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Transcript: 220-Rachel W- Don’t Leave AA Before the Miracle Happens

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

220-Rachel W- Don’t Leave AA Before the Miracle Happens

Rachel W 00:00

At one point my addiction I, I had overdosed and my daughter was around six or seven years old and she had opened up the doorman and she found me dead on the floor and she had a run and she found thank goodness I had a roommate at the time and they called 911 and they saved my life and I was so far gone like the drugs and alcohol had taken me so far away from the person that I was the mother that I wanted to be that when I returned home that night, instead of walking in there and holding my child and telling her it was going to be okay. I walked right past her door and I walked into my room and I did the same exact thing had just killed me and sent me the hospital.

Sober Speak Podcast

John M 00:44

Will Hello friends of Bill W and other friends you have landed on sober speak. My name is John M. I am an alcoholic. And we are glad you're all here, especially newcomers newcomers that is both to recovery as a whole. And newcomers to this podcast, sober speak as a podcast about recovery centered around the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. My job here on sober speak is simple. My job is to provide a platform to the amazing stories of recovery all around us. Consider sober speak, if you will, your meeting between meetings. Please remember, we do not speak for AEA, or any 12 Step community, we represent only ourselves. We are here to share our experience, strength and hope with those who wish to come along for the ride. Take what you want, and leave the rest at the curb for the trash man to pick up from deep in the heart of Texas. Greetings. We are so glad you are here. That was the voice of Miss Rachel Wu on this here, episode number 220. Dose dose zero of sober speak and you are going to hear so much more from Rachel in just a moment. But first things first. This episode is being brought to you by Adrian and Anna and Todd. And Curt, Terry, and anonymous. Do you know what Adrienne? And Anna and Todd and Kurt and Terry and anonymous did will let me fill you in they went to our website, www dot sober that clicked on the little yeller donate tab and they made a a contribution young so thank you so much Adrian and Anna and Todd and Kurt and Terry, and anonymous this episode is coming right out to humans. I, John M. or Wallen M as some people know me, will be the host of this party. I will be the chairperson for this particular meeting between meetings and I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening. So take a seat if you will, around this virtual table and let's get started. Remember now, four out of five sponsors surveyed recommend sober speak as a way to increase your serenity. I'm just making that up but it sounds good Danette Alright,

John M 03:48

so first of all, let me just say I hope everybody has had a good start off to the New Year 2022 I hope you have a Prospero Anyo. Moving forward. I do want to give you a lot of people wrote in and they wanted to know how my my son was doing because I talked about him on the last episode. He got his wisdom teeth taken out. And it was the day that I was recording and I was looking at him and he does did not look in good shape. But he was doing very well. In fact, Cassandra actually sent me a message and Cassandra is the if you're not following us on Instagram, you should be following us on Instagram, right? That is if you have an account, any interview, don't have an account. Hey, go ahead and create one you can follow us. Cassandra is the one who comes up with all those wonderful Instagram post on the Instagram the gram. But nonetheless, she reached out she's want to know how my son was doing. I told him I told her she's doing much better now. And she had had the same thing done as an adult. Obviously, last year, and she said, Do you know what I did? I ate McDonald's pancakes for like two weeks. And I'm like, No, you're kidding me. But I said, Did I mention that on the podcast that I couldn't remember? You know what I had mentioned what I didn't mention? She said no, because my son ate McDonald's pancakes day and night for a week, because it couldn't eat, you know, sharp edge food. sharp edge food, like razor blades and stuff like that. I don't know. You don't say d&d Soft foods. That's the word I'm looking for. But all is well, with my son. And thanks for those of you who reached out regarding that, appreciate ya. Um, I saw something in the super secret Facebook group. By the way, if you're not in our super secret Facebook group, just go to the Facebook applicatio. And look up. What is it again? Secret? None or no? Yeah, sober speak, secret group. And you will see there you can find the group which can get into it unless you ask for permission you own in order to get in the group and go ahead and ask for permission and the bar is very low. Just ask and you can get in there is what it comes down to. Okay. I don't know who'd want to be in there, if they, you know, weren't interested in recovery, or whatever the case may be. But nonetheless, Steve are who I call our daily reflections kind of guy. He writes something in there I want to get I think it's every single day, I'm not sure. But I know he writes a ton. And Steve are if you're listening out there, I'm very grateful for you. But what he does is he gives us a quote from the big book. And it gives a little commentary on the back and this will caught my attention this week. And it says this is from page 124. The big book, by the way, says cling to the thought that in God's hands. The dark past is the greatest possession, you have the key to life and happiness for others. With it. You can avert death and misery for them, page 124. Or read it again, clinging to the thought that in God's hands. The dark past is the greatest possession, you have the key to life and happiness for others. With it. You can avert death and misery for them, page 124. And one of the reasons I wanted to read that is because it really goes hand in hand with the episode that you're about to listen to today from Rachel. So anyway, and Steve follows up with a little commentary on the back end. And he says, being honest with ourselves, allow us to be honest with God and others. After we've honestly and bravely accepted our dark pasts. We can use that same past along with hope, along with the hope of a better present and future through recovery to help others to be honest and willing to recover to it's a great gift. Our dark past Steve says that he says help one, save two. Happy Tuesday, obviously wrote that on our Tuesday. Now, on to our featured guest of the week. I recorded this one quite some time ago, but I've been holding on to it for a little while because I wanted to be able to release it at the beginning of the year because this

John M 08:48

may be a you know, I'd say it's my favorite. You know we have 220 of these so far. But this is one of my favorites for sure that I have ever recorded. And this is one's called Rachel who says don't leave a before the miracle happens. Rachel has been sober since August 10 of 2013. And she is from as my friend Don m from this podcast taught me to say the city name live though Kentucky I hope I'm getting that right if you're out there from Louisville, and I'm not getting your right my apologies. Anyway, you heard the audio clip that I played at the beginning of this episode hopefully about Rachel's daughter finding her dead and that is not I repeat, not the end of the story. Listen, I want to forewarn you a little bit in that. I get a little what's the word verklempt On this episode, because Rachel is absolutely amazing. She addresses many things. She talks about her stint in jail and she says jail is not a fairy tale place. And then one kind of amusing thing she talked about the term jail math. And what that means, once again, she talks about how her daughter founder in that state, and how she began to repair that relationship by writing letters to her daughter, and she'll be able to go through that with you. She actually works in the recovery field now and has had a tremendous amount of success there. So anyway, buckle up your seats, or excuse me, is a buckle up your seats, buckle up. strap yourself into your seats, something like that. I think I just butchered that cliche, but you get the you get the gist of it. So buckle up. Enjoy the ride. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Miss Rachel, Delia, and we will have plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of this episode. Enjoy. Okay, everybody. So today, we are sitting here with Rachel, Delia, and that is Rachel W for well, Rachel, what are you go ahead, please introduce yourself. Give your sobriety date, if you wish, tell people where you're from and where you're sitting. I think there are two different things. And then I'll give a little background on how we came across each other.

Rachel W 11:33

Absolutely. Hey, guys, my name is Rachel and I'm an alcoholic. My sobriety date is 1010 13. I am currently sitting in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the place where I got my start and recovery. And I actually live in Indianapolis, Indiana.

John M 11:49

So I just recently interviewed Don am and he as I'm sure you know is from Louisville as well. And I came on and I said something like now you're a Louisville right. And he says something to the effect of we call it.

Rachel W 12:05

Yeah, yeah. Dawn is great. I actually just read his morning meditation this morning to the group that was sitting out there. I'm visiting a lot of my recovery friends right now. He is one of our icons here. And yeah, we call it lol. So it's almost like you're swallowing part of your word. Yeah, so that that's where we saved a little bit funding around here.

John M 12:29

I think that's great. Speaking of that text that Dawn sends out, I had somebody write me in just recently, oh, I cannot remember her name off the top of my head. But the title of it was Dawn am this subject line for the email was Dawn M. And she said that she had kind of randomly picked out one of the episodes from cyber speak, if she listened to Don M. And he talked about that text that he sends out every day. And she said that I apparently she got through somebody through somebody and she had never really knew where it came from. And she was like, oh my goodness, that's the guy get this text for him every day. And she was really, she was really happy to put a put a voice to the text, I guess is what you would say not necessarily a phase. So Alright, so let's talk about how or let me talk about real quickly how we came across each other. And that is from Miss Amy D or Amy as d she I think she goes by both. She absolutely loves you. She thinks the world of you. She said you have got to have Rachael on your podcast. And so that is why we're sitting here today. So how do you know Amy? What's the relationship like there?

Rachel W 13:48

Okay, so Amy's actually my sponsor, and I met her so I went through a treatment center here in Louisville. It is called the healing place. And that is where I met her she had gone through the same treatment center. And when I washed up, you know, through those doors on December the sixth of 2013, they told me that I had to get a sponsor. And so I asked multiple people, I think three or four people before I found her and and we were in a meeting there. It's called Happy Hour. And she shared and when she shared the passion that she had the craziness that she showed, I was like that has got to be my sponsor, and I went and I asked her to sponsor me. She said, Okay, she accidentally mixed up to I think it was accident, two numbers of her phone number, the last numbers, but I knew her sister was in there. And so I got the correct phone number and I called her every day because they said you have to call your sponsor every day. And so I went and I used the phone that they had and I called her everyday and I left her weird messages like, Hey, Amy, it's Rachel. I just they said I had to call you so I'm calling bye. That's it. How we started our relationship.

John M 15:03

She is so sweet. I recently she came down here also to the Texas State Convention and spoke recently. And I was able to see her there. It was just she's so sweet. I mean, just really genuine. Great lady. I love being able to see her. Yeah. So by the way, so you mentioned that you went to the the treatment center on December 6 of 2018. But your sobriety date is October. So that is usually the opposite of what I hear, right? People will give a sobriety date after they've gotten to true. So take me through that real quick.

Rachel W 15:45

I will tell you how that happened. So my sobriety date is 1010. So on 10, nine of 2013, I was in I was in Lexington, and I was in my probation officers complex. And I had signed a statement saying I always like to say that I signed a statement on myself, I had been trying to pass those drug tests, you know, when we get in those court systems, they tried to help us by putting us on probation or parole, and I had been false, falsely passing many of those drug tests and what you see, I'd been out for nine months. And what you see normally, is I don't understand that you can see that I'm going downhill, you know, when people are using drugs everyday, or they're drinking every day, you know, I mean, I know it many people that aren't like you and me, you know, they don't have this disease, they aren't alcoholics and addicts, they can still see that this something is going on with this person. And this doesn't look okay. And of course, she recognized that my probation officer recognize that. And she had me sign a statement. And I told her lies, you know, I downplayed everything that was happening. And I signed that statement on myself. And I remember I was on the phone, and you have to go up and down these floors. They're in Lexington at the old building that I was at. And I was standing out there waiting to be buzzed into where her office was. And I was on the phone with someone and I was like, I'm probably going to jail. And they're like, no, no, you're not going to jail. And I was like, Listen, you know, jail is not a fairytale place. And I go there often. And I know what it looks like when I'm about ready to go to jail. And now I was right, you know, like, I ended up going to jail that day. And so my sobriety date is the day that I woke up in that jail cell, and I didn't have anything to drink or use that day. Yeah. And so then, eventually, I'm sorry, yeah,

John M 17:33

no, no, go ahead. Eventually, what?

Rachel W 17:36

So eventually, what happened was they they pulled my probation. And the Department of Corrections, the Department of Justice, thought that I may have a problem, I did not think that I had a problem. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the way that I was living how that I was using the means I was using to get what I needed. I thought that I was just going through like a phase, and then I would stop when I was ready. So I didn't think I had a problem, I'd never tried to stop. And I did not see the impact, you know, on my life and on the people around me. And so it was weird. It was that that last time that I was in jail, it was almost like I was a third party view. And I was looking at myself and and now when I look back, I believe that that was my first taste of surrender. And although I didn't recognize it, that was what was with me I wasn't worried about like in jail, you get money on your books to get commissary to get phone calls, you know, canteen, whatever it's called, and the place you're in, you wait for those visits, right. And I was not doing any of that I remember sitting Indian style on that top bunk and looking out, you know, over the yard where the ladies walked the circle. And I remember just looking through those glass walls and just looking at it, and I, I didn't have an urge to do anything. It was almost like there, there was silence around me. And there was silence with me. And they ended up transporting me back to my original County where I got those charges. And for some reason, they offered me treatment. And they said you can either have five years in prison, and if anybody who's listening has ever done the jail math before, there's a way we do jail math, and that's 777 21 and seven months and a year and 21 days in a month. And if you add all those times up, and you've already been in jail, the judge can say that he'll accept that. And if he accepts that amount, and you put it on and you've got a state sentence, you only have to do a percentage of that time. And when I did that male jail math, I only had three months left, right, three months, I'm gonna be out. I'm going to walk day for day on paper and I will walk this sentence out and I won't have to be here anymore. And the best choice for me is to go to prison. And that's what I believed. But for some reason somebody other than To me, you know, said, Maybe I need treatment, I don't know who that was. And I don't know where I can't where it came from. And I believe, you know, I attribute that to my higher power. Because me in that state and what I thought and what I believed in how I was living, I would not have said that. So I accepted that. And that's when they sent me over there to my treatment center. And that's how I got there on December 6.

John M 20:25

Wow. Okay, so now, you know, I sometimes ask, I think about just about every time actually, the various people I interview on the front end of these things, I'll say, you know, like, is there anything in particular you want me to avoid? Like, you know, I if people are going through divorces and stuff like that, they don't want to talk about that. And so now it makes sense. Rachel said, she goes, No, nothing that I haven't been indicted for yet.

Rachel W 21:00

That's what I was talking about comes back around doesn't enjoy. It makes more sense now.

John M 21:05

Makes complete sense. And I can also see, you talk like, Amy, you have the same cadence, you have the same accent, you got a little bit of that craziness in the background, and I can see why you are so attracted to her. I think that's fantastic. Okay, so you made it? Well, first of all, before we go on to the treatment center, and then pass that and such is there anything that you want to anything that comes to mind that you want to talk about? You know, from from your past that is significant before you actually got to the jail? What do you want to cover there?

Rachel W 21:43

Yeah, so basically, what what it was like, So, I, I grew up I have one sister, that's my full blooded sister. And her and I grew up together with my mom and, and my mom was one of us. So she started drinking alcoholic Lee from, according to my cousins that I've talked to, probably around the age of 17. And she that that ended when she died at the age of 64. And I attribute her death to her alcoholism, she had died in a house fire. And by the time that alcohol was done with her and where she ended, she was like the smartest woman I ever I've ever known in my whole life. She could read Stephen King books, the thick ones, the stand, you know, and three days in anytime I needed her to spell anything, because I'm not very good at spelling, but she knew she knew everything. And by the time alcoholism got done with her and alcohol, she couldn't walk by herself through her house. She couldn't make it to the bathroom and she would lay these, these pads that you put in the alcohol that you put in the hospital underneath her in her bed, and she would use the bathroom there and she would pull them out and she would drop them by her bed and, and they were just empty bottles, like so many empty bottles, half gallons of vodka next to her. And so she couldn't get up and she couldn't get away from that fire. You know, I think that her house would have been in better condition, you know, had she not been in that state. She had had grand mal seizures, and she sometimes couldn't think of the word, you know, for hairbrush or for table. Because of what alcohol had done. It had taken her through through the wringer. So I grew up with that. And it wasn't that bad. At that point. My dad always worked somewhere else. So he was he was supporting us in the way that he knew how but my mom went in and out of treatment centers all the time, when I was younger. And that's that's kind of what our life was. And I remember her teaching me morals and she taught me values and she was a free spirit. And she was like an arm wrestling champion. She was a skydiver, you know, she was a free spirit, her and my dad would get in cars and they would drive to wherever that car broke down, and they would find places and they would work and they would live and that's that's who she was. And she was an amazing person. And, and if anybody's story is like my story, we didn't start out in the gutter. Right? It was fun. We had a good time it was an answer to all our problems and and for many years, it was an answer and it also caused consequences. So we went back and forth but there was that honeymoon part that it made everything all right, you know and, and, and that's why we kept using and that was the same for mom. So eventually, I got two more brothers. They're my half brothers. My sister and my two brothers and myself are all just like most of these listeners. We are people that are in long term recovery or they need To be in long term recovery recently, my brother Ryan in the last year has relapsed. And he's in a really tough spot right now. And it's a pretty scary place to be. But that's a little bit about, you know, kind of my life. What that was like growing up, up until you no.

John M 25:20

Yeah. Okay. Well, let me take a little pause here real quick, we will be continuing our conversation with Rachel Debbie in just a moment. Just a reminder, you're listening to sober speak, you can find us on the worldwide web at WWW dot sober speaker calm there, you will find approximately on 205 or so other episodes you can listen to for free. You can also find the donate button on our website, which you can use if and only if the spirit moves you to do such please keep in mind, this is a fun podcast. This is a podcast funded by you the listener. Alright, so yeah, that that story about your mom is, you know, fascinating. I had a rocky relationship with my mom as well. And gosh, man hit is it's tough to watch him go downhill like that. Bad. Alright, so let's move on then. So that's kind of like an like you said a little bit of what what I was like, and then we know that the do so what were you getting in trouble for for all those years? Where you're going to jail and such like that? Was there anything one particular offense? Or was it varied?

Rachel W 26:36

Yeah. So there were, you know, giving false information to police officers theft, the normal stuff like that? Well, I guess it's not normal for everyone. Normal for the people in our realm, I always have to remember that, like, who I'm talking to what's my audience? You know, like, actually, that's not normal. But for me, and for a lot of, you know, people like you and me and people in recovery, that is kind of normal. Yeah. So there was that eventually, I know, I know, a lot of people in recovery that kind of had a little bit of the same path is, as I started using heavier drugs, and when I did, what I did was, if I can sell these, I can get X amount free. And so I started doing that. And so my life turned to running getting some selling it until I had enough money that I could go get my own and then sell that. So I got caught at some point, selling some it was some pills, I got caught selling some pills, there was an informant that were a wire and recorded the whole thing. And also, you know, we're working with the police to get all the information about me and to be there when those transactions took place.

John M 27:50

That'll do it right there. I understand that. Yeah, you know, and I remember I always had to put a lot of tinfoil on my windows because I didn't want the light coming in didn't want other people to see in. And when I got sober there was no such thing as caller ID and you talk about fear answering the phone without caller ID on it. That is not fun at all. So alright, so So you So okay, so you get into trouble. And then now let's kind of go a little bit back to the, you know, your your landing into a so it sounds like once you got into a or excuse me what you got into treatment, and then you got a sponsor? And then you sort of kind of work in the steps. Did you ever have any going back out or do work for you?

Rachel W 28:45

Actually, I am. I think that I'm absolutely blessed. And I've been afforded grace and mercy in that respect. I was used to and I was conditioned. So all the times you know that I had been to jail. You do what they want you to do, right? Like that's what you do. When you you get up when they say Get up, you don't go back to your room, you change your clothes, you take your shower, like you eat when they want you to eat. And so this is what I'm used to. And I was conditioned and once I got in that treatment center, because of my conditioning. And because it was not in Lexington, I wanted to go to Lexington treatments so bad. I was like, I need to be there. You know, I gotta be there for my family. Like I had not been there for my family for years prior to that. But I needed to at that time when I was trying to go into treatment and thank goodness, they didn't send me there and they sent me to Louisville. And so I didn't have anybody in Louisville and I didn't have like none of my quote unquote friends would have went all the way to Louisville to come get me they just wouldn't. You know, so I was kind of in a spot where I was used to complying to what the standards were. And I didn't have any other like options in that city because there was times that I got mad and I was like I'm leaving like I'm getting out of here. They told us not to have things and I like it was better drill and like Musa next DM and I like almost immediately just obstinate just like went out there and bought those and kept them with me. And when they found them, I got punished for it. So I'm not supposed to have a Musa so funny too. I called her I was so mad. And I was like, I should have just went out and use that got to start the program all over again. And she was like, Oh, honey, are you mad about the number at the end of your bed? Because they they numbered the beds. And as you went through your number got higher, that meant you were moving in the program? And I was like, Yes. And she was like, Alright, I'm on my way down there. I have a Sharpie. What number do you want? Yeah, that was a me. Yeah, absolutely. So that. Yeah, she, she, she's been amazing. It was incredible. And she sat down with me, man. And she read page 100. And it says, you and the new man much lot can go hand in hand day by day, and remarkable things will happen. I'm paraphrasing that. But she read that and we sat at that table together. And boy that has been, you know, my story. Since coming into treatment and coming into a and it has not It's not been easy. There's been a lot, you know, like, at one point my addiction, I died overdose, then my daughter was around six or seven years old. And she had opened up the door man, and she found me dead on the floor. And she had a run. And she found thank goodness, I had a roommate at the time. And they called 911. And they saved my life. And, and I was so far gone, like the drugs and alcohol had taken me so far away from the person that I was the mother that I wanted to be that when I returned home that night, instead of walking in there and holding my child and telling her it was going to be okay, I walked right past her door and I walked into my room and I did the same exact thing had just killed me and sent me to the hospital.

Rachel W 32:08

And so I learned from Amy, like, I always tell my girls and guys, and like, you know, with your family and with those kids, it's It's like that old movie, The Field of Dreams. And some people won't get the reference. But some people will. If you build it, they will come. And what that means is you build that child and you build that family member and you build them into their life. And mine started with a letter a day, a letter a week. And every Thursday, I put a letter in the mail to my daughter, right? Trying to rebuild this this relationship she had gone to foster homes she had gone taken from where she was, she had seen me on the news, she had visited me in jail, she has stood by my bed in the hospital when I almost died. And so I began to build that and I built her in my thoughts. I built her in my speak, I built her in my prayers. And I built our relationship back starting with those letters. And I would wander around the treatment center. And I would ask everybody for a nickel or dime. And I would say please, I want to call my daughter, can you please help me with this money. And it costs like $1.75 or something and, and to go to that many people just asked me for nickel or dime just so I could put my name on that list so that I could make that phone call so that I could talk to her. And that's how that relationship started. And then it began to bring such amazing things. And I would say that out of everything in my life. From the time that I got sober until this moment that we're talking on this podcast. Being able to be a mother to my girls is absolutely the most the thing that I'm the most grateful for. Because that was not you know, I wanted to be but I just could this disease had me and it had me in its grips and I couldn't see and I think sometimes we can't see while we're in that because it saving our lives because if I could have seen I wouldn't be here now. You know, I would have done away with myself because I didn't want to be that person. But it's amazing. And that that relationship with Kailyn brought me my relationship with Daphne and Daphne is your sister and I had been there since she was a month old. You know, but I didn't get to be the person that I wanted to be to her. And because of this program because of Amy just start by that letter, man, you know, start building them in your lives. I'm now a very grateful very proud, very amazed, mother of two amazing girls. And also the boyfriend too. He's pretty cool too. I like the boyfriend. Yeah.

John M 34:48

Oh my goodness. I you can see me wiping my eyes over here. Um, I don't always I hear a lot stories. I don't know what it is about the parentals stories that give me more than anything. Yeah, but I, I appreciate you sharing that. All right, I have to give my composure here to finish this out. Okay, so, uh, so let's talk about. Okay, so I'm sorry, I just completely wrong.

Rachel W 35:30

It's a sad story, but it gets better. Yeah, it's a lot better. Yeah, right. Right. Better at the end.

John M 35:37

Right. Okay, so yeah, well, and that's what I'm actually that's what I'm choked up about is because I know where it ended up. Right? It's not just the sad part is the redemption part. And that's what, you know. That's what people don't have this wire started this thing, right? People don't, especially people who aren't in Alcoholics Anonymous. They don't understand what goes on within the rooms. I mean, I hear these kinds of things day in, day out the stories of redemption, these stories of, of overcoming very difficult circumstances. You know, I'm wanting to give those stories. I mean, people in the rooms know about this, right? Like, you keep saying, I don't know who my audience is, and who I'm talking to, and, you know, just regular stuff like steel. Yeah, you know, go into Sunday school and talk about that. Well, I was, you know, I used to do the steely, you know, regular stuff, kids, you know, but they, I wanted to be able to get stories like yours out there to the folks who don't get to hear them. And you know, not everybody who listens to this isn't in Alcoholics Anonymous, you know? Yeah. And some are skirting around the edges. And we don't need to they're kind of figure out, do I want to be in the programs of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I just wanted to give them a flavor of actually, yeah, kind of what goes on? Okay, so. Alright, so let's get back to you. Oh, there's the other thing I wanted to ask you about is I know, just from your emails and our conversations and stuff like that, the we've, you at some point along the line got and I don't know how much you want to share about this film or talk about it. It's fine with me. But you got into the treatment, kind of your you work in the recovery field. Right. Yeah. Yeah. How did that transition come about? How did that occur?

Rachel W 37:36

Well, it's kind of interesting. So, you know, in our book, it talks about like, what we what we need to do, and I think it's 86 through 87. And so it says, As we begin our day, when we begin our day, as we go through the day, and as we retire at night, and those are specific instructions for us, and we practice those on a daily basis. Sometimes we do better, sometimes we don't. But what that did is that gave me an insight, it gave me a connection to my higher power. And I was a server. I've been a server for a very long time. In fact, here recently has just been the only point in my life that I haven't at least occasionally, you know, bent a server. Even when I was working in treatment, I still went and did you know, like St. Patrick's Day or whatever. And I was serving in it. And something was off something that I couldn't quite explain. It wasn't the people I worked with. I love them. It wasn't the customers that came in. I love taking care of them. It

John M 38:31

wasn't let me make sure real quick, I understand when you say a server, you're talking about like a food server, restaurant. Waitress, okay. Yeah, gotcha, gotcha. Yeah, sure.

Rachel W 38:39

Yeah. And so I just didn't feel content. I didn't feel like I was uncomfortable. And I knew it wasn't, I love those people. And I love what I did. And so I was like, you know, this is this is my higher power trying to tell me something. And I was like, okay, so Rachel, what do you want to do? What do you want to be when you grow up? And I wanted to work with people like me. And so basically, I started calling applying googling every treatment place that I could possibly find in my area and just emailing and I happened to get a, an email address for this new place that was open it open it up that it only been open about six months, and its name was landmark. And I emailed them was like, I really want a position. And what I wanted to do is what's called a behavioral Tech, we call them patient engagement specialists. They're kind of like the people that have the firsthand interactions. We get people to group we talk to them, we make sure they go and get their medicines and Medline. So they're the people that kind of the chaos coordinators, I like to call them. And that's what I wanted to do, but I happen to get the email address as somebody that was on the administrative side, and they ended up hiring me in as a receptionist. Before I got that job. They offered me the business officer manager, business office managers job and if Exactly a year ago on September the first I was offered a position and this was I got hired at 2000 2017 in March of 2017, with the company, and a year ago on September the first they offered me a position in Carmel, Indiana as an executive director of one of their facilities. And so that's what I

John M 40:21

that's why you moved Indiana?

Rachel W 40:23


John M 40:25

Wow. How about

Rachel W 40:28

pretty cool how only God only run higher power, like people like me and I, I just finished my bachelor's degree. So I didn't even have what people would look at on paper and say, oh, this person is qualified to do this job. It was the program, it was Alcoholics Anonymous, the people that are my support group, the people that held me up the values that they had taught me, you know, what this design for living? It gave me those qualities that somebody looked and they said, You know what, we trust her. She's dependable, we can count on her. She's extremely smart. Some of that might have been from, you know, out in the madness, like everything we had figured out how to do out there. But it serves me well today. And it serves me well in a transparent, honest, loving, kind way instead of the way that it used to serve me out there. And that's getting whatever I wanted. Anytime that I needed it selfish and self centered to the core.

John M 41:22

I would much rather have you taking care of me at a treatment center and talking to me at a treatment center than somebody with the actual diploma or whatever it is, you know, the skin that you've put up on the wall. I mean, you've been there done that girl, as they say. And that's great. All right. So I keep getting choked up here. I mean, I cannot help it. My goodness, this is something. Okay, so let's go a little further. Let's talk about your your sobriety. What what do you want to talk about? After you got into the rooms? You've had? What, 11, almost 11 years now?

Rachel W 42:04

It'll be eight. Oh,

John M 42:06

I'm sorry. Oh, 1313 I was gonna do this is the 10th, not 10. Alright, so you've been sober almost eight years now. Which is fantastic. Talk to me about this eight years that you've had in the program, what it means to you, maybe some milestones that you went through?

Rachel W 42:28

Oh, wow. Wow, to look back on all of that, I think that the number one thing is it gave me a set of tools that I can help other women with, you know, the the ones that come in, and they don't know, you know, they're not sure whether they're in and they're not sure whether they're out, but all they want is desperately for someone to help them. They want a chance, you know, just like I wanted a chance. I think that's one of the most amazing things. And I kind of get go with a suggestion that was given to me. And that's you always have one wet drunk. And that means you always have somebody in the book. So I do my step studies with my girls, we meet once a week, you know, depending upon who we're meeting with, you know, we can meet in a group, of course, you do the fifth step alone, but we meet once a week. And so I regularly and consistently have at least one person that is in that book, and we're reading that book regularly. And we're going through the steps and I think that has kept me sane. I have explored concerns could consistently changing my idea of what that higher power is What does meditation look like, you know, wanting to further my education, learning as much as I can. And and the reason why I do that is because I want to be able to help others, you know, I want to be able to share it with others, I want to be able to fully like we talked about non majors earlier, to the most amazing people on majors in this pearl. And when I see Don at a meeting, and he's talking to someone, it is almost like there is a different energy around him because he is just bright with that person. And that is the only thing that matters to him in that moment. And I want to be like that one day. I want to be able to fully be present with that person in front of me. And this is the path that I'm on and this is how I get there. I've bought, you know, like the monetary stuff. So I bought houses, I've got good jobs. I've gotten through school, all of that stuff. But that's those are amazing things that have happened and they wouldn't have happened you know, without this program without watching those people like my like my best friend Candace. You know, I watched her go through school, I watched her get her master's degree and she's going to wrap up her life. She's going to be fully independently licensed then in April, and I've watched that whole thing happen. And so it's taking, taking what I can from the world around me and my experiences and being able to be somebody a role model not only to my daughters, my family But to any woman that is so low, that their kid finds them dead, that they sell their bodies, that they do these, these just indescribable things that are not them, that they think they're not worth it that they can't think they can't make it to be like, Hey, me, too, like, I'm right there with you. And you can do this, and I can help you do this, and I'm here for you. And I think that's like, one of the most amazing things to be able to do that to be able to answer the phone when my daughter calls to be able to call my daughter back, you know, to be able to be there when their dad dies. Those Those are good, all the work and all the school and all that other stuff. That is just an illusion. Like the reality is us here right now, John, and anybody that's listening out there, it's one person sharing with another person, the hope that they can to recover, they can to survive. And not only that, but they can do amazing things, and they can make a difference to others. And in this world.

John M 46:08

You know, I keep thinking back to your mom, and to me, how you described her and what you are, you're the exact same person. You are because you're I could just tell you're off the charts intelligent. And you found Alcoholics Anonymous. And by the grace of God, you know, unfortunately, she was not able to I but you're an example. I know you don't represent a so to speak, but you are an example that a works in people's lives. That does an amazing job. Yeah. Okay, so before I cry anymore, I think I'm gonna wrap this one up. All right. You have really, I? I'm just blown away. Hi, you're incredible. Before I before we end? Is there anything? You're going to have people listening? Like I said, before we started in all four corners of the world. Is there anything that you want to say from your experience strength and hope that you have not said not yet that you would like the the listeners to hear? Does anything come to mind?

Rachel W 47:32

Yeah, it's, um, you know, don't, don't leave before the miracle happens. And I know we have these cliche sayings. But just, you know, try, try not to use and try not to drink any new even if you do, you know, come back to us. Let somebody tell you what you should do in your life. Because if you're anything like me, before you came through these rooms, came through these doors, like you were not doing a very good job of running your life. So take some suggestions, you know, find a sponsor and do what they do. And keep doing that.

John M 48:12

Okay, I'm gonna read from page 164, the big book here to wrap us up. It says, abandon yourself to God as you understand God.

John M 48:27

It be at your faults to him to your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past. give freely of what you find. Join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit. And you will surely meet some of us. Like be Rachel, who as you trudge to the road of happy destiny. May God bless you. Keep you until then, Rachel, once again, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I appreciate it.

Rachel W 48:57

Absolutely. Thanks, John.

John M 48:59

Don't leave before the miracle happens. Thank you so much, Rachel. God bless you. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to share your story with the sober speak, listeners. I hope that this particular episode, I hope all of them get a lot of traction, right. But I hope that this one goes far and wide. Because it deserves to, and you're just absolutely the best. Rachel, thank you so much again. If that story impacted you. Please take a moment to pause your device and share it with a friend or family member. It may be just what they need today. Now remember, we don't want you sharing your gossip. But please do share this episode if it meant something to you. Now on to a little bit of a look listener feel Mac? The first bit of wit? Oh, yes, yes, I remember that the first bit of feedback comes in from Oh, and this actually came in on Christmas Eve. So every once in a while I go to Apple podcasts and I just kind of see what's out there. And you know, if we're getting any reviews, or not nasty sort of thing, so, and I read The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. All right, and this one was posted on Apple podcast. Now I can never tell the name. I don't know if it's, you know, male or female? Or if that even matters, or whatever the case may be, but I just get there kinda. What do you call this? Their, their handle or their their username? I don't know. Their username is intuitive, cozy pants. I'm just reading it, folks. Anyway, the the V. V, the review says, and I'm laughing because I know what's coming up here. It says great guest too much intro and intuitive cozy pants as I skip over roughly the first 10 minutes of table setting on this podcast every time because I don't want to listen to the host. I want to listen to the guest. And now who is intuitive, cozy pans talking about? Oh, that's a knee

John M 51:32

they're talking about. So, you know, I get it at you. I listen to a lot of podcasts myself. And a lot of times I just, you know, fast forward through the first however many minutes I think that individual will be talking to get to something that I really want to hear. I want to miss the commercials even though I don't have commercials, stuff like that. So I really do understand. And you know, my, my good friend Casey, in in jest once caught me outside of a room as we were going in. And he says hey, I just want to let you know I was listening to the podcast today because I really really enjoyed I just skipped past the first 10 minutes with you talking. And I think you say it in jest but I know I know that intuitive. Cosy pas can be the only person and and I tell you what, if you have the choice between listening to my jibberish and listening to our guests that we bring on every single time, please listen to the guest. I completely get it. But anyway, thanks for being on us out there. I really appreciate it. And if y'all are out there, apparently these things make a difference on some of our traction that we get out there. If you're out there on your podcast listeners and you want to give us a rating, you know, honestly just give whatever kind of rating you want. We would appreciate your channel. Adrian writes in Adriana says Hi, John M. Hello Adrienne. She says sober speak is the best a podcast ever heard. I had a hard time here. By the way, Adrian lives in Germany alo Mr. Adrian ad in Germany. And oh, I had a hard time here with COVID and I got depressed but I was living these last weeks with your podcast in my ears. Big smiley face and a really helped to soften the pain. Anyway John, you make a great service to a and the community and I've already recommended your podcast to many of my a people. Merry Christmas. And God bless you man. Sincerely, Adrienne well Adrian out in Germany Muchas gracias. Oh, whatever. No, no, this I'm Lucia scars as dunka Shan did I get that right? Don't go Yeah, I think there's dunka Shin if I'm, I'm not right, or, or Donkey Kong or something like that. Donkey Kong, Asia. I don't know if you have any idea what geek dog is, but I'm so sorry. Thank you for writing in Lera it could be Lara. La Ra. Where do you pronounce that? Lera or Laura. Anyway, you say potato? I said Tato. Laura right.

John M 54:27

So she says Hi John. I am 120 days sober today. Me ha good for you. Lera. She says I've been attending a meetings here in Illinois. I just wanted to reach out and let you guys know this podcast has been so helpful. days after work when I have the urge to drink instead of a meeting I find myself listening to the podcast and finding the amazing strength to continue on in this journey. Thank you so much for an amazing podcast. Well Lera Thanks for writing in. We appreciate you and congratulations on that. 120 days keep coming back. As they say. Todd writes in and Todd says, Hi, John, I found your pod. See, he's got the lingo down to try it. He's listening to an app on the pod. It was as I found your pod while searching for recovery podcasts, and I listened to Steve L. Steve l really enjoyed him. My story is that my original sobriety day was to 2408 February 24 of 2008. He says, Then I went back out earlier this year, I have two days sober. Well, good for you, Todd. Looks like you're back on track. He says my new date is Oh, and I've had this one in the queue for a while. He says my due date is December 25 of 2001. Well, that's a pretty cool sobriety date there, Todd, I would hold on to that one a Christmas day. But nonetheless, he says, I'll be searching for a pot sponsor, Todd, D. And then he says Be well, Todd D. Thanks for writing in my brand. And I'm glad you are back on track. Matt DMS on the Insta. He says Hi, John. I'm a longtime listener of the podcast. You read my letter out in one of the early episodes when I was six months sober. I am now coming up on 19 months over and I still use this podcast daily as my meeting between meetings. Thank you for the podcast. It helps me out so much, Matt. A in the United Kingdom. Matt, thanks for listening in and congrats on that 19 months, you know, when I get messages like this, and and I and I hear that people are using this daily, you know, I think ah, you know, maybe I should just retire and put out three of these a week. But, you know, for right? Maybe Sunday, right? And I've talked about it before I could do a bunch of these. I mean, there's enough somebody wrote in was, uh, who was it? They said, You could do this more often. John, there's enough bozos on the bus out there. That is, that is true. I mean, oh, there are so many of us, right. So many of you guys out there. We could do a ton of episodes. But for right now, I'm just doing once a week anyway, Eric DMS on the Instagram as well. And he says, Hey, John, I've listened to nearly all Oh, I listened to nearly all of your episodes while I was in jail. Now that I'm out, it's a little bit harder. But I love your program, and the service that you provide. God bless. Eric. Well, Eric, that is so Oh, that just makes my day to know that I you know, I wonder many times if there are people out there that are incarcerated, that are listening to this, and I know that there are different parameters that the various institutions have set up regarding, you know, internet service, and all that kind of stuff. But I anyway, I'm glad that you were able to listen to these. And I'm sure it is a little bit harder on the outside now, Eric, but um, God bless you keep coming back. Keep do what you're doing right. And keep me posted. Please do keep me posted here. And finally, last but not least, on this here, the first episode of 2022.

John M 58:59

Claudia writes in and she says Hi John. My name is Claudia. I am from Brazil. currently living in the cent South San i think is a San Paulo or Sao Paulo area. It says SEO but anyway, he is in Brazil. Okay. She says I've been sober since November of 2020. I've lived here in the I've lived in the triad area in North Carolina from 2003 to 2008, where I got my master's degree. I have always been a hard drinker and I was the were proud of it, but never had a clue I could be an alcoholic until about three or four years ago, I began the journey to hell. Usually what happens? She says the mental obsession was unbearable. I began to drink during lunch breaks in the morning before were lost my job got divorced and so on. Finally, I saw no other way out than accepting a recovery program in a rehab center. I stayed there for three months and learned a lot about the 12 step program, although they use the N A literature, not narcotics, anonymous literature. Nevertheless, it was an eye opener. And I can finally accept that I have a disease, I am powerless over alcohol, and that my life was in manageable. I got out of the clinic in the middle of the pandemic, hence, there was no physical meeting going on only virtual, I have joined a bunch of them. But I was never very comfortable to talk. Since I am very shy. Maybe I am going into justification again, one of my biggest defects of character. But within eight months, I had a one day relapse, which was very painful. And the next day, I went looking desperately for local meetings that were open. Luckily, one group was already open, open, and it was my base groups, and it has been my base group. Since then, we consider ourselves as quote, traditional, a traditional unquote, group. And don't go on dates. Don't have chips, Mizushima as dates with each other. But I don't know, don't have chips don't use much technology and this kind of thing. Here in Brazil. There is a big polemic. Ooh, that's a good word. They're paying for English being your second language. Anyway. Here in Brazil, there is a big polemic regarding traditional and progressive Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately, many of the groups were distorted. Many other groups here distorted the whole concept of a saying, it is a saying its first principle is to, quote, avoid the first drink, unquote, and not admittance of powerless surrender, acceptance, etc. Leaving behind all the richness and spirituality that A has to offer. Since I am the only one that speaks English in the group. I volunteered to browse, browse, how things are going in the US where it all began. So I started to attend some virtual meetings and luckily, found sober speak on Spotify. I was amazed with the diversity of speakers, and the eloquence and the enthusiasm. They all have in common once again, for English being your second language. I mean, it's better than my English, which is a little bit embarrassing. And you know, English is my first language. I do speak as my my friend, Jim s calls it Pidgin Spanish. Now, I don't know exactly what Pidgin Spanish means, but it doesn't Zelicah a compliment. Nonetheless, she says, I learned that although there are more traditional or progressive members, either pro or contra chips, everybody has a great respect and a four a and most of all, a great gratitude, and a true all truest love, man. Now, I hear you every day can now I hear you, John, every day commuting to work. morning and afternoon. And I remember to focus on my recovery. keep my mind open and avoid controversy. Thank you so much, Claudia. T. Claudia was fantastic. And you know, it's interesting, I have a couple of episodes in the queue right now that are unreleased. But I was able to talk to our friend Jimmy D. Again, who's been on the podcast several times in the past and God talks about tradition one and tradition too. So I think you'll find those very interesting in

John M 1:04:12

deed. All right, everybody. That wraps up Oh, no moss episode of a silver speak. So what is it that that I that? I that that? Oh, somebody said this one time and I said I was going to start ending the episodes with it is right from the big book. In fact, I read it on page 164. What is it? I'm sorry. It is May God bless you and keep you until then. Keep coming back folks. It works if you work it. As always. I take this one week at a time. Hope to be back next week with you folks. Love you guys be well

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