This episode marks the beginning of the RCNC J3 Recovery Podcast. We thought we would create something similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Chris Budnick is fortunate to spend time with movers and shakers in the national recovery movement. We convinced him to take them for a drive, press record on his iPad, and see what happens. So, on our drive to the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) Conference in Arlington, VA, the show began. We decided to cut our production teeth on the discussion between Donald McDonald and Chris and seek public feedback. Please feel free to email comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. This podcast belongs to you.We have several more exciting interviews in the can, so please stay tuned. We had no idea what we were doing and we were incredibly daunted, but why should that stop us? When the demigod Loki confidently proclaims, “We have an army,” Tony Stark calmly replies, “We have a Hulk.” Well, RCNC has a Chris Budnick. He honestly engenders in his team the confidence that we can do anything.
Chris begins by discussing a NPR podcast we just finished listening to: “This American Life: The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind. Act 1 Do Ask, Do Tell.” The NPR podcast discusses using contact strategies to change public perception of gay persons in the context of promoting marriage equality. Canvassers would establish rapport with prospective voters who were previously anti-gay by finding common ground. Later in the interview the canvassers would disclose their sexual orientation. Frequently the interviewed individuals would soften or even change their previously held belief. This reminded Chris of “Stigma Reduction Through Contact Strategies” by William White and Tom Hill. We discuss some of our experiences revealing our recovery status, what our motives were, and some of the unintended positive consequences. Chris finishes by challenging each of us to consider who we should share our recovery status with next.