Episode #8: Conquering Addiction with Bob Gardner

May 28, 2019

Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey everybody, what's going on? Doctor Chad Woolner here. And this is episode eight of the Health Fundamentals podcast. On today's episode we have a special guest, my good friend Bob Gardner here with us. He is going to be teaching us today about how to conquer addiction. So let's get started.

Speaker 2: (00:17)
You're listening to the health fundamentals podcast. I'm Dr Chad Woolner and I'm Dr Buddy Alan. And this show is about giving you the simple but powerful cutting edge tools you need to change your health and your life. So sit back and enjoy the show as we show you the path to your best life down to a science.

Speaker 1: (00:36)
So, hey everybody, I'm really excited about this episode today. We have my good friend, Bob Gardner, Bob Gardner, uh, Dustin. Pretty amazing things among many of the things that he does. He helps people with addiction issues and, uh, we realized, I realized, uh, this topic comes fully loaded with lots of stigma. Um, and so I'm really excited to be able to discuss this and have a fob on this, uh, this episode with us because I think, uh, if we do our job right, if Bob does his job right, which I think he will, uh, he can help kind of to de stigmatize, uh, the challenge of addiction and maybe give you guys some tools and resources and some ideas to really help really solve a major problem. So, Bob, uh, thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to be with us on today's episode.

Speaker 3: (01:34)
My pleasure. Buzzer.

Speaker 1: (01:36)
So, um, I guess the best place to start is what got you into this, uh, into this round. What's your story? You know, cause uh, you have kind of an unconventional story in terms of, um, helping people with addiction problems.

Speaker 3: (01:52)
Yeah. So what got me into addiction versus what got me into helping people with addiction, two different stories, right? And the one led into the other. Okay. I was 14 years old when I started with pornography addiction. So I was 18 years of my life, I stuck in pornography addiction. I remember when it passed half of my life, I was 28 years old and I thought no more. And it kept going. Um, and I remember this, this bear, I remember how painful it was. I remember feeling like I was broken for a long time before even the word addiction became a possibility. Like, oh, there's a thing. It's not just me who's a retard, sorry. Those of you who are words like that, I'm not trying to offend anybody know. Um, so, and uh, and, and it went a long time. And I went, when I finally figured out that there was something there and I was married at the time, I was suicidal.

Speaker 3: (02:51)
Like I was deep in depression. I was in graduate school and we were living in Seattle. So imagine dark and stormy night every night, um, for nine months of the year. And it was just not a good space for me. Um, and it was just really, really bad. And we got to a point where we almost got divorced. It was never something I'd never thought about. My wife would do. Um, but she couldn't handle it anymore because I couldn't handle it either. And I wasn't living up to my end of the bargain. And so as I was staring down the barrel of that gun, looking at the possibility of living the rest of my life alone and without really access to my kids who were some of the only things that lit me up, uh, on the inside and still miserable as a business owner are still horrible with relationships.

Speaker 3: (03:40)
Still so many things that I didn't know how to figure out. I was able to kind of white knuckle it. Like a lot of them talk about it. I was able to kind of hold still, but that didn't end the actual fight on the inside. Right? So even though I could control the behavior, it was like living in a straight jacket. Like all day long, my wife leaves home the computers and the corner. Oh my gosh. Oh, well I'm from not looking at porn. Then I'm like thinking around on Facebook or playing video games or something because I'm still looking for a fix. Right. I got to the point where I couldn't handle that anymore, where I was like, look, if this is going to be the rest of my life, like they all tell me if, if, if that's it. Once I'm stuck with this, it's just going to always be a battle the rest of my life and maybe I'll have a good life but I'll just never be over it.

Speaker 3: (04:27)
I was like, I don't want to live a life like that. Thankfully I was beyond the suicidal tendencies at that point, but all the years of searching still hadn't provided an answer. So I just started experimenting on my own. Like I was the Guinea pig and I figured out ways of connecting what I had learned over the course of, in some cases, 30 years of training and in other cases, just a few years of searching and it all came together in this unique process that helped me to dump all of the baggage I had been carrying for so many years so that I can then go look and find what was really at the bottom of stuff. And once I handled that, the fear and the urges and the addiction and the images in my head and all the stuff that I was struggling with, like literally vanished in what some people would call almost overnight.

Speaker 3: (05:16)
It wasn't overnight. It took like maybe a few days of work, so it wasn't quite overnight, but by all standards of overnight and still to this day, it's, it's so amazing to me. Um, and I didn't do anything else with it. Couple of weeks later I was driving down the road and I had this really powerful experience that helped me really see the shift that had happened. And, um, you know, it was of a spiritual nature. So I don't know if this is the forum to share those types of things, but if you want to know about it, reach out to me and I'll tell him, maybe we can have a video link and they look at it. Um, but it was a really powerful experience. And then from then I was like, okay, I'm done. And so then I moved on with my life, which is what I wanted everybody to do.

Speaker 3: (06:01)
Can't we just graduate from suffering and move on? Like why does it have to be a fight forever? Right. So, um, it was only, it was like a few years later that this mom came to me and she was, we were in a, in an event together and she was just telling me about her son who had just run into some pornography on her dad's computer and how he, uh, uh, like if her dad, her, like her ex husband didn't mean to, but the son now was just terrified. He couldn't function around computers. It was very nervous around him. Like it was controlling how we could function at school whenever he had to deal with computers. And she was like, he's going to deal with this forever. The rest of his life. She came from a counseling background, you know, this is what they were taught. And um, and uh, so she was like terrified and I was like, ah, I don't think it has to be that way.

Speaker 3: (06:50)
Here's been my experience. And I told her my story and she's like, can you work with them? So, fortunately this is like, he was 14, he was 12. So when I got out of this, I was 32. So that's an additional 20 years of junk. So he didn't have much to deal with, which meant that for him, it literally took 45 minutes for him to just drop the whole thing. And from that day on, he's been great. I mean, I just reached out to her a little bit ago. It's been a few years. She's like, he's good and he's a teenager, but he's good. And uh, so that was the first instance where I was like, okay, well what I, what I discovered isn't just something that was just unique to me. Maybe there's something to this. And so then, you know, a little bit later I had a business coach telling me that I should help people with this because, well, one, I was stuck in a business anyway, so it doesn't really matter what I do and to, um, do like, he's like, this is a big problem.

Speaker 3: (07:46)
And nobody has an answer. Like literally nobody. And if you could tell people, literally you can change lives of generations, you can stop a massive problem that people are struggling with. So I turned around, I got my first 10 guys signed up and I just threw everything I knew at him. And it took me about eight months to figure out the pieces that were essential, the ones that worked, how to figure out how a person's wired so that what the tools that they needed for their own unique personality. Um, and we're still always, you know, but like once we figured out that little process, then all of a sudden people started getting huge results in very short amount of time. And you know, we've helped about 170 people so far, um, of various different addictions, but mostly porn and sex addiction. That's amazing. So couple big kind of thoughts that I had is you're sharing this with us. Um, let me see if I can kind of unpack all of this. Cause what you shared is just an incredible already, uh, number one, uh, the, your, your vulnerability and transparency. And this is huge. You know, that such a, again, we talk about a stigma. Addiction is one stigma

Speaker 1: (08:55)
I think, but pornography addiction is a whole nother level of stigma associated with it. And so to hear that level of, of transparency and vulnerability I think lends to a tremendous amount of, uh, number one attention to what you're saying. And number two, I think there's an inherent level of trust that's already built there. When you, when you come from that place of, uh, it's not this academic approach, which not to say that there's anything wrong with an academic approach, but this is a very raw, real story that you come up and a place that you come from. And so I think there's this inherit a rapport that can be built instantly with people who are struggling with addiction, who know that this is not just coming from textbook learning. This is coming from real life experience that has been tested and has been shown a substantial, I mean, you said how many people, 170 plus 170 plus, uh, people who have gone through this same methodology in the same approach, uh, to experience it.

Speaker 1: (09:54)
So that's huge. Um, you know, with the health fundamentals podcasts and we talk about our five fundamentals of Health, um, addiction certainly can have such a profound, a negative impact on so many areas of health. Uh, namely we talk about this whole idea of, of being mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in tune. And for us, people can read into that how they want to, but this whole idea that stress, uh, men, the mental, emotional or spiritual stress that's upon us, uh, we'll obviously have those negative impacts on us. It not only in a spiritual and emotional way, but in a literal physical way as well. And so these things will take their toll and I'm sure you've seen that on in your life, but, but the other people, um, so where do you even begin? Uh, you know, and let's say for those who are watching this show, uh, be it a guide who's struggling with pornography addiction, we'll just say, or a woman who either is struggling with pornography addiction cause that does happen too.

Speaker 1: (10:53)
Or, uh, who has a spouse who's struggling where to even begin, what would you say to them? They're there. They're watching a show. Where do we start? Um, first, uh, where do we start? Where, I don't know if I've ever on, that's a broad question. I get it. I get it. I mean, like for instance, I started, first off, let me back up a second. Sure. Ability and me showing this was not easy and it's not easy for anybody else to reach out for help. I've never, I have help. I learned tools along the years that I had to piece together and yeah, I did some work on my own because nobody else had a real answer for me. But even figuring it out, I had help from unseen places at times where it was just pure inspiration that gave me something, I don't claim that on my own. Sure. I put in the work to piece it together and to really run through the process and figure it out afterwards. But I had help and reaching out for help is very difficult. When I put my story on screen in front

Speaker 3: (11:54)
of the world, I probably should have told my family about it before we put it on video cause we got some calls. But like the only reason I had the courage to even do that was because I had a coach who believed in me and scared me a little bit. Sure. And that was powerful because he's like, you got three days if you're okay being known as the porn guy, uh, the one that like nobody really wants to talk to you because of what you do, which I've had happen, you know, um, you know, and but you're willing to help people then like go do this. You got three days and it dives I to do this so I'm going to get kicked out, you know, and I did it and we did more than what he asked for. Eventually within the first couple of weeks, my wife got on camera and told her story.

Speaker 3: (12:43)
You know, there's a lot of stuff that we put on there, but reaching out and having that, the place to start is really, if you ask me getting help, too often we look for information and people are wired differently. Some people will need information you get going and that's okay. And I tried to give some good information where we can, but ultimately when you're dealing with something like this, it's unconscious. It's happening below. Like the reason it's happening. There's something driving this behavior that you're not aware of and another set of eyes, especially a set of eyes working with somebody who like has been there, has been there a lot and knows what they're doing is so powerful. Um, just because for you to sort through your own stuff, I mean, the way I talk about is my head was at my rear end kind of, and that means everywhere I turned out, while I could see it was crap.

Speaker 3: (13:31)
So there was no way I was going to find out of that unless until somebody pulled my head out of my were so same idea, you know, I'd say the place to start is go look for some help rather than trying to do it on their own. I've seen too many marriages, especially in marriages, like really wrecked because husband and wife were trying to figure it out together. Now she becomes his police officer. He's busy trying to do accountability, but then he starts resenting her and then even when they're fine now she's wearing the pants and he's like, he feels horrible. And 10 years later their relationship was still weird. Um, go get some help. Right. You know, don't make that be what your marriage has to be about. Right. What would you say to people who are core watching, who have felt like, I've tried a addiction recovery programs.

Speaker 3: (14:15)
I've tried counselors. I've tried, uh, you name it. Like they feel like they've, they've done everything proverbially. Right. What would you say to those people? Um, I did it too. I mean if you've tried addiction recovery counselors, um, psychology, alternative therapies, if you've tried mindfulness work and meditation and, and uh, um, I mean I did, I went and trained with x, Russian spies in the bowels of Canada to figure out my emotional junk. I to figure out how to handle my fears when a nice is that my throat. Like I was extreme, I went everywhere and still there was no answer. And I'd say to those people, there is an answer, right? It's not where you've looked. Did, do you feel that there's good in those, in those approaches, do you feel like there is, is, is value in those things and, and if so, what's the value?

Speaker 3: (15:10)
And then w where are the shortcomings? Um, okay, so like for instance, counseling, tons of value in counseling. Could you give a chance to sit in front of somebody who's paid to just listen to you? Right. You can dump all your stuff. You can get your story out in front of somebody without worrying about retribution or judgment. And oftentimes that can give you different ways of looking at the situation and some tools or processes to do things. The downside of counseling is, um, some people love it. So like some people still go, I mean, I think Bernay Brown still goes to a counselor or is that right? I mean, I'm familiar with her but I don't know her stuff that well to say for sure. Shame researcher. Right. Um, but, um, I mean some people love it, they love that and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with that in terms of handling addiction, you just have to understand that anybody coming from a government regulated industry like counseling and psychotherapy and psychology and stuff like that, they have a certain way that they've been trained.

Speaker 3: (16:13)
It doesn't mean that they believe it necessarily or, I mean they might have different viewpoints, but they've been trained to think a certain way and there are certain restrictions on what they can do to help you out. And so, um, the way that they've been trained is, look, addiction is this thing that doesn't go away. It's a disease. And the best you can do is really manage it or cope with it. And then my partner Tucker actually has tons of experience with counselors. Um, he went to a lot of them and some of them, even after he went with me, he went after and just met with some of them cause they were curious about what had happened. And they started opening up and sharing how like it comes to porn and sex addiction specifically. None of them know what they're doing. This was in the Seattle area.

Speaker 3: (16:57)
I'm not saying no counselor does, but um, like the group that she was talking about, like none of them they'd like, they don't even want to take it on because none of them really know what they're doing. They get to a point where they're like, we'll just stop, you know, like we're replacing it with a different thing. We've exhausted all the tools that we have available. So here you go, make a go of it, make it stop. Yeah. So counseling has its tremendous upsides. You'll pay per session over probably a long period of time. Um, and if you're, you're good with that. And you liked that approach then by all means, you know, go that way. Alternative therapies, um, most of them I've seen are heavily emotional. Okay. Um, uh, women seem to do less, seem to flock to them more than men. Um, Dutch not saying anything about women or men, it's just seems to be the case, but they're more emotionally driven.

Speaker 3: (17:51)
And so, you know, that can be very powerful because they offer a space where you can just emote and there's no problem. Right? You have tools and things to help you. I know people have helped kind of heal past traumas with EMDR and things like that as well. So I know it sort of depends on what you feel you're gravitating toward. Everything has its value. What I do is like, look, if you want it gone, if you just want to be like done, let's move on with life in the shortest possible time. I've, I've dealt with this forever. I'm done trying to heal. I want to go live now. I don't want to have to worry about this anymore. Yeah. Okay. Uh, that's where I was. I was like, look, at the rest of my life, I don't want to waste it fighting this. I don't want to, I was born for something.

Speaker 3: (18:35)
There's something I want to do. Let's move on. 12 step programs. Um, there are a powerful place where people can dump their story too. Um, you know, they had, they built a good environment for that. The difficulty with them is that they teach them things that are blatantly not true in my experience, in my opinion. You know, they obviously think that they are true. Would you say, what, can you get specific on that in terms of what are the things that are just not true? Yeah. Okay. So for instance, if you go in and they have you introduce yourself and say, I'm so and so and I'm an addict, or I'm addicted to whatever, the fact that you're declaring that is helpful as a diagnosis and, and let's be clear on this. And, and you work in, you know, healing the healing world. Like diagnosis is a very useful thing as an identifier of where you are, but not as an identity.

Speaker 1: (19:28)
Right? Right. Not where you want to stay, not where you're going to continue to be right now. That's, that's a really important distinction there. You know, where you are right now currently is useful, assuming that the plan is to get past that and to move forward and not just stay there. And it's really, it's interesting you say that because in my world we deal with a lot of, not necessarily addiction per se, but I think you could even say that that chronic health issues, it's real easy for people to slip into a role where they become a victim or when they use that a chronic health problem as a big component or part of their identity that they lean on almost as a, as a source of significance. And again, this is not to be harsher to be cruel to people like that, but I've just seen it enough that when people get rooted in, uh, in a negative identity and they use that as a source of either significance or a source of meaning in their life, um, it can, it can certainly trap them and keep them kind of from progressing further. So that's a really important point that you brought up. So anyways, continue on. Sorry.

Speaker 3: (20:36)
Yeah, no, but like to your point, I mean, I spent several years certifying and training and a biodynamic craniosacral therapy. I'm a registered craniosacral therapist and in all those years, writing books on it and stuff like that, what I saw, and I went there because I was looking for answers, but what I saw was people would get past their thing, but then they'd get addicted to the healing process. And so we call them cable tarts, you know that there was always something else to fix. So they would be on this roller coaster of like, what's the next thing? Right? We're able to just move on with their life. And I was always like, well, when do we get to graduate from suffering here? Move on. And if you're going to a meeting every week or every day, depending on who's advising you and how often you go and you're declaring I am addicted or you're declaring I'm an addict or you're declaring, I suffer from this, then what happens is you're reinforcing that the identity, the thoughts, patterns, the emotions and the behaviors, all four levels that you need to be free in order to walk away from it. You're enforcing all of those just by saying, so that's the first place. The second thing is in the, in the first thing, like we recognize that we're powerless over our addiction. That's not the case at all. If you were powerless over your addiction, um, I wouldn't be free of it.

Speaker 3: (21:56)
Um, but, and then they claim they, you know, they point to a higher power, which is great and it's super powerful. I tell you, I went to those meetings for a long time and then I facilitated some for a long time and there's a reason that I left him behind, which was they weren't working for me and for the people I saw around and stuff for permanence, to be able to leave it behind powerless is not true. What happens is you have the power, you just don't know how to use it. You haven't trained yourself to use it. It's like being given the keys to a hummer. When you're 12 you're probably going to run into the neighbor's mailbox and if you've dumpsters along the road and stuff and you just don't know how to use it when you have, when your sex drive's turns on, your body doesn't just not used to that.

Speaker 3: (22:44)
And it's trying to figure out how to regulate and you're probably gonna run into problems there. Like there's just so many things that happened with having power. Doesn't matter how big the engine in the car is, if you know how to drive. Some people are like, but I have the high sex drive. Okay, cool. So you got like a dodge viper and I got a Ford Pinto way to go. If you know how to turn the key in the ignition so that the cars off and parked in the garage, not a problem, then turn it on and drive where you want to go. So powerless is really disenfranchised as a person from taking the power that if you, if you believe in a higher power, when you want to say God, and we do like my family, we go to church every Sunday. But I try to make this open for people.

Speaker 3: (23:29)
Um, the, if God made your body this way or your higher power major body this way, then the power is in it, right? If it's in militude, then it's there. It's just untapped. So to reinforce that you're powerless is going to reinforce identity, saw emotion and behavior of powerlessness, and you're gonna feel like a victim to your wife, to your environment, to your kids, to your work, and to stress quote unquote. And all the other stuff that comes. Third piece is the description that it's your character flaws that are the problem and Aye have never seen that to be true. Now, I mean, I'm sure there are people that are like, no, we're all flawed. I don't find that to be a helpful statement. It might be true. Maybe not, I don't know, but I don't find that to be helpful in terms of activating get possibilities within me, but I've never seen it be the case.

Speaker 3: (24:22)
Every person that I've ever spoken with our work too, and we're talking hundreds of people, every single one. It's not that there's something wrong with them. It said there, they've got some suffering. They're suffering on the inside and their behaviors that are coming out of them are just trying to deal with the suffering in the best way that they know how. That's it. Is it, are you flawed if you're suffering? No. Are you flawed if you don't have the skills yet to, to live your life in a way that's totally 100% happy? No. Is a toddler flawed because he doesn't know how to walk yet. And he wobbles and bumps into walls. No, he's just learning. Is it tree Vlade when it's a seed, no, it's just a seed and then that sapling and then you know, it grows. And so the flaw thing, that's something that again, I don't find very helpful at all focusing on your character flaws and that that's your problem has not ever been helpful. In fact, it kept me in more guilt and more shame and more like self defeating, uh, behaviors. Then there was needful. And then the last thing of course it is prevalent in those environments is that once you're an addict, you're always an addict. You're not an addict, you're a human being. Let's start treating yourself like one.

Speaker 1: (25:40)
Right? So if I'm hearing, I'm going to kind of tease out some stuff from what you shared there. Cause there's a lot of great information he shared there. But in general, uh, you know, and people want, unfortunately, sometimes they want generalizations with things that necessarily can't always be perfectly generalized, but uh, people would, would want to know, okay, so what's the cause of addiction, right? If they're asking like, what's the cost? And if I'm kind of hearing bits and pieces of what you shared there, would it be accurate to say that in many instances, if not most instances, the root cause of addiction is some level or some form of deep rooted suffering or struggling that people are going, going through that they just haven't been able to necessarily uncover around pack or get to the get to the bottom of,

Speaker 3: (26:25)
uh, yeah. Well, I mean we could even be a little bit more specific and a little bit simpler. Sure. Suffering comes from the mind. I'm not talking about physical pain even though that is up in the air and sciences and still know what pain is. But let's avoid physical pain. For now. Let's just talk about, that's something that comes from the mind. Probably something that you're not conscious of or you wouldn't be constantly doing. Right. Um, so suffering is something that's going on under the hood. What does that mean? There's some way that your mind is working, seeing the world and operating that is generating problems in here. Right? So we've identified negative emotions as an, they've tested these as acidic or poisonous or some way detrimental to the human system. They break it down. So anything we call a negative emotion, maybe they're not negative two baboons, I don't know.

Speaker 3: (27:18)
But to humans, they're negative because they break your body apart. So how long would you sit in a vat of acid before getting out? Right. You wouldn't jump right out. Right, exactly. If you were conscious of it, it would be instantaneous. But, and I apologize for the lighting. The clouds came over. Yeah, it's getting a little dark. It's getting a little light. But that's okay man. For those who are listening, it won't matter anyways. But, um, if you were sitting just in a, in a tub water and someone came up behind you without knowing it started pouring acid in, at what point are you going to hop out? Right? If a lot more subtle in that process. And that depends on your sensitivity. Some people sensitive skin and they'll pick it up right away. They're like John Parks, you know, one part in a million and they're like gone.

Speaker 3: (28:08)
And other people, they're going to wait till their finger falls off before. Like there's a problem here. Maybe I should get out of this water. And so, um, that's just a matter of sensitivity. So your body is sitting in acid essentially when you have all this negative gunk going on in your brain and at a certain point it flips the switch and goes into total survival mode, which is why you don't feel conscious, you're not aware of what's happening and it goes to whatever behavior is going to change the chemistry. And we know all about the neuro neurotransmitters and all that other stuff. Um, neuro neurochemicals that happen when you're engaged in pornography or other types of addiction. That's some chemistry. If you're doing alcohol or drugs, you're just introducing chemicals to change it or food, whether you're forcing yourself, you're using something on the outside to stimulate chemistry production on the insights, or whether you're just adding chemicals to your system.

Speaker 3: (29:03)
Either way, you're trying to change this so it's no longer hurtful, right? That's all addiction is your suffering and that thing is one rung up on the ladder, right? So the answer is to move up a few steps on the ladder, right? And then it's a step down and you won't go there. Right? It's interesting that you say that. I remember Tony Robbins talking about, you know, how some of our most fundamental baseline human needs are so strong that we will sacrifice other needs to satisfy those first baseline needs. So for instance, uh, people will use, let's say smoking as a means of meeting some of those baseline needs, like a certainty and variety. Even though they know smoking is detrimental for them and detrimental to their health, uh, that pull is so strong that they feel like that's going to help, uh, solve some of those, those baseline needs.

Speaker 3: (30:03)
You know? Right. But it's not just that they feel like it's going to help solve the baseline needs. It actually does look like it's not that they're deluding themselves and thinking, well I know so he's bad and, but I'll just pretend like they actually does. It gives them the hit that they need. Right? People talk to me and they go like, wow man, but I don't like porn. I don't like looking at porn. Or the answer is you actually do like, it feels great. I did like it makes, it just, it lit me up on the inside. It made me come alive. Like I could feel, it gave me a chance to escape things that I was dealing with and made me feel like I'm losing control. It made me feel wanted. It made me feel like I could feel the chemical rush on the inside.

Speaker 3: (30:46)
My heart beat a little quicker and my hands started shaking. Sometimes they're tingling and like everything's Sorta came alive and I didn't get a feel that the rest of my life. So it did solve that problem. Right? Just temporarily. And this would be a wonderful exercise for you to do because I remember when that insight hit me and I thought, oh no, I'm not supposed to like porn cause I was out on the lawn of the Marriott hotel out and like Laguna Beach, California, I was sitting there, it was like five 30 in the morning. I just finished the workout. There was mist coming off of the ocean and there were like rabbit's hopping around through the for the cold, like wet grass. And I just finished doing like a 10 minute plank or something. So I was a little shaky in the arms and I was wandering through it and doing some of the, just the mental work that I was prepping myself for the day and this lightning bolt hit.

Speaker 3: (31:36)
And I remember at first total fear, I like porn. Oh crap. Like I'm not supposed to like porn. That's not good. I can't tell my wife that, you know? No that's not good. And then the next question that came was why. That's when I discovered what it did for me and I noticed that in my description there was nothing anatomical in the description. Okay, yeah, I liked girls, but why? Why do I like girls? I wasn't about anything about their bodies or anything about that. It was completely about how it made me feel and then the next question that came was, well, what else makes you feel that way? And that turned the corner from me in a huge way because now I started focusing on what would make me come alive. So the didn't have to use that other thing. Now that's a standoff.

Speaker 3: (32:27)
That's a change of behavior. It doesn't free you from what's really at the bottom of it, but it gave me such a different perspective shift that it literally open some things up for me that I didn't have before. Just because I had to have the honest awareness that yes, it did solve the problem. Yes, I did like torn. Here's the deal. When you're in survival mode and addiction has always survival mode, when you're there, you're only going to run as when the leopards chasing you. You're just going to run to the nearest safest looking tree. You're not actually going to go change your life after that. You're like, is always about what's going to get me out of this the quickest. It's always a short term solution. Addiction is always a short term solution, right? To be able to make longterm solutions, you have to get yourself enough foreign.

Speaker 3: (33:15)
You have to give yourself enough distance from the Deng Cida that you're not making survival decisions all the time. And that's why we go dip deeper and the way we just find what's at the root of it, because that's what releases, that's what creates the gap and allows you to finally make the shifts so that you're not doing it because the Buddha said it this way, Buddha, he goes, if you don't change directions, you might end up where you're headed, right? Uh, as as like ridiculously stupid as that sounds. It's true in both a positive way and a negative way. Too many people with addiction are looking for a program that is going to help them feel this amazing weight lifted, but they haven't ultimately shifted their direction. So they feel great and they still walk off the cliff. Right,

Speaker 1: (34:02)
right. No, that's huge. So I would say from what you're saying, there is huge first step or a huge first place mentally that people have to get to a before really trying to tackle this is just coming from a place of honesty, just being honest about the problem, being honest about the fact that they, uh, that they feel temporarily better when they utilize whatever form of addiction, addiction, choice that they, whatever motor method, whether it be pornography or sex addiction or a food addiction or an actual drug addiction, whatever that is. Um, being honest about the fact that they, you know, even though there's a stigma or a taboo associated with that, right. And rightfully so, uh, in, in the sense that those things aren't good for you. Um, being honest enough with yourself to say that you like the way that those things make you feel at least temporarily. Right? But, and again, it's this, it's a short term gain, long term loss. And in the end, uh, ultimately the, the, the, the cons weigh out the pros, which is ultimately what leads people to recognize that you can't continue this life and addiction. Right. So, um, very, very powerful. I think that, that, that kind of idea of honesty that you're talking about there.

Speaker 3: (35:17)
Yeah. And that is step one in the 12 step program, right? Honesty the truth, you know? Right. Ah, but I've taken it to a really extreme level, uh, to get past all the moral implications of it and just look at what's really there. Um, because a lot of times the moral implications we carry with us can cloud what we're actually seeing because we believe it's supposed to be a certain way and well, because that's going to fulfill me. If I'm living up to that, then I got to speak that way. But that doesn't actually help me handle the problem. I'm not saying morals are bad, but a lot of times in cloud the issue. And so,

Speaker 1: (35:57)
yeah, and I think if I'm hearing you correctly, you know, sometimes we can allow certain imposed beliefs or things like that too obscure, objective viewing

Speaker 3: (36:07)
of what's really happening. Yeah. You can still have the belief, but you still gotta be able to see the truth,

Speaker 1: (36:12)
right? Absolutely. No, and I think that's true and I think that goes for anybody of any background, whether it be a, a religious individual, uh, somebody who is not necessarily the religious or whatever, whoever. I think that's truthfully anybody, right? Not allowing your own personal filters of the world to a obscure, a objective reality of what's happening, you know, physiologically, chemically, however you want to put that. Right. So, um, so for, for, for people who are listening here, um, let's say that what you've shared here today resonates with them and they're like, man, I want to find out more about what Bob is doing. How can they get ahold of you? What would be the first step for you? Uh, what should they do

Speaker 3: (36:52)
to reach out to you? Um, so you can go to my website, liberate a man.com. Uh, it works for women too, but that's what I named it when I started. Right. You can go to my website, there's an opportunity for you to like kind of peruse it a little bit. There's not much there. It's basically there for you to get a chance to schedule a time where we can chat on the phone and on the phone. What we're going to do is look at your situation and see what's going on with you and see what's going to be the bet, what is it you want to accomplish and what's going to be the best next steps. We don't work with everybody we talked to. We try and make sure that you can make the best decision for, for what you need. So if you want to do that, that's great. If you want to, we're starting up a podcast soon. Um, it'll be called alive and free. Um, look for that. It's not up yet. And if not, you know, I'm on Facebook and you can find me on Facebook. facebook.com/bob Gardiner is my page. Okay. And you can connect that way and ask questions. Reach out, send a message.

Speaker 1: (37:54)
Awesome. Yeah, you don't really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to be with us here, Bob, because what you shared is really powerful and really timely, you know, mental health issues and we'll categorize addiction as a mental health issue. Mental health issues have become a major epidemic in our society today. And so we need more real solutions, more practical solutions. Um, and I would say the biggest thing, uh, about what you're doing is the, we'll call it clinical evidence, even though you're not necessarily taking a quote unquote clinical approach, we'll just say, yeah, empirical evidence, right? Real world in the trenches, evidence of the fact that you've been able to work with hundreds of men and women and help them with a wide range of, of addictive problems, but obviously with a, with a pretty heavy emphasis on pornography and, or sex addiction.

Speaker 1: (38:49)
And so, um, appreciate the work that you're doing. And I hope that this has been extremely valuable for everybody watching or listening to this podcast episode. Uh, any final thoughts that you want to share with people? Anything you want to close with? Yeah. Uh, if anybody tells you it's impossible, all that means is that they haven't found a way. It doesn't mean it's true. Yeah. Don't believe them. It might be impossible for them, but there is a way and okay. If you think it's too good to be true, since when did the truth stop being good? Right, right, exactly. I would just simply say as well, you know, those listening, if you or someone, you know, struggles with some type of an addiction, uh, share this episode with him because I think there are some, uh, significant, uh, nuggets of value in terms of things that you shared there, Bob, from your own personal experience, having struggled with addiction and then also being able to, over the years, uh, help other people find freedom at the end of the day.

Speaker 1: (39:53)
You know, I would say, uh, you know, I do lunch workshops in our community and one of the most common things that I wind up sharing with people as I say, you know, I don't care if you're, uh, you know, uh, religious, not religious. I don't care what race you are, what, uh, you know, whatever it is about you. I would say the one universal human characteristic that all of us have is we all want to be happy. And, and I would say included with that in inherent, you could almost use it synonymous is all of us want freedom, right? That's, that's kind of synonymous with happiness. Those two go hand in hand. Right? And so really what I, and I love the name this, this idea of liberate a man, because ultimately that's what you're trying to do is help free people from things that would prevent them from truly living a happy, fulfilling life.

Speaker 1: (40:37)
And, uh, remember happiness and freedom both is, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It's not something that's going to be accidental. You can actually develop the skill to have them all the time. Absolutely. No, that's a great way of looking at it too. So, uh, again, Bob, thank you so much for being with us. I mean, we could talk for hours and hours, but I feel like what you've shared already has been immensely valuable and a, and I hope that it touches more people's lives. I hope that this allows your message to amplify and get out to more people to help allow you to serve more people because heaven knows that, uh, uh, this is something that a lot of people need right now in their lives. And so thank you again for being with us and thanks for listening guys and we'll talk on the next steps. So thanks Bob. My pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.

Speaker 2: (41:28)
Thanks for listening to the health fundamentals podcast. Be sure to subscribe so that you stay in the loop and in the note with all of the cutting edge health information that we share, if you know other people that could benefit from this information, please share it with them as well. Also, be sure to give us a review. These really help us to ultimately help more people. Last but not least. If you have questions that you want answered live on the show, or if you have ideas for topics that you would like us to cover, please shoot us an email and let us know at info@thehealthfundamentals.com.

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