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

Episode · 1 year ago

Russell S. Step 8 at the 12 Step House 7/1/2021

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Russell S. Step 8 at the 12 Step House, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 7/1/2021 

My name is Russell spats. I'm an alcoholic member of the South Dixie group and it's good to be here and I haven't found necessary to have a drink. Or have I had a drink since January twenty nineteen eighty one, okay, and so I'm going to talk about a few things. I have no clue. You know, when I first came to Ay, my sponsor, my first sponsor, I've had four of them and a bunch of mentors, and said to me, you know, Russell, you got a lowerer expectations because you have all these ex expectations about how meanings are supposed to go and what people are supposed to say and how life is supposed to unfold, and you just filled with resentments when it doesn't go your way and people don't do what you want to do. You got a lower expectation. So this is sort of like supposed to be. Well, forget about what it's supposed to be. It's gonna be whatever I'm going to talk about. But it's like we're around the eighth. I've been doing six and seven for last two or three, four, whatever the Heck I've been doing, because I live on six and seven honestly. You know I mean it's part of the deal. It's their oldtimer steps and I'm going to get in a little bit about that. But but to me six and seven have a lot to do with the eighth and night step. And you know, what I'm hoping is. I've thinking I'm seventy two years old and I've been sober for a little over forty years, and I've changed since I had three months. I've changed since I've been three, I've changed since I've had thirty years. I've changed and along with the change that has happened to me, as you can well imagine, as might been my change in perception and the way I perceive things. You know, I started off according to the big book and I believe the Big Book is true. So this isn't even my opinion. This is based upon what the big book says. I started off delusional, which means I can't separate the truth from the false. Listen, ninety percent, just in case you're wondering. Now, I've percent. The stuff that I'm throwing out at you, matter what words I used, is right out of big book of Alcoholics. Anonymous or the adjoining conference approve material. So if you disagree with me, you're free to disagree with me. I mean it's just my experience. You're not disagree with me, you just agree disagree with the book alcoholics anonymous, which is okay. We also to do that. We also to put our own spin on it. You know, you got your there's the books program and then there's your program and my program and Fifteenzero different programs. But the great thing about this is all I have to do is try to carry a message and that's what I'm going to try to deny. I can't carry the message. I can't force somebody to do what I want them to do. If I could force some you know, if I worried about Al Key's doing what I want them to do, I be an Alan on right now, you know. And they do whatever they do. You know, they do whatever they do. All I can do is try to carry a message, and that's all I'm going to try to carry in the best lessage I can carry is a message of my own sobriety my own experience, and my experience has changed tremendously. Let me let me just tell you this. I've been doing steps series for thirty five years, ever since I was five years older. I've been doing this stuff and I just want to tell you something. I used to be good at doing step series. I just want you to know that. If you guys, we are saying, why isn't he talking about the eight step? Why isn't he talking about the ninth of the ten for the third? Why is he just sort of seemed to be rambling around, talking about God, quoting the Gospel, you know, saying all sorts of spiritual stuff. Any what does he seemed to be meandering. Some of you guys might actually walk out of here every once. Faulen say, yeah, it was sort of all over the place, but it sort of made sense. That's what really kills you, doesn't it doesn't a kill you when you're not sure what doesn't it kill you when it doesn't look like I'm talking about any step, but you walk out and you start thinking about and you said, whatever it is, it really made sense. Let's say you you say, I don't know what that guy said. I think I've been to a Bible study. I'm not even sure. Was it a a? I've never heard anything like that. But the point is, like a train wreck, you keep coming back, you know, what I mean. Yeah, I know, it's kind of crazy, isn't it? I used to follow around guys like my sponsors who used to do that stuff. They had up and talk for an hour and and I'd listen and I'd be rocking in the fourth dimension and I'd be illuminated and things would come together for me and I say said, I'd say it was like watching a guy on a tight rubbers that. How did he do that? How do you do that? You know, I'm an attorney and I can't I talk for an hour about this stuff. They just sort of do it because they're talking about their lives and I don't know, they just talking about stuff so so. But there used to be a time my life where like there is for you, if you got three months or three years or five years or ten years, where I thought of the steps. You know, what these steps do is are counterintuitive. In other words, everything about the program is counterintuitive. What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is it's not comfortable. It beckons you to do stuff that you ordinarily would not do. If...

...the program told you to do stuff that you usually do anyway, you wouldn't have to go to meets you when your sponsor, you would need some paint in the ass. Guys saying why's just shut up and do it, you know, do the fourth step. They tell you to do stuff that you don't want to do. That sometimes, especially early on the first ten years, don't make sense. Let me tell what makes sense to me. What makes sense to me is a is great, but if I had a million dollars, everything to be okay. He is great, but if I can only get laid there had a good looking girl, everything would be okay. A. A, you know, makes a lot of sense, but I know that the world is crappy and people are crappy and if only everybody did things my way, everything would be okay. A. A makes sense, but the real problem is not me, but other people. When I whenever I'm disturbed, trust me, whenever I'm disturbing, matter what the cause, there's something wrong with the world or other people. I can prove it to you. I can prove it to you mathematically. You know my concept and is not when I'm disturbed, there's something wrong with me. That's not I don't go there like immediately. You know what I mean. I go to buy, I blame people, I complain on a thumbsucking crybaby. And you know something? That seems natural to me. I cannot my alcoholic life, and by my alcoholic life I mean sober as an alcoholic, my alcohol because my I have a disease which isn't even drinking. I have a disease that centers in my mind, not my body. The drinking is but a symptom of my disease. My alcoholic disease, my alcoholic thinking, my alcoholic life seems normal to me. It seems normal to me. It seems normal to be to be pissed off. It seems normal with me be upset all time. It seems normal to be be anxious. Be Anxious, you know, because well, if it happened to you, you'd fins feel the same way. As a matter of fact, the men I used to hang out with talked exactly like me. They said the exacts, they thought exactly like me. They rust. Look at that blond over there. You know what I mean. And this world sucks. Your boss an Asshole, you know your wife, get rid of that. They they thought and talked exactly like me. That's why I love Al Keys. They're the only people that really understood me. You know what I mean. Church people would never understand me. I never hung around them because they're self righteous and they're full of Shit. You know, they think they're better than me. You know what I mean. I like Al Keys, you know. I'll ki's because they say things like it's all fucking bullshit, Russell, whole fucking world is bullshit. You're full of Shit, I'm full of Shit. It's all fucking bullshit. I like that stuff. I like that stuff sober, you know, because you know something, because that's the way I think. So I feel comfortable in a group of alkis. I my whole life has been hanging around Al Keys. You know what I mean? I I'm still doing it for forty years. I can't get away from them. I go away on vacation, I'll my wife used said me why, and all of a sudden some alky's and come around me and start talking to me. My Life says, what is it with you? Why do they? Why? Why are they? Why are they attracted to you? They seek you out. I told you one time I was in a casino and five guys drinking survival alkeys. I mean, I know you guys. I know when alcoholics anonymous don't they have this thing? I don't. I've never understood why they do this. But somebody will teach me that. You can't call another person alcohol believe me, I've been around long enough I can call other people alcoholics. I know what an alcoholic is when I see him. You know, some guy shakes my hand, says I'm going to get that son of a bitch. I think alcoholic immediately. He may have never had a drink in his life. I think out, you know what I mean. I say this guy's inn out. So I'm in a casino one time and like five guys came out over to me in they're all drinking well, having a good time, and I'm talking to him and I'm sober and they're drunk and they're just covering around me talking and my wife says, what is it with you? What is it with these people? You know I mean. I says, well, you know it is. Why do they like I said, because I don't judge them. They know I'm not judging them. I Love Them. I'll I you know, listen, I'm one of them. You know what I mean. That's the deal. So what happens is my perception has changed. How did my perception change? Well, it's like a milkshakee. You know, it's not anyone thing. Dr Young said. Ideas, emotions and an attitudes which are the guiding forces of these men's lives. Other ways, you think a certain way, you acts a certain way, you believe a certain way. You're actutely clear on it and the way you think and believe and act and how you are as an alcoholic. You're thinking it doesn't it? The crazy,...

...complaining, feel sorry for yourself, self, pitying thinking doesn't the real alcoholism, that center's in your mind, not your body, does not stop when you put the plug in the judge. As a matter fact, it gets worse because now the one thing you you used. I'm an alcohol because no woman, no car, no matter amount of money, ever work quite as well as just a few drinks. That's why I drank it, because it's the best medicine for me for alcoholism. Now I didn't know that before I get in here, but I know the one thing that I can use to remove fear completely so I can feel like I like a group loves me and I love everybody. And don't screw with me, because you don't know what it your and yet you don't know what anything and the one thing that makes me feel like like the handsomest guy in the room, the bravest guy that I know. What thing is just a little scotch, you know, just all just I drank for the noble art of getting bombed. My excuse for drinking. My excuse for drinking I was awake. Good enough for me, you know what I mean, good enough for me. Nothing have worked just as well as drinking. So the pre I drank because, like they say in the book, because I because I can't stand being sober. I hate being sober, you know I mean I sober to me is boring, it's restless, it's irritable, it's just put whatever names you want to put on it. You know. That's what it is for me. So when I stopped drinking, you know, then I have nothing to relieve really the pain of being sober in this world. I'll go after other things. I'll go after sex, so go after money, I'll go after whatever I have to go after. I'll be addicted to anything, you know what I mean, just as sort of like stop myself from the crazy, freaking thoughts that I have. I got like one guy said, you know, I think you have a split personality. I since Shit, I wish I get it down to too, I'd be okay, you know what I mean. I got tenzero voices. They're all told me the same thing. I'm going to be scraped. I want to kill myself, you know I mean. There's all sorts of stuff going on. It's an alcoholic I mean there's so many moving parts in the world. That's all. It's almost like people are doing their own shit without consulting me. You know what I mean? It's like really crazy shit. So you know, when I first came day and they started and so one of the one of the read why did I how did I change? Well, one of the things I did to change was I and I don't even know how this happened, because it doesn't happen to a lot of people. My sponsor told me. Many are called, a few are chosen and for some reason, not because I deserve it, not because I'm smart, I don't know. I'll never be able to tell you. So I just claim it on God. I say it's the grace of God. Why it happened to me and it happens to other people and doesn't happen to everybody, because it doesn't happen everyone body. You know, I don't know what the statistics are. One of the you know, like it says, the one half of one percent actually get more than twenty years sobriety. A lot of people drink before they get twenty years, before they get ten years. I don't know what the deal is, but I know I was attracted. I came in here and I ran into men the man not hung around with. Talked about getting lady, they talked about money, they talked about bullshit, they talked about everything. They were bar drinkers. They talked about the stuff that Al he's talked about. I don't remember any time in my drinking life where I hung around men that held hands and said the Lord's prayer. I don't remember that ever. I don't remember ever hanging around men that prayed. I don't remember any ever hanging around men that did the things we're supposed to do or try to help other. are any of that stuff that we do in here. I came in here. I don't know how this happened, but I ran into men who were different. They were like serious, they were committed, they weren't dilettants like I spoke about it. They were committed to sobriety. They said the Lord's prayer, they use the word God. Many of them read the Bible. They didn't think it was a joke. They didn't. They didn't roll their eyes when people talked about God or religion or anything like that. You know, they weren't pissed off at that kind of stuff. They were serious about me. They were serious. And those of the men that I was attracted to and the women, but mostly for me the men. I was attracted to them because they had what I wanted. And I didn't even know what they had, but I could just tell because the way they carry themselves. You know they weren't they...

...weren't scared. You know, they just I guess they seem to have courage and they seem to be the condomn that I wanted what they I guess that's what I wanted. I wanted what they had. And you know, it's funny, there's actually a step before the steps in the big book, just like I couldn't take trigonometry until I took Algebra and I couldn't take calculus until I took downalytical geometry and I couldn't take this until I took that. There was a step before the steps, and the step before the steps is if you want what we have, whoever we is, I guess you got to find a weed in here, a person or group of people that have something you want. If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, then you're ready to take certain steps. Now there are some people that want what we have, but they're not willing to go to any length together. They're not ready to take the steps. They can take the steps, they can take the steps, but somewhere along the line they'll fade out, they'll stop, they won't do it because it'll get to a point in time, at five years or ten years or twenty years, that in order to move forward, and you have to move forward, you gotta you got to. You gotta have a way of life where you maintain and grow a spiritual life and you increase your contract with God and you get more like in the sixth step that separates the men from the boys, that it continues for a lifetime, where you repeatedly work on this so you can grow in the image and likeness of your Creator, that you can make God the sent piece of your life, where you can utly demanding yourself to him so you can be rocking in the fourth dimension. There will be a point in time where they will, like my sponsh to say, the problem is they get too well, so too fast. They will stop drinking, they'll get the wife back, they'll get the either the house back, they'll get the car back and they'll do what they say in the sixth step. They will settle for that and their idea of suddenly so I'll say, well, I'm not drinking and they think that's a success and in a hey, early on you'll hear, and it's true, if you're an alcohol and you have another drink today, you're a winner, and it's true to a certain extent. But with that attitude, somewhere along the line, at some point in time, the cares of this world, so the worry of this world and the stuff that's going on here will choke them off from the sunlight of the spirit and they won't be happy with this. Sobriety and they'll drink again, which is why this is no mystery, which is why you will hear of people that come in here and say I had eighteen years and then I drank. There is no other explanation. I had ten years and then I drank. I had five years, then I drank. Then I had three years and then I drank, which is why they will go back to the insanity because once again they are not happy with this. Sobriety, you know, that's the that's the deal. And and so to me it was a combination of a couple of things. Number one, hanging out with people that I was attracted to, that I want what you see some people. You want what. You want what they have, but you're not one't got any leth to get it. Sometimes you don't even want. They had what they have. So you're not ready. You may do a four step, a fifth step night, whatever the step it is, but unless you're locked into looking at something or somebody that wants what you have, you can have forty years and and unless you have something in front of you, say I don't have it yet. Bill Wilson used to call it. You know, this this concept of constantly being hungry for more, for more God, getting closer to him, you know. And unless you got that thing going for at some point in time. You just going to settle, you're going to stop and as soon as you stop, you stuck going backwards. I mean that's the way it works. And part of the deal was was this concept, like they say, in the first step and before you even hit the first step, you're ready to take the steps if you want. We have and the willing to go any leth to get it. Now, some people have to go out there and experiment fifty times and some people have to get hit over the head and all sorts of the sometimes, sometimes it can happen while you're in here. All of a sudden you turn I've seen guys at twenty years. They're doing the steps, they're staying sober, they're not happy. All of a sudden something happens their lives. It's a major thing, okay, and they just turn around and all of sudden they get committed and they want we have in the willing got. They know that there's more, they know that there's more and that kind of stuff, and want what they have and they're willing to go to any length to get it. So one of the things is who you hang out with, who you hang out with. I used to think and I'm one of these guys that at night I was hanging out with my sponsors, during the day I was hanging out with my sponsor. When you hang around with men who have twenty, thirty years, and you know, one of the things that happens when you hang around with men the twenty or thirty years and stuff like that, or long term sobriety and stuff like that is, believe it or not, it sounds weird,...

...you start, you start when they talk. They talk differently, when they answer questions, they answer questions differently when they when you ask, they act differently. They think that you learn how they you learn how they think and you listen. Many times I be with my spine. And you know what, men who have fifteen, twenty, twenty, five years, thirty years, who are committed, hang out with other men who have twenty, thirty, you know, forty years. They hang out with other men like them. That's who they hang with. And so what happens is you start listening to them and you don't even realize you're like modeling your life, your I was heard in a non a setting an athlete. One said the man you'll becoming next five years of will on the people you hang out with, in the books you read. In the books you read will depend upon the people you hang out with. I'm an alcoholic. One of the consequences of being alcoholic as you want to be accepted, one of the kind and that that desire for people to accept it. That almost killed me outside when I was hanging around with the knuckleheads like to kill me save my ass when I was sitting here, because I wanted but these guys had and I was willing to got anything to get it to be accepted by them. But I pick the right people and I wanted what they had, and so that was important and I thought maybe that's what it is. It was us most as you just hang around to go to means and it sort of floats and then, of course, if you hang around these guys, you find out. They'll tell you you got to do your four step, you got to do fit, you got to do this, you got to do that, you're doing this wrong, you doing that wrong, they'll tell you. So you're going to do the steps anyway, because if we're going to hang with them, you're going to do the work just to be accepted by them. So it's who I hang out with. It's the fellowship, it's the work on the steps. And when I first start doing the steps, they're so unusual, they're so different that that it's almost impossible to understand them because it doesn't fit within my idea of my paradigm. Is How life is supposed to work and how I'm supposed to think. And and the bottom line is is that when I start working them, the steps, it's very clear to me I'm working oh life, oh, I did a third step. You know what? I did a third step. If there's I turned that one over. I just Oh, I'm doing another four step, but I did a ten step. Oh, I think that's the second step. Oh, I just help that guy. I think that's a twelve step. You know what I mean. I did a fifth step. I went to the group and I admit, what was that? Whatever, you're doing the steps and it's clear that you're doing them. You can almost say I did last last night, I did this step, I did that step. That's this. You know what steps you're doing. What happens, you know, sort of like any game of game, like tennis or something like that, when you're doing the steps all the time. The first year the second year, the third year, the fourth year, the ten year, the fifteen year, the twenty year, the twenty five year, the recent point of time where you stop doing the steps. You're just living your life. You developed a way of life which demands rigorous honesty. You're doing the steps but you don't think that you're doing the steps. You're just living your life because you've been doing the step so long. It's just the it's it's it's just what you do. When you went if you're disturbed, you know you think about why you disturbed. You know there's something wrong with you. Don't blame somebody else, and you go up to I say, listen, I'm sorry, I said that to you, and you don't really do that stuff that much because you pretty much catch yourself because you got you practice restrained tongue and pens like you're not really you're not apologizing too much because you really don't have much to apologize to for. I mean just you just sawt start living your life. So they call you to do the steps and you say, what are those things? I mean, I got to try to remember what. You try to got it. You got to remember what they were. You know what I mean, because so you've been doing is living life as a sober alcoholic, who's what do they call it? You know, an alcoholic, the next frontier emotional sobriety. So Carl Young said it said in talking about alcoholics. He said these about men and women. He says they have ideas, emotions and attitudes, you know, which are shifted to one side and they become dominated by only set of ideas, emotions and attitudes. And another thing that comes into play is not only hanging around with the right people and not only following directions and not only doing the steps, but the pain of not growing up, because one of the things that changes your perception and it's part of the mix and you'll have to understand it. It's true. It's right of the book of James is the repeated humiliations and the final question of your self sufficiency which, over a period of time, brings you to the point where you say, I got to stop doing that Shit, you know, and I got to...

...stop doing that Shit. I got to stop cheating on my wife, I got to stop, you know, stealing on I got to stop doing that Shit. You know what I mean, and it's very, very hard, you know, to be. Try to be a sober alcohol can grow in the image likeness of God and cheat on your wife. I mean it's not hard to do it, it's hard to live with it. It's hard not to suffer consequences. Is opposed to it and I picked that out, but I can pick a million other thing. So, so it's not only doing it and hanging around with people that you want to respect you and wanted and and doing this that, but it's also the pain that happens from not doing so. There's a lot of stuff that sort it goes into it and I found that. One of the things I found is that I see the world not the way the world is. I see the world the way I am. Many times I'll have clients, I'm an attorney, or I'll have alcoholics that I sponsor that I talked to that they're telling me a situation that they're in and I'm looking at them and I'm saying, this is a man who's caught in a delusion where he's crazy and he sees things. If this guy walks in the court and tells the judge what he just told me, then I can put them in jail. They're going to put them under the fucking jail, you know, and I got to try to explain to him look at it from a different point of view. I mean this here, this tear stuff of trying to kill the judge is not approved up. You know what I mean? I don't care how bad you think he is, it's really not. The judge is the judge of the jury. Is Not going to look at it the way you look at it. Okay, even though you're pissed off, and I understand your pissed off. So you know, we're we're delusional. And so as we change, we change the way we look at things. So when I first came into alcohol and and as I change, I changed in the way I talked about things, because now I have now it's not even that I'm mimicking the book, even though I believe in the book, and I've come to I come to the point where I believe everything in the book is right, because I prove it to myself over the years of doing this thing. But but what happens is my my thinking. What happens is is that not only does my thought process change, but the way I look at the entire world changes. The way I look at the steps change. So the way I look at the steps. When I was five years sober, when I was five years older, I was doing something like this. I would tell you how to do the eighth step. You wouldn't even need me. I would tell you. I would open up the book. I would say you get it from the fourth step, you get it from the list. But there may be people on the list of the four step, like my son. I did never resemble against them, but he was on the a step was I would tell you about it. Harms. We talked about harms and we talked about all that stuff. I would tell you what I did. I would tell you what I did to put them on the list. You know what I mean, how I did it. I tell you my experience. I talked about guilt. I talked about the things a fear and guilt and having relationships. They'll be I've talked about that stuff. They talked about in the big book. You know what I mean. I probably wouldn't mention God. I probably wouldn't mention God because God has nothing to do with making a list. I wouldn't mention God, not because I don't, I just it's just this God has nothing to do with the fourth step. I really the fifth step or the sixth step. To me, they're just it's very you don't have to believe in God to do these steps. I mean that's the way I would think. I wasn't a bad Aa, I was just an Aa that didn't see God in any of this stuff. You understand I'm saying because when I came d a a I, they gave me a big book, and the Big Book they gave me was like this. You know, it was a book, the Big Book in the Twelve and twelve was a book and I read it and I underlined it. It was a book that told me a practical way of relieving the the obsession and compulsion to drink, and it didn't really talk about God that much. It mentioned God and Higher Power. There was independent Exet said God to be anything, which means it could be nothing. You know what I mean. They had chapters in the agnostics, but everybody in the group said it's okay to be an agnostick in an atheist. Apparently a doesn't disapprove of that. You know what I mean. And besides, you got your program. I got my program and they told me not talk about the God stuff because she'll chase with the newcomer and you know that's not really what it's all about and everything so so and so. And you can do a fourth step and a fifth step and you can do all those steps and you don't have to talk about God and do any of the God thing, you know. And so it was very easy for me, you know, to just sort of talk about that stuff and I wasn't wrong. I wasn't wrong.

I wasn't say anything wrong. I was I was thought, you know, the fourth step, they have a list right there and they probably mentioned God somewhere in the big book. I think they do. But I mean it wasn't like in your face, you understand everyone's while we'd have somebody come in that it was in your face. But of course I was told that they were stupid or it is or something like that. Except except for those men I hung around. They didn't think that stuff was stupid at all. Somewhere around ten years sober, I got to a point in my life where I was doing well. I felt well, I felt okay, except for when I was nervous or anxious or, you know, scared or something like that. But I hadn't had a drink. You know, I was not drinking and I didn't know what to do and they and I a guy came up and he says, you know, have you ever gone the Bible Study? Now I had not read Dr Bottom of good old timers. At that point. I didn't realize that the books they found absolutely essential first printian thirteen summer on the Mount of the book of James. I didn't know any of that that stuff. The only thing I know. I know it says in the book that we do all lose all prejudice, even against organized religion. But what I heard in the fellowship. You see this the book and then there is a fellowship. What I heard in the fellowship is that religion is bad, organized religion is bad. You understanding? I'm saying being spiritual as good, because everybody, and they fellowship, was saying and I'm spiritual, not religious, and what I take that to me is basically phrase that say religious people, stupid religion, Stupid Bible, bad, being spiritual is good. And so I thought, since I went the means, I said the Lord's Friend, I did all that. I thought I was spiritual. Now the truth is, let me tell you what the honest truth is. I would, I would throw the Lord under the bus for a million bucks. I would, I would throw every piece of integrity I have under the bus for a goodlooking Gal, a beautiful house and a million bucks. You know I mean, I'm a material I'm a material man. I'm an alcoholic. I'm selfish, not, I'm not. Was An alcoholic. I am selfish, I am self centered, I'm driven by a hundred forms of fear, self delusion. I got all that shit going on and I'm selfish and I don't even know I'm selfish and above it and I think I'm okay because I'm not drinking. And above everything, I got to get rid of selfish. Just don't even know I am selfish because I think I'm a good aare and it says, apparently, it says somewhere in there, above everything, we got governed of the selfish to muster kills us. God makes that possible, you know, but but it. But if you stay in sobering Aa and you got ten years, you got twelve years, there's a nice chunk of time. Nobody's going to tell you need to get God. But I was not. But what happened to me is I had a wonderful thing happened to me, and that is I was not happy with my sobriety. I know it's some people just drink. You Remember Russell. Yeah, he drank list. Some people just drink. You don't even know they're not have they just drink, but they disappear. They stopped going to means might where I was blessed is I didn't just drink. I was going to drink meetings, but the meetings had no power for me anymore. The meetings didn't excite me anymore. I didn't I wasn't happy with my sobriety. So I'm looking around to try to figure out what's wrong. Some guy says why you go to Bible Study? Of course the first thing I say is absolutely not, because I'm an a a and a frowns upon that. But then I started thinking, you know, when you're scared, fear is not a good reason to not do something. When you're you know, God puts people in your life. So I started going to Bible study. It's not next to God. AD fifty years in A. Okay, now this is just my story. I'm not saying you have to do it. But I you know, one of the things we do is says our stories, disposed and a general way, what we used to be like, what have more of it. So it's my story. Okay. The great news about age you're going to get a lot of guys that will tell you their story and they hate God or they got a heartarm for that, or they don't think you have to do this or all, whatever it is. They're going to be spiritual, not religious, and you're free to follow them if you want, if you do what they did, if you want what they have, but they have if you want that deal. So what happens after ten years? And I started reading up on this stuff and get involved in God thing and hanging around with other men whose holes lives were based upon all they did in the morning. They prayed to God, in the night, they prayed to God before they ate dinner, they prayed to God. The whole life was about God. All of a sudden I picked up big book and I saw that there was an invisible book in the big book of Alcoholics. Anonymous is invisible book. I'm going to tell you this right now. It's invisible. I didn't see it. Let me tell you about this second book I have written down. This is probably a second book. Is All about how he is our father and we are as child, and that's the key stone of the new and triumphant arts to which we passed the freedom. It's about my absolute need to utterly abandon myself and my life to God, to seek a closer connection to God,...

...to live a life of service for God by helping others, by performing works of service and never apologizing for my faith in God, to grow in his image and likeness repeatedly, to seek his first his kingdom, see keepers game of God and his righteousness. First things first. That's what about. Dr Bob said that he was everything. He was everything and there is no middle of the road solution. The first few years I was sober, I only read the first book. I only saw the first book. The second book was invisible to me. Now the only book I read is the second book. The only thing I see when I pick up the book alcoholics anonymous is a book about connecting to God. Every step to me has god in it. Every step to me is connecting to God. So I've got steps. So you have to understand. I don't talk about the steps. The way I talked about the steps when I had five years. I don't talk about the steps like I talked about the steps when I had ten years. I talked about the steps that bad. Talked about this in my my faith in God and way I read the big book informs me as that what these steps really mean. I look at them differently. There are people that will take the steps until the cows come home and they'll look at it reading the first book and they'll drink after twenty years and they'll drink after ten years and they'll think a doesn't work and they'll try to they'll run around trying to figure out what's wrong and they'll walk out of rooms from people talk about God, you know, and they won't understand what is the problem. So let me read you something from step seven, because I sometimes you wonder if step seven is all about God. Why did that? Why do they put it before step a? Because maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, the attitude of step seven has something to do with how much you'll actually get out of step eight and nine. I don't let me. Let me run this by you again. Maybe the juice you'll get out of step eight and nine is totally dependent upon how well, you do six and seven. Maybe a guy who's really into six and seven and believes in God it will get something out of eight and nine. That's somebody that isn't there won't get does that make any sense? You know what I mean? Maybe, maybe that's why they put it there. So this is what step seven says. It says since this step is so specifically concerns itself with humility, we should pause here to consider what humility is and what the practice of it can mean to us. Is Indeed, the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of Aase twelve steps. Each of a's twelve steps have to do is informed by the principle of greater degree of humility. No alcohol can stay sober at all, at all, unless he has without some degree of humility. Nearly all a's have found to that, unless they developed much more of this precious quality, then maybe required for just physical sobriety, they still having much chance of becoming truly happy. Without it, they cannot live too much useful purpose or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency. So I'm an apparently, in order you can do you can do mechanically six, seven, eight, nine, ten and whatever the hell you do it. Wanted to do it, but apparently there's if you really want to get something out of step eight and nine, four and five and ten eleven. Really got to get into this men from the boys thing, this men to the separation of the men from the boys is really something. So let me tell you the two stories, okay, and put it to you this way a little bit differently. When I was seven years sober, I had a friend named John, John Kay, he's The seas now. He's passed away, a wonderful guy. Really love the guy. We hung around all the time and one day he came up to me and we both knew a guy well. I knew a guy very well, and bill is here from New Jersey, named Dan Carrell, who's passed away also. He was had forty years and a he helped me out tremendously. He's one of these guys on that one. And John said to me one day John had eleven years. I had like seven or eight years, and John said to me, why do we make me to Jj's Diner at seven o'clock tomorrow? Will have dinner and...

...then go to the meet and I said sure. So I showed up at Jj's diner and and John didn't show up. So what happened was I went to I went to the meeting and John was there and I said, you know, John, I showed up at JK's diner and you weren't there, and he said, I know, something came up, sorry about that. said, okay, brass, but I'll tell you what. I'll meet you tomorrow night at Jj's, you know at seven o'clock, and we'll go to me and F and I said fine. So the next night I showed up at Jj stegner and John Wasn't there and I tried to call me. Didn't answer the phone and I saw him at the me and I said, you know, I showed up again at Jj Stonny, you weren't there. He says, yeah, I know something came up. And so they said, but I'll tell you about tomorrow night. I'll meet you JJ STON and we'll go to dinner. And so I showed him a Jay's doing. I don't get ahead of me here. We'll get ahead of me. I can tell you a getting ahead of me and John, with eleven years, didn't show up. And I saw him at I said, you know, I showed I know, I had to do something else. I couldn't make so now I'm going nuts, you know, with seven year I mean I'm building like a resentment. What kind of assholes? You know what I'm in my mind, you know, and all that stuff. So I go up to Dan Correll and I tell Dan Correll the exact story I told you, looking for, you know, basically somebody to give me an answer why John such an asshole or what kind of idiot does this? You know. and Dan Carrell spend half an hour beating the shit out of me and all he wanted to know was why I showed up the second time. That's all he wanted. You didn't want to tell about John, you just want to know why I showed up. What was it in me when I was stood up that said okay, and I'll show up this second time. What kind of some people call codependency, some people whatever you want to call it, people please. I don't know what it was. He wanted me to look at that. So after he went through that and I admitted whatever the heck, I admitted I was in a jerk or I had a problem. I had to work on that. Then I said to him it's feeling a little comment. I said, well, what about John? And he said John's not sober. I said no, John Scout Eleven years. He says, John's not sober. I said no, he's got eleven years. He says, Russell, he's not sober. Sober people don't do that. Now May, several years later, John was drinking and I came to realize, and he came back in day, and I can't be realized that he was sort of like a depressed up and during that period of time he was thinking Zan x had gone to a psychiatrist and all that sort of stuff. Now Dank Carrel, without even looking at knew he wasn't sober. I had no idea because Dan Correll, when Dan Carrell thought about sobriety, when he talked about somebody being sober, to him, being sober had nothing to do with not drink. I don't want to say it had nothing to do. It was not about not drinking. The way he saw Aa was there was there was ninety percent or ninety five percent of people who were not drinking and there were five percent who were sober. That's the way the old timers that I'm out with, they didn't think you were sober just because you weren't drinking. I mean, I'm just staring. That's who I grew up with. That's what I grew up with. They had a different idea of what sobriety was and it had to do really with how you treated other people. So a guy comes up to me, is a true story, and he says to me, we use sponsor me and I say sure, I'll spont you. He's says, because I want to work this steps and I say to him, and this has happened to gazillion times to me, acause zillion times to me, and I say to him, okay, well, I'll send you an email so you can find out where I'm going to be and what I'm going to be and what's happening every like that, so you can hang out with me, call me up if you have a problem. I said whatever I say, you know, I give him some suggestions. I don't give out a lot of assignments because if I give somebody an assignment then I might have to check up on them to make sure they did the assignment and then if they don't do the assignment, then I get upset and I'd ask him get the assignment. And you know, I love my life too much to get us set over that fucking bullshit. You know, I don't mean. I figured if he doesn't do it'll die, you know, and you know there's other people that really want this thing, so they'll figure it out one way or the other. I mean, I'm not that mean. I mean I really will try to help people, but I don't. I don't. It's I'm not a parole officer, I'm not a probation officer. They call me up every day. I'm just checking in. You don't have to fucking check in with me a I'm not a probation officer. Don't worry, call me up when you have a problem. So so I say to the guy. I say to...

...the guy. Look, this is just an example. I go to a men's meeting every day on zoom. I love the meeting. There's between fifty and a hundred men at that meeting from all over the world. A third of them have more than forty, more than thirty years. There's a whole bunch of that have more than forty and fifty years. It's an incredible meeting. You need to go there. It's every day at twelve o'clock on zoom and he looked at me and he says, I don't like zoom. I can't help them, Johnston, I can't. I can't do anything with that man. I can't do I mean, it's not like. It's not like I'll say I fight. I don't find never fire people. You never have to fire somebody in a they commit suicide. You don't have to side. They fire themselves. You know, they just don't show up. You know, I say to a guy. I say to a guy, because this is what I did. I say to guy, listen, we're going up to lesser's watch, maybe at Lester's diner. Will only with all the guys will hang out together. And they say, I can't make it, I have to, you know, shampoo the Canary, and I think that's kind of far what. We'll pick you up now. I don't get, you know whatever. They give me another exue so I won't want to. We do the next and no, I can't do you know what I mean. So that happens like about ten or fifteen times, you know, sort of like a John Thing, and and then they'll finally say to me to say, well, when are we going to start working the steps? I said I've been trying to work the steps with you. Meeting for lunch is working the steps. The first step has to do with getting to the point of your life where you realize your prowess over alcohol. You lives unmanageable and so you'll follow directions. Don't follow directions. I said, how can I work the steps with you when you can't even fucking have lunch? I mean, you know it says if you want, we have and you will to go to any length to get it. I mean, is lunch like too hard a deal? I don't like zoom. Is that too hard a deal? I mean, my sponsors would tell me to do shit. Show up here, I show up there real Keith told me one time meet me for lunch. I wanted what he had. He had forty years. He was incredible man circuits. I want what he said. Need me for lunch at Shula's at twelve o'clock. I drove ten miles, got to Shoel is that like hundred and five? Got Out of my car went in. I said, where's Professor O'Keefe? He says he was just here. I don't know it was just here. I looked around. I says, I don't know he was here. I call him up. I say Ray, I'm here. I said East. I said I'm here. He says what time is it? I said it's ten. He says, I told I told you twelve o'clock. Said I told you twelve o'clock. The next day I showed up. The next time I showed up ten minutes early. You know, the men I hung out with did not want to play around with dilettants they want. He wanted to. He wanted somebody. Why waste his time on somebody wasn't serious? You know, you ever hit this line? You can talk to talk, but you walk the walk. I mean there's one thing alcoholics can do is is bullshit. You know, they say shit like I really want to do this stuff. I'll tell you when you find what they want to do. It where they show, whether they show up. You know, and and I think when you show up and you start doing stuff like that and you become totally committed the A and you're into the sixth step, you know and and you really want to base your life and you're committed to that stuff and you're not doing half measures. I think these are the people that actually get some lasting crap and grow up and come men and not children and alcoholics anonymous. And I think it's possible to look like you're doing the steps, look like you're doing something that looks like it's a form of a a and not get much out of except maybe not drink for a few years, you know, but not be rocketed in the fourth dimension of existence. And I know that's true because I know most people in a are not rocketed in the fourth dimension existence. They haven't been born again, they have not got into that place in time where the God has become the centerpiece of their lives. They're like at that place in time where they talk about and the seventh step, where they may say they believe in God, but their belief is barren. It doesn't work because they're not committed to that deal. The more committed to trying to manage their lives. They don't want what what we have, they want what they used to have. They want what the rest of the world has run around trying to get things in this world you know, so they can be comfortable. We have pleasure. That's not what this is all about. This is about. I know what this is about because it says if Fiftyzero Times. The big book different ways. It's about sincerely...

...giving your life to God, who will give you everything you need and you could possibly ever need if you stay close to him and perform his works well, and his works are that you trust him. You become a servant for him. Those leaders are trusted servants, and you're matt you try to maximize your help to other people and a kindly act once in a while isn't enough. You got to devote yourself to help. You know the people I know. I know what I the book is very clear to me who God is. I don't sit around trying to it's very hard to get closer to God if you don't know who the hell he is. He's not invisible to me. I know exactly what what he is and who what he wants, because the big book tells me. You know, you can call the God in the big book whatever it is. You know I have to be a Christian God. You call me anything you want, but I know what it says. Says he wants to be honest. It wants me to be loving. It wants me to devote my life to helping other people, not only alcoholics, anybody comes to my path. It tells me exactly how I'm supposed to be and how I'm supposed to act and what's the most important thing in my life supposed to be. I mean, I don't want to be because, you see, if I start making believe that making up my own God, my God will allow me. You can't imagine the ship my God would allow me to get away with. You can't even imagine I'll have the god of please, please, do everything I want you to do, you know, and give me a million dollars. And you know what I mean. I don't have one of those. I'll never be able to understand. See my God as the kind of God that he will allow me to suffer and I'll learn the value of suffering, because that's how he grows me in his image and his likeness. And I don't get pissed off about it. You know, I may not like it, I say thank you God. I know at the other end of this all things work for good for them who loves you, and it's called to your purpose and I know I'm going to grow up and have some character and get closer to you as soon as I get through this. That's that's my God. That's got my understanding. That was the God they're understanding. You know, we were almost called the James Club. You know, I have this. My God has written all over the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the twelve and twelve. A God of not having resentments but loving other people, a god to make an amends to other people when you did something wrong. You know, a god of what they one of the books I read with some of them out. A God that says don't look at the the speck in your brother's eye, look at the Bridem in your eye. The God that says that if you want to be close to me and you owe something to your brother in trouble your brother, make up with him first. You know, I mean, I know. I know who my got it. I know what the big book till. I know. I know where they got the shit from. I know exactly where they got all the steps from. And alcoholics anonymous. You know why this one? I was ten years sober. Some guys that want't you start reading the body and I start reading the books they were reading and you know, some I go to a means. I talked about this stuff all the time and I never apologize for it. You know why? Because the big book says we never apologize for God. Run A new basis. We Trust God. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. They never apologize for God. Instead, we let him demonstrate our lives. But he can do for us. So I'm just I'm just following the but you can follow the big book where you can follow the fellowship. You know what the fellowship is? It's not. I just want to say something. I love the fuship. It ain't well people's anonymous. I just think case you thought you wound up in well people's anonymous. Okay, it's a whole bunch of people, Ninety five percent of which don't want to hear this shit and don't want to do it. Want to do just enough to not drink and be okay. You know, they ain't looking for extra credit. Okay. So, but I'll tell you, if you want the good stuff, you got to find those guys and those girls that are committed to this thing and reading the Big Book. Thank you very much. That's all I have to say.

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