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Transcript: 196- Reno John A- Steps 6 and 7 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

196- Reno John A- Steps 6 and 7 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Reno John A 09:28

Thank you, john. My name is john. I'm an alcoholic and my sobriety date is a gift from God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I haven't had a drink of alcohol or Moodle creating drug since October 7 1981 and moved to Dallas in 83. Live and currently in Arlington, Texas about five miles from the Cowboys Stadium. So that's where I'm at today. So back to basics, my prime my home group, by the way

John M 09:57

back to basics, and I think that is different from the last Sound yes

Reno John A 10:00

it is COVID create a lot of things and we formed a new group. When Skype only then we started having live meetings today we're having live meetings seven days a week. At back to basics in Arkansas road in Arlington, Texas. In fact, we're having a speaker meeting tonight. No June 10 is Founders Day. Yeah. Back Back to Basics we call b2b. We're having Founders Day, every Saturday in June at 7am 7pm. And tonight we have have Don J. got sober October 15 1958. So I got 63 years sober. Next week we have bob barr. He's the newcomer. He's only got 45 years sober. I can tell you a lot about Bob, one of my one of my closest friends, but he'll be there next week on the 19th of June. And then Bob see is the wrap up. Bob, as you know, got sober in 1962. So he's coming up on 5960 years sober.

John M 11:08

Oh, yeah. Bob See?

Reno John A 11:09

Yes. Yeah, I've had him actually on the podcast before. So we're excited. We got a heck of a format for if you're in around the Arlington area in June. Then you want to be at the founders meeting. Saturday night and in the back to basics. And then next month,

John M 11:28

we really got it because it's late, which actually may be when this episode gets real. Yes. So

Reno John A 11:33

Ladies Night on Saturday night Ladies Night got all ladies speaking on Saturday night. We got some good Hillary, you know, Hillary, are you seeing or start read? Yes. She's gonna be there. We got Linda from Harvard group is going to be there. We got a great Ladies Night coming up in July,

John M 11:53

Ladies Night. Alright,

John M 11:59

so let's go ahead and explain our setup here. Because this is unusual for me.

John M 12:05

So you've been over to record with me at my house before. You're what I call the studio, which is basically my guest bedroom. And I've also referred to quote Studio B as a venue we have well actually when not a venue, my condominium that we have when I'm up in Crested Butte now record people up there there. So this would be what we call a guest studios see. And what studio see is is that we are at the Texas state convention in Fort Worth, Texas. I came out here to stay for the weekend. And john, as he mentioned lives in Arlington. He is driven over he's going to pick up Don j tonight and take him back. But we're sitting here in my hotel room. And the thing that is unusual about it and I have these mics mounted and it is on Woody, what do you call it just just the drawers if you will. And and so

John M 13:08

it's unusual. I'll put it that way. And I'm hoping that these mics stay in place for Dyer interview. But I'm so thankful you made it out

John M 13:16

and we have a guest and if you will come over here real quick. Miss Patsy. John's wife is with us. Yeah, she was she was in my house last time. It just say hi server speak listeners.

patsy 13:30

Oh, howdy, Soper speak listeners.

Reno John A 13:32

Yeah, howdy. Yeah, that's much better. She's a native Texan. The hatchet girl. Yes, the country bumpkin.

John M 13:41

So Patsy is here with us and just kind of observing, listening to john tell his story, probably for the umpteenth time. And I'm, I'm so glad that she came here to join us the day

John M 13:52

night. So what do we want to talk about? So we talked about this a little on the front end, and he said, you know, maybe it's best to go ahead and dive into Step six, and seven of Alcoholics Anonymous. Step six, humbly asked him to remove our short Wait a sec. Did I get that right? Yeah, humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings. And as I do this from memory.

Reno John A 14:25

Yeah, problem, john. In these steps. My sponsor pointed out that what they've done for people like me, because I would job I would be like on the fourth step, but in the fourth step, it was the fifth step that bothered me. I didn't mind writing that stuff down, but didn't want to share it to anybody else as remian got not tagged tell anybody about that. remian got out to God, but I'm not gonna tell another human being that's that's none of their business. And he pointed out to me that I wasn't to decide who to take the fifth step with till I was done with the fourth and He said what they've done for people like you is they numbered these things. So you don't have to think about step two to your download step point, think about step three to download step two. And and I think the problem that people have that I had, I guess to be, you know, we go through the process, step one identifies the problem. And that we're calling him and realize step twos the solution to the problem of step one, coming to believe that a power greater than yourself will restore us to sanity. Step three, we turn our lie are willing to live over the solution, we found in step two, very well organized. And then we have to uncover discover and discard. That's where four or five come in. So we go through that process, writing that down, making the four columns, you know, writing it down, share with another human being, we end that pain that goes through all that. We've taken hours to do that our to do our fifth step, we're done. We think we're excited. We go home, we take a look down from the shelf. And we've talked about what it is, and then we say the seven step prayer, and that's it. And the problem is, we've gone through all that pain, all that work. And nothing's changed. Nothing changes in four and five, we think it does. We think that if we, if we can inventory these problems away, that if we write them down, peel the onion a little more, write them down, that we'll get well, you can't inventory that away. Nothing changes in four and five, I was sent with a good friend of mine years 2030 years ago, 35 years ago, Kevin Kevin died, passed away 11 years sober. And we were both about five years sober and he was he was he said, I gotta go It was Friday afternoons. I gotta get out. I gotta go and finish my inventory. I said you brought another inventory. Yep. That year Kevin roll four four steps. I said what are you doing an inventory bath? Well, you know, relationships, got a problem relationships. Got to peel the onion a little more. You know, peel the onion back find out causes and conditions or why I'm having problems relationships during my fifth step with my sponsor tonight. And I thought you got four or four steps this year. Yeah, I got to peel the onion. I'm still having problems in relationships. I so you want me to tell you why you're having problems relationship, save that inventory? He said, Yeah. Why am I having problem? Very simple. Really have prominent relationships? Kevin's because you're a selfish, self centered, selfish, self centered as that we believe is the root of our problem. And that's not going to change because you write about See, we learn how to change in step one. Step one, what do we do? We learned that how to get rid of the desire to drink. Well, we What do we do? We didn't drink. We talked to our sponsor about it. And we prayed to have God changes. Okay, we didn't drink, we went to meetings, talk to our sponsor, and then pray to have God remove that compulsion to drink. And what happened? God removing a potion drink. So how are we going to change? You know, are we gonna be able to inventory all those character defects away? I sit in a meeting gathered shortly after Kevin's deal. And it was at Dallas north and this guy was chairing the meeting and the topic was finances she was back she just did an inventory on her finances. Because she was having troubles with their finances trying to find out what her problem was with their finances just peeling the onion a little more getting down to causing this why she was having problems relationship with finances. And a guy international there was you have a problem with the finances because you're self yourself center something like to spend more than you make. This is complicated stuff. Nothing's gonna change. You can write about that all you want. Nothing's gonna change. You know, you're not gonna be an inventory your problems go away. Yeah, so just read, learn, learned how to change and step one. And I had a terrible time with sex. I had a terrible time with sex. Fact. That was when I first came into Alcoholics Anonymous, I was reading in a in a book or not in the newspaper. And it said that

Reno John A 19:13

the average average This was in the 80s, the average normal, healthy American male, had had nine sex partners in his lifetime. And the average normal healthy female had had like six second partners her lifetime. I read down to her. They got to be talking about for six months. That's average. I feel bad for those normally, some of them ain't getting any, we raise that average up a whole lot. So if that's my condition, I mean, I'm sitting there. And I used to say, I'm the perfect guy to talk about this. Now because we prior to coming in and out hikes. nonnamous I had this terrible sex problem. And after coming into and getting God in my life, I've really come to see that. That sex is a beautiful, sacred wholly exponentially, something that should be enjoyed and shared by the three people involved.

Reno John A 20:13

How am I gonna be different? How am I gonna change? My gonna be able to write about that? I mean, six or seven is where the change takes place, not four and five. And we think it is we think we're gonna inventory that problem away. And by the way, until I get that sex deal fix, I don't have a shot at having a healthy relationship. You know, so how am I gonna change? How many? How many get that fixed? Man? Am I gonna write about it? You know, I was sitting there talking to a guy, and how did I learn how not to drink? I go back to step one. Well, I didn't drink. I attended meetings, I talked to my sponsor about it. And I prayed to have God changed me. So if I'm gonna get over that sex problem, what am I gonna do? Well, I'm gonna have to stop having affairs, one day at a time. Rather, write about what you nobody will feel better if you like you're doing something, if you write about it, how would you get sober? Let me ask you a question. Would you ever get sober? If you wrote about drinking and continue to drink? No, no. So you're gonna have to quit having affairs one day at a time, cost responsive and pray to have God change it, you know, and so we think we can continue to have those affairs and write about it ain't gonna work. Or we can continue to steal and write about stealing. We continue to have all those character defects. There, you have to quit doing them. You know? mucheasier, right about it. So that's when the change occurred, change. Say today, six, seven. So what happened is I quit. They quit, why I quit dating. I didn't date anybody. And I learned to be, I've had to be alone with me. And I learned to be friends with john. And by the way, until I'm friends with john, I haven't got a shot at being a friend with you. And so I remember the first time I went to a show by myself, went to see the obese. Yes, it was a great show. I was the first member I went to by myself, the obvious Yes. It was out then it was popular. And, and I enjoyed it. I learned to be alone by myself uncomfortable in my own skin by myself, didn't have to be in a crowd with other people. And I wasn't lonely. I had I learned to be alone without being lonely. And, and then I learned how to learn to be friends with men. As I'm telling friends with a man, I don't have a shot at being friends with a woman where I can be in a relationship where sex isn't complicated in the relationship. See, so I can be friends with men and I start hanging out with men doing things with men, I have some men friends today that I would die for. And I know they would die for me. As close relationship as I've ever had anybody. I've got three or four very close friends. And so I wouldn't date people's How long did not date I don't I didn't date for a while. And then a Christmas cake. So

John M 23:20

do you recommend that to sponsees and Sach? If you

Reno John A 23:25

got a problem, if you've got a problem with relationships, stop it. Don't carry with you into the next one. All the wreckage that you got with you in this one. You know, you can't do that you got to stop. You have to stop dating, stop seeing other people stop doing things with the opposite sex or the sex of your choice. Right, you know, quit in you know, there's

John M 23:47

that I don't know, random number of a year. You know, I

Reno John A 23:51

have no idea about that. I think that I will tell you when I got divorced. I'll never forget when I got divorced. I'd nine years sober. And I got divorced in October. And out of the Christmas time I was at a Christmas party. There was a guy at the Christmas party and he had about 25 years sober and did the steps all around Metroplex and was very well respected. And I was at his house. We were talking I loved the guy. And he said How long were you guys married? I saw we were married about six years. He said what's gonna take it three years to get through this. And I was shocked and I was in a lot of pain that that three years of this crap and I was talking to my sponsor the next day and I said gene said that take me three years. My sponsor said well, john, I have a lot of faith and confidence in you. I believe that you really work out you can drag that out to five Why would you limit God and His ability to heal you? Tell him it's gonna take you three years to fix me God. So I don't know how long you have not date. I would put a year on I wouldn't put I wouldn't put a six months on or I wouldn't put two years on. I don't know. I just didn't date for a while. I have no idea how long it was. But I remember Christmas came a guy invited me To his company's office, but his male friend, not in a bad friend of this guy, we were friends invited me to his company's Christmas party. I went to it. And this was in the 80s and 80 would have been 8384. And there's this big old car and back even back then you couldn't smoke in the hotel rooms get grass out on the balcony and smoke. And so I was smoking back then I love to smoke back then. And I was smoking out on the balcony and a gal came out she smoke. So we bonded. After smoking and talking with Nancy and we had a good time I got her phone number and she was on another balcony. She was on the same day. She was at the party. Oh, yeah, we're out there on the balcony spoken so we I got her number and I called my sponsor next day and said, had the party goes to the party went great one great, had a good time met a gal met a gal. He said you did? I said yeah. I'm thinking about taking her I think it'd be okay if I took her out. He's Well, let me just ask you one question. You You can be honest with her. She can be totally honest. You can take her out. I sure I can be totally honest. He was I don't think so. But we'll find out. So we go out and I he's actually hydro Ashcroft. He's, well, you caught up and asked Ron on a date. That's hard. Any guy knows that's hard to do. Man California is to weigh 100 pounds. Yeah, pick that phone up on color. And I sell out. It's not the way I do it. I like to know where she's going and I will appear where she's at, you know, and, and then a we're very territorial always sit in the same place. So I'll be here. I'll see your spotter. Here it is Saturday night. She's sitting over there. I'm sitting over here the next day I will be back here the same group. Seven o'clock meeting Saturday night. I will move a little closer. Next month next week. I'll be back moved a little closer next week. I bet so it takes about a month to get over there close to where she's at. And I've got proof. I know where she is. Go to coffee after 10 of us at the coffee table. She sits at the center of the coffee table. I'm at this end of the coffee table. Every week I start to move a little closer now to the end of the coffee table. Finally about a month later I asked her out two months to get a date. And she says yes we go out. I said no no game plan. No more game plan. You're gonna be honest. You call her mascara. So I call it background. She said yes. So we got on this date. We did everything the first night. We had coffee, right? We had dinner. We went to a movie and we went dancing all the first night. Nothing on the second day we did on the first day. Took her I took her home at two o'clock in the morning drop drop off. Didn't have to ask to come in for coffee. You ever noticed alcoholics are the only people who drink coffee at 2am?

Reno John A 27:36

here for a cup of coffee. recommend for coffee. Coffee. Just dropped dropped by sucks. I went home was 230 get home, call my sponsor 230 in the morning, while I'm home. He's that are you alone? Is it? Yeah, not him. I want you to commit to Saturday mornings when you're not alone. So I started dating and we just dated, we just dated and I learned a lot learn how I learn how to keep my mouth shut. You know, I have the problem. I like to make statements that have long term ramifications based on a short term emotion.

John M 28:14

See that again? Long Term long term ramifications very short term.

Reno John A 28:20

Should I get it? on that third day, you know, the third date conversations we like to have that are how your mind always went something like this on the third date? Well, you know, Kathy, gee, this is progressing much faster than I've ever had happen before. Never My life is just how I got here. When I asked that I really wasn't looking for a relationship. I guess this is a god deal. I didn't make that decision about where are you going with this relationship? What are we doing here? We're gonna be friends. We're gonna be intimate. We're gonna be exclusive, or whatever you have whatever decision you make in that third date conversation. Boom, it's wrong. You blew it. You can't I don't know how to fix that. It's over marriage. Just say well, we screwed up. Have a good life and walk away. Because you can't fix it. No matter what you decide. It's wrong. I got friends I sponsor they go into ministry. You know, I'm dating Susan. Yeah, I saw you were with her Friday night. Well, we're not Friday night. We're not Saturday night. Monday, we had that talk. And we decided we decided we're just going to be friends. Really? You decided that you're just going to be well, you but what do you mean? What happens if God wants you to be more than that? You can't because you decided to just be friends. You know, either guys, I got fan coming to me say well, you know, I've been seeing Karen Yeah, I saw we were there. Right? Yeah, went out Friday SAT. We've decided john what we're gonna do we're just gonna be you know, sex buddies. no emotion, no commitment. This gets a little anxious. You know, we just we just the sex buddies. I really blew it. You know, what happens if God wants me more now? Right? You can't. You know, by the way, I've never seen that work. No, I thought but it just didn't work. Right? Well, that friends are better. So yeah, keep in mind, you're gonna have to let God make that relationship what God wants it to be not what you want it to be. You know, in step one, you admitted you, your life's unmanageable. You can't manage your own lives, let's manage this relationship and decide what we're going to do. What are we doing here? Now? Keep your mouth shut. Yes, we just dated. We didn't ever had that conversation about where are we going with this? What's happening? And so where do we learn how to be honest, was was totally, totally unexpected, and totally came out of collapse. This is one of those times when my sponsor had told me was you have a date? You got to ask her out all these five days ahead of time. And by the way, ladies, if you're dating a guy, he didn't ask you out five days ahead. Don't Don't go. Don't go. Because he's shopping. Because you have Saturday and once you're on a Saturday night, don't go he's been shopping all week. You went by default. I say picker say me with the guys. I used to ask the girl out five days ahead of time. And then the girl would say, well, john, you know, I live one day at a time. Call me Saturday. Don't call guys. Don't. I promise you you'll call her she'll have plans. I communist. I have plans. Now you don't plan ahead one day at a time, right? You don't? Well, he just asked this morning should have caught a little earlier. Don't do that? Don't you know we were getting involved in this romantic relationship and be totally committed. We can't plan ahead five days. Give me a break. So I asked graphite on Tuesday to go out on Saturday. She said yes. So I'm excited. I planted Saturday because we get paid on the first and 15th the 15th fell on Sunday. But you know they always pay you on Friday. Right when the payday falls on the weekend by God they should pay you Friday. And that was did. I was on Friday and my paycheck. office managers as well. The paychecks they come from New York, they didn't come in. Oh. So we'll pay a Monday. No, no. No, I got a day tomorrow. I gotta have my checking on my paycheck. Well, they don't come in you get paid. Now. Check your employee manual. JOHN. I hate those employee splits in there for payday falls on weekend you get paid the following Monday. She's been here probably in tomorrow, but we're distributed Monday. And they come in we distribute them. They usually come in on Friday. We'd restricted in Friday then it come in you get paid Monday. Now I'm so I'm so screwed up. I gotta leave I leave the office. I go home. I always do the worst thing. The worst thing when I'm in all that anxiety is I seek isolation. worst thing you can do see guys like I stopped by a carton of cigarettes pack and Diet Coke. Go home. Lock the door pull the curtains great. My dad cokes what my cigarettes and think about it. I got I got a day I only got $7. I said in my pocket guy the date was next. What am I going to do? What am I going to do? So I'm smoking cigarettes thinking about bash six o'clock I have an intuitive thought.

Reno John A 33:18

God bless me with intuitive thought. There's a Tom Thumb right next to her she her apartment complexes back then Thompson would cash a check for $100 I'm gonna stop on my way to pick her up at Thompson write a check for $100 they'll give me $100 we'll take her on this date. And spend and we'll have a great time on the date Monday morning. I can't get broadcast to check it on Saturday. Monday I come I take my check to the bank. I got a salt. I'm feeling good. I can go to a meeting now. I go to a meet I'm a Dallas North my sponsors they're not his own group who should not be there. I've already more talked to him. Getting ready to leave the home right after the meeting he grabs he says What are you doing? I said nothing. He said what are you thinking about doing? I got date with Nancy tomorrow night and I got $7 well it's gonna be a short date as I got it figured out. So what do you have? Well, there's a tom Sam right next to me. I'm gonna go No, wait a minute. Wait a minute, john. I know what you're saying. You can't go on the date. I mean, I can't go on the day. Remember our deal? You could take out as long as you're honest you're not being honest. So what do you mean I'm not being I'm being not no you're not when you cash that check in Thompson. I'm you're promising Thompson you have that money but you don't have that money to make your line. It's I'm glad you're alive. You're lying to them and you're stealing money from Thompson. You're not a liar. You're a thief. She deserves better that you can't go. What do I do? You call him call? You can't go? What happens when she asked Why? You tell her you just can't afford to take her out. Oh my God, not me. Show i thought was Friday night. She's a single gal in Dallas, Texas. She's not gonna be home I'll leave a message on her machine. I call her up. She asked What are you doing? Friday now what are you doing? Nothing. What's wrong? So wow I said back tomorrow night I can't I can't go she said okay so I said to her I said she she's not alcoholic she didn't need know why. So I asked her I said well Don't you want to know why she was supposed to get paid they know we get paid on the 15th 15th Not till Sunday. It was payment day they did payment today I don't have money I got seven bucks in my pocket you happy? You're saying you don't have any money that's right. I didn't get paid today sure got paid today probably money satisfied. Well, that's the factually promises date in about three months at that time. She said, Why don't we do this? Mina cook for you take your $7 you young people won't believe this. This is unbelievable what happens. But back then in the 80s they had these stores that they were put VCR tapes in the store. They were called blockbuster. unbelieving. You go down or you could rent a movie and take it home, put it in your own machine and watch it and blockbuster dates. And she ran a random movie at blockbuster. And I'll fix that and we'll we'll have dinner over here and we'll watch a movie. I couldn't believe it. So that's not the way I do it. You know I'm the I'm the knight on the white horse right? I'm gonna ride in her life. Scoop up from back my horse right up. I promise I don't have money problems. Oh money problem maybe you need money. How much money you need baby. All kinds of money. money's not my prom baby. I got money that that ex husband gave me for that ex boyfriend give you a prom. You give me the nod baby I know people I got people right it's not a problem for me. I solve your problem baby Sammy right into her life from back in my first run off and and solve the problem. That's what I am. As you find out real quick in a you know that there are really three kinds of people. You have the damsels in distress. They're the ones that want you to take care of them. Then you have the Florence Nightingale's. There is a lot of them in our in allanon. But a lot of marine a, they're the ones that want to take care of you. So you got a damsel in distress want to be taken care of frosh nine goes on to take care of you. And quite frankly, I'm kind of by in that area. I can go either way. I just need you want to take care of me and let me take care of you. I don't care. You know what, I'm just gonna take care of you. I just I just need to know which which one you are. And then I can play the role doesn't matter me and then you got to help you once. But don't worry about it. You never find them. Because your broker is so broke is never get fixed. They're finding a good relationship and he's like finding a parking spot at Christmas time. You ever find one? And van if you do, it's gonna be Mark handicap. Shouldn't be Mark handicapped in a way that right? Yeah. Well, anyway, I don't have a gun off on that. But I'm, I'm gonna, I'm gonna share like the paint this picture

Reno John A 38:17

of what I think the girl wants. I don't know if that's what she wants or not. But I paint this picture what I think she wants. And that takes about six weeks, for her to say, wait a minute, this picture of what this guy has been painting to me doesn't match up. You know. And that's why relationships last six weeks, they're totally built on lies. You know, when it comes to my I found out real quick. I'm not my pocketbook. I'm not the car I drive. I'm not my apartment or my home. What I am is I'm a child of God. And let's find out if you like that guy, before we spent all that time getting involved and all that emotional energy and getting involved in let's find out if you really know who he is. And so all those character defects can be dealt with the same way. I know you're gonna have to quit doing them and pray to have God change you. And then God God because nothing changes by writing about it. You're still a sober horsethief is what happens you get sober, and nothing's changed until six and seven.

John M 39:29

Okay, so you can have I'm thinking about the people now. And it even makes reference to this, I believe in the in the 12 and 12. About how we come to God. We ask them to remove our drinking problem basically. And we're placed in that position of neutrality, but then some of these other things that keep cropping up for years and years, you know, whatever it may be, and no matter how many inventories I Do no matter how much shot talking to my sponsor? I do. It just seems as if I can't shake this one or two, possibly three thing, whatever it is right, there's always that big issue. So are you able to talk to those people that are out there thinking, I get what you're saying john is not going to change your life change. But for whatever reason, I can't seem to shake this.

Reno John A 40:30

Yeah, I think what happened is, is really pretty simple. And it's very normal. What happens when you come into a, you're on a really broad path. Because here's the problem. I don't even know what my character defects are today. I don't know what's right or wrong. You can tell me, I'd quit doing that. You shouldn't do that. Until about how many times people tell you You shouldn't drink like that, right? And you want to quit, couldn't do it. Go, you're ready to quit. You know, and they can you can tell me all you want. Don't do that. But until it bothers me, I can tell you this very thing, things that I did last year that I can't do this year, right? If I'm going to be comfortable, my own skin, there things are doing I'm doing right now that won't be able to do in a couple of years. That's called progress, not perfection. And we love to beat ourselves up some of the stuff we need to quit now, right, because they're really damaging A lot of you and a lot of other people. But I think what happens is when you come into a you're on a really broad path, you're growing over that path. As long as you don't drink, you're okay. And then a few years go by and the path gets a little narrower on you. And now you're doing the same stuff you're doing last year, but not drinking and you're off the path, you're in the weeds and stumbling over rocks and bushes and weeds and stuff. And you got to give a couple of things up and then you're back on the path, you're okay. Now you as long as you don't drink and do these two things, you're okay. And then the path gets a little more narrower on you. And now you're off the path again, and you got to give up a couple more things. So there's progress not perfection is really, the path doesn't really get narrow. It's like an hourglass. Because it opens up, the more I'm able to surrender to God. The more freedom I actually have, when I came into a I gave up alcohol didn't lose any freedom. No, gain a world a boatload of freedom denied. All right. You know, it's like an hourglass, the more of those character defects, I'm able to surrender to God, the more freedom I'm able to have. And the more I hang on to them, the more pain and anguish it causes. And it's in his progress, you know, we were going to come into a and we think that after six or seven character defects for God, they're not. That's why they keep talking about progress, not perfection. It's gonna, I remember, there was an old timer at Preston, that I loved name is Bruce Ligon. He's passed on now Bruce had 40 years in the 80s. And Bruce would sit in meetings and when he would share he would very huge share very little words. His words were very made maybe one or two sentences and the whole thing but and and we're kind of my character defects. And he said, Well, I've come to see that age will solve a lot of your character defects. The energy to do that crap. And that's true as you get older, your age is gonna solve all those character defects. But what happens is, is that when I because that's why it says entirely ready to have gotten movies, character defects. And I want to tell you, I've never met a guy who was entirely ready to have God remove his character defects. We think we are we may say that prayer, we may act like it. And we're not you know, and and i think God knows that. That's why it goes back to progress, not perfection. And I quite frankly, don't have a clue what my character defects are. I know that that those character defects always create problems in your life. I know nothing bad has ever happened to me. Never has I mean, Was it bad that I got arrested and I got thrown gigaaa 40 me guys I went to jail a lot for public intox was that it was that bad. Beshear roller happened? Because it got me here. How can I say that was bad? Because it got me here was a bad that I lived outdoors was homeless and and got down hard. 35 pounds didn't eat had no place to live. was sober for a year when that happened was that bad? besting the roller wrapping Because it got me here. How can I say that's bad? Nothing, nothing Bad's ever happened

John M 45:06

to him. And many of these defects I believe that others can see in as well. Like, you know, I don't know about your wife, Patsy, but my wife, I'm sure she can see things in me that, you know, I'm just blind to, and they come up in time. So and one more thing I want to talk to you about. And so, what I was thinking about when you're sharing, we're, we're secrets, okay? And when I say secrets, how these things kind of blend into one another in getting rid of those character defects. And maybe there are those things that we do have a hard time shaking, but I see people keeping secrets and not sharing them with a sponsor or somebody else, I'm confident, have you run across that

Reno John A 45:47

dream? And and the solution to that, because we are sick as our secrets. And step 10 is where that comes into place. Because step 10 keeps the wreckage of the present from becoming wreckage of the past. And, you know, we don't have the time probably to talk about nine and 10 today. But what happens is, is that you've got with somewhere and it's happened to everybody I know. And you're talking about secrets. This happens to everybody I know somewhere between five years and 10 years of sobriety. I think what happens you you become the ash, you really are happened to me. And you wake up between five and 10 years and you're more pain than you ever were in your life. You think what the hell I work the steps I've done this, I've spoke here, I've done that. I sponsor people. And my life's a mess. And it's a whole nother that happened to me at nine years sober. And I was speaking that weekend at tri state conference in Louisiana, Bowser, Louisiana. And I woke up I'm sure speak Saturday night. at the banquet 2000 people there and I woke up Saturday. I'm just dying to give a terrible talk. Absolutely. Perfect render Catholic braces six months later. So what's wrong with you? You're terrible talking Bowser. I said, Yeah, you hear about it tonight. And what happened to me started. This was that was in 1988. And what happened, we started that was October of 1988. We're breaking a bone What happened? We started in October of 87. And I found out that takes me one year, it takes me one day to screw up my life, and a year to accept it. Right. And what happened was in October of 87, that's when the stock market crashed. Remember that young people don't remember that. But the stock market fell a third were 35% of the value of the stock market in one day on Black Monday. And I lost a little money when that happened. Not a lot. And I've loved in the market. And I've had to talk to my sponsor do what he did, which was nothing, then I would have been fine because the market came back. And by Christmas time he did recover everything you did last, you know, but I didn't do that. I'm smarter than that. I'm a smart guy. And so I liquidated everything I had in there and started to play stock options to get back a little bit of money I lost. And over the next year. I lost about 40 times as much money as I lost that day. 40 times. And I think it was making me sick is nobody knew. Nobody knew my sponsor didn't know. Nobody I sponsor knew. Nobody knew what was going on. My wife didn't know what was going on. And by the way, one thing I've read take the money last one mine. Okay, it kind of was it kind of was I had signed an order at the bank. They loaned me this. I lost that. So I had this huge pile of debt. Wow, I had this huge pile of debt that I'd lost and, and nobody knew except me in the bank. And then it was coming due. And I was in a lot of pain and worry about that. Because Because of that secret. And so I had I went home, got home, talk to my sponsor the next day Monday told him all about he shook his head. And he said he said well, and he always says this. I hate it when he says this. When I go to him with a problem. He always says this.

Reno John A 49:34

Well, I got no magic. That's what I want. I want magic. I want you to give me the secret code word for a that's gonna solve this problem. I don't have to humiliate myself. You know, I want the magic. He's got no magic. All I know is the steps and social media right in inventory. Now this is not a four step. There's not right go back and I write what happened to me when I was three. Makes me buy stock options when I'm 30. That's not what this is. This is a one year annual inventory talks about what I've been doing the last year. What secrets Do you have the last year? So home I wrote about it met with him the next day, read it to him, he shook his head. He said, Well, you got to change so I had to go and kneel down and pray to have God changed me that I had to go take the action to go to the bank, let the bank know what I'm gonna do. It had talked to my wife about it. Now that's a real deal. Because here you got a situation where we're in Dallas, Texas, which is a community property state. And they always ask pretty good deal because they got half the spouses assets, right? They do you have half the spouses assets. That includes half the spouses debt. Oh, no. So I got to go to my wife, she's, she's we're gonna find this huge pile of debt. And tell her I got this debt over here. So she was in. I went home that night on Tuesday, I made an appointment with her on Thursday. I said, want appointments? You want appointment? Yeah, I want to leave at eight o'clock, because I wanted to do it after she'd eaten, because I didn't want her hungry. And I want to do it before she got tired. I didn't want her tired. I forget o'clock perfect time to do this. I knew she would get angry. And then I figured I'd be lonely. Or hungry, angry, lonely, tired. So I figured I got to have them covered. So we met and I told everything that was going on, she cried and talked to her sponsor, things are going great. Things are going great. Except for one thing, and then quit doing it. And the next year, however, was just the opposite. 89 was just shops, ADA, everything I did. I made money on June 10 of 1989. I made a fortune. I made more money on June 10. And I'd made my entire life founders there. Yeah. And yeah. And what, what happened was when you went like that, some commercials for doing that, must be playing those options. And so I gotta wait. This was a hard thing. You're gonna get caught no matter what you do. When you win or lose, you're gonna get caught because you win. You got to file your taxes and they say we made how much money where that money come from? So you got to tell them. If you lose, then you got to tell them so you're screwed no matter what you when you're doing sneaky stuff. Bruce like and call them schemes. I was a schemer. We're known as all schemes. You're screwed. You're gonna get caught one way or the other. And, but I mean, honest money. And so I had to tell her so I liquidated. What I did is I took all my money. I paid off all the debt choosen in Chicago and paid off all the debt, put them all the receipts in the menambah put a deposit stuff in the middle on well. She came home from Chicago pick her up there per Saturday, we went home, said to her, I said come into the living room. I have something I want to share with you, honey, see how we share here? Yeah. And she looked at me see, what did you do? I said, we'll sit down. I handed the envelope. She opened it up and found all these paid receipts and she make deposit slips. She said, What happened? And I said, well, honey, Tuesday, God told me to buy. And she cried some sauce to leave. Yeah. And I said, I noticed I put the deposit in there. And everything would have been great. Because now I had all this money, and then no debt, except for one thing. And he quit doing it. And so we got really separated in August. That was in June in August, we separated we got divorced in October, she was 33. We have a six day cooling off period in Texas.

Reno John A 53:38

We have a 61 day she she had the paperwork ready, man, as soon as we separated, she found it and we're divorced 61 days later. And very painful. I couldn't figure it out. I was totally blind figure it out. I learned a lot in that period. That was some of the biggest growth in my life, because I found out that see when you're climbing a mountain, you can't see the mountain you're climbing. You shouted a mountain around you, but you can't see the mountain you're on. You know, that's where you're gonna have a sponsor. You know, because your sponsor is not on your mountain, he can see the mountain you're climbing. And I couldn't see the mountain couldn't see the problem. cannot see the buyer had talked to my sponsor about it. And I said, I can't believe she's divorced me Look how the money. I mean, yeah, last little bit of money last year, but a few years old have been reversed. Father made all this money last year and lost that little bit this year. Hell, I'd be writing books that had me on the Today Show down how to make a million dollars in the stock market. You know, I'm not that concerned me a financial genius. I don't understand this. Well, my sponsor said well, he said I don't know what the deal is. He said, Why don't you go home and what do you use Benjamin Franklin approach, write down on a piece of paper Run, run down the center, put all the positive things buying stock options done for you on the left side, all the negative things down on the right side. See if you can learn anything. So I went home On the right on the left side of the positive stuff, I had one benefit. I made a little bit of money. That was a little bit of money. But what did it cost me? On the right hand side, cost me my, my marriage kashmere my home, it cost me my wife cost me my job customer, he fired me at work. Now at that time, I was running the largest sales organization in this insurance company in New York in the country. And they fired me they had to, because this was my schedule. Now I'm nine years sober. I can see nothing wrong with this behavior. I can't see the mountain. I got five o'clock in the morning cuz I got three newspapers got to read. Because I had to say what, what I'm gonna see you young people don't know this. But back then in the 80s, they actually took the news, print it on paper. Drop it off on your doorstep at five in the morning. You can pull up your phone and look up stuff. So I rang it up and I had three newspapers I read because I gotta say what I'm going to route Do I go to the office to get there eight o'clock, cuz I got three stockbrokers. I'm calling and working with me on the phone call. And then what I'm going to trade. The market opens at 830 by 10 o'clock. I'm like a drunk major drink and I got I got all these guys there to help. I'm of no value at all by 10 o'clock. I gotta leave. I go home. Turn on the TV cuz I'm watching CNN fnn headline news, watching all that ticker tape go across the bottom of the screen, common stock broker making trades. I'm a nut right now for a year. Bad fire me. There's no value to them. My wife comes home. She wants to go to dinner. I'm Honey, I'm tired. Been working all day. Let's Let's order out. Order I can't even leave the house. You know. And that's hard because I'm like to sit in it. And that's hard watching those towels because she knows them and watching those channels. I'm in the market. not supposed to be in the market. So I have to wait till she goes to bed. Then I click the channel right and turn over there and wax dipped at two o'clock in the morning watching that stuff. You know, go to bed at two o'clock get up at five o'clock start my day all over again. I'm nine years sober. I can see nothing wrong with that behavior. Do you think I ever call my sponsor that year? No. Never call him once. Thinking as a very valued anybody I sponsor that year. This is the phone they'd call me. I say okay, yeah. Good. Call me tomorrow, pick up the phone. Right? No value at all. Anybody ton of secrets. If at one time, just one time, I'd call my sponsor. He said Hajin. How's your day gone? And I told him what I did today. Torn that schedule of what happened? It would have been over. It'd been done. Not one time. ton of secrets. Nobody knew what was going on. Nobody. And we had a sick of their secrets. You know, and all that stuff. What happens is step 10 is really a review of the first nine steps. That's what happens. JOHN? Yeah,

John M 57:52

I absolutely love it. As usual, we went down some rabbit holes, which I absolutely love it and but we're gonna get back together again. And we're going to record some more. Can you come say goodbye, Patsy? Just I don't know why I just say what I was thinking. Say what you were thinking I would love it. on the white horse, my say. Y'all know,

patsy 58:24

he's a great guy. He really is. And he believes all this stuff. He tells you he's, he loves people. He loves his wife. And yeah. And now he talks about her once in a while instead of

Reno John A 58:33

this is a good one. We've been together. We've been together 30 years, by the way. Wow. 30 years. 30 years. Yeah. But the new one, this isn't the one that left me.

John M 58:43

Right, right. But this is something you mean, you had to learn everything you had to learn in order to get here and same with my wife. Yeah, I get it. Okay, I'm going to read from page 164 says a banner yourself to God as you understand God at MIT 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 meet some of us, like me, Reno, john and Patsy as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you and keep you Until then, once again, john, thank you so much better time. Thank you, Reno john once again and Miss Patsy for being along there for a ride and letting us have access to Mr. JOHN a for a short period of time there. We should appreciate it ever remember everybody. We do not want you sharing your gossip. However, we would love for you to share this episode with a friend or family member. It may be just what they need today. Pause that little device that you happen to be on, click the Share button and send it on over to somebody that you think may benefit from that particular episode and who would not benefit from that particular episode. Now, on to a little bit of listener feedback in our first bit of listener feedback here comes from, well, it's actually a voicemail sent in from Rainey regarding Bob B. Here you go.

Rainee 1:00:29

Hi, John. M, it's rainy from the Isle of Wight, UK. Thank you so much for your service, your podcast. It's just wonderful. Just being listening to Bobby part one. Here is what I would call a straight up man, which means he speaks really openly and honest. And I really enjoyed the show. And especially when he talks about, you know, surrendering the game for the second time, eight years and finding God and you know, I can relate to that. And I'm sure so many other people will as well it really, really did help just to understand exactly what we do go through when we are getting sober and how life carries on life on life's terms. So, once again, thank you so much. And Bobby I really really admire your, your podcast. Thank you for sharing it.

John M 1:01:25

Thank you Rainey over in the UK. It is always wonderful to hear from you. I really appreciate you sending that in and I know Bobby is going to appreciate so much as well. You are correct. He has something special. Sarah writes in a Sarah says hello john. I live in Michigan. I'm a Michigander she could have said but she did not say that. I added that part. She says I'm a mother and a wife, a paramedic, a social worker. And I am the one who always does the fixing. You know what it doesn't say fixing it says fixing like a normal person down here, Texas. You know we say fixing like we're fixing to do something. Anyway. She says I'm always the one who does the fixing. I do not deal well with my own self care. Obviously. She says I am one day sober. Oh, God bless you miss Sarah. I finally admitted I was powerless over alcohol and drugs. I assumed in my mind that if I could go three months without a drink, I wasn't an alcoholic. The paramedic finally realized that yes, binge drinking is bad. I was trying to find a podcast that spoke to me. I know. It's only been one day, but you really spoke to me and I loved your Umer. Thank you very much, Miss Sarah. Oh, gosh, how could I lose my plays already loved? The episode I was listening to was when you went to the dentist.

John M 1:03:07

I forgot about that. Oh, I get it. There's another piece of feedback. Give it up in a second about that. But anyway,

John M 1:03:14

she says I'm terrified of my new journey. But I'm ready to find my higher power. Sarah, and will God bless you, Sarah, I know you will find your higher power if you just keep seeking, as they say seek and you will find ask. Oh, wow. Just seek and you will find Oh gosh, I just Oh, knock and the door shall be open. I think that's how it goes. But anyway, Sarah, thanks for writing in and congratulations on your early sobriety. Tanya writes in and Tanya says hi, john. I just want to thank you for your podcast. I've been listening to it for a few months now. I don't have much of a story of this what they all say but everyone's got their story about years of drinking in trouble but I do know that I need to stop for my health and my peace of mind. Well that's your story right there. Tanya, there's a ton of people just like that. She says I have always overdone everything over drink over eat excetera Today I heard Patrick B and Wow. I think God sent his message straight to me. By the way, if you go and you search Patrick be on our website. what she's talking about is Patrick's episode from a long time back. He was kind of a combination of a and oae and she listened to that when I say oh wait so Overeaters Anonymous, but she said I have never been able I have never been Oh a or a but I think I will try to go now. I had no idea there were so many resources for help. Thanks again, john, for your podcast. You may have just saved my life. How soon this sweet on you. Listen, all I know is that I'm thankful You allow me to be a small part of your journey. And thank you so much for writing and keep me posted. Now David writes in and the title or the subject line on this one was excess saliva.

John M 1:05:15

So, he is talking about an episode where I talked about going to the dentist a couple three episodes back, I don't even know what your one was on. But he says, oh, john, my brother, I'm

John M 1:05:26

listening to you describe your excessive production of saliva. Ugh, I have a thing about that. For whatever reason, when I'm talking to people who appear to have a lot of spit. When they speak, I get an uncomfortable urge to hock up my own mouth full of saliva. I have to talk to myself in earnest is sometimes do not spit in front of them. Oh, no, I'm thinking about it now. Excuse me, I

John M 1:05:57

can't even believe I did that while I'm talking about excess saliva. But anyways, there's a local news anchor who I

John M 1:06:03

perceived you always have a huge mouthful of spit, and I just can't watch him. I do have to thank you. In this case, though, because I'm spreading gravel and my mouth is getting really dry. Or at least it was now I have to think of a mouthful of spit.

John M 1:06:21

have to stop what I'm doing to get into the house. Or get a drink of water. Keep up the good work, my friend. I enjoy your rambling, unlike some people like the lovely Mrs. m. Cheers, David. David, a thank you so much. I can remember when I started sharing that about my visit to the dentist. And by the way, for those of you didn't hear, I'm not going to go back through to get but I remember before I started hearing this, I said to myself, I said

John M 1:06:57

to myself out loud actually on the podcast. I'm pretty sure I said I don't know if I should be sharing this but here it goes nothing. Michelle writes in she says hi John M I am a member of Al anon from M d for those of you don't know that as Mira land. My husband is an active alcoholic and I have been an Al anon in recovery since February 2 of 2021. I've been listening to your podcast for a couple of months now. It brings me hope that my husband will find his way into long term recovery one day. I have always been into podcasts and I searched Alcoholics Anonymous and out and iTunes podcasts and that's where I found sober speak. I like Bill See, but the most recent one that I liked was Jennifer h. k. I won't say I resonated with the stories personally but they helped me better understand the alcoholic disease and in turn, help me increase my compassion. For my qualifier. Thank you so much for your service. Michelle. Gee, well, thank you, Michelle, for writing in. And God bless you and your family. And I hope your husband does get on the right path there. dk writes in a DK says hi john. I go by dig it. So I asked him he had written in and I responded and I said is your name DK? He says hi Johnny go by DK for short. It's daring K. But DK is easier and cooler. I think. I think it's cooler also. In fact, I think there is a DK Yeah, yeah, a football player named DK. Metcalf if I'm not mistaken. Anyway, a receiver up in Seattle for what it's worth. I came across your podcast recently a few months now. And yes, I resonate especially with one you did with Wayne age, hardcore atheists marine finds god of his understanding. I share that one a lot, especially on my personal blog I play with and I hope that's okay. Of course DK you can share that episode on your blog. He says I'm an alcoholic trying to put my life back together here in a small town in Oregon. St. Helens Oh, Oregon. So you're up near DK Metcalf who should be in the Seattle area in the Pacific Northwest. Nonetheless, I digress. As I do many times. He says I wasn't expecting an actual person. When I signed up for your mailer. That's pretty cool. He said I really like your podcasts and enjoy them on a regular basis and spread the word as much as I can here in this little town was is actually pretty heavily involved in recovery and all sorts of, but pretty. All sorts of things were pretty heavily AIA centered which I like a lot. Anyway, thanks for making my day and being a person and not a bot. I'm signing up, and I hope to talk to you again soon have a great day. d k, that rhymes DK Have a great day DK and you have a great day as well. My friend Scott writes in and says greetings from New Jersey and he spells out in parentheses, Josie j OISEY.

John M 1:10:24

I think he is making a reference to

John M 1:10:27

what I say on the pod. Sometimes he says hello there, john. As my subject line indicates, I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic from New joy z. I remember getting sober in the beginning of August 2012. However, I honestly don't do not remember if my last drink was the first second or the third. those last few days. Were kind of a blur. I get it my friend. He said they were kind of a blur after one last bit. So I was. So I always say my sobriety date is August 2 2012. So I will be upcoming on so I will be coming up on nine years in the next few weeks. Anyway, I have three things I wanted to bring up bring up, I want to look at the bullet points like this one, I was just listening to Angie be part two. And the last line of her talk resonated with me for two reasons the line when quote, we are to be of service, I'm going to be of service for you, you be of service for somebody else, and we will change this world unquote. Yes, I love that. He reminds me so much of the great work that we Alcoholics Anonymous, that we members of Alcoholics Anonymous, are here to help each other with. But I also am a member of the Alpha Phi Omega program, a national service fraternity. I pledged in college and I am still active in its alumni. bullet point number two, I also had gastric bypass surgery in 2004. So I wanted to say to the Remember to the member who had their surgery, you are not alone. I think he's talking about somebody who wrote down on the listener feedback here. He says, I remember a counselor talking to me way back in 2008. When I went to my first rehab saying something along the lines of that people who had gastric bypass surgery, and alcoholism seem to be a growing concern. Among a percentage of those who have had the same surgery. I just wanted to pass along that piece of info. Thank you, Scott. bullet point number three. Lastly, over the past year, I seem to have been turning to food as my comfort so much so that I've gained about 100 pounds. As I have been listening to the podcast, I feel like my obsession to eat is slowly lifting. It's it's small, one step at a time, one day at a time. But my boredom, snacking while I sit here working from home and listening to you and the speaker of the hour is easing my anxiety to eat and not snack as much. Thank you for all you do and keep up the great work. I apologize if this email has taken so long to get through. But I guess I had a lot to say and a lot to share or God bless you, Scott. You know, this is one of those things you go out you create a little podcast or something and you never know what the unintended consequences are going to be. And in this case, I did not think about it helping with somebody and alleviating their boredom in snacking and thank you so much for writing in Scott. I really appreciate that. Amy writes as she says, Hello, I am newly sober just over two months. I'm in Illinois. I found you by doing a Google search for a speaker's. I listened to a different episode every morning on my walk. I love all of the episodes that I've heard so far, people driving must think I'm nuts. I'm usually laughing or cry.

John M 1:14:09

Thank you for all you for all you do and what your guests are doing.

John M 1:14:13

I'm really struggling with steps two and three right now. So I've been focusing on the steps episodes. Step episodes. So thanks again. Amy. Thank you, Amy. And keep laughing and cry in there. Let them think you're nuts. Mandy writes in and Mandy says where you k mu gay Well, I'm checking modal sangju Well my own. So I don't know why I'm doing Elvis doing Barry Manilow when I'm thinking about Mandy, but there you have it anyway. She says hi, john. I'm 39 years old, and I've been drinking since the young age of 12. My parents are both alcoholics. So drinking came very easy for me. I'm from Portland, Oregon. In high school. I Dump have my pop out and fill it with my dad's MC Norton's whiskey. I will bet you anything that I don't think that she is. She says she's from Portland, but I bet she grew up in the Midwest because when people say pop like that pop, they're usually from the Midwest. Anyway, she says, I drink right alongside him and he had no idea because he was so wasted. I've drank pretty much every day since my late 20s. These past few years have become out of control. I'm mentally and physically and exhausted. And I've had many bottoms. I recently in the past few months discovered the sober community, podcast, books, a etc. The longest I've lasted in the last few months have been 23 days and I'm on day one again. Well, congrats, Mandy. On day one. All I can do is keep trying at this point. I found you John M. On the bubble hour. And I've recently been listening to your podcast she's talking about a a an episode that I recorded over there on the boat on the bubble hour. Jean, I really like Jean Anyway, she says, I really enjoyed listening, and it's becoming very helpful. Thanks, john. Well, thank you, Mike. Are you okay, man, you sent your way. Oh, my and I'm sorry. I bet you've gotten that like a million times in your life or possibly, you've not gotten it hardly at all. And I'm just the only weirdo who does something like that. She tanah writes in she says, thank you so much for letting me know about what's involved in participating with the blog. Well, you're welcome she teyonah and she says that this point I will not be able to help out. That's all right. But when that changes, I will contact you. Again. I will also let you know if anyone who may be interested. By the way Julia Kay was the keynote speaker and the FDA convention I attended and I that I went to here in person in Italy. I love her Totem animal being a cockroach.

John M 1:17:08

She was wonderful is so full of energy. I bet she was fun to interview where she was to Donna. JOHN, thank

John M 1:17:15

you for your service to the sober world. Your podcasts are wonderful Blessings to you and yours. cittadina grateful alcoholic and Avellino, Italy. I hope I'm pronouncing that right. It could be Avelino Italy. I think I just said the exact same thing with a really bad accent anyway, God bless everybody. That's the end of this one. We'll take this one week at a time hopefully I will be back next week. Keep coming back. It works if you work it


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