AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org
AA Speaker Recordings - Rocketed.org

Episode 12 · 2 years ago

George G @ 14th Annual Speaker & Food Extravaganza Boca Raton FL 12-25-2019

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Everybody, this is Eric from rocketeddot org. I hope you enjoyed today's recording. I'm a grateful alcoholic.My name is George. My sobriety date is January the nineteenth, nineteen ninetyfour. By the grace of God, great sponsorship and a whole lot ofhelp from a whole lot of people, so far I haven't had a changethat day and that's just so far. I'm looking around at the lights,and I said it last night and I'll say it again when I walked here, so all these lights. What it reminded me of is where I wasDecember, the ten of nineteen ninety three, in a cloud blood box under thefifty nine shoe bridge. That's where my journey actually ended, but reallystarted. That's when I decided I needed help to stop living the way Iwas living. And I've been around for a while. I'm in a literatureperson and I'm going to have to tell you what it's was like, whathappened, what it's like now. So that's really about what it was likethe journey since then, because my alcohol drug log you don't need to hearit, you all know it. We all have one and I'm more interestedin what has happened over the list twenty five and three courters. Actually lessten days years. I will be twenty six on January to nineteen and sofar I am still here only by God's grace. I got in here byHis mercy. I've been reading a lot of literature for a very long timeand the first time in many years I've been reading something and this was thetwelve month and we're on the twelve step. And for all the years I've readit, there's a line in there while there's a little paragraph in therethat I never saw before, and amazing how the book keeps changing, nomatter which book I pick up, and says the magnificent reality of alcoholics anonymousis recreated by the wonderful energy which is released through the eager action, whilewe carry our message to the next suffering alcoholic through twelve steps and practice theprinciples in all our fears. I liked out mine where it says the magnificentreality of alcoholics anonymous. That's what I want to talk about. I've beenspeaking here for a long time now and the one thing I will tell youthis is the first time in many years that I'm doing it standing up.That's that's a that the yeah, that's a gift from God. I've doneit on with a cane, I've done it in a wheelchair, I've donein the Walker and after many surgeries and a lot of health issues, Iam actually able to stand and walk on my own, which is a giftfrom God because I didn't know if I'd ever do that. To tell youa bunch of stories, because I like stories. When I got here,I didn't want to be here. I figured I was coming down for athree months, stayed in the halfway house...

...around a corner and I was goingto go back home and I would be able to drink successfully without getting introuble. I met a couple of men along the way and a lot ofwomen. I got to say both, because it is a fellowship of menand women who share their experience, that strength and hope with each other thatcould that we may saw what common problems and help others to recoup from alcoholism. I had to remember when I got in here I was complete mess.Some of the early people that I met was a guy by named Bob Welsh, one of the first men that I met, and I met him atthe bottom line, five bottom lines ago, it's now six actually, and Iwalked into a room. It was on a second floor in the veritizedbuilding and I got there early because I would not ask for help. WhenI got here. Imagine us not asking for help, thinking we can figureit out all by ourselves. And what ended up happening is I got upto that second floor and he was sitting there and he said, well,when you come tomorrow, how did you know it's coming back to Mars has? When you come tomorrow, I want you get here a little earlier andI want you to save this seat for me at the end of the tableand you sit right over here, but get here fifteen minutes earlier. SoI got the fifteen minutes early, I saved the seat. And so well, now that you hear fifteen minutes earlier and save in this seats for me, why don't you get here five minutes earlier and stand by the door andwelcome everybody to ten am meeting? So I did that and then he saidto me, well, being you here that early, don't you get hereanother five minutes early in May coffy? So I came in. What Ilike to say on the ABC's, the ash trays, brooms and cheers,I got tripped into alcoholics anonymous. He treated me with dignity and respect,something I didn't have when I walked in here, nor did I feel worthyof. But what he did is he sat down and he spoke with meand he spoke to me in a way nobody spoke to me. He didn'ttell me what I needed to do. He told me his story and hisstory was pretty much like my story. He had a broken marriage, heworked in a union. He actually was in charge of the train yards inChicago. So I had a lot in common with him because he was aunion guy and I would go to that meeting in the morning and there wasa lot of people with a lot of power and a lot of time,and I'll say that way, they were powerful to me. One of themwas Mary and Shay. She's no longer with us and I could use herfull name. And when my mom got sick, I was told I neededan a a mom. So Bob said you see that lady over there?I said you mean that tough New York Freud and he said Yeah, he'sI want you to sit next to her. And get to know her. Isaid I want to sit next to her. She's like kids off.You can't get never, says, sitting next to her and go to lower. You need an a, a mom. Your Mom's going to pass and youneed an a mom. I sat next to her. What I foundthat she was a very gentle giant and she was very soft and I don'tknow where did my water. She was very soft and very caressing and shebecame like one of my best friends and...

I sober about six months and herand a woman named Cathy are I'm not going to give her last name becauseshe's still available. Thank you, Brooks heads. She, the two ofthem, was sitting talk to me about my children, because when I camein I walked out of an AA meeting and I was started with tape isto give my children up, and I was not a happy camp when thathappened. So I walked in and I was threw a fit and bob well, she asked me to go over and speak because he didn't have, youknow, he didn't have the situation had and he suggested I go over andspeak to the gentleman sitting in there by named Ben Tigue. And he hastold me go over and talk to Ben, and Ben asked me a question,and I think I was about six months ober, and I'll tell youthat's when alcoholics anonymous came alive. And Ben, he asked me a verysimple question. He said what kind of custodian you were you those children?So I told him about the things I bought and said, I only askedyou that, and I said I thinks I did. He said I didn'task it. I asked her, what kind of custodian you? And Iwoke up and I realized that an absentee, emotionally absentee, parrot and I didn'tlike that feeling and I had some sick some have tough decisions from sixmonths to about a year, year and a half. Do I give thechildren up? Don't I give the show? I went to every meeting and Igot a million one different answers of what I should do and how Ishould do it. I should fight for my children, I should let himgo. But somebody asked me another question along the way, and the questionwas very simple. What is best for your children? That's a choice thatI did not want to make because I knew what was best for my children. I knew I was emotionally not available, financial, not able to or inany way to take care of those kids the way they need to betaking care of. So I decided if the one year of fighting with myselfand everybody in the rooms, to give him up. I didn't drink thatI want to drink. Oh yeah, I wanted to drink and I'll tellyou, I was struggling with it and there was some suggestions made to me. I was doing steps. I was six months ober. I thought Ihad alcoholics anonymous down already. I was probably on my third step and somebodysaid, you know, give it to God. My favorite line is Godand oldest. You give it a God. How do you give something to Godthat you're not willing to look over? And there's a little story, andI think story of about the broken toy man who goes to God witha broken toy and doesn't looks at the toy and it's not fixed and hesays, God, you didn't fix this. He said, well, you neverlet oh, and that's what I couldn't do. It is I didn'thave to let go. I didn't know how to let go and let theprocess of this program show me a way to God that I didn't want.When I got here, and as I stayed here and I signed those childrenover and I was struggling and they saw me said why don't you get aguide box? What's a guide box? Get A box and make it upand whatever you want to say to your children, write letters and cards andput it in that box. And then, if I was doing that for alittle while, it was suggested that...

I actually mail them to myself.And that started back in one thousand nine hundred and ninety four and I startedwriting these letters and cards, putting a little flight, dollars in one,ten in another, one to my son, went to my daughter, some toboth, and I did that for a very long time and I keptmailing to myself and I will tell you that I was miserable. We readthe ninth step promises all the time and I used to go to meetings andI used to watch people come up here and see their children give them amedallion, or vice versa, or a child giving a parent for medallion,and that wasn't happening to be and there's, you know, the line of thebottom of the ninth step promises. Are these extravagant promises? And Iused to say, Oh, yeah, you're extravagant, and I and theneverybody kept saying no, they're not, and then I went to Bob andI said, Bob, did everybody's telling me these aren't extravagant promises is ajoyge when you knew they're extravagant. I there were very extravagant. I believethe promises are extravagant, otherwise they wouldn't be promises. So I struggled withthat. So I could not accept the fact that I was watching all theseblessings coming to other people. And when was it my turn? And thatwas the question I kept asking. Somebody says it's your turn. When itis I know I didn't want to drink. I did want to do a lotof other things, but I did not want to drink. I didwant to run a way, I did want to stuff my feelings and takeoff. I want to go to another state, anything not to deal withwhat was going on, because I did not know how to Clean House.In the big book it talks about in the fifth step. He pursued therest of the program but after a while he went out and got drunk.We believe the reason is he didn't complete his house cleaning and they told meif I kept secrets and I didn't clean up the mess that I created,I would easy drink again or I would just disappear from alcoholics and arms andthere's something in here that was a magic that I saw. It was peoplethat love me when I was unlovable. They cared for me when I couldn'tcare for myself. I tell a story about my friend Kenny Kane, andpeople who remember Kenny Kane, I was at Denny's. I used to decodeit to ten am meeting and the whole ten am meeting would go to Denny'sright after the meeting and I believe they were drinking and I was going tocatch him. They would way too happy not to be drinking, just theway I saw things when I got here and I would sneak behind Denny's andlook in the window and they'd be sitting around, they be laughing and theykept inviting me in and I had no money and I would finally get theten o'clock at night, because I go to ten am and I go toa bunch of other means and I go to ten PM. I S thoughtwith a meeting and I didn't what a meeting. I go to a meeting'sget something. By the day I had built up so much garbage that Ineed something to dump it. So I went to the ten PM and thenthey don't go out. Could that he's again. And one day I'm sittingthere and all of a sudden a hamburger comes in front of me and Isaid I didn't ordered that. The said somebody ordered that for you. AllI ever had was water. I didn't...

...even have enough for a couple ofcoffee in those days. And I said I'd knowed that. I can't affordthat. They said you got to eat that, somebody sent it to you. I said, but I don't have money for it. So Kenny gotup and says, listen, I bought you that hamburger and you're eating itand you never all gives with Kenny cane. That's one thing I learned, andwhen I learned from Kenny Kane, is that we piss things folly,and that's what he taught me. You know, each person along the waygave me a gift along the way. been very dear to meet Cathy's verydear to me. They have given me wonderful gifts, this spirtual gifts.camput a price on those. Bob Carried the message to me something never dida formal step with him Thursday might. My way into this program was Thursdaynight at Briscoe's with a piece of pizza, and then at six o'clock he droppedme off in front of the bow. Bottom line there was be a twelvestep meeting, either a tradition or a step series. He dropped meoff and then pick me up after the meeting and wanted to know what Ilearned. That's how I learned and I came in here that way. Andthen after a while he says you need somebody to take you through the book, and there's a guy by the name a Larry s who became my sponsor. A Matter of fact, come tomorrow he is coming down tomorrow. Tomorrowstirs, they had well got were having dinner. We do that once ayear. His mom is very sick. He's on the other side of Florida. He lives in Texas, and once he that we sit down and weeat, we break bread. Today I like to stay and my first yearhe said, listen, I will take you through the book, I willsponsor you. Bob had moved away and he said, but I'm going totell you right now that I'm not your banker, I'm not your friend,I am not here to do your legal problems, that I had a lotof those when I got here. He said, I am here to guideyou through the book and get you through these steps, and that's exactly whathe did. It was one year before I got a cup of coffee fromhim and I'll never and I learned to be something about being responsible. That'swhat he taught me. Responsible to my assignments, responsible to my commitments andresponsible to alcoholics. Anonymous, because I wasn't responsible for anything when I gothere. Well, I wanted is what can I get and how do Iget out of here quick and have all the solution without doing any of thework? Doesn't work that way. So as I stayed here, I gotmore involved in the literature and there's a line in tradition nine now read thatone says unless each a members followed the best of his ability, are suggestedtwelve steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. He'sdrunkenness and disillusion not penalties inflicted by people in authority. They result from hispersonal disobedience to spiritual principles. I had a lot of disobedience to spiritual principles. I didn't believe in God. I didn't want to believe in God.I was, I don't even know if I said, a nastick or anatheist, but I knew if your parents went through what my parents through andyou went through what I went through and...

...you married at really I had awhole lot of excuses but no real reasons. There were just excuses. And inthe big book and talks about it, says we know how he feels.Some of US have been antireligious to others. The word God brought upa certain thing that was impressed in him with childhood, and with that impressionhe rejected to God idea. I rejected to God idea for a long time, but I did to work then believe in God work some steps. Theytwo third step on July fourth one thousand nine hundred and ninety four, onthe third step of Joan of AH outside the chapel when it was in theother sparn. And what ended up happening is I sat down with I kneeleddown with Larry. I never knelt was another man to say a prayer inmy life. And I kept using the excuse that Jews don't get on theirknees. And I was asked this question, George, when you were drunk andhanging on to the toilet pool, you on your knees. Yeah,and when you were going through the cope with you on your knees. Yeah. So why are you disrespecting what I'm asking you to do? So Igot on my knees and I said a prayer and I got up and hesays, all right, you won't turn your role life over the care ofguy. I said, Nope, you said you want to turn your willand life over to care two steps and I said yes, because I wasand I did that for a step. I got to a blockage, andwe all have blockages. And something I believe, and I'll always tell youwhen it's my belief and not something out of alcoholics anonymous or, and youknow literature. I never found that in the literature, but there's a beliefthat I have today. I believe that every one of us that are inhere something in our early life discolored our world and our solution became drinking.That's what I believe and I know what mine is, until you find whatyours is. They told me they I wouldn't stay. There was always something, and mine was being molested when I was a young child by two mendressed as women. I was seven years old. I could talk about itnow. took me a long time to talk about it because the tragedy andnightmare that that character with me made me feel dirty in so many ways andnot accepted and not being able to tell you what really went on. Sothat was my blockage and I was writing my fourth step and we go toDenny's and Larry said, okay, well, how are you doing on your Floall? I'm doing great, you know, and he said to me, well, why don't you bring it next week and let's see what itlooks like? And I said I forgot it the following week and then thenext week he says, well, where is it? It's a well,to tell you the truth, I never done because I knew that he saysyou, well, I'll tell you what either you tell me what it is, you go home and write it and burn it or you do something thatyou have UN till next week. I did next and if you don't doany of that, you might as well find the new sponsor because you're notwilling to do what I asked you to do at the beginning. So Icame back the next week and I told them I didn't do it, andhe got up and he started to walk away and I said, Larry,wait and I sat down and I told...

...them that deep, doc sick secretthat discolored my world from a childhood and we sat down and we got throughthat and then I went home and I wrote my first inventory, which Icall my twenty eight page in moral inventory, because I was living on the streetfor a long time. I didn't have much morality when I got here. I walked away from children, I walked away from my relationship with mywife, I walked away from my relationship with my family. And I wantto know why I didn't like any of them. They had nothing to dowith it. It's everything I did, and I learned that in here too. It doesn't matter what others do, it matters what I do. SoI did all that work and all of a sudden my life got better Iam now sober a bunch of years. I will tell you that there's apot in the big book. I had faith. I had a belief inthe process, but I didn't believe it was going to work for me becausemy children went back in my life and I used the statement when I gotin here I'm here to get my kids back and my kids would taken out. Why do I want to stay? But I kept staying and I willtell you that the journey that I went on was a very long journey.I had faith in the people in the room. When I had to givemy children up, Cathie and Marian Shay made a suggestion to me and theother forget to suggestion. I was told to take two pillows, go downto the pier in the field beach rapt those two pillows in a blanket,with he being my two children, and give them to God. I didwhat I was asked. I didn't feel anything. I didn't feel anything aftermy third step. What I did learn? No, after I did those things, something about that first step was coming in. I was learning aboutthis word cult surrender. I was learning to let go. I wasn't lettingGod, but I was letting go and as I work that process, Godwas taking care of me all along. I just didn't know it. Godput people in my life long before I got here, people that around me. I had a knyt. I work for Union and while I work forthe Union, I'm going to bounce back a little bit. I was workingfor the Union. I S thought an employee system program for people had aproblem with drugs and alcohol didn't fit me. Five years later I used that programto get into here and that and I use that later on. Therewas always people and not the person who helped me the most was a womannamed gene them, Gene Murtz. She's no longer working in the field,but she was ninety when she quit helping alcoholics. She was a proud memberof Alanon, my sister fellowship and and and those people were always there.When I came in, they would people all around me that were trying tohelp me. My friend Rusty, who's sitting in here, I used togo into alcoholics anonymous, being I was such a wellknowledged person and I wouldwork in alcoholics anonymous and say I read the third tradition says I have adesire not to drink, but boy, I wanna do certain drugs and Iwould bring it into the meeting and then I would walk into the other fellowshipat night and say I have a desire not to use, and then Itell everybody how I would want a drink. See, I really wanted somebody tosay you're not welcome there, to...

...do all leave so I can goget drunk or go get high at my cage. Nobody did that. Theylove me. They love me in spite of my behavior, and I learnedabout the tradition of unity through him. So my program started going on andI kept doing the things I was told. And there's a line on page ninetythree that I like a lot. It says to be vital, faithmust be accompanied by self sacrifice and on self constructive action, on selfish.I didn't how to be unselfish. Everything I did was a payoff. WhatAman a gift from it? Why, why, why am I doing thisif I'm not going to get that? Why am I saying sober if mykids aren't back in my life? And somebody said to me, well,your story really doesn't matter. Learn how alcoholics anonymous works is in your kidsmay need it. One day. Well, that day came. Now I willtell you that my journey with my children is a very long journey.I was sober fourteen years. On my fourteenth anniversary I got a phone callfrom a little girl named cassing Marie. That's my daughter, and that phonecall was she wanted to know who a father was. She found me andthat's when the promises were an extravagant anymore and that journey was started through emailsand a couple of phone calls a month and she finally came down to visitme in two thousand started in two thousand and six and two thousand and eightcame down to visit me. We started a relationship. That's a very strongrelationship today. It's very healthy relationship today, is a matter of fact. I'mgoing to get to that story in a minute. There's a story thatI told everybody. I'm going to tell because my journey has changed over thelast couple of weeks, and I will tell you that my son not somuch. We did not have a good relationship. Our relationship is still verystrange. What ended up happening along the way is my ex wife called meand my son was in trouble and because I had some contacts with people inNew York, I helped get him into a treatment center and through that TreatmentCenter he was supposed to go to a halfway house through Stevie and he didn'tget to that halfway house in Riverdale. So he turned around and they wantedto move into his mother's house and she called me, my ex wife,one of the time. She needed something. So she called and I said well, what's up? She said, well, Robert wants a moving withme. What do you think? I said, I don't think it's goodidea. You had a program he had a plan and you shouldn't do it. So she said, okay, I'm not going to so my grand myson is very much like his father. He decided to go downstairs to hisgrandmother's house and don't feed her into the botting. So he was living withmy grandma, with his grandmother, downstairs...

...below my ex wife, and that'swhere he stayed for a while. Never went to the halfway house, gotinto some kind of trouble. Try to help him a couple of times,sent him some money do things that I was to what to do in herewith nothing expected back, and I got exactly that. Nothing for a verylong time, but that was okay. I kept doing what I was doing. My daughter came down at two thousand and eight two, as if towe started our conversation and she got a box, that box of that guidebox I was asked to make with all those letters and gods and she wenthome with them and she opened up and a couple of days later my exwife called me. So Oh, I never knew you felt that way.I said, well, I do, and you know, and you knowwhat I was before is not who I am today. And that was myconversation with her and I still call her very regularly, whether she answered thephone or not. My job is to reach out and do what I wastaught to do. I do that to my son, I do that withmy daughter, but my daughter is a phone. We talked a lot.Well, since that relationship my daughter daughter started, I have two grandchildren.They're beautiful kids. I've been up there. I've actually got to spend two anda half weeks with my daughter. A couple of two months ago Iwas asked to come go speaking pain Pennsylvania and on my way up I hadplans to fly into New Jersey and had right up to Pennsylvania and I wastalking to my daughter and she said, well, you all going to stopby and see me? I said of course, I am how to changemy whole bland immediately because that's my priority. And I went and I saw herand I saw the grandkids and we went out to dinner and on myway up at leaving her, I went up the stairs and I fell andI broke three ribs. So but I got to see my kids. That'swhat I had about, and my grandkids and that was very wonderful trip.I found out when I was up there in July of last year. Yeah, it must be almost two years ago. I was up there in July.I went up to with with my daughter. I spend time at ourhouse and I went to see my son for his birthday. He knew Iwas coming. I saw my exmother in law, my my wife. Wehad a wonderful conversation R and I we finally supposedly cleaned everything up. Whetherwe did or not, I don't know, but my side of street was clear. I got to speak with my son, I got to take themout to all out to dinner. I took my son his fiance at thetime, my daughter, her husband, the two kids and my son's stepsister. My daughters and sons step sister out to dinner. My ex wifedidn't show up, but that's okay. And then I went home and Ifound out that my son. During that time, I knew my son wasgetting married in December and I didn't expect to be invited. I mean she'scloser to his stepfather than he is to me and I understood all that.I just told him just to be honest...

...with me, and then after thatthere was still no communication. I keep reaching out, he doesn't answer.I send him gives for his birthday. I don't get acknowledgement and that's allhis journey, not mine, but I still do the things I was tootto do in here. Now I'm going to take you up to that otherstory. My daughter had let me know that his wife was pregnant and whenI found that out, I reached out to him. Of course he didn'tget back to me and two weeks ago on Sunday, yeah, it's twoweeks ago Sunday. The baby was born on December the twelve and I savedthe day for a very good reason, because Bob Welsh, my first sponsor, died on December the twelve. Coincidence, got incidence. I don't get intothat. It's just one of those things that I know is divinely workedout. So when you know, when the baby was born, I reachedout. There was no return and phone call and a week ago Sunday,they're all over the baby, the house, you know, the my my kids, the grandkids, the uncle's, the ants, everybody, and theyforgot my there they are grandmother, my mother in law at the time,and what ended up happening is somebody went to get her and she walked intothe house and when she walked into the house, my ex wife was holdingthe baby and she took two steps in, she saw my ex wife, shesaw my the great new grandson, a great grandson, took another step, had a stroke and died on the spot. That night, last Sundaynight, I got a call from my daughter. We are on the phonefor a good two hours talking about you know, she just couldn't believe it. Everybody's there, everybody watch this tragedy. At the at the same time itwas a birth beauty, beautiful thing involved with it. So I gotup the next morning and I texted my ex wife a, you know,a text to her. I may send a text to my daughter after talkingher. If she needs anything, if she's okay, call me, andI reached out for my son, of course, my son, to Nanserand I did my prayer meditation that morning. I did all that first and Iwas praying again and Stotton told me that in a voice that we hear, that not our head for a change, said why don't you call your daughterin law? And I decided to go look for her number, whichI had from four years ago. I had to go through all my oldphone numbers and I found that. I called her. She didn't answer.So I feel, you know, it's like everything else. I was onmy way to ment on track that Monday meeting that I hadn't gone to,but I had just listed jobs. So there we go again, because mefree time. God does me what I want through for myself. And Ishow up and I'm outside, right outside here, about a Hilf hour earlyin the phone rings. It's my daughter in law and we have a verylong conversation and we talked about my son and I said I understand that's howhe feels about me. But I would like some pictures of the baby.I got a whole lot of pictures from...

...my my daughter in law, andshe said you just keep reaching out. You know, she always just beentrying to make him reach back, but he won't. And a couple ofminutes after the meeting I look down at my phone and it was a textmy son said it's very hard. Thank you for reaching out, and butwhenever I look at the baby I'm okay. So is it a back door wayback to him my life? Yeah, I believe that. I don't knowwhere it's going to go. I don't know where that journey is goingto go, but I know one thing. If I picked up a drink,none of that would be possible. That I do know. So thatpart of the journey, you know. We talked about that part. Youknow, and I said the magnificent reality of alcoholics. Anonymous. Had Inot done the things that I was asked to do, and I still do, whether I show up at a meeting, when I'm asked to speak, Ishow up there. If somebody asked me to help them, I'm gladto help them, whether it's step work whether it's sponsorship, whether somebody needsa ride. I've been doing that for a long time. I never gettired of that because, you know what, when I get outside of me,I get closer to God. God, am I understanding? I have friendsthat I go out to eat with all the time. We rip itup. If I've drinking, they would be ripping me up in a jailcell somewhere. I haven't had that experience hit, although I've been threatened morethan once. You know, they tell you exactly what happened to me.I'll tell you exactly what happened and says the book says stressed a spiritual feature. Freely. I will tell you that I came in here not believing thatthis thing would work. And if you're an alcoholic like I am, andyou new and it's your first Christmas, I want to tell you about myfirst Christmas. My first Christmas started Christmas Eve sitting in the bottom line shakeRattley and rolling and not a I'm afraid to leave the building because I wasafraid I was going to drink. And then I was taken out of thatbuilding by two other people to take me to a guy named billy be andGenieb House to have Christmas dinner. And on that Christmas dinner I was arounda whole lot of people with recovery and the first opportunity I had to dowas will play with children, at least kids, and again let me knowthat there was something special was going on in this this this thing here calledalcoholics anonymous, and I will tell you I made a promise that night thatif I ever had the opportunity, I would open up, wherever I wason Christmas to anybody who needed it. Well, I had the privilege,when my mom was not when my mom was going home, when she wassick, to be at my sister's house and we opened up the backyard allthe Christmas for anybody who is new or anybody that was around. We startedat seven o'clock and I very similar to this or was in a backyard bya pool for all kinds of Christmas lights and Christmas decoration for the New People, because I was a new partle Parson once and I know how miserable Iwas my first Christmas and how afraid I was. And you know what,I'm not afraid of Christmas anymore. I'm not afraid of being alone anymore andI learned that in here. So I...

...opened it up and that we didthat for eight years. That's there's certain things I just don't talk about veryoften because they're really not important, but they really are, especially around thistime of the year when people are struggling. A lot of new people are struggling. You know, I us at a meeting last week and I satby the door and they as they at people walk in, I just saida load everybody I didn't know. I did not know that was the firstresponders group that was sent by a treatment center. They needed to get toa meeting and I talked everyone in them as they came in, and nowI'm reaching out to somebody I know who works which first responders to try andhelp these kids. These are people who came back from the wall, whohave a whole lot of other issues, more than I had. You know, in there's people here that can help them because whatever we're going through,whatever we think is so major that we can't get through. I know onething about alcoholics. Anonymous, someone in this room has already been there.There is nothing new in here. So whatever you're feeling or thinking or confusedabout, picking hand up and talk about it. There's somebody in here who'sbeen there, and you know why? God will speak to you through oneof the people in this room. Thank you for letting me shift. I.

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