204-Jack W- High Road to a New Freedom
Jack W 00:00
When she talks from the podium, she'll tell you that alcoholism is like co poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning. It comes in through the doors, it comes in through the cracks in the windows, it comes in under the furniture and you can't smell it. You can't see it. But everybody in the house gets sick. It becomes everybody's normal. It's the only life we've ever known. we settle into the delusion that sucks us in and it is only by grace, and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that we get out of it.
John M 00:33
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 server speak of 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.
John M 01:39
Winners do this or boy does not chess. Or boy us what is morning. When does morning. That was the voice of Mr. JACK Wu that you heard at the beginning of this episode. And this is episode number 204 204. Can you believe it? That's Deus zero, quarter quatro or DOS, sin t arrows quatro or something like that. Nonetheless, we are glad you are here and you will be hearing so much more from Mr. JACK Wu in just a moment. But first things first. This here episode is brought to you by Stephen and Randy and Misha m bill and Laura and Jamie and Tanya m Marco. So you ask yourself, are you asking me what John M What exactly did Stephen and Randy and Misha and Bill and Laura and Jamie and Tanya and Marcos do to get this recognition on the front part of this episode number 204 when they went to our little website, so we're speak comm that clicked on the little yeller donate tab and they made a contribution. So thank you so much, Steven. And Randy, and Misha and Bill and Laura and Jamie and Tanya and Marcos for helping us keep the virtual lights on this episode is coming right out to humans in those of you who are new listeners hear me say humans every once in a while, haven't talked about it in a bit and that is kind of a an homage if you will a a tip of the hat to my father who lives in Tennessee and has one of those he is a self proclaimed hillbilly. And they use words just like that all the time humans they say How are humans doing? And so that is what I am referencing when you hear me say that word.
John M 03:59
I john am just another bozo on the bus like all of us will be the chair person 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 let's get started. Remember now, no matter who you are, what your past looks like. You are welcome here. It is an open table and we are glad that you have found us so so you say to yourself, John M are you on any new social media lately? Well, let me fill you in. We are on Pinterest is at silver speak all one word and the lovely Miss kasandra who does all of our Instagram posts and helps out so much with the Facebook group and everything else. She actually got me set up on there and I am most grateful that she has done such so you if you're into the Pinterest thing, and you want to follow us over there on Pinterest once again as at silver speak all one word. We're just kind of now getting cranked up with a few posts, but we would love to have you follow us, that'd be absolutely fantastic. So I was doing a little morning meditation earlier this week. And one of the emails that I get on a consistent basis, one of the meditation emails is from transitions daily, which my friend buddy see runs over there. And for whatever reason, this particular quote from the big book, caught my eye while reading through it, and I just wanted to share this with you all somebody else out there may need to hear as well, like I did the other morning. This is a quote from page 89 of the book, The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, the fourth edition and the chapter working with others says, life will take on new meaning to watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness banish, to see at fellowship grow up about you to have a host of friends, this is an experience, you must not miss. This has come true in my life. Let me go ahead and read that again. Life will take on a new meaning to watch people recover, to see them help others to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you to have a host of friends. This is an experience you must not miss once again, that's from page 89 of the big book. And it struck me and hopefully that can help somebody else out there as well. Today maybe was just what you need to hear as it was for me the other morning. Now on to Mr. JACK Debbie from Carbondale, California. JACK got sober for 13 years the first time he went back out for 10 years and now he has been sober for seven years. Needless to say it has been quite a journey for jack from Carbondale. We address many things this is just the tip of the iceberg but we address freedom when he referred what he had his kind of definition of it and some conversation around that. We talked about family life in a cluding his 40 years of marriage, Jack's amends to his parents, jack compares alcoholism to something like carbon monoxide poisoning and he will explain that and we also discuss Abigail's favorite color. And what John M you say does that have to do with recovery and alcoholism? Will you We'll just have to listen on in and find out all right everybody. Enjoy this one and we will have plenty Oh listener feedback at the end of jack Debbie's episode enjoy. Okay everybody so today we are sitting here with Mr. JACK W. And jack w yet well I'm just going to go ahead and ask you to introduce yourself. Give your sobriety date if you wish, sir and tell people where you live in this great country of ours.
Jack W 08:55
Hi everybody. I'm jack Wu. I am in Carbondale, Colorado. I have been sober since January 1 2004. By the grace of God and the 36 spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and I am very grateful for that.
John M 09:11
January 1, so that is you. You're a New Year's baby huh?
Jack W 09:18
I am. Everybody seems to think that it was a great party but I was in detox on the 31st
John M 09:28
you didn't go out with a bag or anything. Now was just in flames. So you said you lived in you live in Carbondale and where is Carbondale in Colorado? I asked you this before the before we started I just wanted to hear you say this again.
Jack W 09:49
Carbondale is about four and a half million dollars south of Aspen. It's where everybody that can't afford to live in Aspen lips. I grew up in Aspen, Colorado.
John M 10:00
It's four and a half million dollars South Dakota advancement. Yes. That's hilarious. Are you a skier?
Jack W 10:10
I am. skied most of my life. I haven't skied in the last few years because I'm getting old and my joints are. I'm having those issues.
John M 10:20
Got you. Alright, so, Tim, comes to us via Mr. Tim H. Who has been on. In fact, the title of Tim H's episode was, let me think about this. And he was like, do the stitches and leave the pattern to God, you may have heard him say that before. And I believe in I believe, Tim, is your grand sponsor is Tim's a great guy. Yeah, Yeah, he is. He's super high. So let's go ahead and get started with Mr. JACK w here. So, uh, so jack jabya. I know that you've been in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous a little bit. Can you talk to us a little bit about that? I think you started young and kind of walk me through your background.
Jack W 11:21
So I was. I've been in Alcoholics Anonymous since January 1 2004. I've been around Alcoholics Anonymous, most of my life. I was taken to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting by a really astute school counselor when I was 13 or 14 years old.
John M 11:40
Well, no, whoa, whoa, hold on. Let's stop there. So a student counselor, actually took you to your first meeting that is this, like in high school?
Jack W 11:53
Yeah, I started my freshman year in high school when I was 13. In the beginning of the year, I was, as usual when trouble with air in every area of my life, cops, school, parents, girls, friends. And they could see something I couldn't they could see alcohol and jack are the common denominator. And she took me she was very, really smart. She took me to an AA meeting and Aspen in the late 70s. And it was quite an experience.
John M 12:27
Wow. So and now that must be so I'm just trying to think of how many people actually ended up in a because their, their their counselor from public school? Or was it a public school? took them to an AA meeting when they were 13 years old. And I would imagine that this list is very short. That's really cool. I
Jack W 12:53
didn't end up in Alcoholics Anonymous at that point. All but but what I saw,
John M 12:59
but but she took you to your first Yeah,
Jack W 13:01
what I said, what I found out is there's a thing called Alcoholics Anonymous and burning my life to the ground and od ng and all those things. By the time I was 18. At least I knew there was help. And I ended up back in Alcoholics Anonymous at that point.
John M 13:18
Have you talked to that lady since you got sober? And I can't I can't remember her name. Wow. Okay, so what do you remember about that meeting anything,
Jack W 13:31
there was a was the late 70s and Aspen, which is a small town, it's 3500. People want to lift your clothes. And I walked into the community center and there was a card table with six or eight people with gray hair. Like mine sitting around that table, and I saw all the differences as we do. But I did understand why they were there and that there is a thing called alcoholism and a place called Alcoholics Anonymous, which became very important to me later in life.
John M 14:04
Okay, so you went to your first meeting, and then what happened from there.
Jack W 14:09
I saw that counselor for a while because we had made a deal that I could drink beer only on the weekends if I'd stopped drinking the jack daniels and I saw her for a lengthy period of time after that about two weeks and on the second week, they ran out of beer and there was still jack daniels that drank the jack daniels and I was too embarrassed to go back and see her.
John M 14:34
She made a deal with a 13 year old. By the way, you can tell these are different. Right? She made her do with a 13 year old that you could drink beer on the weekends. Just stay away from the hard stuff. And obviously that didn't play out very well. But hey, I guess you take what you can get with a 13 year old right. Alright, so take me from there. What
Jack W 15:01
By the time I was 15, or 16, I was in trouble with I knew every cop and asked him by name. And I was in trouble in every area of my life and I could not not drink. And I ended up, I used to say that my parents kicked me out of the house. But that's not the truth through the steps in Alcoholics Anonymous, I have a different perception of that. And what they did was they said, I could live there as long as I followed some simple rules. And those rules were impossible for a guy rolling with spiritual malady like I was they expected me to tell him where I was going to be, do what I said I was going to do and contribute around the house. And I couldn't get those things done. So I left. And as we all do, I moved in with my drug dealer, couldn't pay rent moved out, and I ended up homeless in Aspen when I was 18. And living in a park in a jungle gym.
John M 15:55
People know you in that part? I mean, do they recognize who you are?
Jack W 15:59
It's a small town. And like, I come from a good family. And my my, both my parents were respected community members and business people when there were trucks all around town with my dad's business name on it, the same name I have. So yeah, people knew me. And
John M 16:21
I better broke their heart. It is a heartbreaking illness. Do you have brothers or sisters? Wow. Were any of them I you know, what? Were you the black sheep? Or do they have other
Jack W 16:45
channels, definitely the black sheep at the time. Some of my sisters went through their own struggles afterwards. But at that point time it was as it becomes all about me and trying to keep me on the straight and narrow, and all of those things that go along with alcoholism. When I call my mother, when I after I had od 18 I call my mother and as all tough guys do. And I asked her if she would meet with me because I thought I had a problem. And we met at my place. And we sat on the park bench and unenclosed three set three sizes too small, but they weren't mine. Coming off a three week bender. And I told her I I think I'm an alcoholic, and I need to get help. And she said, No, you can't be. And that's because there's a stigma with this thing that it's about being good and bad. And I'm here to tell you it's not. It's about being sick and well and well is available. But we don't know that when we're walking in the door. We think it's a moral issue. Good and bad issue. But it's not it's an illness and there's help available.
John M 17:57
So you told me you thought you needed some help. Did does that when a came into the pictures
Jack W 18:03
and again sang, she made it possible for me to go to get some help. And I was checked into a facility and spent 28 days there and came out and I don't know if I did anything right in that facility. Except for I'd heard somebody say that if you go to an AA meeting the day you get out your chances of staying sober, get a skyrocket, and there weren't meetings every day morning, noon and night then like there is now and I happen to at a coincidence. Show up in Aspen. There was a meeting that night I got back. And I went to that meeting and started my journey in Alcoholics Anonymous. And I wish I could tell you, good. So
John M 18:52
there was this second meeting a little bit more. Were you open a little bit more. I
Jack W 18:59
don't know if I was open that way. And I walked in and there was a bunch of gray hairs still at the table. I'm 18 years old and ask them and they read from the big book and the one around the room. There was probably 20 people in the meeting at this point, went around, everybody shared something out of a big book and it got to me and I started sharing about cocaine and Quaaludes and everything to separate myself from them. And the magic is that what they said to me was to keep coming back as we do, and I did that. But I was 18 years old sitting in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, still trying to be the center of attention.
John M 19:42
You know, I haven't thought about toilets in quite a while but if I ever went back out and they they started making those things again. I'm just getting alright so but I digress. All right. So you're sitting there with the old folks, you're trying to separate yourself best you can. Was there anything that cracked the code for you? Is there something that kind of was there a day or time where you had a turning point? How long do you stay sober?
Jack W 20:15
There was an old timer in that group. And he came up to me at that first meeting and said to me, hey, jack, we're going to the prison on Friday night to take a meeting. And do you want to come? I said, No, Bruce, I'm really busy on Friday night. Because I, if you're rolling around spiritual malady, like I was, and you're sitting at home with no solution, it's an activity not to drink. And that's what I was doing on Friday nights. And he did this for six weeks, you'll find in Alcoholics Anonymous, that the old timers can't hear because he would come in Week after week and say, jack, we're going to prison on Friday night to take a meeting. Do you want to come? And finally I said yes, just to shut him up. And, and I loaded up in that car, and we went over that prison on on Friday night, and there was a minivan full of a members smiling and laughing and I was terrified. And we got to the prison, and we went through the gate and past the guard towers and walking down by the cellblock and from the third floor of the cellblock comes something somebody else, hey, Wheeler, and I almost fainted. And the old time Bruce, who was with me, who invited me, turns around looks at me and says you're in the right place. And that's been my experience in Alcoholics Anonymous, if I'm available, and I say yes to things, I end up in places. I never wanted to go on and are exactly where I need to be. And he was the one that got me through the steps and and it was a wonderful experience. Yeah, that's very nice.
John M 21:50
We've got you through the steps, right? Talk about going through that steps, the first two steps on three steps
Jack W 21:55
the first time I did exactly what he said, because I didn't want to drink again. And, and I noticed that the people that were hanging around with him, and he and he and his wife were seem to be really free and happy, and always being useful. And he took me through the steps. And I don't know if it was years, six years, seven, eight, whatever it was, I was sober and sponsoring guys and going and regular meetings regularly. And I was driving down the hill to go to my own group and and there was a hatch coming off the river and I'm an avid fly fisherman and I decided that I was going to go fishing instead of going in my own group. And then you know the story, you know what happened when I went fishing instead of going on my own group? Nothing. And I went fishing. And I don't know that I ever went back to my home group. And the following week or two weeks later, I was going to Thursday night meeting and I decided to go fishing again. And you know what happened? I the insidious nature of alcoholism is I can't see it on me. When the veils dropping down around my eyes, I can't see it. At 13 years, if you would have asked me the day before, if I was ever going to drink again. From that year, when I stopped going to meetings to 13 years I've unplugged from Alcoholics Anonymous. And if you would ask me if I was ever going to drink again, I would have said no one I would have passed away detector test. And the next day I was drunk. And I'd like to I'd like to tell you that that with all I knew the big book steps and my experience in a day that I shook it off and came running back. But I am powerless over this thing. And I was out for 10 years. And it was a it was a tough run.
John M 23:43
So I'm sure people have asked you many times. And they probably asked you right when you're coming back, you know, can you put a finger on what it was that where you were kind of going along doing okay, and then you went back out? Any any thoughts on that?
Jack W 24:06
I'd say it's 2020. I, I became self reliant. I became self directed. I became self guided. And I thought I could keep myself sober. And if you're running around with spirituality like me, you cannot. And I get along with myself and eventually I'm going to drink again, no matter how much I know or understand technically about the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, you can't feed it to yourself. And that's why we go to regular meetings regularly.
John M 24:42
And when you say and I'm trying to put some meat on the bone here when you say you became self reliant, self centered, during that time right before you went back out, are you able to describe a little bit about what that looked like in your analogy manifested itself,
Jack W 25:04
you know, I, I stopped going to meetings. I still eventually, within six months, I wasn't talking to my sponsor, I wasn't answering the phone for the guys I sponsored the things that things, the external stuff in my life became more important. And this is an internal condition, and we can't treat it with external stuff, even though we try and try and try. And I think the delusion that I don't. The reality of delusion, as it talks about in our text is it's a lie that I tell myself that I believe that's the insanity that it talks about step two, and I can't fix that, that requires a power greater than myself. And the lie just that delusion gets thicker and thicker, until we think one more time that that great obsession that that I can drink, like a normal person comes back and I don't even see a comeback.
John M 26:04
So I was gonna ask about that. Did you see it coming back? Was it just all of the sudden like, and I'm real interested in this are a couple of reasons. Number one, because I've I have long term sobriety myself, right? And, and I know that there are a lot of people listening, who kind of play around with the program, so to speak, right? They, they, they're, they're on the edges, they're not fully answered a speak. And I'm curious as if Did you see Did you know during that time leading up to going back out that were you having ideations if you will of drinking? Or did you just kind of slip up on the whiskey in the mouth?
Jack W 26:48
So looking back, I can see but in walking through it, I couldn't see. The The reality is, is that what I know today is that that that spiritual malady, that restlessness, irritable variability and discontented pneus, that comes before we take that drink, that happens stone cold, sober, and when that happens, stone cold, sober, without connection to a power greater than myself, without the god reliance that comes from working the steps. I don't see it. I'm just trying to fix it with the external stuff. I'm self directed. And, you know, my ideas are the only Arsenal I have to combat something that that won't work. It's it's, you know, my sponsor says all the time, it's like bringing a knife to a gunfight. You know, it's it's not going to go well for me, but I can't see that. And, you know, and I think that's the powerful nature of the spiritual malady Is that it? It gets me stone cold, sober. You know, the phenomenon of craving only kicks in when I put alcohol in my body, that mental insanity that instead of obsession that gets on my eyeball, like, paste it on my eyeball that I can't get around. That happens when I'm stone cold, sober. And the cool thing about Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps is they treat the silver condition with a spiritual solution. And it's not I can't, I can't operate today and yesterday spiritual awakening, just like I couldn't operate when I was out there on yesterday's chrome oil, I need this good stuff every day.
John M 28:29
I've never had that way. So Alright, so you are sober for an extended period of time. And then you go back out and you're out there for what 10 years is that we said after that? So I, you know, give me give me a thumbnail sketch of that 10 years, whatever you want to say about that period of time I
Jack W 28:52
hit a bottom. I was homeless, in Aspen, odd in the park. totally out of control, destitute and despair. Second time, if you would have seen my life, my problems, you would have wanted them. I was flying around on private planes. I had businesses in Aspen Jackson Hole in Kona. And I couldn't outspend my income. And, and I think that was the method I use to try and sue the internal condition was just to pack the external stuff on it. And, you know, but I know that the spiritual malady doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter who you are, where you are, if you've got it, you've got it. The consequences are the same, that the despair and terminal turmoil are the same. And the I'm the guy flying around on private planes puking in the puke bag, when I was sober enough to get the puke bag out. And, man it was, it was an a miserable existence. And you know, I I All the information on the guy sitting in the bar at a five star resort and Kona, being on the bar for Crown Royal. And I could recite the big book to you, I could tell you exactly what it says about step one, I could tell you exactly what it says about how to write a four step I could sit at the bar drunk and tell you exactly technically how to do it. And this is not a technical solution. It is a spiritual solution. And we can't feed it to ourselves, I need I need members of Alcoholics Anonymous in my life and you my sponsor in my life, I need those road dogs on a roll with all the time in my life regularly. And because all starve to death.
John M 30:41
fluey do a little break here and we'll get back to your wolvie we will be continuing our conversation with jack Wu in just a moment. Just a reminder, you are listening to sober speak, you can find us on the worldwide web at www dot sober speak calm. You can also find the donate button on our website you can use if and only if the spirit moves you to do such. Please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you the listener. So we're speaking to the 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 back to Mr. JACK Debbie II. So you are in this time, to where you could be sitting at bars. And you're able to recite the book during this time. Were you? Were you still in any communication with the folks in Alcoholics Anonymous? They were they reaching out to you? Are you reaching out to them? Did you see people when you were in these bars he talked to me about so
Jack W 31:51
I'd see people from a because it's a small town. And then we'd run into each other and they'd asked me how I'm doing. And I'd say fine, I'm good. You know that the reality is I was not. But I didn't. I didn't stay in contact with anybody. I wasn't calling people I wasn't trying to get back, I was trying to do it myself self directed and embarrassed, humiliated in despair. My life's coming apart at the seams looks good on the outside. But I'm dying on the inside. And we're not, we're not the ones that reach out. We're just trying to fix it. That's the story coming in Alcoholics Anonymous is we try everything we can to fix it. And the great thing is, is if you come in and just work just the right moment, you understand that you can't fix it. That's the entry point to Alcoholics Anonymous, I can't fix it. And then fixing it just beats me down and trying to fix it just beats me down further and further.
John M 32:56
So at some point, this 10 year run kind of comes to a head it looks like talk to me about the point
Jack W 33:04
of the end. Like in bill store, he tells you how many times he's done and then he drinks for six more years or five more years or whatever. The starting point of the end for me was my I got a phone call from my mother. And she said a jacker dad's dying of kidney failure and needs a new kidney. Can you go get tested? And my parents didn't know I was drinking. They still thought I was sober. I hit it. That's why I had businesses all over the world is so I could leave town. And and I said
John M 33:37
yes. So you hit it for 10 years.
Jack W 33:40
I fly out of town for two weeks. I drink for two weeks and it Percocet at home to get through to the next drink. Because my wife couldn't smell it on my breath. And my mom called me and she said you dad's dying can you get tested to see if you're matched donate a kidney to him. And my my parents were my neighbors. I lived on a family ranch and raised my kids there spent 30 years living there. But anyway, my my mom called me and said he's dying. Can you get tested? I said yes, I'll get tested. And and the reality is, is that I thought that would involve a blood test, which is evidence if you're a guy like me. And so I came up with a story that I'd be sober for seven days to go get tested. And I can tell you that I would wake up in the morning and say this is the start of the seven days my dad's dying I need to do this and I would go maybe four hours and change my mind and up drunk. And I To this day, I've never made it seven days and I've never been tested. My dad's rolling around my brother in law's kidney. In here, people saying the rooms all the time that they're they're gonna stay sober. They're married. Now they're having a kid now they're doing this they're doing that and that's enough reason to stay sober. It is But it won't work. The only thing that I've ever seen that works for a guy like me is the spiritual awakening that happens in Alcoholics Anonymous and going out and carrying this message message to others. And I've never been tested and had to make amends to my parents for that. And I'd like to tell you a quick study. And it was the first time I went through the steps when I came back in but that's not the case, I had gone through the steps and number of times I was sitting in my home group and the conversation in the home group, the topic was the eighth step, and was the first time I'd ever heard that we made, we became willing, we made a list of all the people, persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. I realized I had are my parents and I started crying in my home group when I realized that I'm connected and aware and active member of Alcoholics Anonymous at the time, and next day, I got in my truck, and I drove up to the ranch, knowing that I owed my parents and amends and there were some unfinished spiritual business drove up and I get out of my truck, and my dad's cowboy, contractor, tough guy. And, and I get out of the truck, and I'm crying. And he's, and I walk up to him, and he says, What's wrong? And I said to him, I said, I have an amends I need to make and he said, Oh, no, you don't have to do that. I said, No, I need to it's I did this. And I said that when you were dying, I needed to get tested. And I never did. I don't know how to make that. Right. But I will. And my dad said to me, he said, he said, I said to him, you told me whatever I need to do. He said, Well, you need to keep doing what you're doing, because I may need another one. And I went to I went to my mother and I said the same thing. I said, No, I don't know how to make it right to your mom's a lot smarter than my dad and I and she said to me, she said, jack, what I want you to do is keep helping the young man your health and hard stuff. Because she knows that's the magic of Alcoholics Anonymous is those carrying the message to someone else? And in that is sustained.
John M 37:10
So, your dad, you said, just to kind of put a button on that story or button up that story? He you said he got a kidney from your brother in law and it sounds like he's still doing okay. Did it ever come around? Or he needed that other kidney? No, he's actually sitting down in the office right here. Drawing he's an artist. Really? He's good? Yeah. Okay. Are you any, any loves Alcoholics Anonymous? Are you guys in business together?
Jack W 37:46
No, he's, he just, we're just tight. He lives in an apartment and built an apartment on my house for him and my mom when we sold the ranch, and now they live there and travel and so we're still tight. Very nice.
John M 38:00
Okay, so let's go a little bit more of your journey in sobriety. if you will. Talk to me about some, I guess some highlights you've had in there, you want to talk about sponsorship, some additional amends what you've experienced in Alcoholics Anonymous. You experience by the way, we talked a little bit before, before we started, and I know you mentioned the word freedom. And I don't know if there's anything around that particular subject you want to talk about with that? Do you want to talk about freedom?
Jack W 38:41
Yes, there's a line in the foreword to the second edition that says yet is our great hope that all those who have yet found no answer. Megan begin to find one in the pages of this book and will presently join us on a higher road to a new freedom. And what I know is that the first time I was around Alcoholics Anonymous, I was good with relief. And relief is a bad deal for a guy self centered as I am. It's all about me and how I feel. And what Alcoholics Anonymous offers us if we follow the directions in the text with another man that follows the direction and the text is freedom. I'd be absolutely free. And today I'm a free man and Alcoholics Anonymous and I didn't know that was possible. I'm not interested in relief. You know, I'm interested in being free. And that is the promise of the 12 steps is we will be usefully whole and free. Says in a couple other spots in our text that freedom is is what we're shooting for years and it has been my experience that a guy like me that could not not drink. No matter how hard I tried. I'm absolutely free of that. It is been a long time. And I went to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous because I needed a meeting, I go today because it's my spiritual responsibility to carry this message. And I also love hanging out with us. The and you know, that that's been my my granddaughter is. I think the third step is the entire solution to alcoholism. And in the and the reality is, is that I can't affect that in my own life. And I do we do things like this, and we go to conferences and we hang out together and we get charged up. You know, but I go to a conference, it's Friday through Sunday, and I come out of there and I'm on fire with this thing. And by Wednesday, you know, I'm trying to figure out how to get more money. And my granddaughter said to me, I said to her one day, so what's your favorite color? Abigail? She said, Grandpa, my favorite color is orange. And, and I said, Okay, what's your second favorite color? Abigail? Said Grandpa, my second favorite color is orange. And it's like, why would you have a second favorite color if orange is available. And that's what it's like your freedom is available. And the work we do with other people on the program and carrying this message keeps us on task with freedom. Orange is my favorite color. God is my favorite color. And I don't need a second favorite color. And if I can come out with that clarity. It's It's unbelievable. And today, Abigail's seven, she'll be eight next week. And I asked her recently said Abigail, which favorite color? She said grandpa my favorite colors one. So what's your second favorite color? Grandpa, my second favorite colors, chocolate. It's the world and clamors already getting? What the program of Alcoholics Anonymous does is it keeps us on orange keeps us on freedom. It keeps us on God. It keeps us on service. And I need that in my life every day because I'm the guy that will go back to chocolate. You know, I like chocolate.
John M 42:09
I just say that. Yeah, reminds me that, you know, our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. And does Abigail know that you use her as a metaphor for Alcoholics Anonymous?
Jack W 42:28
I think she does. I know what parents do. My daughter doesn't. And my daughter's a good member of Al anon and you know they we speak the same language even even Abigail speaks the same language she is she understands my house is shot through with spiritual principles as the greatest thing ever.
John M 42:47
So I've heard you talk about your, your parents, and then your daughter and your granddaughter. And I can see you have a wedding ring on so it seems to me like a family has come up around you or been through you with a lot of these experiences. Talk to me about your family.
Jack W 43:11
So I met my wife when she would I was skiing with my sister up at Snowmass when I was I don't know if I was 15 or 16. And this is how I roll and there was a girl that skied under lift and I said to my sister, I'm gonna marry her. My sister said Who is she? So not sure yet, but I've seen her around school. And, and she thought I was crazy. And I can tell you one of my greatest character defects that become one of my greatest assets in Alcoholics Anonymous is my stalking skills. stalker I the sponsor I have today because I saw him wanted something and started following him around. And it's definitely been together for 40 years. She's we don't sponsor each other. She's got a program and a sponsor. I've got a program and a sponsor, and there's some real magic than meets in the middle. at our house, we we live in an A in our own house and it's wonderful. There's always something going on at our house. And when you walk in, you know that God is there. And that's in spite of us not because of us. It's because of Al anon. And, Mike my daughter's been in Al anon for a very long time. My son seems to be normal, but he grew up going to meetings with me and those. If you I asked him one time we were heading down from an archery shoot to go to a buddy of mines. Funeral he died silver 25 years sober with liver failure, finally caught up with him. And I'll roll down the hill and I said to jack, I said, See, do you believe in God? He said, he said, Yeah, Dad, I do. He said, I have no idea what it is but from going Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with the I know I don't have to know. And so a my son of God and I try I would have loved to have said that that's because of me. But it's not. It's because of a collective conscious about a of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al anon permeate our lives in spite of us.
John M 45:10
I know I'm going back to your wife there, and I'm thinking about these 40 years and about you going in and out. And I know you're not here to tell her story. That must have been quite a ride with you. This is what I'm assuming he deserves a
Jack W 45:30
medal. I grace in all of it, so does she in which when she talks from the podium, she'll tell you that alcoholism is like co poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning. It comes in through the doors, it comes in through the cracks in the windows, it comes in under the furniture and you can't smell it, you can't see it. But everybody in the house gets sick. And it becomes everybody's normal. It's the only life we've ever known. And we settle into the delusion that sucks us in. And it is only by grace, and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that we get out of it. And our family has been experienced that grace, and we spent our lives are the primary purpose in our lives is to carry that message to others who are in the middle of it, and have no idea why they're dying, as well
John M 46:27
put, I in fact, I think that's a good place to start to wrap it up. Is there anything that you want to say to the folks who are listening out there sharing your experience strength and hope that you hadn't gotten off your chest thus far, jack,
Jack W 46:42
I want to say that that that don't settle for relief. It's demand freedom, do the work you're in with a man that's done the work or a woman that's done the work. And this is what it will look like in your life. I was my wife and I had a houseboat on like pal for a number of years, and we do a silver trip down there every year with our sponsor and their wives or husbands and, and all the road dogs and friends and their kids. And we spent four or five days on the houseboat at Lake Powell. And we'd get up in the morning and we do morning meditation together and we can meetings during the day. And then we'd end every night with a bonfire and gratitude meeting. And about day four and walking around the houseboat and I'm cleaning up to getting ready to pull off and go back. And, and I hear the kids up on the roof of the house boat. And the kids. They're young, you know, the variety of ages from from six to 10 years old, probably. And they're up on the house and top roof of the house boat, slide down the side and I hear them up there. And this is what they're saying they're going, Okay, you're the sponsor. You're the new guy. You're the chairperson, you're the Al anon Ida. And they're up. The kids are up on the roof of the houseboat playing Alcoholics Anonymous. And I think if we're doing this thing, right, and the kids are playing it, we're right. We're less of those.
John M 48:02
That's fantastic. All right, I'm gonna, I'm gonna read from page 164, the vigor to closes out here 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 in the fellowship of the Spirit. And you will surely meet some of us like me and jack, Debbie. As you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you, and keep you Until then, once again, jack, thank you so much for joining me today. I sure do appreciate it. Thank you, john. It was fun. Once again, Mr. JACK Wu, thank you so much for spending time with me. I sure do appreciate you. And I know the listeners will as well. If you have any comments about jack or any of the other speakers, or you just want to reach out and say hi to me, I'm at john Jao a Gen as sober, speak calm, feel more than free to reach out and I can pass those messages along to the appropriate parties. In other words, the guests that appear on this podcast if you want to get something to them, and what else do I have here? I think that's about it. Let's get on to a little bit. Oh, I do want to tell you, I did mention this on the front end. But if you are not part of the super secret Facebook group, go to your Facebook application. type in the search bar. sober Well, I think it's secret. Well gosh, what do you type secret sober speak secret group, I believe is what it is because there's both the public page and then a secret page. It's a long story but if you want to be invited to the secret Facebook group, just go ahead and click in fill in the information and we will let you into the group. We would absolutely love to have you in there. I'd say there's, I don't know, 16 1700 other people's have just like minded folks just like you. And there's all kinds of information in there that people are sharing all day long. They ask questions, how do I find a sponsor? How do I do this? How do I do that? They just share their experience, strength and hope they celebrate birthdays, they celebrate anniversaries is that all celebrate all kinds of things. And we would love to have you along for the ride as well. Now on to that listener feedback. Dave writes it. Oh, in fact, at the beginning of this episode, I said that we would have plenty Oh, listener feedback. At the end of Jack's episode, it is much more apropos. In this case, because Dave writes in and he says, sober greetings from Dublin. And that little plenty Oh, listener feedback on the beginning of these episodes, or what I do is kind of a shout out to our Irish I bad, very bad, our Irish friends, our Irish friends, that was tough for me for whatever reason. In fact, Dave, let me say, a top of the mornin to ya. Which was the other one, I hear them say sometimes a man made the rose, may the road rise up to meet Yeah. Is that what they say? I think so Dave, I could be wrong. And then I would hit the Top of the morning to kind of figure out what that means. But May the road rise up to meetcha. Sounds cool. I have absolutely no idea. What? Why would somebody want the road rise up to meet them? But I'm sure there is history behind that. And if I just looked it up, I could probably figure it out. But anyway, Dave says, Hi, john. I love your show and your sense of humor. really gets me laughing to my truck. Well, he, he may think now that he should not have said that. Thank you. That's so good to hear. Oh, and it's kind of cool to know they have trucks in Dublin in Ireland. I guess they have trucks everywhere. But I can't think of it more of as a United States. So he's especially Texas. Down here. It's like every other car is a truck or truck, or every other
John M 52:27
automobile or every other vehicle I guess you could say is a truck but you get what he says I'm saying. Anyway, Dave says I'm a recovering our non alcoholic and sex a Holic in Ireland. And I look forward to your podcasts every Friday afternoon where you'll be listening to me talking about you this time day. He says I spend my day listening to Speaker tapes. And thanks to one of Bob DS tapes I came across I found out what was happening with me and that I needed to get better the 12 steps. My journey started in Al anon after growing up with two alcoholic parents. Neither found Recovery One unfortunately, being bedridden for 21 years with wet brain and finally passing. Excuse me, I'm sorry to hear that day. That is sad. Finally passing in June of 2020. Also, I had a string of abusive relationships, which led me to a mental breakdown. I have worked a solid program and you can always tell when somebody is from overseas or Canada because they put an E on the end a program for what it's worth. Anyway. And Alan on going through the steps with BBA twice Oh, BBA. That is let me think about it here. Oh, big book awakening. For those of you who are not familiar with that program, you can probably just look it up. I think it's I think the group is out of San Diego and they have a great way of going through the big book. It's called BBA big book awakening. Anyway, he says he went through that twice. And I was the very definition of a drowning man that had reached the turning point of either suicide or recovery. I had lost everything, money, family wife, my daughter, my life had gone insane and I became a mere onlooker. I couldn't stop the chaos. The hardest turning point in recovery was to realize I myself was an addict. The victim became the perpetrator. Denial is so powerful three exclamation points. I like how you put that the victim became the perpetrator. Denial is so powerful. I have committed to a since January this year today I can say I'm a grateful alcoholic. Words that made no sense to me in the past. I get that Dave. My life is balancing out I can do the Monday morning As the normies do, although the disconnect is still there, I have changed people, places and things I meet my sponsor in his kitchen every Thursday night, and I'm so blessed to be able to get a second chance at life. I'm learning how to live sponsor, I'm learning how to live sober has as since the age of 12. I needed I needed alcohol to function with people, as I was so introverted and full of shame. A sponsorship and the 12 steps are now doing for me what alcohol did slowly I will admit, my essay program has not been solid but will come with will come with time. Easy does it? importantly, today I'm sober as the alcoholic obsession began to grab a grip and I wasn't able to stay sober without a program. Anyway, john, I love what you do and how you do it. You make me laugh out loud in my truck or walking my dog. Oh, it helped keep me sober one day at a time. God bless from Dublin and blessings to anyone listening to your podcast who is in pain. It does get better love Dave love back. atcha Dave and and thanks for the word of encouragement for those who are listening in. Brad writes in and the subject line was Brad r makes 180 dash 180 days that is and then he starts it up brother, john BRUTHA. JOHN. Well, hello, brother, Brad. The hard work is paying off john, my life is good. And my relationship with God is
John M 56:53
amazing in all big capital letters I told you a while back is that I check in at the 180 day mark. We're here I am checking in. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to be in a work the steps clear my side of the street, be of service and work with my sponsor. I'm grateful for your podcast and thanks for the many wonderful people of AIA and my sponsor, and I am living. But one day at a time. I listened to a podcast every day during my workouts. My all time favorites include Reno, john, Jimmy D. Clady, and Jerry Jones to name a few of those are some good ones there Mr. Brad, I get it. In fact, I sent I sent the text that you'd written in to my friend clay D because you had acquitted his name and he said he likes me He must be a sicko. But anyway, reg continues as I write this email, I catch myself smiling, saying, Wow, what a difference one ad makes. I've always been an all or nothing kind of guy. I now get it. I can be sober. If I I can't be so I can be all Oh, I'm sorry. I can be all sober. If I drink, I can only be drunk. Thank you, brother, Brad are in South Mississippi. Oh, I have to do it. EMI SSI SSI ppi. I think I got it. One of the one of the few things from my, from my work in elementary school. I guess they taught me how to read and write because I'm doing this but nonetheless. Brad our congratulations when we're done with the one ad and thanks for keeping me posted over sure to appreciate. Yeah. Marilyn writes in she says hi john. I live in Grapevine, Texas and I've been sober since November 10 of 1990. I picked up a card with the podcast information on it at the state convention in Fort Worth and about listening ever since. You know what Marilyn? I am actually the one who laid down those business cards there like a business card was over speak on it and it's Saturday and I am. I'm like they can no one's ever going to pick this up but I laid out a few and apparently a works. Thank you so much, Marilyn I appreciate it. I appreciate you writing in to tell me about it. She says I love your speakers and I have a 45 commute 45 minute commute into downtown Dallas. So I really enjoyed having a meeting between meetings. Thanks for all you do and share the message. Marilyn will right back at you Thanks for all you do, Marilyn, and thanks for listening. Liz writes in and Liz says hi john, I listen to silver speak constantly when I get ready in the morning, when I'm walking the dog or when I'm on car rides, man, you're listening to it all the time. I love it. Liz. She says this podcast has been enormously instrumental in my continued recovery, peace and serenity and my life and ability to pay it forward. All very cool is what you do makes a difference in big capital letters, peace, and then a little piece sign hand things as he says, she signs it, Liz 898 days sober thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous and the grace of God. Well, congratulations on the 898 days Liz is probably a few more by the time you're listening to this, but they you so much, and thank you for your very kind words.
John M 1:00:59
Heather writes in and Heather says My name is Heather. And I'm 48 years old. I've been married for 22 years. And I have four daughters ages 20 to 20. And twins that are 12. I'm basically a binge drinker. And not an every day drinker. And I should have quit should have quit 20 years ago. I guess I'm what you call a functioning alcoholic. I'm a salaried manager, and I do well on my job and I never miss work. I just know it's time to stop drinking completely. I keep telling myself I will learn to have just a few beers. But of course, each time I drink I drink all the beers at this point is not even enjoyable anymore. I found your podcast looking for a motivational podcast and have been pleasantly surprised. I just listened to Jennifer HK Episode Two, when she said the more I drink the thirstier I get. It really nailed it for me. also talking about people who can leave a bar after only two drinks in parentheses. Who does that question? More question work? I laugh out loud. She says anyway, your podcast is very helpful for me. And I know, this is really it is time to quit drinking for good. Thank you for all you do. You're helping a lot of people. Thank you again, have a great day. Heather. Gosh, I you know, the listeners for this particular podcast, are just absolutely fantastic. You guys are incredible. I am humbled to say the least. And anyway, thank you for writing in and I thank you for all the people that are involved with this. My wife, Cassandra, we have Bridget and Bridget who writes all the various synopsis that you see in the show notes and I'm just it is just absolutely fantastic. Anyway, one more here Paul writes in and he says, Hey, John M I just listened to podcast 201 with Father bill W. I really enjoyed the podcast with Father bill via I was surprised at the end to hear my email being read. Oh, I remember that I still I owe you small amends. So I remember Paul had written in and basically it is said that he had not had the best experience with Alcoholics Anonymous and I and I just I'm emailed him back, it was kind of brief. I'm not real great with text and emails and all that kind of stuff. I'm more of a talker as you can see. Right. And basically All I said was Yeah, hey, I understand that's not my is not been my experience. But you know, I wish you luck or whatever. You know, I have no judgment on people having a bad experience with AIA. I mean, there are people out there that do and I get that. But anyway, so he goes on to say when I got your response initially, it felt cold. Like many experiences I had had with a in the past. I thought I had gotten blown off again. Then I listened to your podcast, you talked about my email. I felt better and restored my faith in a I will look for I will look for other meetings and keep you posted a really enjoy your podcast. Thanks for the encouragement. Paul. We are quite welcome, Paul. I get it. And so and thanks for writing back in and that is that takes a lot of courage I guess is what you would call it. So anyway, good luck to you and your journey and do keep me posted. Alright everybody, that's it one more week Down the hatch. Maybe not the best. Maybe better analogy for a podcast about alcohol. Anyway, yo, y'all be good out there.
John M 1:05:10
I take this one week at a time. God bless you keep coming back. It works if you work it by the way, you know, a lot of times I say that to people when I'm when they write me an email, and I'll just say, keep coming back. And I'm always thinking, are they thinking? If they don't know a very well, they probably think I'm saying keep coming back to, you know, listen to my podcast and I don't mind you doing that. But just so everybody knows I'm saying, keep coming back to Alcoholics Anonymous, or al anon or whatever 12 step group that you happen to be in. It's kind of a little sane, that we use in these 12 step programs, just in case you don't know that. Anyway, that's enough nonsense out of me. God bless you. Hopefully we'll see you next week. Bye. Bye now.
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