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

Episode 139 · 2 months ago

Stevie B. Step 1 at Life Is Good Group 11/3/2022

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Step 1 from Stevie B. Step Series at the Life Is Good Group, Boca Raton, FL started November 2022.

Alcoholic. I'm just not a pure alcoholic, but I had a very very serious drug problem at one time, and that brought me into alcoholics. Anonymous Early, I want to tell you, I'm half Jewish and I'm half Italian, which if you if you understand what that means, you understand what that means. That's guilt on both sides and a lot of confusion. And we weren't. We were very religious on both sides. That's tough. That's tough because you praised Jesus on the wrong night you're out, and so that brings up a lot of a lot of stuff in a young kid. Because because the first time I had my first drink, which is manischevi it's Jewish table wine, really my drink of choice till this day. Um, it helped me calm down from the medress of the two different family because we we uh, I'm not saying you're gonna know what this means, but we would pass the Manza but also praise the Lord. And that's very stressful for an eight year old because you gotta keep the holidays together, okay, and my time side of the family didn't want to hear anything about the Jewish side of the time. You know, if I went over to my grandfather J. C. Emvig, we had amazing and filter fish on Friday night. He didn't want to hear any of that kind of stuff because he was making pasta insults. So I had early on a lot of stress. And then being from New York, uh, in my our our blocks are separated and and and basically it's blocks and sports. And if you're good at sports, you're the king of the block. And if you have brothers on the block, then you really get a lot of juice when you go over to the playground, you get a lot of juice with the brothers. And in my block, I don't know if that can you reach your hand. If here from the Northeast, sorry, and you guys know exactly what I'm talking. Can you're from the northeast of Italy, so you understand. So on my block, there was every family on my block had brothers. The monday Is three brothers, the Wagonman's three brothers, the Cohen's three brothers, the Wools three brothers. And I had a short chubby sister. When you got a short chubby sister and you walk up to the playground with a short chuck, You get no juice, nobody wants. You don't get it, you don't get picked, nobody looks at you because the other guys are all there with their try and they're there with their brothers. And I felt early on, before I ever took a first drink that I was h I had a short end of the stick being have Jewish and half Catholic, have Jewish and half Italian, or a short, chubby sister. You get absolutely no juice in the neighborhood. So I would walk over there and I would already feel low self esteem. I knew that part of my problem was my family stuff, but it really wasn't. And I feel that when I took my first drink it kind of helps some of that stuff, I believe. And by the way, um in this room, with the amount of sobriety that you have, I'm just gonna speak from what I from what is my experience. That's all I can do. But I feel that I had alcoholism before I ever took my first drink. I believe that drinking cured my alcoholism for a time. There's nothing that helped me as quick as a drink did for my alcoholism, and and being insecure, and being neurotic, and and having all these things going on, and feeling like if I had brothers, things would be different, and feeling like if I was more like the other kids on the block, everything would be different. I had I had a jen I had anxiety early on. I was in the seventh grade. I have to tell the story because before I have it, took my first drink. I was an amazing liar. But I had to be because if you have a little self esteem, you don't want to be who you are, so you have to be somebody else. And my whole life changed. In the seventh grade, we got a new coach and the coach was looking down the roster and he and he comes to my last name, which is Boyarsky, which is which is which is tough? And I'll explain you later on down the road, because it turns out I was adopted, and I'm and I'm and then I found out I'm a hundred percent Italian. But but then nobody wants to hear it. Once you find out you're adopted, and you say, wait, wait, wait, I want to tell you I'm actually in time, but they go, your last name is Booski. So, so the coach is going down the roster and he says to me, he says Boyoski, and I said, yes, coach, he's brand new. And he said, uh, does your brother play for the Pittsburgh Panthers. Now, if your brother doesn't play for the Pittsburgh Panthers, well you don't have a brother. The obvious answer is no. But at that exact moment, I really felt like my life was about to change. And before I knew it, I said, in front of the whole school in Long Island, in my town that everyone knew me. I said, yes, coach, that's my brother, and all the kids looked over at me, and that was it. Everything changed from me, and from that moment on, I had to be an entirely different person. Jerry Bodovski is a real person, and he did play for the Pittsburgh Panthers, and and he did get a drafted to the NFL.

One of the greatest days of my life. And but there's no relation. You have to say, I told that story so many times, and I did clippings and I had jerseys with my own last it's his last. You know, you understand my low self esteem caused me to do things that I would never do if I was okay with myself. But I just wasn't okay with myself. I was okay with anything that you wanted me to be, and I was willing to do that at any length, at any cost, including the first time I tried drugs, which you know, which was drinking and then and and marijuana was It was a thing that I did because other people were around, and I wanted to fit in with the other people. But it actually worked when when I did outside substances, I actually felt like I had brothers. I actually felt like I was tougher, I actually felt like I fit in. I actually felt like I didn't need to make stories because I felt like I belonged. My uncle was my hero, and he was a doctor down here in South Florida. I went away to college and I just had a little bit of a problem with drugs and alcohol, and and this is the truth, I did not have a big problem with alcohol and drugs. It wasn't a big issue for me. I always liked it, I always liked more, but it was really just something I did to change my moods. And then I tried a substance which I'm not gonna get into, which was not alcohol or marijuana. And I tried it, and I instantly fell in love with it. But it cost a lot of money. And I was in colleges during the eighties and uh yeah, exactly. And and you know, I'm a waiter. I'm a waiter at one of these um like a dirty dancing type of resort in the Poconos where people go and they stayed the whole week and they pay the waiter with a with a bunch of cash at the end of the week. There's not a lot you can do on hard drugs with that type of waiter salary and and having to pay for school and doing all that kind of stuff. So I dibbled and dabbled in it, but I didn't really get into any trouble. And then my uncle, who was a doctor down here in South Florida. He was an internist and he was chief over at Holy Cross Hospital, and he was forty two years old, and he was a genius, and he told himself how to be a doctor in Italy while he was learning Italian at the same time at the University of Bologna. He didn't speak Italian when he got there, and he was learning how to speak Italian and be a doctor the same A real jeans, a real amazing He had Jaguars a forty years ago when nobody had jaguars in the United States. He had the import of it was and we were driving around at Jaguars and and the top down, and he was just the coolest guy in the entire planet to me. And he was single. And he was forty two when I was in college, and I was I was playing around in college and and then I got the call that he had died. He had dove into his swimming pool with some waiters from Ruth Chris Steak House on Federal Highway and by Oakland Park Boulevard, and and he drowned on the bottom of a swimming pool. Turned out my uncle was a genius, but he was an alcoholic. We just thought he was accentual. And he left me a large sum of money, not not not large sum of money to us today, but a very large sum of money to a twenty one year old that's a waiter at college in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. He left me enough of my bank account that went, you know, from fifty dollars to many other zeros after the fifty dollars, and now I have access to money, and I have access to the things that I want to do. And what happened for me is I got really deep into it. I got really deep into it. And in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, I got really deep into the drug world and I and I went down really really fast. I I'm not gonna tell any of the funny stories, but but I'll tell you a true story. Uh, my grandfather had the paper was Sunday dinner. We'd always go home for Sunday dinners in Long Island. And we we finished the dinner and it was during the time of New Jack City and my grandfather opens up the paper and and there it is on the front page about the drug problem in New York and that if you try this one substance you could become absolutely instantaneously addicted. And he says to me, Steve, I want you to see this. Never try this substance. You see what this is. And I said, Grandpa, what is that? And he mentioned the druger. I said, absolutely, I will never try that. They left the table to drink the scotches they retired to the other room. I took that paper. I went to New Yor City.

I was like a kid, and that has anybody seen this substance? Do you know where I could get some of this substance? And I left New York City Washington Heights with that substance. And the next year and a half was absolutely brutal. I I developed a very serious drug problem. I went off to my parents and I said, Tom, listen, I left school. I can't stop using and UH and you gotta do something. And back then, it's different. You know, we're talking about thirty years ago. Thirty years ago. It's not like today where there's four choices. You know, you got the military, you have college, you have a trade, and you have treatment. It's not it wasn't like that for you. Thirty years ago, thirty years ago, nobody was going to treatment. It was only a couple of centers around the United States. And UH and but with the but they heard about the center in the middle of the United States, UH called Hazelton for Kids. Because I was twenty and UH and they sent me out to Haveleton. But I didn't know anything about Minnesota. And it's February and and you know, you can look at me. You can see I'm not like a scholastic genius. So I really didn't even know where Minnesota was. I threw it was west of Pennsylvania, but I didn't know how west and how far and how close to the North Pole it was. And so my mother puts the VCR tape on and she says, watch this. This is called Clean and Sober with Michael Keaton. This is where you're going You're gonna go to treatment. And I watched the tape. You know at the time of the VCR that you watched the tape. This is where you're going to going to treatment and uh and treatment look good, you know, really they they that people were hooking up and treatment there was a robot and treatment there's milkshakes and uh and and so I dressed for Minnesota like I dressed for spring break in Florida and back, you know, thirty years of I'm a muscle guy. So wear my balloon pants, which are paper thin balloon pants. And I have six different type of muscle t shirts, five gold chains, a lot of hair gel. You know, I dressed for spring breaking, and I arrived in Minnesota and and it's like far ago. I mean, it's like nothing you've ever seen. I'm totally underdressed for this type of inexperience. If you never been in Minnesota and with it, you don't know what I'm saying, but I'm telling you it's it's something like you cannot possibly imagine. And I didn't possibly but I had a jacket on like this, you know, like the last member jacket, the members only jacket, and and and a guinea t because that's the why I dressed. And I'm like, yo, the kid is here, you know, where is the experience? And they whisked me off to the treatment center for kids, and I wasn't impressed. And uh, and then I looked at the wall. I came from a family of hotel molds. Okay, what I mean my moguls is not that we owned hotels. We did a lot of gambling in hotel so so I had no nice hotels and this place was wildly inadequate for for a kid like me from New York. And I looked over at the steps on the wall and I saw alcohol. And I was immediately offended because I didn't come there for alcohol. I came there for one substance. I had a thirty five tho dollar check in my pocket and I said to the to the concierge, I said, excuse me, I says, I'm not here for to stop drinking alcohol. One I'm going back to my senior year of college. I think my dad, stand Boyarsky, and I said it like slow, like like he would know who my dad was. From Atlantic City, I said, I think you know stand Boyarsky sent me here to get this one thing under wraps. They were not impressed in Minneapolis with me and and the guy said you could leave. And where I'm from, the louder you talk, we get stuff done, you know. So I said, listen, I'm about to leave here. I'm about to leave here already. You remember that. I said, I'm about to leave here. And he has his son relaxed. All we've seen is that we're powerless over alcohol. I said, I don't I don't even know what you're talking about, powerless over alcohol. I came here for one substance. I'm gonna leave. He goes, well, you could leave. He calls my blood and I go and I picked up my three piece matching Gluccy luggage and I turned around to leave, but there's a snow drift that came in front of the door, and it was like the shining. Nobody was leaving that place. And I say that story every time I speak. It's important. It's not to be funny. It's because it doesn't matter why we're here. We have some people that are here for the first time. It uh, it doesn't matter why you're here. You're here. And I stayed in Alcoholics Anonymous to the thought out in the spring, That's why I stayed. But if you're white ordered, your your cored ordered, your has been ordered, your child ordered,...

...you're already here. We're off the hook. We never have to drink again, no matter what, even if we want to. And that is an incredible gift of alcoholics Anonymous. We not have to drink, even if we want to. And I couldn't see that at the moment because I was just trying to get off one substance and I didn't understand alcoholics Anonymous is not enough about drinking. It's about a new way of life. It's about a relationship with God. It's about a relationship with God that changes us from the inside out so that we don't want to have a drink again. But you can't tell that all to a young twenty one year old kid that that thinks he has all the answers. So they just said staying, let us love you too. You can love yourself. You know that wasn't I didn't really love that thing. When they said that to me, I'm not. I'm not. I'm like, I'm I love you know, I don't even know what you're talking about. I mean, I'm already loved myself. They said it, and I stayed until the sprint where I could escape, and I got eighteen months of being dry, no steps. I was mostly in narcotics anonymous because in Midwest narcotics anonymous is where the kids are hanging out. So I was mostly in narcotics anonymous. I stayed clean eighteen months, and then someone said to me, because if we don't change, if the man or a woman that we come in here has, it doesn't change. If we don't change, then we will use again. It doesn't matter, hanting men, how long you stay clean sober. If we don't change, we will use again. So I was clean eighteen months, which is a very long time for a twenty one year old kid. Eighteen months. The first person that offered me, uh something that was looked like my drug of choice, and they didn't offer to me. They said, I heard that you're in the program. I have a problem with drugs. And that was enough to say to me. To that person, I said, well, let's get loaded. Eighteen months, let's get lord. I had no defense against the first drink because I had not developed any relationship with God or a higher power, and I had not worked the steps as you told me to work the steps. I worked a couple of steps in as I wait. They found me very comical. Back thirty years ago in Minneapolis. There wasn't a lot of New Yorker is back there, so they passed me around like an idol. And but that's not enough to keep you as sober. And I got those eighteen months, and then I had to. I got back in the elevator for the new people that are here tonight. You're already, you're already out of the elevator. You don't have to push down, you don't have to get back in the elevator. Said, you know, let me see if there's another basement. I'm at the bottom. Let me see what else is down there. But I'm in Minneapolis now. And then I get in the elevator. Now twenty three. My parents aren't taking my coals. They joined uh narana. Yeah, it sounds like you heard of it. Yeah, they're giving me the tough flow that. It was very big in the nineties. Death tough flow that was serious. I don't know if it's still serious, but it was very serious back then. I'd call hello, Keith, could I nothing? You know that? So I'm alone in Minneapolis. I'm on the streets. I keep pushing the elevated down. Now I'm running around the streets in the cold. You know, homeless in Minneapolis. There's no children. That's not something you could do for any length of time. People die on a run there. Literally, you run, you die. I pretended I was a Native American. I checked myself into a Native American treatment center. Sorry about that. It takes a while to check your card. It's very cold. And when I got out of that Native American treatment center, um, I didn't want to change, and I relapsed again. Finally I had enough. I saw this ad in the paper. I didn't know much about pawning at this moment, and I saw an end of paper that you could pawn your car. And I had never heard of such a concept, and I had I called up to people and I said, what does that mean? You could pawn your car? He said, you bring a car or us, we give you money, and you still own the car. I was like, that's fantastic. That's a fantastic deal. Let me just repeat it. I give you the car, I still own it, you give me a bunch of money. That's fantastic. So I went all the way out to the middle of Minnesota, and um, I met this guy and he bought my car from me that I still owned, and he gave me thirteen hundred dollars, which is you know, Sheldon dollars. When you're twenty three thirty years of it, that's like a million dollars. And I had set up this whole thing in my mind where I was going to get an apartment and you know, down payment on a car, you know, all this kind of stuff, not a car, like a nice bike. And I I went to the old neighborhood. The guy drove me...

...all the way back to Minneapolis and he said me, where are you going? And I said, I'm going to North Minneapolis. And there was no there's no white people that live in North Manurla. So he said, why are you going to North Minneapolis. I said, my family lives in North Minniappo. He said, listen, are you sure you want to go to North Mineapolis. I said, I want to go to North Minaplis. And he took me to North Minneapolis and he dropped me off of North Minneapolis and all the guys come out of the house. See you look amazing, you put on weight, come out in the house. And I felt like, my family, there's my family, Dmitrius, what's out? And I go in the house and and I go do what I usually do, and I have a stroke, but I gotts on me. I gave a hundred of it away and I can't move and I'm on the floor. I have none of the faculties of my body. I can't move, but I'm I know everything that's going on. And he reaches into my pocket and he tasted. And I remember doing that second that during that hours, not in seconds, hours, hours and hours that I would stare at the door hoping that he was coming back for some stuff with me. In my in my mind, I was hoping that he was out looking for stuff for me, and I remember the rats running around in the top of his house, and the kids running around with dirty diapers, jumping over me, running over me, the kids running over me, and nobody doing anything to help me. I was laying helplessly on the floor. And in the morning I finally came to I had my faculties back, and he came in and and and and obviously he didn't have to have anything for me. I wrote a bed check to get to the other side of town, and I got myself into treatment. I got a year sober, and I came down here to to um Florida, to people my grandfather j C. And by then I'm I'm firmly planted in alcoholics anonymous, and I mean this, I'm firmly planted in a A. I get down here. I'm at the airport. I called the twelve I called the A hotline, the intergrad hotline, and Diane from the twelve Step House answers the phone, and I said, I need a meeting tonight. I'm a year sober. I just landed in four Lord, I need a meeting tonight. She says, come over to the twelve Step out we got a great meeting called the eleventh Step group. And I go over to the eleven Step group and I meet my sponsor, Myron A. Myron, the locksmith for the county. May God rest his soul. He just died with almost forty years of sobriety a couple of months ago. Myron, just a beautiful man, becomes my sponsor. I meant my best friend, Danny made God rest his soul, he died with fourteen years. I meet Danny, and I meet Myron, and I meet Ruth Rogers who has fifty four years of sobriety, and and Maurice and all these legends of alcoholics Anonymous, and I'm I'm eating it up and these I'm just I'm just loving and they're taking me around because you know, old people love young people. You know, they just take you around and sit over there and empty that a stray out and this is when we do watch that coffee cup. And they got a project. Now go buy those cookies. You spent too much, okay. And they're taking the amount of meetings. And I love alcoholics Anonymous, and I love my sponsor, and I love these people. And I'm just feeling that these people are so intelligent and they're so smart, and they have so many answers. I'm just gonna follow them. I'm gonna listen to them. I'm I learned a etiquette. I learned what to do after meetings, before meetings, what we do during meetings. We didn't have cell phones back then, so that wasn't something that we had to talk about. And I learned and they were just in so amazing. And then I got about four years and they became stupid. But these people are stupid. I'm like amazingly intelligent. My arms are phenomenal, my hair is phenomenal. I'm a good looking guy. I have a college I almost have a college degree. I'm gonna very close to a college degree. My hanging around with these people in alcoholics anonymous and I started to become very smart, very fast. And I started taking semplements that make your body even bigger, that costs money you need to inject, and uh, I started getting bigger, and my ego got bigger on my pecks. I could still move him a little bit. Put that down here now, But I and and my God's size hole is getting bigger and bigger because I don't have a relationship with God. I have a relationship with me, and the promises have come true in my life. The promises of two cars in the garage, a house, the promises of big biceps, the promises of money in the bank, the promises of of those were none of the promises. Those could be some of the gifts if you have, if you're set and you have the right relationship with God. But those are not the promises though. That's not what they promise you in the middle of the ninth step promises. But I made him my promises, and that didn't work. And so I started to feel the same thing that I felt when I was eight years old, when I had low self esteem and no amount of steroids, no amount of money was fixing the God's sized hole because I wasn't going to God with it. And then I saw her. I worn't in the foreload of the swap shopping back then, thirty years ago,...

...twenty years ago, we had the circus that was amazing, real circuits, elephants and tigers and Davi Berd Coppor Field stuff and and and there I saw her. She was on an elephant, and she's a show girl, and she had big feathers and brown hair and tan skin. I saw her and I said, if I couldn't have that girl, that would fix this. And I pursued her. Back then, they didn't have stoking by pursuit her. I pursued her, so she just cave off and she said, yeah, just go out with you, and and and she agreed to marry me. I had of exhaustion, and by now my meeting schedule was one of month. My My entire program has fallen apart. I've made it about money, I've about bodybuilding, and I've made it about her. And she doesn't know what to look for because I'm still putting on a really good act. I'm acting out and I'm punching people in the face and A I'm getting kicked out of a I'm getting arrested in an egg. But by the time I come home, I'm sober, stee my high and alcoholism has totally returned. She doesn't know it because she doesn't know what to look for. And I'm sober six years. And if you're sober six years and you have money in the bank and you're not, you know not, and you're a jerk. Not everyone's gonna tell you They may tell you once, but if you don't listen, they move on to the next person that really wants to hear it. And I was sober and I was a jerk, and a couple of people told me, and I told him to go after themselves, and then they move on to someone that really is ready. And I was on my honeymoon with my new wife, and I'm just when I say a new wife, it always sounds wrong. I was on the hunt. I was on my honeymoon with my wife that I just married. Does this still that's sound right. It's not like I have multiple wives, is what I'm trying to say. This is the one wife, and I marry her, and we're newly married, and we're on our honeymoon, and we're in New Orleans. Because she's from the country of Columbia, she has no idea what New Orleans is, so I sell her on the idea that it's about jazz. And we're over there in New Orleans and um, and in the table next to me next to us, the people are drinking fine wine and they have it in a decanter in the middle of the table, and no one's drinking it. Now I'm five years sober, and I've never seen anything like this. I've never seen a people that have it in a decanter with this big flute that comes out of it, and it's red wine, and no one's drinking it, and it's bothering me, even though I'm on my honeymoon and I'm supposed to be looking at my wife and she thinks I'm thinking about her, but I'm thinking about the wine that's nobody's drinking. I don't understand what's going on. I call over the server and I say to the server, what's going on the table next to us? And she says to me, these people are drinking fine wine that needs to breathe first. Once she said that, in like a light bulb went off of me and I realized I had went from Mandorg twenty two hard drugs and I had miss fine wine that needs to breathe first. But I wanted to stop that this type. I mean, look at this, nobody could get drunk, and that they don't even drink it. And in my mind at that moment, I didn't. I was not powerless over alcohol. I was not powerless over fine type of alcohols. And if we cannot admit to our animals selves that we're powerless over alcohol. We can't admit that we're alcoholics, or at least at the very least as I said that we're powerless, we will drink again. For the next two years, I was in Alcoholics Anonymous, and I knew I was gonna take a drink. I picked up my seven year of a dion at the twelve Step House and I went searching for fine wine on a Thursday night, the same night as my home group. I picked up my my seven year of my dion and I went to go look for fine wine, which you know, you still need to know what you're doing for fine win. You just show up. And then this fine wine over. I went to August Moon Chinese food restaurant over in Hollywood during and Japanese rice wine in the box. That's as fine as I ever got during that experiment. Three dollars and nine sets. I never got over that hup. Anyway, I need to I need to to to go fast. I just need to tell you what happened. That fine wine brought me back to my drug and choice. That beautiful new wife, my beautiful wife were married a year and a half nine eleven happens. The house is full of drugs. She doesn't know I'm doing things. Everything is a lie. She thinks I'm having a nervous breakdown. I'm seeing a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist doesn't know. I don't even think to tell the psychiatrist I'm doing drugs that keep you up all the time. And I go to the psychiatrist that I'm paying a hundred dollars cash an hour. And I said to him, I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't sleep, I can't eat, I'm up all night. He says,...

...you could be having a nervous breakdown. I said, I know. My wife can't take it anymore, and she leaves the country. She goes to Columbia. She can't take it because our mess destroys the people we love. Our alcoholism destroys the people we love. Our alcoholism destroys the very fiber of our families. My wife was getting sick, everyone around me was getting sick, and she needed to leave her own sanity. And nine eleven happens, and she flies back in a frantic and frantically to come back and save me because she knows something's wrong. She doesn't know I'm using drugs, and she doesn't know I'm drinking alcoholically. She just thinks I'm having a nervous breakdown. And she loves me enough to fly back to Miami after nine eleven and she's in the airport, a young woman without a cell phone in the airport, Miami, twenty years ago. And she calls me from the airport and she says, sweetheart, come pick me up. I'm here. I said, I'll be right there, but I'm getting loaded in the house. She calls me on the phone in the house. Phone, please, sweetheart, Please, what are you doing? I said, I'll be right there an hour later. Please? What's going on? Honey? How come you can't come? I'll be right there. I had become a bump. I had to call my sixty six year old dad just to tell him, can you please go to Miami to pick up my wife. I lined him and told him I was in a car accident. That after he's got my wife, he's looking for me on the streets of Miami, my sixties six year old dad. I had no morals, I had no scruples, I had no integrity, I had no truth. And this starts on my my my one year journey of treatment centers and detoxes and insane asylums, and all I wanted to do was have one glass of fine wine. I traded it all this for a glass of fine wine. I remember I was during that time. My wife brought me toWin the Broward County into group dinner. I think Happy Bob was there, and and I was the guy that got the book. I was the guy that got the big book. And you know how the old timer in the countdown to sick, the guy with the fifty years forty years gets the gets to sign the book. And I thought these guys are all I lost my respect for alcoholics anonymous because I lost my respect for me and I couldn't get it. The Big Book says go out and try some control drinking if you don't think you're an alcoholic, but it doesn't tell you may not be able to come back game. And I lose everything during that year and a half. It took me seven years to build and a year and a half to destroy everything. Integrity, money, hell, the businesses, the biceps all gone. And finally, you know it's very special to me. I'm not gonna mention the person's name, but my counselor is here from treatment from eighteen years ago. That you can tell what you know, you gotta. I don't know if you can tell. But it's a big honor to let God use you from that place of where your whole life is over to where eighteen years from later, you're speaking at a meeting where your counsel was where he saw you how bad you are. And I think it's amazing that God uses us, not because of ourselves, in spite of ourselves. I think it's amazing that because I damaged my wife and damage my life and damage my finances, and that I have a great story. So my wife drops me off with the treatment center down in Miami and she serves me with a restraining order for my birthday. It was nice, though it was like in a gift card you gave me that I don't be remembering, and uh, I can't come home now. So I have to go to a halfway out, which I was not happy about because I felt I owned a full house. And I go to this halfway house and and and I'm still not ready to surrender. But I get this tough sponsor, Jerry Bear, and he tells me to start praying on my knees in the morning and start praying on my knees at night. You're gonna praying the knees in the morning, You're gonna ask God to keep you cleaning sober, and at nighttime you're gonna thank Him for keeping you clean and sober. If I invite you to come over my house and you sit in my dining room table and you grab food and you don't say please, and you leave and you don't say thank you, do you think I'll ever invite you back over to my house again? And I said no, Jerry, of course not. He said, so, why do you think you should be in God's world one day without asking for the gift of sobriety and thanking him at night? Do you think He's gonna give you another day? And that made sense to me, And I start praying on my knees, and I started asking God to give me the gift of sobriety in the morning, and I started thanking him at night. But about thirty days sober, I'd start getting like, maybe it wasn't that...

...bad. I know, I am a restraining owner. I know I live in a half way as I know I don't have a car. I know I lived next to stinky feet Mason. I get all that, but maybe it wasn't that bad. Maybe I got one more in me and I come up with a plan. I come up with a plan that I'm gonna call my wife and I'm gonna ask her for a hundred dollars for the cell phone that they have at the Sprint store. Because I'm not a guy that's gonna go on a run with no money. I have some respect. I'm a month old. So I called. I called my wife and I say to my wife, sweetheart, and she already knows b S comes after sweetheart, and I say, could I get a cell phone for a hundred and ninety nine dollars? Did you ever hit the story telling you? And she puts me on hold. I think she's checking the bank account. It turns out she joined the secret program called Allen I without ever asking me my opinion. You you know right, I can see some of the ladies of pro and she checks with their sponsor, and her sponsor says, give the bump the money, give me the money. Put a hundred nine and dollars on myself, on my on my visa card with thirty days of Surpride. They set me up. I don't think that's one of the principles. They said you and I rushed over to the Sprint store and I say to the guy behind the counter, I need to have the cheapest cell phone you have, and I need to be out of here in fifteen minutes because I know I need to call my wife, and I need to call the half way house manager, and I need to pretend I didn't get loaded. And this is what God. I had just gotten up off my knees about a half an hour before. You see what's so amazing about me. I don't know about you, but I have two people that live in me. I have Good Steve and I have Bad Steve. Who I feed winds and who I starved dies. Right now, I feel completely filled up to the top. Good Steve is winning tonight, and I'm so grateful to be here. Bad Steve doesn't even know where he's down. He's down, Bad Steve, He's down. But I had gotten on more of off my knees, and I still went to be bed. Stephen, God didn't abandoned me just because I was gonna act out. He sends a guy from Alcoholics Anonymous to be the guy behind the counter at the sprint store. And the guy behind the counter the sprints so says Steviev, we saw you yesterday at Victory welcome back. I'm on the thirty days we miss you. It turns out to be true. Giant Drew from Alcoholics Anonymous, and he's only got a couple of months more than me. And he takes me outside and he buys me a cup of coffee and I don't drink. And then my wife invites me to come back and live in the house. A year later or a year later, I spend in the halfway house and she invites me to come back and live in the house. And I'm in the house the first night, and I decided I want to turn the mattress over because in my mind, the mattress is lumpy. I haven't been there for a year. And I get down on my knees and my wife is cooking food downstairs, and and she's happy and I'm happy, and I just get on my knees. I said, God, thank you so much for bringing me back to the bait Ben, thank you for bringing me back to the house. And I decided to turn the mattress over, and there's my stash, there's my stats from the year before. I hadn't slept there in a year. But this time it was God and me and the stash and not just me, and I didn't have to pick up. And I called my wife and she came up, but she was crying. And I was crying because because there's gonna come a time in a place where you're gonna just need to know that you're the real deal, that you're doing the right thing when no one's watching. I did the right thing. She's crying. I'm crying. We would get the stuff. We put it in my thought. We put it in the dumpster at the public and and and and and I lived to fight another day. And I started taking meetings in the treatment center. It was my dream to take meetings into treatment center. So I started going around to all the treatment centers. And then my name gets out there and people are asking me to speak. And if you're a young person, well I'm not young anymore, but during that time, I was younger, and I'm like thirty four, and I got a couple of years of so writing. I'm going around the treatment centers and life is good, amazing, and we decided we're gonna have a baby. Of course, that's what happens when you you know, everything's good. And we went to go have a baby, and we can't have a baby. And then we get eggs donated from South America from her family from Colombia, and that doesn't work. And then and then we get pregnant. We get pregnant, We build the baby room, We're walking on air. Everything incredible. I still have the same crumby job that I'm not crazy about, but who cares. We're having a baby. I'm so brain ears. I love my wife, she loves me. I'm back in the big bed. We're having a baby. We build the baby room, we go to get the baby's heart beat on the monitor and and have the tape and and no baby. And I can't believe it. I can't believe it because I'm in a firmly planted. I'm now in church, firm we planted. I'm in four different ministries, firm we planted. I'm taking meetings into treatment centers all over town for free. Firmly planted. How is it that we don't have a baby? How is it the baby diet that doesn't even make any sense to me. God, that makes no sense to me. And I call up Ernie R. From our home group and I and I'm crying on the phone and he says, Stevie, pray for the acceptance of God's will. So other...

...than well, meeting people in the program told me that God only gives you which you can handle. And that's not true, and that's a miss thing and that really could destroy a person that just lost the baby or lost the wife, who lost a husband and lost You tell someone that that God only gives you what you can handle, You're like this to God. But it really turns out that bad things happen no matter if you're an a A or not, and God will give you the strength to get through it. And he starts giving me the strength to get through it. I'm going to meetings broken and we can't have a baby and and not so we so we go to an adoption agency and we pay the money for the adoption agency and we're excited about the adoption agency. It's not the route that I wanted to go, but I guess it's the route that you want me to go. And I'm not happy about it. And then we get kicked out of the adoption. Who gets kicked out adoptionity, that's hard. It turns out of my first sobriety because I was such a great guy. Driving out of the Fort Lord of Delle Men's Group by Oakland Park Boulevard, I picked up a prostitute, which was a police officer. Yeah, not good. I mean, it's not good to pick up prostitute, but especially when the police officers. So we get kicked out of the adoption. He's but my wife didn't know about it. And it was while we were Dad not in this sobriety, in my first sobriety. And and I'm and and we're broken. We're broken. We can't do what we can't We don't know what to do. But I gotta tell you, in alcoholics Anonymous, there's experts in every one of these rooms. I'm sure there's experts in here. There's financial experts, there's lawyers, there's doctors. And I knew this guy, Happy Bob, who happens to be here tonight in my home group at the West Side of Men's Group at the time. And I call up Happy Bob, who was a very successful attorney before he got caught with three klos. And I called him Happy Bob, who happens to be sitting there, and I said, have about when you were a very successful attorney. Did you know anybody that could help us get a baby adoption? And he said, you know what, why don't you call this woman mary Anne, who may know this person? And and I called God had me called Happy Bob who happened to be called Mary Anne, who tells me about Jewish middy from Boca. I'll tell you why, I said, Jewish man. It's important for the story. And uh, and she says, I'll come down and I'm gonna check your house out. Maybe I'm gonna maybe, let's see what happens. I don't tell her that I've been arrested for prostitution, for buying, not for sealing. And and she comes down. But on our way down, I say to my wife, I say, let's just pray. You know, we're very religious, and we're very religious till to this day, but by this time we're like over the top religious. You know, the people with the bumper stickers and the T shirts and the science and big gigantic paint days. We're lost people. And I say honey, should we take Giant Jesus off the wall. It's Midni from bocas he's coming down. Let's let at least put him in the closet. When she comes in, we act like regular people. When she leaves, we put him up on the wall. And my wife says, we're not gonna pretend who were not? And Mindy comes in the house and she sees the paintings and every other thing we got going on in the house, which is a lot, you guys know, And she looks at the painting and she says, do you think God gave you another chance? And I said, and I know he did, Mindy, She said, so how could I not give you another chance? And she signs all fun the people she passes us for the homester that we just got kicked out of them because I called up Happy Bob and he knew a person who knew a person, and this person was a God person. I was going to a place that had the name of God on it, but that adoption agency kicked me out. But when I called up a person from Alcoholics Anonymous, she pointed me to a person from Boca that was a God person that came down to Hollywood and said it was okay because when God opens up the door or no man can shut it. And now I get online to get a baby, which could take years. And just a little short time later, from the top of the United States by cap by California, Canada, in that area by the border of Montana, we get a call. A person picks us out from all the people in the United States. Why we don't have money, We don't look like this person. These people are very white and and we are not. But they pick us out and we go hip to to there by the border. And then nearest there's our son, who's not our son yet, and he's one day. He was just born that morning, and she holds up she holds the baby, and she says, what would you like to name the baby? And we say Joshua, and she says why. We say, because in the Bible says for me and my house, we choose to serve the Lord. And she says, well, I'm not a religious person. I said, I just want you...

...to know that your son, our son, is gonna grow up in a house that's all about God. And she said, that's a great name. And and two and a half weeks later, we bring Joshua back to our house in Hollywood, and there's guys from Alcoholics Anonymous on our lawn with signs because you never have to go do anything again anymore. You don't gonna go through funerals anymore. You're not gonna go through tests anymore alone. You're not gonna go through baby showers alone anymore. You once you're in a a you don't go through anything alone anymore. It's incredible. I'm not saying it's always welcome, but it's incredible. I remember I was laying in the hospital on linkoid uh morphine and my chest was opened up from a car accident, and one of the members from my home group came in and he said, where's the nurse, where's the church? Get this guy off that medication. He doesn't even it's not always welcome, so you're never gonna be alone. And I got guys on my lawn with signs welcome home Joshua with the babies weight on it. And they would to get care of my house while I was away, and they were taking care of the dogs for three weeks while I was away, and we went It was just the most incredible time. But I just want to I know the talk is almost don't want to just show you how God puts puts cherries on top of Sundays in our lives. He's such a he's such a show off in our lives if we let him. He doesn't want to give us a just an average story. He doesn't want to just give us some mediocre story. If we pay attention, there's incredible cherries on top of Sunday's going on every day in our lives, isn't there, Jane, I mean it's a percent true. And so this is a great story so far right about my son josh So I think it's great, of course, I think it's great. Every day we're crying everything you could imagine if you get a baby at forty four years old, uh, out of nowhere, and and that baby is in your house, you cry every day. And I'm crying every day. And just so God could just show off, we come home from from work one day and and uh and and I'm holding the baby. I go sad, me look and and Joshua springs bright right hair, and Joshua looks exactly like my mom. My wife is dark skinned from Colombia, I'm a guinea from New York. Our baby looks exactly like the rest of the family, looks exactly like my mom, looks exactly like his cousins, looks exactly like our family in New York. When we take Christmas pictures one of our family New York, everybody gets that that's his grandmother. When he walks on the street with my mom and people say, where't the red hair go, He's like, that's my grandma. God just wants to just show off in our lives and alcoholic tons. And he uses us, as I said before, not because of us, in spite of us. And there's people that are settling for sober. You don't want how Paul and I are friends. Paul doesn't settle for sober. What how we got to know each other? With Paul with I don't know, almost forty years of sobriety and me with the eighteen years of sobriety, and how would we mix? I saw the smile on his face, he saw the smile on my face. We were laughing at the same time. We didn't even know what we were laughing about. We just knew that it was And then he invited me the video who just laughs indiscriminately for and we're surrounded by people or that are not just settling for sober. If you settle for sober, it's like going to it all you can eat buffet where they all the greatest foods in the world, prime rib and lobster and cracked crab and stone crabs. And you go to the sober section, which is the which is the crutons before the salary, and you get your plate and you go over there and you grant your cruton. You you stick it in the middle of your play it and you're you're eating your kutan and people are come over. How you doing hanging in there? As says d D, you know, there's a god. There's a couple in here, Bonnie and Bernie. I'm sure they have tough times, just like any human being on the planet. You know. I've never seen Bernie in all the years I've known him, and I'm not saying I know him intimately every single week, but he's had to put up with some real bs for me and other people that are newly sober people. I've never seen him upset. And I'm not saying he doesn't get upset. That would be ridiculous. But what you know, would you been let out? Why would we ever just settled for so when we can have the whole buffet and we can have this whole thing. We gotta have a life beyond our wildest streets. Settling for sober would be settling for something that I wasn't comfortable for year. Your goal, settler is fine, But...

...this is amazing. And I want to finish up with Dr Bob's own words because I think this is the greatest This is where one of our founders said. It is the most wonderful blessing to be relieved of the terrible curse from which I was afflicted. My health is good, and I've regained my self respect and the respect of my colleagues. My home life is ideal, and my business is as good as can be expected in these uncertain times. I spend a great deal of time passing on what I've learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons. One a sense of duty to it is my pleasure. Three because in doing so, I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me. And four because every time I do it, I take a little bit more insurance for myself against a possible slim. If you think you're an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or of any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what's in this book, I feel sorry for you. If you still think you are strong enough to beat the game alone, that is your affair. But if you really and truly want to quit drinking liquor for good and for all, and sincerely feel that you must have some self help, we know that we have the answer for you. It never fails if you go about it with one half the zeal. You have been in the habit of showing when you are getting another drink, And this is how he finishes. Own your heavenly father, We'll never let you down. Thank you so much, guys, every y.

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