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

Episode 127 · 2 months ago

Stevie B at the Twelve Step House Labor Day Picnic 2022

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Stevie B. at the Twelve Step House Labor Day Picnic 2022, Snyder Park, Fort Lauderdale Florida.You may contact Stevie B. at BrotherStevieB @ me.com

The right right. We know that one shot and we're all shot. Well, I gotta tell you, there's some big deals here, not big shots, but there's some big deal of people that have laid the groundwork for us to be here today and if we didn't just take a moment, I'm not gonna you can't mention every single name. It would be impossible if you mentioned if you leave one out then and I know nobody would be offended in that group because they've they've come so far. But there's legends here at this picnic today that have laid the ground foundation for us to have something like this in Broward County. It's it's not that you just show up and then it's done. You know what. It's not you show up and it just happens. This is years and years and years in the making. Twelve Step House boards after twelve step house boards, pandemics, no, pandemics, relapses overdoses. We keep passing we keep pressing on. I have three or four mentors that are here today that that are just I'm so grateful. I'm sorry I saw my friend Rick Riccardi here. He laid so much ground for for so many of us in the sober housing communities who want to thank him. But I'M NOT gonna go through thanking everybody. I want I want to say to you is spend today, right after we're done speaking, going to talk to one of your mentors and tell them thank you. Make a bee line to someone that paved the way for you to be here today, and you don't have to take forty minutes, but go to them and say you made a difference in my life. You made a different Amelios here from from the UH Fourth Dimension Clubhouse, people that that stood in the gap for people like us when we had nowhere to go. The twelve step house stayed open to the very end during the pandemic and then was the first place to open right after we got the word that alcoholics don't die from this from most alcoholics don't die from Kovid because they're just too damn dirty. I do want to tell you the truth. We lost a couple of them, but they were like the clean Saint Juan's passed away, may God rest her soul, and because this just happened, I want to mention it. I'm not I'm not gonna spend a whole time talking about people that have come before us, but just a dear a friend, a trooper, a chopp water carry wood type of guy. Um Is Paul de Leo. May God rest his soul. If you guys don't know, like eight months ago he went in, fell down and then within within three months, he was already with the Lord. And so I'd like to take a moment of silence for the Paul de Leos that changed the whole environment out here and anyone else that has passed away that we just want to take a moment to just have reverence and have a moment of silence right now. A moment of silence please, just for for for what they don't, for who they stand for, for who's they are in our lives. Coming back here to the picnic for me is is like an old home week and I never thought that one of the coolest things in my life were to be at a picnic with you people. I never like when I when I was in high school, I wasn't thinking I really want to hang out with this specific crowd when I'm fifty. I really wanted that was not my gold rick and iron and and Ray Ra pagler. We're all from the same area, from Smithtown I'm sure if we would have met each other in high school. We're all different, kind of different eras. But I'm sure if I would have seen rick a ray in high school, I would have said you'll ray you' rick, I really hope we're hanging out with a bunch of alkys uh the as at the Labor Day Picnic in two thousand twenty two. They would have thought where Cray eazy? Well, we never said anything like this in high school. Hey, rick, you powerless today when we didn't talk like that. This is a whole different world. It's a whole different thing. I never thought I was gonna be involved with it, nor did I ever want to be involved with it. It turns out that the last thing I tried is the first thing I needed. It turns out that God, which I thought I was grandfathered into because my father's Jewish and my mother's Catholic. I thought I had God on both sides. It turns out that doesn't make you a believer, it makes you an ignoramus. I had no idea what I was doing and I was dying on the inside and I had never had a drink before. See, you may be here today and you think that you drank into alcoholism, and maybe that's true for you. I didn't drink into alcoholism. Alcohol was the answer to my alcoholism. There's nothing that worked better than having one drink for my alcoholism. There's nothing big. Book says that once he felt an ease and comfort that only could come from a...

...drink. Later on I'd find out that that's the same ease and comfort that I have when I turned my life and my will over to the care of God in the third step. Amen. Oh, sorry about that, ry, that was a different name. I'm here today with my family. I have my dad made God rest his whole hope, his whole life. Was the last part of his life, twenty seven years, about recovery. He just went home to be with the Lord lest a July and he when he passed, he passed sober. He passed not physically, only physically sober, but he passed mentally sober. And what is that to be mentally sober, to be sober minded, to be practicing these principles in all your affairs? I remember when I saw Paul de Leo just a couple of weeks before the Lord allowed him to come home. We were at Peter Marinelli's wedding and I looked over at Karina and and that's when I knew right, Creeda, we knew that this was the beginning of the end, but actually the beginning of his beginning, the beginning of the end for us, but the beginning of his beginning, because this is not what the goal is. Planet Earth is not the goal. But we definitely want to go to the Lord Sober. We don't want to arrive drunk. I certainly don't want to arrive with my drug power. For now, you in my hand to go. I'm sorry, Lord, you picked me on the wrong day. I was about to get clean tomorrow. I'm from Long Island, New York. I thought the whole world centered around me. That's great, that, I'm glad, wonderful. It's always the people from Long Island. I got a cheer like in the middle of the thing, there's a Melio, there's my dear brother. I just mentioned you a couple of seconds ago. Thank you for laying the path for the for for a lot of us. I'm doing it. Thank you, Amelio. I thought the whole world centered around me. My mind was not right. I was irritable, discontent, and I never had a drink. I wanted to hang out with one of the kids in the neighborhood. He was the toughest kid in the neighborhood. He got left back, plus it was also tough if you didn't get left back. I asked him if he wanted to hang out with me. He said, why would I ever want to hang out with you? And I said because we have guns because, as I just told you, my dad was, I didn't say it yet, my dad was a Korean war hero. He fought on Park Chop Hill and so we had guns in the House here and that was the only thing that I could entice him with to come over, because I never felt that I had any value inside. I never felt that you would want to hang out with me just to hang out with me. My whole life I've been like, hang out with me because I have this substance, or hang out with me because I have this car, or hang on with me because I'll buy all the drinks, or hang out with me because I know this person. I never thought anyone would want to hang out with me because my self esteem was no esteem and by hanging out with someone that was cool, I'd at least have temporary esteem, because when you feel like a nobody and you possibly be, you could possibly be as somebody, or at least at almost, you're gonna try everything in your power, at least I did, to hang out with people, to do substances, to do illicit things, so that at least for that moment, at least for that moment, you could be a somebody. So I go over to Kevin's house, he he comes over my house. We start blowing up cans, I promised, and we blow stuff up. All you've gotten people in here. You know what that means, blowing stuff up. You love it. You just got juiced up. You just got sexy just now when I said that. But from our neighborhood, where rigging and ray and myself were from, we don't. We don't have guns. You didn't have guns at Long Island, I mean have guns. We weren't a big gun club. Well, my dad had guns. So we started blowing up some stuff in the backyard and then the kids started to leave and and then the feelings of inadequacy left started to come on me and I said wait, wait, don't leave, you can shoot at me. A lot of people think that I'm like looking at them funny, or why am I swinting? Or you know why? Why is my one eye looking at you and my one eyes looking at you? Because at that moment my eye got blown out by the gun. It was a one in a million shot and while I was laying on the grass, bleeding on my own grass, I wasn't worried about the kid that shot me. Excuse me, I wasn't worried about me. I wasn't thinking, well, I may never be able to see it get out of that eye. I was actually thinking about the kid. Thank you so much. I was actually thinking about the kid and how it would make him feel, and that if anybody found out that the coolest kid in the school blew my eye out, then maybe he wouldn't like me. I don't know if you could relate to that. I don't care about a lot back then, but I certainly couldn't take you not liking me. The greatest thing about alcoholics, anonymous, is, you know, our common thing, our common uh, like we're we're all hugging each other right, we're all hugging each other like I just hugged happy Bob. About Happy Bob was a very very famous attorney here now. He's married to a beautiful floor. He got caught with two keys, so he's not practicing right now. But I, but I went and I and I and three keys and UH. But so our common our common stuff is we all went through the we all went through some type of horror. Some...

...of you landed on much higher floors than I did. You know, you ran out of bloody mary mix and then you got sober. Good for you. That's wonderful. That's not my that's not my story. That's not a melio story. We had to go down to the bottom floor and then dig a hole underneath the bottom. But what we have in common, as the big book says, is we have all been rescued from a from the titanic, just embrace each othern if you're not embracing listen. You're worried about Covid we lost thousands of people last year, thousands of people from twenty one to thirty. Thousands into the number one killer of adolescents in the nation's overdose. I don't I hug people. I was hugging them during covid. I don't care. I don't care. I smush them. Rick was having an eight years birthday party and Susan was throwing it for him and and she said, are you coming because of the COVID protocol? I gonna listen. Rick helped save my life. I don't care what protocol there is. I'm coming. I'll mask up, I'll put on a whole shood. We couldn't do it. I had a horrific drug problem. I'm not gonna talk about drugs, but I need to let you know something real, real quick. I had a raise your hand. If you ever had a drug problem, raise your hand. Oh, so you're not gonna be shocked if I say that I had a drug problem, because Roger Right over there, Roger, he raised two hands, says abby had a drug problem. I had a horrific drug problem. And who wouldn't know that alcoholics anonymous, is the answer to my drug problem. I don't even know how that works. It says alcohol and it's the answer to my sex problems today. It says alcohol and it's the answer to any Gambi problems. Today. It says alcohol and it's the answer to every single problem that I have today. Because alcoholics. Anonymous gets me in touch with God and God fixes all of it. Is that amazing? Can we give God a round of the blows for that? That's why it's not really important exactly. You know, the big thing in people in treatment. They say what is your drug? D O? See, that's like that. They always say, Hey, what's Your d o? C? I'm like, I don't even know. I was only in jail once. They're like, no, drug of choice. I thought it was a department of Correction. I had no idea what the comever what your guy was talking about. Like I was supposed to memorize my name and my number another time I failed. I don't even know what it is my drug of choice. Let me tell you what my drug of choice is. More. More. If this water get me juiced up, I would getting cases right now. I'd order it at Amazon while I'm speaking. Anything that changes me from the neck up. I want more. Put The word alcoholic. Great, I love alcohol. Put the word drugs on it. I love drugs. Put the word blanket, and here's the common solution. God, here's the guy. Did I know that? No, I didn't know that. I came down here when I was what t tell I shot my eye out. I never had a drink. I was already acting alcoholically a whole bunch of other things. I slid into college once and I went to college. Just let you know. I have a college degree. Could just let you know that. But but not like the rest of you that go to college four years and you get you get your degree, you get a diploma. I took twenty five years. I just graduated like last week. Yeah, but I have a diploma. Twenty five years. It took me. I'm I'm on the graduation line. All you college graduates know what this is. Lindsay, I don't know if you graduated college. I just graduated like last year. They give you a cap and gown. This is a true story. I'm not make anything up. They give you a cap and gown and the CAP has a front and a back. It's very obvious to anyone that is not fifty how to put your hat on. Okay, twenty one year olds that I was on the line with, they could see that there's a cap and gown and the CAP has a certain way. You obviously know what I'm talking about, right, but I didn't know what it's all much so I have the cap the backwards way, with the with the back coming down over my nose, like I'm going into the war, like I'm going into war. It's now covering my whole face. This little kid comes over and goes, excuse me, sir, you have your capwards. I was so grateful to be there I didn't really care alcohol. It's anonymous. Promised me that I can have anything. I have a life beyond my wildness dreams, and one of the things was for me to graduate the College I started twenty five years ago, and I was able to do that. Yeah, you can tap for the Lord. That's that's a god thing, because it's never too late, you know, my sponsor said. I said to my sponsor, I can't go back to school now. I'm forty five years old. Get how? You know how long that will take? He goes, well, how long will how how old will you be in four years from now if you don't go back to school? I said I'll be forty nine. So he goes, so either way you're gonna be forty nine with a degree or without a degree. I Oh, that makes a lot of sense. I love that. So I go to college, I get involved in this one substance. Please keep in mind I'm from the eighties, but New York from the eighties. You know the substance I'm talking about. Okay, some of you guys imported it. I precent. Miguel, thank you for lowering the prices back in the day. I appreciate that. So we got John Charlis here, also an importer. Thank you, guys, for your service to this country. So I'm doing this, so I'm doing this substance. I become hopelessly...

...it did. I become hopelessly addicted and I can't stop. So this substance helped me for five minutes to feel better about me, but then I became addicted to the substance. Okay, that's what the difference is, in the doctor's opinion, between alcoholic, real alcoholism and and the obsession and the allergy of the mind. If you have not scoured, and I'm talking about scoured, if you have not digested, and I'm talking about digested, if you have not read recently, and I mean read recently, the doctor's opinion, go home and read the doctor's opinion. If you're struggling in any way on if you could take one drink again, go read the doctor's opinion. I read it four hundred times. I just read it again last week and I was like wow, they added some new stuff to this. This is amazing because now I have a fifty five year old brain and I'm looking at it differently. I'm like, wow, this is exactly what I have. I have this alcoholism, but I didn't even like alcohol. How does that work? Well, one thing about the substance I was doing, which was the white powdery substance, is that it's very expense. So I couldn't really get into it. I didn't have the money for it. I didn't come from that environment where I had the money for it. And then I inherited a lot of money and overnight I was able to afford it. Because here's the big lie about that substance, and there's kids here, so I'm not gonna me. What's so amazing is that it's a really low buying for that substance. Are Really Low buy and it's like five bucks. So you think it's gonna be cheat. You like, what do you what do you mean? Like a case of beer? Course eight a case of beer, course, twenty dollars, and this white substance, course, five dollars. This looks like it's gonna be a good deal. It's not. Okay, it's not. I wanna tell you that it doesn't ever work out to be a good deal. Right. So all that money I have gone and I go into my first Treatment Center when I'm twenty one, and I see the steps on the wall. It says that we were powerless over alcohol and then our lives have been common manager. I'm like, I'm in the wrong program. I came here for the one substance and one steps, and it's only program. I mean, I'm a I'm in the senior year of college and and I want to go back and graduate. I'm not to stop drinking. I didn't even start drinking. And this is what the guy told me. He said, Steve, we're gonna bring you to a clubhouse tomorrow called eighteen and was in Minnesota. It's the oldest clubhouse in the world. You'RE gonna BE YOU'RE gonna be wowed. I'm not gonna tell you something. Sometimes old timers we said, I'm not, I'm not calling myself an old timer, but old timers have the hokeyest way of trying to like make us excited, like an old timer that was like fifty. He was like, I never even met someone that old person face to face. He's telling me that I'm twenty one right, I'm straight out of New York. The only thing I know is spring break. I got on muscle pants, five gold chains, a Guinea t shirt and I think I'm going to a place that's gonna help me get up one substance. He's like, let me tell you something, I'm bringing it in to the coolest place you've ever seen. I'm bringing it to the oldest clubhouse in Minnesota. I'm like why, what do you want? This is like a foreign language. What are we even saying? But this is how amazing alcoholics anonymous is. You can go to a clubhouse like the twelve stephouse. You have no desire to stop drinking. You don't even think drink is a problem. Then you go into a meeting and a guy like Paulie says you're off the hook. You don't even know you're on the hook and some type of magical elickser happens and the next thing you know you're buying in. You only stopped in for a day. The next thing you know, six month goes by and they're giving you a blue chip. Everybody's screaming. They tell you no more blue lights. It's unbelievable. You can't wait to get for the next chip. If you're a narcotics anonymous you get a chip every day of the year. It's unbelievable. Every time you go to a for her? Real good, be good. You're okay, right next to you, be good. Okay, yeah, you knew. All of a sudden you start getting excited and chew stuff. Then people start remembering your name. They remember your name. They're like, bobby, stay, yeah, people are hugging you and inappropriate, inappropriate ways, both ways, and you're like this is unbelievable. I haven't had this month's actually a month. Nobody wanted to hug me. I wasn't showering, I wasn't shaving, I stunk, I didn't eat. I remember after I lost thirty five pounds off this one substance and I went to my work and they're like man, you look amazing. I was dying my eye. Look, I have one eye from both of them were in the back of my head and the guys like you look amazing. I'm like, I haven't slept into we I didn't say that. I'm like, thank you. I was doing a substance called Tina. I was disgusting and destroyed my life. I finally surrendered and I came to alcoholics anonymous and I and I, I arrived at the Fort Lord of Dale Airport and a woman named Diane from the Twelve Step House thirty years ago answered the phone. Diane, because Anybody Know Diane? Regi even know Diane from the twelve step house. Okay, thank you, Susan. One person still on. Thank you, Susan. Larry, you know you know Diane from the twelve subhouse. M Hm. So she answers the phone and she says...

...out and so while she's at the twelve step house she's actually answering the into group line, which is so cool, and she says an into group hotline. How can I help you? And I said I'm looking for a meeting alcoholics anonymous. She says we have a meeting here tonight at the twelve step house, a thirty called the eleventh step group. Come on down. I had a year and I was I was coming in from in the Minnesota. My sponsor in Minnesota told me you probably have no shot of staying sober, but if you get a home group and a sponsor as soon as you land, you may be able to make it. So the moment I did, I landed and Diane from the twelve Stephouse told me to come over to the to the twelve stephouse and I and I went into the eleventh step group in the back room and there they were, the assembly straight from God. There was Ruth Rogers, a hundred and fifty two years old, Maury nine seven, my sponsor, Myron, may God rest his soul. He was very young, he was like fifty five. He was like a kid in that group just he just passed away with forty five years of sobriety. May God rests soul. Locksmith of Brower County. Just a means that they were all assembled there. They were just waiting for a new person. They just gobbled them up. They could just see I was new. They all surrounded me. Where are you from, kid? I got my first sponsor there. That was Myron, as I myron a, may God resi Sol you remember him. Under then I met my best friend Danny, who died with fourteen years clean. May God rest his soul. Danny and pell and and and then they, they surrounded me, and and and and then Paul and Wendy, they, they, and then and then Lindsay and Patsy and they wouldn't let me go. I was like a twenty five year old. I was like, I was like uh, like one of those baits on the line. They do wouldn't let me go. They just they just started tearing me apart. They're like you come here. And then all of a sudden I'm going to meeting seven days a week and it was unbelievable and it was working. And Lindsay started talking to me about machine and Paul and they used inappropriate language that had to do with fishing, but I loved it. And then all of a sudden I'm sober loud like a year and a half and Myron's taking me around all of the South Florida. I think it's the coolest thing and I'm staying sober on the fellowship. But I never worked the steps and I told my sponsor I worked the steps, but I didn't work you steps. I said, I already worked the step, but I didn't work this step. I'M gonna say if you're in recovery you're not working your steps, you're really missing out because you're what you're gonna do is you're gonna relapse. I know, I know you're you're upset. You're upset that I said that, but you may not relapse in physical like you may never pick up a drink again, but you're so grouch you nobody even wants to talk to you. That's what happens when you don't work this step, because alcoholism means an entire program against it at all times to get you better. Because I don't know about you, but I meant a littleness. I shot myself in the eye when I was twelve. I've never had a drink. So I can't just park myself in alcoholics anonymous and not do the steps and think I'm gonna get better. It doesn't work like that. That's like parking a broken car in the garage coming back two years later expect you to be fixed. Like what happened. We never worked on it, but it was here for two years. It's still broken. So I relapsed. They after having uh five and a half, six, seven years Um. But before I went to this day, I met this beautiful woman. She's standing right over there. I met her at the port loaded El swap shop. I worked there. She was in the circus. I knew that she could fix my inside problem. She was a show girl. She was on trap Piez as. She came in with an elephant. I was like that girl is gonna fix this problem and I asked her to marry me. I pursued her, I stalked her, but the lads were different than so I pursued him. She eventually, out of out of complete exhaustion, said yes, we had a big a a wedding. She did not know because I was seven years physically sober. Excuse me, I was five years physically sober. She did not know I was in flow full blown alcoholism because I was five years sober. Jamie, you remember, we used to the same group with back then, at victory I was five years sober and outside appearances I was on steroids. I looked at me easying, I had a full head of hair, white teeth, Cat Riccie Jean's five bold chains. I would boom and I was coroading on the inside. I was dying on the inside when I called up by one of my sponsors, Jerry Barton, and I said I relapsed after having seven years. He said, shocking. There's what he said in me. This is the compassion that old times had. He with you when you relapsed, when you when you were in jerk like for four years straight, and they know you're gonna relapse and they're just so grateful when it happens and you don't die. He's like, shocking. Now maybe we'll get to some work. That beautiful wife stood by me. She had served me with a restraining motor on my birthday, which is a blessing. By with the Department of Corrections, the Real D C, she was able to keep me in a halfway outs called Liberty House. Twenty one years ago. I had roommates there, which is, which is Anthony Tony is sitting right there. I had Anthony Tony's my roommate, Stinky Field Mason, who's doing great. He's sober right now. He's in federal penitentiary. UH, Eddie is sober, by the grace of God again, praise God. So Eddie's back and pots coming...

...in in the next couple of weeks uh to go back in the treatment with us. So they're all still alive. Praise God, all five of us are still alive, which is an amazing blessing, and hopefully the five of us now will all be on the same path so that in five years from now I'm not still talking about people coming out of penitentiaries and detoxes and all that kind of stuff. But how do you do that? One day at a time, you have to realize you don't have the answer. You weren't that bright. Bright people don't wind up at this picnic. I want to tell you, not that bright. I failed myself into places like this. It's so exciting. I love it. The more I found out that I needed to listen to you older, and I don't mean older in age, because there's a woman that I met at the twelve step house, a girl that I picked up her five year redallion a couple of weeks ago, about three or four months ago, when I was doing the steps there. She's five years clean, five years sober. She's she came in when she was eighteen. She's twenty three years now. I want what she has. She has, she has the energy that I love it's not about your physical age, it's about the the age you start working the steps. It's about the age you start getting into the work, like Paul de Lao used to say, you know getting get into the work, like Peter get into the work. And so this beautiful wife puts me in a half my house and I decided I'm gonna get high one more time, because you know that chunky reasoning when you're sober like a month and you think you developed some type of superpower over the disease and you could use like for an hour. Nobody's gonna find out about it because you haven't used for a month. Some type of Chunky logic. I don't even know what that is. They know it does not in the big book. It's in one of the appendix is, but they tore it out. It's called Chunky reasoning. So I thought I had the superpower. I was gonna get high for an hour and then I was gonna brush my teeth and I was gonna be able to take a shower and then everyone was gonna come back to the twelve, to my house, the Liberty House, and nobody would know. But my sponsor had told me that I better get on my knees while I was in the house, while I was getting sober. You better get on your knees because if if you don't get on your knees, it's like you're going over to my house for a Thanksgiving dinner and you sit down at the table and you don't say please for the food. If you don't say please for the gift of sobriety on your knees in the morning, it's like not saying please for the food when you're a house guest. And if you don't get on your knees at the end of the night and say thank you for the food, I'm scared. Thank you for the for the day cleaning sober. Then you're not saying thank you to the person where you just got invited over the house and you just get up and you walk away without saying thank you. That hasn't have no respect. I said, well, that makes a lot of sense. And so I had just gotten off off my knees and asking God to keep me clean and sober. And as I'm getting off my knees, you know what I did. I decided I'M gonna go get high. I don't know if you have I don't know if anybody else in here has two people that live inside you. I have a saint and I'm a sinner. Remember the Animal House where there was the devil and the angel going on at all time? They were having an argument. I got that going on right now, right now, right now, right now, I'm feeding good Steve and good Steve is winning, but best Steve is still trying to say different things. Look over there, looking, did you? So I get up off my knees and I decided I'm gonna go get high. Listen how Merciful God is. I run down the street to the sprint store. Oh wait, wait, wait, wait, I call up my wife. I have no money. I have no money. I appreciate the people in here that go on runs with no money. My I mean that's amazing. You guys go full run with no money in your pocket. That's amazing. I can't understand that. I have to at least have some startup money, you know, I need some. I need some startup on him. So I called my wife and I say, sweetheart, could I get a hundred and ninety dollars for a cell phone, because my sponsor lives in California and she goes hold on, and I thought I got her. I think she says hold on. It turns out she's calling her Alan on sponsor. I didn't approve of this. She joined like a secret society while I was in the handfay house of people that have told her all the Linguo, the three CS. She now has the three Cs and she's using them against me. I didn't cause this, I can't cure it, I have no control over it. I'm like, what, what did you where did you? You're from Columbia. Where did you earned this language? So they set me up and they put the money on my card, the money car, which I get like ten dollars a week for like for like, chewing tobacco. She puts a hundred and ninety on it. I think that's wrong to this day. I think she broke by law. And I go and I run over to the sprint store because I'm gonna get high, and I say to the guy behind the counter, I need to have the cheapest cell phone you have and I need to be out of here in fifteen minutes. And believe me, I wasn't composed. You know when your stomach is going, your stomach is going it's gurgling. You're like you, you know bad stuff is about to happen, so I would probably look like, you know, one of those crazyness like like that, and listen when God does listen. With the second step, that came to believe that a power greater than yourself could restore your to sanity. You don't even know you're insane, but God knows it and he wants to restore your to sanity, but you have to be willing to keep your eyes open and see what he's doing. The Guy Behind the counter from the Victory Home Group true,...

...stands up, all six ft four of him, and he says, Stevie B I go. Yes, he says, I saw you yesterday in the victory a meeting. Welcome back, we've been waiting for you. The Guy at the sprint store is gryant Jew is, drew from alcoholics, anonymous from the day before that. I saw him in the victory a meaning. How does that even happen? God, you could walk through life pretending about all these coincidences that you're having. That's on you. I Call Him God instances. He's saved in US, every single solitary second from ourselves. We're outright mental defectors. The big book says that don't get upset with me, and God sends drew right there from the victory this is the victory table over here. That's the good looking to victory, and drew saves my life and takes me outside and has a cup of coffee with me and I don't have to get hot. And then eleven months later I get invited to live back in the big bed. Christine, listen to this part of the story. I get invited to live in the big bed again. which God wants you back in his house. God doesn't want to keep you out there in the street. God doesn't want to keep you out there struggling. God wants you to give you a life. God wants to give it. I spoke at Rick Riccardi's First Recovery House. How many years ago was that Rick? Twenty? Eighteen years ago, the one on Sixth Street. Eighteen years ago, Rick had just got out of prison sober. WHO GOES TO PRISON SOBER? Rick Ricardi does, because what you want, what what God has you to learn, has nothing to do with your circumstance, has nothing to do with where you live, and it does not have to do with the toys that are in your garage. What you need to learn are the lessons that you need to learn, and everyone in here has a different lesson that needs to be learned. It's not all the same time, it's not all the same place and it's not all on our timetable. It's on his and what rick needed to learn what happened to be in prison and when he got out. The rest of the story is history. You know the Fellowship Club. You know all about it. You know all about that stuff. All the thousands of people have been a will affect because it takes what it takes. And for me in my life I had to come to the end of self. So my wife invites me to come back and live in the house. First night, cooking Um, cooking eggs down in the base, down in the first floor, and everything's good and I get on my knees and I thank God and then I decided I'm gonna turn the mattress over in our house because I haven't lived there in eleven months. And there it is. There's the stash. Because every single time you're about to make a breakthrough, the enemy, our disease, wants you to have a setback. Wants to destroy you, wants you to go back. Every single time you're about to have a breakthrough, the enemy wants you to have a setback. And if you stay back at Michael, if you stay back in the setback, then the enemy with your disease wins. But if you push through, you're gonna have a comeback. A couple of weeks ago I was on a plane. Look at me go, look at me go. I just want to say, look at me go. Will at me where I did right. I never thought that Megell and I would kiss each other. Okay, then I was afraid. The first time I met me Gel and I was like, Oh my God, please don't, don't let him look at me. I looked at him, I look away. I said, please, don't let them look at me. I walked on a plane in New York City a month ago. Got On the plane together. Is there. We go and embrace each other and kiss each other on the plane, not on the not inappropriate. There's kissing these other men, as men say like this. I was survived off the titanic. You survived off the titanic. I Love You, you love me. We kissed each other on the cheek. I said, where have you been? Where were you? He goes, I was just filming a documentary. Listen to this, you can't make them. I was just filming a documentary on how you can change your life through the prison system, right, and how now you're the one of the models nationwide on how to change your life. And can can we just thank the Lord? Thanks. Thank God. Is that amazing? You can't write this. We're on a plane together, we're kissing each other, we don't even know each other, that we're in the same area. We just want it's just this is what's going on, and you want to walk around going I can't believe it happened. You should be saying I can't believe it didn't happen. You ask God to keep your cleanings over. The next day you stopped using or that day. Now you've got thirty, sixty nine, thirty years, forty years. Your whole life has changed. You're going around the world, terminer Henrietta, the Lord is so wonderful to me. I just want to continue telling everybody about it. That's the golden text inside the big book. If you're not going around and telling everybody about if you're a if you're a closet recovering person, shame on you. You know what? You know what. Dr Bomb says. He has no use for you. He feels sorry if you. Dr Bob, the founder of the Program says he has no use for you if you're not going around telling everybody on how blessed we are, if you're not making eye contact with the people in publics and and showing them by your eye. I got one eye and I make eye contact, anything like that. If you're not showing people on how listen, how are you doing? Are you having a blessed day? I'm having a blessed day. Are you having a blessed day? Are you blessed? Are you blessed? If you're not talking like that, you have no gratitude. Don't be walking around here like how are you doing? Hanging in there. Let mean you hang in...

...in there. You should be incarcerated for the rest of your life with just one of your crimes. So I get on my knees and I asked God to keep me clean sober, and then I turn over the mattress and there's my stash. But now I'm traveling with God. I've never been able to say not in my drugging choice, my entire life, not even one time. There's not one time I've ever said No. Some of you guys are high bottom people. You could say no. I no, I don't even know the answer. No, you got it. Yes, have you ever tried this? Yes, would you like something? Yes, would you like some more? Absolutely. I'm traveling with God now and I was able to say no and I was able to get the stuff. My wife came upstairs. We're both crying. We're able to throw this stuff in the garbage. Started my new journey a nine years sober and I want to have a baby. My wife and I want to have a baby. We're just thinking about a baby. We're just all about the baby. We're all about the baby. Where's Johnny God? Okay, good. We get pregnant after months and months and months and months of trying, after a surrogate donates eggs, after our beautiful niece donates her eggs. Then we go to an in neutraal fertilization clinic. We finally get pregnant, the nurses coming in so that we could see the baby on the VHS tape. Where the DVD whatever it was. She says, I'm sorry, these things happen. I'm crying, my wife is crying. I'm already nine years clean. I'm sponsoring like a ton of men. I'm taking meetings into the Christian recovery solutions. I'm taking meetings at the bark. I have a five year commitment at bark. I'm like God, what are you doing? What are you talking about? You said you want to give us the desires of our heart. How can we lose our own beat, own baby? We have a baby room built. I don't understand this so well. Meeting people in Alcoholics and armies totally told me that God only gives you what you can handle. Don't believe that. That's terrible. I understand we say that, but it's not true. Can you imagine one person, remember that Beautiful Man Jimmy for the twelve stephouse? Who they they cut up his daughter and he was able to stay cleaning. But so one person is able to have that and another person's not being that's not how God works. To Ernie Richards and told me pray for the acceptance of God's will. Every every incredible thing that's ever happened to me is from people, from alcoholics and Homas. That day I'm broken hearted. I can't even see straight. I'm crying, my wife is crying, but I have a commitment at a treatment center that night. But that's the night we find out that we loathed our baby. How am I supposed to go to the treatment center that night when I can't even take an intelligible word? I can't even speak. My wife says to me I'm going to my Autan on meeting over at the Melrose Park. I say, well, I'm taking the meeting into the Christian recovery solutions and I go to that meeting completely broken, completely I don't even think I'm gonna be able to speak. And there's a woman in there that night who happens to still be my friend fourteen years later. That's so a broken man in the parking lot with other in doing the third step prayer in the parking lot. She says that's the first time she's ever seen a group of men that are hugging and praying. And that's that woman that's sitting right there. Her name is Channa, who happens to sponsor Nancy from the Nancy clubhouse that put half to do this thing with you. Guys and she sees a broken man that can't speak, that still comes to the meeting. And this is what we do. Just like Don that lost his beautiful wife, and I was at victory when Don came in the day that Patty, right Patty, passed away. He was there the next day and I found out that you could lose the love of your life and still go to alcoholics anonymous the next day. And I was there when Janet got to see that you could lose your baby and still go to alcoholics anonymous the same night. And we don't leave a a because we have horrific things happened. We jump into a because we have or horrific things happen. We don't blame God because we have horrific things happen. We rely on God when horrific things happen, because what turns out to be the fait? It's not that God only gives you what you can handle. The fact is that God will get you through anything that's thrown out of you. Give God a round of applause on that. We sometimes when we look at things so backwards. Every single thing we go through is an opportunity for growth, is an opportunity to say the person's name. We don't use because people die. We stay clean because people die and we honor them with with US staying clean. We gotta we look at things so backwards sometimes, if we're not looking at the old timers that are going through death and they're going through a bankruptcy and they're going through disappointments and they're going through people turning on them. These old timers, if they leave a a, then we wouldn't we shouldn't have been watching them anyway. We need to watch the people that continue to put things like this on, continue to keep the twelve stop house open, continue to do all the things we do so that we have places to go like people like for people like us amen winners. So then we can't have a baby. So we sign up for a do and I coming out of the fourth. I'M gonna I'M gonna...

G rate this part. I'M gonna G rate this part. All the adults, use your brain for a second. Driving out of the meaning of the Fort Lauderdale Men's group, I got arrested for picking up a woman on the street. You know what that means right. That's the way I acted in my previous sobriety because I thought physically sober was sober minded. Two different things, two different things. Physically sober is not sober minded. People that are practicing these principles and all their affairs don't pick up women on federal highway and offer to give them rides home for a price. So when? When? When? The when the agency that we're going through the adoption finds out what type of a Guy I am? They called my wife and say a man like your husband cannot adopt in the state of Florida. She says why, and they tell her what I did and she still stays with me. She still stands by me. Now in every a group you go to the experts. In the a group there's there's UH money people, there's there's all differ the doctors, there's hygienicey, everybody. We got swimming from Olympic people in all your groups, in all your groups there's experts in your group. I happen to be in the same home group, the with with Happy Bob who, like I said, he's a very famous he was a very famous attorney. Everybody knows him, everybody loves him. Okay, you know he liked he doesn't like cocaine, so he likes the smell of it. But so bob found out. Bob Found out I was going through it, and he calls me, or I call him, and he tells me he has a friend by the name of Maryanne and she turned me onto a friend by the name of Mindy, a Jewish woman from Boca, and Mindy is gonna come down and she's gonna go through our house and make sure that we're able to be adopt. We can adopt, even though I've been kicked out of the adoption agency. Now let me just say fast forward to a little quick by by now in my story, my wife and I are over the top Christians. Were like over the top. You know. We have we have statues and pictures, we have a giant Jesus in the house. We got holy water, we got St Francis, we got we we've covered all the bases in my house and I say to my wife, honey, Jewish mindy is gonna be coming down from Boca. Maybe we should take some of the artifacts down. You know what I'm saying? Let me bring it down to hide the bumper stickers, turn the car around. Let's not be over the top and my wife says we're not going to pretend who are not. She said, if God wants us to have a baby, God is going to make this happen. And Mindy comes in by and and that's Bob Rownho that that changed our life. Bob Before changed our life. Mindy comes in and she says she looks at giant Jesus. She said, do you think that God gave you another chance? And we say we know he did. She's she's so, she says, how can I not give you another chance? And she signs off on the home study. And now we're gonna get on a very long line. We're gonna get on a very long line. You don't know how many years you gotta wait for a baby, but God puts you to the front of line. A month later we get a call from the top of the United States and the state we've never been to, in a part of the country we've never been to, and a woman, out of all the people in the United States, wants to pick me and my wife out. So we get to adopt and we arrive at that hospital and there's when we see him for the first time, and he's just the most beautiful, gorgeous. Now I gotta Tell You my wife standing right over there. She's the one of the beach, beach, she sure she's not light. She's dark skins. She's from Columbia. I'm a little dark skin. I'm from New York. We went to the part of the country where they make the whitest babies that they're ever is okay, we get there and there's a little beautiful white baby and she and the mom says what would you like to name your son? And we say Joshua, and she says why Josh when we say in the Bible it says Josh for me and my house, we choose to serve the Lord. And she says I'm not religious. I said all this means is that our son is gonna grow up in a house where, hopefully he never hears cursing, hopefully he never sees drinking, hopefully we're always talking about God, hopefully he's always seeing us in ministry. That's what that name is going to meet. And two weeks later we came home and there was people on our lawn from alcoholics, anonymous big Eddie who was not that big at that time. He was on his way up big Eddie and Mason and and Tim Stack and they were all on the lawn and they had they had things. Welcome Home Joshua, and people from alcoholics anonymous through our baby shower and people from the church through baby showers for us, and we were given us giffs and we had a baby. We had a baby because you guys taught us never to give up. I want to just show you something real quick, is that God has always showing off. You want to settle for Cruton. God doesn't want you to sell for Cruton. God wants you that. There's a couple here that I had the blessing of of UH officiating their wedding. Beautiful couple, and while I'm in the keys, never been at this restaurant before, so I've never been even part to this part of the keys. While I'm in the restaurant on their one year anniversary, their celebrating their one year anniversary, they walk into the same restaurant that I...

...happened to be in in the keys and they're like that. I saw their post and their posts as the person that officiated our wedding just happened to be at our one year dinner that we were having in the keys. Do you understand that God is orchestrating all sorts of remarkable things all the time and we want to settle for just sober? There's so much more than just sober. There's a life beyond our wildest dreams. And in Joshua's nine months he springs out the most gorgeous red hair. See, God wants to put Cherries on the Sunday when he springs out the most gorgeous red hair and he looks exactly like my mom. He's got the freckles on his face, exactly like his cousins. When my mom and Joshua walked down the street, everybody goes, Oh, I understand now. I understand now. See, God is doing the most unbelievable, remarkable things and we're looking at it with eyes like like well, as long as I'm sober. No, no, no, turn that around, because of a relationship with God that's gonna Produce Sobriety Anyway. It's not, it's not. Uh, there's all these different things and all these different theories and all these different I'm not a believer. High Sally. You know, Sally and I became friends. We walked into a meeting together. Fourteen years ago she was a hot mess from tech hot mess. You ever seen women that put their lipstick around the lip when they first come in because they can't find the lip? Now, Look, God wants to blow your socks off. He wants you to to to tell stories. He wants us to talk about Paul de Leo for the rest of our he wants us to go over and beyond, because he's blessing us in every way, shape or form. If the only thing you're doing pay attention that we're gonna be done is if you're hanging in there to get to the next day. You don't understand the training program you're in. You're not understanding that sometimes you're gonna have to go through the fire to get to get the stuff burned off. Sometimes you're gonna have to have gonna go through some serious fire because you're gonna you don't want to go to heaven with some of the stuff you've got. You don't want to wind up and meet the Creator and he goes, what are your qualifications for staying? And you go I'm sober, and the creator goes. You were supposed to be now tell me how many people you helped on planet earth. You you want to be living in the twelve step. You want? I don't. I don't need the twelve step house, but that's a good thing too. But you want to be living in the twelve step. You know, we want to see what the next thing you could do from the next people, the next thing you do for the next people, the next thing you can do for the next people. If it's all about you, you're gonna miss it. You'RE gonna get dry, you're gonna get Brittle, you're gonna start doing things in sobriety that are not practicing these principles and all your affairs. You'RE gonna start treating people with disrespect behind their backs, you're gonna Start Gossiping, you're gonna Start talking about people when they're not there. I went to a meeting where I met my current sponsor, Russell spats and Um, and he had the Bible out in a meeting. I know that you can't say this, I understand that, but you know what I needed that day? You know what this kid needed. A Kid, a wise guy, kid from the Ark that just relapsed after heaving seven years. I needed a guy to have the Bible out. That's what I needed that day. And you know what Ray repact they needed the day that we became into our relationship. He needed to have me that day at the twelve step house when we met. You See, God has sent you a mentor in your life. First of all, number one. If you're not, if you're not, if you don't have a sponsor, that's silly. That's silly talk. Then you're using the same mind. I told you to drink the entire bathtub of Jim you're using that same mind to make your to make your your calls. I guarantee your rick has a sponsor. Ricky got sponsored, still alive. Yeah, Susan, you got a sponsor. Anybody that doesn't have a sponsor, you're trying to teach yourself about to drive it with your own brain. What are you doing? And listen to this. If you've been around and you've worked the twelve steps and you don't have a sponsy, shame on you. Shame on you, your selfish person. Go over to the twelve step house, put your hand out, say to the person a little what what is your name? Jacob, you got a sponsor right here, as an opportunity, look right to the kids. He needs you. You go over and you find out who you can start reading the big the book with. If you don't have a sponsy, you're not gonna be able to keep this. The only way we were able even to be here today is Alcoholic Number One and alcoholic number two went to alcoholic number three. It's in the it's in the twelve step house on the wall. It's build doubts that sitting on the bed with the with the sick, with the at the hospital of town's Hospital, saying to the alcoholic number three, listen, I want to share something. We've found out a way that works. You'RE gonna get sober and you're gonna have to go tell somebody else about it. It's all about God and you're gonna have to do your part. You know what? I'm seeing a lot now because I happen to be in the recovery house, a business. I don't even want to call the business the...

Recovery House Michigans. People are coming in and they're so darned selfish. I say, who are you sponsoring? Well, I don't have a lot to give. You don't have a lot to give. Do you got a big book? Do you have an extra twenty five minutes a week. Do you have a phone? You have a whole lot to give. Listen. This is what God says and I'm gonna end the talk. There's a buffet and some of the people on the buffet they're settling for sober. Michael, I don't even want you to set up and sober. I want you to shoot way past over. Let me show what sober looks like. Sober, just sober, is like this. You go to the buffet where head they have all the greatest food in the world, cracked crab, lobster, prime rim, rack of lamb. You know what I'm talking about, Brian. I got all the greatest foods in the world. And you go over to the salad section and you got your fork and you got your knife and you go get a Cruton and you sit down at the table with your cruton and you're eating your cruton and people come over and they say, how do you doing? You go hanging in the half and you're eating your cruton. You're not crumbs on your face, you're miserable. You, you, you don't even have water to go with your cruton. You're like, I'm sober, and then you've got the people that are going for the wildest dreams. We have Karina here that just lost her beloved husband. She's gonna start the steps, that will do a three week step series on Thursday nights over in Fort Lorderdale go going through the worst possible thing could you possibly happen, and yet she's living a life beyond the wildest dreams because she knows that this life is just temporary. The people that want to live in the fourth dimension of existence, the people that have been touched, the people like Eric Steimer that started a website called rocketed dot org because he could be rocket into the fourth dimension of existence. They're not settling for soulber. They're not stopping at the CRUTON. They're going down the buffet. They got shirts that are dirty, they got stuff all over their face and they're like, listen, how you dot, how am I doing? I'm to be on my wildest dream. I just had rack a lamb with mint jelly. They're looking over to the people over there. They're eating the CRUTON. Did you not hear that there's Mint Jelly on the end of the buffet? They're like no, I'm just gonna stay in this section. God didn't get us sober so that we can be miserable. God Got US sober so we can go and spread the joy to the next person. And, believe me, the joy to the next person is emotional. Sobriety. Thank you so much. God bless you, guys.

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