top of page

229- Rich B- Revolutionary Change in Alcoholics Anonymous

229- Rich B- Revolutionary Change in Alcoholics Anonymous

Rich B 00:00

the way that he works the way that all spirituality works as I see it right now in the journey is that I'm probably not going to sit with God right now. Right? But I am going to sit with you and that a triangle. It's God, ourselves and another human being. And if I'm separate from you, I'm separate from God, and you want to know what separates me from you. I'll tell you, my ideas, my opinions, my resentments, my causes, my plans, my judgments, my fears, my past.

Rich Episode 229

John M 00:39

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 server 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 are here to share our experience, strength and hope with those who wish to come along for the ride. Take what you want, and leave the rest at the curb for the trash man to pick up from Studio A here, deep in the heart of Texas. On this here, episode number 229. That was the voice of Mr. Rich B from Ocean City, Maryland that you heard at the beginning of this episode. And you will be hearing so much more from that gentleman in just a moment. But first things first. This episode is coming out to you being brought to you by Alex and Janice and Anna and Juliana and Curtin, Joshua Todd, Terry and Audrey. So you ask yourself if you're a new listener, what exactly did Alex and Anna and Janice and Giuliana and Curtin, Joshua and Todd and Terry and Adri do to get this acclamation. Like that word acclamation. I think I'm using that right. But anyway, what did they do? Well, they went to our website, sober, speak, calm. They made a little a contribution young, and they knew we're so grateful for you. I don't know. I just lost my train of thought. But anyway, thank you, Alex and Janice and Anna and Juliana, and Kurt and Joshua Todd, Terry and Audrey. This episode is coming right out to humans. So what do we have going on this week? Well, let me kind of go over a little of mine last week with you. It was interesting to some degree. I know we'll have interesting weeks, but I happen to have a microphone in front of my mouth right now. So you get to hear about some of mine. A few things happen. Number one, my daughter was driving her automobile home and it stalled out on the Tollway and we couldn't figure out what was wrong. Turns out that the engine just basically went out it's we're still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong but nonetheless it just quit working him in that was okay but because of the she was on something called the Tollway here in the Dallas area. And it's a not just a traditional highway. I mean, obviously you pay tolls on it and because it happened on the tollway. They had to bring in some people to try to help her get started but it didn't get us started. So they had to use their Tow Truck people. So their Tow Truck people came out and they took it in basically what it ended up doing was they impounded the car. Now, I had never been through this situation before but I felt like I was part of a cartel, a drug cartel because of everything and all the hoops that we had to jump through in order to get that thing out or took us a couple of days, they wouldn't just take a card over the phone it Oh, it was just a, it was exhausting. To make a long story short, basically, what you have to do is you have to, you have to go to the place where they towed it. And then you have to call your tow company, which was through our insurance company to come meet at the exact same time

John M 05:28

with you, and then when they meet up with you, then you call the place where it's been impounded. And they say, we'll try our best to get there within an hour. It was such a in a way, it was just not fun whatsoever. But we finally got it out of there. And I guess my daughter's card is toast, but we're not sure we're still trying to get that all figured out. And then we got in, by the way, I want to let you know, I'm gonna tell you a couple things here to happen. But I probably this is not a complaint. I'm, I'm looking at it from a recovery point of view. But anyway, we we had a big hailstorm here and Dallas recently tore up the screens and the windows and the roof and everything else like that. We got a little report back this week saying that we had about $35,000 worth of hail damage. Now we have insurance and you know, a lot of it's going to be covered and all that sort of stuff. But it was still quite a bit of damage. I was not expecting that. Then the furnace in our house broke. I got some news at work. Also, that was not just not the best, and I'll just leave it at that. But it kind of worked on me a little bit. And, and I started thinking about this, and that is yeah, these things are going on. But me and my family, we're doing fine, right? I mean, it's not pleasant. Nobody likes to deal with these things. But, you know, overall, we're healthy. I have a relationship with the God of my understanding. And I know that in the long run, he's taking care of me. And you know, I'll put it this way. We have no Russian tanks coming down our streets right now. We these are, I guess what you call princesse problems. And I've heard it said many times in meetings that I have problems in areas where I didn't even have areas before. And and I like that, in other words, because I've been sober long enough and live long enough now, I run into these issues and the alternative is, is much worse. But nonetheless, it's a little bit of what's been going on with me this week I heard or excuse me, I read in the super secret Facebook group this week, a post that my friend Rick are posted in the Facebook group and this is a quote from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, a deceased member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many of you are going to know his name. His name was sandy beach. And anyway, the quote that Rick put put in there is the big book is a treasure map. It is not the treasure. I love that. Let me say that again from sandy beach. The Big Book is a treasure map. It is not the treasurer. Thanks so much for posting that, Mr. Rick are right now onto our speaker. Our speaker has been on a couple of times in the past. His name is Rich B and he is from Ocean City, Maryland. This one we're entitling revolutionary change in Alcoholics Anonymous. We talk about changing your mind and seeing things from a different perspective like Chuck see used to say putting on a new pair of glasses we talk about old ideas the delusion of an alcoholic a quote my little plans and designs unquote. taking personal responsibility for our actions is another thing we discuss you mobility and what separates us from God we cover as well along with much much more so ladies and gentlemen without further ado I present to you Mr. Rich B and as usual we will have to do listener feedback at the end of Rich's episode or at the end of anyway after this is all done. Thanks. Bye. Okay everybody. So today we are sitting here With the one and only again, Mr. Rich be so rich be why don't you go ahead, introduce yourself, give your sobriety date if you wish and tell people where you are in this great land of ours. Where do you reside?

Rich B 10:17

Thanks, John, good to see you be with you. Again. My name is Rich, I'm an alcoholic from Ocean City, Maryland, I was lucky enough to have gotten the most amazing gift on August the 30 of oh four and haven't had to take a drink or anything else that affects me from the neck up since that day.

John M 10:39

from the neck up, and I've got to say this, because I was back. I was, uh, you know, I got a lot of comments on your first two episodes a lot. And I went back and I was listening to them. And I said something to the effect of, you know, where do you I mean, can you tell me a little bit about where your alcoholism came from? And you said, can you repeat it? You said something to the effect of? Well, you know, I think mine was because I drank too much alcohol, basically. Right?

Rich B 11:09

You got it, you got it. And I'll tell you, I think Bill Wilson might have thought, you know, had an inkling that that had something to do with it too, because those first couple lines of stuff, one in the 12 and 12 say that, you know, it seemed to shame that glass in hand. We warped our minds into such an obsession that only an act of Providence right could restore us to which means I played a role in my own alcoholism, right. I wasn't struck out. I like that. I like that level of personal accountability, right? I had some skin in this game. It didn't just happen to me.

John M 11:45

It wasn't because my parents were rotten, or whatever the case may be, it's because I drink too much alcohol doesn't matter, you know, alcoholic. And, you know, I just want to cover this real quick. So you said you live. We talked about this a little while last time, but you live out in Ocean City, Maryland, which is a great area. And you said you were able to go out there and walk about four miles up and down the island today. Is that right?

Rich B 12:14

That is Ocean City's a little island. It's seven miles long by one mile wide at its widest point. We have a beautiful boardwalk that goes up and down part of the island right on the ocean looks over the sand in the ocean. It's two and a quarter mile. So if you walk up and back, you did four and a half miles. Great way. And of course the sun for the West Coast lit right the sunrises on the east sets in the west. So in the morning, it's a great way to watch the sunrise talk to God and start today.

John M 12:43

That's great. And we so we did a couple of episodes with you a few months back now or so. And the first one we recorded in your in your office, which you're sitting in right now I can tell. And then the other time you're in your surf shop. In fact, if you haven't heard Rich's first two episodes, I highly recommend you go back and the first one was called stupidly smart in Alcoholics Anonymous. I think I think I got that right. He was pretty cool. I think that's it. And then the second one was called surf into sobriety. And so the reason I bring this up is because the second episode that we recorded was called surf into sobriety and you were actually recording out in your surf shop. So for people who didn't catch that last episode, tell him a little bit about your surfing background.

Rich B 13:37

Oh, jeez, it is such it's the bright spot of my life. It's it's the closest I ever feel to the higher power. It's a gift my Father gave me before I can remember it would be like me asking any random listener, please tell me about your experience learning to walk. Right? Most people don't have a conscious memory of that. I don't remember ever not being able to surf. I don't remember learning how to surf. It's just been a part of my life forever. But I can tell you that when you're coming down the face of the one of those waves and it's glassy and waves starting to come over your head and the wind is blowing up back and you're dragging your hand on the face of the wave. And you're looking ahead there is no past. There is no future you are completely in the moment connected with the higher power and it's about as good as it gets.

John M 14:26

I love it. I love it. Have you ever had any major? You know you hear about surfers getting whacked and you know having these horrific injuries have you avoided that thus far. For the

Rich B 14:39

most part, we've all had a couple of hold downs and broken boards and broken leashes and swam longer than we wanted to have to swim. But for the most part, I've made it through relatively unscathed. Oh good. Alright.

John M 14:55

Okay, so, last last couple times we went through Your like your story, kind of the first part was kind of before you got sober. The second part was after you got sober. And then, you know, I invited you back. And you know we I just wanted to get another session with you because I got such good comments about what you had provided us. And and I really enjoyed our time together. And so this time, I think what we want to go ahead and cover is what you call what I've heard you refer to as changing your mind. So first of all, why don't we go ahead and set that up? When you say change your mind? What comes to what comes to your thoughts.

Rich B 15:41

First would be the chapter we agnostics, we have an entire chapter in our book that asks us to do one thing as an alcoholic. Hey, do you think you could change your mind about whatever it is you think is going on out there in the universe? Right? You know, could you just be a little bit open minded, rich, right? Could you expand what whatever you think about God, but it's not serving you very well. Or you wouldn't come limping into Alcoholics Anonymous with your tail between your legs and your life being a disaster if you were the most connected individual right with the higher power. And that's what a whole part of our book. And I think we get such a big chunk of our book, trying to convince us to just change our mind doesn't tell us what to think. Right? That's what I also love about the book output doesn't tell us what we should think, doesn't tell us what we could write, it just goes, Hey, maybe change your mind about whatever it is you do think that doesn't seem to be serving you well. And I think there's such a big chunk of the book devoted to that, because it's the hardest thing for an alcoholic and it may be the hardest thing for a human being right? Maybe we're not that unique for a human being to do is to just change their mind.

John M 17:05

Okay, so you're saying change your mind? Kind of what's going through my head, as you're saying that is? It's it's it? Would you call it also kind of like changing your perspective, or just seeing things in a different way and, and getting rid of old ideas, basically, right?

Rich B 17:24

You got it. You got, which by the way, in the back of the book, the spiritual appendix, right when we get back there, it says that one of the definitions is of a spiritual awakening is simply a revolutionary change in our attitude and outlook on life. Which I liked when I was new, because that doesn't mean I have to believe anything in particular, I don't have to see a bush catch fire. Right? You're just asking me to change my attitude and my outlook on life. And I respond to Well, wait a second, John. I may be in this prison cell. But damn, and I got here with my own ideas, right? No, I'm not changing the way I live life for anybody. Right? Where we are so resistant. To change the stupid way we live life.

John M 18:15

So do you remember when you came in? Do you do were you like a sponge? Were you open? Where did you find it? What was your experience?

Rich B 18:27

Geez, this is a I'm going to tell it because it just, you know, hit my heart after we prayed before. This is a story. I don't tell much. But I was. I remember coming home from school. I don't know what grade I was in second grade, third grade, I don't know. And some kids on the school bus. We're talking about God. And I came from a wonderful family for those that have not listened to the first couple episodes very middle, maybe even upper middle class. family lived on a horse farm and we had dinner every night at six o'clock as a family, my mother, my father, my little sister, who's three years younger than I and we were sitting at dinner and I said, Hey, Dad, I heard about some kids. We're talking about God on the school bus today. Can you tell me about God? And my father said, Oh, well, you know, down in Baltimore City, son, things are rough down there and and people are shooting each other and killing each other and nobody has much money. And I mean, it's it's a it's a struggle out there right there every day and and God is an idea for people that don't have a very nice life, that when they die, there's going to be something better. And it gives people hope, and it gives people something to look forward to and it's really good for those poor people down in Baltimore City, but you won't ever have to worry about that you come from a nice family. And I said Okay, thanks, dad and I went back to eat my chicken and string beans and carrots and now mashed potatoes and that was the last I ever thought about God until I got to Alcoholics Anonymous. So I believe that I had a tremendous gift as the I don't want to say misinformed. That was my father's life experience that he was sharing with me. But I got I got to come into Alcoholics Anonymous tabula rasa, write a clean slate. I'm not recovering anything. I hadn't had any bad experiences with any religions. I didn't have to get over any resentments. I was a whiteboard, you know, ready for you guys to write on?

John M 20:39

So when you got so So are you saying them because of you had that clean slate that you really were like a sponge. And once you found something that you could believe in, so to speak, you were kind of all in?

Rich B 20:59

Yes, and I made a commitment by the time that you guys got me to step three, right? I'd become clear on a couple of things that life has, I was living it right, with my set of goals and ambitions, and operating principles, right. The foundational elements upon which I live life that were taught to me by my father, who was an amazing businessman, he eventually over my life I was telling you about as a young man, he eventually became the president a seven off the soft drink. I mean, he was no idiot, right? And, and then I got to go thanks to those wonderful parents, I didn't love them or appreciate it. In fact, I got mad at them. But they sent me to these wonderful private schools, I eventually got to become educated by you know, Jesuits in college. And I just, I just came to you guys. With these principles that everyone else had bestowed upon me, I had never formed any on my own. They were handed to me, you know, by parents, or other well meaning people, right. And interestingly, in getting to work with, I don't know, lots of new alcoholics when I am going through their spiritual resentments. And I just say this to give example, right? I have a problem with the Episcopalians because they don't pass the wafer out with the wine, they do it backwards. And the Catholics do this wrong. There's too much standing and sitting and I don't like this prayer, and they've got the wrong picture of Jesus in the back of the church should look right. And I go, you know, all of them, all of them without a fault. I go, Hey, when did you learn that? Who taught you that? And almost always, it is something that that person learned before they were 15 years old. Wow. Yeah. I learned that in Sunday school, I learned that in synagogue, I learned that in Bar Mitzvah class, right? I learned that at Sunday school, when we were coloring, how do you know God looks like that? Oh, well, and you're gonna laugh, but they go, Oh, it was in the coloring book. When we were coloring at Sunday school. That's how I know what God looks like. And now I have a problem with that. I don't think that that could possibly, and I go, Well, I can't help but notice I'm sitting across from the table from a 62 year old man. And you need to tell me that you've been guided by a spiritual concept that you acquired that was bestowed upon you when you were nine.

John M 23:41

Given a coloring book,

Rich B 23:43

right? And, I mean, it's fascinating. It's fascinating. So by the time you guys got me to step three, it was clear to me that some of these principles, which for me, and some of the schools that I went to, right, it was things like, get a good education, get a good job, make a bunch of money. When you make a bunch of money, you're going to be attractive to beautiful women, you're going to acquire a beautiful wife, you're going to have 2.5 children, you know, you're going to get a couple of cars and a beautiful house you have a fence then you know you're going to get a boat out pack and then after you get the boat, you know, then you're going to retire you know and then and then here comes the big lie, right? Dot dot dot, and then you're going to be happy right? Like once we get all these things in place. And then there's all the lower operating principles right things like there's only so much out there right you got you got to get yours so that the other guy doesn't get it. I didn't know that that was called a scarcity mindset, right that there's not enough for everybody and you got to screw the guy next year in business. I mean, because everybody can't succeed. We know that right? There's got to be winners and and losers and you got to get the guy and you know, you want to be mostly honest except for it. Business and then it's okay to do a little bit of lying cheating, because that's how the world works. And all of these, these are operating principles that we were brought up with.

John M 25:14

Give me just a second here. So we will be continuing our conversation with rich B and just a moment, just a reminder, you're listening to sober speak, you can find us on the worldwide web is sober 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 listeners silver speak as a self supporting organization through our own contribution. Alright, so as we are recording this right now. It is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And as you know, this is a time of year where people make resolutions and such like that. And, you know, they think about new beginnings and what am I going to be doing going into the new year, so on and so forth. When you think about new beginnings, in Alcoholics Anonymous, and changing your thought process and changing your mind, what kind of comes to mind for you,

Rich B 26:23

or who you are, what your particular spiritual leanings are, this time of year, certainly celebrates a new beginning, a new year, a new start out with the old in with the new, whatever it means to you, it sure lines up with Alcoholics Anonymous, that's for sure. And what we are doing here in a way up to step three and step three is the greatest invitation that was ever given to me, right? You guys did a great job of going, Hey, and steps one and two, you you've made very clear to me that the way that I had been living my life was not work. Right? And then in Step three, you said, Would you like to try something new? Would you like to make a decision, you know, to cast away all of these old ideas, because the result sucks. I mean, look at your rich, right? How's it going? I mean, that's the great. That's the litmus test. And hey, you said any new person, how's it going? I can't help. But notice you got nowhere to go for Christmas, you got warrants in a couple of states has nothing to do with you. You're you're you're 58 years old, and you have nothing to show for working 80 hours a week, your entire life. Right. Welcome. Hey, that's how we come in. At that. Step three goes, Are you done? Right, are you done? And that because I will tell you that struggling, right, if anybody's new out there and feels like they're struggling, struggling is the earmark of a manager. Right. That's how you know if you're in control of your life, if you are, you know, struggling is the earmark of a manager, and it

John M 28:06

was Rugeley. Oh, hold on, just let me make sure I understand what you just said, struggling is the earmark of a manager? And do you look at a deal? Okay, so maybe I interrupted you, but that really kind of struck me right there. So go a little bit deeper into that.

Rich B 28:25

If life feels like a struggle, right, if I'm banging my head into the wall, if I'm trying to make it happen, guess what I'm trying to do? I'm trying to manage my life, the people in it the people around me, right? I'm a manager, right? And many of us can relate to that. Because they are managers at work or general managers or god forbid regional managers, and you want to get even worse. Talk to your buddy you know, Matthew M that you have on right? Become a territorial manager, right, like the East Coast. Right? And then you got a whole lot of people that are you know, worrying and not doing what you want, and you're banging heads together. And, you know, the more of the managing business and I'm talking about my own life now, not just work life, but work life is a good analogy. In my own life, it's the more I catch myself struggling, the more I know I'm trying to manage my own life, right? Instead of turning it over to Alcoholics Anonymous and the care of the steps and God and everything that leads us to and this

John M 29:27

you know, that kind of reminds me of the piece where talks about in the book where a says and I've really had to kind of work on this for myself just because of work how involved I get in and and just you know, family and all kinds of stuff so but it says relax and take it easy. And so when I find that I think there's there's some advantage to struggling to eat, you know, somewhat. But then but when I find myself getting out of sorts You know, I kind of have to go back to that relax and take it easy, John, relax and take it easy. You got to so we also talked or we didn't talk about it, but I wanted to ask you about you mobility in in your viewpoint on six, possibly seven and what you think about utility and, you know, why would why do we even strive for that? What's the point of that within Alcoholics Anonymous?

Rich B 30:31

To me, and that's obviously what we're talking about, as I see things right now is the purpose of step six and seven, is to point out to me that perfect peace and ease, right, whatever you like to call perfect peace and ease. Some people like to call that nirvana. Some people like to call it heaven. Some people like to call it the kingdom, right? The Big Book says, Who would like to enter the kingdom? Right, whatever you like to call perfect. peace and ease, peace of mind, serenity, happiness, freedom from suffering, freedom from struggling, whatever you'd like to get the purpose of step six, and seven, is for me to clue in that this is available to me. And it's available to everyone. And that I'm the reason that I'm struggling. I'm the reason that I'm separate from God, I'm the reason that I'm separate from perfect peace and ease. It's not God. It's not my circumstances. It's nothing. It's just that I want to be the boss. Right? And humility becomes something. This is out of the 12 and 12. Right? It says that humility becomes something that we desire, instead of something we must have, right? Why does it become something that I desire? Because I'm tired of being separate from God? Right? And what is step six and seven, right? I'm looking for these defects. So what is a defect or a shortcoming? Anything that separates me from God? That's it. Right? Not good. It's not bad, necessarily. It just separates me from God. Right? Now, here's the kicker. And this is what we're having this whole conversation to get to that I get excited about. Because I'm such an opinionated knucklehead, right. And the way that a works, the way that all spirituality works, as I see it right now in the journey, is that I'm probably not going to sit with God right now. Right, but I am going to sit with you and that a triangle. It's God, ourselves and another human being. And if I'm separate from you, I'm separate from God. And you want to know what separates me from you? I'll tell you, my ideas, my opinions, my resentments, my causes, my plans, my judgments, my fears, my past. And you brought up six and seven, you know what the 1212 says, you know why I'm so scared to let go of these? Because what would become of me? I'd be the hole in the doughnut, right? What would what would we be talking about? John? I'd be I'd be a nobody. I'd be you know what I'd be, I'd be in perfect peace and ease. And I'm so scared of that. Right? I'd be totally connected with the higher power, right? And who that we're listening to right now doesn't have an opinion on COVID. Should we wear a mask or not a mask? So we said six feet apart? What shape? Should the a meeting be in? Should we be in person or on Zoom? Are we being reckless? Or are we quitting on a are we this? Are we that right? How should we act? Should you be vaccinated, double vaccinated, booster vaccinated? not vaccinated? I mean, we could fight fight, fight, fight, fight, fight fight, right? You know why? Because of my opinions. And you know, what would happen? If I got rid of those, we would just all be connected. Okay, so

John M 34:16

I so I'm trying to wrap my brain around this, I understand what you're saying, right? Obviously, I'm going to have opinions about things, right. God's gave his brain to us and all that sort of stuff. And I know that you have various opinions, I have various opinions as such. And that's, but you're not saying that the opinions so to speak, or are you separate me from you? Is it just maybe when I'm dug in and see you as wrong, if you will?

Rich B 34:47

Well, let me ask you this. Have you ever had an opinion that you don't think is right?

John M 34:53

Very fear, right.

Rich B 34:55

I mean, that's the definition of having an opinion. Usually for a guy that's built Like me, is I think that it's right. And when I could get to a place and six or seven, or wherever it is in the journey that I realized my opinion is exactly that one, knuckleheads view. You know, and it's not right, it's not wrong. And I could get to a place where yours is equally as valid, you know what that's called? That's called humility.

John M 35:24

Now that I understand, we're on equal footing now. Right, right,

Rich B 35:28

right, very few people in the game of life out there. View opinions that way. And, and I have a overwhelming need a lot of the time prior to AA, to express my opinions. Right? You guys finally taught me about restraint of pen and tongue. Excuse me. Not every opinion that goes through my head needs to come out my mouth.

John M 36:03

This is very true. Okay, so we've also chatted a little bit before in the past about doing delusion, if you will, when he talks about delusion and the big book and wrestling satisfaction out of life. And it talked to me a little bit about that.

Rich B 36:23

Well, I think the best thing that you take the person in your group, right, whoever's listening, we all have the person in our group that we think is the most spiritual dude, or do that in the room, right? And you get them and take them outside to the a lie detector, right? And you hook them up to the a lie detector. And you go, Hey, do you think that your life would be better or worse, if you won the $50 million pick for lottery tonight? Right. And if super spiritual dude from your group said, you know, I don't think that that would make my life one bit better, because happiness is based on our spiritual connection and nothing in the material world, you know, that things aren't going off the Richter scale, right? Because we think that if certain things in our life were a certain way, either financially, or with a particular relationship, or with our children, or with our parents are with a particular relative, if I could just get these key things in my life, squared away, whatever that means to us, life would be better, right? That's the big life would be better when right it will be better when dot dot dot, and go ahead and fill in the lie, the delusion. But we all have them as my point, I haven't met a human being yet that does not suffer under some degree of the delusion, that our life would be better if and then if that person is willing to share their list, we would hear what that would be.

John M 38:04

And it's a moving target as well, for example. You know, there are times where I think if I had x amount of dollars, saved up whatever that is for anybody else, right? I would be good. I would be fine. Have you ever gone through something like that with either sponsees yourself?

Rich B 38:29

Well, of course, I was certain that if I had a car that ran, right, and a girlfriend and a little bit of money in the bank, and at that point, I told you five grand, right? If I had five grand in the bank account, a car that ran and a girlfriend, I'll be fine. Right? And as a matter of fact, I'm gonna get to steps 1011 and 12. Once I get those things squared away, you know, because who has time to be going on spiritual retreats and praying and meditating? Right, what I'm trying to get, I don't even have a car, man. And you're talking to me about meditation time. Right? It could be messing around with stuff like that, you know, we'll get spiritual once I get a few things in place here. That's right.

John M 39:12

That's right. And like you said, like, and like I said earlier that that target is always always moving. We've talked also a little bit in the past about that, you know, that line from the big book, which actually love wunderbar effect one of the episodes by a friend of mine named Casey, who has titled up my little plans and designs so and you know, and has talked a lot about in the big book, explained to me your experience about around my little plans and designs, what it means to you what you've experienced with it, you're in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Rich B 39:49

It's seems to me that I operated under the principle that part of being a man was forging my own course through life. and that you don't ask for help. You don't let anybody know that you don't know. Right? The only thing worse than not knowing is you knowing I don't know. Right? And I joke that we all like the Academy Awards and the Country Music Awards were on the other night. It was almost the way that I live life you would have thought that there was an award ceremony when you die and go wherever we go, right and I'm just gonna say heaven for the purposes of this example. And we go to heaven and there was going to be a group of like, angels or whatever and Gods up there and I and they're all clap and they go Welcome Welcome to the annual right the annual you did it alone awards, you know, ladies and gents we would like to present rich with with the award for a never asked for help. He did it alone, he struggled through 92 years on Earth, where we put him to just learn how to ask for help. But he didn't do that, ladies, he did it alone, right. And I was gonna get a ribbon or a metal or I don't know what I thought. And of course, we're all laughing because it turns out, there's no such stupid ceremony, there is no reward or award for doing life alone. And once I get that my plans, my designs my way my selfish, self centered way of going through life doesn't work, I'm willing to make the third step decision, which is to turn it all in and to realize there is no such thing for real as my life I would like to think that there's a thing called My Life, right? And inside of my life would be my plans, my designs where I want to go when I want to happen, you know, where I see my life going, all of that kind of, you know, my goals, my ambitions, right? And guess what if there is no such thing as my life if I clue in by changing my mind, right, at some point, hey, this was an illusion that there's a thing called My Life. None of it's been mine all along. I thought it was before it was Iraq. And then I can just start playing the role I'm assigned. Things get a lot easier.

John M 42:13

There's one of my favorite sayings and a is God's been real good to me. He let hardly anything worked out the way I had it planned. There you go. And that has been very much the case in my life. So we we've most of the people are going to be listening to this or folks that why should say mode. Some of the people that are going to be listening to this are folks that have they're considering Alcoholics Anonymous, they've thought about it maybe they're at the beginning of a new year, and they're trying to get their life straight right on the right track and such when you think about those folks that something to kind of leave them well what what comes to mind for your ritual? What kind of message do you want to get out to those listeners out there?

Rich B 43:05

If anybody's making that decision, I just invite you to you know, ask yourself the rhetorical question that we've been joking about and I'm not trying to be you know, smart alec right is how's it going? Right as we approach the holidays, is your life rich and full of people that love and want to be with you? Are you surrounded by loving relationships and a whole bunch of people that just wants you around and and love you or are you like I was my first couple Thanksgivings. And Christmases, looking at a bunch of destroyed relationships, and nobody wanted me in their house or around during the holidays. And I spent that first Thanksgiving and Christmas and then a clubhouse, right, eaten Turkey in a clubhouse, clinging to my sobriety. Alright. And the reason that I was there, unbeknownst to me at that point, was because of how I'd been living life, my plans, my designs, and how they affected all of those around me. And I invite you to entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe there's another way of living life, right? And find one of those people that are familiar with that way. And I'll give you the you know, the spoiler is it's called the 12 steps, right? And you go, Hey, I'm gonna put away all my ways that I thought life was supposed to go down. And I'm just gonna try these 12 steps, right? And then report to us report back because that's all a is, is a spiritual experiment. We're inviting you to try the biggest experiment of your life to go wow, I might have been wrong. I'm gonna try these 12 steps and see what happens. And then report back. And what I found I'm going to tell one last story and shut up, John because

John M 44:47

no, you're fine.

Rich B 44:49

This goes back to the boardwalk that goes two miles, two and a quarter miles up two and a quarter miles back. You can walk that walk in the winter right now. And Summer there will be hundreds of 1000s of people, right you have to go in and out and everybody's eating french fries and cotton candy and kids are laughing and crying and there's there's an energy in the air. And in the winter, you could do that whole walk and not see another person. But a little while ago, I was doing that walk and it was a cold winter time and nobody's around little bit of frost on the sand and the white capping water just almost look like ice out there. And there's a drunk stumbling along the boardwalk. And, lo and behold, come in the other way, is God and the drunk says to God, please, please, please, can you get me sober. And God says, Well, sure how much money you have in your pocket, and the drunk reaches in and pulls out a couple of rum, wrinkled up, you know, dollars and change and hands it all over to God and all together, you know, total 10 bucks. But that was good enough for God and God boom struck him sober. And the drunk was sober for the first time in years, and felt amazing, hadn't felt that good and years and he starts walking away. And he doesn't get 10 steps away before he turns back to God and says, Hey, God, is there any way I could get just $1 or two of that back, because I need to get gas for my car to get home. And God turns back it says, gets for your car, your car, you didn't tell me you had a car, I'll take the keys. That's part of the price of your sobriety. And the drug goes cheese and he hands over the keys and he says if I give you the keys to my car, I'm gonna lose my job, I won't be able to take care of my family. God looks at him and says job, you didn't tell me you had a job. I'll take the job. That's part of the price to be paid for your sobriety. And the drunk hands over the job. And God says in this family you have you didn't say you had a family. You got to turn over the family. It's part of the price of your sobriety. And then God looks at it, as the drunk looks defeated. And it turned it all over. And he said, I'll tell you what. If you remember that the job is my job, I'll let you work it for me. If you remember that car is my car, I'll let you drive it. If you remember that, that family and those kids you have or my kids, I'll let you help me raise them. And the drunk, walked away, smiling, and knew all was well. And that's my wish for all of us is that we always remember what's really going on and not fall victim of that delusion. It's all is.

John M 47:54

Thank you so much, rich, so much appreciate that wonderful story. I'm going to close it out here with page 164. From the big book 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. Join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the spirit, and you will surely be some of us. As you trudge like me rich be as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you and keep you until then, once again Rich, I really appreciate you coming on. I've enjoyed this so much.

Rich B 48:41

Thank you for having me what a great thing to talk about sobriety and connection to the higher power. That's your

John M 48:49

Take care. Bye bye. As always, Mr. Rich b Thank you for stopping by the sober speak microphone is sharing your insights thought experience, strength and hope. It was so much appreciated and appreciated by me and I know the audience will get much out of it as well. If you are new to the sober speak podcast if you would, please go ahead and hit that subscribe or follow button on your device wherever you're listening on. So you don't miss any of the new episodes. And if you are a longtime listener, as you were able to please pause your device and share this episode or the podcast with a friend or family member. It may be just what they need today. Now on to a little bit of listener feedback. Andrew R writes in he says Hey John, my name is Andrew are I been listening to your podcasts on my commute from Northern California to the Portland area every week for the past three weeks or so? I just want to thank you for your service. I've been sober for a little over a year now 15 months. And I was reluctant on listening to you at first to be perfectly honest. But I stopped and thought about our message in a in a about principles before personalities. And I'm so glad I did because I've warmed up to Yeah. Thank you, Andrew, I got a turn to read between the lines. You may have been a little put off by me in the beginning, but thank you for listening in. I appreciate it. He says I am doing the steps for the first time right now. And I just completed my fifth step with my sponsor today. Good for you. I listened to the first episode with Marty See, my sponsor recommended listening to his lion step series online, which I did I didn't even know he had some called that thank you very much. Which I did now I'm actually doing the line step series with Rena every Wednesday online, at any rate while listening to Morty on your podcasts about his experience with being molested as a child that encouraged me to add that to, to add to my own experience as a child to my four step grudge list, and to share it with my sponsor today, while doing my fifth step with him. Oh, good for you, Andrew. Once again, thank you for your service, keep up the good work, and fighting the good fight. Well, thank you, Andrew. So I'm so glad that you were able to listen to Marty and occlude something on your fifth step, that fourth and fifth step that needed to be included there. God bless you, my friend. Oh, he was a good one. I so this is I say it's a good one is an interesting one, at least for me. This is somebody named power FOB. And it's on YouTube. And they commented on the podcast, it's not really about one of the speakers. There's more about me, it says, with respect. I'm completely intolerant of the introduction. He's talking about the introduction that I give there. And and he says it's a it's very therapeutic community. I don't know what he means by that. It's very therapeutic community. Anyway, and then it goes on and he says, like, leave what you want at the curb? Where is that in my big book. So he's listened to the introduction and the part that I say, you know, leave what you want at the curb and his questioning where that is in his big book. And I don't think it's in there. I'm pretty sure it's not in there. But, you know, I just thought I'd go ahead and read this. I think there's a lot of stuff that we probably say on this podcast is not in the big book. But anyway, thanks for leaving your comments and being you know, respectful about it.

John M 53:18

Kaylee writes in a Caylus, Kyl ie she says, Hi, John. I'm an alcoholic addict in recovery in the Dallas area. I am obsessed with the sober speak podcast show. I listened to it after my morning meditation exclamation point. She says I would love to be a part of the Facebook group. This is the email so she did with my Facebook account, where Kaylee is, you know, a sent you an email out and just said follow the directions in my email signature. And anyway, we sent it out to her. If you are not in the super secret Facebook group and you'd like to be said, no, no. Go to Facebook actually. And look up sober speak secret group and ask for admis yawn and to that particular group, and we will get you on in there. But Kaylee, I'm so glad you wrote in. We are in the same area. Hopefully we run across each other eyeball to eyeball at some point here in the near future. Alex writes in and he says hey John or howdy Johnny says I live in Addison, Texas, all somebody else from my area. My home group is Dallas north. Yes. I'm very familiar with Dallas North. He says I'm coming up on a year sobriety here in less than than two short weeks. Yo, Mr. Alex, that's great. He says I can't remember exactly how I found sober speak. I think my maybe my dad sent it to me before I joined a he was in allanon before I joined a oh, well, that's cool Alex's dad if you're listening out there thanks for spreading the word and I'm assuming it helped Alex in some form or fashion. Anyway, he says, yesterday I had a slow day at work and decided to listen to all the Gary K episodes now for the fourth time. Will God bless you Alex, he says I was sitting at my desk in my office job remembering how the first time I listened to these episodes, I was just a few weeks sober biking to work for the night shift at a gas station. I love the podcast. It was truly a big capital letters, big capital letters, tremendous help for me in my first few months of sobriety, and still is the day Best regards Alex gay. Well, as you know, Alex, I went ahead and sent that message on over to Mr. Gary K. And hopefully you guys were able to pick up some more conversation from there. But thank you for writing in. Marcos writes in and he says, Hey, John, I hope this note finds you and everybody in the sober speak sober speak community. Well, just a brief line to remind you that you and your amazing guests are listened to and appreciated from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. I couldn't be more grateful for finding this podcast in the fall of 2020. I haven't missed an episode ever since. And very often, I save a month's worth of new episodes to listen to in a row during my monthly lawn mowing session under the Caribbean sun. That's great work as I love it. It definitely makes my work bearable and enjoyable. I always look forward to that monthly moment of inner peace, strength, hope and sweat, of course. He's got a big smiley face. This is you play an important part of my recovery story nowadays. And although I know it's not always easy for you to keep up with the work, put all these episodes out. I pray our higher power I pray our higher power that you can keep doing this for many more years to come. In love and gratitude, Marcus, our will love and gratitude. Back out to you, Mr. Marcus are in Puerto Rico. God bless you, my friend and keep on Mo and my friend. You take care. Thanks for your thanks for

John M 57:49

all your kind words. Giuliana writes in and she says John, thank you for your service. Sober speak is my go to app to help me center myself. Well, that's pretty cool. Giuliana. I like how you phrase that and thank you so much. Marianne Kay writes in, and the subject line is once again talking about Mr. Marty See, she says I'm a recovering alcoholic. And today on my way to visit my mom in the hospital, I listened to Marty's to the Morty sea talk. It's an hour and a half trip to visit my mom and I really enjoyed listening to your podcast. I enjoyed Marty so much that I listened to his talk again, on the way home. I have almost 15 years in recovery. And I'm so grateful to my sponsor who got me working on the steps immediately. I do see many people at my meetings that don't sponsor anyone. While I keep getting more and more people asking me to sponsor them. I went to a meeting tonight and I shared about the tool about step 12. And about the spiritual experience carrying the message. Thanks again for this podcast and getting so many great speakers for us to listen to. Marianne K from Bay City, Michigan. Will Mary Ann came from Bay City, Michigan. Thank you so much. And I'm glad thank you so much for your comments on Marty. You're right. He is a special man. And I appreciate you right now. Chad writes in Chad with two Ds for what is worth. And I believe yes, it's a little bit longer one but it is the last one he says Howdy, John, another howdy. He says thank you for adding me to the super duper secret Facebook group. I look forward to the extra dose of Hope via social media. I've heard a lot about it. I've heard a lot about the super secret Facebook group while listening to quote the pod. He says it was apparent to me that I couldn't control my alcohol consumption. When I was a teenager I was parentally appointed to my first outpatient program when I was 16 years old. I figured I just needed to get better at hiding it. But while I was still enrolled in that outpatient program, I've flipped my mom's car and over ran twice in a drunk driving accident and I broke my back and and in two vertebrae and almost died. Oh my goodness, he says my parents decided that an outpatient program wouldn't be the best option, or would be the best option. Alcoholism is a funny thing. I blame them my parents for several years, following that decision for being inconsiderate of my welfare. You're right alcoholism is a funny thing. He says it never occurred to me until until later that perhaps they were trying to save my life. Once I turned 21, I no longer had to rely. I no longer had to rely on a of age, quote, person to get my alcohol. That's when I started to experience some of the things I heard about a meetings being fired from jobs I really cared about being kicked out a living situations I really liked and losing relationships with people I loved. This was enough to convince me that I did not process alcohol like other people, but I still thought I could manage well, if I just put my mind to it. How often every year that I would get sober for a few months, and then I would get drunk for whatever reason was relevant at the time. You know, she broke up with me. My friends are in town, etc. I drank because I couldn't handle my feelings. But I also drank because I wanted to feel my feelings. That's a good way but I've never thought about that. Since I was 24 when I was when I found what is now my home group. The all of Haines Sunday night Stagg group of Alcoholics Anonymous, I saw liver living examples of the man I always wanted to be, I picked up a copy commitment, and a Tuesday night big book study as well. You know, I just thought about this. You know, we have a lot of what what are referred to as stag meetings. You know, Alcoholics Anonymous, and I don't really hear that term too much anymore. I mean, I know what it means. It's, uh, you know, it's

John M 1:02:43

a men's meeting. Just man, we're still isn't stag. Isn't that related to horses somehow. But anyway, I'm just I'm thinking out loud while I'm going through this. But nonetheless, my current sobriety date says Jad is February 19 of 2019. I still have a hard time believing I have three years, I used to sit in meetings and hear the part of the preamble that says, quote, there are those two who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves, unquote. And I would think that's me for sure. I've had a lot of gifts for which I am grateful for for Alcoholics Anonymous. My sponsor says, quote, The miracle of A is the company we get to keep on quote, I wholeheartedly agree personally, the greatest gift I received is fatherhood. The hardest thing I've had to do is deal with these past three years is reconciling my relationship with my daughter's mother. I started listening to sober speak about eight months ago, I get to wear headphones at work. So I started at the beginning, and I'm currently on episode number 205. My recent favorites are Charlie P. Brian P and father Bill W. My all time favorites are Bill C, Matthew M and AMG B. I love the episode with Bill seep on practicing the presence of God. I think I relate to Matthew and the most because of his his experience having an unexpected child. He had some some things that really hit home for me and it has been a great reminder for me to never give up hope. MGB is currently my all time favorite though. It was great for me to hear our first step from allanon. I was listening to a couple of months back and I was thinking to myself, when are we going to hear more about John M. It was it was only a few episodes later that you opened up about the absolute tragic loss of one of your family members, I have to tell you, John, my heart goes out to your family. I don't know if the perpetrators suffered from alcohol or drug addiction. But when you share that news, it had a profound impact on me. I'm getting better about listening to the listener feedback portion. were drawn on right now of your show. Honestly, I still skip them. And I would do the same thing if it were me, Chad. But it's good for me to hear the perspective of other listeners. I just get a little antsy when you read super long winded emails, like the one I'm writing to you right now. And what people don't know, is I had to take a few paragraphs out of this to kind of pared down a little. Anyway, Chad says I'm such a hypocrite. Maybe this will inspire me to listen to it more. If you do Hello, future self he says. Anyway, I want to commend you for the wonderful service you're providing a as a whole sometimes I'll start an episode on my way to work in your cheery voice comes through my car speakers that inspires me to do my best to make it a good day you, John M are a great example of rule number 62 Don't take yourself so damn Syrah too damn seriously. Anyway, for those of you don't know what rule 62 is, it's in the 1212 Vanilla he says I appreciate the questions. You asked the speakers. Your dedication to the silver speak podcast has provided me with what I consider to be one of AAES perhaps lesser known community treasures. Well, hopefully we'll change that chat. Anyway, he says thank you for helping me stay sober. One day, sometimes one episode at a time gratefully, Chad, with two Ds be. Alright everybody. That wraps up another week of sober speak. For those of you who are still listening in, take this one week at a time. Hope to be back next week. May God bless you and keep you until then. Keep coming back. It works if you work. I love you guys. Thanks.

bottom of page