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

Episode 42 · 2 years ago

Russell S at There Is A Solution group - Step 11-The Central Fact Of Your Life

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S at There Is A Solution Group, NJ

Name is Russell spats. I'm an alcoholic. Remember the South Dixie Group? How y'all doing? You know, I'm almost embarrassed to admit this. You know, I'm seventy one years old. I'm sort of like borderline scenile. So, you know, I feel I ought to give you a fair warning about that, just in case you like something I say, you know to really closely examine it. Can y'all hear me? Let me? Let me tell you how bad the senility is with me. I think I have warned you this. My son in law, Armando, who's got twenty years, who's an excellent speaker. He's sitting here next to me. He's got three beautiful grandkids by him. They're staying with us for the next couple of days, for our next three or four days, because they're moving up to Atlanta. They're taking all my grandkids from me. In any event, my wife is in a state of, I don't know, hysteria, but in any event, so I said to him, because you know he wants to go to the meeting, I said I have some bad news for you, I say. He said, what's that? I said, well, there's something wrong with my my my my laptop, my surface and I have to wear my headset. So you won't be able to attend the meeting with me. You won't be able to attend to it, and he said, he said why not? I said because you won't be able to hear anything because I'm wearing my headset. And he said to me, says, yeah, but I'll be I'll be right there. I said, yeah, but I'm be wearing my headset, and he said, yes, but I'm going to be sitting next to you, and I I'm trying to think about these is. I'm going to be sitting next to you, I'll be able to hear what you say. I said, Oh yeah, so I wanted to tell you that just in case you wanted to leave and catch somebody who still has a few marbles left, you know, and it's so embarrassing old age. It's not for Sissy's, you know. But any event, what can I tell you? What was that? Lily laughing, you know. Well, in any event, yeah, my dad used to say that all the time. Well, thank you, lily, for the support. In any event, I saw I'm going to talk a little bit about the elevens. You know, I I go to this meeting. I've always had a great affection, always looked up to old timers. Ever since I came day I've always wanted to hang out with guys with, you know, thirty, forty years, that kind of thing, old timers and fifty years. I remember going to meetings and I'd be sitting there three, four, five, whatever the heck guy had in time, and I'd be waiting for this guy to speak who had maybe thirty years. I wanted to hear what he had to say. And before he spoke, to be some new guy who would be droning on for fifteen minutes about some sort of stuff, and I said I'd say give it to Sam, give it to Sam. I want to hear what Sam has to say. And and I and I still I go to a men's meeting at twelve o'clock every day and it's a great meeting. We used to have about twenty five guys there in about twenty of them had over thirty years, and now we have about seventy. I guess the words gotten out, and but we still have a large proportion of them that have, like over thirty years and I love listening to these guys. Most of them over seventy, between seventy and ninety, that kind of thing. A lot of guys. We've got a few guys there with over fifty years. But you know what I really love? Besides that? I love newcomers. I mean I love brand new I love people in their first year. I mean, listen, I like I guess I have to say I like all alcoholics. Right, I got to say that, but I really enjoy listening to newcomers. Very important for me to listen to newcomers, and I'll tell you why. I the only time I really can recall I have certain when I speak or when I'm talking to somebody or I'm trying to think about my experience, because...

...your experiences an alcoholic, is the only thing you got. Your story is the only thing you have. Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, what we are like now. All we have is our testimony. You know my sponsor to say when a man with experience meets a man with money, the man with experience will walk away with the money and the man with the money will have walked away with an experience. So I have these vignettes, these stories that stand out in my mind. You know, when I was one year, when I was six months, when I was ten years, when I was fifteen and twenty years. I have these stories that sort of remind me of different benchmarks in my life growing up. I mean, I haven't found necessary to have a drink since January twenty five, nineteen one. So come January, if I make it, I'll have forty years, which, according to Aa, is officially an old time. I suppose. I don't know, but in any events, so, but I have these different vignettes and stories, like you' All have stories. You're all developing stories all the time of people in my life, of sponsors in my life, of mentors of my life, interactions that I can remember which sort of like remind me where I was at five years. You mid swe where I was at nine years. Minds we where I was at fifteen years. Reminds where I was the twenty five years. But the truth is, and this is just my truth, that may not have anything to do with you, but I found in alcoholics anonymous, that one of the reasons it works is pretty much if I'm thinking this, somebody else is thinking it. One of the one of the truths I've discovered is that I have a very I have a it's almost impossible for me to try to think of how I felt at three years or how I felt that one year. It's very hard for me to get into a time machine. Mean, I mean I am the way I am right now. I mean I'm different. I've I've changed. I'm sorry. They they say in the in the in the big book, it says Doctor Young, says I it says there has to be a profound personality change, a psychic change. So I suppose if this psychic change takes place over a lifetime, if you happen to have been doing the six step in the seventh step, and the sixth step is, I believe what it talks about is wanting to get so close to God that you desire perfection, not that we ever get it. I mean, you know, I'm still a sinner. I still screw up, but it's gotten a little bit better. I'm not sinless, I just sin less. I suppose I restrained the tongue and pain, which is helpful because you don't have to make so many amends. And but an event, I you know, that process where we grow in the image and likeness of our creator. This is my turn of terminology. This is in some sort of original idea. I'm all this stuff. I stole from the Big Book. It's all about the big book and read the Big Book and the original documents and the documents that it was based on, which First Corinthians thirteen summon on the Mount of the book of change. It's all about reading those lot documents over and over and over again and trying to apply it to your life over and over and over again, trying to become that deal over and over and over over again, running into old timers wanting what they had and being willing to go to any length to get it, because the man you'll be in five hundred, ten, fifteen, twenty years will pretty much depend upon who you hang out with, the books you read, and the books you read pretty much depended on who you hang out with. So, and this is a process that take place over a period of a lifetime when you're trying to grow in the image and like this for your Creator. And so because of that, one would think, one would think is if you're working this thing, you're going to change. I'm not the individual I was when I was three months...

Ober, three days sober, fifteen years so ober. I'm not even the person I was when I was thirty years sober. It's been a lot of changes. A lot of stuff happens to you as you grow older. I think it's good stuff. You know, your body starts giving out. You know I've had cancer twice, but I actually like in that. I know you find this hard to believe as actually good things. You know, the Bible says, talks about the thorn in the flesh, and one of the spiritual truths, apparently, is is that when your weak, God is strong. When you're weak, you're strong in God and in my only salvation really is to make my creative the central fact of my life as my fact, it says in the book. It says if you want to be rocketed in the fourth dimension of exixistence and you want to experience much of of and it says the great fact is this and nothing less, that God has got to become the central fact of your life. He had there either is or is. And what your decision going to be? Half measures of Ellas, nothing, not a zero. Keep you sober for a few years, maybe a few decades, but the bottom line is if you want to get that rocket ship ride, you know, if you want to get that equanimity that they talked about, you have to make God the central fact of your life and you have to be convinced, not maybe or possibly, be convinced, that he lives in your hearts and mind and way. That is indeed miraculous, that he'll do for you what you can't do for yourself. I mean, I remember taking, when I was a couple of months ober, taking the third step, and I guess I took it because I wanted to please my sponsor and I didn't want to drink and you know, I was somewhat serious about the program. So I went ahead and did it. I locked myself in my bathroom and I and I said the third step prayer and then I got up, you know, and wouldn't want anybody walking in on me. You know, talk about not talking about God, you know, forget about that. That wasn't happening. And you know, I was ashamed of God. Right, it says we do not. We never apologize for God. We never apologize for God. We trust our God. All men of faith trust their God. They you know, they all men of faith, have courage they trust their God, they let him demonstrate in their lives what he can do for them. They are convinced, but I wasn't convinced after I took the third step. Hey, man, if you've taken the third step and you're not convinced, a join the club. You know convinced. It convinced just because you get down in your knees, and I mean this is like a spiritual kindergarten. This is kindergarten stuff. You know, this is just this is just taking the first step to opening yourself up to possibly living your life based upon things you don't see instead of material things. So here's the deal. What happens to me, though, is, even though I can't put myself really in a position. Well, this is how I felt when I had three months, or this is how I felt when I had ten years. What happens to me is if I'm in a meeting where there's a newcomer and the newcomer starts talking about what he's going through, whether you have, you know, three weeks or three months or five years, and I listen, and this happens to me all the time when there's newcomers, and I listened to a newcomer express his feelings and his story. Man, all of a sudden I flip back and I say to myself, man, I know exactly what this guy is going through. I went through the same exact thing. I remember when I felt that way. Man, when I when I hear somebody say, man, I've had a bad week. You know I'm going not swerrying about this, worry about that home. Man, I believe then that way, that use that used to be my life. Bad weeks, bad years, you know, all that sort of stuff. So I wanted to I want to caution, or at least tell every bring newcomer, anybody here who has this thing going on. Please share it, meetings, please share it meetings, because it really is I can tell you...

...this. I'm one guy that's been around for a while. It really helps me out big time to listen to people talk who you know, who are starting off on this thing. Reminds me of where I was and what this disease is all about and where I and the gifts that God has given to me, Bill Wilson says, in alcoholics, and on this number three, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease that I got to keep talking about it and telling other people. So I find in whenever I'm talking about my life, in a a because all I have to do is this is my experience, strength and hope. It doesn't have to be yours. You don't even have to agree with it. You know, it's only an hour meeting or so. You know, it's not going to kill you. They'll be other people with other experiences. The best thing I can maybe do, and the thing that's easiest for me to do, quite frankly, is share you know where I am right now, how I got here and what my deal is. My deal is not going to be like you're a deal, or maybe other people's deal, but at least, at least I'll be authentic. You know, I think. I think the greatest thing in alcohol can do is to give a good means to be sincere and authentic. One Guy told me as soon as you can fake that, you got it made. So but I'm not going to fake it, you know, because I have to be a santic, you know, and tell it like it is, because otherwise, with my memory, the Senilitian everything, I'll I'll mess it up. I can't. I can't do a script. So so here's the deal with me. You know, I lived a life. You know how they say there's a reason why in the sixth and seventh step. There is a reason why in the sixth and seventh step, perhaps for the first time they talk about materialism. So first time maybe they really talk about materialism. They say something to the effect, and this is based upon memory. So I get it wrong. It says we don't want to deprecate material achievement. We don't want to deprecate material achievement. My entire life, my whole life, was about getting stuff, having stuff. I include women and stuff. I include cars and stuff. I include other human beings and stuff. I include houses, I include everything I can see, feel and touch and stuff. I measure who I am and what I am based upon the stuff I have, the pelf I have, the stuff I have around me my entire life. Let me tell you something. I don't know anything about God when I was growing up, but I knew this. I knew if I only had that woman, I'd be okay, if I only had that money, I'd be okay, if I only had that house, I'd be okay. If I only had a boat, I'd be okay. If I only had a newer car, I'd be okay. If my boss always dream I am an if only a yes butter and a you don't understander. And what I didn't understand is that is the disease that you want to let you want to see the disease. That is the disease that it's about coveting other people's things. It's about it's about it's about being thirsty for material things. It's about greed, it's about thinking that you can fix something that's wrong with you, which is separating from God, separation from God by hugging onto material objects and people. You know it's a selfishness to because it has nothing to do with love when you're dealing with people, and has to do with come here, sit next to me, make me feel better. Don't do that, don't do this. Control, let me control you. Do everything the way I want you to do it, so you won't make me feel okay, I okay, you're doing that, but I'm tired of you on board. I need another one. It's all about selfish,...

...self centered behavior, where you only care about yourself and those things that will make you feel better. It may be heroine, it may be cocaine, it may be a new corvette, it may be a new job and maybe money. It may be a blond, it may be a redhead, it, maybe it, it's all, and maybe anything that has to do with vanity. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. That's from ECCLESIASTES. That's the real problem. That's the real it says. Unless intil alcoholic accepts his alcoholism and all its consequences, to sobriety be per, Careiss and of true happiness, will find none at all. It's all about what focus on. It's all about sermon on them out, which was one of the books, the books that they said we're absolutely essential, the books that they were reading for four years before they wrote the book. Big Book, was sermon on them ount. It says do not put your faith on material things that rust, but put your faith on spirit and spiritual ship, spiritual things. This entire programming gram is all about doing spiritual exercises. So you turn away from the earth and turn away from the people and turn away from the things of this world and focus solely on God. See to him your really see to what your relationship with him is right, and great events will come to pass you and countless others. There are people in this thing that want to make it a psychological program. They want to make it a do the next right thing, program. They want to know do do it. Make it a good orderly direction program. It's not about any of that stuff. The bottom line is, if you do what, if you get what this program is really about, you will do the next right thing. You will have good orderly direction, if that's the thing you're shooting for, a good to order the direction. Will then just grab a copy of the ten commandments and have a good time, you know what I mean. And you may not even drink for thirty years, but you're never going to be rocket in the fourth dimension of existence. is going to never going to be an incredible psychic chain. You're not going to get with these guys. Got These guys were all about focusing on God and focusing away from the world, at least from what I read in the book and what's happened to me. And it's not a pres it's not something you get intellectually. My intellect tells me the money works, my intellect tells me the alcohol works, everything works. Alcohol work the best. It worked the fastest. I'm in alcohol because no woman, no car, no amount of money ever work just as fast as just a few drinks. Let me tell you something. As tough as it is to turn away from the alcohol, ultimately, after it destroyed me and after I be got to the point where I did a six step on the alcohol, where I became entirely ready to have God or anybody removed this alcohol thing. When I finally did that, then I got to deal with the real bondage, the real bondage itself. Then I got to deal with the women and the sex and the money and the cars. Yeah, right, money is not important. It's right up there with oxygen. I got to deal with all that stuff and there's only one solution to any of that stuff, because the truth of the matter is, no matter how good you act in this world, no matter how good only direction you do, no matter what you do to protect yourself from the monsters that are out there, life is tough. It's John Way says, life is tough. It's even worse if you're stupid, you know, and the bottom line is is that, no matter how much you protect yourself in this we're all you know, even billionaires get cancer and die. No matter how much you protect something in the world, you're going to get a flat tire, you're going to get into an accent there's going to be yes, you may not drink, so you won't get arrested for Duy. You may not get get hurt because of as consequences because of what you do, but there's going to be stuff happening to you that is going to seem unfair. This is a difficult, difficult world and life as a humbling experience, and that's how we learn in this deal, by repeated humiliations, the final crushing of our selfsufficiency. That's how we get crushed and crushed and crushed. And every time we get crushed, if you got the right sponsor and you got the right group and you got the right people behind...

...you and you're reading the right material, every time you get crushed, somebody or something's going to tell you that this is actually a good thing, you're exactly where you're supposed to be. They're going to tell you to pray about it, they're going to tell you to say the serenity prayer. You're going to go to a meeting they're going to they're going to tell you stuff. They're going to tell you crazy stuff. You're going to tell them horrible stuff and they're going to tell you crazy stuff. They're going to tell you that it's going to have something to do with your character, it's going to bring you closer to God. They're going to tell you, they're going to tell to you so much that if you hang around for ten or fifteen or twenty years, let me tell you something, you're going to actually start believing some of this shit. You know, that's when you get really serious, when you start believing what they're telling you, the crazy stuff they're telling you. You know, you know, you better watch APP because I tell you, I got to tell you, after twenty, thirty years of this deal, you'll start getting crazy yourself. You'll start living your life believing this thing. And I'll tell you where it gets really bad. But it gets really bad it's when you start believing and acting upon the crazy stuff they tell you, like money's not important, or all this material thing is not important and relationship with that gala is not important, when they start telling you all the crazy stuff that goes against everything you know. I'll tell you when it gets crazy and you start believing it and all of a sudden your life gets better. That's where the real problem against when you start doing the crazy stuff and thinking the crazy stuff and all of a sudden you you and all of a sudden your rocket in the fourth dimension existence and you're experiencing much of heavn you start getting the feeling that, man, maybe they're not so crazy after all. So, in any then, I used to follow these men around. It's very important you know alcohol. One of the things I learned about alcoholics anonymous is it's not well. It's not well people's anonymous. I don't know if you have. You have, as have anybody. Have you ever noticed that alcoholics are crazy? I mean, I know we've ever noticed that. You know, you got some we got some people with issues in here. You know, not everybody in alcoholics anonymous gets well, not everybody in alcoholics anonymous is well as matter, all a little crazy. But but you know, it says, you know this. There's a separation of the men for the boys and a lot of this stuff, and what happens you is going to determine it. You're going to determine based upon who you're going to hang around. As a matter of fact, that the big book of alcoholics an I'Mus. On the last page, the person says, the statement is something like this. It says, but you may say, we say, we may not know you. The people who wrote the book, they say of that we cannot be sure, because you're real. That will be. That is up to God, because your real reliance must always be on him. He's going to show you how to create the fellowship you crave, the fellowship that's going to save your life, the fellowship that's going to rock at you in the fourth dimension of existence, the people that are going to show you the way and teach you what you need to do. They're going to be. They're going to be they're going to be disclosed to you by God. That's how they're going to be disclosed you by God. And so a great deal of who you hanger out. And let me tell you something about the consequence to be an alcoholic. I can tell you one thing about alcoholism and alcoholics. Alcoholics tend to hang around crazy people. Alcoholics one of the one of the one of the consequences to be an alcoholic is you tend to get into relationships with people who are toxic. Yeah, there's a one of the consequences of alcoholics is this codependency. In this this idea that we run into Bernie buildings, we can't seem to break. We let we end up with with and I'll tell you something. You will end up mimicking the person you're hanging at. You're hanging out with and and your and those who are looking to try to get closer to God will eventually hang out with people that look like that. God is the Center for a center pieces are hey, it's real simple. This is not rocket scientist. The people that want to get closer to God, the people are not embarrassed about talking about God, the people...

...who want to focus their life on God and growing God, they will look for people in the rooms that seemed to be focusing their life upon God and are not apologetic about it. It's real simple. You know, you know, it's he. That's the deal. You you are who you hang out with. You know. And and so I was just one of these guys and I don't know why I was. Like Wilson. I suppose he was grateful. He said the Lord was so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, not to keep talking. I got to keep talking about it and helping other people. Bill was very, very grateful for what had happened to him and he gave all credit to God. And I was just one of those people. And I was never a God guy. I was a womanizer, I was a I was a I don't know what it is. Something happened to me when I came in here, you know, I just sort of knew that I you know, who the hell knows why people stopped. I didn't have any idea why I stopped drinking. I thought it had some do with my sponsor, some do with the group, something to do with a a, something to do with something I couldn't understand. And Luckily for me, when I came to a a, I'm not sure whether it was my choice or what happened, as I remember, as I'm saying, I can't remember my state of mind too well, but somehow I gravitated. I gravitated towards people who were focused on God. I gravitated to him. Some people come day and they shy away from those people. Some people come day and they feel uncomfortable with those people. They don't want to hang out with those people, you know, because they're scared that maybe they'll become something, maybe they'll have to give up something, maybe they'll have to give up the fun, you know what I mean. Maybe those people seem a little more serious or stuff like that. But I gravitated towards those people. I wanted what they had so badly. Those are the people I asked to sponsor me. And it's funny when you gravitate towards the people that are focused on God, they always seem to hang out with other people that are focused on God, and that's the group I ran with. I didn't run with a group that was smoking out of the parking lot. I ran with it. I hung out with the old timers. The guys were in there, you know, s and S and S, and they were drinking coffee and smoking camels cigarettes, you know, and at Denny's or something, whatever it is. Those are the people I hang out with. They all were, you know, not all of them, but most of them were. Were fat like I am now. You know, they weren't out looking for women in a a and weren't looking the score. You know, they weren't talking about money or objects or things a lot of them read the Bible. A lot of read books that were sort of like based on the Bible. You know, my first sponsor, they gave me sermon on them out by him at Fox. You know, they weren't they weren't apologetic about that kind of stuff, and so that's why I was brought up and that's the way, you know, the best thing I can but I don't take any credit for any of this stuff. You know, I love the line. Maybe it has some to do with what one of the lines Jesus says. He said I know my sheep and they know me. I know my sheep and they know me. You know, the truth is, as alcoholics we tend to like hanging around each other because we have a lot in common. But actually, after you coming to a and alcoholics anonymousts, you know, you tend to hang around other people that seem to have a lot in common with you within alcoholics anonymous, and those were the men I hung out with. I would go to step, you know, like this is a step series. I was brought up on step series. You know, they would pick an old timer to give a rendition of the steps and I would run if I heard that Joe Snyder was doing a step you know, somewhere in browd county. I'd get in my car, I drive an hour and a half of a bunch of guys. We go through the entire step series with them. You know, if I heard real keep was doing a step series, I'd run to see him do a step series. I would run around looking for I know they say it's principles, not personalities, and it is, and...

...we don't put people on the pedestals, but we do. You know what I mean? This is this is a person, the person you know as iron sharpens iron, man sharpens man. This has to do with who you hang out with, knowing that everybody he has clay feet, even my best sponsor. Nobody's perfect, okay, but I hung out with these men. These men dictated where I hung out with, who I hung out with, and I wanted I wanted what they had and I wanted more. And I think my the first ten years of my life was a searching for more, for more, more peace, more peace of mind. I'll tell you first ten years of my sobriety is. I guess I should call it fleeing from anxiety. I don't know what you're going through if you're in your first ten years. But I got to say something. I know what anxiety and worry feels like sober. I know what it's like to wake up at I know what it's like to do this program like a monster, to do service to sponsoring people, to go to a lot of meetings and still wake up at three o'clock in the morning scared because you ran out of money. I know what it's like to be sober and work in this program and have fear. I can tell you that this is not one of the this was not one of these deals where I came day and I did the third step and I was never worried again about every anything. This is one of these deals where I was doing the steps to survive, I was going to meetings to survive. This is one of these deals where life was beaten up on me. You know, I needed, I needed all the sponsors and all the mentors I had and I need all. I needed all these mentors and I can't, I can't think about how many times I call up a sponsor, a mentor, talking about a problem I had and somehow it always got back to God or non material things. It may it may have been. Maybe they didn't even mention God. Maybe they maybe they would say things like why don't you try to help another alcoholic? But it was always something to do with some something spiritual, not material. You know, it was always about praying or saying the serenity prayer or reading material or stuff like that, or maybe doing an inventory, maybe confessing, you know, all sorts of stuff like that. When I was about nine years I'm skippy, I'm I'm going to skip forward because I think the real growth with me happened after around ten or fifteen years. And I'm not saying you have to wait ten or fifteen years. You're probably smarter than me, but but it takes along. I think the first ten years, fifteen years, and alcoholics anonymous was my being able to say I don't know. I don't know how many years. Probably took me fifteen years to realize I had a drinking problem and then another three years to say I really got to stop this thing and then another year to stop it. You know what I mean. I had to say, but the bottom line is is that it took me ten or fifteen years to actually get a real sense with a flashlight how big this cage really was, you know, the first step and getting out of US knowing in your in jail in the first place. And the truth is I had no clue as to what alcoholism was really I had no clue as to what selfishness my selfishness looked like. Okay, and I'm not even saying after three years I had a clue of the selfishness because, because it gets deeper and dip deeper and more profound as you go along. You get to see yourself and how you act. And you know, they say most people, you know, their motives are mixed motives, you know, virtuous but also a little selfish. But without question. For the first ten or fifteen years, working the steps, all the time, doing ten step, four steps, making them ends, going through all the pitfalls, all the repeated humiliations, all the question of self sufficiency, all the brain all the meditation, all the meetings I go to, all the people I look up to, and I'd ask questions about slowly, but surely, little after lit it. You don't get this whole thing in one shot. Yeah, you don't get sober. and and how our...

...lady, you get it all, you know, get sober in here, one good a speaking all of a sudden you understand it. That didn't happen to me. You're talking a decade, decade and a half, you're talking fifteen years. Just to how a glimpse of how insidious this disease is, how cunning, baffling and powerful. That's why it's one of the biggest jokes, and a is when a guy with three months comes up to me and I've been through it all and he starts talking to me. I said, I understand, and I tell him some he' says, no, you don't understand. No, no, I actually do understand. You don't understand. That's the problem. You don't understand. You won't understand for another ten years, but I'll do the best I can to explain to you what's going on. That's why it's so important for New People. Well, that's why, I guess, the first step is so important, because sometimes, when you knew, even though you're sure that your sponsor does understand, you just got to follow directions anyway. Sometimes that's what blind faith is all about, following directions when they say seem crazy, but you buy into the fact that your best thinking on your best day got in here. And when I was about nine or ten years sober, I ran into a guy and he, and I don't even know how this was brought up. It was a guy. I'm not even sure he was a a a as Marafick. He wasn't in a he came up to me said, you know, Russ you ought to go to you ought to go to a Bible study. Now I'm not going to go into my whole story because my story is, you know, it's kind of crazy and I don't want to go off track, but it so happens. Then on December twouy nineteen eighty, I'm a Jewish get from Great Nick New York, from December twenty and the Semer, twenty five nineteen eighty, three o'clock in the morning, the depths of my alcoholism, I turned on TV and some preacher. I was at some preacher preach. I thought my life was over. A thirty one years old, I got down on my knees, I said the center's prayer. I invited Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. That's an absolute fact. That happened on December twenty five nineteen eighty. One month later, I continue to drink. One month later, in a hospital Gurney, I looked up the ceiling while they're willing me in. After I got into a bad accident drunk and I said God to help me and I had some sort of spiritual experience. I'll leave it that. That's I'm just telling you that. But after that happened, after that happened, and of course I didn't think at the time it had any much effect on me or even put these things together. But it was after that happened that I came today. I got my first sponsor and I and I became magnetized. I like a magnet. I tended to to look at these men that were traveling a spiritual path. You know, I didn't hang around with guys that were looking for girls or go look looking to get later any of that stuff. I was I was traveling with guys that were on a spiritual path. And I'm not saying I was spiritual, I was. I'm not saying I wasn't crazy, but at least those are the people that I wanted, that I wanted what they had, and so, you know, and so I would read spiritual books and I would read spiritual stuff and I'd be attracted those people. And around nine years sober, some guy came up to me and I knew I was and I knew I was sober and I even started speaking around rooms and give it steps series and sponsoring people. But I knew, I knew. I knew there was something missing. I knew there was something more. I knew there was something I hadn't gotten, something a person ort to had. I knew that, compared to some of these guys with thirty years, I was still a basket case and I wanted more and I didn't know where to go. Where do you when your sponsoring everybody in the world and you're doing all the service and you're doing the force Iman you're doing the fifth step and you're doing the ten step and you're doing all this shit? Where do you go when, after doing all this stuff, you got ten years and you're not well? Where do you go when it's still not okay? Where do you go when you're still weird? Where do you go when you're still anxious? Where do you go when you're still worried?...

When do you where do you go when you're still scared of life? Where do you go? What do you do well, I'll tell you something to come up and he says you go to try Bible study. So at first I said no, because you know that's what alcoholics do. They get scared. They get worried about what will people in AA think about me? Can you imagine that? What will people in a I'm like worried about some guy who's sitting next to me in the front road of an a meeting, who isn't even paying my USA bill, you know. So after I go got over that bullshit, you know what I mean, I start going to Bible study. This is just my path. I'm talking about the eleve is my path, and I'm sitting Bible study with forty guys and most room between the ages of sixty and eighty years old. When guy was like ninety years old. They've been studying the Bible, the source material, for the last fifty years and they're talking about the same stuff we talked about in here. They're talking about the same stuff we're talking about here. This send me. They're talking about the same exact stuff we're talking about. As a matter of fact, the way they read the Bible. They read the Bible like we read the Big Book. It's all about stories about guys that are wacky crazy. They're reading stories about people that are not they're worrying about King David, who got in bed with Bathsheba, was married to a god named you Riyah, got her knocked up and then kills her husband, you know, and they're real. They're reading some really whackos story. They're reading something you want to talk about, stories about people that were sick and sinners. They're reading some really strange stuff and they're talking about the same deal we're talking about and they're talking about the source matil. And all of a sudden, as I'm listening to them and how they approach it, and there's only one difference, only one difference between them and AGG and here's the difference. In a, if you talk about God, even though the big book says God either is or isn't, what your decision is going to be, even though in Aa it says there's no middle of the road solution, you know what I mean? What's your decision going to be, even the though AA says we're on a new basis, the base of trust and relying upon God? You know what the Fellowship said to me? A. A A don't worry about the God thing. Don't you talk too much about God. The only difference between the Bible study and Aa, and believe me, I still am big on a going a a not putting down, the only difference was Bible study was like a a but late. They were into God. They encourage you to talk about God, they wanted you to focus on God, they wanted to put the entire evisis on God, which in my mind, had was sort of consistent with something called the eleven step. I know, with the all of ever read the eleven step, but it says something about increasing your conscious contact with God. Let me tell you something. You want to greet your contact with God, Ain't no better place than church, which is probably why in AA, in the big book, it says at least in two places, we encourage church membership and it even says that most of the founders were members of church because it force them to focus on God. I mean, I'll tell you what, it's this strand. So I was there once. So once a week I would go there to Bible study. Then I joined the Church, I became a deacon of the church. That I went to another Bible study, to another Bible study and started studying the Bible. And you know, I didn't know anything about the Bible. I'd never read it. You know, I mean really, you're seriously involved at it. But after you do it for about two or three years or whatever it is, you become pretty just like the big buck. Just like the Big Buck, you become very knowledgeable about the source. And you know what, this is really wild. The more I read the Bible, the more sense, the more things I saw in the big book that I had never seen before, maybe because the guys that wrote the Big Book we're reading the same material I was reading. All of a sudden I understood what they meant by the Good Samaritan, which is a story inlooke. All of a sudden I understood that stuff and I started maturing a little in my faith. I started believing more. And then my sponsor, my second sponsor, died and sitting next to...

...me was a guy named John Glenn. He had fifty years or fifty five years sobriety. He was like sixty five years old or seventy years all the time and he was a baptist preacher and I asked them to be my sponsor and he was at that next level. He was at that next level. He was what I needed. I used to go out to dinner with them and I go start. I've told this story before. I'd start eating. I'd start eating. He'd say, what are you doing? We'd be in at Denny's. I said well, I'm eating. Says Kenny, we got to give thanks, Russell, you got to give thanks, and he would stop. We'd stopped eating in the middle of Denny's. That be people all around us. I never did this stuff in a and he would balance head and start praying. It was one of these like thank you, thanks for the food, chef, I'll see around. You know, it was like one of these long prayers, Long Baptist prayers, praying for everybody in the world and and help Russell to understand, you know, his life and be sobery. A Long Baptist prayer, and then he would end up by saying in Jesus now, Oh my God, there were people. I'm looking at people. Who's is anybody watching me? As anybody looking at me, you know, and and you know, that's the guys I hung out with. You know something, pretty soon I wasn't embarrassed anymore. Pretty soon, not only wasn't I was barrassed. I was grateful. I was hanging around them because I noticed I was feeling better. I noticed that things that were going on in the plant that used to bother you didn't bother me anymore, you know. And so I started hanging around with him. I start rounding, hang ound with other people that were into that stuff, you know, and I'll tell you what. You start hanging around with people that are into that stuff and alcoholics, anonymous, into focusing on God, focusing on God, focusing on God, and you're running the people and you're running the people that think they think that this is solved by, I don't know, meditation and prayer, like sitting in a cave for five hours or something, and whatever, whatever floats your boat. Let me tell you something. I put myself in a position where I wasn't embarrayed. I wasn't ashamed of God. I'm not ashamed of God outside of A. I'm not shamed to talk about I'm not ashamed inside A. Anybody who knows me, Hey, look, this is an example right here. Those I talk about God all the time. You know something, one of the promises is I want you to think about this and sort of makes you feel good. One of the promises and a is that you'll that you'll lose fear of people. Isn't that true? Anybody very anyway? Anybody ever, you ever, ever worry about people and what they think about you? Most the a's or just God, God, worried about what people think about their whole life is about worrying about what other people are going to think about him if they do this or do that, or lose this or lose that. You know I mean, man, I've never met an alcoholic hasn't said I don't give a crap what other people think about me. And the only people that say that stuff for people that are intensely worried about what other people think about them. You know I can tell you this and I don't know. I just think about this. It makes sense to me. People, when you're when you're in a when you're reading a book called alcoholics anonymous, that talks about in order to be rocking in the fourth dimension of existence, you know you have to make your Creator, your God, the central fact of your life, that there is one who has all power, that one is God. May you find him now. Half measures won't get you there, no personal get you there. You can't manage a way out of it, you can't think you way out of it. Only God could world if he was sought. When you're in a group where the literature, the Basic Textbook, says, once we make the we must, above everything, get me to the selfishness we must or kills us. God makes that possible. When the book says, once we make this decision, also for God, also's remarkable things happening, being all powerful, he will give us everything we need if we stay close to the performers, work well in his work, just to be a maximum service to him and other people. When that's what your book says, and that's just a few of...

...the many things it says. When that's what your book says and you're worried about speaking about God in an a meeting, don't never be concerned that you're ever going to beat that, that freedom from fear of other people. I mean, I'll tell you something, if, in an a meeting you're really concerned about whether somebody will talk badly about you because you speaking about God, you can forget about that. Promised Fear of other people will leave you. That ain't happening. You know that. You know that it just ain't going to happen. I'll tell you what, if there's any place you can talk about God, it's in an a meeting. But as I say that, I don't want you to feel too bad if you know, because I understand it's a growth experience. I'm not. You know it's a growth that it's a growing experience. But think about it for a second. You know, one of the promises is will louise fear of people and of Ecnomic Insecurity, and all alcoholics do is worry about what other people going to think about them at a meeting if they mentioned God or they mentioned this or they mentioned that. Interesting thing. You know, I think it's a great thing to be able to get to the point where you can you can find a release from fear of people, where you can talk on that shamedly about your life and your faith in God. How can you really talk about the eleven step unless you talk about your faith in your Creator and what your Creator has done for you? Bill wasn't, Bill Wilson wasn't scared to talk about it. You know, he said the Lord's been so wonderful met curing look at alcohol as anonymous something. Hey, listen, the founders weren't scared to write about it in a book called alcoholics anonymous. That the founders aren't scared the right about it. If Bill Wilson isn't scared to talk about it, if it's all over the steps, God couldn't wort if you were sought. Why in a should I be scared to talk about it? Why should I be scared to talk about it? Well, I'm just point to that out. It's part of the senility, I suppose, but in any event, so that's the story of my life and that's what I've been working on. I've been working on trying to help other people tell my story wherever they'll listen to me. Getting people upset from time to time. Well, you know, whenever you disturb, matter what the cause, there's something wrong with you. That's what the ten steps says. And basically trying to carry the message. That's what we're supposed to do. Carry the message. What's the message that you're carrying? What's the message that this is my message, the message of my story, my sobriety, not only not only physical sobriety, but emotional sobriety, emotional sobriety, because the real problem with alcoholics is on healthy dependencies. It's about IOLATRY, it's about basically trying to make people place in thing the centerpiece of your life instead of God. You know, it's real simple. When you make cars or money, or women or sex your job, anything other than God the central fact your life, things aren't going to work out. Yeah, you'll get something, you might even stay so for twenty years, but you didn't. You're not going to get what they had. You know, there's different types of sobriety. You know, I can I know this. When my sponsors used to say that guy sober, they didn't mean just he wasn't drinking. They meant something else. They talked about like grown up people, adults, men. So that's all I have to say. I have no idea. Let me see. Did I go over? What's the deal that I violate any rules here? Was Perfect, eight hundred and fifty nine perfect. Okay, that's it. That's my story. I'm sticking to it.

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