Katie P 00:00
I could get anybody to do anything I asked. So when I hit a wall later at 17 years sober and in the third step it says that I got to be convinced that any life run on self will can hardly be a success. I was it took four years for me to come out of what I call untreated alcoholism in the rooms of AA, because Self Reliance worked for me
John M 00:26
what Hello friends of build via 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 AA 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 Dipika coming at you from Studio A deep in the heart of Texas. And that was the voice of Katie P. Once again the you heard at the beginning of this episode and you will be hearing so much more from her in just a moment on this year episode number 228. of sober speak but first things first, this episode. The one you are listening to right here right now is brought to you by Trudy and Randy and Marie and Michelle and Adrian and David and Katyn, you asked yourself what in the world did Trudy and Randy and Maria Michelle and Adrienne and David and Kate do will let me fill you in. They went to our website superspeed.com they clicked on the little yeller donate tab and they made a contribution. So thank you so much again, Trudy and Randy and Marie and Michelle, Adrian, David and Kate for helping us keep the virtual lights on this episode is coming right out to humans. So let me just say here first Lee to begin with I guess is how you phrase that let me just say to begin with that some of you more astute listeners may have paid attention and realize something that I actually published Katie P part one a couple of weeks back and then I was supposed to follow up with KDP part two as I promised at the end of KTP part one but I did not and that was just a complete accident I just wasn't paying attention and we published Doug are but we're back to Miss Katie P part two so my apologies if any of you are tuned in last week expecting to hear Katie P part two that's a lot of KTPs in there anyway. 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 so take a seat if you will around this virtual table and let's get started I talked about this last week but just to kind of throw it out there again when just so you know we this question I get a lot in that is Hey which one he you know you have 225 or whatever it is episodes are actually 228 Now, I said that the beginning of the episode, but nonetheless you have 228 episodes which one should I listen to First John M Well, it's hard for me to tell you which one to go to, but I can tell you which ones are most listened to most downloaded, if you will, and also the ones that have been voted on by for the listeners in the past, if you go to server speak comm there's a little tab at the top of the website, and it will, it says top episodes. And once again, that's either most downloaded or voted on by the listeners. And you can see him for the past three years. And we now have that list out for 2021.
John M 05:23
Now, on Oh, I wanted to read this first before I got into the episode, Jason in the super secret Facebook group. By the way, if you're not there, and you want to join us go to Facebook and look up sober speak, secret group and ask for admission Leone into the group, and we will get you there. But nonetheless, Jason, we have a ton of people in there. I've talked about this in the past that post some really solid content. I mean, there's a lot of celebrations going on in there as well and, you know, posting of zoom meetings and other meetings and all that kind of stuff. But there's a there's several people in there that post a sometimes on a daily basis. And I talk about them. And I'm real grateful for the people that do that. And anyone this one was posted in there, and Jason posted it. It's called mysterious paradoxes. And this is from Alcoholics Anonymous, AA comes of age. And page 46, he says, or the book says, such is the paradox of a regeneration, strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one. I'm going to read that again. It's called mysterious paradoxes. And once again, as from page 46, of a comes alive, excuse me, a comes of age. And it says, such as the paradox of a regeneration, strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one. Oh, that's beautiful. And then Jason goes on. He has a lot of commentary afterwards on that, but I just wanted to read that on the podcast today. And, Jason, I appreciate you posting them. Now on to Katie P. Part two. Once again, Katie lives in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas, and has been sober since 1984. This week, it is a follow up to the KDP part one you can go back a couple of episodes and listen to that. But you don't have to go in order. I think they'd be just fine reading them out of order but we discuss Katie's journey with her former husband while in Alcoholics Anonymous for many years, her experience with a codependency therapy group and what she experienced from that what she got out of that we talked about self reliance, we talk about singleness of purpose. Oh and much more. So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you, Katie P and we will have plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of this episode. Enjoy Katie. Okay, everybody. So we are back. One more time. Udo moss tiempo with Miss Katie P for well, Katie, why don't you go ahead, introduce yourself. Give your sobriety date if you wish to tell people where you live.
Katie P 08:52
My name is Katie Parker, alcoholic sobriety date October 28 of 1984. And I live in Austin, Texas. October 28 1980 1984.
John M 09:02
So help us how many years is that?
Katie P 09:09
37 Wow. That's great. Just celebrated 37 years. It blows me away. I mean, I'm just like, Wow, 37 years, I remembered my 20 year chip and I thought holy smokes I'm an old timer now I am officially
John M 09:29
and yeah, I remember when I would see people with 20 years when I first got sober and I just thought to myself oh my God hadn't How did they How did they make it you know? And you know and by the grace of God for me, I've been one day at a time just like you sober since 1989. And so now it kind of it just kind of baffles my mind. I don't feel like a quote old timer if you want to say that, you know, like Reno John says you know there's there's a there's also a long time Virgina I'd rather call as a long time over there. Alright, so last time we got together Katie and I spoke about several different subjects we talked about growing up and or her growing up or where she grew up and, you know, in in Houston and then the surrounding areas and then getting to Austin. We talked a bit a little bit we talked about our Father. We talked about her fitness business a little bit, by the way, I do want to ask you about that. I was just curious. You. You said you own a Jazzercise
Katie P 10:37
John M 10:39
franchise for like 30 years or so. Right? Yeah. What was what? What was that like being a businesswoman?
Katie P 10:45
Oh, my God. Well, I was a legend. In my own mind, I can tell you that. I actually taught at the recreation center, downtown Austin for 30 years. So I mean, I even taught George Bush's girls. They brought the Secret Service with them one time. But it was it was a remarkable career. And my Judy Shepard miss. It was the creator of Jazzercise in 1968. Believe it or not, most people think it started in the 80s. We just celebrated 50 years a while back and, and she is an amazing, amazing female role model. And then her daughter is my best friend. And we I ran with such powerful women that I never saw any sort of female, you know, this, this whole stuff going on. Now. I'm like, I mean, I was in the 70s working at a bank. And yeah, you might have, you know, the the president corner in the stairwell because he's too drunk, and you go, Oh, knock it off, you know, and went on. I mean, that was what my experience was, I worked at a concrete company, where that was just a blast. It was all men. And you know, all that was just a blast. But when I ran with these women, I was incredibly successful. And I say that with the eye. People are like, well, not very humble. I'm like, Whatever, man, I'm so proud of myself. I was an incredible businesswoman. I traveled the world for 18 years speaking on marketing, with no education. You know, I had no college degree, no anything, but I knew I was good. I knew I was good with people, I knew that I was good with life skills. And I made a ton of money in the business and did really, really well and loved it. So and I've been an athlete all my life. So you know, I think it's taken a really, I feel really good about what I did. And they actually asked me to come back. And we were in Vegas for a big Jazzercise convention, about 4000 instructors were there. And they said, Katie, we want you to come back and motivate these people and and talk about the current air, the current environment. And it was the I wasn't even quite sure what I was going to do. But I got up there. And it was like God just got shows up just most of the time, right at the last minute for me. And I said to God, one time, I said, Why is it always in the 11th? hour? And he said, clearly, why do you say it's the 11th hour? It's here, I showed up? Instead of me always thinking, Well, I wouldn't like to two weeks ago, so I wouldn't have to stress myself out. But I did this incredible presentation, that sometimes I'll watch it I don't really care to watch myself or listen to myself, but this one was a big deal. You know, that of of these over 10,000 instructors, they asked me to come back to motivate the crowd. It was it was a huge honor. huge honor. So I and then when I retired in Austin, the paper did a three page layout on me. I mean, they had they had pictures of me this big and I mean, they were like, level by 14. And it was it was just all about me. And I told Charlie, I said, Oh my god, I go. Austin is the capital computer capital of like, you know, you know what it is? It's like, it's a computer capital. There are CEOs, CFOs CEOs, and they put me in the paper you know, and I was just it was a real honor. So I was I was just blessed on so many levels to have an amazing career have another child. I mean, everything was just really awesome.
John M 14:23
That's I love that I love that. Um, okay, so and you're and I also wanted to mention this You had mentioned that before we started recording that last time you it during during the the first part where you shared I don't know exactly what we're going to title that yet. It just may be KTP part one, I don't know what it is, but the first time that we shared, you had been able to recount some stories that you generally do not get to recount is there right?
Katie P 14:55
Yeah, I don't i i usually use that hour at a conference to share with My story that I want to talk about what it's like being 37 years sober and how that experience was, because to me, and this is my strong opinion, at those conferences, there's not that many new people. So that story of drinking and relating, I think is more for the guy when we're need a nice drink. And I like the story to be more about what it's like to be sober, because I find that much harder than getting sober. getting sober seemed like the easiest part. staying sober was the hardest part, you know, learning how to live life. Yeah, that's
John M 15:35
right. Right. And I know, we're going to get to this point, I believe, where you had a point where you're, you know, like, 1517 years over like that. And, and I think Charlie has a very similar experience where he got to a point. So we'll get there just a second. But let's go back. Last time, we were having a conversation, you had gotten to the point where you had just got to Alcoholics Anonymous. You had and you and Joe had a particular relationship. And why don't you kind of flesh that out a little bit more and talk about
Katie P 16:12
that? Okay. Well, he, it was very interesting, because he was, you know, six years sober, which is a big deal. And of course, I didn't know, you had a sobriety date, I didn't know any of that stuff. And he, Tony was his best friend. And Tony wanted to be with me. And I was not going to be with Tony, I was very clear on that. And Joe had to get his permission to date me. And Tony said, Yes, but come to find out, Tony really spun out. And it did not go well. For Tony, it was kind of sad. And I think we see that in a you know, I mean, a boy meets girl on a campus and ex boyfriend has to meet at meetings with, you know, the drill. And so I could have cared less. I'm like, as long as I get you. I'm sorry, Tony, suck it up, you know, get on with it. And lo and behold, Tony had a hell of a time staying sober. And Charlie 12 stepped in and took him through the steps 2020 years later at our kitchen table. I mean, it was pretty remarkable. You know, God is, God is so good in so many ways. But we, so Joe moved in. And I had April, right, and she's five, and she is absolutely in love with Joe. She loves him. He loves her. It was really wild, joking, no baggage. He'd never been married. He was four years older than me. So he was 30. He'd never been married. And he was had no ex girlfriends and all that stuff. So it was just really a nice move into this. He would I'd sit at his feet while he read me the big book. And, you know, oh, it was no, I always like to say I'm so glad nobody was the arbitrator of our sex life. Because I don't encourage this because it worked for us. I've seen a lot of things that we ended up the journey was just incredible. We were we fit together like a hand in glove, that we were the Yin and the Yang. And I'm, you know, I'm very much the high energy one and he was just low key. And we we worked really hard. He was very clear. He didn't know how to have a family. I told him I don't either. We started at 90 days sober I started it was in the 80s Remember, so codependency was the hot topic. And we started codependency group therapy, and I loved these people I was with, um, they ran a they were in a so we had a an Al Anon, all together. And we did this group therapy and Mary Jo and and BJ ran it and they they poured their heart and soul in this they were to members of Alcoholics Anonymous, but they really believed that the problem was codependency and I'm not saying it's not. I just don't like that terminology today. Since our big book doesn't use it. Our big book says that we are a self seeker even when trying to be kind, right? If everyone would do is I wish I'd be okay. So I tell people I try to get away from that word, because it sounds like you might all be able to cure yourself. If you just understood you are codependent. So I went in there and I did this group therapy with Joe and everybody for 10 years. And let me tell you, and I did a I loved a I love the fellowship. I love the people. Charlie Parker. I met him when he had six months. Let's not forget I had a year he I have, you know, five and a half months more than he does. Forget Joe and I are sitting at a meeting and he comes in we'd started unity with another group of people this meeting, and Charlie comes in and he still got thanks Funny. And I leaned over to Joe and said, I always say to Joe, we need to meet this guy. And Joe goes, Okay, and so we go over there and we become literally fast friends, and another guy named Mike favela, and we became inseparable. I mean, we all went skiing in the morning together, I helped Charlie build fences. Joe was so trustworthy of me. I was a trustworthy girl I had, I've always been a tomboy, I run with a lot of boys, I don't mess around in my mess kit, if you know what I mean. Above. I don't play, I don't let you do all the dirty jokes that are really gross. And so Charlie was like, his brother and sister. And so we were literally best friends, Charlie and I, and I've watched him just literally, I always say procreated his way through Alcoholics Anonymous. And I tell him, I go, Oh, my God. You are, you're missing the point, dude, you don't get to know the girl before you roll in the hay with it backwards. It never works that way. And, but, and I, for whatever reason, had the
Katie P 21:08
marriage that everybody admired, right, we were the a couple that everybody admired. We had, Joe ended up adopting April, we had and her father was a good man, he was not a bad man, the guy I was with for eight years, Robert, it just he just wasn't a very good father. And so he moved to Houston, he kind of left or just hanging. And I'm like, dude, let Joe adopter, you don't have to pay child support. And you know, once again, do you hear all my self reliance, I could get anybody to do anything I asked. So when I hit a wall later at 17 years sober. And in the third step, it says that I got to be convinced that any life run on self will can hardly be a success. I wasn't, it took four years for me to come out of what I call untreated alcoholism, in the rooms of a because Self Reliance worked for me, I could sell a blind man glasses, I could sell an Eskimo ice, I could do it. And I you know, I could travel the world for 18 years on marketing without a marketing degree. You know, I mean, you know, I'm talking the world. I'm not talking the United States, I'm talking Australia three times, Italy, everywhere. So I had I, I was not the alcoholic, that had to drink to get confidence. I was the alcoholic who already had confidence. And now I have more confidence when I drank. Now, I was a bit ashamed of myself that some of my behavior I did, and drinking, there's no doubt about it. Now, what didn't stop me from drinking, but I was pretty disappointed in my values, were starting to really drop. And I have strong values. And you know, the book says, You can't fool yourself about values. And I think people need to ask ourselves, what are your values? What do you believe about marriage? What do you believe about being a neighbor? What is your work ethic? What is your you know, what the current atmosphere? What are? Where are you? You know, do you judge deeply all these things are so important. But so Joe and I were this nucleus, and everybody, we either went over to Charlie's house and watched Miami Vice and cook steaks, or over to Joe and eyes, and Charlie and I live about a mile away from each other. And I mean, he was like my brother, it was never anything sexual. And so many people go, that's just not true. And he'll tell him bowl, it was not true. Because Katie doesn't play that way. That was not at all. We were best friends. And I was like his little sister. And so Joe and I are doing this codependency group therapy, and I'm starting to believe in remember, Terry Bradshaw was, whatever his first name was. Bradshaw was all had John Bradshaw, yes, and what color's your parachute and all of that stuff. And so we're doing all this group therapy. And, and I'm really believe in that as missing it, they just don't understand that this is the solution. Now remember it 90 days sober is what I come into. So we do this, and about three years sober, which is where I think people start the shine of AI starts to wear off between 18 months and three years. And we're all basically working a program based on alcohol, right? Because you can't not it's you can't grow spiritually. You can't grow up without growing up. You can't grow spiritually without time you have to, you don't get to get it and then stick it and then nail it. And then you got it for the rest of the time. It doesn't work that way. At least my observation. And so Joe and three years sober, I'm starting to shine is wearing off I still want all my Asian friends, but I'm not really digging, having to go to meetings and and all that stuff. So Joe says, Hey, you want to go to church? And I thought, Oh
Katie P 24:59
no. New, new new new not interested in that I was a little bit more Chicken Soup for the Soul kind of gal. So takes me to this in Austin. And I mean, my new I walk into the church that he's already been there. And he goes, I've already been there. I think you're gonna like it. We walk into this church when worship is going on. Now, I don't know what that means. Because I was raised Catholic, nothing against that at all. But we certainly didn't sing like that. And that music and my Jazzercise history. I was on fire. I mean, I remembered feeling with today, I understand it's the Holy Spirit. But I remember feeling this feeling in my chest that was like, Oh, my God, I'm home. If A is about spirituality, this is where I needed to be. So thank you for getting me sober. But I need to be here. And I think a lot of people make that mistake. And let me tell you, it is a mistake, what I needed to see is that I needed to do it along with a knot instead of a. So we did that for three years, we tried to bring to the church what is now celebrate recovery, we tried to bring it to the church, it was called Alliance lion tamers. And it was the 12 steps, you know, with, but it was, you know, Jesus Christ and all that through it. And they drove Joe and I crazy, absolutely drove Joe and I crazy. They get past that you go into AA, and talk about Jesus Christ, you just can't do it. And so quit, we got to quit talking about that. And we decided we're not doing it anymore. We can't do this. It's making us nuts. So we went to these individual groups at church. And we were so open because you're open in a well, they're not as open as we are. So it looks like Joe and I were the crazy ones, because we were singing way too much. point I will never forget, I can't believe all I can tell these stories, because I've never told them stories. We're sitting in a group and there's a guy that's about close to 400 pounds in our group. And nobody has a problem. Just Joe and I just Joe when I have the problems, and so you come in. I said, Dude, you're 400 pounds. Have a problem. And I remember thinking, oh my god, I cannot believe I said that to them. It was helpful. And needless to say, we ended up we need to get out of their way. It was three years we done this. It wasn't working. We were both crazy. We were losing our mind. There was no 12 steps we were working. And Joe said, Honey, I'm not doing well. I said I'm not doing well, either. And I said what do you want to do? Now? I have six years and he has nine years? No, no, he always had, he had 12 years because he had six years always remember we shared the same sobriety date. And which is really awesome that we shared the same sobriety date Charlie and I he got sober on my next birthday. Well, that's not nearly as fun because it's my neck birthday. And I want to be the only one that's got to suppress any. So we have a little bit of challenge there. But Joe has brought yours and we go back to our old home group. And we walked in and we sat down and we looked around the room and we saw all the people that we knew. And I leaned over to him and I said, My God, Honey, we're home. And he said, I know we're home. And I thought, okay, and what I didn't know, that I know today is we started on that journey. And we ended up never ever working the steps as lined out in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, we worked a program of the fellowship. And if if, if I work the steps off the wall, if I step on your toes, I'm going to come say I'm sorry, that's about it. And I'm going to sponsor right prayer and meditation. Were not my cup of tea, so I never did it anyway, I thought it was silent meditation is what it meant. I'm not reading the book, so I didn't do it anyway, I didn't like it and I'm not doing it. And so you can imagine my personality can get pretty wound tight. And I ended up a Joe and I we made it okay, let's just put it that way. We made it okay, I see that I did some real damage to my children because I was a Road Ranger. If I'm in the grocery store and somebody you know not somebody tries to cut in front of my cart. Oh my god. I mean my kids would just skip daddle and I am just loud and aggressive and
Katie P 29:40
off the chain off the chain. I I tell people I made more amends in from untreated alcoholism than I ever made from my drinking. I mean, you imagine 17 years of basically not working the steps I sponsored with what I called Life Coaching. At the time, I think didn't call it that. But that's what I did. I hear the inventory, I tell them that they needed to just stay away from this guy. He's not good for you. You know what I mean? I did all that. And and and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that because I went back to those people that I sponsored after I realized I wasn't giving them what the book had asked for. But they were all very kind. They said, Okay, you have no idea how much you helped me. So God takes up a lot of slack, you know what I mean? But where the where the hiccup happened that was so heartbreaking, is you know, on page 14, it says For if an alcoholic fails to enlarge his spiritual life through work and self sacrifice for others. He can't handle certain trials and low spots ahead. And I don't know what us a trial and a low spot is for anybody. But I know what it was for us. And Joe and I are tooling along, where we have another child, we're we're doing okay, let's, let's talk about reality. Marriage is tough. Anyone who says marriage is not tough. I wouldn't have drank with you because that marriage is tough. And people that say they never fight their marriage, I wouldn't have drank with you. We fight in our marriage. You know, I mean, it is what it is. And it would get dicey with Joe and I and we we fell out of love several times, we fell back in love more, call it whatever you want to call it, but it was a man I was growing old with and I was grateful for that I loved him. He loved me. And we were all committed. And he gets he had had a he had had a knee surgery. And that was pretty challenging, because you know, surgery and drugs and all that. Now, I left this part out. Joe was a heroin addict, only. He was never an alcoholic. But he got sober in the 70s. And all there was was Narcotics Anonymous, and he did not like Narcotics Anonymous. So he loved a he had gone through per DAP and all of that and he loved a so he just said he was alcoholic, come to find out I understand we're singleness of purpose is profound. Also, I learned so much through tragedy. It was heartbreaking. But I stand by it, and I understand it today. And so then he had a couple of back surgeries that were really, really challenging. I mean, he had some real trouble. And the next thing you know, he has something's wrong with him. I can't figure it out. But something's wrong with him. And it was in 1993, that I thought he was going into a really dark depression. And it wasn't until 1996 that a psychiatrist said, I think it's organic. And I thought What did i What do you mean, organic like, pot? You know, I mean, I don't even understand what they mean, when they say again, it remember, I don't have a strong education. So I don't understand all the words and the definitions and. And he said, No, I think something's growing in his head. And I thought, wow, so what do you want me to do? And he said, We need to go get a lot of tests run? Well, we had catastrophic insurance. Joe was a high end cabinet builder, and I was a fitness professional. We were both self employed. So we only had catastrophic insurance. So I told the guy thought, dude, I How much is that gonna cost because I can't just take him somewhere and then I get hit with a $20,000 bill, you know, I mean, you can't say how much is this gonna cost and go from there. It was really challenging. And he said, So I'm talking at my meeting. And I mean, my meeting was a really unhealthy meeting. It only had about 12 people. And if you came in spouting alcoholism, we weren't interested. We were solving the problems of the world. And it was a really unhealthy meeting, and I loved it. And my girlfriend said, I can I'm talking about Joe and I we can't figure it out this stupid psychiatrist. And she said, you know Katie, Jada drive a school bus, you get an instant HMO, if you drive a school bus. And I thought, really, so I go, and because you know what's good self reliance didn't fail me. I go into my son's you know, school district, and I get the job. And I'm going to drive the school bus and I've got the plan. I'm going to drive the school bus for no more. Two weeks would be really what I want, but I'll do it for six. So I don't look like a bad person. And oh my god, first of all, I had no idea what it took the school bus driver, 20 hours of classroom, and then you had to take a test in the bus, a CDL test, which meant a test remember, I don't test well. I don't learn well, I don't understand this crap. And I failed my test three times. And the woman felt so sorry for me that she saw where I hid race and answer right and then I turned it wrong. And she said Honey, I'm gonna pass it because you had it right and
Katie P 34:48
oh my god, I gotta get this damn thick first day on the bust. We have this huge fight at the middle school the two boys all I have all I see is blood flying everywhere. I'm like I'm so went over my head. I grab these two boys, I take them off the bus. And keep in mind my husband is sick. I can't figure out what's wrong with him, but he's just declining very rapidly. And I got these two boys fighting. And I'm walking them. You know, I got each by their shirt cup. They're pretty good size. And I'm walking them into the principal's office and one of the other bus drivers trawsfynydd kicks, his doors open, he goes to get your keys. I thought, hell no, I didn't get my keys. I run back and I grabbed out of the ignition and I go back in I dropped them off at the principal's office and I come back out and those Goddamn kids are jumping from one side of the bus seats in that bus like and I mean, I get on that bus. And I thought I am. I mean, I was they went to their seats. It was like, crazy. I'll show you crazy eyes. I was I was in it. And I'm driving and I'm looking up and because your life is in that mirror and I've just, you know, you know, oh, it was terrible. And boy, they respected me. I can tell you that. But so I'm on this bus and I tell Joe, I'm like, Oh my God, you know, that was the guy that's training me at the time he was training me he goes, Do you ever stay between the lines? I'm like, No, I've always just kind of I had no idea is trying to tell me to drive between the line and gas bus which was really fast. Because I drive fast. I got a sports car, I like to drive fast. diesel buses are too slow. So I got my job done and got back into my fitness. You know, I'm trying to you got to be up at 530 in the morning. It was terrible. So God, do you have an appointment to go get tested? I got an HMO buddy. I mean, we're in. We're in Let's go do it. And he called me or I came home and he said, honey, they can't a neurologist can't see me for three months. I'm like, I'm not driving this bus for three months. I call my GP because remember, self reliance doesn't fail me exactly what it looks like. And Self Reliance was good as far as it went. But it just doesn't solve the fear problem, as the book says, right? So I call my GP that's been my GP since I was seven teen. And I said, Dr. Center, you know, I got to get Joe in for these tests. He goes, Katie, just go in through the emergency room and tell him he's having problems. They'll do all the testing there. And you'll be set. And and he said, and he had told me what the testing would look like. So I tell Joe, we go to have lunch and I you know, we're not in a rush to get there that day. So I drive him to the hospital. And I said that Joe, they're gonna run you through a gamut of tests. You got to fail them. Okay, so if the guy tells you to touch your nose, touch your elbow, say all the time. Sure, he understands the rule
Katie P 37:48
goddang if the doctor doesn't come in, he and I take instant dislike to him because I'm not the biggest fan of Western medicine. And he looks at me and goes, so you think he's got something wrong with his brain? I'm like, Yes, I do. You know, I mean, I got this whole little head shaking thing going on. And he goes, Well, Joe, touch your nose. Joe touches his nose. And they says touch your elbow and he touches his elbow and I'm standing behind the doctor looking at Joe like what are you doing, dude? I mean, you're blowing it. And, and I couldn't believe it cuz I thought oh, he's gonna ruin this. And we're not going to get as hitscan and I'm going to drive that damn bus. We got problems. There he goes. He says, yes. So he goes, What's two plus two? And Joe said, I'm a I'm a cabinet maker. I should know that. And he goes, I'm sorry. I can't tell you. And the doc looks at me and he goes, I'll go. I'm gonna go put him in a scan. Hello. Okay, great. So they go and take Joe and they scan his head. And then we're in the emergency room right with little cloth curtains closed. And so he and I are just sitting there and it's taking for ever. And I'm thinking what the heck. And the guy comes in the dark and he puts his hand right here on my shoulder. And he goes my God he has a tumor as big as my fist in his head. And he said he must have said My God three times. And all I could think of is that I am going to be driving this school bus forever. That was my very first thought it was not oh my god my husband. Oh my god. I thought he has a what drew Oh, good God. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. And I ended up driving that school bus for three years now. I didn't say that to Joe Of course I didn't I'm not a mean hurtful person. I crawled up in the bed with him we cried and you know all my God and I mean I'm I'm committed to marriage to death do us part. You know what I mean? Rich or poor, good health, bad health. So I was committed Joe and I were going to be together forever. And the Believe it or not, he had a 14 hour surgery. We had a showed up my Jazzercise showed up one of the little candy stripers you know the little old people that you know help out of hospital sent to a movie star. We've never seen it put a sign on the door only two people in the room at a time and we were having a party. And but he had the surgery about three days later. And we were in the hospital for 11 days. And as it turns out, the doc was calling talking quality of life. We had no idea they thought it was cancer. And it wasn't it was benign. And he he was going to live. And his surgery was over at 3am that day and two of my buddies, the hospital was filled with people. And then only two lasted to the very end. And that was my my counselor, Mary Jo, and my dear friend Mike favela. And it was it was a very slow recovery, Joe had pretty good amount of brain damage. But he he was like he was 16. So he wasn't you could leave him unattended, but he was never going to work another day in his life. And that doctor said that to me, quote unquote, the neurosurgeon. And it was like I swallowed a tennis ball. Because we had a kid in college, we had a kid in elementary school, I'm a fitness professional, I can only do enough with that I can't make two incomes. And it was tragic. I mean, tragic. And all I know to do is work. And so I worked my tail off. We applied for social security disability, which I might add, I've worked since I was 13. He's worked since he was 16. We've paid into the system, I got no problem, we're going to get it we get denied twice, even though the neurosurgeon wrote the letter. And I have people saying, Katie, get a lawyer, I'm not getting a lawyer, I'm getting the money that is deserved to me. You see, this is where I'm going to get this money. I'm not giving a lawyer a third of my money. And I mean, I'm down at Social Security everyday raising hell, I can't believe you people. This is my money I paid in the system. And lo and behold, I went to a senator, it 22 months later, I mean, God, we never lost anything. And we weren't we lost his complete income. So I worked my tail off to get income, but we never lost anything. It was remarkable where money came from. Remarkable. And it turns out that, you know, 22 months later, I finally got all the back pay of Social Security Disability. But 90 days after Joe's brain surgery, he also had Hep C. And he we had a doctor talk us into doing interferon, it was a big mistake. Looking back on it was a big mistake. And Joe just spiraled out of control with the interferon. It was just horrible. And we were together for six more years. And it was pretty rough. I'll tell you, the stories are just too painful. And I ended up he ended up relapsing. And when he relapsed, I was devastated. I couldn't I felt almost like I'd walked in on him. With another woman in bed. It was that devastating to me. We'd been through so much. How could you relapse? How can you do that? And little did I know how close to the edge I was. And Joe ended up I had him out of the house. I've got no allanon in me at all. He was out of the house and six hours. My counselor buddy got him into a halfway house. He tried to get sober it took him 18 months to try to get sober. He could not get sober again. Because this is where singleness of purpose comes in. He picked a guy at our home group that was alcoholic only did not have any, any history. Had he gotten an alcoholic and a heroin addict. He might have had a shot. But he needed someone who was just a heroin addict. He needed that kind of a program, right, the 12 steps with that identification. And he went back out and ended up dying of a heroin overdose at 23 years sober. And oh, it was devastating. It was I just couldn't believe it. And Charlie was my best friend. I'm calling him three times that day. You know and and you know, we always we talked every day anyway for hours on the phone and I just couldn't believe this was happening to my life. My son was 13 he was going off the deep end my daughter's losing her mind. She's graduated college and the as a matter of fact, that day I get the A her boyfriend asked for her hand in marriage. And he was going to take her up to the northeast and and propose to her and I said Devon, be sharing call us Sam and I can't wait to hear about it. Now Joe's out of the house. And we're not divorced. We're just separated. And I get the call and April's like oh my god mom, if this is unbelievable, and I'm so happy for something good. It seemed like every time something good happened to April the other shoe fell. That's what happens with the Ellen ons. The other shoes always fallen every time and then Sam and I are heading home. And Charlie calls me and goes, Katie, you need to come to my house right now. And I'm thinking what, Charlie, tell me and he goes, just get to my house. And I thought Charlie Joe's had an accident. You know, he's had a car accident. And I fly to Charlie's house. And when I got in there, Charlie likes to wait for the right moment. And I was just about to strangle him. I'm like, what happened? And he said, Joe overdosed and died. And my son, oh, it was, it was terrible. I won't go into what happened with my son at that moment, but it was devastating. And, and I just couldn't believe it. And I thought, Oh, my God, my world went from my daughter just got engaged to two hours later, my husband has died. And I can't tell her, I just can't, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to ruin her time up there with this information. It wasn't like he was killed in a car accident. And we'd been in our marriage and it was solid. It was very rocky. So I called her and said, APR, do me a favor and turn your phone off. I said, Turn your phone off. And I will take all your business calls because she had bought it my business and she was teaching my other classes and, and I said, Now I'll take care of everything for you. Because what you really do that masih? Absolutely. So I knew that way. Nobody would call her and say what had happened. And so I'm like when it went tell me when your flight is, so we're going to meet her at the airport. And she tells Devin, Devin, my mom's got some, she's gonna have balloons, she's gonna have all of this stuff. And it was so tragic when she got off that plane. And I had to tell her that Joe had died. We had to wait a week. And I mean, it was just it. Those are the kinds of things where I didn't I didn't handle that very well. I didn't handle it well at all. I got up at his funeral. And, and I mean, I was talking like this, and I was pointing fingers and I said the F word two times and off. I look back at it. I'm like, Oh, okay. Yeah, this, it was just very challenging. And then came me almost drinking. And I mean, I came this close to drinking, like 50 yards, walking towards the drink. And a phone call came in. And the guy said, he was in he goes, What are you doing? And I thought, you know, I was taught to tell the truth. And I said, buddy, I'm getting ready to go get a beer. And he started yelling at me. And he goes, where are you? You know, I'm an ACL. He goes, get out of there right now. And he made me I walked out and he said, Just keep walking. And I walked all the way over to the I hop from Zilker Park. So anybody who knows the area, and then I called Charlie and he came and picked me up and and I realized, I'm in real trouble. I am in real trouble. I knew the monkey was on my back. But I thought I could fight the obsession. And I tell people you can fight the obsession right up to the day you drink. And and the day you drink is not the day you think you're gonna drink trust me. But before you know it, you reach for that drink because you don't have the power to choose. You know, you it says at certain times in the book, and I lived at all and and then lo and behold, we met Mark Houston. Um, um, you know, 17 years sober. It was it this all happened at 15 years. I went through these two horrible years. And we meet Mark Houston and my life radically changed i and keep in mind it took me four years to come out of untreated alcoholism, because Self Reliance did not fail me. I really didn't get it. And I like Mark, I thought he was very impressive. Charlie fell in love with him. Charlie and I then did get together by the way, I kissed my best friend. Oh my god, what was I thinking? You know, we bang teeth, like seventh graders, you guys lay me on the ground. drops me because I'm so dead. So he knocks the wind out of me. I mean, it was just a disaster. And
Katie P 48:59
needless to say, we got past that. But at one point when I kissed him, or went in for the kiss, he's like, whoa, Katie. I am not blowing a 20 year friendship. And remember, this was the guy that was the player. And I thought, oh, kiss my foot, man. If and I've got ready to walk out. He's like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Wait a minute. So we got with Charlie and I are the yin and the yang. So it is very passionate, very dicey. And I mean, we both want to be to the head of the line first. We both want to say something first. And so unlike Joe and I, it has been spectacular. But let me tell you never in a million years, did Charlie think we'd be together or did I think we'd be together and we've been together now 18 years and I just I can't even believe it. It's it's remarkable what God did.
John M 49:55
Oh, I love it. Okay, so you You know, before we got together, you know, and I'm sure that Charlie tells you this but he said it a Mises said a very kind and loving way. He said, It's like what does he say? Like drinking from a firehose
Katie P 50:15
taking a drink out of a firehose, right, Katie. So true,
John M 50:20
and you didn't disappoint, which I love. Fantastic. Okay, so. Okay, I have a lot of other questions. So I think, lesson, let's just, that's a good stopping point. We'll try to get some more time back on the schedule. I absolutely love this. I know you've got more content. I didn't know. We had to be talking about the steps really, you know, Oh, yeah. And I want to talk about your kind of career, if you will, as a circuit speaker and all this stuff. And, you know, the upsides and downsides of that, by the way, you don't really travel much anymore, do you?
Katie P 51:04
Well, the pandemic put the kibosh on that we were doing about 20 to 25 a year, which was US cutting back. So, you know, we were doing we got up to doing about 40 a year which I tell you, that's too much for us. But we with the pandemic, you know, that put the kibosh on that and now, you know, current atmosphere, I'm not quite sure what's going to happen.
John M 51:32
Alright, so we'll talk about that a little bit more next time. Let me go ahead and read from page 164, the big book to close this out. 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 to join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the spirit, and you will surely meet some of us like me, and KDP as you trudge the road of happy destiny, may God bless you and keep you until then, once again, Katy Perry, thank you so much for joining me today. I so much appreciate it.
Katie P 52:15
It was delightful. John, thank you so much for that now
John M 52:18
by Katie P is absolutely fantastic. For those of you listening out there, I'm sure you will concur with that. I absolutely enjoyed spending time with her. I will spend more time with her. I'm sure in the future, we just got to get her her schedule to free up a little bit, get her back on the podcast and have some additional discussions about the steps and other things. So if you want to reach out to Katie or any of the other speakers or you have feedback regarding Katie, or any of the other speakers, please write me at or you could just write me about anything else. I'm a John J. O HN app. So we're speak.com I had somebody that couldn't get in touch with me recently and they said that he kept bouncing back and they were doing John M S over speak dot nine it is not John M S over speak comm it's just simply John J. OA, Janice ever speak.com We'd love to hear from you. Now on to a little bit of listener feedback, Wendy writes in and Wendy says Hi, Gianna, love your podcasts. Oh, I know I'm reading this. She says we have an a retreat planned in Tucson, Arizona, in the month of April. And I'm looking in I'm looking to bring in a speaker or two for the event. I love David G. Can you share his contact with me information with me or recommend somebody in Tucson appreciate any advice you can give me. So the reason I'm reading that I'm reading that it's more of a request from Wendy. And we were able to go back and forth that got our contact with David, for those of you out there in the land, who are interested in me, setting you up or getting you in touch with any of the other speakers that you hear on the podcast, more than happy to do such like if you have a conference or something coming up. They're They're usually very amenable, I'm, you know, some of them aren't available anymore. And I know why and all that sort of stuff. But anyway, if you want to get in touch with somebody from the podcast to come speak at your conference, just feel free to reach out my way. I also have a list of people from the podcast who have agreed to let me share their email with you. If you have like a zoom
John M 54:45
conference coming up or a zoom, you know you need a speaker for your Zoom meeting at some particular meeting. And, and you can reach out to them yourself. I'll just provide you the email. You can tell him I heard about John superspeed Carrie are writes in and Carrie says Hi John, you are my bedtime listen every night. Oh, that's nice. Just curious. Have you ever listened to Earl H's story? If not, it's one of my most favorite stories of all time I've ever heard. Thank you for helping me to stay sober. Carrie so Carrie a couple things. If you're listening to as a bedtime right now Sweet dreams, I hope you rest very well. The other thing is that because of your email actually reached out to Earl got in touch with him and we're gonna get him set up. And he's gonna be in this is the URL age from the west coast by said his last name. Even if I don't say his last name a lot of you're gonna know he has. So anyway, I reached out to him. And we're going to be recording him here soon. And then I'll be able to publish some episodes or some episodes from him in the future. So anyway, Carrie, thank you for for reminding me or just prompting me I guess you could say to reach out to Earl I appreciate your message. Andrea de ELMS via the IG, she says Hey, John, I wanted to take time out and say and thank you for doing God's work, and helping me stay sober. I work from home and I listened to your podcast all day long. Your voice comforts me and the guests you have on your show are full of wisdom. I've been sober now for 71 days today, and hearing your guests share their experience strength and hope has taught me a law. You're definitely my meeting in between meetings. Thank you again for all your hard work and dedication with three exclamation points and thank you for your wife is in thank your wife as well for me. And again, thank you for helping me stay sober one day at a time. Little heart emoji. Andrea de will Gosh, congratulations on your 71 days Andrea. That's fantastic. Thank you for writing in and I'm just so thankful that me my wife anybody involved with the podcast is can be a part a real small part of your journey. And thank you for writing in appreciate it. Michael writes in and he says John today was a blessing thanks to you and the sober speaks family I have been drawn to David G and Gary K and yourself since I started episode one sometime back in September. I'm now seven months sober by the grace of God by it by a higher power that I've named God you seem to be gifted in your choice of guests John's so I've been struggling my entire life but the last couple of days I finally broke down at work all alone and dropped to my knees to say the third step prayer the third step style in despair this to pray the third step style in despair Little did I know my higher power set a puddle of ice cold water from the roof leak in my way laugh out loud a way to see if I meant it or I'd get up and give up little smiley face and prayer hands my higher power has a sense of humor like I do I guess anyways, within an hour to my phone notifications from Facebook alerted me this someone replied to a comment in the secret in the sober speak secret Facebook group. And I have put how much I how much I appreciate David and what an influence he has had on my program David G is oh, he's talking about from the podcast. The reply was from a sponsee of David and now I have been able to keep in touch with him it was able to start attending the big book solutions zoom group and will now be attending that on a regular basis. All thanks to my higher power leading me to your podcast. Oh that's really cool. I know that sponsees talking about that's a that's my friend Ricky see right there gotcha in touch with David and I'm glad he did.
John M 59:39
And he goes on here when I ask I seem to be drawn to specific episodes. Oddly the seem to deliver a message that I can relate to or toward a situation or emotion I am experiencing. Is it odd or is it God I know No, but I'm going to go with the latter of the two, to be in contact with people that can help me from afar. And to be able to let them know how good a program they work to give it away is truly a gift from a higher power higher than ourselves. I seem to notice that when I'm at my worst state of mind, I do not drink, I am able to find the guidance. I seem to so desperately need. And I owe it to my sponsor, Rob s. My home group, the fog lifters of St. John's Michigan. Oh, yeah, I remember him and every guest and yourself from the podcast, because it's so much a part of my life. And I just feel like something is missing. If I can't listen at least once a day. It's usually the first five hours of my whole work shift, which is now how I was able to catch up to the current episodes as fast as I did. I thought I'd never catch up. Laugh out loud. Miracles never cease to amaze me. Thank you so much for what you have done here. I know there are many other podcasts I listened to as well as yours. But yours is at the top playlist on home my devices such a blessing and I look forward to more. Thanks, buddy. With love and respect, Michael keep going strong with a big muscle flexing muscle sign emoji whatever we call Hey, Michael. Thanks again I really appreciate you writing in God bless you my friend. I love it when I see people on fire like you are that's absolutely reminds me of myself. You know I get on fire still but in a different way. But man those first first couple years I mean, I was choking on everything to do with a and it was a good thing for me at the time is what I needed. Anyway. Finally, Matthew writes in and he says, Hey, John, I live in Topeka, Kansas, the U S. A, I found sober, sober speak through Spotify when I searched Alcoholics Anonymous as I was trying to find some listeners some speakers to listen to. I haven't heard an episode that I do not like. Thank you from a fellow alcoholic well from a fellow alcoholic right back at you, Matthew. God bless you, my friend. And thanks for writing in All right, everybody. That is a wrap for another week. As I always say I'm taking this one week at a time. God bless you all may God keep with me. God bless you and keep you and till then. Keep coming back. It works if you work it. Y'all have a good week.