As a millennial man, it’s widely understood that when a new episode of The Joe Rogan Experience drops on YouTube, watching it asap is a must. So, when prompted to watch Joe’s latest interview with congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), I placed the newest episode of JRE even higher on my priority list.

Politics aside, Dan Crenshaw served our country as a Navy SEAL for ten years and completed five tours of duty in the middle east. At one point in the podcast, Joe asked Dan about his training during BUDS, the six-month-long mental and physical test required to become a SEAL. Joe specifically asked Dan to elaborate on the mental aspect of the training and if they taught courses to improve their mindset.

Dan responded:

“We wouldn’t want those courses, frankly. We wouldn’t want to do it because the point we try to make is you were a Seal before you got there. We’re just making you prove it. But you were already that guy because you never had a choice” You must go through this training with No Plan B. If you ever thought for a second that maybe I could go through buds or maybe I can go through hell week you’re never going to make it. You’re telling yourself you actually have a choice.”

Dan continues correlating his No Plan B mental state to other aspects of his life as well. The point the congressman was trying to make is that only you can decide to quit. That’s a personal choice, and it means you went into the challenge with other options. As someone in long-term recovery from addiction, the No Plan B state of mind resonates with my first step experience. When I look back at my first attempt at getting clean, I now see that I still wanted to have a choice. It’s the mindset of “Well, I’ll do this for now, maybe I might be an addict, but I might still be able to drink down the road once I got some time under my belt.” It is a toxic mindset that almost guarantees relapse sooner or later. In recovery, we call this a “reservation,” and many of us have relapsed from not fully understanding who we are.

Like Dan Crenshaw, the moment I realized that I never actually had a choice, I was able to begin my recovery truly. Once an addict, always an addict. As soon as I acknowledged this, I understood that if I wanted to maintain long-term sobriety, I had to make sure I had No Plan B.

The same goes for our clients at Burning Tree Ranch, a long-term residential facility with an average length of stay of 8-14 months. If you ask any of our alumni that have fully completed our program, they’d likely tell you the same thing. They had finally gotten to a point and understood this is their only option. Once they realized the toxicity of allowing a Plan B to enter their mind, they would be doomed to leave Against Staff Advice. At Burning Tree Ranch, our clients have been through multiple treatment centers across the nation. Many of the clients have failed again and again at recovery. So, we designed a program that allows them to prove to us they are ready for sobriety instead of insurance dictating when their treatment is complete. These 8-14 months will strenuously test them both mentally and emotionally. But if our clients have a genuine first step experience and can see they have no choice, Plan B will never be an option.

Austin Berry
National Business Development Representative