199- Danny B- Old School AA
Danny B 00:00
God really has become become my father. I don't talk to him as much as I should. I don't follow him as well as I'd like. But he's, he's had the grace to cover me when I when I really needed it. And sometimes I think maybe he's left me a little broken because I'm such a prideful guy if he hadn't left me that way. Yeah, I would have probably just left y'all A long time ago, but I've always needed you. And I've known that
John M 00:30
what Hello Friends of Bill W and other friends you have landed on sober speak. My name is John M. I am an alcoholic. And we are glad you're all here, especially newcomers, newcomers that is both to recovery as a whole. And newcomers to this podcast. sober speak is a podcast about recovery centered around the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. My job here on sober speak is simple. My job is to provide a platform to the amazing stories of recovery all around us. Consider sober speak, if you will, your meeting between meetings. Please remember, we do not speak for a or any 12 step community, we represent only ourselves. We're here to share our experience, strength and hope with those who wish to come along for the ride. Take what you want, and leave the rest at the curb for the trash man to pick up. What's up? What's up. That was the voice of Mr. Danny B that you heard at the beginning of this episode. And you are going to be hearing so much more from that gentleman in just a moment. But first things first, or I believe it's primero, things primero. This episode is brought to you by Shawn and Joshua. And Ian, do you know what Shawn and Joshua and Ian did? Well, they went to our website, w w w dot sober speak.com which was created by the way by the lovely Mrs. m. And they tick clicked on are not ticked. they clicked on the little yellow Pay Pal tab and made a contribution. So thank you so much, Shawn and Jason and Ian. This episode is coming right out to humans on i, John M will be just another bozo on the bus by the way will be the chairperson for this meeting between meetings and I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening is to take seat if you will around this virtual world wide table. And let's get started. Remember, no matter who you are, what your past looks like you are welcome here it is an open table to all and we are glad you have joined us if you have not joined us for the Sunday afternoon recovery yoga class which is free to all and you don't have to be an alcoholic to join you just have to be interested in Well, you don't even have to be interested in recovery really just come to the meeting. And all of the info that you need for that these zoom info is available on our website under the sober Resources tab. And we would love to have you it is led by a couple of people Tanya and Megan P. And basically what they do is have a little recovery meeting on the front end for the first 30 minutes. And then the back half of that is a combo of meditation and yoga. And it is at sea on Sunday at four o'clock pm Central. And we would love to have yuans join us. Another thing about the website, we have had so much fantastic listener contributions. The listeners I sent out an email a little while back and you the listeners have provided a ton of good articles, blogs, whatever you want to call it resources and if you go to our website, soberspeak.com And you click on the blog tab you will see so much information there. In fact, I'm just going to go over right now and let you know who has done this so I could have server speak.com. Like I said a good Pass by podcast who would have this all worked out beforehand. There you go. You click on blog. And then you click on listener contributions. And you will see there that Kathy m, and Suzanne are a Kathy C. And Greg P, and Rebecca t have all contributed
John M 05:21
articles. Most of them are about the episodes that you have listened to before, but it is absolutely fantastic. And also, if you click on the transcripts tab, you will see the transcripts from the past, I don't know four or five episodes that we've had, we just recently started doing this. But some of you like to read along at home, if you will, so you can go out there and see all of that stuff. Um, that's about it. Now let's just go on into Mr. Danny B from Spring, Texas. Danny B, got sober on February 18 of 1981. That is 40 plus years, folks, we discuss Danny's colorful background, as he call it calls it which includes being a sailor, and ex con and a bank robber. We've had other bank robbers on before Danny describes himself as quote, old school unquote. And he will tell you what he means by that. And he has some opinions which is interesting on foul language, if you want to call it that a colorful language in them meetings of AA and elsewhere. Danny is an absolute AA treasure. Sit back and enjoy. I know you're gonna love this one. And we will have plenty Oh listener feedback at the end of this episode. Enjoy. Okay, everybody. So today, we are sitting here with Mr. Danny via Danny B is just laughing here. He's like, what is going on with this guys? So Danny, why don't you go ahead, introduce yourself. Give your sobriety date if you wish, and then let people know which area of the country you are sitting in right now.
Danny B 07:17
Well, my name is Danny B, as you say, and that's for Brown. Actually, I don't I'm not very anonymous in that respect. But Danny B, I've had the gift of sobriety since February the 18th of 81, which was just turned 40 years.
John M 07:39
yeah. And I'm sorry, I missed the year again, what was that? 81, 81 40 years,
Danny B 07:45
right? That would be like seven months in 10 days longer than john a years.
John M 07:59
All right, so let's go ahead and address that right off the bat. He danny is referring to John A, which was our listeners know as Rino John. They've heard him many times. And you had read our john know each other. I think you said you were roommates at one time. Is that right?
Danny B 08:21
Oh, yes. Oh, yes, we have. We've been very close. He and he and Bob are from Dallas and I have been very close for probably 35 years. And when we were we were both getting a divorce when we were about 10 years sober to 11 years sober. And we were roommates and went to the Dallas North group. And so yes, I know john very, very well. We we have a lot of fun at each other's expense which aa's want to do. But he is a he's a fine man and give back and can be counted on. He just he just a super guy. We've had a lot of fun. We had a lot of interesting little things happen. We were when I was 11 years sober if not a birthday. We had a pizza party in our in our little apartment and invited a few friends over to watch. watch a movie. I think it was a Charles Bronson movie back then. We were all set up. It was exciting. It was my day and we got a call a guy wanted somebody to come 12 step. And I was like as my first reaction honestly was really this is my eighth birthday. I didn't want to but we you know john and i looked at each other and I said okay, well we'll go get him. So we went over and got him and brought him back with us. And he sat there and shook and freaked out while we ate pizza. I tried to feed him pizza and told him everything was going to be alright. We took him to, we took him to some meetings, and neither of us wound up sponsoring him. But he got sober. And he always remembers that little pizza party. So john and i go way back. I got it, I started speaking around the country. Well guess I was 20 years sober. And when I started speaking, but I'd spoke regionally but around the country, because john was supposed to speak in Flagstaff, Arizona, but he had slipped, coming out of his house and had a minor concussion and they wouldn't let him fly. And in those days, you could just hand the ticket to someone else. So they were all freaked out in Flagstaff and saying, well, who's encore tapes? And they said, well, who's going to speak and john said, Let Danny do it. He'll be okay. And so they said, Sandy Mater, and I spoke Friday night there, and I have spoke probably hundreds of times since then around the world, that it's been a while. So it's Yeah, we're good friends. Ah,
John M 11:15
that's cool. Yeah, I was, uh, I just recently spent time with him and his wife, Patsy, and I'm gonna say this, this is gonna sound very strange, in my hotel room at the Texas State Conference. But the reason we were up there is because we were, we were recording john, again, Reno, john, on an episode which I will release shortly. But that's very interesting that Yeah, we know each other.
Danny B 11:50
Yeah. And Patsy's pet, she's a sweetheart, I, I remember when they were dating, I will guarantee you that he out kick his coverage, because she can do better, and he can't.
John M 12:07
But kick his coverage. Have you ever heard foot that way? So we were talking a little offline before we actually got on here to record and you had mentioned something about the word old school. And you know, kind of your take philosophy bent, whatever you want to call it regarding, you know, a and how you spread the message, if you will. So why don't you talk about that a little. What do you mean by that?
Danny B 12:47
when I came into Alcoholics Anonymous, in West Texas, all meetings, all meetings were at eight o'clock at night, you made eight o'clock meeting or there wasn't going to be a meeting unless they were at a house or you know, you went by somebody's house and visited with him. And it was really wonderful. Because everybody, the old guy, the old timers, and new people were all there together. And we nobody was waiting on their turn to talk because the podium was set up you if you were to talk you were called on to come up to the podium and talk, you didn't sit in your chair and wax eloquent. And it's very difficult to get up on the podium, say who you are, what you are, and your dry date, and then look at a bunch of people and just start telling me all about your miserable day it kind of it will get short, really quick. And so I learned I learned that sitting sitting in an audience looking at a podium listening to the speaker up there was a good opportunity for me to relax my mind and pay attention to what they did. Because my sponsor gave me a gave me a task. He said Your job is to sit here and look the speaker in the eye and keep him honest. Because he said, You know grumps, they like to be, they like to embellish. And he said, I want you to watch him boy, and I would stare him down. And so and I learned the value of i learned the value of drunk locks, because that's what we did. We got up and we talked about what it used to be like what happened and a good life that we have now. There was not a lot of talk about about the steps and how the steps ins impacted you and how important there were. It really was. It was it was it was implied that you were certainly going to have to take the steps and yes, the big book was, was being used, but not to the extent it is now it wasn't studied. You didn't have all these groups sitting around trying to figure out what to build mean by this word. I think he meant exactly what he said. So there wasn't a lot of that going on. And yet I would see people come in and they would relate to me or I would relate to them based off of where they had been and what they were doing. And then I would see, their lives had changed. And I became enamored of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was smitten with a magnificent obsession for sobriety. because of people like Johnny hare Jani, ah, Johnny Harris, everyone knows him. I thought I was different because I had been, I had been in big springs state hospital, I had been in prisons I had lived on the streets, I had all these all these reasons why I'm different. And yet one day, I'm sitting here, and I'm listening to Johnny Harris, tell his story. And when he got through telling the story, I was in tears, and there was no more, there was no more me telling Danny, that I'm different. Now, I can tell you that I was unwilling. But I couldn't tell you I was different. Because in front of me stood at a man that was that had recovered and was happy. And, and I wanted to be like him, I want I wanted to, I wanted to be up there, I wanted people to look at me and love me too. I didn't know that you guys frown on that, that you were more about the worker among workers things. But at that time, that seemed to be very attractive to me. And you guys use you know, you, God knows just which carrot to dangle in front of just with jack has to get him to go right where he wants him to go. So I, I started, I started talking. And I have a I've had a rather colorful background. And I've been, I've been told I was I know, I'm I know, I'm funny. I don't mean to be but I am.
Danny B 16:56
And so I you know, people laughed and they cry and they related in there, you know, and they were happy to see that you could come from such a destructive and downtrodden past and then start to have a happy and useful life. And even in sobriety, you can make missteps, and yet recover and keep going. And so that became the what I wanted to do. I'm never really like doing a workshops. I don't like to sit for 16 hours and with another person and talk about my perceptions of Alcoholics Anonymous or this step. But it means to me, I'm really believe very much that the principles are they the book says the principles are guides to progress. meaning to me that if you will practice these principles, if you will do these things, these principles are very clear. They will change you. You won't need someone to tell you what they mean. You just do this. I was a liar. I lied. Everybody says cash rich draws honesty comes easy. No, it doesn't. I was afraid. I felt my fear could protect me. I did not believe that I could did I could just open myself up and be honest. And you would accept me. I felt such that I felt so angry and so different inside that I just didn't think you could do it. So I started, I quit. My sponsor said, you got to tell the truth. I said, Well, I lie all the time. He said, Well, the next time you're telling a lie, just stop in the middle of it and tell the person you're talking to I'm sorry, but that was a lie. I said there's got to be an easier way than that. He said, Well, why don't you try? I did. And what happened is it cut my conversations very short. And he told me, he taught me things by by by example. And then he just he didn't tell me Look, you know, this is what it all means. And this is how you do it. He would just simply say things like Bob Hassan says go to work, stay at work, work at work. You know, you learn to do these things. Don't lie. Tell the truth. You'll learn more what self honesty is. That's the ongoing lifetime project. You're not God. God loves us too much to let us let us see ourselves clearly all at once. He just has his peel back the onion a little at a time and let me deal with Danny. With him the best I can overtime. I'm a much much different man than I was when I walked into Alcoholics Anonymous 40 plus years ago, Alcoholics Anonymous 40 plus years ago I had I was just addict To booze, and I lived, I lived in self centered, violent lifestyle. And I came in here with you guys. And it's just, uh, you know, I learned, I learned to quit cussing all the time. For one thing, a lot of people don't pay any attention to that. People say, what does it matter? You know, we're all in a we're, you know, we're, we're different. No, we're not actually, if you want to be able to, I believe this about cursing, especially not in a meeting, and stop and don't do it. When you're talking to me. It's not that I'm above it. You I've got very colorful language. If I hit my thumb, you will you'll put your hand over your ear. I was I was a sailor in a in an ex con. So yeah, I got some. But when somebody just tells me I'm if I'm all I'm effing mad. You haven't told me anything. You just told me that you step behind an emotion and you're hiding. So why don't you quit using that language and slow down and tell me who you are, what's wrong. And if you will start to use the English language to describe what's going on the inside you will be much, much clearer and we will have a communication that really matters. That's that's my two cents worth on that. The other thing is, is that there's little ladies whose sense of you know, there's people who come in whose their sensibilities are keener than ours. And I don't want them walking out of our meeting, because we are we don't want to, we don't want to care about them and about their years. I also believe you should dress I should believe you should dress appropriately to go into Alcoholics Anonymous. You You know, I'm just like I said, I'm old school. I was taught that way. Respect is everything.
John M 21:58
So you mentioned also, before we got started here, we're talking about you said when you first came in, you said Introduce yourself is Danny Boy or whatever little Danny that What was that?
Danny B 22:15
Well, you know, I was I was fawning for attention. You know, and I've, but I've always I've always been able to dance between the cracks of a conversation and you're and you know, be that little clown and my mother was the Queen of allanon in Midland, Odessa. And I would everybody knew her she got she came into out and obviously before I got to a, and when I showed up, I would you know, they call on me to come up with everybody in a smaller town said there's ramus son, Danny, and I would get up and say, Well, I'm little Danny Brown boy, alcoholics and everybody chuckle that was very funny to them. And I we had an old boy alcoholic. Yeah, and I continue to say that, but after a while, it was pretty clear that that boy part was gonna have to go away. There was a, there was a there was a woman that had sobered up and 51 that was around our group. And she was very, very well thought of. And she was just the funniest woman in the world and very active in Alcoholics Anonymous. And I she would see me and she would she would call me Mrs. Brown's little boy, Danny. And I would talk to her and she would say, Honey, don't shake my tree if you don't want my apples. And I thought that was clever thing. But after a while was I thought about the things I think about the things that you guys say to me. I do I spend time afterwards. And I wonder, you know, is that just a clever saying or did that have some meaning? And it what I think she was saying to me is that honey, if you ask I will tell you, but I'm not going to go around sticking my two cents worth in. I'm not going I don't have a dog in this fight. If you want to misbehave if you want to act poorly if you want to act outside the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, that's on you. However, if you come to me, Don't expect me to cosign. And don't expect me to lie to you. I love you too much for that. So I think that's true. And
John M 24:34
we will be continuing our conversation with Danny be from spring, Texas in just a moment. Just a reminder, you were listening to silver speak. You can find us on the worldwide web at www dot superspeed. com. 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 sober speak is a self supporting organization through our own contributions. We are not allied with any sect denomination, politics, organization or institution. We do not wish to engage in any controversy neither endorses nor opposes. Any causes. All right now, Matt, back to Mr. Danny B. You mentioned your colorful background, if you will. Let's talk about that a little bit that I'm sure there's some circumstances, if you will, that brought you through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous. So, can you give me a thumbnail sketch?
Danny B 25:37
Yeah, I had. I was in I was I started drinking when I was 14. I had had serious emotional problems. I wound up in big spring state hospital twice before I was 16. I escaped.
John M 25:53
I escaped. Oh, just real quick. When you say serious emotional problems. How are those manifesting?
Danny B 25:59
I was I was I was depressed. I mean, like, you know, almost clinically depressed. I just, I couldn't concentrate. I didn't have friends. I didn't. I was walked around kind of in a hater. I just lived in my own world. I didn't know what was wrong. If there was there was a course there was things that were both nutritionally inferior and family wise that that perhaps contributed to that. And it was a it was a time that you know, I'm a preteen and I've got you know, we got no we got no money. I've got a father that is got problems. And my my mother who grew up dirt poor was her, her only teaching to me was don't do that you can get hurt. And so I walked around in fear. And I've eventually wound up big spring state hospital estate. I went to big spring state hospital a second time because I got hacked back, I got my first drug. And when I got drunk, I uh, I gotten fat, got my nose broke, I'd stolen my mother's car and I got arrested and wound up in juvenile detention and they thought I got out of out of the hospital a little earlier and I thought I'd found the first thing that ever made me feel like I can fit in and like I felt good. escaped from the hospital and and I grabbed a couple of guys from that hospital with me. And we we made it over to my hometown and picked up two more guys that were in a stolen car. We we made it south from Midland Odessa to the akun you Mexico where I sold that taxi car to a taxi driver. We got drunk in a Cadillac bar, and it was a big fight ensued. And we were all thrown in jail in Mexico. And from there, my life started to go downhill and I got out now joined the Navy. I was in the CBS I was a two fisted drinker. I loved being there. But what happens is, you know, booze interceded and I couldn't stay, I wound up on Skid Row. I lived on Skid Row, I learned to lie, cheat and steal and hustle. I left Skid Row and I started I started hanging out with guys that were they were professional thieves. And I drank whiskey and carried a gun and pretty soon I'm ripping and running and I wind up in prison. I get out our solemn oath that I'll never drink whiskey again. Oh, except on special occasions. And it turns out getting out of prison is a very special occasion. So I drank again. I'm married multiple times. Everyone knows I had two wives at one time. I wound up back in prison again. I got back in prison was there for three and a half years. I got out the second time I would have I'm absolutely convinced I'm through with that lifestyle. I'm not going to drink anymore. And but I'm out no time. I get married to a barmaid. We're drinking. And pretty soon I'm you know, I'm in as much trouble as I've ever been. And I'm on the run. I'm on the run from the law. There was a bank robbery in San Angelo, Texas that headed on videotape and they were looking for me because that was my mo and I'm hiding underground going to a meetings in different places getting drunk after his stay sober as long as I could stand it and then I'd get drunk. And, you know, one day I just wound up in Alcoholics Anonymous in the backseat that have lived in an old stolen car of war and I patch my life. My life was as good as it was ever going to get. And I said to God Added No, do anything back and just get sober. And two people came to get me from the suburban group in Austin, Texas. And one of them's namely john Henry. And john Henry wrote me back to the club and he became my sponsor. And I started my journey. And they, you know, john Henry didn't read the big book with me, by the way, john Henry, he would say, read three pages and call me. And I said, well, the other people their sponsor, sit down, read it with them. He said, I've already read it, you need to. And that's not to that's not to disparage anyone else's approach. But that's actually what happened to me.
Danny B 30:47
My first, my first inventory was, was taken it was only a day or two sober. I had written it and then got drunk. And I but it was a thorough, and I found the I found a friend in Alcoholics Anonymous, I went, and it was, it was an old Jewish woman. And I was, I didn't want to talk to john at the time I went to her and I asked her Her name was Glenda. And I said, Glenda, would you listen to my inventory, and she said, Honey, somebody's going to have to or you're going to die. And I spent the afternoon sharing that with her. And when it was over my last, my last resentment was a God that he had put placed me here and given me a book that I didn't understand with people that had all the advantages of life. And I was, I was a disadvantage. It was poor me. And I cried. And she said, Honey, what's involved is a liar, cheat and a thief. And she said, you probably need to go down and think about what you've said. I had a big spiritual experience from that wasn't long after that, I had to do more, because there was things that I held out and I went to john Henry, and I began doing recovery in earnest. I eventually had to, I eventually had to turn myself in to ku The Robber department, often over that bank robbery. Went down. There was no john Henry. I told him, I said, I told him that I said, I'm not. There's some things I didn't tell you. And that was one of them. And he said, Well, you got to go in and clean that up. And I said, Oh, no, no, no, no, I'm not gonna do that. He said, after they locked me up the rest of my wife. He said, You told me you were willing to go to any lengths to have this gift. I said, That's theory, this is serious, they will lock me up forever. He said, we'll get another sponsor, because you won't make it with that. And I finally I just said that in that old car, and I said, Well, God, if you want me to do it, you're going to have to help me because I'm too afraid. And I had an epiphany, sitting in that car, that four walls do not make a prison. Prison is something you carry around on the inside of you. And I had the keys to the kingdom. So I went down there and went to the robbery department, turned myself and told him all about my good work in a. And they showed me a video of a tall, skinny guy going from tail to tail with a gun. And the second type is very grainy. And a second time I watched it, I thought, I'm in so much trouble. The guy turned around and looked at me and he said, the guy I'm looking forward and walk in here. He said, guy, I'm looking for us out there. And he said, we'll find it but you need to get your skinny butt back to a and maybe you can clean up some of the mess you created. And I thought, Well, I'm not afraid to make amends anymore. I'm a forever and it changed my life. It was it was you know, I didn't have to run and I was on parole. I mean, they could have just, they not only didn't revoke my parole, they put me on annual report transferred me from Midland, Odessa to Austin where I'd gotten sober. And just just remarkable things happen. The book says all sorts of remarkable things happen when you sincerely take the position that he's everything. And, you know, God, God really has become become my father. I don't talk to him as much as I should. I don't follow him as well as I'd like. But he's, he's had the grace to cover me when I when I really needed it. And sometimes I think maybe he's left me a little broken because I'm such a prideful guy. If he hadn't left me that way. I would have probably, yeah, I would probably We just left you all a long time ago, but I've always needed you. And I've known that I've always, I've never been able to really hold myself up as a shining example of how Alcoholics Anonymous ought to be done. I've learned from from my sponsor that a bleeding Deacon and an elder statesman sometimes wear the same clothes. And you just gotta, you just got to learn to surrender yourself over and over again. Do what we're doing today, I have, I have things I want to do. I'm building a fence to protect me from a barrier between me and my neighbor.
Danny B 35:39
I got, I'm old enough. Now. It's my nap time. This is, this is what we do. You know, one of the guys that helped me build the fence. I didn't need him to help me build a fence, but he's 90 days sober. He just needed somebody to come over and just, you know, I pay him a little bit of money, but mostly I just wanted him to be around. I want him to know it's gonna be okay. I want him know that. I used to be just where you're at. And I'm telling you, you just hang with us. This is going to be okay. And I have a big pool and stuff. And he said, Man, I love the fellowship. He said, You ought to have a party with this pool. And I said, Well, yeah, well, I guess we should. So he left telling my wife that we were going to have a party. So I guess we will.
John M 36:30
That's well, so I would ask you about that, too. So you had mentioned also at the beginning of this that you had been married multiple times, right? didn't work out. And so you've been married seven times. Now? How long? Have you been married to the last wife here?
Danny B 36:45
My last wife? Okay, well, I'll just tell you. I was married for 14 years. And my and my wife and I split and it was Amy to you know, he went back to Oklahoma. And this, this girl, I'm married to now. We started we've been together for about almost two and a half years we married last October. I had, I had a heart attack. While we were getting married. It started wound up like on the day of Yes, it was actually started the day before it was the Widowmaker type that there was no chest pain, it was all in the back. You know, like, and I was sweating and, and, and tired. And I knew something was wrong. But I was committed to going through this because we had all the you know, we're we're marrying in our backyard October the 10th. And I had that and we went out that I got to lay down and then I was in the hospital shortly thereafter for stance and they said if I had waited a few more hours, I wouldn't be having this conversation. So I'm still here. Wow. I my wife is my wife is is my wife who is much younger than I am. And she's a hospice nurse. So it's kind of ideal Yeah, but uh but we're but we're active in a we're you know, we're active in family we we enjoy our home and our life. We get along good. She's a lot she's like she's like kind of a homebody you know, she likes to she likes to be around here putts around the house and I'm a big big big dog and cat and I got one cat but I like a lot the rest of them and I got three dogs and at this level
John M 38:50
your shirt there says what best dog dad is that right?
Danny B 38:54
Yes, it does. This my wife gave me that she's a she's a really fine a she she brings ladies here and works with him here when you know in our home and we have we have an open door policy to people in Alcoholics Anonymous in need. Because I wouldn't have a home to set in if it weren't for you. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have it. JOHN Henry told me to never get a truck to nice to throw up.
John M 39:31
Good advice. Yeah,
Danny B 39:33
he did. Man. He was a john Henry's and he is an interesting fellow guy you ought to talk to he was he was he was the opening act for john Coltrane wound up living down the streets, Vietnam there. And he came came got sober many many many years ago and he became a pastor. IT manager, you know, I made tons of money. Very, very successful guy. But he never made it.
John M 40:09
Maybe when we get off here, you can give me his contact.
Danny B 40:12
Yeah, happy to be john Henry, very interesting fellow too. And you know,
John M 40:19
I don't think I told you this or maybe I did. Yeah, oh, I took you through text. But then what how I got your information was from Tim, ah, who's been on the podcast in the past, I'm assuming you guys have ran across each other at conferences and stuff like that.
Danny B 40:37
We we have many times for a long time we're very, we're very fond of one another. And we also have a meeting once a week, a few of us. It's, it's, it's by invitation only, but it's, he and I are in it. It's just it's sort of a sort of lack of mastermind group we're being get together who've been here for a long time. And it's the longer you're here, the more you believe what you say. And it's very, very, it's been very helpful to a bunch of us who've been sober a long time have talked and we finally can, it's easier for me to open up to people about my, my fears of aging, my fears of being infirm, my, my desire to be more active in a again, why am I slowing down and all of that stuff? And it's very, it's very, very nice thing to have it.
John M 41:35
Yeah, you know, it's interesting. Doing this, what I do, I get to hear, you know, folks like you and so many others. And like, like when you were talking earlier, I was thinking of an interview I had done with Jay s. I don't know if you know him from Sedona, Arizona, Iran. Okay. Okay. So one thing that he talked about during an interview with him that I've thought about many, many times, and that is, he said something to the effect of, he does a lot of research with the primary documents from Bill Wilson's writings. And he said he'd looked through every one of Bill Wilson's writings. And he had never once found a excerpt where bill is counseling somebody and he says to somebody, well, what you need to do is to go to page 43 of the big book, and look at this paragraph. And that's exactly what you need to do. And for whatever reason, that just kind of it, something clicked with me. And much like you were saying earlier, so many people who kind of parse and dice and you know exactly what this was the Bill said and the first 164 and and I get all that, hey, believe me, I'm a big book guy. I love the big book, right? It's how I got sober. However, like my friend Gary k says, you probably know him as well, very well. Gary says you don't learn sobriety, he says something to the effect of you know, you experience sobriety. And it's like you were saying earlier,
Danny B 43:17
Gary grew up where I was one of the people who've been so rewild and we were in the same area of Midland Odessa. And so yeah, his sponsor, Gary sponsor, had come to me one day, before Gary came around, his sponsor was all messed up. And he said, I'm all messed up, I don't know what to do. And I didn't know what to tell him. And I looked at him and I said, Well, why don't you try joining a? And somehow that was, I mean, I just said that, because I couldn't think of anything to say, but that, you know, God knows what's going on what's going to impact someone. And he just sat down and suddenly realized, you know, I'm just running around trying to fix myself, why don't I get involved with what these people are doing? And, and he, he did, and of course, he's Gary's sponsor, as well. Yeah, I'm with you. I as I don't, I know the book. I liked the book. I'm much more big book than I am 12 and 12. I'm a red letter guys. Well, but I, when I talk to somebody, you know, I don't. I don't try to I've talked to them about my experience. We had a guy herb Wales, who's passed away just what a prince of a fellow I just, I mean, dearly loved him. He was in Mensa society and played football with Doak Walker. He was, I mean, this was a remarkable guy and very, very humble guy. And I just had so much admiration for him. He hit and I would Call him once in a while and with a problem. And he would always say, gosh, you just pick just the right time to call about that. I was just thinking about that very thing. Now, you know, he would just be he just being helpful and to end defusing me and, and he would talk to me out of his experience. And, you know, and that's so that's the thing that I love about you guys. It's the thing that you know, you didn't you didn't tell me about you bout my drinking? And now that now that we're doing these Woodstock's, I mean, we, I think those are those are probably wonderful and very interesting. And they're great for a gathering of humans to alcoholics to share information and all of that. But mostly, it's not the information. It's it's community, you know, it's a relationship. Yeah, you bet. And don't forget, you know, he don't forsake the gathering together of yourselves. There's another book that says, stir up the gift that is within you. This sort of thing is what we what it's really about, I don't think it matters to wit, whether the speaker can get up there and, and tell you interesting insights about the second step. The second step is not a complex step. But we have known people that can talk for two hours on it. But the main thing is, is that we're talking about surrender, we're talking about God, we're talking about the need for each other. And we're sitting together in a hall. And there's going to be a good chance that we're going to go with a common topic and sit down and look at each other. And think, how remarkable is this, that we're sitting here, and we're not grumped, where, you know, that may be the mess that I left at home? with my family, I can, I can go home and straighten it up. And it won't have much to do with what the speaker said, Lord, you could put a tape recorder up there. You know, and we'd be the same. And that's my
John M 47:08
soapbox. Well, Danny, as you know, we really didn't know each other before spending time together here. And you have not heard one of these episodes in the past that are those over speak. But I could tell you this, when I first started this little journey, and there's a whole story that goes behind that why I will bore you with but when I first started this little journey, this is exactly what I envisioned. And by that, I mean, kind of a combination of some of somebody's story, but also just like sitting down and having coffee with somebody and talking about their experience in a and what it's been like, and what their viewpoint is on that and being able to share that with others throughout all four corners of the world. And this has just been this has been great. I really have enjoyed our conversation
Danny B 48:09
I have as well. You're a very pleasant person and I have enjoyed very much and I will listen to some of these things. I just I have had some health challenges over the past few months and I'm better now but that's so I haven't been as haven't been as much to this to have as many meetings I haven't been as as active but but yeah, no worries on that.
John M 48:35
It really always try I you know, I just wanted to let you know, by the way podcasts are for some people and they're not for other people and I get it and it's a it's a it's a medium in which some people consume content and others don't you know, but if you do listen anybody though, I would go and listen to my age in john a. Reno, john, we call him on the podcast.
Danny B 48:59
I'll tell you this. This is really funny. So we're 11 years sober. We're both going through divorces, right? crazier than Peach Orchard doors. I'm telling you, I finally I just I went to a meeting. I drove off and went to a meeting in Fort Worth. And I'm in this meeting in Fort Worth and and it was it was a discussion meeting. So I got to I got to share how is my day, which was great. And when it was over, there was a guy who came up to me and he said, Man, I hear I've heard you talk and he said why don't you listen to this tape maybe it'll help you on your way home. And he handed me a job or it's a great job.
Danny B 49:49
Listen to the hear my
John M 49:55
buddy, john love. He loved that. Yeah. All right. Good. I always do to kind of wrap it up here is read page 164 from the big book. Alright to do that right now it says abandon yourself to God as you understand God, admit your faults to him and to your fellows clear away the wreckage of your past. give freely of what you find and join us, we shall be with you, and the fellowship of the Spirit. And you will surely meet some of us like me, and Danny be, as you trudge the road of happy destiny, may God bless you, and keep you until then. And I just want to say, Danny, people can't see it, but you have an infectious smile. And I appreciate you spending time with me today. It's been a pleasure. Thank you. Bye, bye. Bye. As I said, on the front end, Danny is an absolute treasure. Danny, thank you so much for spending time with me. I do appreciate you all the service that you've given to Alcoholics Anonymous all the year over the years. And I know the listeners are going to appreciate your story and your insight as well. Now, on to a little bit of listener feedback for humans. Elon writes in and Elon says john, a friend and a sent me a link to your podcast. I really enjoy having a meeting between meetings available. I am in Grapevine, Texas, and the colony group is my home group. That's right down the street from me, Ellen. And she says I started. I started young with intoxicants and relapse many times very familiar with anxiety and control issues working in step four, currently with my awesome sponsor, Vicki. Well, if you're listening, Vicki, that's a shout out to you from Ellen and for myself, thanks for being an awesome sponsor. And she says, Ellen says new to AIA because I was so sure that I knew best. I have been practicing meditation since 2008. But as you know, addiction can get the best of me sometimes. And on the relapse train, I jumped. My sobriety date is March 4 of 2018. I worked with some great folks at the Florida community of mindfulness in Tampa, until I had to move to Texas in late 2019. To help out my brother with my elderly parents. They have since passed, and I found my old thought patterns and craziness coming back. And I found the colony group and I had been going there ever since. Very thankful for a it is so much more than I thought it was. And I have now gotten in touch with the God of my understanding. I know peace for the first time in my life. I appreciate you big
John M 53:10
praying hands and big smiley faces. Several of them. Ellen. Well, thank you and I, Ellen, appreciate you. Thank you so much for writing in. I hope our paths crossed someday here in the near future. Steve are posted in the secret Facebook group. By the way, I don't think I said on the beginning if you're not part of the secret Facebook group, just look up sober speak secret Facebook group and the the application known as Facebook him and ask for admission. And we will get you in there. We'd love to have you in there. It's about 1600 people or so now. 16 1700 people something like that. And we would love to have you as part of the group. Anyway, Steve our is our kind of I call him our daily meditations guy. He is in there every day posting something that he reads from the big book, I just does a fantastic job. And this is what he posted this week, he says but the app this is what he posted on one of the days this week, I should say. It says but the actual or, by the way, this is from page 39 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it says but the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and reemphasize to smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it is been revealed to us out of our bitter experience. Let me go ahead and read that first part again to emphasize a re emphasize it, it says, but the actual alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self knowledge. And then Steve goes on to add a little commentary Afterwards, he says in some aspects of our lives, knowledge is powerful and that enables us to make good choices, but not so with our alcoholism, knowledge is not enough. We need a power source. Our own power is insufficient. And then he says, watch he always hands it with help one save to Happy Wednesday, and he started out a little camel symbol next to his signature. So anyway, Steve, thank you so much for posting that my friend Tony D writes in Tony D says, Thank God I'm just short of five years and 10 months sober but I am still a baby and I feel like a junior a the union frightens me from my first sponsor. Not sure what that means. Hopefully this comes clear here. He says I realized recently how full of fear I am. And was thanks to attending meetings and discussing with my a buddies I now really see that fear is something I have to work on daily at work as well as home. But mostly, I'm afraid of service and doing things wrong. I aired this recently at a meeting and I know I have no full base for this. It's all me. If I really look deep, and I see the fear that has been sewn through those I have wrong they cannot reach out to a lot of those I already apologized to back in the day. That said it niggles at the soul. I'm gonna have to look up that word Tony niggles at this. I mean, I kind of get what it is. It's like a like a not nice wiggle, I think is what that is kind of annoying at the so I was told forgive yourself and move on. The feelings are improving, but my fear is slowly dying. It is gradually releasing me and my higher power is taking complete control. I feel the difference. I'm so thankful to a in your service, john. God bless. And then he signs a TD well, TD Tony D. Thank you so much for right now my friends. I think I bet you he's from the United Kingdom. I can tell usually when people spell words in a particular way, like realized or apologize or something and it's a little different. I could tell they're from either the United Kingdom or Canada sometimes nonetheless. That's it for this week. One more week down episode number this 199 folks, were almost the 200 or was it 199 or 998. Anyway, we're getting close to 200. But God bless y'all. I'll probably be back next week. As I always say, we take it one week at a time keep coming back folks. It works if you work in Love you guys.
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