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

Episode 41 · 1 year ago

Russell S at There Is A Solution group - Step 10 - Growing to not-upsettable

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S at There Is A Solution Group, NJ

...soult spats if you hear a phonein the background. My home phone just started ringing. It raining, soI think I'll wait till they stop. It's probably some political call or stamcalled or something like that, but it's good to be how I remember theCeltics the group, and I haven't found that started to have a drink since, nor have I owed I had that. Have I had a drink since Januarytwenty five, one thousand nine hundred and eighty one, and it's alwaysgood for me to be in an a mean. That's a privilege to ever, whenever anybody as you to share it in a meeting and I'll I'll tryto do my best to tell the truth. We'll see how that goes. Iwas told long time ago the in order to give a good a meanyou just have to be sincere and once you learn how to fake that,you got it made. So what is the you know the old story agelike a giant toolbox as a wrenched to it every nut that walks through thedoor. So I don't know that I'll be arrenched. I'm as signed.Tonight I'm supposed to talk about step ten. I've been debating on whether I shoulddo that. You know, don't get your hope something. You know, keep your expectations. Well, I about in two thousand and six Iremember I was doing a step series at a group, I can't remember thetwelve Stephouse, and I was supposed to do step eight and I just gottenback from Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was debating on whether I shoulddo step eight I should talk about my trip to Greensborough, and for somereason the spirit moved me to talk about my trip to Greensboro and I thinkthat was I think that that talk I gave him two thousand and eight wassix. Was Probably, in my mind, one of the one of the mosthonest and sincere talks I've ever given, and it was just something that Lordput on my heart to talk to the group about. And so Ipretty more I'll apply apologize to you right now. We don't spend a lotof time on ten. I probably will, but but I really I don't planthese things. I don't have any can stuff. I just sort oftalk about what I think God wants me to talk about. I pray aboutthat stuff. So I look at the ten step differently now. I'll haveif I don't drink, I'll have I'm seventy one years old. I livein Miami self supporting through my own contributions. Fork. Let me see, Ihave four kids, seven grandkids and if I don't drink in January I'llhave forty years. And so I've been doing this for a while and andmy, my, my perception and ideas about this program have changed in thelast forty years. I don't know, as your per set, have yourperceptions changed about yourself in the program in the many, in the years thatyou've been sober and and it's just the way it is. You know,how does it say our perceptions change? It says through repeated humiliations and thefinal crushing of our self sufficiency, we learned the value of suffering. Andthat pretty much describes what's been going on with me just just thirty nine yearsplus of going through trials and tribulations and never, never, never, takemy eye off the prize. In my taste, the prize has always beenGod, whether I knew I was looking at God or not. Sometimes Iwas looking at my sponsor, but I was still actually looking at God andfollowing directions and not in the most important thing my life is always been notdrinking. That's the deal and that's got to be the most important thing.Maybe that's why this, the first stepisode important, because when you come aday at least, when I'm talking about myself, I'm not talking about you, but when I came da I'm an...

...alcoholic. You know, the drinkingwas really the easiest thing to give up and I thought drinking was the problem, and indeed it was the problem. And of course I came day becauseI couldn't stop drinking and I thought my life was over. I was thirtyone years old. I thought I'd never get better again, and I cametolcoholics anonymous, and I got down to my knees and I gave my life. Well, I gave the drinking to God. I had become entirely readyto have God, have any anything coming to my life and stop me stopthe drinking. I was willing to go to any lengths. You know,I have a lot of people that actually contact me over the years and theytell me they want to stop drinking and I'll say to him, I'll saythis. I'll say, well, well, I'm going, I'm doing a meetingtonight. Won't you show up the meeting and they won't show up.That used to disappoint me when alcoholics tell you they want to do something andthen you say okay, we'll just show up and they don't show up.But used to disappoint me. But I know that. I know that ifyou want to stop, if you really want to stop, general generally,show up. You know, talk is cheap and I wanted to stop,so I showed up. That's all I can tell. I followed directions.I think, maybe for alcoholics who are rationalizers like me and they tell themselvesrationalize, or maybe they still think they have a little running room so theycan manage their their lives and second guess themselves and second guests their sponsors andand manage their own life. Maybe, maybe they I guess it's difficult tofollow directions. But when you get to the point in your life where youthink their life is over, and it's never the jumping off place, whatdoes it say envision for you here and then once in a while a drinker, being dried at the moment, says feel better, look better, havinga better time. We laugh at such sally. You know he'll try theold game again because he's not happy with his sobriety. No, soon he'llno. Loneliness is if you do, you know he'll wish for the end, the jumping off place. I got to jumping off place, so Iknow that's all about. And I got the point where where I wanted toI thought I would never be better again, and so I was willing to followdirections. And you know, when you come into alcoholics anonymous, andyou're crazy and you're insane and your self destructive, what a commentagers say aboutalcoholics. Their men and women are out to destroy themselves. When you comeinto Aya and your self destructive and you're suffering from and your selfish and yourself centered and you're driven by a hundred forms of fear and self delusion,because you make decisions based upon self and you and you're defiant. That's yourchief characteristic, it's very, very hard to follow directions. But I wasbeating down enough so that I I may not have understood a lot, butI know I didn't want to drink. And so when you come day Aand you're a you're a crazy, and you run into people who aren't crazy, the old timers I ran into, they'll sometimes that you to do somecrazy stuff and I would. I would follow their directions even though I didn'tunderstand why I was doing it. You know, one of the stories Itell to give an example of that is the story when I had about threemonths sobriety and and I found out I had some money problems. I don'tknow whether I don't know anybody here has ever had been concerned about money.It's not important. It is just right up there with oxygen and and forthe first ten or fifteen years I worry a lot about money. I kepton wondering when that promise, you know that promised this few people in economicand secure a Lego was looking for that...

...promise. And so I was aboutthree months sober and I didn't have any money in the bank and I hada wife and wanted two kids at home and I hadn't paid the mortgage inabout two months and I was I was worried and I wasn't going to tellanybody in the group. I wasn't going to share it in the group becauseI didn't want anybody to know that, you know, the big shot attorneydidn't have any money. And and so I I went up to my sponsorand I said Bob, and I told him the whole story about not havingmoney and how I was broken, how I thought I was gonna be evictedwith my wife and kids out of the street, and he looked at meafter listening to me for a while about the money problem, and he said, he said, you know, I understand. I think I have thesolution for you. I said really, he said, Oh yeah, absolutely. He said, I think it's about time you start making coffee for thegroup. And now I'm not too bright, but I started thinking. I said, I'm not I'm not sure we're actually having a conversation here. I'mnot sure this man. Now let me explain something to you. I graduateddepartment of Honors in Mathematics. I took all the post graduate math courses.I was going to be a math professor and and I was going for myPhD in Algebraic topology and I decided to go to law school and I wentto law school instead and I have been with the vision chief from the statesattorney's office. I think I tried about twenty one murders before my twenty twenty, twenty seventh birthday and I thought I was pretty sharp, I knew everythingand I was supposed to be sponsored by Albert Einstein or Jesus, but theyweren't around. So they gave me this used car salesman who hadn't even graduatedsixth grade. And and I was in no position to argue with him becauseI came with alcoholics, anonymous. I had two neurons working and they werewaving good bye to each other. And so I so this guy's this isthe guy who was in my office until the stories of my office one dayand I point to the degrees on my wall, and I say Bob,because I had this wall full of degrees which proved I was educated far beyondmy capacity to understand anything. I pointed to my degrees on the one Isaid. I said, Bob, these are my degrees, and without missingto be he looked at me said, well, you know, rust rectalthermometers have degrees. You know they do with those. So that pretty muchsums up my sponsors and how they used to talk to me. I hada sponsor named Joe Snyder, and every time Joe was going to lay onme a very profound piece of information that he thought I used, I neededto know, he would always start off the conversation by saying something like this. Now, listen, stupid and sort of like, I know there wassomething important coming up that he wanted me to listen to. So I wasn'tmolly colleague, you know, and molly coddled, whatever that is. Soso I said to him all about this money stuff and my worries and hesaid, well, I think I have the answer few I think it's abouttime you started making coffee for the group. And quite frankly, I saw noconnection and increasing my bank account or paying the mortgage and making coffee forthe group. I mean, I got I got to be honest with you. I really didn't see a connection. And but I was so I hadnot had a drink in three months and, more than anything, I didn't wantto drink again. And I somehow had connected in my mind that mynot drinking had something to do with listening to my sponsor. And so hewatched me over to the coffee and I started it can coffee and he showedme how to make the coffee and he said now tomorrow I'd Russell, yougot to get here about half an hour earlier and you got to set upthe tables in the chairs and you got to make the coffee for the group. So the next night came and no...

...money had come in and I wasvery, very depressed. You know, alcoholics never get just the press.We get very, very depressed. And I was very, very depressed andI didn't want to go to a meeting because I was too depressed to goto a meeting. And but I had to go to the meeting because Ihad to make the flipping coffee and how to make the coffee. So Iwent to a meeting and I made the coffee and the meeting was a goodmeeting and I felt better after the meeting. I made the coffee for that meetingfor three months and somehow all the money came in and I didn't haveto kill myself and everything worked out. And I remember some guy came upto me after the meeting and three months and said I'll make the coffee.I said I'm the Coffee Baker. Who the hell made you the Coffee Baker? And I made coffee of that group for eighteen months and and it istrue. You know, intensive work with alcoholics. Experiences shown that intend towork with alcoholics will help keep you sober and and that's what I've been to. So I was doing this by the numbers and following and following directions.I actually think that a lot of this thing has to do with following directionsand doing what you're told, doing what you're told. You know, andI once asked my sponsor, I said because I was sponsoring people. Youknow, it's a kick. You want to find out about this disease.Hey, you want to find out about this disease. You really want tofind out about alcoholics. You want to find out about yourself. Sponsor people, sponsor a lot of people. You know you'll find out a lot aboutalcoholics. So I wanted to one of my sponsors, Joe Snyder, andI said, Joe, what do you do when when an alcohol doesn't dowhat you ask him to do? I actually sponsored alcoholics at times that wouldnot do what I asked them to do and used to bother me, andI said what do you do if you have an alcohol can he doesn't dowhat you what you ask him to do, and he says, well, Ijust some them to do whatever the heck he wants to do, becausethey're going to do whatever the hell they want to do anyway. Don't getyour panties in a Snit, you know what I mean. And and that'sthe deal. So, you know, all you can do is try tocarry the message. You can't carry the message, and I'm so over theperiod of years we've got two great things going for us in AA. Thefirst great thing we have going for us is alcohol. A's like a gianttoolbox. I mean every I don't know, every every six months to a year, alcohol sort of comes through and wipes out all the bullshit. Imean, nobody gets away with it. Every every year or so, everytwo years or so, alcohol comes through, just like, just like a wholeflock of locusts and all the I'm not going to do that and youcan't tell me what to do and I've got my program. You got yourprogram and you know I'm different and I'm you don't understand. And it justwipes them all out, you know what I mean? And then they comeback in and they say this time I'm really going to do it, andwipes them out again, you know, and until they get the picture,repeat the humiliations, then the final crushing of our selfsufficiency. And so theonly thing I can tell you about staying sober for a long period of timeis you just get to be humiliated more times for a longer period of time, which has something to do with learning, learning your lesson, learning a lesson, because I'm one of the things. I had my sponsors. What didI say to Bob once? I said I know what you're doing,you're trying to brainwash me. Says, well, maybe your brain needs washing, you know, and that kind of stuff. So I did all that, did the steps in the third step, fourth step, all the steps,and so I look at the tent step a little differently, and letme go. I'll try to explain you how I look at it now.I mean for many, many years, I've got to be on. I'mgoing to try to be honest here and we'll see where that goes. I'mgoing to try to be honest with you all. From many, many years, my life was all about the tenth...

...step. Quite frankly, if Iwas to be honest with you right now, I think I'm more focus right nowon the on the sixth and seventh step. They call that them oldtimer steps, and I sort under stand why. To repeated, repeatedly overa life. Then they say. They say the sixth step is about theman who's trying to grow, who's become entirely ready to have God remove anythingthat stands, anything, it stands in the way of his relationship with God. And of course, the the Big Book and the Twelve and twelve talksabout health. We want to be rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence ofwhich we had not even dreamed. He says the great fact is this andnothing less, that God has to become the central fact of our lives andwe have to be convinced, without doubt, convinced that he lives in our heartsand minds in a way which is a deed miraculous, and that he'sdoing for us what we can through for ourselves, and that that's seeking theLord and seek and being convinced and making God the central fact of our lives. I'll tell you, I'm just talking about me. This is my deal. That doesn't happen because your three months sober and you get down your kneesand say the third step prayer. That does you don't become convinced that Godis going to work in your life and that he's living in your heart inyour mind. You don't become convinced of that because your whold hands are amean and say the Lord's prayer. You may become convinced for an anal secondor five minutes or so, but as soon as again your car start drivingway you stopped wearing it, you start worrying about the bank account. Anyway. It takes many, many I can tell you this. It took memany, many, many years to be convinced. You know that part inthe big book where it says there is no middle of the road solution.It's right. After the great fact is this and nothing less. The nextparagraph is there is no man, there's no middle of the road solution.No Russell. You cannot be you havenr and Jesus Christ at the same time. No Russell. You cannot focus on God and focus on having a yachtwith a whole bunch of Babes in it. No Russell. That's not the wayit goes. You have to be convinced that God is the most importantthing. See to it your relationship with him is right, and great eventswill come to pass to you and countless others. You're on a new basis, the basis of trusting and relying upon God. Trusting relying upon God,you never you never apologize for God. You never apologize for God. Allmen of courage have faith. They trust their God. You just let himdemonstrate in your life what he's doing. I got to tell you something.I understand now why they say twice in the big book that you never apologizefor God. I go to a lot of meetings with people who are apologizingfor God, apologizing from empty mentioning God, trying to Figot all sorts of waysnot to mention the word God, all sorts of sort of like slangor something like that. So they don't mention God because they're more worried aboutwhat other people going to think about it if they talk about God too much. I understand that. I can tell you this, and this is justfor my own point of view and my own opinion. If you ever worryand alcoholics anonymous where they talk about God all the time, where they saywhere they talk about above everything. We must get rid of this selfishness.We must get rid of this true alcoholism, the selfishness that sends your mind,not your body. We must, or kills us. God makes thatpossible. Once you make that decision for God, the true, sincere decision. All sorts of remarkable things happen. Being all powerful, but give youeverything you need if you stay close to me and performance. WHO HIS WORKS? Well, you know. But what happens if we can't meet you?What if we can't see you and we're not can't hang around you? Wecannot be sure of that. God will decide that, but you must rememberthat you're real. Your real reliance has to always be on him. Hewill even show you how to create the fellowship you crave. You know,when you're in alcoholics anonymous with that material and that's our basic text, andyou have a problem talking about God. It makes you uncomfortable. You worrywhat other people in Aa are going to speak about, to think about.You've talked about God. I want to...

...give you a little clue, justa little hint. I could be wrong about this. Don't, don't ever, don't ever be surprised that you're not. You're not. Experience that promise,the promise you'll lose fear of people. For those of you who want tolose fear of people, free for those of you who want to livea life where you're not afraid of people's judgments. For those of you whohave actually, after many years of a shown the spotlight on your prison,you know you can't. You know one of the things they say is thefirst step in getting out of jails you got to know your jet you're injail in the first place. For many years I was in an alcoholic jailthat I busted out of that yell only to find out I was a jailof seeking other people's approval. I was in a jail because I because Idon't know about you, but I find most people, include myself, havea very low opinion of themselves. I don't give a crap how many timesyou tell yourself your grade or you don't know who you're dealing with, orall that other stuff we say. I don't care what other people think ofme. And my personal feeling about the alcoholics that I've seen in my ownalcoholism is most alcoholics don't really think they're worthy or they're they're up to thetask. They just have this this inter feeling that just not it just notgood enough, that just something wrong. You know, and you know whenyou live a life and you're constantly and you're ashamed of yourself, when you'reashamed of yourself, when you're worried about whether people actually ever find out exactlywho you are and what you are, when you live that sort of life, that sets up a really bad way of seeing things and dealing with people. First of all, you got to spend a lot of money you don'thave buying things you don't need to impress people you don't like. You gotto constantly try to impress people, constantly try to do something or get somethingin your life, outside of you, so that you could be okay.I think the worst thing in I think it's such a horrible thing to gothrough life with that kind of bondage, to have an inter feeling of beingworthless and feeling that you have to do something, to perform something or besomething or have something or own something so that people will think you're okay,because you really have no interfeeling that you're okay in yourself. The only timeyou feel you're okay is if other people tell you they think you're okay.I think it's such a horrible, horrible existence. I think that's really thetrue alcoholism. That's the alcoholism that lives on for ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years after, stop drinking. The drinkings you're not really the disease. The drinking allows you for a time to think that you're superman superwoman.Okay, but the drinking is not really the disease. The disease, youknow, lives alive in my body and and that's the bottom line with me, and the only way I've ever been able to get out of it isby focusing on God and listening to my sponsors, and all my sponsors theonly thing they've ever done is giving me directions to do things that got mecloser to God. And that's the deal. So I work the steps and that'smy story. And so the ten step has been a really was,a really, really big part of my life. As I say, I'mmostly focused on six and seven. And if you're going to focus on sixand seven, which talks about, as I said before, growing up andbecoming an adult, and Bill Wilson said, the next frontiers emotional sobriety, saidalcoholics. He says the real problem with alcoholics is unhealthy dependencies, idolatree, putting other things in the place of God, women, men,romance, money, name it, the things of this world, things youlust after, the things you feel you have to have. You know that'sthe real that's the real disease, he says. It says. Well,if you get involved in the sixth step, where you're trying to grow in hisimage and likeness and that becomes the most important thing to you, whenthe prize, when you when the prize...

...becomes not only not drinking one dayat the time, but the real prize becomes trying to know what God wantsyou to do and do his work and grow in his image and likeness.That, when that becomes a prize, amazing things happen. Carl young setideas, emotions and attitudes that are the guiding forces of these men's lives areshifted to one side and they become dominated by a whole new set of ideas, emotions and attitudes and some sort of psychic spiritual change happens that you cannever do on your own. Because how can I do it on my own? I'm prowess over my drinking. I'm powerless over my thinking. I'm athink Aholic. I'm I'm a selfish Aholic. I can't change me, only Godworking through me and in we in me can change me, you know, the Holy Spirit. And so the bottom line is I worked on thetent step a lot, because here's the problem. When you have alcoholism,and the way I had alcoholism, and you still operate under the old ideas, because one of the things they say is, I think it's in thebig book, that says we have to let go of old ideas or elsethe result is nail. Don't they say something like that? Don't they saylike half measures of LS nothing? You ever hear that said? I thinkthey read it half measure of Eld? How could, how can you go? How can you have the idea, a comprehend the idea that half measuresof what value? Nothing, when deep down inside you don't believe it.You really believe, don't really believe that half measures give you a fifty percent? Come on, I know you do. You believe half measures give you afifty percent, but the big book says half measures a value nothing giveyou, you know, really give you. It says we must get rid ofour old ideas, and he's all this nail. And too we letgo. How do you let go absolutely? How do you become to how doyou get rid of all doubt. How do you become convinced that Godis living in your life when you spend most of your time worrying about yourbank account and most of the time worried about what other people think about you? How does that change happen when you become a different human being? Imean, how do you? How do you do? How do you rewireyour blank brain and got a whole new model, you know, motherboard inthe whole thing. You know, I don't know. The bottom line is. All I know is that as something to do with. Everybody has to. I keep on thinking of the story in the desert, the story inthe big and Genesis and accidents in accidents, especially about the Israelites leaving, leavingEgypt. I think that's a really good story. That talks about myalcoholism. I was in Egypt, in Egypt for like what, four hundredyears, where it was a four hundred or eight hundred years. They werein Egypt has SLA aves and finally they bust loose from Egypt to go tothe Promised Land, and I'm on the way to promised land and they spendforty years trudging through the desert. Forty years trudging through the desert because theywere following down like a threeweek journey by foot, and it took him fortyyears, because they were following God, because God wanted them to march throughthe desert until every one of them died, and the only people that went inthe promised land were people who were born free in the debt, bornfree in the desert. You know, they got rid of all the peoplethe slave mentality, and somehow my slave mentality has to die and I haveto become a free man, and the only thing to do that is Ihave to walk through that desert of sobriety. You know, what is it thatread those repeated humiliations, the final crushing of my self sufficiency, soI can learn the value of pain, value of all those things I canplay. Everything I complained about, every problem I had, that I goto a meetings, was propelling me closer to God and changing me and moldingme in such a way so that I could be a better instrument to dohis will and be of his service. So the reason why I was veryproficient, I became very proficient in the tent step, is because I wasextremely proficient in screwing up. I was extremely proficient in fucking up. Reallyit was amazing and apparently, if you're...

...an alcohol you don't get all wonderfulall the time at once. And you talk about repeat humiliations. You know, there was still the old man and me. There was still the olddeal in me, the old disease. The disease does not want to leave. It is cunning, baffling and power of the disease that you wanted ussome it still hasn't actually left. Every once in a while it pops out. You know, I think my sobriety is I hold my sobriety. Idon't even I'm not even sure I do the steps anymore. I just sortof I sort of live them. I don't know what it is. I'dit's like wax on. You ever see that movie wax on and Wax off? You know? I mean they used to be all distinct and different,like, Oh, I think I just did a third step, oh,I have to a fourth step. Oh, I just did a fifth step,Oh, I did just did a twelve step. I just did ittense to I mean there was so they was so unusual and so different.Once I started learning what they were. I saw myself doing them all thetime. Oh, I just did a third step today, I turned itover today, or I did that. And you know, after thirty yearsof this stuff, you don't say, Oh, I just did a thirdday. Just sort of live your life. You know, I was, Iwas I can't tell you how many times I turned something over. Somebodyto take a week to turn I don't even know what you guys when theyI don't even know where they use that language anymore. Where you had aproblem, you kept on thinking about it, thinking about it, thinking about it, thinking about it, worrying about it, a talking to people aboutit, and then finally the day comes you just give up the ghosts andyou turn it over to God and you put it in a God box orwhatever it is, and then all of a sudden you stop worry about thisis what happened about that Hounds Zuli. I turned it over. I turnedit. Oh, you go through a week of hell before you get butI turned it over, and then everything sort of works out because you you, you turned it over. You know what I mean. I mean yougot clawbox all over it, but you turned it over. You know,whatever happened happened. That's the kind of faith I had. I had thekind of faith where I had to kill myself and suffer for two weeks untilI would turn it over because I had no choice, because I couldn't doit myself. And and you do that over and over again, what,for ten years and fifteen years and twenty years, and I don't know,maybe it takes less time to turn it over. Maybe maybe instead of takinga week to turn it over, maybe you can turn it over in likethree days, you know, and you're only miserable for three days. Andyou say things that mean like I have been having a bad year, I'vebeen having a bad week, I was I've been having a bad day.You know, I mean, and then you start questioning them and say badday and you find out you had a bit at three minutes driving over tothe meeting or something. You know, it's like it's like it's what ahorrid life it is when you just can't live a turned over life. Andthen you keep on turn it over and turning it over and turn it overand one day, one day you wake up and you and and you're livingit turned over life. How can I put it? One day you it'slike second it's not your first nature. My first nature is to control everythingand everybody and if you do something wrong, I have to kill you. That'smy first nature. Okay, it's death to everybody that gets in myway. But my second nature, which almost like second nature, is sortof like do the steps automatically. It's just the way I think whatever I'mdisturbing, something disturbs me, somebody disturbs me, I got to kill himfor about ten seconds and all then, all of a sudden, I flipinto whenever I'm disturbing, no matter what the cause, there's something wrong withme. That's the ten step spiritual axe in my flip over. How longdoes it take? What? How long does it take that, instead ofresenting somebody and blaming somebody and hating somebody and being miserable for somebody and gettingdepressed because of somebody or something that's real or imagine happening? How long doesit take before, when things happen to you that where you're not getting yourown way, it disturbs you where you just start thinking, what's wrong withme? Why is this disturbing me?...

Instead of blaming people in hating peoplewhen do you stop blaming people, in hurting people and asking God to helpyou because you know there's something wrong with you, because you don't want tobe disturbed? I don't know how long it takes. Took me, maybetwenty, twenty five years, you know, and I'm just telling you my story. You guys are probably much smarter than me and you'll do it faster, but that's the deal. And in somewhere, so you know. SoI was always I was always making amends to people because I was always sayingor doing the wrong thing. And One story about I remember I was aboutthree years sober and I was working in a law firm and I had aand my secretary was I was sharing a secretary with the senior partner and shewas a young lady from England, and very nice young lady from England namedValerie. And and one day I went up to Valerie and I wanted todictate a letter and she was in a swivel chair by by her desk,over a over a typewriter, and they had typewriters back then. And Iwent up to dictate a letter and she was on the phone and and whileshe was on the phone, she was talking on the phone like this andshe was talking to her girlfriend and she was saying things like Oh, andthen we went to keep the scan, oh, and then we went onthe bog and frank looked so cute and his shorts, and I'm sitting therewhen the dictates something, she's saying, Oh, we had such a goodtime, and then we went out to eat and I'm sitting there waiting todictate something to her, and she and so finally I looked at her andI said, and I had about two years sobriety at the time, andfinally I did this. I stood over and I did to sort of gether attention, and she swiveled her chair around so that she had her backto me and I heard her say this. I heard say, Doris, I'msorry, but there's a real pest hovering over me, you know,distract in me. And at that point whatever small whatever, whatever the nearof sobriety I had on me, vaporized like like Nagasaki. And I'm goingto use the word you know I hate to use, but I have noother way of express it. And I went down and I looked in herface and I said, if you don't get over that. Off that fuckingphone. In five seconds, I'm going to wrap the court around your fuckingneck and throw you out the window. That was before we got sensitive.And Hey, guess what, guess what. She got off the phone. AndI always have this disbelief that every once in a while and alcoholic shouldgo psychotic just to let him know that there's always a possibility that could happen. You know, you know. So in any event, so she gota phone and I dictated the letter and I started walking down to my officeand as I was walking down to my office, and when I was walkingdown to my office, in my mind I started going over what she whatshe said, and what I said and what she said and what she Isaid. She said this and I said that, and she said this andI said that, and then all of a sudden is I'm going over inmy office. You know, I'm what I'm saying, and then she turnedtheir swivel chair and I'm thinking about I'm going and then all of a suddenI heard this voice come through and it said and when we were wrong,promptly admitted and I said to my side, I knew where that was going.I knew where that sucker was going. It was going to an apology andthere was no way I was going to apologize that bitch, no wayI was going to apologize because she was wrong, she was dead wrong.And I kept on saying, you know, when we were wrong, promptly admitted, you know, makeup, make amends and promptly admitted. And andI was it was just driving me crazy and I had a couple of yearsand I don't know, I just I...

...just turned around, I went backupstairs and I went up to you, to her, and I said,I said now, I said, I want to apologize to you. Ishould never have said that to you and I really apologize. I was wrongand saying that to you. And she looked at me. She said,well, I apologized to you. I'm right. I was wrong too,and that was the end, you know. And and because of that, insteadof being a drunk lawyer in some bar somewhere that night talking about hisbitch attorney and getting drunk, I was at home with my children, youknow, and so I was very familiar with the ten step, with theten step. I was doing it all the time because I was saying stupidstuff, getting angry and screwing up all the time. So that's that's that'sone of the things I think about when I think about the ten step,as I as a safety valve for young alcoholics who are constantly getting into trouble, constantly screwing up, because I have that kind of alcoholism where the crazinessdidn't go away right away, where every once in a while, once aday or once a week, I would just do some sort of shitty thingthat was going to just drive me crazy. And believe me, it was ashort drive. And so that's why I think the ten step is reallyimportant. But let me tell you what happened. What I the way Ilook at it now, because there's a whole different deal going on now withme, and I was constantly doing these little ten step inventories in my mindand every once in a while, if I really couldn't get rid of something, I'd have to write it out. Very often, when people call meup to talk to me about a problem they have and they're unsure, they'retrying to explain to me the problem but they can't explain it. Whatever,somebody's trying to explain me the problem and they can't explain it rather than spendthree hours in the phone with them. I say do me a favor,write it out, put it on a list through the fourth do the fourstep, the inventory list, you know, the four list and everything like that, and then come back and share list with me so we can sortof get straight exactly what's going on here. So the ten step for me,from me canical standpoint, was a very incredibly great spiritual exercise and sortof and sort of implementing the spiritual lax him. Whenever I'm disturbing, matterwhat the cause, there's something wrong with me, which I absolutely buy into. I don't want to I don't want to have my life depend I don'twant to have my sobriety, in my peace of mind, my equanimity dependupon you check you changing or the world changing, because that ain't going tohappen. That ain't going to happen. And so that's the way I sortof look the tenth step most of the time when I was younger, forthe first ten or fifteen or twenty years. But I look at it a littlebit differently now and I'll tell you why. And this is just Imight as well share the truth somewhere along the line, after you do thetense to, after you make amends and you're constantly apologizing and going up topeople and making amends, somewhere along the top of the line and you getcloser, and I think it has a lot to do with increasing your consciouscontact with God and wanting to grow in his image and likeness. And Ithink the more you grow and the more you grow on my God's image inlike this, the more you, I don't know, I don't how tosay how about this, the more you care about people. You know,I'm an alcoholics, so I'm selfish and I'm self centered and I'm driven bya hundred forms of fear and I step on the toes of others and theyretaliate and I make decisions based upon self, which is to say I'm an alcoholic, and so I don't give a shit about anybody except myself. See, that's the real disease I have. The real disease I have is I'mso selfinvolved that I don't give a shit about anybody except myself, and that'swhy, I think I can't stop thinking...

...about myself. I can't stop talkingabout myself. You know, you know it's all about me, me,me, me. So let's stop talking about me, let's talk about you. What do you think about me? You know, I saw me,me, me, me, me, and the bottom line is, Ithink the closer I get to God and the more I want to be growingto his image and likeness, the more I concentrate on doing his work isreally and his work is being a maximum service to other people and trying tohelp other people. The more I start feeling that I and the more Istart sponsoring people, the more I start working with people, the more Istop worrying about myself and thinking about other people. I don't know, theand caring about other people, the less the less ice, the less timeI spend trying to retaliate and hurt other people, the less time I theless time, the less time I spend feeling sorry for myself because I feelmy feelings are hurt. And something that occurred to me, which is avery interesting thing. It's hard. I'll put I'll tell you what occurred tome. What occurred to me is when you are constantly making amends and youare constantly screwing up and it hurts your equitive to your peace of mind.I love that what the Apostle Paul said. I learned the secret. I learnedto be content in all things. You know, I don't have toa I don't have to worry about my bank account enough to worry about whatthis one thinks about me or that one thinks about me. You know,my peace of mind does not depend upon the circumstances of my life. Itjust depends upon my circumstances of my relationship with God. When you get tothe point where you where you get tired of apologize and for doing suit stupidstuff, the ten steps says that if you do it enough times, youpractice something called restraint of pain and tongue, another words, you can actually getto the point where you stop doing stupid shit. And this is likeamazing. This is like advanced ag I'm telling you, this is like postgraduatea. You can actually do the ten steps so so much that you stopdoing stupid shit. And guess what, you don't have to wait twenty fiveyears. If you're in AA for like ten years or fifteen, whatever didtime you're in a, you will find that you will do less stupid shitat ten years then you were doing at three years. It's not that youbecome sinless, you just sin less, you do less stupid shit. Andhere's the amazing thing. I mean, this is really complex. So letme try to put it this way. When you stop hurting people and doingstupid shit, when you don't do stupid shit and hurt people, you don'thave to make any amends. It's aid. I don't there's a connection. Thereis an actual connection. You stop doing stupid things, you stop hurtingpeople, you actually don't have to make amends. You may wake up oneday and say, man, I have make amends. I had made amendsin a year. I haven't made amends in a year and you start thinkingthat's something wrong, and I we're going to say, oh no, I'myou know why I haven't made amends in a year? Because I haven't beendoing stupid shit. You know what I mean? Well, maybe you makeamends here and there, but it's nothing to speak about, you know,and you know, no big things or anything like that. And and theless, the less time you spend making a Lem ends and less time youspend doing stupid crap, the more time you experience peace and the more timeyou expend experience being rocking in the fourth dimension of existence, and the lessdisturbable you are. My spons used to say the reason I was upset allthe time is because I was upsetable if you have an upsetable nature. Andone of the consequences, it says, unless until an alcohol unless until analcoholic understands the consequently understands and grasp the consequences of his alcoholism, his sobrietywill be precarious of true happiness, will...

...fund none at all. And oneof the things we learn in here, while being pounded, is we learnedthat alcoholism. We we learn actually what alcohol is really looks like. Mostpeople in a think alcohols lism looks like not being able to drink. Well, if coholism, if your problem is a drinking problem, if that's theonly problem you have, drinking, then I have a great message for you. Just stop drinking. You don't have to go to any meanings to stopdrinking. Life will be wonderful. But if you have the kind of diseaseI have, when you stopped drinking and you realize you're crazy and you docrazy things and you hurt people and stuff like that, and even though you'renot being the rest of the UI. You're sure acting stupid and you're notfeeling good and you're still lonely, you know, and you feel still feeling, I have feelings of worthlessness. You may suffer from the disease of alcoholism. If you suffer from disease of alcoholism, and that's a whole different story.And and so what what happens is you work these steps over and overagain and to me, the operative word in step ten, and I'm goingto finish it off with this, the open the word and step ten iscontinued. Continue. Every time I've ever seen anybody coming to a a WHOsaid they drank, they drank after ten or twenty years or fifteen years,it's always because they stopped continuing. They stopped going to meetings, they stoppedspeaking to this sponsor, they stopped praying, they stopped meditating, they stopped,they stopped continuing. Now here's what I used to think. I usedto think, well, this is no problem, I just am never goingto stop going to meetings. But then I realize that those people that stoppedgoing to meetings, at one point in time they were saying the same thing. I'll just ever stop going to means they stopped anyway. So the realquestion was you hear people all the time why do people drink? I stoppedgoing to mean so you just say I'm not going to go to so here'sthe real question. Why do people who are sober five years or ten yearsstop going to meetings? Why does that happen? And for me that's wherethe God thing comes in, because if you lose, if the bottom lineis you get all the toys back and you get the woman back or youget the man back and you get the romance back and you get well andyou get wonderful and you get all those things that you want your life backand you don't have a relationship with God, or attenuous relationship with God, youstart romancing the world and for us there is no middle of the roadsolution and we don't realize, like bought, what what Bill Wilson said, isthe real problem with alcoholics is unhealthy dependencies. And instead of becoming dependentupon God, we come become dependent upon the car, we come dependent uponthe woman, we come dependent upon the romance, we come dependent upon thejob, we come dependent upon the money. We've come to dependent upon the worldand the worldly things and we stop thinking about God's we may even saywe believe in God, but the bottom line is where dependent upon the thingsof this world, and the bottom line is that's the first step once weturn away from God. That's the first step. And stopping going to meetingsand stopped doing things you have to do because you think you got control andyou think you're probably you got the power back, and then it's off tothe track and you're off to drinking again. So somehow, some way, forme it's my you know, tied into my continuing this thing is thefact that the most important thing in my life is my relationship with God andin my love of God, like Gil Wilson said, the Lord has beenso wonderful to me cure me of this strible disease. God. I've gotto keep talking about him and tell and telling other people about him. andto the extent I depend upon God and I focus on God, I knowthat God wants me to go to these meetings. He wants to help anotheralcoholic. He wants me to try to spread the message of what, whatderfullife you would have if you just turned towards him, and that's what helpsme continuing and that's why I'm here. It's the only reason I'm here andwhy I do this stuff. Going to...

...go to zoom meetings because I will. I feel just like Gill Wilson feel. You know, the Lord's been sowonderful me, curing me of this terrible disease that I got to keeptalking about and telling other people. That's what I want to do. Idon't have to worry about the money in the bank and all the other stuff. First things first, seeky first, the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. All things are added on to it. It's just like my sponsor said.You make the cost for the group, the money will come in. Youmake the cost for the group, everything will be okay. You know, if you practice these principles, you're going to be on good relationships witheverybody. So thank you very much. That's all I have to say onthat deal. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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