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

Episode 137 · 3 months ago

Sheldon B. at The Primary Purpose Group 10/25/2022


Sheldon B. at the Primary Purpose Group 10-25-2022, Friendship Club, Hialeah FL

I'm a gratefully sober alcoholic. My name is Sheldon. You know it's it's kind of grateful alcoholic, won't drink and uh I. In most meetings that we attend, we start off reading more about alcoholism. My sobriety data, as I said, is December four of two thousand five. It was a Sunday morning. It was a hell of a thanksgiving from what they told me, m m. And there was a wedding before it that they tell me that there was actually a ceremony. But I have absolutely no recollection of any bride walking down an aisle, any groom saying I do, or anything else. The only thing that I do remember is that there was an open bar, and I do remember that when it started, they handed out those red and blue solo cups. You guys are familiar with those. Hey, welcome. You know the last guy in's got to clean the coffee pot, you know that, right? All right? Cool, excellent, thank you. What's your name, Raoul? Nice to see your brother. So they had those red and blue solo cops. You guys are familiar with them, right, sure, we've held many of them at our time. So as soon as they announced open bar, everybody lined up. Guess who was first. Yep, that would be me. And the damn bar tender put too much ice in my cup like they always do, and I asked him to fill it with k and he did nice circle back around and you know, he said, you're back again, and I looked at him quizzically. I'm like, was it my stellar good looks or my beautiful personality or was it just the fact that it was obvious that I drank that drink very very quickly. A lot of things happened on that night that I regret. Um. I got into a wrestling match with a five year old and he started to cry and blamed me for it. I can't understand why I took a hundred dollar champagne glass through it against the side of the house and for some reason it didn't bounce. I engaged in some non confer it's approved inhalance on the side of the on the side of the bride's house, while her neighbor, who was wearing this outfit that said broward Sheriff's office, was standing outside of his house. Um. I asked the bride's brother, who at the time was celebrating nine years of sobriety, if he was carrying any white powdery substances that we could possibly engage in. I asked the bride's business partner, who owned a yoga studio, if he could perform any sexual acts upon himself as a result of his yoga prowess in front of the bride's father. Needless to say, that didn't go over very well, and I drove home, and I drove home. Yeah. You know, in most meetings, and usually in this meeting, we read from chapter three of the Big Book and it starts, most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. I remember on that Sunday morning that I walked into that first meeting and it started very similar to the way this meeting started. Any newcomers here, And I stuck my hand up in the air and said, with trepidation, my name is Sheldon, and I'm an alcoholic. But I got to tell you, guys, I felt that eight hundred pound gorilla just jump off my back on that Sunday morning. I felt a weight relieved off of me that I had never felt before. I felt a freedom. See, my dad was an alcoholic. I saw what an alcoholic looked like. And I lived in that denial for forty years, all right, I drank. I got sober at forty four, and I started drinking at twelve to do the math. What's that, Mabel, thirty two years? I'm not really good at math, but I know you handled millions, so I figured you would know the answer to that. That's what thirty two years of of of of going from going to barn but Mitzvah's drinking whiskey sours so I could talk to the pretty girls that I had no confidence to do dan like fred Astaire Louis you know who...

Fredisterio is, right right? And I always wanted to get up on the stage and sing like because I wanted to be that rock star. I wanted to be the guy that everybody looked at. You want to tell my story? Come on, Louis kick anyway. The funny part is when you've been around here for a while, we start to be able to tell each other's stories. And it's so true. Why why it's our testimony? It's a mustang soeling, it's a test It's a testimony. You know what it is. It's a testimony. And if you go to church, what's your testimony. Your testimony is how did you come to the Lord? So our testimony here is how did we come to recover? What were the trials and tribulations that we went through in order to earn our seat? So they read this scene says most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. And my ears really perked up when I heard that. Because they were talking to me, I could really identify with what they were saying. I lived that denial. I saw ship as a kid that you should never have to see. I saw my mother fly down a flight of stairs. I saw my mother go after my father with a butcher's knife. You know, I saw all the things. I saw many food objects stuck to the walls of my kitchen, none of which I was responsible for. I saw stuff as a kid that you should never have to see. Why the insanity of alcoholism. My dad was a professional musician. He also wanted to be a rock star. His claim to fame, his moment in the Sunshine was Tony Bennett. Louis will tell you who Tony Bennett is. Tony Bennett was coming to Montreal. I was born in Montreal, all right, and I moved here when I was fifteen years old. Tony Bennett was coming to Montreal and his drummer got sick. So they called the Musicians Union of Greater Month Trial and they said, send us your best drummer to sit in with Tony Bennett tonight. And they called my dad. And if you come to my office, you'll see it. You'll see an eight by ten picture at my desk of my dad playing drums behind a very very young Tony Bennett. Okay. And that was his moment in the sun, you know. And and that was a great moment for him. That was his shining moment. You see. He also suffered from the big ego, low self esteem. He had a mother who always put him down. He had two brothers. His mother told him at a young age that he would never amount to anything, that he would always live in his brother, the actor's shadow, or his handsome younger brother. You know that that was that was his lot in life. And he died. He died at a very young age. My dad died at sixty nine years old of untreated alcoholism. He never he stopped drinking, but he never found sobriety. He never found that inner piece he always had those demons. And the beautiful part of our testimony is it allows us to let go of our demons, share our demons with our fellows, so that you can identify. It's not so that you can judge us. It's so you can identify. You can sit there and say, yeah, man, I know how you feel. I get it. I went through that exact same stuff you know. And it goes on say Therefore, it's not surprising that our drinking careers were characterized by countless vain attempts to prove that we can drink like other people. Anybody here tried some control drinking? Anybody here try? How many of you have told your significant other totally told yourself, I'm only going to have to tonight, right, You've been there, all right. You notice it's never one, it's never three, it's always two, right, honey, I'm only going to have to tonight. So my wife has a Christmas party. The ex wife has a Christmas party, all right, And she works for this very very big, heighty tidy builder who builds multimillion dollar home and coral gables. And they're at the Forge restaurant to Miami.

For those of you who know the Forge. It's pretty fancy, all right. Robert has been there many many times. He goes there for breakfast, lunch, and supper, and he'll be happy to take any of you and your significant other. There was a time, all right. So I my my my ex wife. We're driving down as a forge is a great story, true story, all right. We're driving down there. I'm dressed in my fancy dun and she's looking she looked all right anyway, and she turns me and she says, please, please, can you try and take it easy tonight? I said, honey, I'm only gonna have to so, needless to say, I walk in, saunter up to the bar, see a bunch of guys hanging out there. I have my first drink, and then we start doing shots Tequila. Tequila is the root of all evil, or at least it was for me. All right. So how did that night ended up? I'll tell you exactly how that night ended up. I ended up on top of a table in the middle of the Forge with two women who I didn't know, singing Mustang Sally. Do you guys want to hear me sing Mustang Sally? Neither did anybody else, especially not the owner of the company, his wife who you know, Dana formerly Gordesky, all right, or my ex wife, or anybody else who was at that party. All right. So this was my countless vain attempt. And if you think that was the only countless vain attempt, you're sadly, sadly mistaken, all right. I was the greatest sneak drugger, sneak drinker that you had ever seen. I was the Harry Houdini of drinking and drugging. I loved my bedroom closet. It was big enough and wide enough to hide anything that I needed. In fact, when we moved out of that house, I went up into the attic hatch to see if there was anything up there. I found so many little baggy is up there that I didn't even know existed. It was hysterical. Thank god they were all empty. I was very efficient. Yeah, So we alcoholics and men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking, we know that real alcoholic, real alcoholics, don't ever recover control. All of us have felt the times that we were gaining control, but sunginge abols, usually brief, were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible say it with me demoralization exactly. And I lived that pitiful and comprehensible demoralization to a t all right. So I drove home from the wedding on that November night, got home safely, and the ex wife gets a phone call from a couple of her friends and they sit her down and say, we think Sheldon might have a problem. Everybody knew I had a problem. Uh, you're off the hook. You're the last one in. You gotta clean the coffee pot. Okay, do you mean there's more coming? Excellent Fanta. You're off the hook as well. But you know what the truth of the matter is, guys, we're all here. We're all off the hook, all right. Do you like that? Look like I turned that around? All right? We're like men who have lost their legs. They never grow new ones, you know, those countless, vain attempts, that pitiful, incomprehensible demoralization. So I went to that first meeting on that Sunday morning, and I stuck my hand up in the air, and for some reason, that entire meeting, they started talking about their first time at a their first meetings in a A. They were talking to me. As far as I'm concerned. It was the Welcome Sheldon meeting right at the old West Brower block. Hi,...

...how you doing? Welcome? No problem? Do you know how to clean a coffee pot? Good? Because you might have to do Just tell him a pretty great what's your name? Hi? Welcome, first time here? Oh? Okay, good? You know Louis? Do you know Louis? Louis's Siliana, Julia, Juliana. Welcome to the Friendship Club. So yeah, we we definitely definitely earned our seats, and I earned mine. So that meeting, that Sunday morning meeting became the Welcome Sheldon meeting. Everybody talked about their first experience in a A and it really really made me feel at home. I walked in, sat down. My buddy Ralph was there. I had no idea that Ralph was in a A. I have been friends with Ralph for years and years and years, all right. I always thought it was a little bit weird that he never drank with us, He never did any of the stuff that we did. But I saw him at that meeting on that Sunday morning, and he came up to me after the meeting, and he said, Hey, I'm going to the East Naples Men's group tomorrow night. I'd like you to come with me. I thought of about eight different excuses within thirty seven seconds, because we're always looking for that easier, softer way. We don't want to do things. Man, are you kidding? I'm here today? You mean I have to keep coming back. I thought it's one and done. I figured I was good. You know, Hey, I went to Hey, hey, everybody's off my back. Not quite. So I went to that meeting on that Monday night, and I'm standing there and I see this guy standing at the front of the room, and he's got long, flowing hair and a beautiful flowing beard, and he's speaking so eloquently and sharing his story and a lot of his story related with my story. And I'm sitting there and I'm nodding my head and I'm identifying. I'm not comparing. I'm feeling his vibe. I'm hearing his testimony, and I'm loving what I'm hearing. And I'm suddenly feeling comfortable. And I see men enjoying themselves and having a good time and laughing and cajoling in sobriety. What a miracle. I went up to that man after the meeting and I asked him if he'd be my sponsor, and he said yes. He looked at me straight in the face, and he said one thing to me, He said, are you willing to go to any length? I had no idea what that meant. He was speaking some foreign language to me, but I think it meant him I committed to doing whatever it is he asked me to do, and the answer was definitely yes, because I had hit my bottom. Never deny an alcoholic of their bottom. We had to hit our own pain point. We had to make sure that we were ready. And this is just a snippet of my testimony. This is just a little bit of the stuff that I went through. But I gotta tell you. I went to that men's group and I got involved in that men's group right away. I started making coffee. Why did I make coffee? Well, my sponsor was the secretary of the group, and I ended up walking in to the middle of a business meeting. And Howard will tell you what a business meeting is like. In our men's group, they're very quick, very efficient, and nobody gets in the way. And when my sponsor turns to me and says, who besides Sheldon is going to make coffee for the group this month. It wasn't an option. I was volunt told by my sponsor what I was going to do, because that's the way they did it. I didn't gripe, I didn't I didn't bitch about it. I just did it because I wanted what he had and I was willing to go to any length to get it. And I resented him because me make coffee for these guys, they should be making coffee for me. But I didn't understand what the importance of that was about. And somebody said to me, you find God in that coffee pot. I didn't understand what that meant either, But I'll tell you what happened. After my month of service making the coffee for the group, it went on for about six months, and it went on for about six months after that. And one night I walked into the men's group and there was somebody else making the coffee and I went up to any said, what the hell are you doing? That's my coffee pot,...

...right, Yeah, there's one service that I have retained in that group for the past God willing almost seventeen years. Every last Monday of the month we celebrate anniversaries in our group and we got a big sheet cake for the group. There was this beautiful old timer by the name of Jim Ready. Jim Ready was the dad that I never had. Jim Ready was the most kindest, sweetest, gentleist, loving man. You walk in the room, no matter who was walking into the man, it's nice to see a young man like you coming into a and the women walked into his room. You're looking more beautiful every time I see it. M That was Jim. And there was one Monday that Jim tapped me on the shoulder and he said, come cut the cake with me, bless you. And from that Monday, from then on, every single Monday that it's anniversary night in my home group, I cut the cake for that group. First I did it as a service with Jim, because he would do it with me. Now I do it as my respect to Jim, my memorial to Jim, My love for Jim. All right, what an amazing, amazing, beautiful man. And those of us who knew him will attest to the fact that he was an amazing, amazing, beautiful man. Taught me a lot, came up to me one night in front of his home group. He had a home he has a home group on meets on Wednesday night over in Miramar, and he came up to me and he pinched me on the side and he said, you could stand to use a little lose a little weight, young man. I looked at him with resentment, of course, and I said, thanks Jim, And then I quickly started working out in exercising and getting into shape because if Jim said I had to do it, I had to do it. You know. I love that guy. And he taught me about service, and service was really really important to me early on, because I was very uncomfortable in my sobriety. I didn't know what to do. A lot of people have insight into what they're doing in a a I had no insight. I had no preconceived notions. I had never been to a meeting before. I was the proverbial blank slate. I didn't know what to expect. The only thing I knew is it could only get better, because it can't get much worse. I was at the risk of losing everything, you know. The ex wife turned out okay, but losing the kids, losing the family, losing the business, losing the friends, losing everything. You know, we can all share our stories, and all of our stories. Thank God we're here and they don't, and they all end the same way We're heres. Is calling you right now. I can't take your call. Ah. Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self deception and experimentation. They'll try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule. Therefore, non alcoholic, if anyone is showing the inability to control his drinking, can do the right about face and drink like a gentleman. Our hats are off to him. Heaven knows. We have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people, failed miserably every single time. And then it goes on. I read this because it just struck such a chord with me, not only early on my sobriety, but when I went through a real, real trial of my sobrieties. As lack of power, that was our dilemma. We...

...had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a power greater than ourselves. Obvious obviously, But where and how are we defined this power. We know how it feels. We've shared his honest, doubt and prejudice. Some of us have been violently anti religious to others. The word God brought up particular ideas of him with which someone had tried to impress them during childhood. See, I was brought up with that childhood God, that god fearing God. If you're a bad boy, God's going to strike you down. That was how I grew up. That was the God that I grew up with. Fast forward to year fourteen, fifteen of my sobriety. After thirty four years of marriage, the woman for formerly known as Mrs Burman and I decided to get divorced. And I did my best to do everything that my program has taught me to do in do the right thing and stand up and be a man among men and walk with God. And I did that to the best of my ability. But for some reason, it just wasn't enough. And what ended up happening as a result of my divorces, I lost communication with my children. I lost communication with my grandchildren for close to two years. And my sponsor turned to me, Paul turned to me, and he said, two things you're gonna need to find a God of your understanding, and you're gonna need to get in service. That's why a kid about cleaning the coffee pod, because to me, that's a critical component to my recovery is cleaning that coffee pot, setting up the room. God bless Louis. I mean, Louis is an amazing, amazing sentinel of what recovery is all about. All right, as far as I'm concerned, you're a saint, brother, and I love you, and I love you as my brother for everything that you do for countless alcoholics every single day. Yeah, and on that note, don't worry, we'll pass the basket shortly. See, there was one morning that I was in so much pain overgoing through that divorce. I was curled up in the fetal position on the floor of my bed, and I was sad, and I was broken, and I was disheartened. I said, if there's a God out there, please God, please relieve me of this bondage. Helped me out of this pain, show me, tell me what I need to believe in you. And suddenly I felt this warmth course through my body and my God had changed. My God had gone from a god from a fearing God, to this beautiful, kind, loving, benevolent God that I needed to embrace me in my time of need. And it was the Son of God that actually reached out to me and I felt that warmth and he hasn't left my side since. So here I am now, years later, with a beautiful belief in that loving, kind, warm, benevolent God. I have a beautiful relationship with my son, my daughter in law, and their beautiful baby. I have a beautiful relationship with my daughter, my son in law, and their three beautiful babies. On Sunday, for the first time since my divorce, we will be gathering as an entire family at my daughter's house to celebrate my little baby, my third grandchild's first birthday. Okay, we will all be together, and there's a little bit of nervousness inside me about that event because it is a first. But you know what, I know that the Lord's got me. I know I know in my heart who I am today.

I know in my heart that I am a man of God. I know in my heart that I am a man in sobriety, and I absolutely love every gift and every trial and every tribulation that this program has helped me walk through. It's amazing. It's amazing how beautiful your life can be by just not picking up that first drink. It's really really incredible. It's a simple, simple task for very complicated people. But you know what, as I said to you guys when I first started off, you're here. You're off the hook. All I can tell you is one day at a time, and we stayed together. Stay close to your sponsor. Please, if you don't have a sponsor, is there anybody here who doesn't have a sponsor. You don't have a sponsor. You don't have a sponsor. You don't have a sponsor. We're gonna find you, guys, sponsors you need to have. You ever drive a boat? You ever been on a boat? Have you ever been on a boat? Okay, Well, on the bottom of a boat, there's this thing called a rudder. It's a small little flap that hangs down in the water like this. Do you know what that rudder does? It keeps the boat on its course. It allows you to steer through rough waters. I'm banning recovery without a sponsor. A person in recovery without a sponsor is like a boat without a rudder. Okay, we all need that rudder. We need that guide. We need that person to walk us through these twelve suggestions so that we can live our lives the way he with a capital H wants us to, not the way we wanted to, the way we wanted to earned our seats here. The way he wants us to will keep us here. You need a sponsor. You need to go through these twelve suggestions in the order in which they're written. There's a reason why they're there. There's a reason why they've been successful. Since the mid nineteen thirties, many people much smarter than me have gone through his program and succeeded. I want what they have, and I'm willing to go to Winnie Lens to get it. I sponsor people. I love helping people in recovery. I had a guy called me tonight. He's going through trouble. Why he separated from his wife. He's going through a divorce. He's got a young child, she started his ex wife started dating a guy, and he's feeling really, really uncomfortable. Do you think I'm a good person for him to talk to about that stuff? Toma combat no problem. Do you think I'm a good person for that guy? To talk to. Yeah, he did something today that that upset me. I wanted him to come to a meeting that I'm involved with at noon, that's a very God centered recovery meeting, and I wanted him to share his test demony today at noon to our group because I knew that he was going through a difficult time. He made a decision to not go through with it, and tonight when we spoke, I said to him, the worst thing that we can do is people in recovery is wallowing our stuff. The worst that we can do is sit there in our pity pot and talk about the poor me, poor me, poor me, because the further away we get from God, the closer we are to getting a drink. And by giving him the opportunity, come on. And he said, I don't think i'd be able to share my story. Well, I said, it doesn't matter. You had guys on there who were willing to listen to you and share their experience, strength and hope on how they went through a similar situation to help you get through it. But you made a decision. You decided to be a rudderless ship today. And he said, you're absolutely right. See every once in a while the...

...importance of having a fellowship to know in your heart that you're not alone, that there's a group of people around you constantly, constantly who are willing to help you through any situation that used to baffle you. Pick up that phone. Pick up that phone. Sometimes that phone is going to weigh a thousand pounds. It was suggested to me early on in my recovery that I called my sponsor every single day. Of course, being the intellect that I am, I turned to my sponsor and I said why, And he answered me very very eloquently. He said, because when you're in trouble, I don't want you to not know how to use that phone. I wanted to be second nature for you to be able to pick up that phone and call telephone therapy. It's another little tidbit from our buddy Jim. Ready, all right, telephone therapy is a critical component to my recovery. Y'all have phone numbers in your phone, people you can call when you're feeling uncomfortable. Believe me, we're dying to hear from you. We're dying. You're never an inconvenience when you want to call and you want to wind about whatever it is it's going on in your life. That's what we're here for. That's what we do. You know, that's the beautiful part of this recovery is you're never alone again. There is always somebody somewhere willing to listen to you that come completely understand, identify, and relate with whatever it is you're feeling, be able to share how they got through it and walk you through the trouble. But most importantly, sometimes the roads are flat, sometimes the roads have little pot holes in them, and sometimes the roads have big, big craters. God will walk you through it, and so will your fellowship. Thank you off for letting me share.

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