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

Episode 39 · 1 year ago

Russell S at Eye Opener Group Bermuda 09062020

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S at Eye Opener Group Bermuda, September 6, 2020

Thank you. Back on. My name is Russell Stats. I'm an alcoholic. Do My destiny. Not to embarrass for that. Try, as I'm a customed as I am public speaking. I'm seventy one years old. I'm an alcoholic of the serious apple. I'm of that. What's that last line? Grave Emotional and mental disorders. One of those guys married thirty nine years. More children that I've raised sober, and seven grandchildren and some supporting through my own contribution. Most of the time I haven't done the necessary to have dranked, or have I had a drink since January twenty two, one thousand nine hundred and eighty one. I judge my that's my last drink. My my bottom. Want to talk about bottom. So I take to be around the sember twenty five, nineteen eighty, about a month before that, and we'll talk a little bit about that, or at least I'll talk a little bit about that. And it's a privilege for me to be here. I suppose this is sort of like the usual suspects in this group and I and it is at always good for me to be Anna means privilege whatever I mask to speak it in a please excuse me, I'm just going to tell my story and what's on my heart. You know, I'm seventy one years old. I came any when I was thirty one. Come January, if I make it, I'll I'm in my forty year. And if I was to try to tell you all the vignettes about all the stories that I have, that I've had before I got sober, before I started drinking, while I was drinking, after I struck stop drinking, we'd be here for six days and so I can possibly cover everything. And my problem is always if it's not really a problem. But the difficulty is never about finding something to talk about. The difficulty is always trying to figure out where to stop and what's to leave out. All my stories are like to be there like children and grandchildren. They all every story I have about my alcoholism and my selfishness, my sobriety, the people in my life, be for sponsors and several mentors that I've had, every encounter I've had in trying to either carry this message or or grow up and become a man and in alcoholics anonymous is is precious to me. So I could tell you maybe three or four stories and they're all important and I have to leave out about a hundred and seventy stories and I feel like I'm I feel like I'm living at leaving my grandchildren behind. So this is just my story. Doesn't have to be your story. You don't have to get upset about it. But I've been known to upset people and make them nervous and I'm here to comfort, to disturbs and disturb the conference. So I will suggest you, if I say something that bothers you, you know, just remember our spiritual act seem as whenever you're disturbed, matter what the cause, there's something wrong with you, and it's sort of like the spiritual m our I. So if I might say something bothers you, you know, you just sort of check it out. Of your sponsor, write something, book me on your ressemblent list. I'm on a lot of people's resentment list, and then you can do with most people do seven years from now, say I used to hate you, but now I love you, you know, and all that sort of stuff. Moving I'm going to talk a lot about God. I might as well tell you that right now. You know on the big book about I've got it. Here's my situation. My situation is, I love newcomers. I just adored newcomers. I you know, the truth is I'm in love with alcoholics of all shape and all size. All I did was hang around alcoholics when I was drinking,...

...and it seems all I'm doing is hanging around alcoholics when I'm not drinking. It seems like I'm hanging around the same crazy people that I hung around before, except I'm not drinking Scotch, I'm drinking coffee and every once in a while I get to say something that maybe helps somebody or that kind of thing on our hunt, our road to happy destiny. So I'm just going to talk, but, but, but what's happened is, as you grow older, I see there's some oldsters on this deal. As you grow older, although I love newcomers, I tend to sponsor now, or work with now, guys that have over twenty of twenty, five years or fifteen or you know that kind of that have time, because it is possible, believe it or not, to have thirty years and not be happy with your so you won't hear about those men at a meaning because they really don't talk about it. But there are, there are people that are a a a that have years of sobriety, that aren't happy. They haven't been. They're in the not drinking club. I mean they'll pick up the medallions, but they have not trusting, they haven't been rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence and not experiencing much of heaven. And you know, a's like a giant toolboxes arrenement fit every nut that walks through the door. And and it says in the big book. Once we make this decision for God, and there's a reason we make a decision for God, because of above everything, he must get rid of the selfishness, which is the real disease. You must, you know, or will die. It'll kill us, and God makes that possible. Right after that's it says. Once we make this decision, this serious, sincere decision, for God. Also, it's for a markable things happen. Tells me, being all powerful give me everything I need if I stay close to him and perform who of well, and I believe my calling. I believe what God wants me to talk to. Most of the time, many times it's about something called emotional sobriety. And so most of my talk whenever I'm ask to talk, it's always about something like steps since or seven, the steps that separate the men from the boys. Apparently there are boys and a A. I think everybody starts off as a boy and a a or girl in a a. We all start off thinking that now that we stopped drinking, everything's going to be wonderful, only to discover that the drinking is really just a symptom of the disease. The real disease sensors in our mind, on our body and in the truth of the matter, is easiest thing I ever did in my life was given up the drinking. Now, I've got tell you, at the time I went to believe that, and maybe during my first ten years I went to believe that. But when I finally got to the point in my life where it became obvious to me that that that the drinking problem had been resolved, that I'm a recovered out by I recovered from a hopeless state of mind the body. I know what that's like. That's when you wake up in the morning, you say I'm not going to have a drink today and by five o'clock you're drunk. That's when you wake up the morning. See, I'm not going to buy a boos today and buy five o'clock. You look at the GIMES, Nichols and quarters, so you can go down to the local public supermarket and buy a gallon or half gallon, a bottle Carlos Rossi Kiante, and then sit by the record player and play the same song over and over again, some sort of Alba tune like only the lonely or I missed the blue or running on empty, and think about her for them or whatever it is, and you do it over and over and over again when you get to the point where you're drinking against your will, where you're telling yourself you got to stop drinking, you can stop drinking. That's different than not being able to pay your cell phone, though. That's a different sort of deal. That's a hopeless state of mind. The body I've recovered from that, you know, over...

...thirty nine years ago. And now, don't get me wrong, just in takes. There's some a purist there, you know, but the plug in the jug. I happen to believe that I could be drunk an hour after this meeting. I mean, I'm hoping that won't happen, but I don't believe I've been I would never say, nor have I ever said, I'll never drink again, and I always worry about people to tell me they're never going to drinking because they obviously misunderstand what powers this means. There is one in my life that has all power in that one's got it. He doesn't have like ninety five percent and I have five percent. There is one who was all power, and that one is God, and I have to find him, I have to seek him. No human beings going to give it to me and I'm not going to manage my way out of it with my incredibly brilliant mind, and believe me, I'm incredibly your brilliant, if I do say so myself. But when I was the smartest guy in the world, I was the drunkest guy in the world. On I heard a lot of people. My problem is is no woman, no car, no suit of clothes, no job, no amount of money ever worked quite as well and quite as fast as just a few drinks. And if I could drink alcohol today and have a do for me what did for me when I was twenty years old, I'd still be drinking it. But alcohol doesn't work for me anymore. That real said. News about my life is alcohol stopped working for me about ten years before I realized that stop working for me. And I heard a lot of people and and that's the deal. And I came to alcoholics anonymous. When the consequences of my drinking came at me faster than my ability. That Lowe my standards. I had to look in the mirror. I say, who am I kidding? I was thirty one years old. I thought my life was over. I thought it was never going to be better again. Practicing Attorney a day county, I graduated with Department of Alnas a mathematics. I was going for my PhD in Algebraic topology. I decided to said, to go to law school because I met a girl, a woman, and I was a regular lounge lizard. I was always king looking for the woman of the romance that would solve my problem. And I'm an if butter and I'm I'm a yes butter, and if only, and you don't understand her from the way back, you know. And all I do is think about what's missing in my life. You know, and I'd tell myself many, many times. Alcohol say this themselves. They say they say a lot of them and one of the things I used to say to myself is if I only had every day is a day for me to say, if I only had this, I'd be okay. If my wife only treated me differently, I'd be okay. If I only had a different girlfriend, I'd be okay. If I only had a new car, I'd be okay. And it was so I can't explain to you how clear it was that when I decided that if I had suck, if I only lived in California, idea okay. If I only had a great job, I'd be okay. If I could only graduate law school, I'd be okay. If I could only have my own law fusie the day, if I can only be a division chiefs of the state's attorneys officide be okay. You know, if I could only have this and if I could only have that, and I can't explain to you how absolutely clear it was to me that if I had these things, it would be okay in a nano second. You know something, I don't understand the first step. I don't understand any of these steps, but I understand this. If only you would treat me differently, if only the world was different, if only I had a million dollars, if only I had a car, I'll tell you what one's just said. Every single thing in the entire world, I'd be okay. And I spend all my time for the first thirty one years of my life looking, seeking to grab and get those things. So I was either trying to get those things or I was worried about loose using those things, where I was worried about why, I don't know have those things, where I was in being people that had those things. I would do every anything to get that thing.

That would make me feel okay. And let me tell you something. You know. You know, the interesting thing is one of the reasons I was addicted, and I use the word addictive. You know, understand later on when we start to when I start talking about my worldly clamors, the reason I was addicted to those things this week cost. They work, the sex workd you know. I mean, you know when you're when you're lad enough in the shower and all of a sudden you hear this voice, and I would care whether you're drunk or sober, ten or fifteen years ober, when you're lading enough in the shower and also hear this voice. The voice says you're an Asshole, you ought to kill yourself, you're a loser, will ever be okay? Why you always join up when you're constantly telling yourself what an idiot you are, how stupid you are, and then you turn around the shower to see who's saying that to you, and there are you. Nobody in the shower that but you. After that's a good indication what your reputation is with yourself. Carol managers sending the Book Man Against Himself talking about alcoholics in S. it's a book. It's a book really on suicide. He said alcohols are men, women too, who are out to destroy themselves. So, no matter how many times I tell myself that I'm the greatest misunderstood, that they don't understand I'm the smartest, pretty much deep done inside I don't believe I I'm worthy of even female lie. And so my whole life is his designed to compensate for the fact that I'm a piece of craft. I tell myself things like well, alcoholics say, say all sorts of things themselves. It's all I'm a rationalize. I tell myself rationalized. One of my favorite lives is I don't give a crap what other people think about them. I've been known to actually say that out allows other people. I have been known to not only say that to myself all the time. I give a crap what other people think about me. I'd say it's to other people. So active a crap they think about me. And what you ultimately learn, you'll be getting a hey actually see what the true bondage is and what the real problem is. You allfully learn is that people that really don't care what other people think about them, people that have have that new freedom, of that new happiness and I've lost concern about other people and fear of other people. People who have that, they don't keep on telling themselves that they don't care what other people think about themselves. They say things like pass this off, they don't say that Shit. The only people that say I don't care what other people think about them are people that are trying to convince themselves that they actually don't care what other people think about them, when actually the whole lives are spending money. They don't have the by Shit, they don't need to impress people they don't even like. It's just a constant battle to somehow prove worthy to the world. And so the truth is, I will it had it had less to do with alcohol and more to do with trying to find whatever it is I have to find to make myself okay. Because whenever I said to myself, if I only had that woman, or if I only had sex, or if I only had romance, are I've only had a car, I'd be okay. But I didn't realize is I was absolute repeating to myself, you're not okay, you're not okay. And when you lose, when you live a life where you're constantly repeating to yourself that you're not okay, what happens? And you're looking to make yourself okay, and then all of a sudden, you take a couple drinks and you're okay in an anosecond. That and I started drinking. And of course what happens with people like us, because I got a look some chemical impound balance. I don't care. I've met many people in my life that are not alcoholics that have, shall we say, alcoholic personalities. I mean I recognize I you know, I hear what I hear. I'll here a guy say something like you don't know who you're dealing with. I said, Hey, here you go. I don't care what he's a drinking or not. He's got that personality going. You know, I don't know. You do know who you're dealing with. I'll show you that other there still and I don't care what you're drinking or not. You got the same problem I guy,...

...you know. But I'm fortunate because I'm an alcoholic. So I get to have fellowship, I get to have a way out, you know, and that person, they never find a way out. And the bottom line is so I I when I start drinking, you know, I develop the the addiction and the obsession and the lifestyle of the alcoholic, you know, our life style. And I fell in love with that bullshit and I heard a lot of people, and I'm not going to go into a drunken log and you'll just set the trust the fact that I am an alcoholic and I finally drunk myself out of a marriage and I heard a lot of people and I left beautiful house and I just flushed everything down the window, down the toilet. I was going to be. I decided I was going to be the you halfner of Miami and because some bad breaks in this understand it's the everywhere, definite I see going to laughing. He doesn't know what it's like. It's a sad situation, you know. But the bottom line is is that is that I wound up at thirty one years of age and I was on the balls of my ass and I finally gone to a I realized that I had a drinking problem. Somewhere along the road, a few months before December of one thousand nine hundred and eighty, I realized that I had a drinking problem. I couldn't stop drinking, but I finally got to the point of my life where I gave up. I just gave up. I said I'm never gonna be able to stop drink and my life is over. I'm thirty one years old. There's no way I could stop. I had tried so much. And then I went to a no shade when I which is sort of like a party on Christmas Eve and with some Gal and and so I went there and I got kicked out because I was a drunk and I wound up alone in my quote bachelor pad on the years, all alone, and around two o'clock in the morning I turned on the TV set and I was pretty desponded because you know how alcoholics are. I'm also a self pity a wholic, and didn't take much to make me feel sorry for myself, I can tell you that. And I turned on the TV, said there was a preacher on and he was given the Gospel Message. He was he was doing it through testimony. I'm a sucker for testimony. I won't listen to you if you preach, but if you tell me this is what was happening to me, I don't care whether it's a preacher or an alcoholic. You start telling me about yourself, you start saying this is what my life was like, this is what happened to me and this is what I'm like now. You throwing a little testimony, I'll listen to you, okay. I just don't want people preaching at me because I'm a true alcoholic, which means I pick come a piece of shit. So if you're if you're talking to me, if you're trying to help me, I automatically think you're talking down to me, like you think you're better than you in your heart, you may be trying to give me the truth and you maybe trying to help me. But if you're an alcoholic and anybody's talking to you, you feel so crabby about yourself you honestly feel that they're talking down to you when they think them better to you. So you don't find any of that stuff. But this guy didn't do it that way. He did it and he wasn't doing like a twelve step in the sense that it was an alcoholic, but he was basically to tell him about how cromy his life was and how he found the Lord and all that sort of stuff and said, if you want to be free, you want to change your life, he says, you know, get on you knee, see the sinners brand. I got on my knees and said the center's prayer and in a a second I didn't argue, I didn't say, well, what a bad things happen to good people. I didn't. I didn't go and all this stuff. I believe me, God was not a part of my life at all, you know what I mean. Has Nothing to do with getting later or having a romance or getting money or anything like that. So it was a part of my life. And so, because my life is about chasing the things of this world, the worldly clamors so I got on my knees, I said the center's prayer. I except the Jesus to my life, which is not a big deal. Maybe you guys prefer Jewish geft from Britain at New Yorker was a...

...big deal and I get shod to be there sometimes. You got. You know, I never my sponsor, one of my sparts, said he's say never, robin out Bok of his first, of his last dring, every alcohol past. That was last drink and I think I was just at that point. I had drank myself into the point where I became entirely ready. God removed the alcohol from me. I had drank myself to the point where I became entirely ready. It says in our book, says here and there, once in a while a drunk will say feel better, look better, having a better time. Once he gets sober, he says we left set sally. We know he's trying the old he'll try the old game again, but he's not happy with his sobriety. Soon they'll know loneliness. A few to will be at the jumping off place. I was at the jumping off place and you know, people ask me how do you I mean how do you hit bottom? How to get them jumping off place? I say, drink, you'll get there, hey, you'll get there, no worries, just keep one. I don't know how to listen. I can tell you this. I don't know how to do the only way. A did that the first step, because I drank. I don't know how to I don't know how to do the only way. I'm not. I'll tell you what I did. I drank, and alcohol is I have nothing against alcohol. Wasn't Prophol I wouldn't be here as mat fact, alcohol is the only police force. We haven't out calls, nothing, only police force. We have no police force in a it's like a self clinging number of an. Every year alcohol comes through and wipes out all the bullshit artists and everybody that's not doing it right and every well, all the Erican guys, all the mockers, all them laughers, all the all the guys that just wipe them out, you know, and sort of purifies the breed, you know, and it's left are people that are, you know, really trying to do this thing. You know what's a for alcohol? I have no idea what this place to look like what a look, but because I have no problem with the alcohol things. On any event, as I said, that's what was my lowest point. I didn't think now I got down on my knees. It was. It was Christmas morning, at three o'clock in the morning, one thousand nine hundred and eighty. Nothing spectacular happened to Rabbi's three priests and come running into my room with dumping doughnuts, saying hey, we got an a meeting down here. You know, I just want to sleep and actually I continue to drink. I didn't say I didn't really think anything happened. But a month later I got A to bear car, bad car accident and as I was will being wheeled into the hospital on the Gurney with a head injury, I looked up and I said God helped me and something happened. I had a I had a spiritual experience, which I don't talk about a lot. I know a lot of people don't have a spiritual experiences. I know some people do, but I had an experience. I can tell you what it was, an anno second or whether it was a minute or whatever it is, but it was called an out of body experience. Whatever you want to call it, and I know the Apostle Paul talks about his spiritual experience on the road to the Mascus, but I had an experience, something happened and my last drink was January twenty two, one thousand nine hundred and eighty one, and died. My first sponsor ended up the person who became the French sponsor, Bob Suliman, ended up coming to ended up coming to my hospital room and talk to me. My last drink was one of my drinking buddies came to my hospital bed and you had a cold can of cord beer and I drank that up like five seconds and that was my last drank so far. I absolutely believe that I could be drunk in an hour after this. See, because I don't have the power over that deal. You know, my only the only power I have, quite of the big book in according to My old personal experience, is the power that I'm given, are allowed to have as long as like focus on God and make him the number one, the central fact of my life. So in any event, so we think Bob became my first sponsor and I'm sort of going to try to take you through my sobriety. After came day, I came day, I picked up white chip and and I pretty much did it by the numbers.

And you know, I pretty much did it by the numbers. Nobody does it perfectly, but I pretty much, you know, pall my spine came in. And of course, once I don't know about you guys, I'm just going to talk about me, once you stop drinking, you know. You know, it's when you can't stop drinking and then all sudden one day, two days, five days, so we can you go without drinking that red shit chips. It was a pretty wonderful experience. It was enough. And I guess when I when I first came day, and you know, we have you noticed that an a they talk a lot about drinking. You notice that? I noticed that they talked a lot about drinking. They would say things like don't drink and go to meetings. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that the only thing I ever heard during the first six months was don't drink. And God, I heard things. I don't drink, even if you asked falls off. I heard things like nothing, no thing is so bad that a drink can make it worse. You know something? They were handing out the dallions. You don't they handed it out for for not drinking. You would get out like an award. The people would clap for you for not drinking. You know, God would stand up and I said, I just raped three chickens and Anne, they say, but you haven't had a drink, Abbass. Know, you're a winner. You know what I mean? It's like it doesn't even matter. It's all about. It's like a giant not drinking club. It was great and I'm hanging out with all the people that used to drink with me. It's the most marvelous thing in the world. And and that's all they were talking about, not drinking. You want to know something, for many people in Ay, even if they have thirty years, they think that's the only thing. They do talk about it. They think that's what it is all about. Said situation somewhere around three months. I don't know how long it takes, two months, three months, somewhere around three month. II sponsored gunam Tommy and Tommy and I was division chiefs in the six attorney's office together and proscuters and turns off together, and and Tommy was came in three years after me and he's got my round of thirty for thirty five years, thirty six years. Sobriety and I don't know. And but any even Tommy had his hair all the way down here and he was sleeping on the floor probation officers apartment and he called me up and he said to me this is after three months sobriety and he was doing great. And he called me up and he says to me in a very local waste is what it says to me. He says Russell, he said, I have to leave, if I have to leave alcoholics anonymous that. I said, Tommy, what are you talking about? I think I have to leave alcoholics anonymous. I said, Tommy, what are you crazy? You love alcoholics, anonymous, alcoholics, Alama said, saved your life. I'm your he was like an a wonder. He came into a a, he cut his hair, he was like the old Tommy again. He was a Jock, you know. He got back into the court room. He was do I said you love alcoholics and I said you were strong out on cocaine and booze. You would live in our probation officer floor. You love a aces. I know I know. He says I think I have believe. I said black, but he says Russell. He says you. He says Russell, I don't think I'm an alcoholic. What do you mean? You don't think you're an alcoholic? You were drunk your heart, cocaine, your own. Yeah, yeah, I know, I haven't had drink three months, but listen, listen to says Russell. He says I think I might just be crazy. I said Tommy. He says what they says. Tommy, listen, this is what is it, Tommy? You could be both. You can beat both. And Alcoholic and crazy. Really, absolutely, he's all. Thank God. I thought I had to leave a a because my I'm crazy, you know. And...

...and and now I don't know how long it took you, or even you, if you realize it yet, to realize that you're crazy, to realize that you are you are certifiably insane. I know that the second step says that we come to believe that a higher power would restore us to sanity, but quite frankly, I don't think I ever understood that. What they were really trying to tell me is that I was insane, because I didn't think I was insane. I thought it was pretty much normal. Okay, you got to be sober a long time to figure out how flipping crazy you are. You know and and you know the thoughts, the craziness. You know and and and the other problems with the big book. And I guess this is why God creates sponsors. It's a big book. Puts it in such terms that are so digestible for alcoholics. It's so nice, it's almost like poetry. I'll give an example. The big books is nothing. It's all bate and switch. They just LIDEA. I mean in the seventh and the seventh step of the twelve and twelve it says we don't want to deprecate material things, we don't want to put down material things. Well, that pretty much my whole life is material things, he says. And then they go on like three sentences later. But no alcoholic ever made a worst deal of looking for money, power and Romance. I mean at first they tell you they don't want to put it down and before you notice they're saying God has to become a central factor your life and can't be things. Job or no job, wife or not. At first get your coming day and say don't worry about the God thing, and then you read the book and it's all the God thing. I mean, I'll give you an example. There's a there's a part of the book where it says are real problems, that we're selfish and we're self centered and we're driven by a hundred forms of fear, self pity, self delusion. We step on the toes of others and they retaliate seemingly without provocation, but we ultimately learn that we've made decisions based upon self, which puts us in a position to be heard. So an alcoholic that self will run riot. So we usually doesn't think so. So okay, that's what they say in the big book. That's a real problem. Okay, so I'm luck. So this is the way my sponsor put it to me in explaining it to me. He said Russell with they're trying to say you don't give a shit about anybody except yourself and you want of them. That's sort of clear things up for the understand what I'm saying. I mean, you know there's a there's you know, it's a good cop bad coup. There's the book alcoholics anonymous is like the good coup. You can read it, you can be you can be sort of like. It'll lift you up, it'll make you feel good. You'll say, yeah, that's me. But you don't quite really get the full picture until you until you start dealing with the vagaries of life, the hand to hand compt combat with life and hopefully have a sponsor that isn't scared to say listen, stupid, this is what the real problem is, and sort of making spark relief, because if you don't learn about alcoholism from your sponsor or somebody who doesn't really care what you like them or not, because one of the it says, a lesson and toil in alcohol accepts his alcoholism and all consequences, his sobrietal be precarious of to happiness on those none at all. And one of the consequences of being in alcoholic is we are also please accept me, a haults, please love me, a haults, don't get mad at me, a Haulos. We're so worried about what other people think about us and because of that, you know some sponsors and some people they just don't want to tell you the truth because it might hurt your feelings. And unfortunately, for a guy like me, the way I get a new perspective is by repeated humiliations, the final crushing of my self sufficiency. The Way I got a new perspective is when bad things happened to me and I get hurt and you hit...

...me over, have a two bye for and somebody says to me just what the real problem is. Big Shot, you understand I'm saying so. So I had a sponsor where you loved me so much he was willing to have me hate him and not like him. He was willing to tell me the truth. And the truth is, even though if I would get mad at him, I would eventually come back, because I sort of if you tempt because if he told me the truth in such a way, even if it hurt my feelings, I knew deep down inside he was telling me the truth and I knew he loved them and I needed somebody to tell me the truth. And the bottom line is is that I don't know how you were or how long you were in a before you realize that. Just by drinking, I guess I came to that, but now that I'm not drinking, I got a month, I got three months. Everything was going to be wonderful, and that's when the fun began because unfortunately, I think quite frankly, and they even though our big book is wonderful, you can read. There's a great line that I like. It says a man could look at something nine hundred and ninety nine times and not see it and look at it for the thousandth time and see it for the first time. and Ts Eliott has a line. He says you will not, we will not cease our exploration and when we finally get to the the end of our exploring, we will come to the place that we began having known the place for the first time. And the truth, in my truth of the matter is the truth. Matter is my whole ag experience has been as been slowly having things with like in first one and thirteen the books, and they've said we're absolutely essential the old time, as it says. It says we see through a glass darkly. When I came in a a I had such a limited understanding. I could read the Big Book Sixteen Times there only I could only take in and digest that which I could take them the digest. There were things in the big book that I read Fiftyzero Times that I didn't really understand or see how it had to do with my life until I was nine years so. I mean there were things acker. When I first Game Day, all I heard about was not drinking, not drinking, not drinking. Five years later I'm not even hearing about not drinking. I'm hearing about God and resembles. I'm hearing about different things that different times when I got ready to receive those things. You know, listen, I gave up alcohol because I was crushed by alcohol. You know, you got to be crushed to give up the alcohol. You got to be crushed to give out the womanizing. You got to be crushed to give up the greed. You got to be crushed. There's more crushing coming down the road. You got to realize the value of suffering. And alcoholics anonymous. And you know something, thank God I had Alph I had sponsors that are willing to crush me, because if you don't accept the crushing of sponsors, of the crushing of people that love you and Aa, let me tell you something. Life as a humbling experience. Then you'd be crushed, an AA, by a sponsor WHO's trying to help you, then crushed by the police or crushed by a lawsuit or crushed by divorce or crushed by cancer or crushed by the stuff that's waiting for you to be crushed out there. And I came into alcoholics anonymous and and I'm going to tell just a couple of stories. You know real fast about some sponsors I have had. For sponsors, you know, because they're all temporary, going to say you doing my temper a sponsor. They died on and in a mentor, Very Post Mentor and real key, Wonderful Guy. And my first sponsor was Bob Slivan, the guy who spoke me. He was my sponsorb for that eight or nine years and then you got to answer and he had about seventeen, eighteen years and some marvel of stories about him. I was supposed to be sponsored by Jesus or Albert Ironstegn. I told you I was. I was all these advanced degrees and every like that, and division chief in the State's attorneys officer many years. By time its twenty seven, I had tried already like twenty one murder cases and and I was supposed to. I was what it was I that irons thought, because I knew one thing about myself, I maybe be worthless. But I was the smartest guy in the room and these were the guys are and unfortunately they gave me a used car sales but that didn't graduate the sixth grade. And and I remember one time he was sitting in my office and in my office I have about literally fifteen...

...to twenty degrees from all over the place of testing to the fact that I've been educated far beyond my capacity understand anything. And I looked at Bob and I said, Bob, these and I pointed off as at these are my degrees, and Bob looked at me without missing a beat and said, well, you know, Russ record thermometers have degrees and you know what they do with those. That's pretty much he was an idea of the kind of guys I was sponsored, not. I got to tell you. You know, it's so funny because I think the things that happened to me with or happened happened in my life when I was first getting sober and all along my sobriety, and I actually look at him differently now. I mean you would expect that I've changed. You know, in the last thirty nine years I've changed my the way I look at things. The way I deal with things, the way I understand things has changed for me, and so I I told the same stories. The stories haven't changed as but my insight into the stories changed. One of one of the stories that I've always I thought was a amazing, really interesting stories with some of these people. With the returning points, is during my first month or two, you know, and I had a wife, but the child and I had a house and and I've always had money. I've always had money, problems with money. You know what I mean, because apparently I learned this when I was nine years sober. This is advanced Ay, by the way. I'm going to give it to when I was nine years sober, my sponsor, Joe Schnyder at time told me this because I didn't innerstand he said, Russell, because I was always making big money and I was always broke. And my my sponsor said, listen, Russell, he says when you spend more money than you make, you go into death. Did you guys know that? I didn't know that. I was a math made D I didn't know that it doesn't matter if you make two Hundredzero, if you spend three Hundredzero, you go and you have money problems. I didn't know that. You know, and this is a the said these is this is crap. You learn advanced a a stuff like nine or ten years down the road. You know. You know why you're worried about because you can't live within your means. You know why, because you feel like you're so worthless. You're constantly buying stuff to make yourself feel good because you can't drink scotch, so you might as well drop by a new blouse. What the hell. You know what I mean. You can't treat Scott so you might as well go on vacation. You might as will just buy stuff and make yourself feel like you're something. You know what I mean. I didn't know that. You know, and I mean, how many times you have to go into dead in the bankruptcy and everything, to get to be crushed, to get back to figure that stuff out. And then when you figure that out, you know, it's like drinking. I got to stop drinking and then five years later you finally do something about it. I mean, I'll tell you. You know. You know, you know. You know what I've learned. You know what I learned. I learned drinking is but a symptom of the disease. It's not even the disease. It's easy. My real disease centers in my mind, on my body. And so I was broke. I had about three months I was broke. I was two months behind my mortgage and I wasn't and I was you know, it was a I couldn't I couldn't sleep at night. I'd wake up a three o'clock morning to think about money, wake up with the wait. I wait in morning. I think about my check, but I think about the bounce in my check book. You know, I would just all through the day I'm thinking about how much money I have in my check book. All through that that I start thinking about my bills. I start adding up my bills. You know something, I'd had them up during the day twenty three times. It never the number never changed, you know, and never, it never changed. You know, no matter how many times I added up the bills and end up the check that thumb, the number never changed. It was driving me crazy. Apparently, after you get sober, you got to handle life sober without a drink, you know, and you know, you know something. The Mortgage Company did not write me a letter saying, Russell, we know you're sober and we know you have a life and kid, and I just want to let you know that you don't...

...have to pay your mortgage anymore, because that's just the way we treat sober people. And there were people on apparently nobody had done the message to the people on the street, because there were people that actually cut me off in traffic and and I had this imaginary machine gun where I would blow them off. I would blow up families of for because if you get in my way, you know that you deserve the death penalty. There ain't no probate. So you guys are you're laughing. You don't know what it's like. You don't know what it's like to murder people. In your mind, I was murdering twenty, thirty. There ain't no probation. I'd murder you. Then you were bothering me, or you are closing problems in my life, or you are threatened me me a I killed you that, I resurrected you, I killed you again. I killed you different ways. You had a suffer before you die. And I was a practicing attorney and may I was doing too well. You know what I mean. And I was sober. They were handing me medallion's, you know. So I I think there might have been a grave emotional and mental disorders going on there. I was not a happy camper, you know what I mean. You know I love to hear about all this these promises things. I didn't have them. One of those promises are I've been have them. So I'm broke, I'm worried. You know. It's caused me all sorts of problems. Hey, let me tell you something. There ain't no fear like sober fear. There ain't no fear like three o'clock in the morning sober fear. I can tell you that. And I don't know what kind of alcoholism you have. But I wasn't telling anybody body of my group. I wasn't sharing this stuff because because that's all those people. I don't have any money. I'm gonna tell them that broken. What are we going to think? Not that to give a shit, you know what I mean. But but I mean, what are they going to think, you know, if I tell them that stuff, and and so it's just killing me inside. So I forget. I tell my sponsored Bob. I tell my sponsor Bob. That's what you tell sponsor for. It'll probably give me like couple thousand bucks. You know what I mean. So I went up to Bob and I explained them the whole story. I explained to him why I was upset. I was planned out so I couldn't get to sleep. I'm so crazy. I need money. I'm mortgage. You listen to the whole thing. He said. You know, Russ, I think I understand what you're saying. I think I got the solution. Review, he says. I said really, he says absolutely. I said, okay, what's the solution? He says, I think it's about time you started taking coffee for the group. And and I gotta tell you them, I got the feeling he wasn't really connecting, like there were two different conversations going one I was talking about real shit money. You know what I mean. It's not important. It's just right up there with oxygen. He's talked about making calls for the group. I didn't think there was a conversation going on there. And but you see, here's, here's now the way now. That's why I looked at it. Then, how am I insane? When you are insane when you live on life that's insane. When your minding, your perspective is insane, and you coming to a a and you meet people who are sane, who are sane. What's going to happen is this? If you have a sponsor who is sane and you are insane, but you don't think you're insane because you think you're okay, because if you told that story everybody in the Bar, they would understand what the problem is. Okay, everybody, the whole world down says the problem is. But you come into alcoholics anonymous and you tell this story to one of these insane alcoholics with fifteen years and trust me, if you tell you're what's bothering you to an alcohol who sane in a he's going to tell you something that's going to sound stupid. You understand it's going to sound stupid. So let me tell you what the deal is is. This is the trick. is where they brainwaship. I I knew he wasn't give me the answer. I knew was insane. He said it's about time you start making calls for the group, but I so much didn't want what we only would saved me is more than anything, I didn't want to drink and I don't. I haven't had...

...a drink in three months. And I knew what had something to do with him and following directions, which alcoholics don't do, because our chief characteristic is is defiance. So every time I tell him something, he tell me something stupid and I would do it and I wouldn't drink. So He's saying, I think it's about time you make coffee for the group, which didn't solve my problem. But he walks over to the coffee pot and I start following him. Doesn't sound like a big deal, right. I started following him. He started showing me how to measure out the coffee. I watched them. He said, well, you're going to do that tomorrow. I said, okay, fine, and I went home and the next day I didn't want to go to the meeting. You know, I didn't want to go because I was depressed. You never have anybody say to you. You know, I didn't go because I wasn't feeling good. I was kind of depressed. You know, anything like that. I don't want to go to mean because no money had come in and I was depressed. You know what I mean. But I had listened, but I had to go to the meeting because I had to make the flipping coffee. So I went to the meeting. I make the coffee, you know, I mean, it was good me and I felt little bit better. I made the call. For three months. I don't know what happened. The money came in, everything was okay. Some guy came up to me after three months and said I'll make the car for the group. I said, I'm the coffee maker. WHO The hell point to do? You know, what do you think you? I made the car for that go for eighteen months. I was at a real lay for like eight years. And you know, here's the problem. They tell you stupid things. Stupid I said to my spats, I said, I know what you're trying to do. You're trying to brainwash me. They tell you to pray, they tell you to get on your knees, they tell you. I said, I know you're trying to brainwash me, since, well, maybe your brain needs washing. And so what happens? As you run into these different sponsors and these incredible men that keep on telling you stupid stuff, stupid stuff, stupid stuff, and then one day you wake up in your twenty five years sober and and you're stupid. And you're stupid, but you're happy a shit se. The problem is is every time you follow your brain you get slammed and every time you do the stupid stuff everything works out. So You keep on doing the stupid stuff, stupid stuff, stupid stuff. And Twenty five years sober, all of a sudden you've gone stupid and you're saying the same stuff, but it and now it's too late, because now stupid has become second nature. Now, now it's not even a matter of doing the steps. You're not even doing the steps. Where you were first, they were all weird and they were all counterintuitive. Oh, I just did a third step. Oh, I just turned it over. Oh, that was a fourth step. Oh, I just did a tenth step, or I just did a seventh step. All it is. It's all weird and stupid and everything. It's like wax on it, wax off, laughs on, wax off, it's all. It's all strange and different. You know you're doing it and then around twenty five years you're not even doing this steps. You're just living your flipping life. You just living. You're just living the steps. You know you're not even turning your life over to God anymore. You're living a turned over life. You wake up in the morning thinking about God. You know, the praying about God. You're all and the only thing you think about in your car you're listening to him. You're going to church because then they said we encourage church membership. You're not worried about the stuff that it says in the big book, the loopholes where they say most of US encourage most of us go to church. We encourage church membership. You're doing it because they said that's what most of them do. You're not looking at the part in the book where it says it's not obligatory. There's some alcoholics. I say, well, I don't have to do it. Now you don't have to do it. The founders just said we encourage it because most of us do it. So I'm going to go with them. You know what I mean? Because I want to be I don't want to be one of the boys. I want to be a man, because I get to the point where I become ready that God remove all these defects of character, all of a sudden I want him to be the central fact in my life. I want to be convinced that lives in my heart to mine, that they be miraculous because, according to the great fact, it says, it says. The great fact is, are those things that God's got to become the number one thing in my life, more important anything. I've got to become convinced, my faith has to...

...be so strong that it's convinced that he's going to do for me what I can do for myself. Otherwise, I may be convinced that if I don't have that woman, I'll be okay, or if I don't have that car. All you maybe that's because the problem is I got this world coming at me seven with all these statements. I turned on the TV and I see these TV programs, I these commercials designed to tell me that I'm a piece of crap if I'm not taking the back by a grand I'm sex six times a week when I'm seventy years old. You know what I mean, and I'm liable to buy into that bullshit. You understand I'm saying. And then I'll lose my serenity unless I make God the number one thing in my life, which is the only thing it's going to prevent this world from killing me. And dealing with the real alcoholism is, which is the addictions of the things of this world. And that's the deal. And so I have to end up keep on doing this thing and doing this thing. Before I know it, they brainwashed me. I become totally brainwashed. But it's too late by then because I'm feeling too good and I'm being rocking in the fourth dimension of existence and I'm experiencing much of Heaven and I'm losing fear of people places. I'm losing fear of economic insecurity. Like I go up to real chief, you know, and I tell him, I said, what am I going to have? ECKNE, I've done years sober and I'm broke again and I'm saying the IRS is coming after me, and I'm saying what am I going to have? Economic Insecurities is what are you thought of that? He said that kind of what am I going to make the money? I said, I've been doing this for nine years. I was I did the end of the banquet for two years. I'm sponsoring ten million people, I'm speaking all over the the deal, you know. I'm doing this, I'm doing that, I'm doing everything, and now I'm doing everything in alcoholics. Anonymous. I said, I'm an attorney. I'm broken again. What am I? What am I going to what am I going to have? Economic Street? What am I? What am I gonna have? The money and everything like that? He says, what are you talking about? I said the promise, the promise. I mean, I'm doing this for nine years. The promises. He says, I don't instid he's noises. I'm sor fear that can end economicic insecurity. I'm still insecure. What's the story? Says, they don't promise you. Yes, they try, they don't prize it, they don't pry. Yes, they promised me that. He's just read it to me. I'll get up the book. I read it to me, since fear of people and Economic and, by the way, the economic strue was really peer people, because, I can promise you, every time I thought about losing my car or losing my house right behind that was what what are people going to think about me? What are you're going to think about me if I go bankrupt? What are people going to think about every ragget? I'm going to give a shit what other people think about me, you know. But the bottom line is so so here's the deal. I'm sitting, I'm reading this to him. Fear people and of economic security will leave you and I'll keep looks at me and says that's right, the fear will leave you, he says, Russell, you will always be grown, but it won't bother you. More Insanity, some more craziness, you know, and you're sober. I tell my my sponsor, Joe Snider, that I'm I'm leaving my wife after ten years, or whatever it is, because she disagreed with me, you know, and she know. She's an Elean on our ladies of perpetual revenge. You know how they are. You know what she does, an Alan on test step. When I'm wrong, she probably admits it. And the bottom line, so she we had a big fight even that. That was it. I didn't sign up for this bullshit. You know. I'm the how did this? Marriage is over, and I call him, my sponsor, Joe Snider, and I said, listen again, divorces, marriage is all reaches. Will tell me what happened. I tell them the whole story. I spent twenty minutes. I told him everything. She said, everything I said. Trust me, I was right. I was so right. I was out the right. If you disagrove me, have to die this yourself. Flip and stupid, you know what I mean? I was so right, she was so wrong, you know. And and that was the end of it. I mean the marriage is over. So he says to me this, he says, after I'm done explain it to him, he says to me, says, I'm getting divorce, he says. So, he says to me this, and I'm nine...

...years, nine years, ten years, subbody system me. So, Russell. He says, why are you upset? Yeah, I don't realize I'm insane because it makes sense to me. So I'm dealing with one of these insane, stupid I always was sponsored by by by people, by men who were stupid. They were stupid. I don't know. I know how to explain that. I always got sponsored by stupid men. They had a lot of spiney with they were stupid and they just didn't understand. And I told them. I he said, why are you upset? I said, what do you means is, why are you upset? I said, hell, I just, I just, I just told you for the last twenty minutes exactly what she did and exactly what she said. He says, yeah, I know, but why are you upset? I said, what do you mean? I'm upset. I'm upset because of what she said and and did you know? He looks at me and he say he was to me. He says that's not why you're upset. I said, Hey, I don't know about you, but I'm an alcoholic. I know exactly why I'm upset. I'll tell groups of people why I'm upset. I'll go to an amy, tell why I'm upset. I'll stop you on the street, if you don't even know me, I'll say you don't believe what my wife just fit to me. I I if there's anything I know? I may not know much, but I know why I'm upset. So he says that's not why you're upset. I said that's why. That's not why you're set. What I just told you. That's not why I'm upsetting. No, that's not why you mean. That's not why you're upset everything, that's not why you're upset. Back, that's Russell, that's not why you're upset. And they shut up. Even say anything else. It was a pot at the end of nothing else going on. I said, you mean to tell me. I said, you said, Russell, that is not why you're upset. It was a quiet silence and so then I said Tom I said, you know why I'm upset. He said absolutely, I know why you're set. I said, you know why I'm upset. Huh, clear, Claire, I know exactly why you're upset. He shut up. I said, well, are you going to tell me why I'm upset? And he says, I'm giving you the verbatim conversation. Are you going to tell me why I'm upset? And he says, well, do you really want to know? So? Well, of course I want to know. I want to know why am I upset? And he says this is the exact words. He says, listen, stupid, you're upset because you're upsetable. What is this like Zen Ay Ay? I'm up set because I'm upset of all. Apparently he was trying to tell me that. I know you're going to find this hard to believe. This is amazing that there are people in Ayay that are so stupid, so stupid and they have usually a lot of years because they've got this like a Alzheimer's, that the wives can say the exact same thing to them and it doesn't bother as a matter of fact, sometimes the wives can say the exact same thing and it doesn't actually even register. They have this like a definite or something where they don't hear ninety five percent of the shit that's actually going on around them. Very scary thing, you know. I'll tell you what. If you're an alcohol I am aware of every look. You know, I don't like the way. I'm like the two psychiatrists a past each other at the hall. One says hello, the other one says, I wonder what he meant by that. I am, let me say, wrong dudes of others, fancy it or real I am on top of every nuance, every look, everything people says. I take shit personally. You know what I mean, because it's directed to me. You know...

...what I mean. And the bottom line is, apparently what happens is in a is it makes you so stupid that you can be in a situation and people who doing all sorts of stupid things and bad things and it doesn't even bother you because it's somehow it's like you get this code of Spiritual Teplon you know, on you and you know and and somehow it doesn't bother you. And and so I get guys that tell me all the time they divorce the lives because of this and that. I said, well, and you're married. That's what they do. You know, he's probably having a she's probably realizing that she's having a bad life because she's married for you. So what's the big deal? Don't worry about you know the home and eat dinner. I'm trying to be nice. What she told me to. Listen, I'll tell you what I do. I just plea guilty, you know I mean, and say let's go straight to the sentencive. You know what I mean. I mean I don't. I don't go to trial. Don't go to trial, just welee guilty. So what's the judgment of the court? A new blouse, you got it. You know what I mean. And that said, that's the deal. So then I had my I'm going to say I'll just do a fun story. I mean I got so many stories I'll do a final one. Don't wrap it up out. You know what time it is, but I probably talking too long, so I might. My first sponsor died. My second sponsor died. Wonderful men. I've always had men in my life and I have one now that I've wanted what they had. You know, isn't that the deal? You got to want something coming here. They just want what they had. Had Man in my life a lot of what they had. And so I started going to a Bible study when I was nine in ten years sober, and that's whole story on that, because I was still I was ten or eleven years ober and I wanted more. I wanted to increase my conscious contact with my God. When somebody suggested to me, I said no because I was worried about what a with with people in they would think about me. You See, one of the things I'm not going to get up do a long thing on this, but one of things that a happens in a a eighty years down the road. It's like you haven't played the game telephone is if you read a little bit about the history of a a DCR bottle of gold timers and you understand where it came from, what the story is and what they were doing in the beginning, there's a clear indication, if you go to a now, that somehow God is bad and talking about God is bad and every newcomer gets the feeling that nobody in a wants to talk to here about you talking about God and since most days are scared of what other people think about them and they really want to wait, any possibility of people talking about be on their back, because that's part and parcels. By the way, what happens is if somebody sort of chastises somebody or in some lay in the case that God is bad, and somebody tries to weasel out of the gods situation. You know, you know, the check agnostic says Mira, code for moral's better philosophy of life, would help us meet over a long times. Off It didn't help them. The you know, good early direction is a mere code of morals. You know, the tech commands miracle to moral. The next right thing me or code tomorrow. He says we had to have the power, we were powers, so that means we have to talk about God. And says here is where alcoholics spoke crazy and say this sort of thinking has to live. I'm just talking textbook, a a stuff, the big thank God we have the big book, so it's in right. The big book says that means we have to talk about God. Alcoholics are not going to like it. They take a stand on atheism and and Ad Gnosticism, and this is what they say. This sort of thinking has to be abandoned. God either is or is what your decision going to be? Make a decision for God. It says there's no middle of the road solution. There's no I want to be. I want to be Jesus and I want to be who you have nerve to. You know what I mean. I want I want to I want to go help them and I want whose spiritual and everyone like that, but I'd like to have a lot of money. It doesn't work that way. You know what I mean. It don't work. Okay, and see what your relationship with him is right, and great events will come to pay. fuelingcount on others. I mean you can go all through the book. There's a we never apology, you know, they say twice. We never apologize for God. You know why they say it? Christ because alcoholics want to apologize everything. Every time they go to a meeting and they mentioned God, they want to apologize. He says we never apologize for talking...

...about God. We never apologize. We trust our God. Okay, all men of faith have courage. You want to know something. If you don't have the courage to talk about God and alcoholics anonymous, you will never, ever, ever whose fear of people. Don't expect to lose fear people. Don't ever expect to lose fear people near judgment if you can't tell about God, for God's Sakes, and in a a room when the book has nothing to do with it. God, don't ever think that you're sober. You've been rocking in the fourth dimension or your experiencing these promises. If you're one of these guys that are worried about what the guy who sit next to you doesn't pay your Damn Visa Bill, is going to it's going to think about you. You know? That's the bottom line. Okay, I don't, but let me do hear the bottom line. So I start going to sing in my sponsor died and there was a guy some next to me. He was a Baptist missionary. He had sixty two years sobriety. He became my next sponsors. Then to John Glenn, and then I'll say I wanted I wanted the faith that John Glenn had. I want you know, John Glenn, you used to call himself. My Name's John Glenn, I'm a future astronaut, and you know, they talked to him that dying because he was like he was much older than me and he and he he'd say, Hey, Mydans a pack, I'm ready to go. And I've had a lot of experience with men who really believe, real believer, true believers, and how they faced death and all this sort of stuff is pretty incredible team to deal and so we go out to eat one time. So we go out to eat and you say, if you want, we haven't woman go to anyone again. You are who you hang out with. That's the man you're going to be. And I go out to dinner. We'd be at a Dennis restaurant and be packed and I go to eat. Anybody knows me knows I like the I go to eat and he say what are you doing? said, I'm eating. You can't eat. We have to give thanks for we have give thanks to Gode the Wilson said to alcoholic anonymousnumber three. He said the Lord has been so wonderful to me. Drew me of this. I got to talk about and tell him them. People says we got to give thanks. So he would balance had and I would bow my head in the middle of this restaurant and he would start praying and get one of these long Baptist prayers, you know, and and I'm of course looking around. I've got like twelve years right and I'm looking around see whether people are looking at it's not got to give a crop of they think about because see, you know I'm doing it. And so he ended up sponsoring me for fifteen years. I'm sponsored by this guy. We're praying before our meals, we're doing all that sort of stuff. And I missed John. I know he's with the Lord Right now and he's looking down. And then, thank God, I found it. You know, you know people. You know what it says in the big book. It says, but we will not know you. This is the last page. We will not hang out with you. And this is what the founder said. He says God will determine that, and it real relizes has to be on him. He will show you how to create the fellowship creates find even I crave fellowship. I didn't know the fellowship. I'm a fellowship with somebody. It's easy to be a fellowship. I crave that. I want to do what's going to be a fellowship that God wants me to hang out with, and I I thank God I've always wound up with man and dealing with a fellowship of people that are non bullshit, you know, the real the real deal. You know they done this success and trying to grow in the image and likeness of their creator. You know, the image and like this of their creator. And so that was John Learn for me and he took make a whole lot of level. That's a whole bunch of other stories and that's it. I'm done because I've spoken too long as it is. So thank you very much.

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