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Transcript: 197- Don M- Courtesy and Persistence

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

197- Don M- Courtesy and Persistence


Don M 00:00

There's a sentence early on in the big book that says words to the effect that are very land depend upon the constant thought of others, and how we may best help them. And it's not just that sentence that is the heart of the book.

John M 00:23

That was the voice of Mr. Don M that you heard from Louisville, Kentucky at the beginning of this episode, and you will be hearing so much more from him in just a moment.

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Now on to Mr. Don M from Louisville, Kentucky. In fact, we talk about this at the beginning of the episode. Don M has been sober since April 9 of 1981. In fact, he just celebrated 40 years of continuous sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. That is fantastic. He was a criminal defense attorney working with many of us if you know what I mean during his time as a defense attorney, and he spent time in not one, not two, not three asylums, but 17. Asylums. Talk about that. And obviously, from the title of this episode, we're going to be talking about courtesy and persistence quite a bit. Don says that the quote, core gift unquote, that he was given in the beginning was to follow instructions, and for the first time in his life, he followed those instructions in Alcoholics Anonymous, this episode is full of truths and I will be going back and listening to this one again.

I present to you folks, Don M. And we will have plenty o listener feedback at the end of this episode. Enjoy Don M. Okay, everybody. So today, we are sitting here with Mr. Don M. And Don M and I ran across each other through a well actually a couple of acquaintances. One of them is Tim Ah, who I believe you sponsor, is that correct? That is correct. And also Amy is the one who Amy s d are Amy D. She is the one who originally referred me over to you. And I believe all of you live in the Louisville Kentucky area. Is that right? We do indeed. They live in lieu of Oh, what did I say Louisville.

Don M 08:41

This is perfect except we tend to slow it out blue.

John M 08:48

So do you ever see any of those Louisville sluggers around the town?

Don M 08:55

Oh, for many, many years, I look at my office window with the Hillary bradsby home office where they have 130 foot tall baseball bat in front.

John M 09:10

Oh, wow, those are great. Um, okay, so why don't we go ahead and start by just go ahead. Dawn, introduce yourself. We already know where you live, and by give people your sobriety date, if you will.

Don M 09:29

Well, my name is john and I'm an alcoholic and my sobriety date is April 9 of 1981.

John M 09:37

Well, that's a little wild on is that in my right? Is that right at 40 years,

Don M 09:45

have celebrated 40 years last month.

John M 09:48

That is fantastic. Well, God bless you and thank you for your service to a I know you've anyway, I know that you have suffered at many conferences, my guess is you've done much more than that. But thank you so much for your service throughout the years more from

Don M 10:08

both. Thank you. And thank you for your therapy says, had mentioned you, a young lady, you do get a daily message that I send around had called me for texted me last night. How very much your podcast have enhanced her sobriety. And so I thank you, john, for your service.

John M 10:31

Oh, that's very nice as good to hear. She could hear Tim, ah, on there now. We just recently released him. And so my guess is she knows him. Is that right?

Don M 10:44

Well, no, no, I don't know the lady. She just lots of people went up with my daily tags. But But she had listen to Tim podcast, right? That's what trigger? Could you take me because she didn't know that. That name was the dominium that generated 00. Wow.

John M 11:09

So I'd love to ask you about that real quick. So you have a like, Is it like a daily text that you send out

Don M 11:16

at doing? It's all an accident, john, six or seven years ago or via close a branch of man and decided that we would create a new group text and the purpose was to prod one another and be accountable for actually doing our morning prayer and meditation routine. And they will begin days for the comments that I made. And it just grew like Topsy and I have no, I don't know, where Craig goes, I know ash send it directly to about 600 people, but I have people who send it to over 100 people or so do know that it's land up in Brazil, Germany, Poland, Iran, Russia.

John M 12:19

Okay, so you send out so how do you actually send out? Is that a texting service that

Don M 12:26

you use to do that? No, it's not. I spend almost two hours every night, as send 300 individual texts. And about a third of them are two groups of from two to 10. So there are about 600 people who receive it directly. And I have considered posted it on a website. But every time I do I get a series of texts from people saying things like man, just getting the spontaneous on my phone is so important to be Wow. And have come to look at it that by the time you get ready to go to an AA meeting and get their level early and stay low well and get home It takes a couple hours. So and look at it as the same investment town meeting and it has two great great benefits for me one is that it requires me without feel like it whether I want to or not. It requires me to think about some spiritual principle in enough depth to try to articulate it to be helpful to someone else. And the second thing is for edge there are many strangers who get it directly from me now just people who have requested that have been I've never met there are also hundreds of people that that know. So every time I hit the name, I get to think of that person. And it's just a marvelous thing. And it truly it all happened by accident man am I am truly almost paranoid, I will not send it to someone who has not asked for it. And I will not ask someone if they want it. But it's been a huge blessing. And

John M 14:45

he has kind of like this podcast that I do is like an accident that I'm not going to go through that entire story but it is weird how things just take on a life of their own. And you never expect things to go to a certain level and then Notice Wow How did I get here? So I'm glad that you're able to do that.

Don M 15:06

never planned it and it's shocking to me that I think probably reach more people with that than I do with

John M 15:17

Oh wow, that's really cool to know. Alright well let's talk about dawn em a little bad day. So did you grow up there in Kentucky?

Don M 15:26

I grew up in Kentucky but not in Louisville. I grew up on a tobacco farm 200 pounds Southwest deployable on the Tennessee Kentucky line.

John M 15:37

So how do you remember your childhood is a dear? challenging good you know what just describe that to me a little?

Don M 15:47

Well, I'll have give you two versions that john because I had one childhood before I got so Brian quite a different one half the memory started to change away because man man capacity for self delusion is astounding. Until I get so grab with the past the lab to take the test when I told you the really interesting and romantic saga about my Are you struck, I would say my subsequent rise to power. Of course, it was all about Batman and will and mash Sterling in a leg that had pulled myself up by the bootstraps, from the depths of poverty to those staggering heights that reached back. And I don't think I was true. So we're awake, because I realized, man, our load of baloney. We weren't even poor. We weren't anywhere close to where we were actually better off than anybody else in the community. And of course, the staggering heights that had reached were a great deal more staggering than they were had. what was really going on the first 12 or 13 years was an obsession with myself, and the book, selfishness and self centering. It's the root of our troubles. And since I've been so hard for me, that is my ego disorder. And it's been stuck. The man knows every damn man has come over and for 77 years now. And

John M 17:26

I hear that you said as your is a selfish this was your ego disorder? Is that what you called it? Yeah, I like that. That's a great way to phrase that. It talked to me a little bit about the I've heard you before talk about getting me quote in air quotes me out of the way, what do you mean by that getting me out of the way?

Don M 17:51

Well, first, it's something that I'm not capable of doing. getting me out what I have to allow God to get me out of way. And I do that by following simple directions and praying to give man tera interest, attention and love to whomever is in front of me. And seeking the love component and understand other people rather than to be loved and understood. And if I run those prayers through my head, and finally the miracle happens, and I'm not thinking about what I'm going to say next and how it's going to sound and what you think of me, and what I might be able to get out of the situation. And truly think about you. And when that happens, I can actually feel as if it were an atmospheric shift in the room where everything changes, when I make it about you when me and want to do that. When I do the footwork. God gets me out of the way, temporarily.

John M 19:09

So I am soaking this in as you're as you're talking about. And so I want to I want to kind of repeat this mainly for me. So this helps me to kind of remember your said, whenever I'm focusing on you, somebody else for you, there's kind of an atmosphere shift in the room where you can feel things adjusting accordingly, right, is that was that what you said?

Don M 19:40

Everything changes, it's like magic dust has been sprinkled on them count.

John M 19:48

And you know, Don I've had and I agree with you and I've had very similar situations, but I also like that second part that you followed up with and that you When I do that it occurs. But then I guess for lack of a better term, I forgot exactly how you said it. But history repeats itself. In other words, I go back to being the selfish guy that I was, you would think, right? That if I've had that type of experience over and over, I would get up every day and just be excited to go help somebody else would be the first thing on my mind. But I have to come back and relive that or try to rework it or go through the process on a daily basis. Would you agree with that?

Don M 20:37

Oh, I would agree with that. And I would also say that it's much more than a daily basis for me I have to start over sometimes 50 to 100 times a day. And that's perfectly fine. And and over the years, I have concluded that persistence is one of the two most underrated and under discussed of all spiritual characteristics persist as it was, right. The The other one is courtesy.

John M 21:13

persist persistence and courtesy. Oh, you are my man, I am liking you so much. So that's something you know, you always hear about the 12 principles and all that sort of stuff. But like you said, these are not ones that are talked about as much So talk to me about that. Both persistence and courtesy. What do you mean?

Don M 21:32

Oh, I'd love to do. They are then they are two of the watchwords of my life. Oh, one thing about courtesy. I concluded a long time ago that it is absolutely impossible for me to be spiritual and discourteous simultaneously. They cannot coexist. And, and if I am unfailingly courteous, I get into almost no conflict with anybody about anything. And if I'm unfailingly courteous, it helps me maintain a demeanor that makes people comfortable. How can this make we're not going to get a whole lot of opportunities to help people. If our demeanor we have to message we are caring and we all carry a message of some kind of all. If the message we again just don't bother me, I'm busy or something like that. And my sweet wife and I have been married 30 years with no wind or veining, separation or divorce. Given my History Prior to that is a true miracle. And we never argue and one of the big bases there. Other than not keeping score period is unfailing courtesy on both our parts. And it's such a shame, john that so often it's easier for us to be courteous to strangers than it is to the people we live with in our very closest to us. And I'm convinced that every little sarcastic BB or snad remark even when is fine under the flag of humor leaves a mark and I think a builder and if I'm unfailingly courteous and way down the road to seeking to love comfort and understand rather than to be loved.

John M 23:53

We take a little break here we will be continuing our conversation with Don m from Louisville. Oh my goodness I say it in just a moment. But just a reminder you were listening to silver speak you can find us on the worldwide You can also find the donate button on our website which you can use if and only if the spirit moves you to do such Please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you the listener so we're speaking as a self supporting organization their own contributions we are not allied with any sect denomination politics organization is tissue we do not wish to engage in any controversy neither endorses nor opposes any causes. All right now back to Mr. Don M. Alright so anything else you want to say about courtesy? Before we go on to persistence there

Don M 24:56

no ghosts that on a emphasise that event, there is no reason for me to ever be discouraged. I have worked with many alcoholics in the last 40 years, been a criminal defense lawyer for 53 years. So I have to tell people unpleasant things. But I can do it in a courteous manner. And when I do, it just almost completely eliminates conflict from my life.

John M 25:34

Okay, so I want to get to the persistence piece, because I really like that as well. But you just brought up something there that is very intriguing. And I'm sure you get asked about this. You are a criminal defense lawyer. I'm sure you deal with people like me and you and all of us in our organization, in our society, I should say, on a consistent basis, how has that been being a criminal defense lawyer in Alcoholics Anonymous?

Don M 26:05

Well, first, I have a 10 year quite successful mcherry Criminal Defense Law your career before I've got so. And I've got a guy and I have lost my law license actually from with losing absolutely everything else and was out of practice the bad years and wound up living without an address for a year, but bad grace, truly of God. And as a byproduct of steps eight and man, I got my law license back. And I had gotten sober in Nashville, Tennessee, and lived there for 21 months after getting sober. And in fact, could have found a minimum wage job in Nashville, I would not have gone back to the local practice. And I remember having kind of an angry conversation with God, because I thought and knew how to be a successful criminal defense slow. And it didn't have a thing in the world to do with humility, love, UPS things, any spiritual principles. So I'm angry conversations, oh, my God have up on my face on this. You just show me where we're where we go from there. But I didn't have a choice, because I knew if I didn't have my other sports in my entire life, because I am I had gotten it, that I'm not a guy that will ever be able to fit recovery into his life. I have to fit my life into recovery. And it turned out that God is so much better lawyer than I have been much more successful than praying to seek the love comfort and understand people who am cross examining, praying to seek the love comfort and stand juries on death penalty cases. And appellate judges agree on it, it just changes everything. And then I learned a great truth. The quiet loving truths is the loudest sound on Earth, in or outside of Portland. Say that the quiet loving truth is the loudest sound on Earth, in or out of a courtroom. And the quiet loving truth carries so much power with. And I thought it would be impossible to apply these principles and still be the zealous advocate that I've always been but and I think I could give you a lot of prosecutors in the Oval who would would vouch that I've been pretty darn zealous advocate flower applying principles or spiritual principles and the last 40 years.

John M 29:32

So this brings up a question you know, you always see this on TV, right? And I'm not saying real life is like what you see on TV, you know, some of the cases you know, 2020 or 48 hours or whatever it is and and these people many times their criminal defense lawyers are representing somebody that most people around them know are guilty of whatever they have done. You Yet it is the job of the criminal defense attorney to, you know, defend them. That's their, that's their job, you know, and they're just doing their job. And I had no idea where we're going to go here today. But you know, I just kind of asked questions as they come to my head. How do you? I'm sure you've been in situations like that, how do you handle things like that? Well,

Don M 30:26

the first 10 years of practice law was really difficult, because back then, I thought I was big enough to win and lose cases. But I don't have a problem with today, if I were, if I were an emergency room physician, and a serial child molester or co co were brought in with an appendix bapt burst or something that needed to be treated, it would not be my job to make a social decision. As to whether this person how they live or not, it would be my job to take out the opinions. And the system would get a guest this is a huge machine, of which am a little tiny Park. And my job is the flag loving, honest, ethical and service. Protection of Mac's Ranch, right. And that is my job. And I don't when cases are adverse to man literature.

John M 31:39

Great. Okay, so let's go back to the persistence piece, because I love I love that idea. You know, and I guess one of the reasons I love it is because I've pretty much done and you don't know this, but I've been sober by the grace of God since 1989. Right? And pretty much done everything wrong, that you could do in sobriety, right? I've made all the mistakes. And, you know, I have had my seat in the fallibility chair many, many times. That being said, the one thing that I have done that I've been persistent or consistent about is coming back to meetings and stay in part of their program. So when you say persistence, what does that mean to you?

Don M 32:24

Well, when I came family, to the, to sobriety and to recovery program, I came kicking and screaming, and average mainly screaming because of the existence of the hair or power aspect of that particular particular program. But bad change my behavior. My behavior changed by thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and I came to believe, and faith found me. But and I'm addressing your question, I became very worried because I would lose it, I would take a couple of steps in the right direction, and I'd get knocked over by some form of self and have to get up and dust myself off and say, Mom, Dad, I fouled up the damn, stumble another couple steps in the right direction and knocked over again. And that truly would happen. And sometimes still happens 50 or 100 times a day. And I thought, each time that happened, it was an interruption of my spiritual journey. But I've come to learn that that process of persisting is the only spiritual journey of which I'm capable. And my God, bad hair power seems to be just than with man, persisting, just starting over and starting over. See, there's a part of me that if I were going to identify anything is an actual devil. It would be this. There's the part of me that tells me every day in big things and small things, then I have screwed up so badly, that there is no view that there's no longer a next right stitch. That there's no longer a God's will. And that thing, is it lethal lag. There's a next right thing in the middle of robbing a bank. Now, I probably shouldn't have gotten myself in the position of Rob bank. But I can't give him a position where there's not a next right thing. And I have found my God, I was scared and nervous brandy that I was on some sort of probation and would exhaust God's forgiveness. But I've found God's forgiveness, inexhaustible. And there have been no really big successes in any area of my life, professional person, spiritual, that have not involved at some point in the process, feeling like they have screwed up so bad that they don't use. And it was gonna be a disaster. And what I wanted to do was, was stick my head in the sand and just let it all go, and not persist. But that persistence is what it's about. Resisting, just going, Oh, this is me. But there may have been something that's been important to me this coordinated with it really redhead. Many years ago, I ran into a fella who was dry for 20 years, but he got in all sorts of problems other than drinking, and was forced to live underground in Las Vegas. And he was making his living playing poker and had done it successfully pursued my eight years. And I was interested because I've known a few people who had tried that and they find out spectacularly. So I asked him what was the secret? Harry has his ads at work, what makes you succeed? And he says real simple. It has nothing to do with the good thing. Any idiot can play the good hands. At the end of the day, where they succeed or fail would depend on what I do with the very worst hands am Dale.

Don M 37:22

And I found that to be universally true and Malak to ones that don't even want the water, which will determine ultimately success or failure.


Ah, that's

John M 37:37

right. You have a good hands in dealing with the bad hands. Absolutely love it. I want to go back a little bit you were talking about your marriage to your bride, I believe it's a little it's 30 years now is that correct? 30 ish, years, which is great. But then you kind of made a kind of an offhand reference to where that is a miracle for your life. So you kinda and by the way, you know, as you know, I've interviewed Tim. And Tim was an incredible story about him with his wife and I getting married four times divorce three times or vice versa, whatever that was, and I thought that was absolutely fantastic. But it sounds to me the way you were you described it the reference you made you may have had an issue at one point with a long term commitment. Am I right about that?

Don M 38:31

Well, I'm but this way, I have never begun to sponsor anyone without telling them upfront that for me to give advice on relationships ought to be a felony.

John M 38:52

But now you can 30 years you've got some skins on the wall though.

Don M 39:01

But it was and this is not very sophisticated. But I've often said that prior to Sharon, which includes my first nine years so where Sharon, what would be called a relationship life. What pays for that in May was a holding closer to the known going fight and abroad that same relationship. Alright,

John M 39:35

so Okay. And also and I got you a little I went and I do this often, you know, we're kind of going chronological in the in the beginning and I kind of got you a little fat so take me back because that we went over the first like, you know, 1213 years of your life. And then what age did you actually make it into Alcoholics Anonymous. So can you kind of go through that period for me in a real refashion

Don M 40:02

Sure. Drunk first Dan McQuillan 13 did the magic for me. And closure which blast has been, you know, having some academic gaps. So despite the fact that I drank alcohol I play them regularly from the first time I got drunk. As a geographic change, I became an early admission student in college was an academic scholarship and at 16. And it was out finishing high school and my reactions there to stage so drunk that I lost our concept of day and night and gluten scholarship but then work full time drank full time with school full time, and for seven and a half years and finished undergraduate and law school and began drags in law. In 1968, my daughter who was normally child for over 20 years was born, that same spring law firm of manner 10 guys believed to ramp up and I practiced interstate criminal defense with a very, very high level. And to make sure we knew I was an alcoholic that time I was 15 but my mistake was a thought I could live with and knew it was going to be inconvenient kind of like having a bad arm or a bad leg. And I certainly knew at down a lot earlier than I would have whereas but Matt God at that age who wants to live to be 30 or 35 year old Oh, you know, good Take care of yourself or anybody else. And I got for scotch bag gun for outside the issues February 10 78, and drove COVID off road over 120 horrible things my body and then get back into practicing for five years and in the two and a half years before I got sober was largely everything the gas advocate Matt, the law firm at Vandy, can stated cloaking took my license, didn't lay asome or have any contact with normally child for over three years. live without them dress for a year, didn't sleep on the street, but only because I could always get somebody to take me in a string of in some shoulder sounds it said 18 times that I remember I've always suspected they woke up more in two and a half years and I wound up at Salomon number 17. In the fall of 1986 months before I got sober in Nashville, Tennessee, and I stayed in knife Genesee into January of 1983. For six months I was there didn't stay straight, but it got better. went to an awful lot of aa made most of them at a club house. They're called the 202 Club. There were also when I was able in between meetings Africa or between drunks and asylums, I would go to a lot a lot of a meetings and a good half of those 18 asylums had treatment programs based on the 12 steps. So I had a head full of information. And I had absolutely accepted step one. Absolutely new with ours, inhumanly hope is in their possession with regard to Mao powers. And to me, anything short of that is not step one. But the idea of step two, that some sort of metaphysical power greater than myself was the only way around this human oldest, humanly hopeless condition. It got it made the little hair stand up on the back of my neck. And we will talk about how power instead of God made me even matter because I knew what they're doing. They were trying to backdoor me on that DOD crap. So that kept burning me out. And finally late March at Warner down my most recent drunk and they had no idea why I shook it out that that first call physical addiction to alcohol was were such that once I started drinking, I had just physically lost the ability to stop Something had to knock me off. And,

Don M 45:01

and once it did to three or four days made me physically able to sit up and check. But I didn't know why I wasn't going to get some Listerine and drinking it and get some relief, but it didn't. And a loving God that never asked for anything or ever acknowledged. I had spent my first 37 years as an event jellicle agnostic. It was part of my part of my mission to disabuse the superstitious of their superstitions. But in a better way to one a loving God that ncn new new part of me that wanted Leo knew that the only chance I had we live in wish to get that video was to get a and I thought in order to get it, I had to change my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, to make them more like it looked like to me the folks in the program thought felt and believed. And as best I could in the shape that was in as well as shook it out and a stumble back to the door of that photo bash in Nashville about a week after my most recent drink when I was able to stumble. And I didn't think they'd let me and I had paged out in their meetings and had to be badly carried out. They'd caught me in their men's room with the legal outside issue and they had warned the people they sponsored to stay away from a bit obviously litigation going down about two months before I got sober I was walking to the clubhouse and I'm vertically challenged and a bigger boy about co not about he was six fav Jones been dead many years. Welcome look down at me way down and sit down I'm beginning to think you really are to intelligence version program. And I thought he was giving me a compliment. Man knee jerk reaction was well thank god they're finally figured out dealing with try but But Joe went home and I saved my you sit and that's a shame. Because we have never had anybody to dumb for this deal. And we bury you butthole of and that truly felt like an icy hand lotion or something inside me. I'm so grateful that I see him never completely gone away. Let me get a couple stitches out of them back. They did lead me they said come on in down you keeping us sober. And unless you tell me one more time what I need to do I want to be measured. Sure. Don't drink, don't pay, don't go to meetings. See my man hadn't changed about anything nasty earlier that same insane mixture of ego mania and pitiful and incomprehensible demoralisation one minute a day wouldn't work for me because I was so special and brilliant and complex. And the next day, it would work for me because it's so bad parts of me just missing. And I had no idea why I was going to all those meetings, I went to over 150 for 60 days ever. So I didn't want to go to a single one of them for any legitimate reason. It was still clear to me that the folks and they were religious fanatics. And my brain was still assuring me the Bubba needed to just get our head out saying get our birth back to global maybe get it all nice money, big card, but look environment, just be somebody for God's sake. But part of my career was being able to turn around my brain and see ya know, this new deal of their group therapy sessions they call meetings and their myth of our power can't possibly work in our unique situation. But we're just out option to kind of go anyway. And the core give john was this, and it remained with me today. For the end, I had an hour and they knew anything and changed by looking at the rearview mirror. weeks, months, sometimes years like for the first time in my life, I began voluntarily following suggestions about how to run my life. Even though I did not understand them. I didn't agree with them. I didn't think they would work and I certainly did not want to do and that behaving better than the all crazy picture show when man is the only reason on earth that I'm here with you. Instead of having in writing in a pauper's grave for about For the year, you see, I felt guilty, maybe the word first I had to believe it before, which I did not. Second app though, it had to feel like it was working while it was working, which it did not. And third as our head to be see the causal relationship of a causing B, which I could not, and still cannot, and no longer, it turned out what I need to do with that limited time, which get my back to meeting after meeting. And then mostly rain and school get dragged in there. And then they don't, we won't leave, I was going to read the big book. And I tried to read it two or three times. And they explained to me that they were aware of that, that I had been quoting it to him while I've been dying. They explained to me that the first thing I needed to get straight is the big book is not a philosophy book, there is nothing in there that I can learn or Master, that will keep me sober for a heartbeat. In fact, they told me that I had had had enough information about AIA and recovery for over two years, to stay sober a day at a time the rest of my life. without learning one central a new piece of information that was killing me was not what I knew and didn't know. It was what I was doing, and not doing. And I began to realize, and I love that word realize it's a form of the word real. And it's so different than knowing I began to relax. That those doubts, feelings and beliefs of man that I want to make the ultimate reality, have never one time now and 77 years, left a footprint on reality. Now, if I abdicate my behavior to that behavior leaves a hideous footprint. But in and of themselves, they have just a way over which they have no power whatsoever. They shift and change and move the world near it never judges me on a metal thank god judge pal. If God is the kind of entity that will put something in voluntarily in our match, and then smack us for having it in our minds, we might as well shut it down, go get dropped from this group anyway. And I don't think that way, I think, I think the most spiritual I would get, and the most pleasing thing I do to God, for God is doing the next right thing, when every fiber of my being wants to do the opposite. So they said that that was when they explained this little analogy that was has been so central to massive variety. They explained that the action, that is the first nine steps, which will bring us to a state of recovery, immediately vowed by the action, which is steps 1011 and 12. On a daily basis, that that action is the prescription for our college, that it works on alcoholism, precisely. Like an antibiotic works on an infection. If I have an infection that would kill me if it's not treated, but will respond to antibiotics. I don't need to understand the origin and nature of man infection. I could learn everything there is to know more but don't kick builds on data that matter. I don't need to understand the thing about hand how Babbage worked in the human body. I don't need to believe that or I don't need to want to take the pills. That's irrelevant. If I have the infection, and I take the builds as directly, they'll get suspended. And they promise me that regardless of what was going on in this crazy picture show in my head, if I took those actions, that those actions would work on my hours, and that saves my life today. I saved it in a good one. Right?

John M 54:33

So Don, you have who genuinely people listen or do you in all four corners of the world here when we release this? A lot of them as you know, when we pray before this, before this starts, you know, we just pray that we can lay down something on a recording that can give people an hope and all four corners of the world. I think you said something to the effect. Fact Have you pray that, you know, God will put on your lips, what needs to be put on your lips, to to help people all over the world. With that being said, and to kind of wrap this up if you were to kind of share your experience, strength and hope in regards to what do you want people to know out there about what you have experienced now colleagues anonymous, and what hopefully they can find as well.

Don M 55:28

There's a sentence early on in the big book that says words to the effect that are very language dependent depend upon the constant thought of others, and how we may best help them. And it's not just that sense, that is the heart of the third step, or take away my difficulties, not so act and be sober and spiritual and happy. But the big deal when they will bear witness to those of God's power, love and way of life. Seven step right. We don't ask God to take you way, all of our difficulties, or all of our character defects. Where's God to take away only the ones which stand in the way of our usefulness to God in our funnels, and we don't even know which ones they are. And steps eight in man, all practical, right? But if you look on page 77, it says, Yeah, we're putting our lives in order. But that is not our real purpose. Our real purpose is to better ourselves to be of maximum service to God and ocean rounders. And I have actually found that that is enlightened self interest. When I stop trying to take care of myself, and make myself happy. In first place, when I try to make myself happy, it never works, it becomes a mess. But when I lay all that aside, and tried to seek to love, comfort and understand other people, and as Matt, he wrote, job, C says, to help God's kids do what they need to have done, for fun and free because of what God takes care of me in a manner that unbelievable. From the chaos and misery of my relationship line, to emotion, beautiful 30 years, I can imagine with them, sweet Sharon, and the bar association that that that is so embarrassed and gave it such a terrible black guy has honored me until it's embarrassing. They made me the pro bono lawyer the year they've given the award for professionality and civility that made me a master Dan of code that made me chair citizens for better judges. And God's got such a delightful sense of humor. Because about 15 years ago, my cell phone rang and it was the president of the State Bar. And he said, we've got an opening on the Ethics Committee. The first 10 years of practice all the only people lab is more scared than State Bar ethics committee, or the air as in the FBI. And I also want to say this, that all this has happened, truly bad persistence. There's been, I don't think there's been a single day that if you'd asked me during that day, done, have you done this deal of thinking of others, and doing for them and trying to listen for the divine spark to guide your next action. I call it stage that patterns belong back and under standard patterns. Have you done it? Well, never doing good. I don't think that would have been a single day that I would have said, I think I might have gotten over the bar every day ever since. I got knocked over 50 or 100 times in headstart. And yet that's what God has done with my life. When I'm willing to perceive and want to treat God's children with Curtis and seek the love comfort in understanding. You see if my objective is for me to be sober, spiritual and happy. I make it through and have a good life. But like joke said, it'll be sell for Apple.

Don M 1:00:05

Because the real joy, the real miracles come when my objective is just to help other people and not to take care of me, and leave it to God to take care of me. And my own sobriety, and happiness. And successes and spirituality are simply a byproduct of trying to help God's kids do what they need to have done. And it works. It really thanks, john.

John M 1:00:40

Oh, that's been fantastic. You know, I was just thinking, if I was the jury, and I was sitting there listening to you in that soft voice that you have just as smooth voice, I don't think I would convict anybody should disagree. Oh, God bless you. I really appreciate it. I'm gonna read we always read page 164 from the big book to end is up. Ben, abandon yourself to God as you understand God, admit your faults to him and to your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past. give freely of what you find and join us We shall be with you in the fellowship of the spirit and you will surely be some of us, like me, and Dawn am as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you and keep you Until then, Don will let me ask you real quick for our close it out. I know you were like thinking on the front end of this. Well, first of all, this is a podcast, right? I'm used to doing a talk but not sure what this the podcast things. It'll look like, what was the experience pleasant for you?

Don M 1:01:53

Oh, it was very pleasant. It's a joy to meet you, john. And I'm just really, really grateful for you inviting me to be here and have enjoyed it and hope that somebody somewhere will get something out of it. God bless you, my

John M 1:02:09

friend was again, keep coming back. It works if you work it. I appreciate your sharing time with me today. Thank you.

Don M 1:02:16

I appreciate you, john. Thank you. God bless.

John M 1:02:19

God bless. Thank you so much dawn, for your continued service throughout the years to this little organization we call Alcoholics Anonymous, it is so much appreciated. And thank you for coming on and sharing your wisdom and your insight with those who listened to the silver speak podcast, it is so much appreciated. I know that we talked after this. And in all likelihood, you will never hear this episode because Don says he never goes back and listens to himself. But maybe I can get him to listen to this one. Who knows, I hope he does listen in Now, on to a little bit of listener feedback in the first couple of pieces of feedback come from our super secret Facebook group. And by the way, if you are new to this, and you are not in the secret Facebook group, just go to Facebook, the Facebook application and look up a secret Facebook, excuse me sober speak, secret Facebook group, and there's a lot of S's in there. But nonetheless, and ask if you can be invited if you can join us. And we will let you in to join us. There's a bunch of like minded folks in there. And there's a ton a ton of activity, there celebrations of various milestones. There are quotes and quips and some stuff is funny, some stuff is serious. There's, I think we have about 1700 people in there or so. And so we would love to have you in there as well if you would like to join us, but this was actually posted in the super secret Facebook group is set and this is from Derek and Derek says john here he's talking about here in the group as sober speak, renewed my passion for sobriety, his podcasts web page, and this group reminded me what it takes to keep that which was given so freely to as well put Derek, he says so I started another group called sarcastic and sober. It has been it has a bit of a tongue in cheek sarcasm, which is how I live I'm looking forward to maybe doing a blog. I love Love this fellowship, and I appreciate John's hard work. I listened to him every day on my way to work. Obviously, he was posting that for the other members in the group. And so I would say if you're out there, first of all, Derek, thank you for posting that. And thanks for letting me be a part of your sobriety. Man, if you're out there listening, and you want to go check out Derek's sarcastic and sober group, within a Facebook, go find him. I looked at it looked really cool, and you just may enjoy it yourself. Now, here's another one that was a little bit more of a serious type of podcast, excuse me serious type of post within the Facebook group. And this is from Anthony. And Anthony said, I'm struggling to quit drinking exclamation point, two to three bottles of wine a day, exclamation point. When my mom died one and a half years ago, I started and now seemingly cannot stop. And then he put help and is he l l l l l p exclamation point. I'm drunk as ever as I typed this. Alright, so

John M 1:06:20

we get a lot of post in the Facebook group. But I can tell you that this one brought a lot of comments, post a lot of people offering up assistance. It just kind of what do they call it went viral, or whatever the case may be. And Anthony read through all of them, I could tell. And then he had a follow up post in a couple days. He quite honestly, there were two or three follow up posts in the meantime. And I think this was the last one I saw. And he says another meeting in 48 hours without alcohol. Thank you. And he's talking all the people that were posting is talking to them. Thank you for bearing with me and cheering me on. Last night it was difficult to fight off the urges. But it was easier than the other times, I tried to start my recovery. I found myself looking for excuses, trying to find a way to go out to the store and get wine self control caught up with me. And I made a good decision to snuggle with my wife and go to sleep instead. Other times when I quit drinking, I hated counting the days and hours. But for some reason this time, it brings me peace, to have milestones, however small they are 48 hours feels like a mountain of accomplishment. To be honest. It might be silly to the non drinker, but I feel amongst you it is understood. So I think all of you, I have to have two small little girls who love me. My wife and I are still very much in love. They deserved to keep me around. And then he got a lot of comments on that. And you're right, Anthony. They do deserve to have you around and you deserve sobriety. And I'm so glad that that all those people in the Facebook group could be a part of your journey. Keep us posted my friend. God bless you. Oh god that takes me back. God that takes me back. And you why writes in and he says hey john, I am Angie y an alcoholic from Wisconsin. She says my sobriety date is 1022 2016. I ran my own quote program for about three and a half years and I went to my first AIA meeting on July 11 2020. Since then, I truly have been working a program of recovery. When the pandemic hit, it went from bad to worse and I decided to try online meetings. That's when I found the fourth dimension owners zoom meeting and transitions daily. Your podcasts it is listed on transitions daily website through the meetings I've met buddy See, buddy see who you've interviewed on your podcast. Yes, I have lots of great stuff and I wouldn't have found it without the pandemics smiley face, Hip hip hooray for the pandemic. I say IRA that part or I said

John M 1:09:55

anyway, one of my favorite speakers that you've had on the podcast Is, quote get in the car unquote Jenny L. Like I said my first three and a half years were on my own terms. I was miserable. I was isolated and just marinating in self pity and depression. Oh, that is so well put Angie. marinating, his self pity and depression. Oh, what a good description. Anyway, um, the episode, this episode is talking about the Ginny L, getting the car episode reminded me to quote, get in the car in all capital letters, get out of self, work with others go to meetings, God speaks to me through people. And if I choose to, quote, isolate myself, I am choosing to go against God. It is so easy for me to go back to self pity and isolation, especially since I did that without without alcohol for so long. But that episode really spoke to me when I feel that way. Get in that damn car and reach out to others. exclamation point. I appreciate your podcast and the service work you are doing. Thank you for letting me share Angie, why what Angie, why the pleasure is all mine. And thank you so much for sharing that I sent on your message to Jenny L is she was very appreciative as well. If you're out there, by the way. And you want to send me some communication regarding the speakers especially I'm a john j. o HN. Excuse me. Now, you know, I could go back and edit that out. But it takes too darn long. But excuse me, and hopefully I'll get through the rest of listener feedback. But nonetheless, if you want to send an email about one of the speakers especially I'm at john J. Chen as sober David writes in he says, Hey, john, I was just listening to listener feedback on today's episode, and I wanted to pass on to Sarah, from Michigan, the paramedic some first responders specific recovery meetings. One is www dot World Wide peer The other is if she is in a IAFF, which is International Association of firefighters member, we have recovery meetings for our members three days a week, the meaningly the meeting links can be found on the AE, excuse me, I A f f website under quote, behavioral health tab, the behavioral tab. Both are excellent resources. I hope this finds her in is of some help David, a retired firefighter and paramedic. Well I will send your information on to Sarah from Michigan for sure. David, I appreciate you right now. Henry writes in and Henry says hi. I just wanted to say I listened to the lady who wrote in at the end of the last podcast from Australia. It really resonated with me even though we couldn't be more different. I've always thought it wasn't an alcoholic because I didn't have a physical dependency. We are remember Henry, and I didn't get help. And for that reason, but her story inspired me. Thank you. And that's a big part of the reason I read these things, Henry, and I appreciate you writing in. Francis writes in she says hi john. I am a South African living in eastern Colorado and I love your podcast. I listened to podcasts between meetings in usually on the way to my early morning swimming sessions in the summer. I have been in and out of those rooms in and out of the rooms since 2005. But I've been sober now for over 10 months since Zune started and I have a wonderful crowd that supports me from Denver. I am committed to a and I just love your hilarious comments and your attempts at Spanish. Thank you, phrases. Thank you so much for your service to our fellowship regards, Francis. Oh,

John M 1:14:39

the reason I'm pausing here is because I'm wondering Is this her last name or is this you know, have people go by like a first name, and then a middle name like Billy Bob or something like that. It looks like it's a middle name, but just to be on the safe side. I'm gonna leave it at Francis see. Anyway, thanks for writing in Francis Last but not least, Christina writes in. She says, Hi, john. I found sober speak through searching in podcast. I live near Atlanta, Georgia. She says I have a three. I have a little over three years clean and sober. I just got custody, custody back of my eight year old son. I feel trapped in my job. I just got engaged. I am a college student part time. So I'm listening to that Christina and thinking, I think most of that is good. Like anything in life. There's a mixed bag right? There. She says, I just started listening to Charlie pee and I found it helpful. I haven't really listened to anyone else yet. I just started listening to your podcast. Well, Christina, you got a few more episodes to catch up on if you would like to at least, I'd say like 190, almost 200 190 596 something like that. Oh, no. This one is, I think this 197 if I'm not mistaken, but nonetheless. Alright, everybody at the end of our episode here, I have been for the past, I don't know. 1015 weeks, something like that, ending it up with a little ditty, if you will. These are the slogans that were recorded by a gentleman named Robert Lefevre. And he were I was giving these recordings by a listener named Kemal and these are the slogans of Alcoholics Anonymous. And these are what I have been playing at the end of every episode. I hope you have enjoyed them. And I just want to put a public shout out a thank you to Robert Lefevre and our friend, the listener come all that wraps another week. We take this one week at a time. I hope to be back next week. God bless you keep coming back. It works if you work it. Adios.


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