Casey W 00:00
And I will say we agnostics, maybe the most important piece of spiritual literature I've ever read, only because it opened the door to me to this idea of a higher power that nothing had to that point and no knock on anything else. It was just like this was like spirituality for dummies, and at least that part of it did resonate.
John M 00:26
Well, hello, friends of Bill Wu 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. Greetings from deep in the heart of Tae hos that was the voice of Mr. Casey w my friend Mr. Casey W. The you heard at the beginning of this episode and you will be hearing so much more from him in just a moment on this here episode. What episode number is this? John M you may ask? Well, thank you for asking. This is episode number dos 100 200 Can you believe it? We made it to 200 episodes you and me I can't believe it. Thank you so much for listening all this time and listening to my jibberish I sure do appreciate you But But first things first. This episode is brought to you by this episode number 200. This special episode is brought to you by Adi and Tanya and Nadia, do you know what Adi and Tanya and Nadia did? Well they went to our website www dot sober speak calm that clicked on that little yellow donate tab and they made a contribution. Thank you so much Adi and Tati Tonya excuse me and Nadia. This episode is coming right out to you. I John M What are you John M? Well, I'm glad you asked I am just another bozo on the bus will be the chairperson for this meeting between meetings and I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening is a Take a seat if you will around this virtual table and you can't see my hand right now but it's spinning in circles. And let's get started remember now no matter who you are, or what your past looks like, you are welcome here it is an open table for all and we are glad you have come along for the ride with so yeah, this is episode number 200 Can you believe it? Last week or the week before I can't remember anyway we we passed over what 1 million downloads for silver speak and this week we got the over 200 episodes and I you know the their milestones, right? There are markers and in the grand scheme of thing I guess it doesn't mean a lot but I don't know we just sounds good. I just wanted to make sure everybody knows if you are new to the podcast as a reminder, you can find us on Apple podcast formerly known as iTunes. You can find us on Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, pod bean, tune in I Heart Radio, amazon music or where ever you listen to your favorite podcast. We shall be there if you find someplace I'm not let me know and maybe we can remedy that situation.
John M 04:56
As a reminder, we have Free yoga classes by Megan and Tanya, on Sunday afternoon at four o'clock p m, a central and it is a which color recovery yoga meeting and we would love to have you join us basically what it is, is Megan or Tanya, do a little meeting on the front end of it. When I say a meeting, a recovery meeting, alright, and you don't have to be an alcoholic, you can come in and join us any time you would like. And if you've not had exposure to recovery before meetings, I think it'd be a great place to kind of dip your toe into the pool. So anyway, we have that on Sunday afternoon. And if you are interested in that information, go to our website, sober speak, comm and click on the tab called sober resources we would love to have you there also under when you're on the website, you can look at the blogs and the transcripts from the various guests that we have on the the podcast. It'll all be posted there. And go explore just just have a have a big time when you're there on the website. Alright, I wanted to put in a couple of pieces of listener feedback on the front end here before we crank up with Casey. And these two just kind of stuck out to me this week. And Aaron wrote in and she said, john, when I add about two days of alcohol free lifestyle, I found your podcast it was full of love and hope. And I believed I could do it. Now, I met now I am at two years. And in two weeks. She says your podcast was a kind, warm, loving voice that I needed to hear. Thank you, Aaron. And then she signs it writers write Aaron Q. I don't know exactly what that means. But I thought that was just lovely. And I'm so glad that you are on this journey with me and with all of us, Aaron and appreciate you right now. Another one wrote in it was Nick L. And Nick wrote in and the subject line was sobriety. He says hi john Nick l here from Cincinnati, or as some people call it Cincinnati, Ohio. He says I just wanted to give a shout out to you for keeping a great thing going. I've been listening to your podcast for two weeks now. I started on episode number one. And I'm now on episode 58. That's, I guess that's called bingeing. Yeah, I like that. He says, I just can't get enough of your speakers. I'm 23 years old, and I'm 37 days sober. I'm a busy guy. So I don't have time to get to a lot of meetings in person, but your quote, meeting between meetings are pure in big capital letters gold for me. I have a tendency to allow the committee in my head to run the show. Mr. Nick, I can relate to that. He says but with your podcast so easily accessible, I get to shut down the committee in listen to someone else's life story. I'm currently on step four of the 12 steps. And it's quite tough for me, but I listened to your podcast, and I get so much courage, hope and a sense of direction from them. I just wanted to write in and let you know I hear your podcasts here in the Queen City. And then he puts in big capital letters and they do help me very much regards, Nick. l will God bless you, Nick l keep me posted on your journey. I hope you make it to those in person meetings. At some point. Let me know if you need any sort of recall. They shown on that. Now on to my friend Mr. Casey
John M 09:09
and we're calling this one our little plans and designs which is a quote from the big book Casey is from Frisco, Texas, a place that I happen to know very well. This episode was recorded here in North Texas at the Tri city event. On a Friday night Casey got sober at seven teen years old in Austin, Texas. Casey addresses the definition of alcoholism. Bob and Bill's first encounter the chapter we agnostics and what he thinks of that his experience with holding back that one last thing unquote, he didn't want to share during his fifth step. Many of us have that that experience. And then he says and then he talks about what it means to be a, quote, grateful alcoholic, unquote. He addresses life as a family man and Alcoholics Anonymous By the way, I have met his lovely bride, Miss Karen, and we got to give her props for putting up with Casey. Just kidding. Anyway, he also talks about sponsorship and much, much more. Buckle up everybody enjoy the ride, and I will have plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of Casey's episode. Enjoy.
Casey W 10:36
Casey W alchoholic. JOHN said don't say your last name because he knows always do. I'm gonna take off my jacket is hot. Man. Thanks for coming tonight. Holy smokes. I really, I feel like for a long time I took for granted. Getting to see you guys face to face and getting to be in a big room with people face to face and zoom was great. super grateful for zoom. However, nothing like being here in a room with you guys. Getting to pray together getting to see your smiling faces. Let's see. What do I need to say about myself? I'm an alcoholic. I have a sobriety date. It's January 13 of 1990. I have a sponsor, his name is Martine. Please let him know that I wore a suit. I was debating what to wear. And then I showed up and everyone's all dressed up. I was like holy smokes. I'm glad I wore this suit tonight. I don't feel underdressed now. I do sponsor people. I do have a home group. It's Frisco group. Thank you Frisco group for showing up tonight. I love you guys. I can't imagine that you would want to come here and hear an hour of my nonsense when you're exposed to three to five minutes of it pretty much two or three times a week. But I really appreciate you guys doing that. I sponsor people, I do have a service commitment. And I think all those things are really important. I have worked all 12 steps out of the book and continue to work the steps. And if you don't know anything else about me today, let me say that whatever I say today, can't be reconciled with the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, just consider that my opinion, I'll probably have a few of those. And you'll forgive me for that. But I will say that I think most of my talk today will center around the book. I also need to make a confession to you all today.
Casey W 12:15
Everyone seems very well balanced here in this meeting. And I appreciate that. But I on the other hand can be a little bit of an egomaniac at times. And so when a large group of people shows up to see me talk for one hour, I can start to feel really good about myself. So I am going to try my very best to make tonight about God and not about me. And if I start to go off the rails, when you elder statesman out there can just start waving your hand and let me know that I'm screwing it up. My friend Tony sent me a text message before the meeting. He said when we look back, we realized that the things which came to us, when we put ourselves in God's hands were better than anything we could have planned. Follow the dictates of a higher power. And you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances, which is obviously from our literature. And then he also added be a channel. And I think that's important. I get to do a lot of cool things in Alcoholics Anonymous. And maybe the coolest thing I get to do is watch other people recover, and get to be whatever small part of that, just like I had 1000 people be a part of my own recovery. So I'll talk a little bit about my story. It's funny, because my and I'll talk a lot about my family. It's a big part of my recovery. I was super lucky to get sober very young. And so I got a lot of Mulligan's in life, you know, one wife, which was kind of cool. And so we'll talk about that one wife, some but she, she came with me to a speaker meeting recently. And she's she's normally not one of us. And she has come to maybe four meetings in the 20 something years that we've been together, and has never been impressed at any of those meetings. Two of the meetings, I've taken her to have been people whose story was in the back of the book, and she was not impressed with those two people. And so I said, you can never come and hear me tell my story because it is so much less interesting than those two people's story. You know, there's only so much trouble you can get into when you get sober when you're 17. But I will tell you about that trouble. So I'm a fifth generation Texan. I was born in Baylor hospital, February 7 1972. I was the largest baby born in Baylor Hospital in February of 1972. Thank you. Yes. And I was Oh, hold on a second. Wayne's back there waving at me that I'm doing a bad job. All right. Let's switch gears. And so I got a $500 scholarship to Baylor because I was the biggest baby born that month. You know, I was a special little baby. I've kind of been a special little baby ever since you know, and I've been trying to recover from that. My parents got divorced when I was I think three or four. not why I'm an alcoholic. Lots of alcoholism and My family, including my mom, who's also in recovery, not why I'm alcoholic, have a really bad relationship with alcohol. And that's why I'm an alcoholic, right? I have exactly what the book describes, you know, I have the mental obsession and the allergy, you know, untreated. all I'm gonna do is think about a drink, go for a drink, drink a drink. And once I have a drink, there's no telling what's going to happen next, you know, and that was kind of my experience. Right from the beginning. I will say that when I was little, let's say fifth grade, you know, fourth grade, something like that. I was a latchkey kid living on my own, my mom worked two or three jobs to try to make ends meet. I saw her drinking, she drank every day, I just thought that's what adults did, you know. And so I started drinking everyday to at like, age 10 or 11, something like that, I would come home from school. And I would pour myself a glass of Kahlua. And I would smoke Benson and hedges, menthol ultralights, because this is what was available to me at the time, kind of drinking like a middle aged woman. And
Casey W 16:05
and that was fine. And I don't know that I got drunk any one of those times, but I knew that I was looking for something, you know, and I had this hole. And that was one way I was gonna try to fill that. And as I got a little bit older that drinking started to get worse. When I was 15, my mom decided we would move from Texas to Florida to open up a restaurant, we did that I was there for a year. And in the time I was there, I would go to school, I would go to the restaurant and work, go home and go to sleep and lather, rinse repeat. And I ended up making kind of a lower denominator of friends, older people started to drink more started to smoke, outside issues, all those kinds of things. And after living in Florida with my mom for a year, she decided she had had enough. And so that summer after my 16th birthday, my mom kicked me out of the house, Mama love me. There was no doubt about that. But she did not know what to do with me. And so my dad had found himself recently divorced. And so I ended up living with my dad. Now, my dad would have been, I think 46 then I'm about to turn 50. And I can't imagine having this cool bachelor pad in downtown Austin getting interrupted by this out of control 16 year old you know, and that's exactly what happened to him. And my dad had never had to parent a teenager before. And
Casey W 17:35
I will say that I'm in the process of parenting teenagers. And it's complicated. And I'm so far not good at it. I'll tell you about that later. I will say though, that my dad was doing the best that he could with what he had his father was alcoholic, apparently very violent died of cirrhosis. And so his relationship with alcohol was that he stayed away from it. And so he really didn't know what to do with me. And so here I am, I'm going to school, I'm selling outside issues at school now to pay for the rest of this stuff. You know, every once in a while the cops get interested in what I'm doing, you know, and a phone call goes home to my dad. And I think my dad was really trying hard to be in denial about that, like that was a problem that he just did not want to deal with. And I could understand that I slept away from the house a lot. I slept in my car a lot. This was before cell phones. And so I had a blanket and one of those wind up clocks so that I could wake myself up in the morning, didn't want to miss some kind of important engagement, you know, and this goes on for another couple of years, my junior and senior year of high school, and I got myself in really bad trouble at school. One day, the phone call went home and my dad, I think had kind of decided that I was going to go to treatment. And man, I knew all about treatment, because all of my friends had already been there. And it sounded terrible, you know, 30 6090 days of not drinking, you can even smoke cigarettes. I mean, you know, terrible. There's a lot of divine intervention in my story. And I will tell you, I just wanted to be the most atheist and agnostic person when I came into Alcoholics Anonymous, but in retrospect, I can see where God took care of me a lot throughout my story. One of those things that happened was my dad had gotten a new girlfriend who he would end up marrying. And one of his daughters who was my age was one year sober and Alcoholics Anonymous. And so you can imagine that I'm going to these family functions, obviously drunk and high at these family functions. And she's just kind of silently observing my nonsense, and probably pitching some ideas to my dad, you know, and one of those ideas was maybe I should go to a meeting with her and so after this kind of last bad scrape at school with the cops, my dad said you're going to treatment and I said, How about if I go to one of those ama meetings instead? He said, Okay, we'll give that a try. And so I went to a A meeting in Austin. This was January 1 of 1990. It was the Unity group, it was off the far west. Unfortunately, it's not there anymore. But it was a really cool group, I went to my first meeting with her now, I will say that I had had a couple of cases of shiner Bock, still available to me on January 1, and so obviously not going to throw away beer. So had a couple of beers before that first a meeting to take the edge off, you know, and so showed up, I gotta tell you, I did not love a my first meeting, it was a lot of talking about God and praying and passing the basket and holding hands and a guy standing at the front waving a book and it did not feel good. And so I got a desire chip, you know, I had seen the movie clean and sober. That was as much as I knew about AIA at the time, and I knew it was just like, dingy, and you got the little silver chip. And so that was my experience. And I got my little silver chip, you know, and, and a bunch of people came up to me after the meeting and wanting to talk to me, obviously, I want to talk to them. And so we get back into the car. After that meeting, and my future stepsister says, what did you think? And I was like, great, man, I got my chip, you know, now I get to be sober, so cool. And, and she was like, we'll keep coming back. And I was like, why would I come back? You know,
Casey W 21:21
I got the message. It was this chip. She said, Well, it's recommended 90 meetings in 90 days. And I mean, who I was not looking forward to that. But I needed a good report, right, or it's off to treatment. And so I was like, Great 90 meetings in 90 days. And so kept drinking and going to meetings, you know, that first experiment worked pretty well. It just goes on for two more weeks. And I'm certain that I had bought some more beer in that time. And I got to think on January 12, of 1990. I was probably pretty drunk in a meeting. I don't know if one of the 44 questions is, have you ever gone to an A meeting drunk, you might be alcoholic, but that's probably a tip off, right. And so at this time, I'm kind of loose and like making friends at this meeting, you know, and we're going to Coco's afterwards, which is like Denny's, and we're having pancakes and you can still smoke cigarettes inside. And it was just, it was a pretty magical time, I did start to like a. And so this guy, it happened to be the same guy was waving the book around the first meeting, I went to he, he comes over to the booth that I'm sitting in as I came in, to talk to you. And I was like, Oh, this is the pull aside talk, you know? And so I was like, sure. And he says, He says, How are things going? And I was like, good. And he said, he said, you know, something to the effect of a works better if you're sober, you know, and I was like, don't know what you're talking about. Got my chip, you know? He said, Well, you know, it's pretty obvious that you've been drinking before meetings. And apparently, there was like a kind of an impromptu group conscience, where they said, Hey, dude, could you talk to this guy? And so I got my first little grain of honesty, and I, I did not have a lot of honesty about me at all at this point in my life, right. And so that little grain of honesty, and it was really what I thought about myself at the time, I thought, I think my problem is drugs and not drinking. And he said, Well, that's great news. He said that if not drinking is not a problem, then not drinking should not be a problem. I just thought I've got to get away from this guy, you know. And so I did, you know, we left, we left Coco's and I just that really, it just sat with me, you know, in a real bad way, because it was just, you know, the book talks about delusion. And there's a truth about myself, I didn't know that's what I was deluded about. And that truth about myself was that I had this really unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and I didn't know that. And that was the first little chip into maybe I do have this problem, you know, and, and so I said, I'll show this guy. So all sobriety dates start with resentment. I'll show this guy. I'll be sober tomorrow, you know, and so, some how that's my sobriety. I'll tell you how, but it didn't seem like that was gonna be my sobriety date at the time, right. And so I go to the meeting on January 13, of 1990. That was not a great meeting, you know, I, you know, the kind of the shaking ditty thing starts to set in, I'm sweating. You know, the ladies given me the half a cup of coffee, all that kind of stuff. And, man, I did not want to hear what was in the meeting. I just wanted to leave. And I didn't even know where I wanted to go. I just didn't want to be there. And so this goes on for another week or so. Where I would kind of try to show up to the meeting right before the meeting starts and then sit in the chair right by the And then as soon as the meeting was over, bolt out and hope that nobody followed me because people would follow me.
Casey W 25:06
And ask me How you doing, you know, terrible Get away from me. A couple of weeks into it, a guy came up to me and this was such a cool meeting, because there was, there was two, two stories, there was the main floor. And then there was a loft that all the young people sat in at this meeting. And this is before there were young people's meetings in Austin, but there was a half a dozen people, young people that went to this meeting. And there's a couple other meetings that young people went to in 1990. And I'm so grateful to have those people that I was in meetings with. And one of these guys came up to me after the meeting, and he said, Hey, man, do you have a sponsor? And I said, No. And he said, I'm your sponsor, you know, and if you're new welcome, don't wait till someone does that to you, you could be waiting a long time. If you're looking to get some sponsees great way to do it. As far as I'm concerned, you know, just give someone a book and scare him into working steps with you. That's what this guy did. And it worked. We started to read the book together, he read the, you know, I had been going to meetings for like a month at this point. And I don't know that I had retained anything that was said in any of those meetings. And I think that kind of becomes I really started to enjoy the meetings more when I started to work the steps. You know, I started to understand what you guys were saying more when I started to sit across from one other person reading the book. And then when the book says to do something, we did something. sponsoring people is not more complicated than that. And he was, I mean, this is a guy who had like six months of sobriety, right, that's pulling me to the side saying, Let me sponsor you. So the first thing he did was he explained to me what alcoholism was. And if I remember that conversation correctly, we read out of we agnostics, that first paragraph, and I think that's a great definition. Because to that point, I'm kind of thinking, to all these people just go down to their tents. Is everyone homeless here, because that's kind of what I thought an alcoholic was, but they seem like they had cars and stuff. So it was confusing for that standpoint. So he said, we hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the non alcoholic, if when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely. Or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you're probably alcoholic check and check right for me on both of those. And so I know everyone's The only thing that I think we have that's kind of unique is our first step experience, right? what got us here. And then hopefully, our experience in Alcoholics Anonymous is very similar. We're working the program out of the book. And so some people come in, they know they're alcoholics, some people come in, and it's their 20th time to try to get sober. And like me, I came in and just did not know I was alcoholic, honestly did not know that when I walked in the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I became an alcoholic in Alcoholics Anonymous, because you guys told me what an alcoholic was. And once I understood that,
Casey W 28:03
once I understood that I became a hell of a lot more willing to work the rest of the steps, the exact same thing happened to Dr. Bob, right, when Bill and Bob meet for the first time, right. Bob had already been going to the Oxford group, he had already been seeking a spiritual solution. But he didn't understand the gravity of his problem. And once he says in our book, once he understood the gravity of his problem, he started to work it with an enthusiasm that he hadn't been able to muster previously, you know. And so for me, once, that idea of alcoholism started to resonate for me, I started to become willing to work the rest of this stuff. Now, I will say that there was a pretty big sticking point ahead for me. And that was this idea that the solution was a higher power, because I had heard what you guys had been saying in meetings, and it sounded like magic was keeping you sober. And I kind of thought y'all were dumb. And so we're about to sit down and have this conversation about, you know, steps two and three. And I had read through and I will say that like we agnostics, maybe the most important piece of spiritual literature I've ever read, only because it opened the door to me to this idea of a higher power that nothing had to that point and no knock on anything else. It was just like, this was like spirituality for dummies, and at least that part of it did resonate with me, you know. And, you know, bill does the little piece of sales on on step two, do I now believe or am I even willing to believe in a power greater than myself, you know, and at that point, I started to at least become a little bit willing to believe now, when we sat down to talk about the third step, I was ready to tell my sponsor how I was ready to debate him. You know, I don't think this higher power thing is going to work for me. Great that it's working for you. Congratulations, but It's not going to be good for me. And he said, we sat down and all he said to me in our meeting was do you think you have a problem? Yes. Do you think there's a solution? Yes. Do you want to go with that solution? Yes. Then let's get on our knees and pray. And that's how we did the third step together, you know. And now, right after the third step, it does say, we thought well, before taking this step, he and I didn't think Well, before taking this step up. And I'll just tell you that that worked for me, we did have a conversation afterwards. And that conversation afterwards was, the book promises the spiritual experience in step 12, having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, right. So if you have one before, then that's great, but don't expect one until then. And he said, let's just work all of the steps together all the third step is for us, the decision we're making is that we're going to work the rest of the steps together to the best of our ability out of this book. And if you get to 12, and you don't feel differently about it, then you can go about your business, right, but let's get to 12 and see if you feel differently about it. And obviously, I'm here today, we got to 12. I felt differently about it, right. And my concept of God wasn't any more complicated than, you know, there is a God, and it's not you, you know, and I'll tell you that I don't know that my understanding of that is much different today than it was then my relationship with God is a hell of a lot different today than it was when we got right to work, you know, we started to do the four step together. And for step six, inventory fear list. I just didn't have a lot, you know, and I honestly didn't think I was that angry, you know, and my sponsor was very kind. This first sponsor, ended up the one who got me as his sponsee, ended up drinking. And so I had to pick another sponsor. And so I got this other guy, and he was Buddhist, he was real laid back, like exactly what you would think of when you think of Austin, Texas sobriety, he was just like this super mellow guy. And I needed a super mellow guy in my life, because I was not super mellow. We started to do the four steps together. And, and he said, I said, I, you know, I don't know that I'm really angry with anyone. And he just said, well just write down the names of everyone, you know, and we'll start with that, you know, and that is what we did. And so we sat down, and he's like, okay, whose first name on your list dad. And he was like, Well, tell me about your dad. And I'm like, he's a jerk. And
Casey W 32:23
that's a resentment, son. And so we started that way. And I had this little list, I still have that four step today, which is super cool. If your sponsor tells you to burn the fourth step, that's fine, you can do that you're going to need it for step eight, but whatever. But we, I kept it. And it's cool to look back on that today. You know, and, and really to see the huge perspective change that I had, you know, I know that a lot of people have kind of some kind of white light experience. You know, for me, it was the educational variety. It was the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery. And I desperately needed a personality change. And when I look at that first fourth step, man, I can see the personality change, you know, I forget who was maybe Clancy or somebody said, The older I get, the better my childhood was, you know, and I definitely feel like, I cut my parents way more slack today. Now, parenting teenagers, like, it's hard, you know, and, and I especially made it hard for them. I did that first four step. And there was one thing, there was one thing I was absolutely not going to share with my sponsor. And so we wrote all these things down. And we were going to do the fifth step together. Now, I don't know what I was thinking. But I wrote this thing that I wasn't going to share with him down on a separate piece of paper, and I put it in my back pocket. And so we sit down and do the fifth step together, and I share everything with him. And probably the same experience you guys have had when sharing a fifth step. Not certain he's paying attention, you know, I mean, it's just kind of like, okay, okay. Okay. Okay. And we got to the end, and he said, Is there anything else in that piece of paper was burning a hole in my pocket, you know, and I just thought, I really don't want to tell him, but you guys have told me that I probably should tell him. And this whole, like dialogue is going on in my head. And he's like, so there is something else. That I was like, Yes. And I reached in my back pocket, and I told him that thing. And he was like, Is there anything else? And I was like, Nope, that's it. And you know, if I hadn't told him anything else, just what told him that one thing might have been the most important thing I did in early recovery, because it was the one thing I just did not want to tell him. And, man, I have spent a lot of mine life, trying to people please, trying to feed my own ego trying to be who I thought you would like. There's not a lot of transparency in that. And so that was the first time I was transparent with someone. One of the cool things about Alcoholics Anonymous is I don't have to tell everyone, everything. I just have to tell one person, everything. And that was my sponsor, and he is the person that I told everything to. And since then I've had several other people that I've told everything to, and what a what an important lesson that was for me to know that I can tell someone, everything about me, and they'll still accept me. And if they don't accept me, that's okay. You know, I remember early on in sobriety, two of my very best friends in recovery, my dad and my girlfriend are all at dinner together. I was maybe like six months sober. Yes, I know, you're not supposed to have a girlfriend, you're six months sober, that went out the window. It's not in the book. It's a suggestion from some of you people. I just want to sit at that dinner. And feeling very uncomfortable. And the reason why I was so uncomfortable in that dinner was because there was the guy that I was in front of my dad. And then there was the guy that I was in front of my buddies. And then there was the guy that I was in front of my girlfriend, and all three of those people had to somehow come together in this dinner, you know, and it wasn't happening. And so shockingly, to most of you, I just sat quiet during that dinner. And I remember sharing that with my sponsor, and, and he said, Yeah, he said, it's okay. You know, this is a fact finding, in fact, facing mission that we're dealing with, what do you think you just learned a fact about yourself, and that's okay, and we're just gonna work on that together. And I've kind of been working on that, since, you know, I've obviously gotten a lot better at it. But I still want to please, people still want to feed my ego, you know. And so, consequently, 10 and 11 become very important in my life, you know, because I get to continue to do those things. We did six and seven. And it was, you know, it's like August, in Austin. And he wanted to do it outside in this prayer hut. And obviously, he wasn't sitting in there with me. And so I'm in this prayer hut, just sweating is just miserable, and no cell phones. So I have like a clock in front of me for the hour to go by, you know, it's like, I did everything he told me to. And then there was 57 minutes to go, you know, and
Casey W 37:11
but I sat in it, he sat in the parking lot with his car on and the AC running while I sat in there for my hour. So there was just no leaving even. But I remember, I remember opening those doors and the breeze and it was just like, I felt like I had done something that was to me that was kind of joining Alcoholics Anonymous, I know. It's like, Oh, I'm an alcoholic. And so I say I'm an alcoholic. And I've joined Alcoholics Anonymous, but to me when I got when I got honest, that first time and sat in that prayer hut for an hour, in sweat. When I walked out of there, I was like, I cannot wait to go to the meeting and let everybody know that I just did my fist step. And people are high five, and me and everyone was excited, right? And so we, we made that list together, from my four step on a men's and Man, what a valuable step for sponsorship. Step eight is my sponsor really helped me through that. And, you know, we we put the ninth step promises on the wall. And there's a reason why we do that. Because there's some of the best ones for some involving somebody in my recovery continues to be important. I'll talk a little bit about I'm just looking at my watch, I don't have a lot of time left. And so I want to talk a little bit what it's like now I got married in 2002. I met my wife, I guess I was eight years sober when we met and 12 years sober when we got married 14 years sober when we had our first kid 16 years sober when we had our second kid, man, what an amazing thing that was not just for me, but for her and for my kids, just to be able to be as present as I was able to be compared to the type of son that I was to my parents, because I was not a good son to my parents. And certainly part of my living amends to my parents, was to not only treat them as best I couldn't be the best son that I could, but to also try to be a good husband to try to be a good dad, what my 10 and 11 looks like today, because I do try to live in 10 and 11 as much as I can. You know, one of my favorite lines in the book comes from step 10. And everybody at Frisco group has probably heard me say this a bunch of times, but right after it talks about not resting on our laurels, it says that every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will in to all of our activities, how can I best serve thee Thy will not mine be done? These are thoughts which must go with us constantly, right? And so for me, that's gotta start in the morning. The first thing I do in the morning has got to be to turn my will in life over to the care of God, as I understand him, I usually ask how can I help someone that day right helped me to see that how can I serve someone and then inevitably, when I asked that my wife will tap me on the shoulder and asked me to help her with some kind of chore and I'm like, not that kind of service work. God I want to save someone's life so that people can recognize that, you know, maybe write a small paper about it. But usually it's Yes, dear, you know, and I helped my wife. And it's funny, when I cheerfully helped my wife do something, I tend to have a pretty good time. Don't tell her I said that. But, but that is the truth. You know, I get to have 10 as a walking around step, when I start to feel uncomfortable in my skin, I start to be confused, I start to sweat, I start to not know what to do next. And it's funny because I feel like I went a pretty good stretch, before I got married, right before I got married, where I felt like I kind of knew what to do. And I've never really got too confused. And then I got married, started to get confused all over again about exactly what it was I was supposed to be doing. And then we started to have kids and I started to get confused all over again. And man, I haven't hit these steps the entire way. You know, one of the I think one of the most valuable things that you can have an Alcoholics Anonymous is kind of this idea that I don't know, you know, and that's not a cop out, right? It's just that in the third step promises, it says that we gain interest in our fellows, and we lose interest in our little plans, you know. And so, for me to be able to recognize every day that my plans are the little plans. And I do think God doesn't mind me having a little plan. My little plan today was to go to work, do the best I could at work to come to this speaker meeting, do the best that I could at this speaker meeting. And that was my little plan. And obviously that was okay with God today, because that's what happened, you know, however, there are times when that little plan gets derailed for God's bigger plan. And what is the first thing that I do in my little plan gets derailed, right? It's not, Oh, my gosh, God's plan is unfolding before me.
Casey W 41:52
When my little plan goes badly, it's like, dammit, my little plan is screwing up when I'm spiritually fit. And I've done what you guys have asked me to do. That course corrects pretty quickly, you know, and really very difficult things can happen in my life. I talked to somebody before the meeting today had something very difficult happened in their life this year, and was at this meeting smiling and happy. You know, and we have that available to us in Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm when people say they're grateful to be alcoholic is like, that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I just thought that for the longest time. But the truth is, I'm grateful to be an alcoholic. Because when something like that happens, man, I've got tools to turn to I've got people to call, I've got things to do, right? Even if I don't know how to handle it, I do that particular situation, I know what to do next, right? And slowly, but surely I get to some back to some equilibrium, whatever that looks like some things, I'm pretty convinced that you don't get over. And that's okay. Some things you just end up living with. And that's okay, too. I'm leaving myself open to getting over those things. But that's going to be on God's time, whatever that looks like, you know, I may have to sit in some pain around some things for a long time. When I get home, I haven't haven't had to drive home much. But when I get out of my office, I kind of take inventory of what's happened with my family, right? What is the downstairs look like? Are there dishes done? Is dinner made? Or the kids homework done? Or people fighting? Or Is everything going all right? You know, and? And if everything's going All right, that's a pretty easy thing to snap into, you know, but when things are not going, all right, what is it that I do in that moment? You know, do I take a really long time to change my clothes, and maybe just close the door and lay in bed and stare at my phone and hope things get better? And sometimes, you know, I could think this is a great opportunity for me to be helpful. You know, sometimes I genuinely think that and that's what happens. But that's what happens when I retire at night. Right? And I answer those seven questions. I get to take inventory of things like that. My wife, this was maybe two weeks ago. We don't parent the same and that's okay. I think that's one of the things that makes us great as a partnership is that we don't parent the same and we have different opinions. And I think our kids probably need both of us because of that. And so I was doing something that I did not explain to my wife very well. And she found it objectionable. And she said, What are you doing, like kind of yelling at me? And I snapped back at her with something that was fairly unkind. It wasn't crazy, but it wasn't great. And I came back downstairs and we sat next to each other and watch TV. And I don't think either one of us were angry. But when I went to bed, I thought I really could have handled that better. You know. And so the next morning because my wife was in the living room, I'm about to fall asleep. The next morning I told my wife I said, you know yesterday when I was walking upstairs and she said I'm really sorry that I overreacted about that. And I said I'm really sorry that I over reacted, you know, and that is not the experience that people outside of Alcoholics Anonymous have, you know? Oh, I told Josh, when I start to get emotional, it just shuts down just makes us really awkward quiet across the room. So I'm glad I was able to provide that for you. But I've you know, I've watched families in all that's going on with COVID. And going over to their house, and just like, it's super uncomfortable sometimes at the neighbor's house, and they're getting mad about the dumbest stuff I've ever seen people get mad about, but you know, my wife, and I don't have to live like that, which is really cool. And it's because you guys have given, it's because you guys have given me tools. And I picked the right wife can't help you with that. I really can't. I only know about one and that one's mine. Today, my wife said to me, she said, I was Kimber what I was doing, I think I was going to noon meeting, Mo I said, Can I borrow your car, and I said, Sure. She said, I'm going to Walmart to pick up patio furniture. And I said, we can't possibly need more patio furniture. And she said, You can't possibly need more tennis shoes. And I said, enjoy your patio furniture.
Casey W 46:18
But that was it. You know, I mean, that was like the whole of our conversation about it. And I wasn't mad and she wasn't mad, you know. And so there's a pretty heavy rule 62 that lives in our house, which is cool, you know, she lives by it. And I live by it. And we have to have kind of this unified front. Because on the other side is a 17 year old and a 14 year old, you know, and neither one of us know how to do that. And we're figuring that out as we go. I will say something real quick about sponsorship, I have been fortunate to have a lot of really good sponsors, I've moved twice in sobriety. And so I've had to switch sponsors, I've had a couple of my sponsors die in sobriety, sober, which has been great. And I've had the opportunity to work steps with people, I really don't like the idea of calling myself a sponsor to someone because then it feels like there's like the student teacher relationship. And that is certainly not the relationship that I have with people that I work steps with. Because I feel like I get taught a lot more than they get taught many times, however, you do get this opportunity to have this fellowship grew up around you, you know exactly what it talks about in the book. And it's, it's something that is not to be missed, you know, I get to have these super intimate relationships with people at my home group that I get to work steps with that my sponsor that I've gotten to work steps with, I feel like I could kind of go to any city across the country, go to a meeting and just feel right at home right away. You know, and, and that's not something that everybody gets, you know, in our book, I think bill says that something to the effect of we're rocketed into the fourth dimension. He says that a couple of times, he describes our life after sobriety as utopia, you know, and, and, and I'm a big believer in that. I think there are seasons, and we certainly face a difficult times. But I think generally speaking, that if I'm doing what you guys have asked me to do, I'm going to be happy, joyous and free. So let me just tell you that for me, that happy, joyous and free started, when I said yes to that guy who is going to sponsor me the day that you're able to walk up to someone and say, I need a sponsor, will you be my sponsor, or helped me find a sponsor? If you're in this meeting tonight, and you don't have a sponsor? Come talk to me after the meeting. And I'll help you find a sponsor, because that's where the magic happens. If you can somehow just go to meetings and be happy, man, more power to you, please don't sponsor anybody. But if you're sitting, but if you're sitting in meetings, and you're thinking, Man, this AIA stuff doesn't work. It's because you haven't done the whole nine yards, you know, there's three sides to our triangle unity service and recovery, you know, in the unity partners meetings, and thank God for meetings, I love going to meetings, but I got to be involved in that service and recovery part of it to Allah, I'll close by saying that the idea when I was a teenager, that I would be asked to speak on a Friday night in front of a bunch of folks at a church probably talk about God some, that seemed like a very foreign concept to me, and I probably would not have wanted to do that. And I would have bet whatever you wanted to bet that that wouldn't have happened, you know, and, and in the back of the book, it says that the personality that a spiritual experience, spiritual awakening, is the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery, right, and that's my personality change. You know, there's so many things that are different about me today than before. You know, my, my wife gets to benefit from that my kids get to benefit from that. Society gets to benefit from that. You know, and
Casey W 50:03
the idea that I can kind of be a small part of this huge fellowship. And the idea that what Bill and Bob did together is the same thing that we're all getting to do right now. You know, there was a guy who came up to me after the meeting last week. And he said, Hey, man, I've really enjoyed what you said in the meeting, I saw you raise your hand, I need a sponsor, you know, and I was like, man, good on you. Because I didn't do that. For my first sponsor, right? You guys heard the story there. But if you're sitting in a meeting, and they ask people to be a sponsor, and you can be a sponsor, please raise your hand. And if you can't be a sponsor, it's kind of okay to raise your hand too, because maybe that one person the meeting really just wanted to talk to you. And if they do want to come and talk to you, chances are you could at least help them to find somebody, right? Because there's this real tenuous period and Alcoholics Anonymous, from the time we get into our first meeting, to the time we do our first 10th step, because step 10 promises the that the problem doesn't exist for us, right that we got placed into a position of neutrality. So everybody's got to survive that time from step one to step 10. Right. And you might be the one person in a meeting that that person identified with, you know, if you're going to a meeting, because you need a meeting, and you've been here for a while, I would tell you that what you need in the meeting is to show up there 10 minutes early. Listen, when people talk, stay 10 minutes late, go talk to that guy that got his desire, chip or gal if you're a lady, give that person your phone number and do your best to welcome them to Alcoholics Anonymous, right? Because I'm just as guilty, I come to my home group, and I see all my friends, and I'm excited, and I want to chat with him. But really, at the end of the day, the book doesn't really mention meetings. But I think it says two things about meetings in the book and the first 164 pages. But bill says we meet frequently so the newcomer can find the fellowship they seek right. And so that's the whole purpose of us being meetings. It's the whole purpose of us being here tonight. So if you're new, grab someone tonight and figure out how to make the miracle happen for you. If you're if you see somebody that you haven't seen before in this meeting, introduce yourself to them, chances are that person might be new, it's not easy to reach your handout when you're new. And once you've been here for a while, man, you can do that all you want. So I hope that hopefully you guys got something out of that tonight. It was really cool being here. I really appreciate it.
John M 52:36
Thank you so much, Mr. Casey W. I'm so happy that I can share your story and your inspiration with the listeners of sober speak thank you for the privilege of letting me do such and thank you for tri cities for letting me record this event. I sure do appreciate you guys as well. If you want more of the KC w goodness and who would not want more of KC w goodness, he appeared with me way back when it is episode number 20. A silver speak it is called KC w A provides guiding principles on how to achieve sobriety. And it's always more of a sit down more of an interview as opposed to Casey talking at the podium. But I know you will enjoy that as well if you go to our website, and then you just click on podcasts and there's a search feature in there just putting Casey's name see a SEY you can even put in the W if you want but all you need is a CA se y and you will find Casey's episode number 20. So this is kind of interesting now that I'm thinking of it. He was on episode number 20 and he's on episode number 200. So I guess it just makes sense that we may have Casey back for episode number 2000. Better get recording. Anyway. Now on to a little bit of listener feedback. Jim writes in and the subject line was 1 million downloads he says hello john. I am just one more bozo on the bus. But I want to congratulate congratulate you and Shana for 1 million downloads of sobers p 1 million he says no big exclamation point. He says that is mind blowing and vantastic and I think only possible because of our higher power is with you at the microphone. I believe that Mr. Jim is So much believe that, in fact, I had a friend of mine and I was talking to him today at the meeting, his name is Jeremy. And he was saying, hey, you've done some good. And I said, You know what, I I'm just taking this See, while God allows me to have it and, and he could have anybody in this seat, I'm nothing special. For whatever reason, I just happened to come up with a little bit of an idea here and, and I can be taken out of this seat very quickly. And if I disappear, AIA will go on the 12 steps who will go on, recovery will go on. I am just truly honored and privileged, like I say on the beginning of the episode to join in with you guys. But nonetheless, he says because our higher power is with you at the microphone, and with us as we listen, there is a phrase in in the opening that I listened to every week and my heart jumps every time I hear it. And that is when you say john sharing the amazing stories of recovery all around us. It's what it's about, right. There are so many and as I've had people write in before they say
John M 56:16
there is no I think it was Hillary who wrote in at one point and she said you could continue this for a while in fact you could do it five days a week. There are no lack of bozos on the bus and she and Jim are absolutely correct. He's anyway he says thank you again, Gianna, congratulations and God bless you Jim s and travelers rest South travelers rest is the name of the town, South Carolina and he says PS I was going to record this for you but there isn't a voice message option on the new website thank you for the heads up Mr. Jim. Miss the lovely Mrs. m got that back on the website and it is there now but thank you for the heads up on that. And I'm reading one email that I got regarding the the million episodes and I got so many messages on Facebook and Instagram and other emails as such and I just want to say thank you to all of you who wrote in I so much appreciate it. I see them all God bless you we're all one in spirit. Thank you so much. Cor g writes in and you know I have to be bastardizing that name somehow. Alright, so let me just spell it here k l a r t j e cart g writes in she says hi john This is quite g i live in Belgium well that explains the name is Clark g because I don't run across many Clark G's in the meetings here. I hope everything is going well in Belgium if you are from Belgium Are you called are are you labeled as Belgium ease sorry, Craig. I seriously doubt people from Belgium are called Belgium ease but that just came out of my little pea brain anyway she says and by the way, I think they do have one of those waffles I keep hearing about the waffles. And that Belgium chocolate right I hear a lot about the Belgium chocolate Oh, and also the I don't think I really ever drank these but I believe that Belgium beer is semi popular in the land. But I don't I very well could have drank a Belgian beer you know I drank whatever they put in front of me. But I don't specifically remember going through a like a phase where I had to have Belgium Belgium ease beer or anything like that. Anyway, on with the note from client g she says still very young in recovery and when I listened to your podcast, your interviews fill me with hope and joy will your email fills me with hope and joy Miss Clark Gee, she says I would love to be part of the secret Facebook group my FB account is such and such. Hopefully this works have a fantastic day, part G and just in case you are a first time listener or even if you've been listening for a while and you said how do I get into that Facebook group Facebook group again with a Facebook changed their ways on me. In other words, I used to have to have you send me your email that is associated with your Facebook account and then I would have to send you an invite to get you in there but I don't know why Facebook made it different now it's easier in some ways, but anyway Just go find sober speak secret group in the Facebook. And there's a little thing on there that says, you know, can I join or whatever and we will let you in the bar is very low. In fact, the bar is so low that all you have to do is fill out the little approve thing or whatever it is. We'd love to have you in there as well,
John M 1:00:23
we have just so you know, there's about, ah, 16 1700 ish folks in there. And we would love to have you in there as well. You do not have to be an alcoholic. You could just be interested in recovery. Or you could be a lurker for all I care. I don't know, if you want to come in there and spend your time in there. I'm more than happy. It may help some people in some way. Sarah writes in and the subject line was Claudia. Ah, she says hi, john. Wow, wow, wow, all big capital letters. And then like four or five exclamation points. She says I just listened to Claudia, share her amazing experience, strength and hope I am so inspired by her and was wondering when this was recorded and where thank you for your service. Sara, Oxford, United Kingdom. You know what I think Jim is the only person we've had right in from the United States owes here so far. I think I got some more coming up. But anyway, we have a very international type of feedback today. But Sara, as you know, I replied to your email I copied Miss Claudia on it. Hopefully you guys were able to get in touch. And I also wanted to let you know that we did record her while I recorded her twice actually, if anybody wants to go to our website, server speak, comm and click on the Search feature tab and just look for type in the word Claudia cL AUDIA. And you will see both episodes from her one is a sit down interview with me at mi casa. And then the other is a live recording in Frisco Texas at a meeting we were having there. I believe it was in the tri cities event but can't Yes, Yes, it was. Yes, it was a tri cities event. And so we recorded her there and we're able to publish it. But thanks for writing in Sarah. Pamela writes as she's a john I am newly sober, new, new new as of Sunday, I'm searching on Twitter for sober living. I am married 33 years and our son is 30. We live in Queens, New York. Happily our son lives close by with his girlfriend. All four of us are lucky to be working remotely. I don't know where to start with your podcast. I searched for a beginner episode with no luck. I might just try chronological. Oh yeah, I remember replying to Pamela and and what I told her was to go ahead and once again go to that website and and there was a search feature. I said just search the word step one, or words I guess step and then actually I think I always put the numerical one in there as opposed to spelling it out. But nonetheless, if you just search the word step, or step one, you should have all the step one. Episodes pop up for you. But anyway, she says my two brothers and I suffered through rough childhoods with an active violent alcoholic father in a codependent narcissist, narcissistic mother, the three of us siblings struggled to stay in touch with each other, not always successfully. I recently began seeing therapist is going well, I might try a zoom beginner a meeting. I have only attended AC o a therapy and meetings in my life. I just turned 65 years old. I hope I haven't said too much. Well, that's definitely not too much, Pamela. So I replied to Pamela and I asked her if she wanted me to put her in touch with another woman in the program. I actually got her touch with this making pee. And you know, I'll kind of hopefully Megan peak and kind of point her in the right direction. I could tell that your surgeon Pamela and I completely get it. Thanks for writing in. Ty writes on t y. He says hi john. Thank you for what you do. My name is Ty from Lincoln, Nebraska. And I'm coming up on five years God plays drew love it last episode with David G. At the exact time in my life that I needed it would like to contact him because I am my years of recovery. I've never identified with an individual as Sam Can you help me with this? Thanks Godspeed tie will tie as you know I got you in touch with David and I'm glad you two were able to hook up and David G is a special person
John M 1:05:14
Emily writes and finally okay so I'll put this at the end because I'm about to put a little a slogan song on the end of this episode and Emily has been listening to those I've done it for like I don't know 19 weeks in a row something like that and the only reason I know that is because I'm I have like so many in my head and I remember copy and paste in like the 19th one last time I did this it could be 20 I'm not sure but anyway it's a bit and Emily Emily you by the way she is one of these people she comes to our yoga class every Sunday. She is so special her and her bego dog show up there. He just loves the both of them so if you want to come and meet Emily I started to say face to face but zoom face to face whatever you want to call that come to our yoga meeting on Sunday afternoon it's it's absolutely fantastic group once again go to the server go to the website it click on sober resources and all of the information that you need there to join us is on the website. But anyway Emily as lovely as she is I can't even believe she did this the the the subject line is Robert lafevers A slogans so I had somebody who actually come all contacted me from the United Kingdom. And he and Robert. I think Robert actually did all the work or something like that. I don't know exactly how it works. But anyway, they made these slogans and they recorded them. And they gave them to me and permitted me to use them and I've been putting them on the back of all of the episodes. annalee writes and she says I really love the slogan snippets. Oh, by the way, I really love that word slugging snippet Emily, at the end of the recent episodes and had been meaning to tell you thank you for continuing to include them yesterday. I looked up Robert Lefevre and found an email address for him. I bet Emily was a good stalker when she was drinking but so she went out there she found his email and she says I wrote to him about hearing the slogans and that I was grateful for his sharing this gift. He seemed genuinely excited to hear from someone listening to something he had made. So I thought I'd pass this along. Yeah, that's great. He says I'm sure I'm not the only one who has positive feedback for the slogans. If anyone writes in and then she gives me his email address or I don't I don't think I'm going to put it out on the podcast. I'm not going to put it in the show notes because God only knows what will happen with that. But if you are interested in Roberts email address write me ma at john Jay Oh h n at sober speak.com and then she says he only he also has a few songs on Spotify. Spotify that are gorgeous. Oh, excuse me. I'm almost to the end here. I'm holding out he's she says Hope you have a great day my friend. Peace to you Emily piece back at you Emily and are really appreciate you going out of your way to do that. That That makes me feel good and I'm sure it made robertville good and Kemal if you're listening in the guy who jumped started all this thank you so much for your input and all this as well. All right, everybody. That wraps another week. We do this one week at a time in all likelihood I will be back next week. Until then keep coming back. It works if you work it Love you guys.
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