Doug R 00:00
I've had recognizable talent and recognizable intelligence. I can't be one of those people that can't get this thing. But the evidence says I am and I did a dumb thing. I said, God, God, if you're there, please help me.
John M 00:19
Well, 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 is 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 a or any 12 Step community. We represent only ourselves. We're 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 Studio A deep in the heart of Texas. That was the voice of Mr. Doug are the you heard at the beginning of this episode, and you are going to hear so much more from Doug are in just a moment. But first things first, this episode right here is being brought to you by Anna, in Clinton. And Terry, it Kurt and Todd and Joshua and Audrey and Jason and Mary Lynn. Excuse me. My voice is cracking up a little bit there. Do you know what?
John M 02:08
Anna included Terry curtain Todd and Joshua and Audrey and Jason and Mary Lynn did will let me fill you in. They went to our website, clicked on the little yeller donate tab. And they made a contribution y'all. So thank you, Anna and Clinton and Terry and Kurt and Todd and Joshua and Audrey and Jason and Mary Lynn. This episode is coming right out to humans. I John M, just another Bozo on the bus will indeed be the chair person for this meeting between meetings. And I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening in. I'm so glad you've joined us today. So take a seat if you will around this virtual table and let's get started. Remember, no matter who you are or what your past looks like, You Are Welcome Here it is an open table for all. And we are excited that you have joined us I
John M 03:16
just have a couple things today here on the front end I wanted to to share with you. Well, two things. Number one, what I heard on the radio here this past week, I heard somebody talking and they said this really resonated with me it says prayer is not asking God to do what I want. It's asking God to do what is right. We say that again. Prayer is not asking God to do what I want. It is asking God to do what is right. And that's so much lines up with the 11th step in our program and it says continue to take prayer meditation Wait a sec, I forgot it. Have you know what I'm talking about? They're asking God only for knowledge of his will for us in the power to carry that out. It was so nice. Here's something else I heard this week is for not heard but our read Rick are posted in our super secret Facebook group. By the way, if you want to be there, just go to Facebook, look up sober speak secret group and ask for and Missy own in there and we will get you in. So Rick are posted in there this week, though, something that I read. It helped me. So I'm going to pass it on to you. And this is from page 130 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It says we have come to believe he would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on Earth, this is where our fellow travelers are. And that is where our work must be done. These are realities for us, we have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness that's from page 130 was again of the big book. And let me go ahead and read that first part, just again, we have come to believe he would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on Earth. That is where our fellow travelers are. And that is where our work must be done. Thank you, Ricardo for posting them. Now, on to our featured speaker, or featured guests, whatever you want to call it, Speaker guest of the week. And this is Mr. Doug are from California. And we're calling this episode God. If you were there, please help me. Like I said, Doug is from Oh, how do you pronounce it too? We talked about it on the beginning of the episode but aways from California, and I think it's to Junga if I'm not mistaken, but nonetheless, Doug has been sober since 1987. That is 34 years. Doug talks about what makes an alcoholic and alcoholic. We talk about his relationship with Steve Martin. Yes, the Steve Martin and Doug's involvement in the play hairspray for many, many years and what that experience was like, duck talks about sucking whiskey out of his bedspread. You know, those lines were you know how it says you could tell you're an alcoholic. Right, that would be one of those lines. You were sucking whiskey out of your bedspread, you were probably an alcoholic. Anyway, we did run out of time on Doug's story and I have scheduled him for a follow up later this year to finish out his story. To finish out a story we ended up right when he was getting sober. But nonetheless, go ahead sit back enjoy Doug are in remember, we will have plenty o listener feedback at the end of this episode in Georgia. Okay, everybody. So today, we are sitting here with Mr. Doug, our of and I'll let you pronounce the name of the town that you're from. But Doug, why don't you go ahead and tell people introduce yourself give your sobriety date if you wish, and tell people where you live.
Doug R 07:47
My name is and thank you John. My name is Doug grateful alcoholic. And my sobriety date is June seventh 1987. My my home group is small new group called the new attitude group have aa in Burbank, California. And my wife Carla and I live in to Hunga, California, which is actually inside the city limits of La which is but la being 450 square miles. We break it up into sections and to Hunga is in the foothills of the Angeles forest. So it's right on the edge of the forest, and 20 minutes from downtown LA. And to Tonga is a Spanish spelling to you ju nga, the Spanish spelling of an Indian word. It's not a Spanish word. It's an Indian word, which there's some some controversy about what it means. Some people say it means Mother Earth, it probably means the place where the rocks are. Because if you stick a shovel in the ground, you're gonna hit a rock the size of your list. Not a lot of crops around here, but a lot of stone houses and fences. But a friend of mine said it's an Indian word, which means where the hell did all these Harley's come from? sponsor my sponsor, his name is Ralph White, who may have been a guest on on your on your podcast, John. And no,
John M 09:21
but you know what? I tried to reach out to him and he never did get back with me. So maybe with your help, we can actually get him on the podcast.
Doug R 09:32
Yeah, he doesn't shave easily, but I'll give it a shot. Good. So and I want to mention this too.
John M 09:43
So Well, first of all, a couple things. Number one, you are appearing here because a good friend of mine, his name is Steve G. He was actually the host of you and your wife, Carla, when you all were up in Crestview Probably six, seven years ago, something like that. Do you remember being up there in Crested Butte?
Doug R 10:06
Oh, sure. Yeah, that was fun, was a real good lineup of great speakers. It was a fun place to be. And a fun little town. And we had the opportunity of driving from Denver to Crested Butte because they kept postponing our planes, postponing, postponing, finally, we said, we need to get there. We rented a car and had this beautiful, beautiful drive from Denver to Crested Butte. So, God take care of us always. I'm gonna change your plans, Doug.
John M 10:42
And, you know, so I've heard you talk about this before, also the the change of plans and, uh, you know, as you know, you've been invited to speak at a lot of different conferences, and I know you talked about Ken D, and what he says about getting to the conference. And if you're late how, you know, by the way, I love candy. But not. So talk to me about that whole set.
Doug R 11:08
Okay, yeah. I just didn't tell somebody else's story. Kid. Okay. Ken said that he was supposed to speak and I think it was Euston. And you lived in San Diego, California. And he got on a plane. And they they went to what did from San Diego to Denver. And then they were supposed to go from Denver to Euston and you know, you're sitting on a plane, you start talking to the person next year, where are you going? Why are you going there? You're going home? You're leaving on whatever. And so he told this guy? Yeah, he's going, going to speak at an AI conference in Houston. You guys know I'm going to use it. And so anyway, they got to Denver, and they got a lot of times it did for planes get get sidetracked. I don't know why, but maybe because of the mountains but but they waited in the plane they were supposed to be on was postponed. And then finally they had to put her on another plane. And they got postponed for a couple of hours. And the guy said to Ken, so this conference in Euston when do you? When are you supposed to speak? He said tonight? And he said what time? Is it eight o'clock? He said, You're not gonna make it? No, no, we're not gonna make it. So well. How big a conference, is it? I don't know. Over 1000 people, I guess. My God will. Well, what will they do? He said, Well, they'll have somebody else. Give the talk. You know, anybody there can give the talk. And the guy said, Well, if anybody there can give the talk. Why are they flying you in from San Diego? I don't know. How they do it. Yeah. You know, God, obvious answer, Ken would have been too humble to say so but he's a great speaker. A young guy with a great spiritual message.
John M 13:16
Yeah, I tried to get him on here. He is just kind of declining all you know, invites recently. Who knows? Maybe he'll pick it up again. But uh, but I understand. He's been out there. So many times. He likes to focus on you know, his local San Diego group is
Doug R 13:38
Ken Ken is overcome with humility occasionally. You know, we went for a while. I don't know if you know, he went to live with an Indian tribe. I think the Opie's but it may have been a different tribe, but went to live with him for a while he didn't do any speaking. And I whether he went to a meetings there, I don't know. But then he you know, then he came back, and he got back speaking again. And, and he's always sponsoring people. You know, you can call him and talk to him back. It's hard to get off the phone with him.
Doug R 14:08
But he just sometimes he feels like not that he doesn't have a message to carry, but a lot of other people do as well. And he rather focus on local. You know, I don't have that humility thing going for me. So yeah. So I'm pretty much always available.
John M 14:33
Yeah, so anybody out there listening, I'm sure you can find if you look up Ken D, San Diego, California, and you want to find some of his oh, gosh, hope hilarious and moving talks. He just he does a great job. So I'm hoping to get him on the podcast eventually. But so the other thing I wanted to bring up though, as I signed into this meeting here today, you We're doing a little strumming on the guitar. In fact, I said, Hey, what do you play in there? You said, a guitar. And I thought, well, I know it's a guitar. But I'm assuming that the guitar is prominent in your existence. Am I right?
Doug R 15:19
Well, you know, it was for a long time. I don't even play every day. Now. I mean, there were long periods, where I used to play every day, sitting in my studio, waiting for, for this encounter, to happen. And I have 15 guitars in here. So I decided to play one of them. And I always love doing it when I'm doing it. I used to sing. And I haven't yet last January, I was diagnosed with COPD, which I had heard of it before, but I thought it meant the Colorado police department. But it stands for chronic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it means it's an incurable lung disease. And so sometimes I have trouble getting through a long sentence, that alone to sing a song I've lost the lower half of my range, and I just don't so now I sing like everybody else. My wife Carla, who always said she can't sing things much better than I do now. But, uh, and I, it's funny, because I used to sing when I gave my talk, I would talk about I had when in 1970 I auditioned for and got a part in the first national tour of air, the New York musical hair. And well, no, I traveled three and a half years in the first national tour of hair playing one of the lead roles. And it was fun job, but I used to sing well in my talk, sing the songs that I that I auditioned with, and I can't do that anymore. Because it's has to do with James Brown and Otis Redding. And I can't hit those high notes anymore. Wow.
John M 17:18
Okay, so let's dive into your story here a little bit. Um, tell me like, do you have you ever thought around? Have you ever sat around and thought about you know, what made me an alcoholic? Why haven't I alcoholic? I may have you gone through that kind of mental gyrations?
Doug R 17:38
Well, I did when I was new, you know? I mean, what makes me an alcoholic? Isn't my body doesn't process alcohol. Same way that 90% of the people on the planet do. You know, I mean, that's pretty much it. But you know, when you're new, you actually, I think we do this looking for a way out, you know, come they say, look for the similarities, not the differences. Which, by the way, is a is why I noticed when I signed in it said pronouns and make my pronouns we are because a lot of people like to put the pronouns after their names. Now, he Yeah,
John M 18:20
so that's interesting. So I'm seeing that while I were talking, and
Doug R 18:25
it was a side issue. Like people, you don't see people putting their race and their age, and then some people put their sobriety dates and their phone numbers, which is something but it's funny, all of a sudden, people started putting their, their pronouns after their names as if it were not an outside issue.
John M 18:48
Right, so I thought that like when you've we our which I'm looking at, I thought it was kinda like a related sort of pronoun. Look for the similarities,
Doug R 18:59
not the differences, you know? And it's passive aggressive, I'm okay with that. I'm not gonna drink over being passive aggressive. I ask God to remove my arrogance. If it stands in the way of my useful this dam and my fellows, so far, so good. But where were we Oh, yeah.
John M 19:32
Oh, you're talking about what makes what an alcohol ways to,
Doug R 19:35
to get out of here. You know, because I mean, when I came in, seemed like I heard a lot of people saying, you know, I come from an alcoholic family. My, my wife Carla. came from an alcoholic family and started drinking young. I never had a drink till I was 18. My parents were in fact, my whole immediate family. None of them are alcoholics. My dad I've enjoyed a beer occasionally. And he actually said one time I enjoy a beer. But the idea of drinking so much beer that it affects the way I walk and talk and drive a car. It's kind of insane. You know? I don't know, hey, I, you know, he would stop what he was doing on a Saturday afternoon and go have a beer, you know, working in the car, working in the yard, you know, watching a football game, stop and have a beer and then go back to what he was doing. So I mean, my mom, I don't know if you've ever heard this, I talk about it sometimes. My mom may have been an alcoholic, but we couldn't tell because you wouldn't drink. And you really can't accurately diagnose somebody with alcoholism if they won't swallow any alcohol. When I finally got around to asking her about three years sober, but why don't you drink? And she said, What do you mean? Well, that was English. Why don't you drink you make me now? No, I mean, ever. I don't know. Are you an alcoholic? Am I Am I an alcoholic? Have you ever seen me take a break? No, you know, but I know hundreds of alcoholics that don't drank. I mean, what's your deal? I don't know. And she got kind of defensive. Like I'm calling her an alcoholic. And she said, I know when I was young, that my friends drank. You know, I drank with them. Every time I drank I got sick, stupid and obnoxious. So I just stopped. And I said, you what? You got to drink through that mom? The promised land lies beyond six stupid enough. Not just you can't just puke on a few friends shoes and then give it up forever. So you know, you're as good as she was. She was She was a lovely lady. She begged for for Dan. And generous, funny, smart, caring, loving woman musical. But she just didn't have the tenacity.
Doug R 22:21
You know? You might have made it. She just stuck with it. But
John M 22:30
it's hard to falter though, isn't it?
Doug R 22:32
Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. I don't know. It was easy for me. I mean, I never I never had a drink till I was 18. Me I was virtually a man. I was, you know, draftable age when I got sober. I mean, when I when I started drinking. And i just i i My friend Morris. He was like a sec sponsor. You know, he was like a little bit more advanced. And there guys we hung out with. And he told me if you want to get
John M 22:57
into a sec, let me make sure I you just said he was a sex sponsor. He was more advanced the guy? Yeah.
Doug R 23:05
He was he was more sexually advanced than the guys we hung out with. And it was about five of us. Rich Berger, Morris Walker, Rick Kendall, and comedian Steve Martin. We hung out in high school and are your new comedian, then we were better comedians, and he was, but he was a hard worker yet, but none of those other guys are alcoholics. You know, and we drank together smoked dope together and stuff. And they all grew up I guess, you know. And I just I just kept drinking. But but more said, if, if you want to get a home run with this girl, you got to get her drunk. So I heard that. I want to get that home run thing. You know. So when stole the quarter Rainier, Railo is that gate Dean. In this girl I went parked and I pulled it out from under the seat, open it up and had a drink of it which tasted like carbonated dishwater. But I pass it to her, she drinks them, we pass it back and forth. And first time I ever had an alcohol buzz. Whoa, this is why people like this, you know? So that was my first alcohol buzz. And the first time I ever had sex in front of a witness. And well, I'm you know, I'm gonna do both of these things. Much as I can the rest of my I did the best I could and I got out of high school and got a guitar and I had a guitar ready and started playing guitar. And first acoustical guitar telling jokes and singing songs and coffee houses and then when the Beatles came to us and opened up a whole new area of music and When from Kingston Trio and Peter Paul and Mary to The Beatles or Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds Grateful Dead Jefferson Airplane, big brother in the holding company, I got an electric guitar, moved up to Hollywood, gotten a band, a couple of different bands. And then I mentioned before I got I had an audition and I got the part in, in hair. Did that for three and a half years and that, you know, just a fun job.
John M 25:28
So, okay, a couple things. Number one, you said it was a high school where you're going to do with a Steve Martin, you guys are like hanging out. Very cool. Just curious to you guys. Do you have any relationship today? Or did it exactly. I
Doug R 25:46
mean, we don't hang out. You know, I don't hang out with any of those guys. But all of those guys. You know, I can contact them. I can call Steve. Sometimes we exchange emails. I'm not I don't remember the last time we talked on the phone. He invited me up to his house for dinner. One time friend of ours is coming from Connecticut. One of the folds Unlimited is what we called ourselves. And we were our friend Rick came from Connecticut out for high school reunion. Steve didn't go to the reunion. Because, you know, just a lot of people that didn't know him want to hang out, you know what, anyway, you know, it's hard being a celebrity. But anyway, so I went up to Steve's house for dinner and, and the three of us got together. But I mean, anytime I want, he calls me all the time. Sometimes. My daughter lives in Santa Barbara, and she's a columnist, named Starshine. Rochelle. And she did an article about Steve in the local paper up there and Steve kind of became friends with her a little bit. So he'll send me an email once in a while. I'm performing at the Santa Barbara bowl of star shiner, her husband her son's want to come let me know you know that kind of thing? Yeah, he doesn't do that for me when he plays at the Hollywood Bowl cuz he's got so many friends in LA
John M 27:12
so you mentioned also being in the the play hair. That that lasted for how long? Three years? Yeah,
Doug R 27:21
about three and a half years. All over? I'm
John M 27:23
sorry. I miss the date on that we you sober at that time or not? Oh, no. Way before? Okay.
Doug R 27:32
No, the audition was in 1970. So March of 70. They hired me to go to Vegas. We played Vegas from March till October. And then we left and became the first national tour and toured the United States in Canada for three and a half three years and you know, we would do mostly two sometimes three weeks. One time we were in one place in Toronto for a month. And you know, living in hotels, primarily and and drinking and drugging and sexing and when the bad life John
John M 28:16
just second, we will be continuing our conversation with gar in just a moment. Just a reminder, you're listening to sober speak you can find us on the worldwide web at WWE sober, sober speak calm. You can also find the donate button on our website you can use if and only if the spirit moves you please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you the listener so we're speaking as a self supporting organization through our own contributions. Alright, so so you're not one of those guys, and I guess it says what's the saying your I wouldn't trade my best day
Doug R 28:54
day for our best I wouldn't trade my best day drinking from my worst days sober. Yeah, you imagine people saying shit like that?
John M 29:08
I don't get that. I mean,
Doug R 29:09
and I know people that that is true. They say it. And if I if I talk they say no I wouldn't. I never had a good day drinking or baby. You know, cuz I had some good good days, drinking and using and I had some bad bad days in 34 years of sobriety. But uh, I don't know about very much.
John M 29:34
Right. And you know, I when I hear that sometimes I'm like, well, listen, if you ever go back out, you come get me and I'll show you how it's done. All right. I still have some pretty good skills. I'm pretty sure I could. I could dust off and get people going in the right direction. Alright, so I see you're, you're out they're touring. You're having a good time. You're living the big life. At some point, I'm assuming this thing started. Take a little bit of a dive.
Doug R 30:07
Yeah, not during the tour. You know, I mean, I mean, I'm in after that. Yeah. After that we'll see. Towards the end of that run. I had hooked up with a with a gal who was working in the show, she wasn't a performer. She was you worked in the office, and we got together and and she got pregnant and we had a little girl and who was born on the road sachet. Their name because she was born when we were, you know, I came off stage. When and, and her mother's there and she goes, she's, I don't know, 678 months pregnant. I got it. If it's a girl Starshine and, yeah, that's fine. You know, whatever. I don't care cuz I know. It's gonna be a boy. I mean, look at me, you know? How could my sperm produce anything but a man child? It's good thing. I never was obsessed with my ego, anyway. But so we did, we had this little girl star shine, and shine. She went back to LA and she set up housekeeping. And when the show had finished its run. I came home. And I was home for a while and I don't know, she, you know, she went to work for doing office temp work. And I kept auditioning for things and I never, I got a lot of callbacks, but never really made it to get that part. You know, and, and I would visit friends and cheat on her mother and, and take her to bars and auditions and stuff and, and on the back of my Harley. I got went to Goodwill and got a car seat and welded some brackets on it. Draft into the back of my Harley. She's riding around, no helmet in diapers on the back of a Harley, and LA traffic. And I think what a good parent I have taken care of during the day, you know, with finding your mother just said, Look, stay in your daughter's life. I know you love her, she loves you. But just get the hell out of mine. I can't do this anymore. So she was a she was a really good mother. Really good mother. And I did the best I could to contribute to her to my daughter's upbringing. But you know, I just stayed in her life. I didn't, you know, her mother remarried, and married a great guy. And there were times the more I drank and use the the worst paradip game. She got grew up when she was going to school. And I mean, one time I went to her school and and she told me the next day, my teacher, my math teacher said how charming you were, you know, you were funny and charming. That was one time another time I went there and I was a little too drunk. And I tripped over a chair. And I yelled at somebody was in my way. And I tried to make a pass and one of her teachers and you know, just she never knew if I was going to end up coming be the the charming dad that everybody liked or the asshole that, you know, that just embarrassed her. One time I went to pick her up at her mom's house. I was on a Saturday, half Saturday at noon, I'm going to pick her up, we're going to spend the weekend together. And I was already drunk. I didn't mean to be, you know, it gets out of hand. And her stepfather said, Doug, you're drunk. You know, I can't let's start getting a car with you. And I knew he was right. I was embarrassed and ashamed. You know, and God, I, you know, I was I left there, drove down the street, I started crying so hard, I couldn't stand it. I had to pull in a liquor store and get a bottle of whiskey to stop the pain. And I worked a couple of pulls on that bottle of whiskey. And that pain, you know, that kind of pain that you're so embarrassed and ashamed that you think it's going to get worse every second from now on. And a couple of shots of whiskey going, you know, that's what alcohol does for me. When people say what why do you drink so much? And you want to say why don't you?
John M 34:32
So take me from there, Doug. So at some point, you make your way into a what sort of what do you want to chronicle before you actually get up to a is there any other significant milestones?
Doug R 34:47
Well, besides hurting disappointing, embarrassing my daughter, which was a really big deal to me, but it wasn't enough for me to give up alcohol. I wanted to To control and enjoy, you know, but other than also, I started hurting myself, you know, I slid on my motorcycle, I made a wrong turn and slid under a tractor trailer. And I got up from that I was I had a road rash, but I got up I was like, hey, I want, you know, I live to scratch my bike and scratch my leg in my arm and, you know, but hey, I know the time I get drunk and I I skied off a cliff, Southern California, mountains snow areas, you know, and, and I broke my shoulder and I was out of work for six weeks, until my shoulder healed and I got back to work and went to a party one night, and ended up this girl and I went to get eggs in the morning so somebody could make breakfast. And it was such a beautiful morning, we thought we should have sex in the great outdoors. So we found it, we found a parking structure for a story parking structure, and managed to get up to the top of that, and I fell off of it for a story is 54 feet straight down, landed on my feet. But my knees buckled Of course. And I kicked myself in the ass and broke my pelvis in two places. And also snapped the heel bone off my right foot and shoved it to my foot like a bowling ball and broke all the little bones in my right foot. So I didn't walk away from that one. But here's the good news. That was the parking structure of St. Joseph's Hospital. So
John M 36:41
they didn't so I do have to ask this though, just as a way my mind works. Were you able to consummate the relationship before that accident?
Doug R 36:57
No, no, no. But since you asked, no, because what happened was the gate was locked and we went up the fire escape, and the fire escape door was locked. But I knew it would be open from the inside. So I jumped to the wall hoping to go over the wall and open the door when I made the jump to the wall. But it was thicker than I thought. And I was drunker than I thought turned out I had a point for old blood alcohol level. And which evidently some people die from that. But I guess if you're used to it, you're you're an acrobat. Anyway. So I felt that's why I fell off of that thing. And so we didn't. But since you asked, while I was in the hospital for 10 days, that girl came to visit me and we pull the curtain close and we work
Doug R 37:50
very much when you have a broken pelvis, man, everything, every muscle is connected to your pelvis. Anyway, I won't go into the details of
John M 38:05
your right Right, right.
Doug R 38:08
I got that. I was there for 10 days and they finally figured out how to kind of put my foot back together so it looked like a foot again. After eight hours of surgery. I had friends bringing me in whiskey and cocaine into the hospital. And it never occurred to me to ask the doctors. Look, I know you give me Demerol and Percocet and for the pain. I'm self administered cocaine and Irish whiskey. Gonna be a conflict you know? Think about it. I hell I'm in the hospital. What do they felt like? They gotta come find me somewhere. Anyway, I got but what happened was the gal that I was with that my big my best drinking partner, Teddy. This I fell off a building and she had bought them. And she decided to go to AA and and the difference in who she became. Oh, crazy. Crazy loud mouth drunk woman. Everybody loved her because you were for one thing. She was a gifted actress. But but she became a lady in every sense of the word job. every sense of the word, she just became a lady. She be she would show up appropriately dressed when she said she was going to be sir, speaking in whole sentences, you know, and everybody loved that and she wasn't going to die. You know? And but every time I talked to her she'd say things like meetings and steps and sponsors and finally I told her Hey, listen, do me a favor. Shut up. Again, if I ever see my life, if I ever see alcohol interfering in my life, I probably will go to a she said Jesus does. How many jobs have you lost from being drunk? You've been asked not to come to your daughter's house drunk anymore, you know, you skied off a cliff drunk. You're out of work for six weeks, you fell off a four storey parking structure with a point four Oh, blood alcohol level. You're still on crutches. What would you call interference? Brain death?
John M 40:21
She's got a good voice.
Doug R 40:22
I say Well, yeah. Okay, I see where you're coming from, you know? But I, I don't think accidents should count. You know? I mean, really, anybody fall off a four story building is gonna get her drunk or sober. Do you got alcoholism mixed up with gravity? See? She's your imposter. Yeah, I'm out of here. Okay, I won that one. But I watched her watch your put her life together, she started working in treatment. She she met and married our handsome, talented TV actor, they had a little girl, you know, I mean, I just saw her life getting together in my life going farther apart. I can barely, like, barely hold a job. Fortunately, I worked in a union where you call in to get sent to to the TV studios, you know, so it wasn't like, I get fired from one and I call the union gets sent to another. But my life was really going down the toilet, John and I finally decided to go and try a really what I had in mind was whatever these 12 steps are, maybe there's two or three of them that I can apply to seriously cutting down. You know, because I don't know what the steps are. But maybe there's a couple of minor No. And I would do in a meeting. And I got my first big book. And I you know, I like the people that you know, it was obvious. I knew that a was a place where people who drank like me, and didn't drink anymore. I knew that from watching Teddy and some other people I knew. And I didn't care about doing that. And I really didn't care about all the god stuff in here. You know, but I got a big book. And I started looking to this big book, like doctor's opinion. I've had the doctors opinions build story, who cares? You know, I got to chapter four we agnostics and I thought, okay, good. This is where this is how the smart people stay sober without God. We agnostics, right? So I poured more whiskey and, and ran into about a half a bottle of whiskey. First, my first reading of the big book. But I read that chapter, we agnostics. And this is I missed the whole part about the smart people stay sober. You know, the first paragraph says if when you honestly want to find you can't quit entirely. Or once you start, you have little control over the amount you take, you're probably an alcoholic. And if that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness, which only a spiritual experience will conquer. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Where's the smart people stuff? Yeah. I'm just ignoring anything, it doesn't apply to what I'm looking for. For the second reading, I went, I read it. And I thought I need to read this again, I missed everything. So I read it again. And the second reading, I did notice a sentence that says we found that God does not make to our terms on those who seek them. And I didn't have an epiphany or anything when I read that. But I know this is a different. This is a different kind of concept of God than I'm used to hearing. I never heard anybody say that. And so I went back to A and that's that's what happened. I went back to a my first eight months in a I didn't do anything right except keep coming back. I didn't have a HomeGroup or sponsor read the book or take the steps. I didn't know what tradition was. I certainly didn't have a commitment anywhere, didn't believe in God. And I was drinking every day. So I really did everything wrong except keep coming back. And at that time, there was a this is 1986 There was about 2000 meetings a week in LA. So I could go to a different meeting every day. And nobody would really get to know me, but I kind of get an overview of a and I'm so glad that happened. You know because I really what I was trying to do was keep from from people knowing me. But what I did was got it a good overview of A. And eventually,
Doug R 45:07
eventually what happened I came home drunk. And I fell on my knees and asked God for help. I didn't mean to. I used to follow it. But one night I fell on my knees in my bedroom, and I spilled whiskey all over the bed. And I grabbed I flipped the bottle, there was still whiskey in the bottle. I started sucking the whiskey out of the bedspread. And a voice in my head. I swear to God, John, if I felt if you ever heard one of those voices where you feel like if somebody else were in the room, they would hear it all. So that's what I heard. It said a man. That ain't right. You, you thirsty and whiskey in the bottle man. I'm not, I'm not thirsty. I'm, I'm frugal. I'll ruin it. I'll waste my life. But I'm not letting the whiskey evaporate in a bedspread overnight. And I looked at what I was doing, man, there was whiskey in the bottle. I'm sucking it out. And I've been going to a for eight months. And I haven't learned how to not suck whiskey out of a bedspread. And I did a dumb thing. I felt like maybe I'm one of those people that can't get to see. The book says there are some people that can't get it. And I couldn't believe that because I'm a smart man. You know, and and talented. I've got you know, I've I've had recognizable talent in my life, and recognizable intelligence. I can't be one of those people that can't get this thing. But the evidence says I am. And I did a dumb thing. I said, God, God, if you're there, please help me. I didn't put any conditions on it. I didn't say help me put my life together helped me get sober. Help me stop drinking me. You know, to be a good father. I just said if you're there, please help me. And I'm not sure that I even knew it was a prayer. I probably, but I went to bed and went to sleep. And over the next two weeks, almost every day, somebody from AA was between me and a drink behind the counter of a liquor store, in the in the pushing a cart in the aisle of the supermarket in the liquor department a hey, one day at a time, you know, and I'm taking chips, I got different sobriety dates at different groups. I'm, you know, claiming and I you know, I see some, or I don't remember what meeting they're going through or if days or 90 days or ever but you know, a bartender, a goddamn bartender went in this bar. And this guy for me. I said, What are you doing in yours as I work in here? What are you doing in here? You got any coffee, you know? The phone. And I finally finally after two weeks of this, I realized that I had asked God for help. And I clearly had gotten the help that I asked for. That may have happened before. But if I did, I never noticed it. But I couldn't not notice this that I asked for help. And then I'm running on end to all these people from a between me and a drink. And it didn't keep me from drinking. I still drink every day. But you can't not notice the hurdles you have to jump through after a while. And I was on the way to work. And I just realized it's all hit me at once I pull the car over to the side of the road. And I said you and Mika, I get it. You and me. What do I got to do? And I didn't hear another voice. Well, I kinda I kind of did see my guy get here God laughing
John M 49:08
Alright, Doug, so here's what I run into sometimes with oh, people. We are just now getting sober with you. I've got some appointments I have to get to. I'm enjoying this conversation so much. How about we pause the recording button here in a second. I get you on the calendar. And you come back at some other point to tell the what it was like version of this. Okay, what's happened at me? Cuz you've got Yeah, cuz that we've got 34 years to cover. Right. And I would love to have a conversation about that. Would you be willing to come back at some other point?
Doug R 49:55
Sure. This isn't very painful.
John M 50:01
The this. Hopefully it's not painful. And I would love to have you back. And I'm also going to talk to you a little bit about your wife, Carla, after we hit the pause button now the recording here, but here's what I always do, I close it out with page 164 from the big book. And it says, abandon yourself to God as you understand God, admit your faults to him and to your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past. give freely of what you find and join us we shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit. And you will surely meet some of us like me, and Doug are as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you, and keep you until then, once again, I really appreciate you coming on today.
Doug R 50:57
My pleasure, Joe.
John M 50:59
Oh, that Doug are is a hoot, is he not? And I'll, I'm going to look very forward to having him on an upcoming episode. Now remember, we do not want to share in your gossip, but we would love you to share this episode with a friend or a family member. It may be just what they need today. Thank you so much again, Mr. Doug are now on to a little bit of listener feedback. Lisa writes in Lisa V, actually, as he says, Hey, John, I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how much your podcast has meant to me in my sobriety. I've been sober since May 31 of 2021. So I'm still very much a newcomer and I know I have a lot to learn. I've heard some really great things and I have definitely not left at the curb. I have heard a lot of great things that I have definitely not lotton Use me not left at the curb for the trash man to pick up. But I've held on to whether you're featuring a guest who can help me understand the fundamentals of a and sober living, or someone that has a life story I can relate to your show is always worth listening to please continue your your great work, you are helping people to keep the plug in the jug and that is how we stay sober in a PS I love your interview style. And you seem to always ask people the exact questions that I'm wanting to know about. Thanks for all you do. Lisa V and Lincoln, Nebraska. Well, Lisa, That's so kind of view that, oh, gosh, that that message that you sent and just made my day I so much appreciate it. I really, really do appreciate all you guys out there. I'm just I'm blessed to get to know some of you in person. And the people that I know in Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole the people that I get to see my my home group and I'm just I'm a blessed man and that I get to know all of you all virtually and hear your comments and get to kind of be a small part of your sobriety. And it just gives me so much joy. Thank you, Lisa. Claudia writes in and Claudia says Hello, John. Greetings from Brazil. I was driving to work this morning listening to Rachel Debbie has a wonderful story. And I identified as a mother as well with her a lot. And if you have not heard Rachel, let me go here. Just real quick a look at this. That's Rachel Divya. Excuse me podcasts. You think I would know this stuff right off the top of my head. But is Rachel Debbie episode number Excuse me? Why is it loading so slow? Anyway, Rachel, Debbie, if you have not heard that episode yet, I would just highly recommend you to go back and review Rachel's episode again. It was absolutely fantastic. And you'll have to excuse me my internet in my internet is now loading right now. But it is like to two or three episodes before this. I think I released it on like January 7, right in that area, if I'm mistaken. And so anyway, you got to go back in here, Rachel, which is absolutely fantastic. Anyway, she says that the end of the episode of Rachel's episode, you're reading audience comments, and someone said that they fast forward through your introduction. And I thought, well, first of all, I really have fun with that introduction. And most of the chances are that John and his contagious energy will always bring some inspiration to my day. Well, thank you, Claudia. She says,
John M 55:00
Well, five seconds later, you read my oh shows your Susie's listening to the email. Excuse me. She listened to the episode. She says, Well, five seconds later, you read the email that I sent out to you last December. I am still catching up on episodes since I spent two weeks of summer vacation at the beach and just returned to work. Well, that sounds pretty cool. Two weeks of summer vacation in Brazil at the beach. Hey, I think a lot of people would trade places with you right now. But anyway, she says sorry if I sounded too formal or eloquent. Here goes another one Rs Rs Rs. I'm not sure what that means. You didn't sound too formal or ello eloquent for me. It's formal for me. Are you kidding me? Anyway, she says here in Brazil, we usually go to english courses, since we were kids, and they always focus more on writing in formal language. So whenever I'm writing something in English, I feel like I'm writing an essay. But for the first time when I went to North Carolina, I could not get right. What I wanted at McDonald's. She's got to Vic's like face. Anyway, if it sounded like I was the Queen of England, or Master Yoda speaking, I apologize. But it was 100% sincere and full of love. Again, thank you for reading it made my day best wishes. Looking forward to the episodes you mentioned. Well, guess what? I hope this makes your day two as well, because you got this one read on air and I appreciate it. You know,
John M 56:49
let me say this. You speak 100 times better English, right? 100 times better English than I do Spanish or Brazilian? Which I think is Portuguese. I digress. But anyway, thank you so much for writing in for shit that Alan writes in and Alan's is, Hey, John, I enjoy your podcast. Especially how all your words and in an S that sound like with a Z? Oh, yeah, I had to email him back. I wasn't sure what he meant like that. But apparently, the those of us with any sort of drawl, if you will, from Texas. The word sound like when it ends. And as I'm putting a Z on there, I'm gonna have to go back and listen to myself. Not only do you've got a great presence on the podcast friendly and engaging can't think of a particular speaker I like I just enjoy listening to this podcast. There are so many out there and yours is done very well. I've been sober for a while. And since the pandemic and I have been exploring meetings all over the world online and I'm trying to expand my spiritual growth by listening to more and more diverse shares that experience strength and hope. Do you ever Oh, yeah. Remember this? Do you ever interview a historians or trustees? I just read the book writing the big book. And the author is speaking at a history symposium tonight. And he gave me the link I wasn't able to attend if you're interested. And also the book 12 steps to religious religion Lous. Spirituality is an amazing book and written by former class a trusty word be Ewing anyway, thanks for your service. Take care, Alan. Well, I don't know if you're referring to trustees that are alcoholic trustees or non alcoholic trustees like word there. But this particular episode right here is Jimmy D. And I'm always interested in interviewing somebody I have attended. And as you know, I emailed you back and see, I was asking if you could get the name of the person who write that book wrote that book for me so I could get in touch with them and possibly have a conversation. But anyway, thanks for bringing that up on. And I will keep my ears to the ground and I am interested in a history very much interested in Jason's Z posted in the Facebook group. So we have several people in the Facebook group now that will post in there they'll give you know something from a literature and sometimes give a little commentary after it. Sometimes not and They do quotes and they do a lot of things. And Jason Z's been posting a lot of stuff lately and this is his post from January 29. Anyway, it says it says life will take on a new meaning to watch people recover, to see them help others to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you to have a host of friends. This is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives and many of you are going to recognize that that is from page 89 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, but then he follows up. Jason Z follows up with a little bit of a commentary in the commentary says when my daughter was just five months old, my wife noticed something with one of her eye muscles that the doctors didn't see, I worked with a pediatric I worked with a pediatric eye surgeon who was good enough to see her immediately and evaluate my wife's findings. Rather than having round eyes. Our daughter's eyes are slightly oval shaped, resulting in vision that was extremely blurry. She was given a rather strong prescription for glasses, and both my wife and I were eager to get the prescription filled. Not many stores catered to a five month old child though, and we drove all over the city trying to find assistance. After a long couple of days, glasses in hand, we placed them on our daughter's face and watched her watched a miracle happen. A baby who had never seen the world woke up to a world of shapes, colors, and objects she had never seen before. She saw her mommy and daddy, she smiled. She looked at her own hand in amazement, it was as close to a biblical miracle, as I have ever seen in my lifetime. When they say an AA don't leave before the miracle happens. They mean it. They've seen scores of dead men and woman brought to life pulled out of loneliness and desperation into light, laughter and love. We are not given new glasses, but we are given a new perspective. And we see new colors, shapes and objects in our world. Once again, it's not quick as the miracle that I saw in my daughter, because as they say, time takes time, but it can it will happen if we let it Happy Saturday. Thank you, Jason for posting that. I think that's a great way to end the episode this week. God bless you all. May God bless you and keep you until then. Keep coming back. It works if you work. Once again. I take this one week at a time. Hope to be back next week with everybody. God bless you