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Transcript: 209- Rich B-Surf into Sobriety

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

209- Rich B-Surf into Sobriety


Rich B 00:00

It's your choice. There's all kinds of middle of the road sobriety and a you can settle for anything you want. You can have ground beef or you can have a Philemon Yon, we've got it all here. What do you want and you can find somebody in a gay to tell you that what you're doing or not doing is okay if you want to settle for that. But at the end of the day, how free Do you want to be?

John M 00:26

What Hello Friends of Bill W and other friends you have landed on sober speak. My name is John M. I am an alcoholic. And we are glad you're all here especially newcomers newcomers that is both to recovery as a whole. And newcomers to this podcast. sober speak is a podcast about recovery centered around the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. My job here on sober speak is simple. My job is to provide a platform to the amazing stories of recovery all around us. Consider sober speak, if you will, your meeting between meetings. Please remember, we do not speak for a or any 12 step community. We represent only ourselves. We're here to share our experience, strength and hope with those who wish to come along for the ride. Take what you want, and leave the rest at the curb for the trash man to pick up. Me mi amigos de la bill. W. That was the voice of Mr. Rich B once again 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 number are Episode Number 209 dose zero, new eBay from rich B the second part of rich b i know you're gonna enjoy this. And oh no First things first this way. Well, I don't get to say contribution but that is okay. I guess I just did Hmm. But I will say I'm a little confused by myself what I just did a moment ago by introducing this episode, as I said, Tally Whoa, de la, amigos de la bill w so I am mixing in I guess a couple of three different things there. Number one is just traditional English, right? But I also have a little Spanglish go in there. And I know amigos de la bill who is friends de la bill W, but I can't remember how to say, Bill in espanol. Oh, and then the other piece to that is actually tally Whoa. Which comes from my friend Barry across the pond, he wrote in one day one week and said tallyho, and I've just, it's always stuck in the back of my head. So let me say this, if you are tuning in to this podcast for the first time ever, my sincere apologies, hopefully, it gets a little better from here for you. And it's a long story, you'd have to go back and listen to every episode. Understand what I just said there. But nonetheless, we're going on to rich B, part two, I, john. Hi, john M. Just another bozo on the bus will indeed be the chairperson for this meeting between meetings and I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening in and the fact that you come here and listen to my nonsense. Thank you so much. So take a seat, if you will, metaphorically speaking around this virtual table and let's get started. No matter who you are, or what your past looks like. You are welcome here. It is an open table for all. I have a couple things that I want to read here on the front end of this particular app here. And the first one is for what they're both from. They were posted in the super secret Facebook group and if you are new to us and you're saying what is that super secret Facebook group he talks about, go to your Facebook applicatio and type in the words, I think this works, sober speak, secret group, and the sober speak secret group. And we call it super secret once you're in there, but on the outside, it's just the secret. And anyway, you should find us and you can ask for admission to

John M 05:27

the secret Facebook group and oh, we just asked you one question on the front end. And then we will let you on in what is that question? Huh? What does he ask uh, you can go there and find out. It's a secret. But anyway, within the super secret Facebook group, we have a gent a gentleman, his name is Steve, our I call him our daily reflections guy, he reads, or he posts a passage from the big book, I think this is every day, I don't go in and check this. But I think this is every single day he does this, he reads something or he goes into the big book, he looks at what he wants to see, I don't know if he's meditating it or what or what he's doing with it. But he types in the passage in the Facebook group, and then he comments on it. And this is one that he wrote. But that caught my eye. And it says, at the end, by the way, this is from page 77 of the big book, he always gives a reference and it gives the page number. And he says at the moment, we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is the fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God, and to the people about us. I'm going to read that again on page 77. Our real purpose is the fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God, and ourselves. No, not gotten ourselves, God and the people about us page 77 and then receive comments on it every time he says let us remain mindful that we are getting better so that we can carry the message so we can continue to still get better and help others as we grow in effectiveness. We grow in in happiness, help one, save two, Happy Wednesday. Thank you, Steve our for posting that in there. And then we add another post near. And this is just somebody coming in. This is not to me, this is to everybody that's in the group, which I don't know, I think we're 1800 or something like that now, something like that. But nonetheless, he said, this is Robert D and Robert post, he says Hey, everyone, I just wanted to say that I started with a back around 2016. After a few months, someone convinced me that I wasn't an alcoholic, and then in parentheses, despite daily drinking for five years, but rather a quote heavy drinker, unquote. I took that as the go ahead to continue living my life. As I always had fast forward to the last few months. And I found that every night of drinking, I would after every night of drinking, I would wake up and say to myself, there is a better way. And a part of me. couldn't quite pinpoint where I had heard that from I decided to try some meetings again. And while sitting in my work truck, I stumbled across this podcast so to speak. And he said the first one I listened to was the most recent one with Carol L. She mentioned a phrase that immediately resonated with me. You will really resonated with me. And the quote is, Lord, if it be your Well, can I not do something that hurts me today? unquote. It was like a light bulb went off in the back of my head and I immediately remembered why I wanted to try sobriety instead.

John M 09:22

It may have only been three days since I've stopped drinking. But that's three days of consecutive sobriety that I have had not had since 2017. And I look forward to watching that number grow. Thank you to everyone in this community for reminding me that there is in fact a better way. Robert D. Congratulations on your three days of sobriety and I hope by the time this is released, it's more than that. Okay everybody. So now on to rich B and if you did not Catch rich B's episode last week you will want to do that I think we call that one stupidly smart drunk and if you listen to it you'll find out why we entitled it that but this one we're entitling serve rich be serve into sobriety and you'll understand why we're calling it that as you listen to the episodes we discuss Rich's experience with the steps the definition of big debt the amends process rich riches experience with law school and much much more ladies and gentlemen I present to you Mr. Rich be enjoy and we will have plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of this episode. Enjoy rich me. Okay, everybody so we are back again. With the Mr. Rich from Ocean City. Well, I'll let you go and tell people where you're from so rich, why don't you go ahead, introduce yourself, give your sobriety date if you wish, and tell people where you live in this land of ours.

Rich B 11:13

My name is Rich. I'm an alcoholic from Ocean City, Maryland, the surf and a capital of the world. And I was lucky enough to get sober August 30 of oh four

John M 11:27

August 30 of oh four if I remember right, that is 17 years. Is that correct? That is correct. Fantastic. And Okay, so let's go ahead and set this up. We have recorded one episode already. Last time we got together. We had such a good time fussing around and I interrupted you so many times were giggling I hope that's okay. But we talked about By the way, we called that last episode stupidly smart drunk. And if you haven't heard the last episode, folks, I highly recommend you go back and listen to it. It's absolutely fantastic. We talked about so many things. My favorite was probably the story on the bus with Nicki and Reed. We talked about the joy of Rich's mom's couch, and then we ended it up with Jeannie Jett was a genie or Jenny Genie. Right?

Rich B 12:31

Janine Janine enters donkey center duckies

John M 12:36

it Janine and her duckies and if you don't know what we're talking about, like I said, go back and listen to the last episode. But we kind of left it up by the way I want to I do want to make a comment on where your record where you were recording this episode, the last time you were in looked like an office or something like that. And then I asked you about the background. You said you're in the surf shack, is that right?

Rich B 13:06

That is it's my little shed where we hang all of our surfboards and wetsuits and surf storage.

John M 13:14

So you really are a surfer is is not a is that not like a guy who went out a few times and you take it serious? I can see all that stuff back there.

Rich B 13:25

We're committed. We're all in. It's a family. It's a family affair at this point.

John M 13:29

Really. So all so so your wife obviously enjoys his

Rich B 13:34

surfing his life surf seven year old surfs, and the four year old serfs.

John M 13:38

Ah, that is fantastic. All right. So last time, like I said, we ended up you were in the hospital and you made a reference to the fact that you weren't as lucky as build up because build up you had the white light experience. But you were having to deal with Jeannie and her duckies looking at you and saying, that is what you don't want to do as an alcoholic. Do I remember that right?

Rich B 14:14

Yes, that same woman Janine and those keys came into that hospital room just to give those girls a good look and and she made the comment that I'll never forget, girls Take a good look. This is what happens to an alcoholic that refuses to take our steps. Let's go girls, and about six of them went walking out of my hospital room. It was a high point in my life to say, cheese.

John M 14:41

Okay, and then after that you had the thought, why don't you go ahead and remind listeners of what that thought was and we'll take it from there.

Rich B 14:52

When they walked out of that hospital room, I realized that I was the poster child for poor alcoholics. Anonymous right? Um, I'm the one that sponsors bring their sponsees to see what not to do. And then I also realized that I couldn't even kill myself the right way. Right? So in that set of feelings, the thought came and I say that very intentionally because it wasn't my thought we've all I don't know if anybody's I know you've had Matthew and other people and steps 10 and 11, where the thoughts come from, right? It's just something to sit and think about, you know, do we make them or do they come? Right? And, and I can guarantee you the thought came to me under that set of pitiful, incomprehensible demoralisation, the gift of desperation, the thought came, if I live through this, if I get out of here, I'm going to find one of those old guys with that big book in their hand, and that Goofy, a smile on their face. And I'm going to do everything that's in that book. And I can assure you if anybody listened to your last episode, where you were, we were talking together. They know that thought didn't come from me, that's for sure.

John M 16:08

So you have that thought. And do you immediately rushed to an AIA meeting?

Rich B 16:16

Believe it or not, I do. And the man that I find knew who I was going to find he was he was a man named Jimmy had 40, some years sober, he had a sponsor by the name of Clarence Snyder, he had a sponsor by the name of Dr. Bob Smith. And, and he started walking me through this book, you know, just explaining it and stories and bringing this thing alive. And what I just the first step where he just made it so real and so easy. And, you know, we sat there and he said, Well, let me ask you something rich, would you agree? I know, you think you're really smart, right? With these degrees and stuff. But would would you agree that power, less means less power? Can we wrap our minds around that power, less less power? I said, Yes, Jim? And he said, Well, can you think of any decision in your life that you've made time and time and time again? And I said, certainly that I'm never gonna drink again. And he said, Well, let me ask you a very simple question. How are you doing? managing that decision? And my head dropped? Because the answer is obvious. Not very good. Jim, I'm sitting in your living room, I just came from the hospital trying to kill myself, I can't stop drinking, no matter how severe the consequences, right? And he goes, Oh, this is good, right. And then he's getting excited. And he's getting excited, because that's when we seem to have a chance. And he said, that's what's wrong with your kid, you're just like me, you have less power than is required to manage your most sincere decision to never take another drink. And that is step one. And that is the thing I know about myself more than anything. I'm a guy with less power than is required to manage my own most sincere desire to never drink again. And that means I'm going to need some power. And he said, That's good news. Because that's what the next 11 steps are about. This isn't about you know, you're never gonna hear me. And I don't mean to be controversial. I'm telling my story. You know, this is this is my time with john. And I'm not one of those guys moping around, aka like, you're right, going on powerless over people, places and things. I'm just powerless, or right. That is not what my big book says. My big book says that we have been given the power, it's not mine, right? But we have been given the power to help where no one else can. And that's what you guys did was got me in touch with this power to work in and through me, to be effective, to have a life of purpose, to be able to touch people's hearts, minds and so on to introduce them to this power, when maybe no one else can. And that has become the bright spot in my life. And he said, Well, kid, if you've come to believe that maybe he has a solution for you. Step two, would you like to make a decision to give the rest of the steps to try? And I said yes, I would. That's step three, that's as deep as we got. And we say so.

John M 19:15

So let me ask you real quick when you went through that first step, like I guess that first time with Jim Wright was the name of your sponsor. So if you're going through that with him Is this the first time that it ever really connected between your you know, your, your mental and your spiritual state?

Rich B 19:39

Absolutely, and and I will also in all fairness to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Of all the meetings that I've been to have all of the peripheral a activity, right? I've been to you know, I would go to a 7am meeting, a noon meeting an eight o'clock meeting, make your coffee, go to dances set up, literally racks, mop the floors, clean ash, you name it, I would do everything in a gay except for a, right? I'm the only kind of I would do all of that and never ever ever tried this step. So this was the first time that I gave a legitimate chance in my life.

John M 20:19

So this is the first time you're given this is the first time I guess you're open minded. In terms of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, in fact, I was at a meeting today we were talking about this exact same thing. Being willing, letting it in completely giving yourself to the simple program. So okay, so you're going through that you you have a realization on the first step, you also have a realization on the second step. So take me from there go forward,

Rich B 20:47

you bet. And I want to say just in case anybody's new listening, we did steps one, two, and three at his dining room table and maybe 10 minutes. I mean, this, this was a quick conversation. And, you know, hey, we love inventing definitions in a right we make them up as if we invented them or something, and we don't even care if they're correct. We've never let a dictionary stand in the way of our definition making. We always say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, again, expecting different results. That's not in any dictionary that I've found. But my favorite definition is he pointed out to me, he said, Well, would you agree that it's a little bit insane to belong to a 12 step fellowship, and to come to hundreds of meetings, right, and not take the 12 steps.

Rich B 21:40

I mean, that's pretty nuts. I mean, who belongs to a 12 step fellowship, and doesn't take the steps me, right? Like, I'm that guy. And until it got to that point, and he and what I did in Step three, and that's where we left off, I made a decision to turn my will in my life over to the AIA process, because that's the best I could do. At that point. I wasn't any heavy spiritual intellect. I didn't know anything about God. He didn't ask me to make any devotion. He said, Are you willing to go through with the AIA process, and we'll talk about your concept of God, when we get to step 11. Because whatever it is that you think about God at step three is clearly messed up, or we wouldn't be sitting here, right? He didn't waste much time messing around with that he just really wanted to know, was I all in on four or 56789 that right? Or was I gonna be, you know, was I going to fade him halfway through. And I said, I was all in and we wrote out that inventory. And I shared that stuff. And I don't want to spend too much time on that, because I can summarize it quickly, which is the fact that I had pages of people that bothered me upset me annoyed me, that I was resentful that I guess I'll say this, if anyone's new. He said, just write down, you know, who you're resentful at, and why you're resentful at them. And I said, Well, Jim, I'm not resentful at anybody. And he said, Okay, I can understand that. Why don't you just write down who you hate why you hate him? And I said, Oh, why didn't you say so? And I felt, okay. So sometimes it's just a matter of semantics. And I think I may have suffered from a poor vocabulary, right? I didn't really know what he was asking me to do. But there was plenty of people I hated. And I wrote down why and all that, and at the end of that, and institutions, and I had a thing with banks, that I mean, I just thought it was insane that when I bounced a check or stole money from an ATM, they give you a surcharge, right? For bouncing A check of $25. It's a penalty fee for already being broke, right? Like, does that to somebody, I'll tell you who Bank of America they were at the top of my list, right? And Bank of America screwing the little guy, man $25 at a time trying to just gouge me, if I had any money, I wouldn't be bouncing these checks. You're making a bad situation worse, right? And that's the kind of nutty stuff that I'm writing down on my first inventory when it comes to some of these institutions. And it was wonderful. I mean, what a what a process and what I got out of that I could summarize it in dozens and dozens of names and institutions. It's a, there was one person that had something to do with each and every one of them. And it was me, the guy that made the list in his own handwriting, and it's hard to duck your own handwriting. I think that's why they say the magic of AIA happens when pen meets paper, right? Because we can't get around that. And it was clear to me that I was the one common denominator in every single screwed up relationship in my life. And that sent me into Step six and seven because I have never been so willing. As I was in that moment. I think if I would have waited a week or a month that would have left me but in that moment, I was ready. To ask whatever would take it, right, whatever was out there in this giant universe, and I'm gonna probably start using the word God for the rest of our time together. And when I say that word, I hope I don't offend any listeners, when I say that word God, it's in the interest of time, because we've got about 30 minutes left, and I've gotten an awful lot of miracles to tell you about. And when I was new, they did call on me and one of those third step meetings. And that's a mistake. You don't ever call on a newcomer at a third step meeting, because I thought what they wanted to hear I thought the topic was, Hey, rich, tell us what you think about God. Right? And, and I told him what I thought about God, when they call me and I start going, and I don't like the word God, I don't like praying in I'm not getting on my knees for anybody. The word itself just bothers me. I don't like churches, I've you know, blah, blah, blah, I'm laying it down. I said, but I will concede this, I'm a surfer.

Rich B 26:00

And what a wave is, is energy that travels 1000s of miles across the ocean at precisely the right angle, and a wave breaks when it hits half the depth of the size of the wave precisely. So an eight foot wave will break when it hits four feet of sand, or coral reef, and it's sort of like a train wreck. When the bottom of that energy hits that sandbar reef, it stops and the top continues, and that's what makes a wave break. But that alone, the reef or the sandbar has to be shaped at the right angle to allow the wave to break down it from left to right or right to left or there would be nowhere for the surfer to surf. But that alone isn't good enough, the tide has to be just right to create the proper depth for the wave to hit that depth to make it break. And then as we discussed earlier, there's one other factor for a good morning of surfing, the wind has to be coming from the land to the sea, which holds that wave open and hollow so the surfer could get inside and get those tube rides. And I'm willing to concede that I couldn't make all of that happen at the same time myself for a good morning surfing. And the room was just kind of quiet and one of the old timers grabbed me and took me outside of the meeting afterwards and said, Hey, kid, you got a minute. That was great. What you said in there about the wind and the waves and traveling 1000s of miles and energy and the Jura surfer and you don't like God and you know, but you just used up about 30 minutes of our meeting and our meetings are only an hour and there's other people that would like to share and then hey, we have a word for all of that we just call it God it's three letters it's really fast to say and whenever you say God will know that you're talking about the thing that makes the waves and the wind and I was like okay, so for the last 17 years I've just been saying God and it seems to save everybody a lot of my home group is very grateful for that. When I say God, I'm talking about whatever pops into your listeners minds and I hope it brings us together and doesn't separate us.

John M 28:02

That sounds great. Let's do a little break here. We will be continuing our conversation with rich in just a moment just a reminder you're listening to sober speak you can find us on the worldwide web at www dot sober speaker comm You can also find the donate button on our website you can use if and only if the spirit moves us please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you the listener. We are self supporting 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. Alright, now back to rich I so rich, you've done your soliloquy up at the front of the group regarding God. And this is I think we're kind of talking about sixes seven there, right.

Rich B 28:55

And when I came out of those steps, john, with 48 years sober. This man told me that he had spent his entire career in the military and that he'd never worked in the private sector. And he didn't have a whole lot of experience in some of the areas where I had a men's and he had the humility to hand me over to a friend of his a man named Roger, that's been my sponsor ever since. And he said, I think this man can help you better than I can with this part of our journey. And I look back at that. I mean, what an example I mean, how many people with 48 years sober, have the humility to say, Hey, now I'm going to introduce you to this person that can help you better than I can. And he did that for me. And then Roger looked at me with steps eight and nine. And he said, Hey kid, this is where the rubber meets the road. How free Do you want to be? It's your choice. There's all kinds of middle of the road sobriety and a you can settle for anything you want. You can have ground beef or you can have a Philemon Yon, we've got it all here. What do you want? Right? And you could find somebody in a gay to tell you that what you're doing or not doing is okay if you want to settle for that. But at the end of the day, how free Do you want to be? And I had this little job because I told you I just come out of the federal penitentiary I'd come out of the hospital. I have 36 convictions on my record. I am unemployable. I applied at the Home Depot to be a nighttime janitor. You know those blue hockey pucks and men's urinals that you know everybody pees on I am not they would not hire me to change those with my hands at nighttime, right? Like, that is how I mean you talk about being 29 years old, and feeling like life is over. When they tell you You are not quote, we are not hiring you to change hockey pucks in urinals right McDonald's wouldn't hire me to drop the french fries. Nobody would hire me but a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous, that owned this, he can carve wooden picture frames, and then he gilded them which is kind of a lost art of putting gold leaf on top by hand carved wooden picture friends. And my job was just to sweep the floor to keep the wood up the assault dust as he would carve up off the floor, and I made $6.25 an hour and all day long he would carve and play for me these AIA tapes of all of the old timers telling their stories and I got to hear my grand sponsor Clarence talk and you know and and Clancy and Bob B and my personal favorite. I can say his name now that he's left us Cliff Roach, the surfer from Oceanside California with a resentment like I had right I mean, boy, can he carry a resentment and and I would just sweep and listen and sweep and listen and sweep and listen. And then I got paid on Fridays, 40 hours at $6.25 an hour. And the damn this thing happened a little became a lot. Right for somehow I always had $1 for your basket. And my first amend my sponsor said you need to take that Mother of yours out to dinner once a week, if she'll go with you. Because by the time I got to Alcoholics Anonymous, my mother had not been able to look me in the eye for over a decade, my little sister, my only sibling hadn't spoken a single word to me. And six and a half years, I'd been kicked out of a college with a 4.0 GPA average, I owe the IRS $47,000, which was a lot of money to a guy making six bucks an hour, right? I always hesitate to say that, because there's some listener going 47,000, I'd have just written them a check, right? And then there's another newcomer going 47,000 I better not do these steps, I could never pay that back. And what I want to say you want to know the definition of a big debt, the definition of a big debt is that it's yours. Right?

Rich B 32:48

When it's your debt, you think gets a lot because it's yours. And it's all relative. So anyways, on $6.25 an hour when I would focus on the spiritual, which I was doing, man, I was coming to the meetings, I was in those steps, I was meeting with my sponsor, and somehow a little became a lot on $6.25 an hour, I had enough money to put $1 in your baskets and to take my mom out to dinner. And I'm dating my mom and dating my mom and dating my mom at 29. You know, going on to 30 years old and I'm starting to like it right? And um, something inside of me is starting to change. I'm starting to like meetings I didn't used to like anybody had that, right? Where all of a sudden you're going to the meetings, you do these big book studies and step studies. And those people you thought were crazy are starting to become intriguing, right? And the guy you would never talk to all of a sudden is becoming kind of cool. You know what those are signs of those are signs of awakening, or becoming inwardly rearranged. And often the members of our group see it in us before we do. And we're starting to ask crazy questions like, Hey, could you tell me about meditation? Right? Who asked that, right? Teach me about praying, whoa. Things are changing. And I'm dating my mom and I'm dating my mom and I'm dating my mom. And one night we were at dinners and we were at carabas restaurant. I'll never forget it. carabas is a spaghetti joint. I don't know if you guys have them where everybody's listening. But we're in there and my mom is twirling spaghetti on a spoon. That's how she eats it. I don't know why but she spins it around and then eats it. And her head came up from that plate of food for the first time in over a decade. And she was looking at me eyeball to eyeball as we were eating dinner and we were talking and she said I'm proud of you. And then my mom started asking me to come to her house as she was getting into her early 70s if I can help her carry the trash out, and if I could change a light bulb in our ceiling because she wasn't comfortable standing on a chair anymore. And these may not sound like big deals to anybody. But that woman had a restraining order, um, I wasn't allowed near her that house for a long time. We didn't. I mean, she was just so she always loved me. I was just such a letdown, and I wasn't a guy you could turn to I wasn't a guy you could rely on, they would call me the term for me was a loose cannon, right? You just never knew what you were going to get. You didn't know if and when I was going to show up. And I was becoming dependable in Alcoholics Anonymous. And, man, it was. I guess all I want to say about that before I go on is my whole life. If you listen to the first part of this podcast, I want it to be a tough guy, I want it to be a big shot. I want it to be a somebody, I want it to be a man, you're going to respect me as a man. And what I learned through that immense process with my mother, is that first you need to learn how to become a son, before you can ever become a man. And that was that was my big gift of that with my mother. And if she was here to talk tonight, she would tell you, she's still alive. She's in her 80s. She just got back from Hawaii yesterday where she's been for two weeks. But she would tell you that her son, I got married at nine years sober, gave her two granddaughters, Isabella and Sophia.

Rich B 36:18

Sophia, his middle name is Hurley, which is my mother's maiden name. She loves that. But most of all, my wife and I chose to build a house on the beach about a mile and a half from my mother. And we built an in law suite. So my mom's in and out of my house to three times a day. You know, doing goofy grandma mom stuff, bringing ice cream while I'm trying to get my kids to eat their vegetables at dinner, with a big smile on our face, getting her revenge, and she's having the time of her life. And she sits on the beach in her throne. We call it our throne. It's a Tommy Bahama beach chair, and sits in that beach chair. She knows that her son is safe, and sober, and in good stead with you guys. And she gets to watch her grandchildren grow up on the beach and learn to surf and play at her feet. And then I had a set of Baltimore Ravens season football tickets when I got to a and my sponsor said send those to your sister and I said why would I send these to my sister. She hasn't talked to me in six and a half years. These are expensive. And he said I didn't ask you about any of that I told you to send them. And I sent them and nothing happened. And he said send the next set of tickets. And I said you're not listening to me, man. These things are expensive. And she and I sent the next set of tickets and the phone rang. And on the other end of that phone was a little girl's voice I hadn't heard in six and a half years. Go on Richie, Richie, did you see that the Ravens just caught the ball. They tied it up there in the end zone. It's a tie game. And I'm here to tell you there is nothing I could care less about. I have no idea who the Ravens were playing. But I was talking to my little sister for the first time in six and a half years. And I kept sending those tickets and she kept calling. And we started developing a little friendship around football. She lives about three hours and 15 minutes away from me. And on the weekends. I'd work all week for $6.25 I'd worked out a payment program with the IRS. For that 47,000 I turned myself in I thought I was going to jail. But my sponsor said no, the IRS doesn't lock people up, they want their money. They don't want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. And, and I have no idea they put me on a payment plan at $20 a week. You know, we we drove for hours to the Philadelphia IRS office, we sat down with an agent. I told him the truth. I've been an alcoholic, I haven't filed taxes and decades, they did some math and they said that you know you owe us 47,000 and we're gonna put you on a payment program at 20 weeks $20 a week. We're glad you're staying sober. And and six years later, I put the last check to the IRS in the mail. My sponsor, he's got a pacemaker and a defibrillator. He's in his 80s Roger. And when I put that last check in the mailbox at Ocean City, he met me there that day. He's about five foot 10. And we got there and he said I mean it's in the lobby of the post office. There's like 100 people milling about he said put it in, put it in, and I put it in the mailbox and he said say it out loud. And I said my amends to the IRS is complete. And the man jumped up like Jordan and gave me a high five over that mailbox. couple months later, I get an envelope from the IRS and it's got a big check in it. And I drove over to Rogers house and I'm crying. I'm like Roger, I've screwed something up again. I'm in trouble. Look at this thing. They said there's a check here and he looked at it. And he said this is a tax refund check you idiot. Normally, people get these every year. For the last nine or 10 years I pay my taxes. They give me a little bit back. I've got this unwritten agreement like I don't have to agree with what the IRS is doing. I just got to pay them and give me a little money. But I digress. You know, I'm paying the IRS that 20 bucks I'm making $6.25 an hour and my little a job. I'm dating my mother. I'm sleeping through the night, man. I'm feeling like a million bucks. And

Rich B 40:17

my little sister and I are becoming the closest of friends. I start driving three hours and 15 minutes after I work all week, I get my little paycheck. I take my mom to dinner, I drive three hours and 15 she bought her first home. And she needed help fixing it up and I would spend the weekend painting the walls and my sister's new house, helping them put together snap together hardwood floor helping her fix it up being a big brother. And and yeah, we grew into the best of friends. And as the years went by, this guy called me his name was Justin I knew who he was. And he said, Hey, rich. I know your father's no longer with you. But you've become the number one man and your little sister's life. She looks to you for everything. And I'm calling to ask permission if I could have her hand in marriage. Oh, you're telling me never had anybody less qualified than the drunk you're talking to john. She asked the next day if I'd walk her down the aisle and I got to do that so burn in my right mind and with my whole family there and give that little girl away that I was no kind of big brother to and but I have been I have been ever since you know a taught me how to be a big brother. And she now has so now I want you to get this. On the weekends. When you live at the beach. Everybody wants to come visit right? At least twice a month. My mom sits in that throne on the beach, that Tommy Bahama beach chair and she gets to watch her son and his wife and his two little girls and her daughter get along with their son and her husband and my two nephews, her sons. They're eight and six Sadler and Brixton. Now she's got four grandkids playing in the sand building sand castles learning to surf. And one of the reasons Alcoholics Anonymous is growing by leaps and bounds. This is in the foreword to the second edition. It says it. AIA is growing by leaps and bounds primarily because of the large number of recoveries and families reunited. And that's what you guys have done for me. I was coming up this nine step stuff man was paying dividends. And my life internally the relationships were repairing. But mostly I could look in the mirror my head came up my chest came out that feeling of wanting to be a man, it turns out that it's earned not given self esteem is earned by taking esteem oh boy actions, right. And if I was making these amends when I had enough money or when it became convenient, you'd be talking to somebody else tonight, because it was never convenient. And I never had enough money. But it was the time in the steps to do them as my sponsor led me through them. He likes to say and I now tell my guys, if Alcoholics Anonymous is convenient for you, you're doing it wrong. This is a program of divine and convenience of learning to serve others on their time, not ours. And in giving of myself, I become whole. The last thing I want to tell you about is as I'm going through the steps, I had an old worn out in California from when I was in college, I got pulled over for a DUI I had some cocaine in my pocket, and I went to court and I got a five year sentence. And the judge deferred the sentence he put me on a probation that they call the PC 1,001st time felony offenders program. And if I went to 10 a meetings and did some urine tests and did certain things, I wouldn't have the conviction on my record and I wouldn't serve the five years in prison. But you know, 10 meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous what an order I can't go through with it. Versus five years in prison, right? I screwed it up. I couldn't my alcoholism would not let you pull that off. And when I violate probation, I run away. So I have about two years sober. My sponsor says you've been through all of your amends. This is your last one. You are the state of California five years in prison. You've got to go turn yourself in and serve that five years. This is a great time to do that sponsor see things very different. I didn't think it was a good time to go. Matter of fact, I had my big book I showed him right in there. I said look, we don't do these acts of heroics, right? It's I've been of no use to anyone i'm a i'm paying the IRS. My little sister and I are close friends. My mother needs me to change the lightbulbs. Right? I'm taking out our trash. You know, I've got this career going. And he said, you know at that point, I even had low a girlfriend. It's not the woman I married. You know, it's the one that we pick when we got about 18 months old. The one we think is God's will for us and our sponsor just shakes their heads, right. And then here's the beauty of a sponsor. They see things so differently. He said rich, let me help you make the right decision. Why don't you talk to your mother and see what she would have you do.

Rich B 45:06

And you know what my mother wanted me to do. She wanted me to do the same thing. She wanted me to do her whole life to do the right thing. To turn myself in to face the music, right? To act as a man of integrity. It's all my mother ever want. It was for me to do the right thing. And my sister sure understood. And he said, this woman you're dating that you think is God's will for you. She's got 16 years sober, she was doing so much better before she met you. And this house you think you live in, you don't live in a house, you live in a trailer and you don't own it, you rent it. And this career, you think you have you sweep floors in a picture shop, like, they'll be fine without you. They really just have a way of busted your bubble, right? He's like, this is a good time to do that time. So he and some members of my home group, they confiscated some my paychecks and got me a one way ticket to San Diego and I flew out there against my will. And I will just put this in. Folks, I've heard many people say that faith and fear cannot exist in the same place. At the same time. I beg to differ based on my experience, I was scared to death. And I had the faith that somehow we were going to get through this. And there were several men that took my name, the address of that penitentiary and promised to come visit me from Maryland 3000 miles away to bring me in a meeting over the five years that we all thought I was going to be serving. And I went in front of that judge with that thought in my heart that these guys believe in me enough to spend their time and money to come see me and bring me a meeting, I'm going to be fine. And by that point, I was thinking of what I could bring to the prison, they said you're going to get some meeting started in there, you got a good program, like I was actually feeling pretty good about it. And I stood in front of that judge was sweat circles and scared to death. And what I didn't know was that approximately 30 some members of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote that judge letters telling him what my life look like, who I was sponsor in the meetings, I was going to pastors were right now I'm about church floors, I was mopping, just everything you can imagine they just shared about my life. And the judge looked at me and said, you just flew 3000 miles on your own nickel to serve five years a month? Am I getting this correct? And I said, Yes, you are, Your Honor. I'm a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I violated your probation. And every night that I go to sleep, I know I have this open warrant. And I want to be a free man. And I don't ever want to have to take another drink. And I know that I have to get this sentence started if I ever want to get it over. And I remembered my sponsors words, how free Do you want to be? Because the head you go to bed with is your own. I knew that was sitting out there. I wasn't in jail. But I was serving that sentence every single day of my first two years sober. And that judge he just couldn't even wrap his mind around what was going on. And he started reading your letters. He's going through a ua right? And he's just shaking his head. He goes, Mr. B. He said, I've never seen anything like this. These people tell me you've been over 1000 meetings of AIA, I ordered you to go to 10 as a part of my probation and you couldn't pull it off. But you have exceeded that greatly the terms of this probation and it looks like your life is you're a different person. I don't know what's going on back there in Maryland and a but as far as I'm concerned, this probation closed and you need to go back to Maryland and do whatever those people in a tell you to do. And I have walked into a courtroom 36 times I've gone to jail 36 times I have never walked out of a courtroom. And I when I tell you my God got bigger that day. And I stepped in that hallway and I said Raj Raj, I'm coming home, I'm coming home, guys, we can still have the big book study in my living room on Wednesdays, I'm coming. And he said, Wait a second. Wait a second. It's one o'clock in the afternoon. You can't get a plane ticket home until tomorrow. Why don't you go over to that University of San Diego. You know, those Jesuits that you embarrassed? It was all in the newspaper, Jesuit student 27 kilos of cocaine. You made them look awful. While you're there. Why don't you go make your amends to her? And I'm thinking Can you give me a minute to celebrate

Rich B 49:34

the prison for five years. Right? That ninth step it's like a pep talk in there. Remember it says action and more action. Remember, we agreed to go to any lengths for victory over alcohol. And I gotta be honest, john, it seemed like small potatoes going over to that university to talk to a dean. They kicked me out rather than doing five years in the big house, right? So I go over there. And of course, as fate would have it, it's The same Dean that kicked me out nine years before I don't know, I said, Dean, I don't know if you remember me, my name is Ruth B. And I used to go to school here and I got in some trouble and went to the Fed. She just shook her head. And she said, rich, we remember exactly who you are. We've only had one student in the history of this university, go to the federal penitentiary. And I said, Dean, I know what I did. When I went here. I didn't know what Jesuits were and I do. I know the Jesuit stand for building men and women of integrity, they stand for education, they stand for doing the right thing. I didn't stand for any of that when I went here. And I was an alcoholic. And worse yet, I didn't know it. But now I do. And I've found another way of living. And and I have to do my best to clean up the wreckage of my past, we call it the nine step. And I don't know how to fix this, but I'm willing to do whatever you tell me. And she said, if that's true, you're going to come with me, and she walked me to a building next door, put a big stack of paper down in front of me, and she said, this is an application to our law school. What you're going to do is fill this out, you're going to go to our law school for three years, and you're going to graduate to go on to make us proud, you've always been a good remember, rich, you're going to do very well in law school. And I stepped outside and I called Roger my sponsor, and I said Roger Dean's lost her mind. She wants me to go to law school, even if I somehow make it through law school, they're never gonna let me take the bar exam. And even if I pass the bar exam, they're never gonna let me through the ethics section. They don't even let me change hockey pucks in the urinals.

Rich B 51:30

And he said, Shut up, shut up. Did you just tell that Dean you do whatever she said to make it right? I said, Yes. He said, then fill out the papers. And I filled him out. And three years later, I graduated second from the top of my class at the University of San Diego's law school. And I came out of that law school in my phone rang. And because of clearing up everything else, I'll tell you this, this is my other nine step test. If you need to look at caller ID before you answer the phone. You're not finished. You're not finished. Your sponsor right now. That means you're scared of somebody or something if you got it, like Look at that thing. But by this point, my sobriety I can answer didn't matter. And thank God because a weird number was coming in and I answered and the guy introduced himself, he said he was the State's Attorney for the state. So state of Maryland. I know what state's attorneys are, they're the guys that lock me up. I don't like state's attorneys. He said, Hold on, patch it through the governor's office of Crime Control and Prevention. We just received the large federal grant, and I want to hire my own assistant state's attorney to head up our narcotics prosecution unit, I've been given your name that you know something about the importation of narcotics into our country, we think you'd be great at this job and my knees about buckled. But you know what I remembered, I remembered those old guys with that book in their hand. And they looked at me right in my eye in a way that I knew they were absolutely telling the truth. And they said, kid, one day, your sordid past will become your greatest asset. And for the next 10 years of my life, and of my sobriety, it was my privilege to serve. And I repeat, serve the state of Maryland, as the senior State's Attorney in charge of narcotics prosecution, and I get to tell you that I stole some stuff from the state of California, I stole that Pc 1,001st time felony offenders program that I benefited from, and I passed it on to every county in the state of Maryland, we now have a drug court, in every county in the state of Maryland that provides alternative sentencing for alcoholics and drug addicts, so they don't have to sit in a cell. I then went on, I got to author a law to federal laws in your state, it's in every state, it's called the Good Samaritan law. And that's the one that if somebody is overdosing, and you dial 911, no matter what's on the coffee table, we don't need to explain that to your listeners. No matter what's on that coffee table. When the paramedics and the police come through the door, you cannot be arrested because you're saving somebody's life that's dying, right. And I had to go testify about what I wrote the law for the Senate and the House and you get to bring one guest when you go testify the Senate in the house, and I'm standing there, right in the Senate, on a big marble floor with the Great Seal of our country, that eagle and you know who my one guest is right? It's my mom, and she gets to see her son putting something back into the stream of life putting something into this world. And as you all know, the story, it passed and each year I get a report of the number of 1000s of lives that were saved, because God used an idiot like me to write something down on a piece of paper and to go stand in front of some people and, and talk which we all like doing as alcoholics and and thank God he used me on the right day to get that thing through. After 10 years, I took an early retirement, my wife and I had some dreams we've had two little girls I was telling you about and I wanted some free time plus I I had a dream. There's a Langston Hughes poem called a dream deferred. And there's a chorus in that poem that says, Does it fester? Does it breed the boogie woogie rumble of a dream deferred? Right? And what that means is when Bill Wilson did his fifth step with Father Ed Dowling, he told him all the silly stuff, right? I stole this I did this I slept with her. I cheated on my wife, I, I touched myself when I was 12. Whatever he said to father at dalling that we're all so scared to say, right? And you know what father, Ed Dowling says when he looks at him, he goes, you know, Bill, it's not so much the things that men and women have done, that keeps them drunk. It's the things they've left undone.

Rich B 55:39

And boy did that hit that was a direct hit for me, right? Just think of us, the things we've left undone. And I always wanted to start and run my own law firm. And three and a half years ago, after I retired from the State's Attorney's Office took that early retirement, I started rjb law. And all I do is defend drunks. I do approximately 325 drunk driving cases a year, which means 325 times a year, I sit across my desk from somebody just like me, and they get to say something to me. Like, this is my third DUI, bla bla bla, bla, and I go, well, john, do you think you just have bad luck, or maybe just maybe you've got a problem with drinking, right? And, and we get to have some very interesting conversations. And, and I like to think of it as the first spiritual law firm. And what that means is when I take their retainer, I tell them that if they happen to get sober, and get one of those one year chips and bring it to me, they get half their retainer back. And I've gotten to do that seven times, and then three and a half years now. And I know what some of your listeners are thinking, if you didn't listen to episode one. Ocean City, Maryland is an island, it's seven miles long by one mile. Why there is no way you could go to aa for a year in Ocean City, Maryland and get your one year chip without me seeing Yeah, so there's no way they could bullshit me, right. I know the ones that really got sober. And it is the bright spot in my life when I get to help them in court, but help them far more, you know, spiritually to meet the God that you guys have introduced me to through these wonderful 12 steps, this amazing fellowship, and what a cast of characters we have in it, as you know, by inviting me, so I think I'm out of time. And in case you can't tell, I love this thing, Alcoholics Anonymous, and I love you for having me, john, thank you, your work.

John M 57:34

So just, you know, to kind of wrap it up here. And just think about this for a second. You know, you're you're talking to people in all four corners of the world. And there's people that are on the fringes, so to speak, you know, they're looking at a they're thinking it may work for me, it may not work for me, kind of share from your experience, strength and hope and say, in terms of kind of some parting words, in terms of, you know, what you would say about your experience in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Rich B 58:13

That the spiritual does not make sense. The reason it doesn't make sense is because it is spiritual, you are not going to think your way through it, it is not linear, and it doesn't look like it should work. So don't try to find a path that looks like it should work. Just try ours. Right? Find someone that has done it. And the greatest decision I ever made was to try those stupid steps. And the only reason I tried them is because I ran out of every other thing I could think of. So I guess that's my wish for anyone new is that you're out of ideas. You can't think of one more way that you're gonna pull this thing off. And you go Okay, all right. I'll try your stupid steps. That surfer idiot from Ocean City, Maryland said they work for him. I'll give it a whirl.

John M 59:08

I love it. Thank you so much rich. I mean, I just I never know exactly what's going to happen when I go into these recordings. And I'm so glad that Matthew introduced the this has just been an absolutely great couple of episodes and I know the listeners are gonna love it as well. So I will end it with page 164. From the big book. He says abandon yourself to God as you understand God, at MIT your faults to him and to your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past, much like Richard was talking about. 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. You're rich, as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you, and keep you Until then, once again, Mr. Rich, thank you so much for having me. Or not having me for coming on today. I sure do appreciate it. It's been a blast. You

Rich B 1:00:17

bet, buddy. It's your hat.

John M 1:00:20

Oh, oh, oh, I so much loved spending time with Mr. Rich be and I hope you enjoyed listening to that. If you did, please pause your device and share that episode or the entire podcast with a with another friend or family member, it may be just what they need today. Once again, Mr. Rich B, you are the man I so much appreciate the time that you took out of your schedule to spend with me and to share your story with the sober speak listeners. Now on to a little bit of listener feedback. The first one here is from Mr. Jim, Jim writes in in the title of this is, john, you're in my prayers. Okay, so let me explain. A couple of weeks ago, I came on the airwaves, during the intro to one of the episodes, I can't remember which one it was. And I talked about struggling, just having a really not great week and struggling with depression or kind of going up and down and not feeling connected. And so, so many, and I'm not going to read all of them that I got, you know, so many people wrote in and just said, Hey, john, you know, your prayers, you know, we're thinking about you and, and I really appreciate you guys. And just so you know, I'm not putting that out there today, even though I appreciate the people that write me, I'm not, I'm not putting that out there to get a kind of response. And just, you know, wanting to know, people are thinking of me, I put that out there because I just want people to know, you know, I've been doing this a long time. And I talked to a lot of people long term sobriety, it just because you've been in this a while does not mean you are immune from the ups and downs of life. And in depressions and anger and selfishness and fear, and all those things, right? We all go through it. And I feel like it's my duty. Duty maybe is not the word, but I feel like it. It's the right thing to do by putting that out there. When I am not doing well and just letting you guys know. So anyway, that's why I was out there. Why I said those things anyway, Jim says Good morning, john. I heard the pain in your voice this week, as you shared that you have been overwhelmed by life and are suffering from emotional stress and depression. Those days are tough, and you neither earned it or you deserve it. They had been different steps you could have taken or maybe there was nothing you could have done. And that a loss of control over the event and the outcome. Well, my friend, that's where the other 90% take a stiff drink and mullet over. He's got a big smiley face. Here you Jim, and he says but that path for we. But that is not the path for we who are chosen by DNA or by predisposition or circumstance to be an alcoholic. So john claimed the Serenity Prayer this week. Say it like a mantra say a one word at a time. Drinking and savoring the power of each word. God. hyphen, my higher power restore of my sobriety, insanity, Grant, hyphen, a gift draped on me, I neither earned it or deserve it. Me just another bozo on the bus. No one's special. Everybody has days like this. serenity, hyphen, peace in my heart quietness in my head, gentleness in my soul. You get the idea Mr. Brown walked through the whole prayer this way. If you want, you can call me and we will do it together or ask another person to share that experience with you powerful. By the way, john, I've decided that you may not be after all, just another bozo on the bus. I don't know about that Jim, or the guy. And then he says lizards question more. You have pet liver lizards and pets? wtf? Question works. Question more.

John M 1:04:54

And that Pidgin Spanish you've been inflicting on us lately. He's got a bunch of smile. He says he's this guy GRIT YOU serenity, courage, wisdom and peace. This week my friend, Jim s he is in travelers rest South Carolina and I won't read his phone number but Jim thank you so much for writing it in I appreciate you so so much. Anthony writes in and the subject line is Episode 207 norm A by the way if you have not listened to Episode 207 with norm A Oh, do yourself a favor and go back there and listen to that one. norm A is just incredible what a message he has to carry. But anyway, Anthony says dear john, I was recently lucky enough to get my dad, my dad in Glasgow, UK for nine days together with my 12 year old daughter. We had a great time together despite being housebound with several ailments he's 86 during my time there I got to go to two local meetings always a deep experience in Glasgow and I think I wrote you this back, Anthony, but you know, I always wanted to go to Glasgow, my mom, oh God, God bless my mom. She was born and raised there. I understand it's a little bit of a tough crowd and especially was when she was younger. But your your letter just kind of a gig, or your email I should say just kind of gave me chills. But anyway, he said on the way back, we had eight hours to kill at Frankfurt Airport. While hanging, I checked out episode number 207. When norm A initially I thought, Oh, here we go, some old timer, etc, etc. But my word what a ride. His story is one thing, however, on listening and taking part in meetings now, it is the recovery and overpowering proof of the promises, combined with the joy and fervor that I observe, which is truly amazing. I found myself loud laughing out loud, which my daughter found greatly amusing. Well, if your daughter's listening to you right now, and tell him we said hello. And at one point, almost in tears, while he was narrating his story, my how my how he turned things around. But his message, like all other AI errors is so profound. This program is the difference between life and death. This program is the difference between happiness and misery. Thank you so much for posting this on your podcast. Your service keeps me and so many of us going the messages of recovery. It enriches our lives and gives us courage to continue one day at a time in big capital letters. And then he says thanks, john, Tony D. Oh, I said Anthony on the front end I'm sorry as Tony, Tony D. And then he says

John M 1:08:19

then vanlig Hilson, and then slash Best regards. So I'm assuming that's vanlig Hilson, and I believe he's in Norway. Am I right about that? I can't remember. I'm sorry. I get people confused somewhat. But vim league Hilson, back at you, Mr. Tony D. And I appreciate you writing again. By the way, there was a running back for the Dallas Cowboys. His name was Tony doorset. They call them Tony D. But I know you're not the same guy. But for whatever reason. I'm just kind of thinking about that. As I'm reading this. Dan writes in and he says, Hi, john. I live in San Jose, California. And I say to you, Dan, do you know Lou wait to San Jose. But you've heard that a million times and he says I have a silver for eight years and I wouldn't have it any other way. I stumbled upon your podcast by doing a Google search on a topic. We went over in a recent meeting. The topic was Oh, the Grouch and the brainstorm. And yes, so that's jack z. We're friend jack z. And so I'm so glad you got to hear jack Zhi dam. He says, I wish I was so happy to have found your podcast, and I wish I would have found it much earlier. Thus far I've listened to Gary K and jack z, the Grouch and the brainstorm. And john W. My favorite so far has been Gary Kay. But all of the speakers have been just a delight to listen to. I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of your speakers. Please keep up the great work with gratitude. Dan Gee, oh, God bless you, Dan. Gee, I appreciate it. I'm going to reach out to jack z let him know that as well. Kate writes in a Kate says, john, I heard your info. Here's another one. And like I said, I'm not reading all of these cases I heard your info and that you were having a hard time I just want you to know that I'm saying a prayer for you. She guys are way too good to me. She says you provide so much love and support. And so many people I just want you to know you're loved and appreciated. kb will kb. God bless you. Thank you for letting me be part of your journey. And I sure do appreciate you and thank you for your kind words. Jeff writes in he says, Gianna, hope you're well I just listened to norm A, wow, it was so good. And so raw, it was about life and the blessings a gives us every day. I just thought that this could be a regular part of the silver speak podcast, have an old speaker tape maybe once a quarter? Well, you know, I don't know if I can time it out once a quarter. But I definitely want to have some more old speaker tapes on Jeff. And my sponsor actually called me this week as well. And he said, Hey, john, I really did enjoy that norm A. So in fact, I talked to him about getting more old speakers on the podcast, and I just got to remember and make time to do it all. And then he says, you mentioned that you've had a tough week. Hope it all sorts itself out. Hang in there. Thank you for your service, Jeff, and send for my iPhone. So if you know a guy named Jeff, that has a iPhone, I just broke his anonymity.

John M 1:11:56

So anyway, Jeff, thank you for writing in. Raphael writes in and Raphael says hello, john. My name is Rob BLP. Here as he spells it out, but I won't do that here on the pod. He says I live in West Palm Beach, Florida. And my home group is the big book spiritual group. I am 37 years old and 18 months sober, and I'm an alcoholic. I really enjoy your service work through your podcast program. I learned early in the program of recovery that you have to build yourself a toolbox of defense from my disease. And your podcast is one of those tools that I use. I travel for work and many times I miss out on my home group beating night or other meetings. I like to attend like you say in your program, the quote meeting between meetings It is truly exactly that for me. Thank you, sir. For what you do a carry the message of your recovery. Regards, rough al p Thank you Rob. Alp down there and west palm is a West Palm Beach. Was that where it was? Yeah, West Palm Beach, Florida. I sure do appreciate you. And hopefully royal not hopefully, but maybe you're listening to this while you're driving around doing your work. Lastly, here Joshua writes in he says Good morning, john. I am Joshua from Georgetown, Texas. And that is a say a hop, skip and a jump down the road for me probably three or four hours. He says I stepped away from recovery during the pandemic. And I've been getting my butt kicked. I think a lot of people experienced that. Joshua, I heard about your show from a sponsor about a year ago. I really enjoy it, enjoyed it. And I'm going to be listening again to assist in my recovery. Thanks for all you do. Joshua, I thank you, Joshua, that everybody Your Body Body, as my son used to say when he would leave little bitty. That brings us to another that close of another episode. I hope to be back next week. As I always say I take this one week at a time. Keep coming back. It works if you work it and I think that's all I got. Love you guys. Bye bye.


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