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

Episode 126 · 2 months ago

Russell S. at the Serenity Improvement Zoom 9-3-2022

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S. at the Serenity Improvement Zoom 9-3-2022

My name is Russell spats. I'm an alcoholic. I'm here in Miami, Florida. I remember the South Dixie group and I haven't found necessary to have drinks since January something, in my forty second year of sobriety, uh, enjoying God's grace, and so I'm gonna talk a little bit about my deal. And you know, I'm seventy three years old. That's not being able to fit seventy three years or forty one years of sobriety and to a thirty minute of forty five minute talk, whatever it is I'm doing here today, but I'll do the best I can. I don't have any can talks or anything like that. I just do what's what the Lord puts on my heart and I just want to tell you what a privilege it is to be here at this meeting, uh, talking to some old friends and people I know and hopefully new friends, and I just hope whatever I say, something I say resonates with some helps him get to a different level or, uh, move upward from the bucket of crabs. I might even explain a little bit about the bucket of crabs, because I'll probably allude to that somewhere during this talk. Uh, I've had the privilege of speaking all all over, all over the place and valley, all over the United States, different places, and I was telling one of my guys today. We have a workshop on Saturday morning and Um, I was telling one of my guys today that I'm really not a good circuit speaker anymore and I can't and he said, well, why do you think that? And he says, I said because I just did an hour and attend minute talk up in Wisconsin and I only mentioned alcohol like for three minutes. Really, I only talked about alcohol for three minutes and the rest of the time I talked about alcoholism and God, I didn't talk to I only talked about the symptom for three minutes and the rest of time I talked about the disease that censors in your mind, not your body, and and what the Lord has done for me in my life. And because I don't know, I don't. I love drunk a logs. I I grew up on drunk a logs. I love the clan season, the Johnny Harris's, and I mean the Bob earls and all the guys and I think they're fantastic, especially for new people, for identification. I think it's important. But but you know, I think what I've seen in my life. You know, one of the things that being sober for a while uh clauses should have is you have a little bit of a perspective. My sponsor used to say, when a man with experience meets a man with when the when a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with them with the experience, will walk away with the money and the man with the money will have walked away with an experience. And that we got with. The way we got a new perspective is by repeated humiliations in the final crushing of our self sufficiency. And the only thing I can tell you about being around for almost forty two years now is that I've been I've been repeatedly, you may, humiliated for forty one years. So when you've been repeated you repeatedly humiliated as many times as I have, you sort of look at things with a different perspective. So maybe for the first ten or maybe even fifteen years I was a member of the not drinking club. You know, there's two doors, I think, in a and these are all my opinions, by the way. Uh, you know, I I hate to alienate or hurt anybody's feelings or disturb anybody and an amy because something I said. No, you just getting upset about something that I said. I'll probably change my mind right after the meeting. But I figure out what can I say if if I don't mean to disturb anybody, it's just something that happens whenever I talk. You know, it's it's I'm a product of a what can I say? So I I just say stuff. But the on line is...

...is that in this well, you know, if anything disturbs you, just remember the spiritual axiom. There's probably something wrong with you. It's probably something wrong with me too. So these are all opinions. I'm gonna voice opinions. What I've noticed in alcoholics, anonymous, I don't know whether you guys have noticed it if you've been around for a while, is that we have a lot of people in a a Up to twenty years and then between twenty years, and this is all general, between twenty years and forty years. Is this in forty years? Sobriety, this is like giant Canyon. I call it the six step canyon. Where people in the not drinking club go to die. Uh and UH, there's a lot of people in a if you and they've done actually, I was talking to somebody up in Wisconsin about this, this deal counting chips. The statistic I heard was only one half of one percent to make twenty years, one and two hundred twenty years. You know, a has been around for almost a hundred years now, ninety years. You think if you go to a meeting there'd be like forty or fifty guys with forty years and thirty years and forty five years, and it's like you're lucky, you've got one guy, you know. And Uh, I went to a group and there were like three hundred people in the group and there was like two guys that had forty years and three or four people that had thirty years, over thirty years, and then the rest of nobody around. But you know, you hear a lot of you guys hear a lot of things wherever you are where people say, I had five years and then I drank and I had eleven years and then I drank and I had nineteen years and then I drank. Had Twenty years and then I drank. You ever. You ever hear anybody say, you know, I've been around a for thirty five years. I came in in nineteen seventy two and but I'm coming up on one year now. You ever hear any thing like that in a? And Uh and apparently, apparently you can come into there's a great I have an email I sent out. On the email there's this essay called a Strong Cup of tea, written in nineteen fifty and one of the things this guy found is that there's there's three ways of doing the program in alcoholics anonymous. You can one number one, not do it at all. Number two, you can do it sort of well, he called it a a light and UH, number three, I won't go into number three, but you can do it the way they did it between nineteen thirty five and nineteen forty five, which is an all different story. You don't. You don't find that around too much anymore. But in any event, he said, apparently you can stay sober for a long period of time. Just do it, doing it as sort of like a light. Go over. You know what I mean? You know, you know, not worrying about this, utterly abandoning yourself to God and half measures avail us nothing and there is no middle of the road solution. And God is everything or he's nothing. You know, and in Dr Bout in the good old time there's a book that I highly recommend, that I love and I talked about all the time when when Dr Bob went to a sponsor or twelve ste clarence brewmaster and plans was only thirty five years old. You know, it was a hundred thirty five pounds. was in the hospital bed. And this is I'm not talking out of school, this is quote, conference approved material, although I'm not I don't know anybody in the conference. You know, I'm not a big guy with conferences and committees and stuff like that. But the bottom line is is that when he went in to see Clarence, the first thing he said he is he looked at me. He says, what do you think about this? Is Dr Bob, what did you think about this young fella? And Uh and UH, Clarence said. UH, looked at him and then then bill and then Bob Smith said, you know, I don't think you're ready. You seem awfully young at thirty five. And Clarence says, I don't know how much more already I could be. I was a hundred thirty five pounds, I had no job, my wife was leaving me, I thought my life was over. I don't know how much more ready I could be. And then the next thing Bob said to him was you like this,...

...you're gonna like this. The next thing he said to me, he says, do you believe in God, Young Fella? I guess there was nobody in the room to say you're killing newcomers, you're scaring away the newcomer, you can't talk about God. To the newcomer he said do you believe in God, Young Fella, and Clarence said you can look this up, check me out. Clarence said what is what is that? I have to do with it? and Bob Smith said everything. Everything, and he says, well, I guess I do. Bob Smith said guess nothing. You either believe in God or you don't believe in God. He says I do. He says good, now we're getting somewhere. Get down on your knees, we're gonna pray. I don't know how to I guess you don't, but just follow me and we'll do it. And then the next thing he says that Dr Bout he said about Dr Bob. He says there were no suggested. There were no suggestions. I did what I was ordered to do. When Dr Bob was asked anything like what's his first thing's first thing, which Dr Bob coined, Dr Bob would would say seeky first, the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all things will be added. Unto you, of course, that's the book where between Nineteen thirty five and nineteen forty, before the big book was written, where they said these words, the books that the old timers found absolutely essential, which is like essential to the power of ten. We're first corinthian thirteen, sermon on the Mount in the book of James, and we were almost called the James Club. And then they wrote this book that said rarely haven't seen a person failed who has thoroughly, whatever that word needs, follow on our path. Well, I'm think. I don't think a lot of people are reading James or First Smith in thirteen or summer on the mount or you know, you know the first meeting, did you guys know? The first meeting in alcoholics anonymous was Dr Bill and he put his h his foot on the on the stool and he read sermon on the mountain. You know, that was the first meeting and a yeah, well, whatever, forget that. You know, I apologize. I don't want to. Don't report me. I'm just old and kind of crazy. But so here I was thinking before I got on. I see some olcers on here. Do you guys remember the September Song? You know, I'm gonna. I'M NOT gonna sing it to you, although I think I can and I love it, but I'm gonna Frank. Sinatra does a great deal on it. Uh, and let me, let me just give you one of the verses of the September Song. You Ready. Says and that, and it says this, it says it's it's a long, long while from May to December, and days grows short. When you reach September. The autumn weather turns, leaves the flame and I haven't got time for the waiting game and I haven't got time for the waiting game. Well, the days dwindled down to a precious few September, November, and these few precious days I'll spend with you, these precious days I'll spend with you. So I'm seventy three years old and I'm an alcohol can I have no bucket list, none, zero, no bucket list. There's absolutely nothing I need in my life to make things better. They're incredible the way they are right now. You know, there's two groups in a there's a there's the not drinking club. You know, don't drink. It even fast falls off and don't drink and go to meetings. But the plug in, the drug, you can screw up your entire day. You know, what do you? What do you do? If you haven't add a drink, you're a winner.

There's the don't drink. There's a breath that you've got four years, you got fifteen years, whatever the heck it is. And there's this other group they talk about in the big book. It's called the group that's being rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence, experiencing much of heaven and knowing peace, and it says the great fact, the great facts, is this for that group, that they've made God, their creator, of the central fact of their lives and they are utterly convinced that he lives in their hearts and minds in the way which is the miraculous. And the sixth step talks about that group. By the way, the six steps says that group is the group that's become entirely ready to do anything and remove anything that separates them from God's will and who God is. And it says that group is composed of people that are repeatedly trying to grow in the image and likeness of their creator and they have an actual image and likeness of who their God is and what they're for, what what they're looking for. And it says that's the group with a separation between the men and the boys or the girls and the women. So you're gonna have to excuse me. I know I get a little crazy on this stuff, but you see, I just don't have time for the waiting game. You know, when you're thirty and forty years old, you know, maybe even fifty, you can think about getting laid or having fun or going to a party. You can wake up every morning say if I only had more money, if I only had a different job, if I only had a you know, a different wife, for if only they treated me differently, if I only did this, if I only had that, if I only was fifty pounds, bigger breasts, new blouse, new car, I don't care, if only I had this I'd be okay. Oh, by the way, if you're saying that to yourself, if you find yourself every saying, if I only had this, I'll be okay, what you're actually telling yourself every day is I'm not okay, I'm not okay. I'm just not okay without these things. That's the life I lived. I lived the life of I'm not okay unless I of these things. But what happens is, uh, somewhere along the line, at least for me, I don't know whether it's seven years old or eighty years old or sixty years old. Um, that's not a fun thing to live. That's not a fun life to live. Do you know that you're gonna have twenty years and not be happy with your sobriety? I know that because in the big book and says here and there. Once in a while, a former drinker says feel better, look better, having a better time. We laugh at such Salari sooner to try the old game again because he's not happy with his sobriety. Sooner. No, loneliness, as if you do so I listen. So these few days I'm gonna spend, I love spending time in alcoholics. Let me tell you something I love. I go to four meetings. I was going to four meetings a day in a before before zoom, three or four. I mean I I go to a seven o'clock meeting in the morning, before I started thinking, you understand. I go to of o'clock noon meeting, you know what I mean, and have lunch there. Then I go to a five thirty meeting on the way home, because I always went to the bar on the way home, and then sometimes at night I meet my sponsor and I'd go to a lake and a thirty meeting. I was going to four meetings before zoom. You know now it's absolutely crazy. I go to like a seven am meeting and uh called the Serendi Group, and I go to a twelve o'clock noon meeting. Mondays and Fridays I go to men on track and Tuesday one day, and Thursdays I go to men fully alive, which is a bunch of old guys and young guys and everything, and it's a wonderful a meeting and wonderful group. It's just it's just scripture friendly, you know. So we talked about the big book and the Bible and stuff like that. So we're into that stuff. And then I go to a four o'clock meeting every day and then at night I I do stuff like this and I and I do go to live meetings. Do I do step series of live meaning I love I love being with alcoholics. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to have this life, at this...

...time in my life where nonly I can do service. I can't even call it service. I'm like an ambassador and change. I can't call it service. How can you? How can you call trying to love other people and lift up other people and encourage other people and try to get and give away what you've been so freely given by God's grace? How can you call that service or even work, when you have so much joy in doing that? I mean, how can you? I'd be a fraud. You know, Bill Wilson said the Lord in Alcoholic SNA number three, because I want you to be able to check on me, check on this, because I don't want to. Before you report me into New York, tell him there's some old timer here who's killing newcomers because he's talking about God and stuff, you know, and maybe it'll rip that stuff out of the but as long as in the book I'm gonna talk about it. So in alcoholics noma number three, Bill Dotson, you know, that's the man on the bed. Came to believe. You know, in alcoholicsmas number three, Bill Dotson says I knew that he was sober. He said, I knew there was something I was missing, there was something wrong, something I'm missing, something a person ought to have, a release, a happiness, something I had, something I knew a person ought to have and I didn't have. And one day I was in my kitchen with my wife, Henrietta, and we were eating lunch with Bill Wilson, and Bill Wilson turned to my wife and said, Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I have to keep talking about it and telling other people. And all of a sudden a light went up in my mind and I said that's the secret. Bill Wilson was very, very grateful for his sobriety and he gave all credit to God and he was so excited about that he couldn't help. He was compelled to talk about it. That's how you know. That's how you know you've utterly abandoned yourself to God. That's how you know you've gone over the top and they made our institutionalize you. When you start talking, when you not only when you when you stopped the stuff of worrying about what some guy who's sitting next to you in an a meaning who's not getting paying your Visa Bill, when you stop worrying about what he's thinking about you and you talk and you can't help but talk freely about God at an any meeting. And you can do that, by the way, because you know the people that are emotionally sober at that twenty three years sobriety. Bill Wilson wrote a when he was going down to tubes of twenty three years. Did that twenty three year mark. Bill Wilson was going down to tubes, he was gonna drink or kill himself. He was going nuts. He wrote an essay on emotional sobriety. He had an epiphany, he figured it out. He hit that twenty three year mark, he hit that Big Canyon and he finally figured it out and he wrote an essay. He said the real problem with alcoholics are unhealthy dependencies depending on other things other than God. And what Bill Wilson discovered, and you should read this thing. He says you can't depend on anything other than God. You have to completely abandon yourself to God. God is either everything or nothing. By the way he takes the position he's everything. You understand everything. And Bill Wilson realized that his problem was that he had invested a lot of dependency on alcoholics. Anonymous. Now that may seem. Now that's not so bad. It's not so bad when you come in and you know God your sponsor, or God's your a group, or God you're, you know, a a as a whole, or God is as the fellowship. But let me tell you something. The one who has all power in the universe. There is one who has all power. I got some bad news for you. It ain't a. It ain't even the trustees of a. You know, it ain't. It just ain't. It ain't a a, it ain't the group. You know, it ain't the three you know, because whoever it is, it's by the way. God's pretty much described in the book. He's pretty much described, but I can tell you one thing about him. He has all power.

He has all power. He's uh, he and I can tell you that and I'll tell you what else it says. It says one of one of the things that told me is it said that I had selfishness. That the basis of my problems. I'm selfish and self centered, driven by a hundred forms. Anybody here this? Do they have this in Tennessee, I'm selfish and self centered, driven my hundred forms of fear, self delusion. You know, I'm delusional. That means that means my alcoholic life, and by alcoholic thinking, seems normal. I can't separate the truth from the false, even though I know I'm brilliant and smarter than anybody. Our alcoholics life seems the only normal one. We can't separate the truth from the false. You know it says, it says. It says we're selfish and self centered. We're delusional. We step on the toes of others. They retaliate seven without provocation. But we learned. We've done things in the past which puts us in the position. We've made decisions in the past, selfish decisions in the past, which is hard me do because I'm not a selfish guy. I'm a good I'm a good guy. How do you know what he made selfish decision, but you don't even know what you're selfish this looks like. I mean, I guess you spent the first ten or fifteen years making a mandage and doing tent steps, kind of getting in a picture as to how selfish you are. So it says that's what it says. It says, UH, it says we've made self decision which puts us in a position be heard. So alcohol. So alcoholics are self will run, right, though, do? You usually don't think so. So they usually don't think so. And I asked my sponsor because it didn't sound so bad. Selfish and self senator. That's the basis of our problem. Dream behind the forms of fear, selfvolution, solbsequently stepped on the topes of others. They metaliate, seemingly about provacation. They made decisions the past. Selfish decision put in a position be heard. So I alcohol it self. Orian right, though he usually doesn't think so. It sounds pretty cool. You can memorize. It doesn't sound so bad. I read it just like I read everything else in a quickly. You know I read it. You have you read the big but yeah, I read it. I asked my sponsor. What does that mean? What does that mean? He said, Russell. Let me explain to you what it means. It means you don't give a shit about anybody except yourself. And I said, I like the way they say it in the big book better. I don't like the way you put it. You See, when you actually read these things and listen and think about him and tear him apart, they may have a much deeper meaning as to who you are and what you are, and they may have a different picture as to your cute illness of alcoholism and what the real problem is. So, in any event, well, I guess they should tell some stories. I really don't want. I don't really tell. I could tell a lot of drunk blogs. It's nothing like that. Well, listen, uh, just a few things. Oh, the bucket of crabs. I do want to mention the bucket of craps because I'm gonna mention it something later on, in a few minutes or something like that. So if you go crabbing looking for crabs, okay, and you get a crab and you throw it in a bucket, you understand what I'm saying. The crab will try to crawl out of the bucket. But there is a way of keeping that crab in the bucket. And the way you keep that crab in the bucket because you're throwing in another crab. Because if there's two crabs in the bucket and one crab tries to crawl out the the the other crab will grab onto it and pull that crab back in. Now that may seem like a nonsensical story, but it has everything to do with alcoholics, anonymous. It has everything to do with why some people, only a very, very few people, get the forty years and thirty years and most people die before you go away from this disease, before before they hit twenty years. I've often thought that if we had more...

...as many faithful logs as we had junk logs, we'd have less people eleven years slipping, you know. But you're not allowed to talk about that stuff in a because a is a program. Here's this cute thing as a program where it says, above everything, we must get rid of the selfishness. We must or it kills us. God makes that possible and it only seems he can make that. But and then it says, it says later on, after a couple of proper paragraphs. It says if you stay close to God, if you take this matter seriously and you sincerely turn your wife over to God and stay close to him and performers works well, he'll give you everything you need. You know, it actually says that in the big book says that stuff. You know, and so I'm I'm in. Well, I'm. One time I complained about alcoholics anonymous, a wonderful fellowship which I love. I love and uh, and but something happened, somebody said something or did something, and I I turned to my sponsor complaining about a and he says, you know, Russ you must have thought you joined. Well, people's anonymous. So this is not. Well, people's anonymous, I do. You know, I do the program just like you guys do the program. I do everything I'm supposed to do in the book alcoholics anonymous, except the stuff I don't want to do. You know, here's the deal. The Big Book says the twelve, and twelve says and lessen. Until an alcoholic accepts his alcoholism and all its consequences, his sobriety will be precarious and, if true happiness, will find none at all. Unless and until an alcohol accepts his alcoholism and all its consequences. His sobriety be precarious and if true, true happiness, will find none at all. A lot of people don't make it past twenty years because they have what's called precarious sobriety. They are spiritual agnostics, spiritual all atheists. In the big book, in Chapter Seven, where they talk about you ability and humbling yourself, they say you can have an honest and earnest religious belief and believe in God and your belief remains barren. This isn't me, this is in my opinion, this is what it says in the seventh baron. Because he's not the centerpiece of your life. He's not really the central fact of your life. You can, but that's the interesting thing about a we have this program where God runs all through the book, all through the steps. The entire thing is about giving your life to God. I've just said a few quotes. I can say a hundred quotes every other page about God, this God that see to what your relationship with him is right. A great events will pass for you call his others and we live in a fellowship where people sit in their chairs and they're scared to talk about God because they know it's unacceptable and they know some old time a guy with ten years or fifteen years will come up to him and say you talk too much about God. They summit. Alcoholics are very one of the consequences of being an alcohol is you're very prone to peer pressure. You know, if you're an alcohol you or please love me, Aholic, please let me blend Dowoholic, please don't talk behind my behind my backcoholic, please say Nice things about me. Aholic. You know, if you're an alcoholic, you tell yourself things like like, you ever say this? You know what alcoholics say. By the way, this is not the symptom of drinking, this is the actual disease. You say things like I don't give a crap what they think about I don't give a I don't give a crap what anybody thinks about me. Do you ever tell yourselfing? You ever tell other how's it? You ever say to anybody else you don't give a crap what everybody do you ever tell yourself that? You ever tell yourself that more than once, that you don't give you some crap? You know, you listen. You know what I learned people that really don't give a crap what other people think about him. Never say I don't give a crap what other people to get. They never even think that stuff. They say things like past to catch up, but they don't say that ship. I'll...

...tell you that. I'll tell you what. And you've got a whole group of alcoholics, annyous with their only hope is in God. And everyone has figured out the picture that the one thing you're never supposed to talk about in a is God's grace in your life and the wonderful and the glory of being rocked in. The fourth thing, that's the one. Everybody knows that you can say anything, but don't talk too much about God because somebody's gonna beat the crap out of you. Some old timers gonna tell you're killing your murdering newcomers. You're murdering newcomers because you talk about God. Somebody should have told Dr Bob that and Bill Wilson that, and of course Bill Wilson was worried about that. And in UH in talks about the good old timers. He went up there Henrietta starteline. He said, I don't think we should talk too much about God and Henrietta said to him. He said, Bill, the only reason you're sober is God, and if you can't talk about God and you're gonna expect can't express what he's done for you, if you can't do that, you might as well beat the Kalanist club or something like that, because that's where the power is. And finally bill agreed. But bill had that little problem. He was worried about what other people thought about and we all have that problem, you know. But I'll tell you this. If you're worried about talking about God and Amy and expressing what God has done for you, well, maybe he hasn't gone. Maybe he hasn't done that much. You know, maybe he hasn't done that much. I'll tell you one thing, one thing I learned, and I don't know which came first, that chicken to leg or the egg. But if you're worried about talking about God in an a a meeting, don't ever, don't ever believe you're ever going to get to the point where you lose that fear of other people. You know that promise. We lose fear of other people. You know that promise. By the way, in the big book you don't have to worry about. Apologize if you talking about God, and I never apologize for talking about God, because I have a big book where it tells me that the guys that wrote it said we never apologize for talking about God. We never apologize is for our faith. All men of faith have courage, courage they trust their God. We never apologize for God. It says that twice. Instead, we let him demonstrate in our lives what he has done for us. We let him demonstrate what he's done for us. That's the golden text. Bill Wilson, the Lord has been so wonderful to me. It says at once, at once. Once we do that, we begin to outgrow fear. At once. We were Goin to outgrow fear. How about that? How would you like that? What would it be like if you are not afraid of talking about God and Amy Man? That would be something, wouldn't it? What would it be like if you didn't sit around worrying about what other people thought about what kind of life would that be? Almost like being rocket in the fourth dimension. And I'll say, what a bondage to worry about what people what a bondage to try to be somebody who other people like try to conform yourself to other people's expectations. You know, obviously I think that has something to do with alcoholism, you know. So my wife said to me, my first wife, I was I looked at it one day and I said, man, if I could only have I'd say this a lot. If I could only have that Gal, I'd be okay. If I can only have that Gal, I'd be okay. If I can only marry that Gal, I'd be okay. And I put out a full court press to marry that Gal. To marry that Gal, I insinuated myself into that Gal's life. You know what I mean. I was like twenty one years old, I was and I was twenty years old, something like that, and I had insinuated myself in that Gal's life and her father was a doctor and her mother is a lawyer and our grandfather was a lawyer and I was studying, I was going to my doctorate in Algebraic topology and I was going to be a math and physics professor in college and I graduated with the hartmental honors and Mathematics and and that's what my idea was, to get my PhD and do that stuff and I met this Gal and I wanted...

...to marry her and her family was all professionals and all of a sudden I started thinking to myself, you know, maybe I should be a doctor, maybe I should be a lawyer. And I applied to medical school but I didn't have biology. So they said you go back for a year and get biology. Got Great Grades, will take in and I didn't want to wait a year. You know, I'm out, I ain't waiting no year. So I went to the law school. They took me right away and I'm a lawyer today and people would ask me why you're a lawyer and I would say, well, because I like Perry Mason, you know, whatever it is. And I got you know why I became a lawyer? To get into some gals pants. Now that may seem unusual to you. I didn't realize that at the time, but when you're a man of low integrity, you'd be surprised what you would do. I let me tell you something. I wanted what she had and I was willing to go to a length to get it, you know, if it meant it meant becoming a lawyer to get into that family. And I became a lawyer and five years later, after having a baby and being a division chief in the state's attorney's officer, trying major crimes cases and murder cases, and I had a house on my Ami beach on the golf course and I had the whole thing working for me. And every night I'd roll in at two o'clock in the morning while my wife was there with a baby, and I'd be drinking with the homicide cops and everything like that and all that deal and I never, I never physically cheated on my wife. Never physically cheated on my wife. I'm really proud of myself of that. I would just sit there at twelve o'clock at night and stare at the Blonde Brunettes and redheads said, man, if I could only, if I only wasn't married, if I only wasn't married, I could go out with that redhead if I only wasn't married. But I never physically treated cheated on her. I just get home every night at eleven, twelve, one o'clock me to get missed dinner. And one day she came up to me and she said to me it's like she was delivering the mail and she said, Russell, I want you to know if you come home drunk one more time, I'm leaving you. Twelve words. If you come home drunk one more time, I'm leaving you. I was like twenty seven years old. I was as sober physically when she told that to me at seven o'clock in the morning as I am right now. I was a lot smarter, because you know now I have that stinility thing going on, you know, and I don't. I don't think that fast anymore. So I was smart. I was a division chief, I was a lawyer, I was sober physically and she said had become home drunk one more time, I'm leaving you. Everything that was important to me was right up there on the line, or should have been important to me, and I got in my car and I drove three blocks and I stopped at a light and I said this to myself. I thought this, what the hell did she mean by that? I was baffled. What did that mean? What did she mean by that? You See, one of the consequence, one of the things I learned, one of the consequences of being an alcoholic, this is a consequence of being an alcoholic, is whenever you hear, read or are told something that you don't agree with or you don't like, it confuses you. It confuses you twelve words. If you come on drug more time, I'm leaving you. I was trying to figure out what the hell could she mean by that? By the way, what she meant was if you come on drug woman time, I'm leaving you because, like, came on drunk that night and she kicked me out of the House. That's a whole other story. So I guess that's my drunk story. That's one drunk stay. I've got a bunch of I got, I got. You want the selfishness, how about a selfishness story? I'm going out with a GAL. I'm in love with her for a year, a year, every day I'm thinking about her. I'm an okay love. I can't stop thinking about her. I can't thinking about the sex and about her and everything. I'm like eighteen years old. I'm like head over heels. This is one I love. She came down from New Jersey. See One day in December she says to me,...

...she says to me my parents, who haven't seen me in the year, who was financing me. They'd like me to come up for Christmas, for Christmas. I look at her and I say this. I say this. Well, what about me? What about me? And she says, but my parents, they haven't said well, what about me? What am I gonna do? And I knew she had a boyfriend up there and she was probably gonna have sex with him. I knew all about that stuff. We had a major fight and she flew up to New Jersey to be with her parents on Christmas and I'm sitting there feeling sorry for myself and drinking from the Cup of Self Vittie and uh, drinking and all that stuff. So I come up with an idea, a brainstorm, and I had one credit card I hadn't maxed out, because I don't know about you, but I spend money. I didn't have to buy things, I didn't need to impress people in life, and I had this one card that I hadn't maxed out and I bought a plane ticket and my idea was on Christmas I show up at her house and surprised her. And it's on Christmas morning. I showed up at her house and there I was. I rang go I said here, it's me, it's me, a surprise on your Christmas, to help you celebrate Christmas, to ruin your Christmas. You know. Well, I thought it was loved. The COPS said it was stalking, but I mean, what do they know? You know what I mean. It's a it's so Danie. You're laughing like you don't know what it's like. But the bottom line is this. You know what that is? That's alcoholic selfishness. That's my entire life. My whole life was making decisions like that. Every decision I made was what about me? What is this gonna do for me? How will it look for me? Me, me, you know something, I'd love to say? Alcohol turned me into an idiot, and too so I would love to blame everything on alcohol. Let me tell you something. I've heard many of the same people, many of the same ways after I came into alcoholics anonymous, you know. Let me tell you something. I don't know about you, but I have a disease and it ain't the symptom anymore. More. You know I mean, I'm not saying. Look, I could be drunk in an hour. You know, I absolutely believe that. That I'm I believe I'm POWERLESSL routcol my life is I'm not I believe I can be drunken an hour. You know, I don't want to drink, I don't feel like drinking, but I believe. I'll tell you one thing. I know that I've recovered from that hopeless state of mind the body. I know what a hopeless state of mind the body is. That's when you're waking the money and you see it the morning and you seriously say I'm not gonna have a drink and then you're drunk by five. That's when you do that every single morning and you can't stop drinking. That's a hopeless state of mind the body. I don't suffer. I've recovered. Go I God's grace. There's nobody in this room has any idea why they're not drinking. There's nobody in a a that has any idea. If they tell you they know why they're drinking, they're lying. They have no idea why one one day they couldn't stop drinking the next day. That's God's grace. You know something? I do know? I am not not drinking. It's God's grace and I'm satisfied with that. And so I keep myself from that deal because I don't want to drink. Again. But the bottom line is is that I've recovered from that. But I'll tell you what. I what I gotta worry about. I gotta worry about the thing that centers in my mind, not my body. That's why I buy stuff that I don't need to impress people I don't like. That's why I said, and it said Na means worried about what people think about me if I talk about God. But the good news is, the good news is is that somehow, some way, God has lifted that fear of other people and fear of economic and security from me. I'm not saying I'm absolutely totally perfect. I'm not sure we get that way, but it gets pretty damn good. And get pretty damn good, and so this is what I talk about. A name means. This is why I'm not really a good speaker anymore. This is why I'm not a good convention speaker anymore, because I don't want to talk about the drinking. I drank alcohol because no woman, no car, no amount of money, no nothing ever worked quite as well and quite as fast as just a few drinks. And if it worked for me the way I worked for...

...me when I was eighteen years old, I probably still drinking, but alcohol stopped working for me, so I don't drink it. And the sad news for me is it stopped working for me about ten years before I realized that stopped working for me. And I heard a lot of people, a lot of people you know. So let me see, I got time for like two more stories, so let's do so I I got I came to alcoholics anonymous. I walked into the door. I'm skipping a bunch of parts. So I got the I've had four wonderful sponsors and a mentor. You know, uh, you know, Bob Sullivan, Joe Snyder, John Glenn, God bless him. God blessed John Glenn. I had I got him when I was about seventeen years sober. John took me to that next level, you know, I mean the rocketship ride. I'd sit down at the denny's to start eating. He said, what are you doing? He says, I'm eating. He says we can't, we gotta give we gotta give thanks to God and he would bow his head. He was a baptist preacher and, you know, missionary and he was like seventy five years old. He had fifty five years of sobriety. And he he'd do one of these prayers in the middle of Denny's and and I'm have gone my head down, it'll be a long prayer, you know, a long and I'm looking around to see who's looking at me, you know, and that kind of crap. And and then he'd stop and he'd look up and he'd say now, Russ, the food will taste better because it's got that special ingredient. It's got the special ingredient. You know why I'm so excited to be here? Because my life has that special ingredient. You have this thing over there where you turn things over. You ever here in the old days, you say we'll just turn it over, turn it over, turn it over, and I spent the whole life learning how to turn things over. I'd worry about it for a weekend, then I turned it over. And then one day, when I was about twenty or twenty six years sober, after about ten or fifteen years of Bible study, which I'm still going to join the church because apparently I know it's optional, but apparently the book says we encouraged Church membership. Most of US belonging that. So I decided to take a buppa on the extra on the extra credit stuff. Why not? You know, the extra credit stuff. I decided to lift up off the bucket of crabs and do the Estra credit stuff, because they get the things that most people will never get. In a you gotta do the things that most people will ever do. So I decided to do the extra credit stuff and go to Bible study and a a I edited on I didn't leave one for the other and all that sort of stuff. And one day I woke up twenty five years sober, and I realized I hadn't been worried about anything for months and all I did when I woke up is I was just thinking about God and thinking about the big book and Scripture and other people and how grateful I was. And I realized that I didn't have to turn anything over because I was living a turned over life, because I was living a turned over life. So why would I talk about then I drank and then I drank and Jen then I drank, when I can talk about the blessings of doing this thing the right way. And so if you're thinking to yourself now, this guy, I've never heard anybody talk like this in A. They're not talking about this stuff in my meetings that I go to. If you're ever saying things like this, you need to ask yourself why. Why aren't they talking about this stuff? Maybe not for the newcomer, although, quite frankly, have a lot of newcomers that they don't come up and say you're killing me. They come up to me and says, can I hang out with you? How can I get this thing? Where should I read the book? They get excited of this stuff because they want to wait in debt. But you want to know something, you know who I worry about. I'm a guy who has a heart for guys with eleven, Twelve, fift twenty years, twenty five years. We're not happy with their sobriety. They don't even know they're not happy with their sobriety. Final story, well, let's say fifty four,...

...but I could I get to send final story. Actually have two final stories, but I can't get them with it. So I uh, I go to see my first sponsored uh, Bob Sullivan, and I'm in my office. He's in my office with me and they I somehow I got there. Was a constant mistake. I was I graduated. You know, I was brilliant and I had all these degrees and doctorates and he never even graduated elementary school or something and he was a used car salesman and he had about fifteen, twenty years sobriety. And he sit in my office and I point to my diplomas. I have literally about twenty diplomas degrees on my wall at testing that I've been educated far beyond my capacity to understand anything. And Uh, and I said, Bob, these are my degrees, and Bob looks at me says, you know, Russ rectal thermometers have degrees. You know what they do with though. So that's pretty much how I was sponsored for my entire life. That's exactly how they spawned from my life. And Ten years later at I'm not I'm already late. Forget it. It's a fifty five. That's all you've got. I'm done. It's over for me. Forget it. Audio, Swita Cha.

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