wasn't really going, but then that's when, uh, I made it, I had to make a conscious decision to really go for it and get back into it. Yeah. Um, and I found Genesis project. Sure. Up

Curt:

here in, in north, I was just thinking about them when you were talking about kind of, uh, that mix of people that have been through tough times, you know, their, their community has got a lot of, you know, former bikers and strippers and things like that. Yeah.

Brian:

There's actually women that go to church there that used to strip there when it was the, when the hum right. That go, they actually go to church there now. So it's a pretty, it's a pretty incredible place. Um, and it was when I started going there, it was. Barely not a strip club anymore. Right. right. So it was like in that first year, but when I found out the demographic of that place and whatnot, um, I was like, this is it. This is, they understand that this is the demographic that really, that really needs this. Yeah. That really needs Jesus in this community and really understands what that relationship looks like. Yeah. Um, and so I talked to pastor, I met pastor Rob there. Cool. And it was like the second time that I ever attended church. And I just kind of went up to him after service introduced myself. And I was like, Hey, this place really needs a recovery ministry. And he's like, yeah. I, I know that's kind of in the works down the road, but who are you?

Curt:

right. Well, I'm raising my hand.

Brian:

Right. And so that, that ended up leading to, I got a phone call a while later, um, from a lady that at the church that said, Hey, we're gonna start this. Um, do you want to be part of it? Yeah. And so we started to restore

Curt:

ministry up there. Okay, cool. Yeah. And what does that look like? Is that very similar ministry to the one Saddleback had or much smaller, obviously

Brian:

less smaller. Yeah. It's much smaller. Um, and we use different material. We don't use the celebrate recovery material, but it's all Christ based 12 step. Okay. Um, so we started that there and we just started writing it on Friday nights and it's. Uh, been up and down. Uh, COVID basically shut it down for a little while. Um, but then me and one other guy decided we're just gonna meet up with just the two of us and just leave the doors open yeah. On Fridays for

Curt:

people. So, so if you're somebody that's, uh, maybe where you were when you were in your mid twenties or late twenties and you know, you've got a problem, uh, just show up there on a Friday night and somebody be around that wants

Brian:

talk to you. Yeah. And we had a couple people do that. We had a couple people when they would, weather was bad outside or whatever, or just were wandering by and they were just in need of somebody to talk to. Yeah. And they came in and interesting. We got, they got to just bent to us for an hour. And

Curt:

what's your career journey looking like, uh, you said a party bus you're starting to your friends from church are like, how was your party bus, uh, shift last night,

Brian:

glad to see her here. And so that was the thing. So I was also, so I was doing party bus stuff, and then I was per, I had a personal training certification. Okay. So I was personal training in the day party bus at night, you know, and making, trying to find a little time for your girlfriend. Right. Exactly. And so, yeah, so that wasn't going so well at the yeah. Eventually. Um, but you know, so I was trying to kind of, and I was still kind of lost as to what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted a personal train. I got into that and I realized fitness was more of a hobby. Yeah. And a personal passion than it was like a career path. Mm-hmm So I was almost lost in the career path too. Because it was like, I'm doing what I need to do again to survive. Yeah. And I'm sober and I'm doing like technically the right things, but I'm not really living with purpose. Yeah. Um, so that, that's what the recovery ministry kind of gave me. Yeah. Was like connection to, to really like pursuing something again, which ended up leading me into, uh, pursuing my certifications and addiction counseling. So I did that and I ended up getting, getting hired on to help open some residential facilities up in Boulder. Okay. For a company called north star transitions. Okay. Um, helped them launch a men's and women's, um, residential program up there opened a couple houses, um, which was a great experience. And I, and I mean, the clinicians that I, across to those peeps down there yeah. That I got to study under at the time, the therapists that were there and the clinicians that were there were amazing. And I'd still have good relationships with a lot of people from that place. Cool. Um, and they, and, you know, and I still get, uh, some supervision from time to time from them. Um, but that, that, that period in time got really, they're almost like your foster organization of stories got me really involved in, in just getting to see and experience and use skill sets that I was learning educationally mm-hmm and in real life at the time, and just make the mistakes I needed to make in a controlled setting. And, you know, that was the only way to learn in that, in that setting is make the mistakes. And that's kind of what I do with my coaches now is like, make the mistakes and we'll review it later. I like it.

Curt:

So now are there certain people that like you really jive with, if like, what's that process of like having a sponsor or a mentor or. A coach or whatever. Like I have to think. That's not everybody doesn't jive with everybody ever got different styles of counseling. And

Brian:

that's why I really, I mean, I got blessed with a great sponsor at the beginning. And, and the thing about it was that he, I think he only had nine months of sobriety at the time they started sponsoring me. Wow. And most people, most guys had sponsor had multiple years. Right. And so this was, I was one of his first Spees. Right. But

Curt:

to me, but that gave

Brian:

him purpose as well, probably. Yeah. And to, and to me like that nine months hitting that nine months was almost inconceivable to me at the time. You know, it was like, I'm putting, I've put together like 26 days of sobriety. I don't know how you get to nine months. And I definitely couldn't conceive of what 20 years look like. So like 20 years, like that doesn't even make that's my brain doesn't even compute 20 years. Yeah. But nine months I could get my brain close to being around. And so to me, that was a long period of time. So I was like, I'm just gonna listen to this guy and coincidence, you know, and me and him still stayed in touch till, till now. Um, and, uh, you know, and so we still have, you know, have a good relationship to this day, but, uh, at the time he was exactly the guy that, that I needed to work with, but it was interesting because he, you know, went by the big book of AA and took me straight through the step work and introduced me to the community. And it was like, this is how we do it. And it was hard. It was hard for me to open up in that way, um, to another man like that. Mm. Uh, that was, it took me a long, it was a long part of the process. And that's what that 15 months, 18 months of working with those other guys was like, yep. Was seeing it, experiencing it. Yeah. And then really getting vulnerable

Curt:

and doing it when you see somebody else be vulnerable and trust the others in the room, it sure makes it a lot easier to, to copycat that behavior. Exactly, exactly.

Brian:

And so, and so he listened to my whole story. He listened to, you know, there was a lot of, I mean, back going back through high school and, and everything else, there was a lot of other bad things that I did that right. I never had today. Right. Um, but, uh, that he listened to all of those things that I had guilt and shame and everything else over. And I had never talked about with anybody else. Yeah. And he didn't. Judge anything. Yeah, he didn't, there was no judging, not his job. It was just to listen and to, and to ask me if there was anything else I needed to get out. Wow. You know, if there was anything else I was leaving behind. Yeah. Um, and so that was a whole, that relationship was super important.

Curt:

So to get back to the important relationships, we've got this north star transitions and was with those folks for a

Brian:

while. Yeah. So I was with them for between three and a half years. Almost four years, somewhere around there. Um, yeah, three and a half, I guess. Um, and so I was able to help them kind of build out that program or be part of it while they were building it out. Mm-hmm and it was great.

Curt:

Which required you to learn a bunch of things which caused that you could help

Brian:

them. Right? It was, it was mainly like wild west and we started, it was just here's the idea and just run with it. And we did, and we made mistakes as an organization. Yeah. And we, but we grew, but I got to really do a lot of hands on stuff that I probably wasn't like necessarily overly legally qualified to be doing get oversight, but I had oversight on it. Right. And so, but at the same time I learned, I learned what I had to learn in that environment. The main thing that I started to see though, was that people would do really great things with us. Make awesome progress. We'd get into some trauma work. We'd learn, they'd learn all these skills. Mm-hmm, they'd be super stable. They'd learn

Curt:

how to be vulnerable. They learn

Brian:

how to E exactly. And then we'd send them. To the sober living and then they would relapse and come back to us or they'd relapse go to another treatment center. Right. Or, you know, I mean, there, we had a few clients that ended away and died. Yeah. Or they'd up in jail. Um, or they would just disappear off the map for a while. Right. Sometimes show up sometimes not. Yeah. But uh,

Curt:

either way it doesn't get counted as either way success category.

Brian:

Right. Either way. It wasn't good. Yeah. Uh, and so I kept seeing this over and over again, and I would try and bring it up as to, you know, why is this? Yeah, we're killing it.

Curt:

And

Brian:

then, and then, and then the system drops em. And so I would try and really focus being one of the other women that I work with, they would really try and focus on putting these people. We, we knew what sober livings were good in the area and around Denver. Um, and we try and put 'em in the right house and just hope for the best in that right house. But even with that, it was, you know, we're having low, super low successes. Well, and they

Curt:

have new transitions, you know, it's almost a new culture. Every time a new group of people moves into a space and every time one new person moves in, it's a slightly changed culture. And so what do we stand for? And

Brian:

yeah, exactly. Um, and so it was trying to, and

Curt:

so when I bring, so you're kind of trying to solve the problem with abundance foundation that you've observed

Brian:

there with Northstar. That's how I bring it up to people though that, you know, here's where the gap is. And they're just, you know, the answers from everybody overall in the industry, you know, like, yeah, that. That's the way it is. Yeah. Like that's addiction. I'm like, no, because I, I experienced, I experienced something different, so I know that something different is possible. One is done differently just requires to not let this 30 days or 60 days go to waste. Right. Like use that as a building block cuz there, I mean in Northern Colorado and now there's some really great programs out here that are doing awesome work in that first 30 days. And so what we're doing is just making sure that that point in time doesn't go to waste when, when the person leaves. Yeah. You know that we're trying to go door to door with them, that we're picking them up. And that, you know, we, we have clients that come through the, the north point dream and center in Loveland and we are in contact with them within that first couple weeks that they're in treatment. And so we have the coach reach out to 'em the case manager reaches out to me and we're all in contact,

Curt:

seems like a candidate

Brian:

two weeks or have this. So the coach can, even now that their protocols have dropped, their coach can even meet them in the treatment center and do a lot of their first face to face stuff. And while they're still in treatment there, so when they get out and we're gonna have them get into a sober living, right. And have a coach and be part of our program that there's no

Curt:

mystery about what that

Brian:

looks like. And there's no gap. Yeah. You know, it's like a, it's a smooth transition from one place to the next. Interesting.

Curt:

And so. I, as it starts to kind of come to bring us up to, I'm gonna write a grant to establish this here. was there another job or something along the way between north star? No.

Brian:

No. So that got to the point where, so then, then COVID hit, right. And that really just put another wrench and everything, because the protocols and everything that come down from the state level and all that is just right. I mean, you

Curt:

know, those, like, I'm trying to build relationships here and it's really hard from, uh, screen separating us from six

Brian:

feet away. Right. And so part of, and so, yeah, and part of this stuff was that, I mean, protocols within treatment centers, mass inside treatment centers. And I'm like, Hey, people need to be able to be face to face and vulnerable and connect like connection, connection, connection. And everybody else is saying no connection, no connection, no connection. Um, and so that wasn't vibing with me because they were telling these 22 year old heroin addicts go back out to the sober living or you're an apartment or whatever, and isolate and get on zoom. Right? Like you're telling a 20 with who you're giving a, you're giving them a death sentence. Like you're literally giving somebody to Hmm. But send 'em back into that environment and it would happen. Right. So you're gonna see the record number of, of overdose deaths in the United. And this was in March, I was saying this you're gonna see a record number of overdose deaths they've ever seen ever in the history of ever from, from overdoses during this period of time, if something doesn't change. Yeah. And coincidentally, like, what do we say? That's what we saw. Like, I'm not Norodom on that. It's like, we're gonna follow the basic theory of what's gonna happen.

Curt:

Yeah. Well, that's what they say, isolation and just lack of feeling. Connection is one of the biggest drivers for addiction

Brian:

generally. Yep. Um, and so then I, so in, in, uh, may of 2020, I decided at may beginning of June, I decided I'm just gonna, I'm gonna quit and I'm gonna pursue what I need to do to figure out how to fill this gap.

Curt:

Wow. System. So this was, you said December of 2021. So this is like 18 months in planning. Yeah.

Brian:

So yeah. So this was yeah. May of 2020, um, was when I, so may of 2020 drove up to the mountains and I was, and I was so frustrated and so discontent on my day off of like, I don't know how to get through it to anybody. Right. And that was one of those God moments too. I drove up to the mountains and I went on this long hike and there was this that's a whole, that's a whole branch in itself is that could

Curt:

be our local experience here at the end.

Brian:

Yeah. That could be, that could be one of them. Um, but, uh, but, uh, so I'm up in the mountains and I just prayed. I'm just really praying on it. And I was up there all day. I was like, I'm not coming down until I'd figure this out. And that was kind of like my mindset going into it. Um, and that's when it kind of just all came to me this whole vision of what was possible and how to fill this gap. Cool. Um, but it was so big and I was like, I don't know how that even is possible and how to

Curt:

even break it

Brian:

down in small pieces. I don't know how to break it down. And, and the. It wasn't and it wasn't the same auditory type thing of the delirium tremor hallucination. Sure. But it was a strong feeling from God at the time. That was just,

Curt:

just go. Yeah. Like here's a picture of what I'm looking for you to

Brian:

create and just go. And so I did, and then I told a few people about it and, uh, you know, and I talked to, and one of the other ladies that I've been working with at, at north star, um, was all about it too. Um, and so we started doing some things down in Denver as a for-profit. Um, and I, and I figured out how to make the, because, but the, as

Curt:

means of kind of testing the model. Yeah. But nonprofits are expensive to just start and take a lot of validation and stuff. And so

Brian:

I started the nonprofit though. I started the process of it. Okay. And so it, it takes seven, it took about seven, eight months. It took till that Jan, the next January to get the 5 0 1 status I see took us. So all the money and that just in time the grant. Right. So, so then, uh, yeah, so we got that. She, and so she actually was doing the for-profit stuff still down in the Denver area. Oh really? Okay. So I did, I wrote this grant, um, for the experience of writing a grant. Hmm. Uh, and that's kind of once I had the 5 0 1 status, I found out that Atlanta Moore county that there was, uh, that there was money available to do this. And so I just

Curt:

figured I'd. So, because of your mission and the way that you have your organization structured, you could be a for-profit or a nonprofit, but there's right. A lot of advantages to being a nonprofit,

Brian:

to being a nonprofit as far funding, grant funding. And then the location was up here in Luer county. And, and my connection to my recovery is in LAER county up here. Yeah. And my whole community up here is, is Luer county.

Curt:

And so what does that, like from a business model standpoint, you mentioned that your Medicaid funded and so is that like whatever you get $500 per person per month

Brian:

to so, so program, so we're still kind of in the works on the Medicaid reimbursements, which is a long process. Okay. So that's started in November to get the approval through and it should have been, it should have been in may and then it should been June, then it should been July Yeah. Hopefully I gotta talk to the billing. Company and whatnot that we're going through, but that should be coming up soon where we start to actually get the reimbursements for it. Okay. Um, but so we're able to, in the meantime, it's just grant funded. Right. And so in the meantime I was, so I wasn't really anticipating doing it

Curt:

in lab and people. Right. People have to be bought in on their own. Right. Too. Do they have to write checks

Brian:

or is it so people? So, yeah, so we can't. Oh, clients don't okay. Yeah. So everything is, everything is funded through the grant or through Medicaid. I see. Um, so we just, we're still just tracking all the documentation, building everything through Medicaid and just, haven't got the reimbursal side right. As it's. Yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha.

Curt:

So that'll be, you can be fat and happy with it

Brian:

too, so that'll be nice. Um, but yeah, so they, so I wrote the grant without any intention of actually getting the grant. I just wanted to know what the process was like. Yeah. So in the meantime, I was just like in living endeavor, doing side jobs, trying to figure stuff out and just like making. Ends meet yeah. To make this vision happen. Yeah. And I was just so intent on it. Um, and the roommate that I was living with at the time who I still live with, uh, up here, I told him about it and he's a, a, a man of faith and everything else. And I was really, you know, him and I kind of discussed the idea before, so, and I was like, you know, I'm quitting my job and I'm just gonna do this. That's cool. And he was fully in support and donated some money to it to help me get started too. That's also, it was great. Um, but yeah, so the, uh, the whole idea, uh, that the, that I was gonna, you know, be in Lama county was, was just based on, oh, if this grant comes through, then yeah. Then I could, I could do that. Yeah. You know, so I wrote this grants out and, uh, they ended up getting back to me and I got the grant and I don't know if it was just that not many people apply for it cuz there's not a lot going on in Lamont county. Right. Or if it was really that good, but either way they gave me the experience

Curt:

P flywheel, you know, get it going.

Brian:

Right. And then they said, just now you get to go do it. And so so peas. Well, well it was like, okay, well I wasn't anticipating the action step of doing it. I was anticipating, this was a great idea to do, but it's just me. So I don't know how to do it. And

Curt:

so you, I think you've got like several coaches and you've got relationships with housing owners. So they're actually providing the, the bedroom. Yep. Or the bunk bed or whatever it might happen to be in some of these places. And then you'd provide the program. That's like sitting. On top of, if you will, the actual place to hang

Brian:

your hat. Exactly. Exactly. So though, I knew one of the women, um, whose name Elizabeth, uh, who is the women's coach up here? Um, or one of the women's coaches up here. Yeah. But I had known her from previously had met her and she had been up here and been wanting to be part of what we were doing and everything, but was in Fort Collins. So I knew her and wanted, she wanted to be part of it. So I told her and she was super excited to yeah. To jump in, which was great. You, you gotta have somebody that has like that passion for it. When I, when I was still like on the fence of like it's is gonna work or not. Yeah. And I was like, okay. Oh, I got one person bought in. So that works. And then, but she asked me, well, how are we gonna do this? And I was like, well, I don't know. We're just gonna go find people one at a time and we're gonna see what happens. And that's exactly what we did. We started, we, we actually started talking about the, going back to the food thing. We kind of bribed these sober living houses with pizza nights. And so we just bring show to the sober living, like, Hey, we're gonna come in with pizza and we're gonna, um, supply you guys with dinner and we're just gonna tell you what we do.

Curt:

And so it's not necessarily fully laid over the top of these sober living houses. It's kind of an opt in or not

Brian:

kind of thing. Exactly. And if we're offering free money to people, right. They, they like it, but we're basing it on. If you do this program, you, then you get the funding. Yeah. Um, so the program is we provide, uh, full funding a hundred percent the first month that they're in 50%, the second 25%, the third. Wow. Um, based on if they are meeting with their recovery coach, uh, three times a week, they have to be going to 90 meetings in 90 days for AA or NA meetings. Yeah. Any type of 12 step, uh, they have to be fully employed, so they have to get a job so that they're able to pay that proportion of the rent on the following months. Um, as well as that tend to weekly church service. And we also run, uh, and then, I mean, obviously stay sober and sure. Those, the basic things get to AA sponsor, um, but also attend our weekly events. So we do some type of sober activity during the week. Yeah. We try and have three or four opportunities to do it. And we, so we get people together to like in wintertime, we did bowling and laser tag and escape rooms and snowboarding trip and these type of things in summer, we've done barbecues and tubing on the putter and you know, these type of concerts in the park and Windsor yeah. Where we can just bring our people together to just hang out. Yeah. You know, and that's what a lot of it was for me. Like just doing

Curt:

normal life, having community, doing normal life things, having normal things. Yeah. I've noticed not too recently. Cuz a lot of times when people don't drink. Like the other people at the party or whatever, like, oh, they must have had a problem, you know, or whatever, but there's a, a growing community, I guess. And, and, and actually some efforts to build community around the notion that I'm sober, just because I like it better that way. Not because I have a big drinking problem or whatever. Yep. And, and organizing events and things like that. And I think that's probably clutch to removing that stigma over time.

Brian:

And that's, and that's overall, the goal is like the, my kind of goal and the long term, big picture of it is that getting, when I talk about ending, the stigma of it, of addiction is, is exactly that is where people can get to a place where it's acceptable to drink or not to drink. Right. Or it's the, or it's just like, it's not a, it's not a thing. Know, like it's just society just,

Curt:

and it's never acceptable to drink to

Brian:

excess. Right. But it's, but it is at the same time, but

Curt:

yeah, it's almost more acceptable to drink to excess occasionally than it is to be a. than to not drink at all than to not drink and not because you don't have a reason. Right, exactly. Right. Like that's just

Brian:

not, it's just, it's just a weird thing, especially. Yeah. If you don't have any addiction problems and you choose not to drink, then that's really

Curt:

weird. Right. my mother-in-law, uh, has practiced that or did practice that for many years before she passed, but she's like, I just don't wanna be a stumbling block to anybody else's thing or whatever, and I don't need it. And occasionally like four times a year, she would have a glass of wine with a nice dinner or something if there was an occasion to celebrate. But like, she almost was a complete Tetto or without having any stigma or reason for it. Right.

Brian:

And then people that, that give it up and they just don't drink. Then they realize like how much better they actually feel. Right. Like, even from not having a problem, it's like, oh man, I haven't drank for like a week. And like, I physically feel great.

Curt:

Right. And then 40 days later they've lost 12 pounds. Yeah, exactly. They look way better with their t-shirt off and stuff like that. Yeah.

Brian:

So and so like that's the idea is to get to a place and, you know, in society in general, and then with younger generations where it's like, we've gotten to this place where heroin smoking heroin is acceptable, which is insane. Right. Right. And it's like taking and then taking prescription pills, taking whatever. I mean. Kids should not be on as many pills as they're on. Oh yeah. Or have options to just be on, you know, I want zero pills. Right. be on pills or not, but it's like, that's just like, the, our answer is like, what can I take for it? Yeah. It's like, well, if you, if it's not even part of what you do and you're E and you're living this new lifestyle and you have purpose, and you're doing these type of things, those other ailments fail. Like they go away. Yeah. The anxiety goes away. The depression goes away. Like not, not to say that these aren't, that there aren't cases of this is being serious medical issues. Sure. But it's not nearly on the scale that

Curt:

people aren't making out to. Right. A whole bunch of our problems would be fixed by not having all of our attraction to having our brains tweaked. Right. Exactly. Well, you know, that's, it's kind of a, I remember when I joined the rotary club and these are all like community leaders and things like that, and then you go to your first social, like, oh, they're just like me and my friends, you know, they go like to go get wasted too. right. Just like all the rest of the people virtually. Right. Um, but it isn't a healthy thing. And then in this, like Northern Colorado, this kind of healthy living community that also has, you know, a significant beer addiction and things like that. It's like, it is, isn't recognized as the negative influence that it often is. Exactly. So, um, what does your team look like now? How many coaches and then let's, uh, move from there into what's next for abundance foundation as well.

Brian:

Yeah. So right now I've got, uh, Three or almo soon to be four full-time coaches and then three part-time coaches. Okay. Um, so a couple, couple men's coaches, couple women's coaches, um, and a couple part-time mens and women's. Yeah. Um, and they, and so they've been great so far, they've been able to take on everybody that we've got, that we've got going, um, which has been

Curt:

awesome. And do you do coaching as well? Or you just run this thing

Brian:

kinda. Yeah, I've just, yeah, I, I have less, so I get my client contact now is, that's why I like when our clients come to the events and whatnot. Right. Cause that's about the only time that I get some like personal contact with people. Yeah. Which I actually do like to have still, and I realize that I'm sure that's one of the, that was kind of like one of the things that I, that I liked about starting, it was like I was doing all that stuff at first. Right. On the phone and all those things. But now the coaches have been able to take that off my plate, which

Curt:

has been great. Yeah. And they must, if you're gonna have time to

Brian:

do other things. Yeah. And so like, that's the idea is, you know, get to that place where, you know, I'm as, as hands off as possible is, but I mean, I don't even have like an admin person as it is right now. I'm scheduling a lot of my time was back indoor. Right, right. Fair

Curt:

enough. And you mentioned earlier in passing that you'd like to provide actual housing in addition to these programs and services

Brian:

at some point. Yeah. So as it is now, I said that, okay, we're providing the, the monthly, the rent checks to, you know, these people getting, there are clients that are getting into the housing and whatnot, which basically means that when I took all that money at the beginning, I talked about throwing it all in one direction. I took all that money and threw it in that direction to get them into housing. But what it's done. So it's not really a sustainable business model. Right, right. Because I've taken all that money. I've basically just paid a bunch of mortgages to houses in the area that I don't own. Right. so, so it's been great for us as an organization to gain the momentum. And I love like the, the people that own the sober livings in this area that, that have allowed us to be, to be part of it and to do all these things and the relationships that we've been able to build with them. But what we need is our own housing to be able to do a lot of this stuff in house, and you

Curt:

can effectively be a more, a more effective silver living

Brian:

community. Right. Right. And so now that we've gained that momentum of the next step is to be getting into our own housing, to be able to do it here. Um, so once we're able to do that and establish our own housing, keep things in house here, have the relationships that we have. This basic model is super simple. To do, like, if there's a lot of, kind of moving pieces that go into it, but with the right team in place and the right clinicians in the right area with the housing. Interesting. It's duplicatable. Okay. So this model, isn't just something that's special to four Collins. It is unique to four Collins right now. Um, but the idea is that this model is duplicatable anywhere. And

Curt:

do you imagine it being duplicatable as abundance foundation and you hire staff and things like that? Yeah, or, yep.

Brian:

So I, I want to be able to take this model and I basically, wherever there's a licensed clinician that is a Medicaid provider, we can put this organization in. Hmm. So if we want to go put it in and St. Louis or we want Miami, or, you know, you know, Southern California to add another treatment center to what they have up there. Yeah. Yeah. But if we want to do this model anywhere else in the country, we can duplicate the model.

Curt:

Now are you kind of duplicating some of the things you're kind of hybridizing some of the things that Saddleback and your formal AA program and the, and the community living, I forget the, the recovery community out there. Yeah. And kind of the, the old model is that yeah.

Brian:

So it's, yeah. So I've basically taken a lot of the different pieces. So the, the thing about it is, is there's a, in re in the whole just addiction community and just resources for this population in general, a lot of different organizations are doing really great work with their population. Mm. The thing is they're not all connected in a set and there's not a bridge to the next step. So all we're really trying to all I'm really trying to do in building these relationships and whatnot is be the connecting piece, right? If we have a client that's coming from somebody that gets referred from Homeward Alliance, say, yeah, and they're, they're living on the streets, they come through there, we get 'em into a detox. They come through us, they go to a sober living. Now we have, and we're getting resource connections and case managers and all these things in between and say, they're on probation now we're connected to a probation officer. Yep. And if we are the thread that follows that person through, now, each of now, each of those things, I talk with my hands too. now each of those things has a, um, each of those things has like a, a connecting piece to the other thing. And so if we're that connecting thread, then as that grows, the resources and access for the clients just increases exponentially because of the

Curt:

connecting, you're kind of that relationship focused kind of community navigator of

Brian:

sorts. Right. Right. And so it's like, I, I don't want, so it's like, I don't want everybody to be super specific on just who they deal with cuz we're all we all have. I mean, there's a lot of places that have really good resources, but they want to keep 'em isolated coming to their, to their group of people. And it's like, well, if we all kind of share resources and clients and everything, everybody, and give people access to everything that's available, they'll have more touch points and more touch points. And then the community grows. Right? Yeah. Then we're like, we're building up the community from the ground up. And

Curt:

where did you come up with the name? Abundance foundation.

Brian:

I mean, that's like, there's a, there's a lot of scripture that's based on, on abundance. Yeah. Um, and I, and I don't have the, one of the coupled the Psalms that are, that I ha that talk about it, but that's really the idea is that it's an, an overflowing cup, right? The idea that if my cup overflows, then it's

Curt:

going to slow. God has me richly and I must bless others

Brian:

and it's gonna, and it's gonna spill out into the community not to be able to refill my cup. I need to empty my cup yeah. To be able to refill it. So the idea is that it's, if it's constantly flowing and I'm constantly filling it, I'm emptying it out so that it can be refilled so I can get the blessing so I can get thus more grant funding, philanthropy, donations, whatever, wherever the money you may come from. Yeah. And all the resources and all the other things I need to empty it out so that it comes so I'm never holding onto. And that was the idea is like, you know, we got hundred, a couple hundred thousand dollars to, to start this and I'm just gonna give it all. like, that was, I mean, most people, places will say that was plan right from the start. Yep. But I'm gonna budget and we gotta have this. And so, you know, I've had people ask me like, well, Joe, what's your budget look like, I don't have a bud. I didn't have a budget. It was just, we're just gonna do what we're gonna get rid of all the money and we're gonna see what happens.

Curt:

Is there a sustainable model here after the grants don't have the same regularity with, between Medicaid and private pay options and things like that, or,

Brian:

yeah. So ideally I'd like to be able to get it to a place where we're able to, um, get regular insurance companies on board right now, insurance companies overall, don't reimburse for this service. Uh, we're able to bill for what's called peer services. Right, right now. So that's a Medicaid specific billing option. Um, that major insurance carriers haven't realized is, and they save

Curt:

so much more, more money in the long run if they

Brian:

can, because the data's not there yet. Yeah. And so like, what I'm trying to do is use this system to, um, to get enough data put together, to take to an insurance company to say, Hey, you know, you're paying $30,000 for a 30 day treatment center for these people. And you could instead pay $5,000 for this peer service. Right. You know, and not have some protect

Curt:

your $30,000 investment, what protect as

Brian:

well. Right. So protect, you can send somebody through once. And then instead of sending them through 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times send 'em through once and then use another 5,000. To make sure they get to that six months. Yeah. You know, like we could, you could spread out 5,000 and say, oh, well, if you could save us, an insurance company would say, okay, you can save us a hundred million dollars or whatever, if you can prove it, if you can prove it with the data and that's what they care about the data. But there just isn't data that shows recovery coaching is a

Curt:

valuable resource, even though you're anecdotal experience. And observation says that it's very much so. And what's your results so far?

Brian:

So right now, we're at, uh, I mean, if you want a success rate of people completing our program is about a 75% success rate

Curt:

right now. And that's what, something that barely started. And so you can't really say that you lost them. They weren't in really from the start. Right? Exactly.

Brian:

And so that's, you know, and so that's, uh, that's six months sobriety. Uh, so where he started in December. So till about now. Okay. Yeah, we're at about 75. Uh, there was like 74 point something last time I checked, but okay. Um, but I mean the national average on people in that. Time period is single digits still nationwide.

Curt:

So, well, it seems like there's a look, even if you can be 25, they should want pay for this kind of thing.

Brian:

So, yeah. And so, but it's just like the, the wild west of kind of recovery right now. There isn't yeah. You know, it hasn't the system hasn't been audited yet, you know,

Curt:

best practices are still being established and trifled and argued over thumb

Brian:

wrestles or whatever. There's a, there's a lot of, you know, in areas that, you know, there's still fraudulent practices taking place. Sure. And whatnot, that it hasn't, the pendulum hasn't came back yet to kind of clear the system out and kinda reset as to what, what it's gonna look like. Um, so I figured if we just do everything, you know, by the book to thet cross all the tees, do all the eyes from the beginning and we are one of the survivors at end something that'll happen.

Curt:

That's wild. One of the things that you mentioned was that that sharing of abundance was significant to people, not just you, but to people. And you visited your first lo think tank chapter meeting last week, I think yes. Last week. And one of the things I've observed is that people might come and think they're gonna receive. And that's what they want is to receive this kind of perspective and things. But one of the key reasons why they stay is because after a while that they've, you know, some idea, some insight that they've given somebody in the group really changed that person. You know? So now I'm giving and receiving. Um, and so I don't know if, what was your experience? What, tell me, gimme a description of what. Hunter and his crew did there last week. Yeah.

Brian:

Everything that they're doing there is, is great. I mean, they, the feeling that I got from being there was like being in that group of the men that, that I was with in, in California, early on, was there it's really an intentional amount of accountability. Right. Or showing up here all with a purpose. And the purpose is that we're all going to get better as a, as a group of people. Like, we're all doing things individually, but we are holding the standard and the expectations that this is what's expected to be here. and this is, you know, and you have to, this is not a place to tread water. Right. And it's not just a place that you show up and you just get to take, right. Mm-hmm you have to, if you're showing up there, you have to be somebody who's intentionally showing up there cuz you have something to add some type of value to add to the group. Yeah. Um, and I, and I love that aspect because I need, you know, from this perspective now it's, you know, I had this idea and I ran with it and I've done all these things and I need, and I know from being from my recovery that I need that added level of, uh, personal accountability. Yeah. Like, and, and I need to be surrounded by people who have done big things and are doing currently doing big things and have ways of objectively third party looking at what I'm doing and saying like, Hey, you might wanna lift my legs or turn or yeah, you might, you might wanna relook at that. Yeah. You know, those type of things.

Curt:

So, so, um, you mentioned before kind of having this, uh, maybe. In humility or whatever, as it pertained to your sobriety. And when you were driving the party bus and things like that, has that shifted for you in recent years then?

Brian:

Yeah, so that was, I mean, when I started, when I got involved doing the, doing the recovery ministry work, I, uh, That was when I, that was when I really, that was when I really started to feel like a sense of purpose again, mm-hmm um, and I, it was like, okay, I don't know, like this clearly isn't a career path. I was just doing it to volunteer for help for the church. And I was actually pretty busy at the time. So it was almost an inconvenience right schedule, which is weird. Cause I like suggested it. And then I was like, well, this is then convenient thing my life. So I dunno about that. But, uh, that was when I started to feel it. And then when I worked in the industry and I saw people burn in the industry and I was working, you know, I worked in you, the younger guy and I work in, I worked in women's residential treatment for about a year of that whole program, which is a really intense environment to be in. I bet, um, young women, just women in general in their first 30 days and they're detoxing and there's hormones and emotions and all these things coming up. A lot of people burn out in that. And I had some difficult circumstances through that, but at the same time, I never got to a place of burnout. I never got to a place where this is too overwhelming for me. It was almost to this like, okay, I need another challenge. I need the next step. Um, and I saw other people burnout mm-hmm and when I saw other people burnout and it didn't affect me the same way, I was like, I, this is, and I felt good when I would make the progress. I was grateful for the small moments and the small things and the little changes, right. I was like, there, this feels good to me. And this feels like the right thing to do. So, but then when I decided to do it on my own and I realized it and I started this and it kind of took off up here. I just, I just knew that this is exactly what it is like, this was that missing piece. And I, you know, I, you know, I don't know when the last time was I took maybe we one or two days off since Christmas, and it's just where I've been like a full day off, but, you know, I've just been going and it hasn't been like work. Well, I

Curt:

imagine that burnout happens a lot more when 7% of your clients successfully transition to that six month barrier than when, you know, when 50% or 60%, or like, if you can see those real results, then you can really feel good about the work that you put in. But when you constantly nine out of 10 people or more

Brian:

don't work. Yeah. And that's it. And it's like, you see the, you see good results. And it's like right now and part of it, and that's why we do these sober event. Things is a big part of it is I just wanted to do something where I am sober and I get to go have fun all the time. Right? Like that's in my selfishness of it. Like, that's really what I wanna do. Like if I, if I want to take guys on a snowboarding trip, Because I want to go snowboard, like I get to go snowboard for the day. right. And I'm gonna call it recovery and yes, it's recovery based, but like, I just wanna go snowboard all day. Right. With cool guys with cool guys. Right. And I know that like in the aspect of that, like the outcome is that people

Curt:

stay sober right. And have conversations about their feelings, that a lot of these people have been hiding in the same way, you know? And like you said, they've been through 30 days, but that didn't,

Brian:

you have really genuine, you have really genuine conversation with people in those environments. Yeah.

Curt:

That's cool. Anything else that you wanna share about abundance foundation before we move into the closing

Brian:

segments? Um, I mean, as it is now, it's just, I, it just, that's why I appreciate being on here is just building the awareness of it. Yeah. Uh, the big, the biggest issues we're running into now is gonna be, you know, making sure we get to the, the next level of funding. Uh, we're at about probably 10% of where I want to be, to be duplicatable in this model of funding wise, but we got more grant funding coming in, so that's gonna be good. Um, but the big thing is in the stigma aspect in the area is going to be finding places that are willing to hire people with a checkered background and provide housing

Curt:

to people with checkered background. Well, we have a lot of business owner listeners of this show and things. Yeah. And so

Brian:

it's, it's, we have the aspect of they're with a coach. So they're have an added level accountability. Yeah. They've been vouched for, by us. So it's not just like, you're not taking a chance on random people, but still taking a chance, but finding business owners that are willing to take that chance, willing to take that chance. And also people that might have rental properties that are willing to rent to somebody that has. You know, a, a felony on their background. Yeah. Which, you know, it's almost IPO. That's, that's the two things that deter people from sobriety the most when they come out that we're trying to get around is the felon is having a checkered past leads to, I can't find a place to live and I can't find a job. Yeah. And if you can't find that, but you know how to use drugs and sell drugs, it's

Curt:

right. It's real easy to, oh, I got a place to live

Brian:

at a job. Right. Right. And so it's, you know, that it's real easy to go back mm-hmm and that's where the cycle and it's familiar and all that perpetuates. And that's why we have this. And so if we're able to get people into those positions, all it's doing, ultimately lifting the tide from the bottom up. Yeah. You know, rising tide, lifts, all

Curt:

ships. Yeah. If there's very few people that require a lot of government support and assistance in various ways, then the rest of us, and

Brian:

then, then the resources are there. Right. The resources are, there's plenty of resources available for people to come through the system once. Right. When it's, when this pig come through multiple times and it's repeated, then there, then that's what

Curt:

drains our, oh yeah. There's some citizens that have drained the system of, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars of nonfunctional. Non-effective. And if

Brian:

we can programs, right. And so we can keep people outta that system. Then we free up time at hospitals. We free up time with the police officers. We take the stress out of them seeing real resting the

Curt:

same people. Well, and we actually improve health. We reduce crime. Right. All those things. And

Brian:

we add people that are now tax, paying citizens back into society. Yeah. And that in turn raises the whole community in general. Yeah. So that's the kind of the mentality that I'm trying to get bus local business owners, the one not to get around with

Curt:

networking. Well, we'll, uh, we'll release your podcast in probably my next newsletter whenever it's published anyway. Okay. And I'll write a little, uh, blurb in there that says, if you wanna give a, a checkered past, uh, opportunity in your company, here's where we can do that. That would be, that'd be outstanding. I appreciate that. Um, let's move into the, uh, did you wanna take a short potty break? You're good. Uh, yeah, I'm good. We got 20 minutes left is all. So we can probably muscle it out. Yeah, I'm good. If I start squirming, you can relive me. Um, so faith, we've talked about a bit already faith, family and politics. We always talk about all three of those as much, or as little as you would like. Um, what would you wanna say about faith? And one thing I wanted to ask is you mentioned, you mentioned Jesus and you mentioned AA and church, but can people be in part of any religious organization? They could be Jewish or yeah. You know, Muslim or whatever

Brian:

too. Yeah, definitely. Um, but so the idea behind adding the church piece to. Especially with the churches like Genesis project and the Grove in, in south Fort Collins. Mm-hmm um, is there acceptance of people in recovery of our community? I see. Um, so the idea isn't, Hey, this is what I want you to believe. This is the idea is on Sunday mornings. I want you to show up to a community of people that's not in recovery. Who's still accepting of you being there huh. And wants you to be there and embraces you being there. And it's a good environment to be in. Yeah. Now, if you have another place to do that at, to worship and whatnot on Sunday morning, right. And that's your then by all means. But when we keep our community connected in that environment, it creates it, it intensifies that amount of unity and gets people exposure to like, oh, the community actually doesn't hate me. Yeah. Fair. Right. Um, and so it's just like, instead of sitting in your sober, living, smoking cigarettes and playing video games and Sunday morning, you're at a good environment that does

Curt:

nothing to improve your social skills, your confidence, all those things. Yeah. So, uh, do you wanna keep going on faith? Uh, did you have like a, a, a acceptance moment? I mean, you had the message from God and the delirium trainers, you had the prayer and

Brian:

things. The fir the really the time that it really struck me, I guess, um, prob I think it might have been my second time at the celebrate recovery second or third mm-hmm it was one of those early times in there. Cause I was showing up, he got me to keep going for the pizza, you know, so I'd sit in the back and I'd just kind of like hang out better while everybody was, you know, doing praise and worship thing. And it was this tight little room in Southern California in August. right. So it's a hundred degrees in this room. Like the doors are open for whatever wind would come through. Um, but you know, it's hot and sweaty. I was sitting in the back and they just kept playing these worship songs. Um, and there's this one song. And the, and the lyrics of this song were your love never fails. It never gives up, it never runs out on me and you just kept repeating it and repeating it and repeating it. And then I just, the, on one of those repetition times, I just lost it and just started crying and I was just bawling and it was like ugly cry, like, you know, just like snot and tears. And I'm just like weeping in the back. And so I managed to get my way outside, out the door. You know, one of the other guys like saw me go out there and I'm just like completely losing it. I'm out there and I'm trying to smoke a cigarette and I'm, you know, and I'm crying and it's, and he comes out and he is like, and he is like, he got you. Huh? It's time. He's like, and I was like, what is happening? He's like, that's the holy spirit right there. He got you. That's awesome. And, uh, and so that was, and so what that was, to me, like, what it felt like to me was I had all of this darkness in my heart. Like, it was just like, just like hardened mm-hmm like over time, it was just like so much stuff and just everything just built up. Yep. And it was like, for whatever reason in that moment, it broke free. Hmm. And it all, and all that emotion was came out and it was just like this flood of it all at once. Wow. And, uh, from that moment on, I didn't know anything about God or anything about the church. And I didn't like didn't make all of a sudden make me become a man of faith. But what it did was it provided me, like, I need to, this is something that I need to be around. Like, whatever just happened here is undeniable to me. And I need to know more about what that is. Yeah.

Curt:

And you almost seem like the kind of guy that could be a pastor himself someday. Is that something that's, uh,

Brian:

curiosity to you? I don't know. It's uh it's. I mean, that's been something that's kind of crossed my mind at time, but I don't, I don't know. Not yet. It hasn't, it doesn't been a full on calling for me yet. Um, but it's been one of those, you know, the more that I've been around the church and seen it and experienced it, like, I just

Curt:

love that. Yeah. Well, you've got a powerful story and I think, uh, you know, you can inspire whether, whatever, whatever it's from your executive director chair at abundance foundation or the pulpit someday, right. They have a lot of lay pastors around the community where you can just not really be a pastor, but you can, yeah. You can just do four sermons a year kind of thing.

Brian:

Maybe, maybe that maybe that path is good. Yeah. I like that too. Fair enough. But yeah, so I mean, I, I, I experienced, I had that experience there and then I, uh, decided to get baptized maybe about a year. Okay. Into it a little before that I maybe I had like eight or nine months of sobriety. So I got though I did, I kind of like, I skipped over that small part in there, but I got baptized, uh, about eight months, nine months of sobriety. Uh, and two days later after I got baptized, the sober living, I was at went downhill really fast. Oh. People were using in the house and there was a whole lot of relapse and relationships and just like things that were just like, it was a mess mm-hmm really, really quickly. Uh, so I bought a Jeep. For like $600 instead of paying rent. And I lived in the Jeep for two months was in California. Oh, wow. Um, and during that time,

Curt:

uh, that was probably a real risky time there too. Like if you hadn't have come to faith and had that community built up.

Brian:

So yeah. You made have broken. Yep. And so, but it was, it ended up being super beneficial. Like it was just, you know, I was by myself and I was going to the gym and I still had a job and I was doing, and I was going to meetings and I was doing other things, but I got really involved in churches cuz they had the food. Right, right. I'd go, I'd actually go to volunteer at these like Bible studies and things because they would have these great meals at all these things. So right. I probably ate better in this two month time period,

Curt:

homeless, two or three person's worth at that time and for dinner and then skip breakfast and lunch the next day sometimes. Yeah. Yeah. But

Brian:

it was like during that time I really grew my faith. Yeah. Right. I really, I was praying on it. I started getting a scripture cause I'd, you know, other than work in the gym and stuff, I had meetings, I had nothing else to do. So I really got into like trying to figure that out and what prayer looked like to me. Yeah. But without being around other people and then just like going through the awkward stages of that. Yeah. Um, and I just felt really protected during that time. Um, and so through that, it really kind of grew my faith.

Curt:

That's cool. Yeah. Anything else like, like to say on the topic of. Um,

Brian:

you know, and that's, I it's, when are

Curt:

services down at Genesis project, if people wanted to brought

Brian:

in? Yeah. So Genesis, uh, is at the services on Sundays are at nine and 10 45. Okay. Uh, the ministry that we run in the restore ministry is on Friday nights from seven to 8:00 PM. Okay. So we meet down there, we got a group of 15 or 20 of us that gets together on Fridays does that. So if anybody, and if you, you can be struggling with anything, it doesn't have to be substance use to come to the restore. Oh, cool. So we've had people with relationship issues and gambling and sex and all kinds of things. So very cool. Um, so you know, the solution, the solution there is, is Christ based 12 step, and it's all the same. So it's, it covers the whole, the whole board of Christ.

Curt:

Very good. Um, let's talk about family a little bit. Uh, are you a single guy now? Still you got girlfriend.

Brian:

Yeah. So that was so, I mean, that's part of it too, when I started this, um, is that I, a single guy and I don't have kids at this point. Yeah. Uh, I've had different opportunities for things and that relationships that haven't worked out, um, for obviously passive.

Curt:

Yeah. When you were, when you were filthy drunk, it was, uh, probably reason past

Brian:

reason, but also now in sobriety, I've had relationships not work out, which has been a diff a whole different road to navigate. Right. Um, cause I actually

Curt:

still blame that on your, on your drinking when they didn't work out then, but, but

Brian:

now it's, but now it's actually been good. I actually have friendships with people that I've had relationships with in sobriety. Oh good. Um, and I've been able to. a breakup of that and have it be okay, right, right. Not have this whole blowout thing of a relationship. Um, so, but when this when this whole thing, when this whole thing happened, my kind of mentality was okay, I'm a single guy. I have no kids. And at this point in my life, I'm not ever gonna have an, if, if this thing comes, if that comes into my life, I'm never gonna have another opportunity to pursue this. Like I'm gonna have right now. Mm-hmm, where I don't have any other responsibilities. Right. So I have the ability right now

Curt:

you quit your job. And 18 months later popped

Brian:

up business outta the ground. If I would've had a wife and I'm like, Hey, I'm gonna quit my full-time job. And I won't pursue something that doesn't exist. Right. Like it takes the right kind of woman

Curt:

to, to back that up. Even just a wife, a wife, and two little ankle biters, that'd be a lot

Brian:

tougher story. So unless they're, unless like, you know, that's the breadwinner of the house. And she's like, okay, do your little thing, you know, but I was in a position where I, I could make that decision and really go for it. And that's really what I've done so far is, you know, I spend all, it's my it's my baby, as it is in Helen. Yeah. It's like that's and I have the time and effort to dedicate to it. And I can take phone calls at all times of the day and night, and I can do whatever I need to do and I can meet people. And, uh, you know, I can be part of the community,

Curt:

what I've heard from other people that, um, come to sobriety, whether it be drugs or other things, or alcohol that their relationships with their family members that had been strained or often rehabbed pretty well that your experience as well. Yeah.

Brian:

So it took, it took time to rebuild that relationship. Um, I didn't go back. For that first, at least that first year's worth of holidays, maybe two years worth of holidays before I went back. So there was, I did Thanksgiving and Christmas, Christmas day. I was actually on the beach out in California by myself and coincidentally, it was actually a really great Christmas. Yeah. You know, there was like, I didn't have to be anywhere. There was no dinner. There was no presents. I mean, my family sent me a couple presents and stuff like that, but, um, I, I was still just out there and I was able just to be peaceful for the day. Yeah. Which is a weird thing for me to, to be at. Um, but yeah, I took time to rebuild and I had to go through the recovery process and really focus on rebuilding that relationship. Yeah. Um, and now with your parents and your sister and my sister. Yeah. And so like that, now I have a great relationship with, with them. My parents are out in South Carolina now my sister's down in Dallas. Okay. Um, and we see each other around holiday time or sometime during the year. And, uh, does your mom

Curt:

understand the significance of what you've been building here and is she proud of you

Brian:

for that? Yeah. And so they haven't been out here to like see it so they can get it from what I explain and what they see on Facebook and Instagram and these things and the cool things that we're doing. Um, and I tell, 'em try to like explain it, but you can't really explain it to experience it. Yeah. But they're super proud of, of what I've done

Curt:

and built that and what you're working on still. So, yeah. Cool. Yeah. Any other thoughts on family that you'd care to

Brian:

share? Um, no. I mean that, that relationship with them has been super important and it's just having, having their support again has, has been huge, you know, having them be to a point where it's like, where they're say, you know, to see you doing well, is. All we that's the reward

Curt:

we wanted from our lives and that's it in some ways. And that's it. Well, and for those not familiar, even, I mean, in a church background, a lot of times we'll call ourselves brothers and sisters in Christ and things like that. And so that's your family too, I

Brian:

reckon. Yeah. And so like, I, I, and you know, and I, and I don't know that it's, that that side has gotten fully through to them, but I'm open to, with talking about that now and about my faith and about the importance of having Jesus my life and that relationship. Um, you know, cuz I mean, none of this is possible. The removal, you know, I prayed on the removal of the obsession to drink. Yeah. And I prayed on that every day, cuz even after I was, you know, five, six months in, I still have that like white knuckle obsession and I kept praying and praying and praying and then, you know, eventually like I didn't, I don't know when it happened. Yeah. But eventually it was gone and it's never

Curt:

came back. Yeah. Yeah. It's never, I've definitely had conversations with people that were sober for years, even where. Uh, it was obvious that they would sure like to have a drink still. Right. And so, you know, and I haven't sensed that in our conversations, interactions at all. No.

Brian:

And I, the weird thing that, the only thing that happens to me is never an obsession to drink, but it's always weird. I'll be at like a bar or something. Cause I still can go to sports bars and play pool people and things like that to see somebody drink half a beer and then leave it and then just leave. You're gonna waste that. funny. Like, it's not like I it's funny want it, but it's like, why are you being wasteful? So would it been

Curt:

awkward at all? If I was on my third bourbon, like I sometimes am in this

Brian:

podcast? No, not at all. Okay. Not at all. So just for future reference,

Curt:

it's all. I wasn't really feeling it. I part it all weekend camping anyways, so I was good,

Brian:

but no, that's, that's totally fine. Uh, I mean, I, I have no problem being around it or hanging around events, you know, if you know, I'd like have alcohol at the house and everything for people that come over that want, oh, that's funny that do want drink.

Curt:

So, um, let's move on to politics. What do you wanna talk about in politics? Oh man. And it can be local. It can be national. You can say, I don't wanna talk about nothing about politics cuz my future funders are gonna be listening to this.

Brian:

Oh, that's a good, that's a good question. Um, lemme take a drink first. Sure.

Curt:

And I was, uh, you know, I heard a little bit at the beginning of this story about, you know, I was angry at all these protocols and stuff for, for COVID and they're like gonna wreck people relationally here. And so I'm sensing, there was at least some frustration with. Kind of level of lockdown and protocol and stuff like that, or is it understandable to you except for it was, you just saw the suffering associated?

Brian:

It was, I mean, it was, I guess it was a combination of a lot of different things, uh, where the frustration came from. Like I'm not denying that there was seriousness involved in COVID or anything along those lines. Um, but what I did notice was, so during the lockdowns, when there was the first two weeks of quarantine, I wasn't quarantined because I was still working at a treatment center. Yeah. So like I still showed up to work every day at the, at the very beginning of when they said to everybody stay home. Right. So I was driving between Boulder and Denver and it was, you know, every day was packed tra bumper to bumper traffic nonstop. You're like,

Curt:

oh, this

Brian:

is gonna work. Great. Takes takes forever. But when they said that there was the first day I was driving home and I didn't see anybody for like five miles, right. Either direction. And I was the only car on the highway and it was really just eerie. And I had this thought, I was like, everything is not gonna be okay for a very long time. Mm. You know? And it wasn't just because of COVID. It was because my thought was, they told everybody yesterday to stay home and everybody stayed home mm-hmm and it was just this just, okay, we're just gonna do that. Right. And I was like, well, I don't know. How that's gonna work out, right. That doesn't seem good. Cuz all the stores are closed. Like how's money going and how's the economy like how's this all gonna work? Like my brain was just like kind of going through. Right. You're like, I'm not an economist, but I don't know how that's gonna work out.

Curt:

Um, well, and like you talked about just the absence of relationship

Brian:

when you're struggling. Yeah. And so then, and that's where it came to the, for me was like, I'm okay on it now. But if we're gonna deny people connecting, this is gonna get really bad and it's not gonna get really bad for people that are already suffering. Yeah. It's gonna get really bad for the mental health of a lot of people. Yeah. It's like okay for a couple weeks. Great. And then it turned into this and this and this and as that grew, it's like, okay, well now this, this isn't. Like you can't do this for a long period of time and expect the mental health of people to be okay. And kids and all these other things was you're gonna affect a whole generation that you're not gonna see the outcomes out for 20 years. Right. Right. You're gonna see this come up in, in 15 years from now, you know, when these kids that were in third, fourth, fifth grade that were going through all of this, in this developmental, weird time, right. Are now adults and what the decisions they're making at the time. And it's like the, yeah, it's hard to

Curt:

say what those outcomes are gonna be. They're

Brian:

gonna be significant for sure. Gonna be significant. Um, and it's based on connection. It's like human beings need connection. Yeah. And that, um, and so like, I just kind of took that stance and I, you know, took some heat from it at the beginning of this was, but I, but I wasn't technically under the license, the office of behavioral health when I started, I wasn't really under any oh, interesting. So, so, and I didn't really, like, I didn't say like, Hey, I'm gonna go against all your stuff. It was just, Hey, I'm gonna just do this. And I'm just gonna, we're just gonna promote connection. And it's just, I'm just not gonna participate in all of this drama of the world going on. We're gonna focus on this and we're gonna focus on addiction and we're gonna make it really intentional. This is what we do here. Um, and we're gonna focus on the people that need the help.

Curt:

And I guess, to move us off of COVID and into maybe more current events and things, we've got, uh, the, the inflationary concerns, recessions. We're talking about, uh, you know, uh, power shortfalls around the world and all these things.

Brian:

So the key, so there's a key to this and I, and I hear, and I listen to a couple podcasts on this and, uh, there's a guy that I listen to. His name is Andy Illa. Okay. And he's got a good podcast called real Afaf but I would recommend I'm just gonna throw a shameless Paul out there, but people should listen to that podcast.

Curt:

I I'll listen to it. I've never

Brian:

heard it yet, but ill too, but he, but he's been on top of this from the beginning of, of COVID till now. And he actually started, his original podcast was called, uh, the MF C project. Okay. And he has 300 episodes about entrepreneurial entrepreneurial in, uh, information. Um, that's just really great on if you're gonna be in business. Okay. Um, and he just gives the information. He's the guy that he's the owner of first form, uh, nutrition company. Yep. Um, so they're a huge company now, but he started that as a small nutrition company. Interesting. But he talks about all this stuff. Um, but one of the big things that he hits on, which I really, uh, had been talking about prior to this with people too, was this aspect of, um, personal excellence. Hmm. Of if each person is pursuing their own personal excellence in their own life, everything else. Come, the go would have nothing to do, right? They'll fall into place. Like people aren't gonna like need to be told what to do. Like if people are financially on track, if people are on track with their own fitness and their own health and pursuing their own fitness goals, if they're reading what they need to be reading, if their faith life is in line with what their faith life needs to be in line with. Yeah. Whatever faith that may be, if they're spiritually connected. And if they're, you know, involved in their community and they're influencing that and they are, and they're becoming the best version, pursuing, becoming the best version of themselves that they can be. There's somebody that can't be controlled. Yeah. Right. That's a person that is not going against the system per se. They're not fighting the system. They're just becoming who they need to become. And in, and in the outcome of that, like the outcome of that is that they there's somebody that's, that can't be controlled by any other outside. They have Liberty real. They have Liberty. Right. They have actual freedom. Yeah. Right. So it's not like, and I think during this whole political time, like I think both sides of the aisle need to be completely wiped, clean right. Over this from the beginning of COVID burn it down from now, we saw that we saw that like, nobody, everybody that's coming out. Now that's saying that's running for office in November saying like we were fighting for you back during COVID. It's like, no, you weren't nobody on either side of the aisle

Curt:

school. I was amazed by how. Little pushback. There was right. You know, I was kind of angry. I was like, you can't just shut all these small businesses down. They, you know, that doesn't seem like they can do that. Right. And so meanwhile, all these big businesses are fine and essential. So then

Brian:

Amazon and Walmart and these other places and liquor stores and weed stores are open and they're like, okay. But so it's so it's like, well, nobody on either side stood up. They might be, they might be vocal now when it's election time, but they weren't vocal then. And I don't care which side of the aisle you're on. Like that's not a pro freedom standpoint. Yeah. Like there's a patriotic standpoint. Um, and there's, I mean, there's, you know, there's, there's quotes from everybody in history. That's, you know, it's like either your pro freedom or you're not right. Yeah. That's it like, there's, there's a, there's a takeover happening by the people in positions of high positions of power in this country that are pursuing, like keeping the general population at a really low level. And the way to fight that is to be the best version of yourself. Yeah. Is to influence who you can influence in your own life, starting with your own, the way that you can improve yourself and your own physical self. I

Curt:

wrote a blog, uh, back in must have been fall of 20 on virtue. Um, and it was. You know, like what is the good, like, it seems like we have some disagreement about what is the good, um, but ultimately I kind of rewrote the 10 commandments and said, don't think about it as commandments from God necessarily, cuz I know we're in a post God generation and all that, but think of about 'em as 10 principles for your best good. Like if you do these things, your life will be better than if you constantly do not do these things. Yep. And that's kind of what you're talking about. The same thing. Exactly. If we actually do work on

Brian:

ourselves yeah. And continue and continue to do that and use that platform to influence our, just the and overflow into others as well. Right. And just the, our, whoever we can, whoever we're in contact with, like if you're operating at a high level, the people that you're interacting with are going to they're better for it. Yeah. They're, they're better for it. And they're either gonna step up and do it or they're not. Yeah. And we kind of have that element in society now where it's like, we have this element of, of people that haven't pursued that and also have accepted that it's okay. Not to. Yeah.

Curt:

Do you see that stat? Uh, 62% of Biden's economic officials have zero. Industry experience right. Or 68% or something. Right. It was like silliness anyway, I

Brian:

digress. Right. And so, and so it's like with the, and so the, you know, the church is being looked down on, it's like, okay, there there's a lot, there was a lot of shortcomings in the church during this whole last two years, also two and a half years sure. Where it was like, now they're trying to come out and, and, you know, and say all the, and take strong, strong stands on certain topics and whatnot, but it's like, okay, well, when everything was shut down, you as a church, decided not to take that stand either. Yeah. You know? And so it's like, okay, we're supposed to like, keep following you as a church now. And you know, and so it's like, there's all these different elements of it. And it comes down to each person doing what they can do to be the best version of themselves. And that takes work and it takes

Curt:

hard work and well, a lot of courage too, and courage. Right. You know, those leaders of those churches that reopen when it wasn't yet legal and things like that. And to

Brian:

be okay with taking the heat on it, like there isn't, I don't think there's anything that can be said to me or anybody else now that is going to, um, like hurt. Like, I mean, the term being a racist is overused. Like everything's racist, there's a shortage of racist. Everything's transformed. I was just how everything's homophobic. Everything's DYS phobic. And it's like, okay, then just call me that. And I'll just, okay. I am okay. Whatever.

Curt:

I was camping with my friend and her, her 13 year old boy and his two friends. And that's what they've, they've taken to calling her that a racist because. They know what drives her, pushes her buttons. And she's not anything of the kind, you know, but that's how they, like, they hearing that they see that everything is racist. Right. And

Brian:

everybody. Yep. And, and so like the, the only thing is like being undeniably in a position where people can't deny, like, what you're doing is good. Yeah. Right. And so it's like, if you live that way long enough, like it's gonna work out where the people like, they, they can't keep it up. They can't keep up just calling the attacks, the name calling in the attacks for as long enough. Yeah. And you just survive it and then you go on, but it's gonna take enough people to do that and step up. And it's like, there, there isn't anybody coming to save us. Yeah. Right. There's like, everybody's waiting for like the next guy get elected to office. Or it's like, well, you're, you're the next guy like, right. You are, you know, right there. If you are like, if you need something to change and there's a spot on your local town council go onto the local town council or the school board or whatever you need to do, like step into that position. I'm

Curt:

actually investigating, running for city council

Brian:

next year. That would be awesome. We'll see. I would love it,

Curt:

but eager, but, but yeah, I'm scared but eager,

Brian:

but it takes that it takes the courage of people to stand up and realize that, oh, it's not like the people that are running those positions are just people that have just. You know, decided to do it. And it's like, if you want something to change, then just go in and change it. Yeah. Be the change and take the heat. That's gonna take to do it. And the people that took the heat during the last two years are the people that are really successful right now. Yeah.

Curt:

No. So, um, let's wrap it up. We've been over two hours already, but I could go another two probably if I had a bourbon anyway. um, but talk to me about, uh, your local experience and we only have room for one, maybe two. It sounds like you've got a lot of crazy experiences

Brian:

in that. Uh, okay. Uh, Loco experience. Uh we'll just so the, the, when I tried, so I tried the geographical get away from alcohol. Yeah. People try that every once in a while. Right. Whether I'm, I'm just gonna drive you get outta Colorado or whatever. Yeah. I'm just gonna drive away and leave my problems behind. So I tried to do that to go out to California. Well, I got, as far as I went down through Arizona and then I was gonna go stay with some people that I got a place from down in San Diego area. So I was gonna, I got out to Arizona. I had stopped for the night, slept for a couple hours. And meanwhile, I'm basically like withdrawing while I'm driving on. This

Curt:

is early in your kind of recognition of your physical.

Brian:

Yeah. Well, challenges. I mean, it had been going on for a little while. You had seizures already about 26, maybe. Okay. Somewhere around there. Um, yeah, about 26, 26, 27. Um, so I'm driving out through California or Arizona highway 10 and it's a straight stretcher highway for, I don't know, 400 miles or whatever it is. Yeah. Going on a couple hours of sleep. Withdrawing had my dog in the back seat and I had this all blacked out Nissan BIMA. So it was a really cool car. Fast. Those are cool. Yeah. Had my cruise control set at probably five speed. Six feet two. Yeah. Had my cruise control set at, uh, like 95 miles an hour. Right? I think, no, it was actually, it was at 92 miles an hour out on highway 10 had the windows down and everything. And I fell asleep with the wheel middle of the day. Whoa. So I woke up, I come to, and I'm walking my dog out in the middle of the desert and I didn't know what happened. I, last thing I know I was driving on the highway. Next thing I know I'm in the desert walking my dog. So these girls come up to me in the middle of the desert and they're like, Hey, are you okay? And I'm like, yeah, I'm just walking my dog. And I like, in my head, I was still like almost at the rest stop.

Curt:

Right. That I just passed. I must have fell asleep at the rest stop. And then I got walked my dog or something.

Brian:

Yeah, exactly. So I like had no recollection of that period of time and they're like, okay, well just stay here. The state patrol's on his way. So the state patrol shows up and he's like, Hey, you all right, you on anything? I was like, no, I'm fine. I'm just walking my dog. What's the problem. And he's like walk with me. So we walk about 50 yards through the desert and there's my car sitting upright airbags out windows, blown out, completely cars, completely totaled. And yeah. Had rolled the highway was 163 feet away through a fence all the way up on a hill. Wow. And so, and I had no recollection of any of it. And I was like, well, what happened to my car? He's like, I don't know. You tell me you're out here. Walk, walking your dog. And uh, so he is like, you're okay. And I was like, yeah. I

Curt:

mean, I, well, thank God you didn't hit anybody else. Right.

Brian:

And you kill yourself and I'm walking my dog, my dog is over my dog's over. He wasn't buckled in. And so this, this state patrol's trying to figure it out. And so he's like, I, I come out here to pick up bodies. I don't come out here to see guys walking their dog in the desert. Like, did you see all those crosses on the side of the road? Right? Like that's for the people that I come pick up, that's not to see a guy walking his dog.

Curt:

that must have added to your feelings of super humanness.

Brian:

Well, it was, yeah, it was that, but it was like, you know, there was these moments in time where I realized it. I there's no reason that I should, I don't remember any of it. I shouldn't live through it. And somehow I was in the car and then I was outside the car and my dog was with me. at 90. Like there's no logical explanation. The cop was, you know, the hospital, come check out

Curt:

almost like God reached down and plucked you and your dog out the window

Brian:

right out of it. And just, yeah. And I, you know, and I don't know how I survived it. I had a couple actually cracked ribs from it. Okay. Um, I had a buddy that was driving the other vehicle that had my stuff in it. So he ended up coming back at the hospital and picking us up. So from there, because I didn't have a car, I ended up back in Colorado, which is when I started doing the tree. Right. Um, but it was one of those and I don't know what, what happened had I actually made it to California at that time. Right. You know, so I came back to Colorado because I needed to, I wasn't done yet in Colorado. Yeah. And I wasn't the right time to be in California. Interesting. And so as God was like, no, not yet, but you try, you're trying to like fight against it as much as you want to. And I'm gonna just, and if I gotta take the wheel and drive you out the highway, I'm gonna do it. Yeah.

Curt:

Then send you back home. Yeah. You can buck as long as you want and I'm more patient

Brian:

than you are. So, yeah. So it was one of those cheating death times where I was just like, there's no, there's no reason that I should have survived any of that, but, but I'm still, I

Curt:

stayed through it and you weren't even drinking and driving in that

Brian:

instance. And, and that was the other thing is like, if I would've been drinking, I probably would've stayed awake. right. Totally. I, I mean, I fell asleep cause I was like withdrawing on two hours of sleep and I was shaking and it was like, you know, well, if

Curt:

people are passionate about what. The story you shared here today with us about abundance foundation and they want to give or get involved or volunteer in some capacity or, or even yeah. Tell 'em how to find you. Yeah.

Brian:

So the website is abundance foundation, Inc. In c.org. Okay. Uh, there's a way to donate on there. You could be a recurring donor, one time donor, anything that you donate on there helps, um, following us on Instagram and Facebook, um, on Instagram it's abundance underscore foundation, uh, Facebook it's abundance foundation, Inc, or Facebook slash abundance foundation, Inc. Yeah. We can find it where you can find it on there. Uh, but yeah, that's where we post all of our, uh, events and all those, those type of things. Uh, we'll have some fundraising events I'm shared coming up again. We did our first one in may. Um, but yeah, if you can get on there and donate, uh, there's also has all the contact information to contact me directly if you want to reach out that way too.

Curt:

Well, what I was also gonna ask is if somebody's not system involved yet, but they do have. A problem in addiction. Um, can they, it is the best place to come to one of your Friday night things at

Brian:

project. Yeah. You can come there or, I mean, um, you can reach out, I mean, you can, my, my phone number and emails on the website, the website too. So you can reach out, I'll start with you when I got, yeah. And, and talk to me directly. Um, but yeah, however you wanna reach out if you know, somebody that needs funding and is on Medicaid, you can get fund out on the website also. Okay. They just need to fill an application and we'll get back to 'em right away. So, well, this

Curt:

has been a great conversation. I wanna thank you for sharing abundantly with your time. I appreciate it. And, uh, I look forward to our next one. Awesome. Nice. Lucker

Brian:

all right.