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

Episode 19 · 2 years ago

Stevie B @ Homestead Group 70th Anniversary 2020

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Hi everybody. My name is Stevie, being recovering alcoholic. Remember the Golden Text Group in Dania Beach, Florida. It's great to be here with you guys. To the ID of US says and this a wild group. Okay, I don't know what's going on at this table right here, but it's not. You Latinos are really wild. Wow, I got Shakira and it was hot, but this is hot in here, you know. Before I get into my talk, I just want to I want to say one thing. Nineteen years ago I had just had seven years of sobriety and I was in an into group in Broward and they did a sobriety countdown and I was the guy that received the book. But what I want to say is I wasn't serious. I was there, I had just had seven years, I just started drinking. My wife thought it would be good if she, you know, took me there to see if it would take, because these were all my friends, because only people I knew in Aa were people in brower were in AA. So they brook. She brought me to the the dinner, the intwo group dinner, in the middle of my drinking, and so of course I won because I was drinking, and so to see I know that, and so to see tonight a person that has a sincere desire to stop drinking, and then to see you receive the book. You know and the really the truth of the matter is and you are the most important person in this room and we all are be praying for you because, as as this fine gentleman said, this is an amazing way of life, and so I'm very grateful that that guy that's going to talk with you now is not the guy that was still drinking during the Intergroup dinner nineteen years ago. My sobriety is January third, two thousand and two, and I've been in a twenty seven years. I came in very young. I came in a twenty one years old, a lot of noise going on. I'm just going to do the best I can and I came in to Aa by a way of a treatment sent I'm from Long Island, New York, and just just in that you see what some people cheered, because people from Long Island really feel like the entire planet and solar system centers around Long Island. And and I certainly did. I certainly did think that everyone was either from New York or not from New York. I didn't think there was other states in be queen and I come from a half Jewish, half Catholic background, which is which is very confusing because and both sides were very both so they were very Jewish and also very Italian. And in my end and when you're a kid, if you don't know the difference and you praise the Lord on the wrong day, you know when the Jews are there, you know you get the frown. You know my praise Jesus and my Jewish family. No, no, we don't do that on Friday night. So a lot of angst growing up. We call it ADJATA and Italian. A lot of a lot of mixed feelings. I believe that I had alcoholism before I took my first drink. I believe that alcoholism is not has anything to do with drinking. It's what I did to treat what was going on. Alcohol treated my alcoholism. I felt ristless, irritable, discontent and I'm happy with my life every way before I took a first drink, and I'm going to give the examples tonight of that will prove that. And I knew that my problem was my family background. I knew my problem was that I didn't have brothers, and I'll explain that to you. In my in my neighborhood, everything is separated in blocks and depending on who your brothers are is depending on the juice you get in the neighborhood. So most of the kids in my block they had three brothers. The monthingers had three brothers, the WAGONMAN's had three brothers, the woollie's three brothers, the Cohen's three brothers. Me, I had a short, chubby system. So when you walk up to the playground with a short, Chubby sister, you get no juice, nobody picks you, nobody's afraid of you, nothing. And so early on I knew that my problem was that I was I was from the wrong family, where half Jewish, where half a time we're confused. Over there. I got a short, Chubby sister, nobody understands me, I don't have brothers, nobody can give me any juice on the playground and I was already feeling less then. And then one day we got a new coach in the great school, in middle school and he was going through the roster and he gets to my last name and he...

...says, Boyarsky. I said yes, coach. He said, there's your brother played for the Pittsburgh Panthers. It's a simple answer if your brother doesn't play for the BITSBURG panthers. But at that moment I realized everything was going to change in my life at that exact moment and before I knew it, I said yes, he does, coach. I had all my friends looked over like wow, we didn't even know you had a brother. I'm like I do in place for the Pittsburgh Panthers. And I tell you that story because I wanted to be anybody other than me. I wanted to be anyone other than me. I was willing to be whatever it took to I started each day as a less then, and it took me everything in outside powers to make me maybe an equal. I was always starting out as a less then, when I told you that my brother played for the Pittsburgh Panthers, I became at least a little comfortable in my own skin, even though it was a lie. I felt like at that moment I could fit in, and so I developed a chameleon type of personality. You like sports, I love sports. You like politics, I'm in politics. You like this, I'm in that, and I lost who I was. I was so insecure as a kid about who I was that I really felt like nobody would want to play with me unless I had something to offer, and I never thought you would just want to hang out with me to be with me. Low self esteem. And I'm twelve years old, and you'll see why I'm telling you the story because I had alcoholism before I took my first drink. This is before I took my first drink and my mother had a very bad accident and she was in the hospital. So she was away in upstate New York. She had a horseback riding accident up state in New York. My Dad was at a funeral for one of our family members. And I'm twelve and I'm in the House alone for the first time. I've been in the House alone other times when there's a babysit of watching or something like that, but noverwhere people are out of town and I'm alone. And the one thing that I had that other kids didn't have in my neighborhood, because my dad was a war veteran and a war hero, Korean War hero, is we had guns and in my neighborhood that was not not everyone had guns. Nobody had guns, but my dad had guns, they had brothers. I had guns. So I said to the toughest kid in my neighborhood, Kevin, I said, would you like to come hang out with me? And he said, you know, something like why? And I said because I have guns and we could blow stuff up, and he said yes, and he came over my house and we started to shoot at things and in my own insecurities, I felt he was leaving. I felt he was waiting interest in being with me. So I up the Auntie and I said we can shoot at each other and I gave them the gun and I said shoot at me, I'll move fast. I didn't move fast enough and a one in a million shot came and blew my right eye. Oy. I was so willing to be anything that you wanted as I was willing to have you shoot at me so that you wouldn't leave. By the time I took my first class of Jewish table wine, which is called man of Chevits, which I still appreciate. When I took that glass of Jewish table wine, man of chefts and it went down my already damaged self esteem system and by the time it was in my gut, I was able to feel the ease and comfort that only alcohol can produce, because there's only so much lying, there's only so much trying to keep people around you. If you have insecurities, people will leave. But when I had an alcohol and when I had alcohol in my system, even though I didn't get drunk, when I had alcohol on my system, I had the feeling of it's going to be okay. And what I want to say to anyone that has that is we're not just going to give that up because of some small consequences like Du wise or broken marriages or jail sentences. We're not just going to give that up something that works as good as it works in us, but alcohol ISM. We're not just going to real problem and this is actually working for me. And so this worked for me for a little while and and I want to let you know that I'm a real alcoholic, but I'm not a pure alcohol and out of respect for this meeting, out of respect for alcoholics anonymous, I'm definitely not going to...

...get into a drug drug alog but you know, I do need to say that I'm not a pure alcoholic, because when I when I tell you a part of my story where I peeped out of a window for three days, you're going to be like, that's strange on Scotch. It's not going to make in sense to you. When I tell you that I rolled myself up in a carpet because I thought the police were coming at any time and I thought this is the best hiding place anybody's ever found. That's not from Jim B you know say I'm saying, it's going to sound silly. So you need to fill in the blanks and we'll still have respect. So I come from a good time family and and I had tried some other substances other than alcohol, marijuana and stuff, and it all worked. I want to tell you that every substance that I ever tried, except for reality, worked. Okay, it all worked. I am an equal opportunity exhibitionist for escape from reality. Okay, I am a happy camper with something in me. The only time that I ever said no to a drink of drugs when I didn't understand the question. And so I'm saying yes to a lot of different things. I go to college and I'm in a fraternity and and I fall in love with a substance other than alcohol, although I really appreciate alcohol and I was drinking alcohol and alcohol is definitely my first love, men of Chevits. But when I got to college, being in the S and being from New York, and because you were producing it in Miami, Gonzo specifically, and I'm selling his friends and shipping it up through Pablo and some of the sources here in this meeting, and we do appreciate the discount. I got involved in other things, but at to get involved that those things you need to have money and I didn't have money. I was a waiter in one of the destination resorts that you see like in dirty dancing. I was a waiter where we saying at the tables and at the end of they gave you an envelope on Sunday, and I was a dirty dancing type of waiter. And and you don't make a lot of you know you fifty hundred dollars, but that you don't make enough if you really have a love for something other than alcohol, and I did, and I did. I definitely wanted to spend a lot more time in dry goods other than alcohol, but I didn't have the money. And then my hero, my uncle Jj that was a interns, the chief intern ISS at Holy Cross Hospital in Broward. Genius of men. At at thirty years old, he went to Italy, didn't speak Italian, learned how to speak Italian at the same time he's in medical school that they're teaching him in Italian and it became a doctor. Brilliant, brilliant man. I mean I struggle in English in the United States tunes then. So I was like wow with this with my uncle. And he drove a Jaguar when nobody drove Jaguars. You know, forty years ago, thirty years ago, nobody drove Jaguars. He had a convertible Jaguar and and he was just the coolest guy and he had a he was he was single and he lived on the intercoastal and in Broward and and I just I just worship everything he said. I ate up and I just love them. And then one day I got the call that he died at the bottom of a swimming pool alone after going to Ruth Chris Steak House and drinking two bottles of Don Perny and by himself with some waiters, went back to the house, Dovan and swimming pool. died alone at the bottom of a swimming multi millionaire, my uncle, turns out a got alcoholism. We didn't. My family didn't know about alcoholism. Where my family's a big, big deal in denial. Someone dies, you don't speak about it. Someone's weird, you don't talk about it. Someone's drinking at that you know that their geniuses. Someone goes away for a while, you don't speak about it. So we never, we never really could take a look at my uncle's alcoholism because he was very successful. But then he died and I'm in my senior college and then Irish and I'm the only male heir and my family. So I so I inherit a bunch of money. I'm tell about millions, but but definitely a lot of money for a college kid. And I was already interested in some extracurricular things. Now I got the money to do it, but I don't know where to get it. I mean I know where to get it, like small amounts, but I don't know where to get it. So I go back home and always on Sundays going to long island. Well, having did A and my grandfather JAC picks up the paper. We always had the paper the team. He says, Stevie, look at this stuff. You try this one time and you're addicted. Never try this substance. There's a movie about it's...

...called New Jack City. Promise me you'll stay away from it. I go absolutely, Grandpa, let me see that paper so I can see what I'm not going to be doing. I took that paper to Washington Heights in New York City and I was like, anybody seen this? You know where I could get some of this stuff right here. I got so involved in that world as a college kid from Morel in New York, not supposed to beat it. I was not supposed to beat it, but I only wanted one way out of me and I didn't care what it was, and that seemed to be the quickest way out of me. You have a substance as you become instantly addicted to. That is the substance I want to try, because anything other than that seems like it would be on the road to that. I might as well go straight to that. And I did in and it offered a bottomless pit. And now, instead of escaping, now I became an addict and I can't stop and I go home and I tell my family I can't stop. Not Well, I have money. Of course, when I ran out of money I realized that a problem. I don't about you, but whenever I have money I'm good. When when I run out of money, I'm like guy, I have a real problem. It seems like a real problem here. It's possible. I have a problem and my family, we don't know anything about treatment, we don't know anything about it, we don't know anything about recovery. This is a shock to my family, my poor mother. Three months earlier I had I was going to school in the Poconos of Pennsylvania and three months earlier, this is true, on the way home from the from the resort where I worked as a waiter, I hit a deer, a lot of deer in Pennsylvania, and I called my mother's to listen, I just hit a deer. I need you to send money. The entire cars wiped down. They sent the money next week. I called my mother. Listen, mom, I got to tell you something. I hit another deal. I hit twelve years in those three months. By the time I came home and told my mother and that I was an addict. She was relieved. She's like, we just got to our horn and I'm saying we're so happy. You're an addict, like we can handle that stupidity. Where were going to send you? So they call a family member who had sent another family member out to Minnesota and and they suggest that. I watched twenty eight days on video. And Was it twenty eight days? No, I'm sorry, it wasn't twenty eight days. I appology. It was called clean and sober, Michael Keaton. Yeah, yeah, so I stayed in. I wasn't allowed out. We didn't know that alcohol was not allowed during that time. I was a drinking the whole time in the house. I wasn't drinking alcohol. They could, but I want because I wasn't an alcoholic, but I was drinking while I was watching clean and sober, the movie. It seemed like they went together just fine. My parents are like this is where you're going. You go to place called treatment. I go this looks fine and I'm in the senior year of college, so I figured I'll go to treatment. It's not like now where everybody goes to treatment, like you know, like now you have like four options. You have you know, college and Military Trade School or treatment. It wasn't like that thirty years ago. So we didn't know anybody that went there. So my whole reference point was was clean and sober movie and and but it looks, you know, Look Nice to people. There's a relationship in there. You know, there's a dance, there's milkshakes. I mean I was into it all and and I had never been away except to Florida. And so I I'm from New York. I worked in Pennsylvania and the POLKLONOS and I go to vacations in Florida. I don't have a broad spectrum of being at it states at this point. So I packed the same way I would pack for spring break. You know, I why? I get five different column Guinea Tease, which is the way I dress, gold chains, I have my balloon pants, my muscle balloon pants, which are paper thin. They're almost like pajamas, but you can wear them outside and and I dress for my twenty eight days. Stay on the clean and sober a movie situation. But but it turns out it's in Minnesota and it's February. I mean I brought a jacket. I had that members only Jack at the wind break her. So you you obviously know where Minnesota is. I didn't. I arrived there like I'm ready for spring bread. I arrived there at at the at the Minnesota airport. I'm like, you're the kid is here. You know I'm here. And then I experienced something that I will never forget till this day, and that's a twenty six years ago I experienced the cold that you...

...can only experience if you've seen the movie Fargo. It's that cold. Okay, it's not Pennsylvania cold, it's not New York cold, it's punch you in the face cold and if you are ill dressed or ill prepared, it's a lasting memory. And so they whisked me off into the car. I'm shivering. They get me to the treatment center. I'm shivering. They get me inside. The trip said I'm shivering and there they are, the wells steps. I never seen him. Never seen them in the movie. They might have mentioned them, but I didn't see them. The Guy went in twenty eight days and I'm sorry and clean. It's over in the movie. He went for cocaine. So I figured people go for cocaine. And I get to the Stream Center for Young People's twenty one year old and under. And I see the word that I never saw before in the movie and it says we were powerless over alcohol, and I say, excuse me, and and I had been familiar with hotels because my dad was a big hotel guy. Okay, it's hard to explain why he's a big hotel guy, but but he he was involved in like gambling type of organizations in Atlantic city that have no name, like that type of situation. So I was I was used to go into hotels and I was used to seeing the concierge and I was used to see in the front test captains because of my dad's last name. And God bless you. And I called the concierge over and I said to excuse me, this is obviously a mistake. I have a twenty five thousand dollar check in my pocket from stand boy Arsky and I say it's slow, like make sure they understood where I came from. They obviously didn't know my dad in Minnesota. And he said so, what's the problem? I go I didn't come here for no alcohol, I came here from no no other stuff. And he said, well, take it easy, one day at a time. We're going to love you until you could love yourself. I don't even know what that means. Love me, I already loved me. Look at this. I'm only here to get off one substance. I'm going back to college. I'm in my senior year. I'm not even interested in a no alcohol phase of the program. And he said, well, you could leave, and I'm from New York, so I said I'm gonna leave and I pick up my three piece matching Gucci Luggage and I go to leave. But during that time there was a snow drift that went in front of the door and nobody was leaving. It was like the shining and he knew that. And I tell you that story because it doesn't matter why you're here. And it doesn't matter why you're here. I'd he's not even any you. It doesn't matter why you're here. Does amount of your wife ordered, dad ordered, court ordered, police ordered, friend ordered? You're already here. You never have to pick up another drink again for the rest of your life. One day at a time, even if you want to. I came to Aa through the cold and stayed and was waiting to make a break for when they thought out, but in the meantime, a miracle happened and you did love me until I was able to a little bit love myself. And a lot of the slogans when they brought me to the oldest colub house in minneapols two thousand and eighteen, a lot of the slogans, they didn't make any sense to a twenty one year old kid. With the the average age of the meetings back then in the meeting House that I was going to our fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty years old, you know, like I am now, but back then I was like, Oh my God, it got's fifty. What do you know? You're getting ready to die. Well, you know. Well, you know, you get those women and they ay the most beautiful women in the and they just look at you and they go a honey. Alcoholics anonymous is one of the most amazing, magical places on planet earth. You know, it's amazing. I meant this the gentleman that has the most time in the room and and I didn't know he had the most time in the room with is something about when I was going by him, I just knew I needed to meet him and I went over and introduce myself to him. I just I just sensed that he had something I wanted and I went over to tell him who I was, because if it isn't for the people that come before us, we're not having this group tonight. The homestep group is only as strong as it was because seventy years ago some people with the coffee pot in the vision started this group and we are responsible. Some of the new generation just think, well, a...

...just POPs up. It just is amazing. I went to a dinner. I don't know how it became, it just was there. I get went there, the food was amazing, there was a speaker and it's just incredible. No, it takes a lot of work to put this on, months and months and months of planning, sometimes years in advance, and I started to a little bit appreciate alcoholics anonymous. But I didn't work the steps and I didn't know God. And I'm twenty one and I'm looking for girls and and and you find them, you find them and the girls find the boys and that's how it is. And if you looking for all the wrong reasons, you're going to be able to find all the wrong reasons. And I did, and then I lasted eighteen months not working in any the program and then I was out. And then I knew a new demoralization that I didn't know as a kid from college, because my parents had joined Narnon, which is Alanon for narcotics kids, and they joined this program called Narnon, which is which teaches them this thing called tough love. I'm the only son and my family, we didn't know tough love. I didn't even know how to shop, make a bed cook of Egg I knew nothing. I was completely spoiled. When I called my family in the middle of negative set negative twenty seven degree below zero on Christmas, I said, listen, you need to get me home. I'm dying on the streets of where I am freezing. I got please. They said, we need to love you from the far. What you need to love me from a far? You didn't get me a plane ticket. We're going to help you help yourself. I knew I was in big trouble. They had learned some type of other language that I didn't understand. I'm like, break it down from me. What does that mean in terms of the amount of hours that I'm going to spend on the street here like you need to seek help over there. The only place I knew was a native American detox that would take people from the tribe, so I quickly became a member of the tribe. I didn't speak much when I went there. I told him I was native American. They invited me in. My Mother's wife, My dad's native American. That's why I don't see it. And for five days I said very little words and I sought the help that I needed and the state of Minneapolis invited me into their state system. Remember, I I'm a privileged kid. I'm not a rich kid, but I'm a privileged kid from from Long Island, New York that goes out with a thirty five thousand dollar or twenty five thousand all check in my pocket. Two years later I'm in the state system of Minnesota with no help from my family. And what do you have if you have no help in your family? You got to reach out to alcoholics in Homs and you got to start one day at a time, clawing your way through, and if you relapse, your screwed. I mean it's only when I left there they knew I was not native American. So that that bear just burned that's burn. So I knew I needed to like make some quick moves fast and I got back into the program and I got a year of sobriety and I and and I I got this incredible sponsor out there by the name of Jerry Bear and he's a member of the Central Pacific Group of Minneapolis, Great Group based on the Pacific Group of California, clancy I. and I got him with some great people, some great step people. And I'm twenty four years old and I'm on fire for alcoholics, anonymous and I come down hit a broward and I land in Broward and I call the into group office and the Inter Group Office tells me that there's a meeting on Thursday night at the twelve step house. I go directly. They're like a good a does. I'm a year sober. I find my sponsor in the first night, Myron, a Locksmith of Broward County. May God rest his soul. He just passed away with forty year, about forty years of sobriety. Just a great man. I meet my best friend Danny, who made God rest his soul, died sober with fourteen in years. And I meet my home group, the eleventh step group with some real great old timers, Ruth Rogers and more people with thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years was great and I thought how intelligent you guys are. You guys are so amazing, and you taught me how to live. You taught me a new way of life. And then, and then I didn't have a relationship with God. I thought you told me that I could have a relationship with a God. I thought you said to me. I I thought you said to me that I could have a relationship with a God. Of My understanding. I that's what I thought you said. I made a misunderstood. And then my sponsor, who wasn't Myron, because Myron was just too good. So I needed to get a lower type of...

...sponsor that understand me better, because my ron was like at the high level. So I got you know, water seeks its own level. So I got a guy that can understand a guy like me, like a mover and Shaker. Myron was not a mover in a shake. He was a slow and steady, wins the raised guy. But I'm kind of like very intelligent. Myron was very intelligent to me in the beginning, but then he started to become very slow as I got lettle smarter, and I picked the guy that said this and what do you want God to be? You God could be anything. I said, well, I want God to be loving. He goes, yeah, God's loving. I said I want him to be all forgiving. He says Yeah, God's all forgiving. I said I want him to be my best friend. He goes, he's all that. I didn't realize that there was more attributes to God. I only picked the top three that I like. So I would bring him to strip clubs with me. Is My buddy, is my friend. I would bring up the poker games with me. I would smokes to gods with him. We talked great in Aa and we talked totally inappropriate and parking lots about women. My God understood that. He's a guy's guy. I didn't understand that there's God and he has a first name in his God. I didn't understand that the first one hundred and sixty four pages is pointing me to the creator of the universe, not some guy that I made up that can hang out with me. It's strip clothes. When I decided to start taking steroids, I said, God, we did you think about that. He's like yeah, why not build up the body? I go, thank you God. So I got the whole outside going on. I got twenty two inch biceps, I gotta I got a Mustang Cobra and and the God's size hole that's inside here is so deep and I'm so miserable and I'm four years sober and I'm twenty six years old and I want to kill myself and I don't know why. I look good. I got money, I got two businesses. I said in myself it must because I don't have them. I'm not married. If I was married. And then I saw her. I worked in the foreloaded. I'll swapshop and in the fore looad'll swapshop. They had a circus there, the famous circus. It was real. It was a real deal and there was a visiting performer from Columbia and I saw her trotten in on the elephant and I watched her on the Trapeez and I said, if I could get that girl, that's going to fix this, because I'm restless, I'm irritable, I'm discontent. I'm now on steroid. So now I'm like, I'm like aggressive, I'm like a big bull with an attitude from New York in a pass to F and mic, you know like that, and I see Sandra and she's got feathers and a show girl and she's dancing and I go that's the one, that's the one. I get her. That fixes this. I get her, I put all the junk away. No more strip clubs, no more no more steroids, nothing. If I get her, it's going to fix me. And I got her, God bless you. And it took some time. I pursued her. Back then the stalking laws when not as serious says they are today, and she finally said yes, you know what I mean, PABLOM and, and she's not from this country, so she doesn't know that alcoholism has returned in me, because she only knows me as sober, spiritual Steve. She doesn't see me as crazy, upset Irri. It'll discontent alcoholic because I haven't had a drink in five years and my parents give us a ticket to go anywhere in the United States and be because I'm a recovering alcoholic that's not in recovery anymore. Mentally. I picked New Orleans exactly every you all understand that. I didn't understand that and my wife's like why, Whye, New Orleans, Sweetie, and I go because New Orleans is the home to jazz, and she goes I like jazz, I like Jazz. And so we go to New Orleans and we're sitting in Emerald Lagassi's new restaurant, Nola, brand new and and I'm reeking of alcoholism, even though I haven't had a drink for five years, and she's looking at me and I'm looking at her and and I'm thinking about me. It's like the three of us and I'm thinking what a great catch she got. It up wedding and in the table next to us is some disturbing behavior. We're in a fancy restaurant, so the table's right on top of us, and in the table next to us they're drinking wine from a decanter but they're not drinking it. The server comes over and pours wine in the middle of a decanter with like a breathing tube coming out of it, and I'm disturbed and I say to the waiter. I said, what is going on in the table next to us, and he says that these people are drinking...

...fine wine that needs to breathe first. What I've never heard of such stuff. In my mind I was thinking ancient in in in mathematical equations. If I went straight from Man Doug Two thousand and twenty two crack, I miss fine wine. If I would have stopped that fine wine, I wouldn't need to be an AA if I would have just stopped there. Those people don't even drink it. I could do that. I could order find wine that you don't drink. How bad could that be? And at that moment I decided I was not powerless. I made a decision I was not powerless. We need to make a decision that were powerless. If we don't feel with powerless, we will drink again. If we don't feel we're powerless, we will drink again. It is the great obsession of every abnormal drink of that they'll be able to drink again. It's okay to have the thought, but you must believe you're powerless. And at that moment I made a decision. I'm not powerless. Over fine wine. I never even had it and for two years I went to AA knowing I would drink again and I picked up my seven year median and I knew that as long as I never went back to drugs and I had a plan. It was full for us. I told my wife, I said, sweetheart, I'm going to start drinking, but I'll never go to drugs. Mom and Dad, I'm going to start drinking, but I'll never go to drugs. GRANDPA JAC I'm gonna Drink, but I'm never going to go to drugs, and I really fully, truthfully believe this. I picked on my seven your medion. I thank my home group, to eleven step group and I went to go try to find some my wine at seven o'clock at night on Thursday night in Hollywood. But you got to know where to look for fine wine and I all I knew was August Moon Chinese food restaurant on federal and I ordered some rice wine in a box and it's as fine as it ever got for me. And I drank that wine and within five minutes I had done as annex. I had a seven years. I had a full bruise plan. Never tried drugs again. The moment that drink went into my stomach, I said, you know, I think you have pills upstairs, that it was prescribed to you one time and it on the sticker. It says, don't try with alcohol. What a great combination that would be, and within five minutes I drank and drugged. During that year and a half I became a bum. I became everything that I never owe my yets. Happened in that year and a half. Seven years in AA and in a year and a half, every yet that I ever thought except for death, happened. Six felonies, divorce papers for my new wife being drawn up with my parents against me. Imagine your wife goes with your parents for divorce papers. That is bizarre. She served me with a restraining order. She left the country. I tried drugs during those year and a half that I had never tried. When I was twenty one, I relapsed in drugs that kids do. And I'm thirty four years old. I'm in a club going like this. I known know how I got there. I don't. I bounced for three days straight up and down like this. Eighteen years later, match when my eyes are going in different directions. My last stay was in the four Lord of the hospital, in the psychiatric floor. Jeff Weinstein comes in. He says, I would like to invite you to come live in my halfway house. I said Jeff no disrespect. I own a full house right down the street from you, Hollywood. I own a full house. He says to me, this is a restraining order from your wife. You're not going home tomorrow. Your homeless. I said, please tell me about your program and I got into that halfway house and it was January, the first week in January, two thousand and two, and I was hopeless. I was suicidal. I was was abandoned. My Wife said, do not talk to me. I will pay your rent every week. Do not speak to me when I come to pay your rent. Don't look at me. My parents went on a cruise. They left the country. There's listen, we're going on a cruise. You can't get in touch with us. goodbody. When you get a years then we'll be back from the cruise. I might make it. That's a long cruise. And here I am in the halfway house and I call up my first sponsor,...

Jerry Bear, and Jerry Bear says, listen, Stevie, I'll sponsor you, but you're going to start praying on your knees. And I hadn't prayed in a while because I was in a relapse. And you don't really prayer is not a big deal when you're in a relapse. I mean, I prayed that at the you know, the stuff would be real and I pray I wouldn't get arrested and pray that they let me out quicker when I did get arrested, you know. But no, I didn't pray on my knees. My sponsor said, you're going to start praying on your knees in the morning and you're going to ask God to keep you clean and sober, and at night time you're going to get on those same knees and you're going to thank God for another day clean and sober. Because if I invited you over my house and you sat at my table and you grabbed the food and you didn't say please, and then you left the house and you didn't say thank you, I would never invite you back again. And I said, I understand that. He said. So, why would you be in God's world? One day? What I'll saying please for the gift of sobriety and thank you for the gift of sobriety at the end of the day. He said to me the disease of alcoholism is not a flat footed cop. That walks around the streets of New York with a donut in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. The disease of alcoholism is like a secret service agent that walks in and out of parties unnoticed, that speaks five languages, that knows how to use every weapon in the arsenal. And if you have any respect for your sobriety, you better have that much more respect for the disease of alcoholism. And I was like wow. And for thirty days I prayed on my knees and I prayed at nine and I was in the deal and I was in it and I was showering, wool, brushing my teeth, shaving, I even flust and in thirty days I started to think maybe I over maybe I overreacted, maybe I have one more in me. I'm in the halfway house. I'm one of the best litting guys in there. Nobody else had teeth. I'm thinking, maybe I overreacted. I'm going to go out for one more day. I'm not going to tell anybody because I had developed some superpower, some junkie superpower, with thirty days of sobriety and I was going to be able to stop using in a couple hours, brush my teeth, take a shower. Nobody in the halfway house with no and I had this great plan, but I was already programmed by Jerry to get on my knees in the morning. So I was on my knees asking God to keep me clean and sober, and then, at a forty five degree angle of my knees, I made a plan to get high every single day, even up to today. And I'm sure that our friend that has forty six years of sobriety will tell you the same thing. Every single day. That's the reason we go to meetings, that's the reason we talk to God, that's the reason we reach spiritual books and, for me, the reason I go to church every single day. There's good Steve in there and there's bad steve. Who I feed wins, who I starve dies. And I got up from my knees and I made a decision to go get loaded, and I call it but but I'm not a guy that's going to go get loaded with no money. They I'm not, not, not when I'm sober thirty days. So I call on my wife and I say Sweetie Pie, and right there she knows, you know what what she's what. I said, honey, could I have a hundred and ninety nine dollars for a cell phone because my sponsors in California, and she says hold on, and so I think she's checking the bank account once again my family behind my back. She joins Alan on and she calls up our Alan on sponsor and our Alan on sponsor says, give the bum the money, let's find out right now if the divorce papers are going to get put through. Let's and they set me up. They give me a hundred and ninety nine dollars on the money card. I don't know if that's a principle of Alan, but I don't agree with it. And I rush over to the sprint store with the money card and I say to the guy behind the counter, I need to have the cheapest cell phone you have because I knew I had to call my wife with that cell phone and I need to call the halfway house on it with a cell phone. So they didn't so that I could, you know, pretend where I wasn't. And this what God does. He sees. What's so amazing about God is he doesn't need your permission to enter your life. God puts a guy behind the counter at the cell phone place from alcoholics, anonymous from the day before, and he says, Stevie be it's so good to see you. I'm from victory. I saw you pick up your under thirty days and step two. I didn't know it was step two back then, but I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity, because right there I wanted to get loaded. And God interceded and for the next nine months all sorts of remoral miraculous things happened. My grandmother died, I didn't use I got into a car accident with amazing men in my car and I was a hundred percent wrong and I was with a guy with thirty years. I got with forty years and I was a hundred percent wrong and I could have hurt them all. And that man took me out of the car. Instead of yelling at me, which everybody in my life always yelled at me, he said, let's get down on our knees and pray at the Pacific coals highway in California. He said, let's pray and thank God that we didn't get her killed. When I was a...

...when I was a hundred percent wrong, I started see God work in my life, even though I really didn't understand who he was. I started to see some amazing God stories and I'm praying on my knees in the morning, I'm praying on my knees at night and my wife invites me to come back and live in the big bed, the big bed in our how I'm leaving the halfway house, I'm leaving stinky feet, Mason and big Eddie and I'm leaving. And I returned back to our house and my wife is downstairs and she's cooking breakfast and there's a smell of eggs and there's a smell of coffee and she's Columbia and this is smell of a rapas and I'm just like so, thank you, Lord, and I get on my knees and I just say thank you God, thank you for this new way of life. And I come up with this idea because the devil, the enemy, will always be waiting for you to mess up. He's cunning, he's powerfully, he's patient. He wants to see you fail, he wants your family toward a party, wants to see you be a not a success story, wants to see you be a bad story. And he gives me this idea to turn my mattress over because I hadn't been there in a year. And I turned the mattress over and there's my stash that I had left there in a black out. But I had just gotten up off my knees. First Time in my life it was me and God in the and the stuff and not just me and the and and we find out in the program they'll come a time when it's just between you and God and you'll know if you're really in. And I start crying and I call my wife and she's crying and we get all this stuff. It was very, very harsh on both of us to see that kind of stuff in the house and we bag it up and we get it over to the garbage in publics and we're holding hands and we're kissing each other and we just we can't believe I'm man, I can't believe I'm in and life is incredible and I start sponsoring men and I'm going around the country speaking and just it just great, just great. Life is is amazing. I come up with an idea that I want to start speaking and treatment centers. I want to start meeting. So I start speaking and treatment centers, I start meetings, I start meetings with different names and it just just this is great and as natural being a thirty eight, forty year old person without a child, we want to have a baby, so we so we make a decision have a baby. Seems to me you just go and have a baby. But for that, for us, it didn't work like that. So we go to have a baby and we can't have a baby, and then we go to a clinic and we we go through the procedures and we can't have them. It doesn't work. And then our favorite niece from Columbia donates her age to us and that doesn't work. We hire a surrogate and that doesn't work. We finally get pregnant and we're walking on air. We build the baby room in the house and of course doesn't have a sex because we're waiting for the decision date on what it is, and just just just the greatest time in our lives and we're like skipping on air. And now we're in our s and the baby room is built and we're gonna have an a baby and we go to the doctor and we and we put the CD in and the nurse says I'll be right back in. The doctor comes in and says I'm sorry, sorry, and I say no, no, that's not possible. You need to check it again. You need to check that again, because by now I'm like a serious God guy. I'm in Church, I'm in ministry, I'm in meetings, I'm sponsoring. There's so many guys I'm going to meetings, are all in the country. I do it all for free and for fun, for God, and I just know that it's not possible. It's not possible for that to be. Please check it again. And my wife starts crying and I start crying and some well meaning people in a a tell me that God only gives us what we can handle, which is not true. It's not that God gives someone a baby dying and another person a wife dying and another person of bankruptcy. God doesn't do that. Life happens and sometimes it's really brutal. The truth of the matters that God will give you the strength to get through it. And another person in a a said pray for the willingness, pray for the willingness to accept God's will. Pray that this is God's will, even though he didn't cause it, and pray that he'll get you through it, and that helped. Telling me that God wants me to have a dead baby did not help, but other people in a they came around this, they loved on us. But we still don't have a baby and we go to an adoption agency and we get kicked out of adoption agency. Turns out I was such an amazing guy and alcoholics anonymous in my first sobriety, strip clubs and gambling and and turns out one of the things I did was I picked up a prostitute that happened to be a police officer, which I don't know if you know that's not a good combination, and my wife didn't know. So we get asked to leave the adoption agency because her fiance, twelve years earlier, whatever...

...the time frame is, twelve years earlier, picked up a process you, coming out of the Fort Loaderdale men's group, that which it was a police officer. And now we can't adopt. And now we just don't understand which way to turn and we're going to God and we're saying God, please you. You say you're going to give us the desires of our heart, but we can't have a baby. We have a baby room built. This just something's not adding up and I want to know. In alcoholics anonymous, there's many experts in a but now I'm saying it in a real way. I'm not if I mean this bank experts in here, this finance experts in here, there's lawyers in here, there's doctors in here, there's old types of people with experience, and I remembered in my home group Happy Bob from the West Side Men's group. He was a very powerful attorney before he was caught with three kilos. And I called up happy Bob and I said have you bomb? We don't know how to have a home study because we got kicked out of the adoption agency. And Happy Bob says, you know, why don't you call up this lady Maryan, that I used to work with, and Maryanne tells me about this woman by the name of Mindy from Boca, and we call up mindy from Boca and Mindy from Boca is going to do the home study. But by now my wife and I were like over the the top Christians. We're not like regular Christian what you wouldn't know. We got bumper stickers, we got signs, we got posters, we have tshirts, we have statues, we got St Francis from every saint all the way down and we have you got to do communion on the way into my house. So I say to my wife, swee, don't show we take giant Jesus down from the wall, because when mindy from Boca comes in the house she's not going to be happy that we're like over the top. Let's let's be under the Cook you know, let's be under the cover from Mindy. And Mindy from Boca comes in the House and she looks at all the stuff and she reads my testimony. She says, do you think God gave you another chance after all this? I said, I know he did. On eleven years sober and alcoholics anonymous. She said, so how could I not give you another chance? And Mindy from bocus signs off on the home study. But if you understand that, that's a great miracle. But I talked about but now you got to get in line from around the country to get in line to be picked out of a million in one chance lottery that someone's going to want you to be the parent of their baby. And just a short time later, from the top of the United States, by California, right by Canada, a mom calls us and she says she wants us. My wife, who's Columbian and dark skinned, me in a talent from New York, wants us to go up and visit this white white girl up in the top of the United States, in the mountains of Montana, and she wants to give us her baby. How does that work out? That's God. And we show up there at the hospital in the middle of nowhere, where there's a horse in the middle of the turnstiles in the airport. We're like, we're not in foreloaded anymore and she's the darkest person in the entire airport. And we arrive at the hospital and this beautiful mom is holding up our son from day that was born earlier that day, and she's holding up this trans translucent white baby. She says what would you like to name Casper and and we say we would like to name the baby Joshua, and she says why Joshua? And we say because in the Bible it says for me and my house, we choose to serve the Lord and she says I'm not a religious person. I said, I listen, I get that. I just wanted in roll that Joshua is going to grow up in a sober, godly home. And two and a half weeks later we bring up Joshua home on a plane. Members of alcoholics anonymous are standing on my lawn with a sign and welcome home and the babies way. Joshua's Wade and and other people from a had been taken care of our house because it was about three weeks. They've been taking care of our house and taking care of our dogs and alcoholics anonymous was there on our lawn and alcoholics anonymous, because we were in our for S, taught us how to raise a baby. Alcoholics anonymous toward us in meetings that we would bring our son into meetings and and how to take care of them in the meetings and and how to do the changing and how to do all the walking, how to do all these feeding how to do everything. Alcoholics anonymous gave us baby showers because her family lives in Columbia and my family's in New York. Alcoholics at alcoholics anonymous loved US and showed us and I want to show you how God shows all. I want to show you how he puts the Cherry on the Sunday, because he's doing that...

...in all of our lives right now. He wants to wow us and how he wowed me. And of course we have the baby and walk around cloud nine or forty five years old. I got a newborn. It's incredible. Woman ain't taking my baby around everywhere? I got him in that little Satchel that people where I'm he goes everywhere. I'm jogging with him everything. He's eight months old and he springs out the most glorious red hair. He was balled up at that moment. I come home, he springs out the most beautiful green eyes and he looks exactly like my mom and he looks exactly like his cousins. When they take pictures the four of them together, which they're coming in this Friday from New York, and he takes pictures with his cousins. It's the four of them that came from God's litter. It's so amazing how he shows off in our lives. And you're going to hear people saying that they want to stay sober and alcoholics anonymous. And yes, stays sober and alcoholics anonymous is the by product of a relationship with God. And yes, it's wonderful to stay sober and you have to stay sober, but that's not the goal. If the goal is sober, it's like going to the buffet and going up to the buffet and you have your played and you have your fork and you have your knife and you go up to the buffet and you stop at the Salad Bar and you pick up a cruton and you go back to eat and you're eating with your crutan and your fork and your knife and people say how you doing and you go hanging in there. But the people that have God in their heart, they're going through the whole buffet because they know that God wants to wow them and show him the next thing in their lives and show him the next sponsee and show him the next event. And they're going through the whole buffet and they're eating the primary and they're eating the crack crab and they're eating the lobster and they got juice on their face and they're happy and they're joyous and they're free. And before I close, I want to just read with Dr Bob said, and I want to take this has been a great nine this has been so fun. I want to want to read with you with Dr Bob said about the twelve step. Dr Bob Our founder of the program, one of our founders, and I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly, and I do it for four reasons. One is sense of duty too. It's a pleasure. I'm sure this was a pleasure for you guys to put on. The food was magnificent, the night was magnificent. Somebody's going to win a ridiculous amount of money tonight. I don't know what you do for a living, but I'd love to hire you. You're amazing. Because it's a pleasure, because in doing so I'm paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me. And fourthly, because every time I do it I take a little more insurance for myself against the possible slip. Dr Bob said this in his story. He said stay, miracles are going to happen and your heavenly father will never let you down. And I'm going to say God bless you, and thank you for having these speeks.

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