Emily U 00:00
been listening to sober speak and somewhere back if you guys go back and listen to if you're going to go back and listen to some early episode I wrote in and I wrote in of oh my god I'm an alcoholic. This is a weird moment to be talking to you about this now because I remember you reading it and saying hang on Emily. It's okay. And you read my comment
John M 00:22
Well, 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 that Miss
John M 01:48
John M 02:10
David, what you may ask did Jane and Janice and Krista and Trudy and Katyn Gerhart and David do? Well, let me fill you in. They went to our little website, sober speak.com created by the lovely and wonderful Mrs. M. They clicked on the little yeller donate tab and they made a contribution. So thank you so much, Jane and Janice and Krista and Trudy and Katyn Gerhart and David, this episode number 210. of Emily, you is coming right out to humans, as so much appreciate you helping us keep the virtual lights turned on, by the way, just in case somebody is wondering. And I start sometimes with the little Hello, my little chickadees I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that is WC Fields in I think he's from the 1930s and 1940s. And I just had that little saying or terms stick in my head one day and it came out and I just like using it sometime. But nonetheless, I John M, just another Bozo on the bus, providing WC Fields history lesson lessons to those who really don't want it. I will be the chairperson for this meeting between meetings and I am truly honored. blessed and privileged to serve all of you listening is to take a seat if you will, around this virtual table and let's get started. Remember, no matter who you are, what your past looks like you are welcome here. It is an open open table for all in We're glad you have joined us Oh, and I remembered there's another little tagline I haven't used in a little while I guess what they call those tag lines. I don't know. I'm just sitting here in studio a by the way. Studio A is just a I'm kind of looking around me right now. It is a corner in the back guest bedroom of my house where I come to do the work of presenting this and that's where I am but I'm just sitting here in studio a and I don't know what I'm doing. But anyway, it could be a tagline. But I have said this before. Do you want to stay connected to your higher power in between meetings? We'll just say Alexa, play sober. Speed podcasts. Oh, I got to be careful with that. Okay. Can you hear that in the background? It's it is starting to play my podcasts. Oh, no, no, no, Alexa, stop. Forget that I've got one of those here in studio just went off I've got, I've got to be careful about that. But anyway, you say the name and say play sober speak podcast. And the a name will spit it out or your little device, whatever you have there. So oh, so let me just tell you before I came up here, and I feel much better now. I am. I'm stressed with a lot of things going on. Now, I'm not saying that to get sympathy. Everybody has stress here. We're all going through it in and there's a lot of things that I'm trying to get done right now. In fact, I stopped. And I paused and I told the lovely Mrs. M. As I was on my way up here, I said, I just want to tell you, I feel overwhelmed right now. And she says, Well, thank you for sharing, feel free to share that with me anytime. And I told her what the issues were what's going on. But I can tell you this, this is a strange phenomenon. Not strange, but when I get up here in front of this mic, and I'm picturing humans out there.
John M 06:37
It it, it alleviates my it's just like walking into a meeting for me and I'm so glad that you guys are there. And that you'll listen to this and we're able to communicate with each other. You give me life, I hope I provide something to you a value. But I'm I'm so glad you're out there. And you can help me to get some perspective right now just by coming up here to do this. So God bless you. If you're out there and you are not in our super secret Facebook group, just go to your Facebook application and type ins sober speak secret group and you will find us there and you'll have to ask to be admitted into the group. There's just one question you have on there but go ahead and we would love to have you as part of that group there are I don't know I think there's like 1800 or so people in there right now and we would love to have you as part of the community it's just a bunch of like minded people with you know heading in the right direction or excuse me heading in just the right direction is probably not the way I want to phrase that there are like minded people of the of the same mindset that are that are interested in recovery and we would love to have you in there as well so step on it if you are not following us on Instagram we are at apt sober speak all one word and we have a lot of amazing posts out there Miss Cassandra does both just about every one of them. And I though and the one monitoring all of the direct messages which we get plenty of and I appreciate you guys reaching out to me through that application you own the Instagram all right. Oh and by the way we are on Pinterest as well and trying to see if I get a little traction here and what exactly we can and can't do here but if you want to follow us on Pinterest we're there as well at Pinterest excuse me not at Pinterest at Silver speak all one word as well. Now on to the highlight here hmm And I just I do want to let you know I'm I'm recording these I'm pre recording these because I got a busy travel schedule coming up and so I may be a little behind on listener feedback and other kinds of stuff. But I will get caught up eventually. nonetheless. Emily you and we are calling this one vulnerability in Alcoholics Anonymous. Emily has been sober since December 31 2018. Yes, that is New Year's Eve we talk about skinny John and Emily's exposure to Alcoholics Anonymous through that gentlemen, we're talking about the gift of desperation. Emily's live growing up in Oklahoma or the wind comes sweeping No, no please. Anyway, and we talked about seeking outside help and a when necessary. Emily sums up what she would tell her younger self which I loved Emily's journey through discovering her own conception of God. And finally, I want to let you know that we do talk about sexual assault in this episode. So if that's something that triggers you, you may want to listen to some of our other episodes. And we cover much, much more with Emily. Without further ado, gentlemen, and ladies, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Emily, you and we will have plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of this episode. Enjoy. Okay, everybody. So today, we are sitting here with Miss Emily, you. So first things first, Emily, why don't you go ahead. Introduce yourself, give your sobriety date if you would like and tell people where you live, please.
Emily U 10:49
Okay. My name is Emily. my sobriety date is December 31, 2018. And I live in St. Louis, Missouri.
John M 11:01
December 31 2018. So you're coming up on three years now? Right at the end of this year? That's correct. Right.
Emily U 11:09
I think I'm right around 1000 days right now, I'm not sure. But somewhere
John M 11:13
1000. That's a good number. So let's go ahead and talk about this upfront. We're kind of cue this up to get to do a little recording here. And you said, I am really nervous. And I say why don't you go ahead and talk about that on the front end. So we just, you know, because vulnerability helps with all of those abs what Alcoholics Anonymous basically is all about, I mean, other things, but you know, you know what I'm saying so yeah, what's going on with you right now?
Emily U 11:39
Oh, man. Well, just real briefly, I'll say if you hear dogs barking people, whatever's going on, I'm dog sitting. We've been at the emergency vet in the last 24 hours. I have company in my house. It's bonkers. But I'm handling this with more certainty than I ever thought possible. I'm nervous just because I, you know, I always feel like, who wants to hear from me? What the heck do I have? That anybody would want? You know, and I still feel like I'm brand new at this. I'm learning all the time. So when it comes to sharing, or telling my story, I just think what in the world do I have to say that would be worth
John M 12:19
it? Have you ever actually shared your story? Like in full at a meeting? Yeah,
Emily U 12:23
no, I have not. Oh, so great.
John M 12:25
You get to go. Yeah. 10,000 people or so in your first shot? Yeah.
Emily U 12:31
Go bigger. Go home. That's all right.
John M 12:35
All right. So let's, let's tell everybody where we met how we came across each other. So we, you know, some of you may have heard me talk in the past. We were doing a little yoga thing on Sunday. And Emily was there every single Sunday. And she would both chair the meetings and share in the meeting. Sure, sure. Hey, that rhymes that net. But nonetheless, Emily was there she would share and I just absolutely, absolutely loved your enthusiasm. And by the way, Megan P I just talked to her right before this. She told me to tell you hello. Megan p as you know is the one who actually would put on the yoga classes and I know you guys are close. And so but that's how we came across each other. It's been so fun. So I decided I said after one of the classes I like I said I loved your enthusiasm. I love everything that you shared. And I thought we will you please come on the podcast and thank goodness you agreed to do and I want to say this also. And then we'll get to you. Emily, you every time I have somebody with the last name you on the program. I'm Oh, it sounds like Emily university but you're not in a university.
Emily U 13:51
Well, I haven't been to you. We were just talking about this. I haven't been married for that long. So I still forget that. I'm Emily. You so sometimes I mess up. It's fine.
John M 14:01
Where is that? I used to see that beautiful dog years. What's What's your dog's name?
Emily U 14:06
My dog's name is cappuccino we call him Chino and I I'm also if I'm a little goofy um, you know me, I'm always a little goofy, but I'm really tired. We were at the emergency vet with that big dog. Yesterday at 5am. He's fine. But give us a little scare. But he's in the other room resting. So I didn't figure I needed his help today.
John M 14:28
Yeah, he'd always come into those yoga classes are walking around. And he is not a lap dog is he?
Emily U 14:35
He thinks he is he's a great big dog. But he Yeah, he thinks he is and he loves yoga. So
John M 14:42
that's great. All right. So you're in St. Louis there. Have you lived in St. Louis all your life?
Emily U 14:48
I have not. I was raised in northeastern Oklahoma. In the Cherokee Nation. I've lived there in various places until almost exactly a year ago was when I moved here. I'm moved here. dating a guy here. I did all the things that you're not supposed to do in early sobriety, dated, someone ended up getting married, moved in, did all that COVID kind of forced our hand a little bit. But But yeah, so I've lived here now right out a year. So St. Louis has been really cool. I was not able to plug into in Person A where I live just because of that. I mean, it was it was an hour drive to a meeting kind of no matter which way I went. And so that was really hard for me to plug into. And this podcast, actually really helped me stay connected in early sobriety, and helped me decide that I was going to do this and not to be afraid of a and not to think it was a cult and all that jazz. So So yeah, so I'm living here. This has been a really cool experience, getting to be in a big city where there's meetings all the time. And even if, you know, since COVID, there haven't been as many in person meetings, but I've been able to be connected to people has been amazing.
John M 16:01
But you said Cherokee Nation, Are you American Indian descent?
Emily U 16:06
I am not I am very much not. But I was raised. I'm the whitest white there ever was. But But I was I was raised there. And it's kind of a neat, cultural and socio economic, little dome in this little area. It's a really neat kind of culture to grow up in. And so I'm really proud to be from Oklahoma, for most reasons. There's some reasons we'll skip that. I'm not sure. But But yeah, I miss it terribly. My parents are actually here visiting. And I'm so happy they're here this weekend. Not for happy circumstances, actually, we have a death in the family. So it's kind of a whirlwind. So I apologize again, if I'm a little a little scattered, but but I'm I miss it like crazy, but I have loved St. Louis my whole life. So I'm really proud to be here.
John M 16:56
Yeah. Do you sing that song in your head all the time of Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the range?
Emily U 17:03
Yes. Yes, sir. I know everywhere to that entire musical and people tease you or wherever you go. They say, Oh, you're from Oklahoma. Yes, I do know the words very much.
John M 17:17
sweeping down the range or something like that. That's about all I know. I definitely do not know the words
Emily U 17:23
are musical. Oh, yeah.
John M 17:26
Okay, so, Emily, you formerly Emily, some other letter of the alphabet. You grew up in Oklahoma. You wondered, you give me some sort of snapshot. You'd mentioned your parents there. You know, go into your background. Take me through some major milestones or whatever you want to share.
Emily U 17:49
Okay, so I am an only child. But I was really I say I was raised by my maternal grandparents. I was with them a ton. My folks had me as a baby of several several grandchildren. And I was with my maternal grandma, my man, I was with Nan all the time, I was a little sidekick. And a really grew up in it was kind of weird, less on the baby. And my man was a wonderful giving amazing woman. But she had zero boundaries. So every time there was a catastrophe, of which we had many in our family, whether it was on a big scale on a small scale, I was the little sidekick and I was always right there. Just by necessity. You got a four year old in tow, what are you going to do? You're going to have this kid along. So I had a very strange like my preschool years up to school age, I had a really strange smattering of run to take care of this one and run into help these folks and they're I mean, we've I've seen one of every kind of catastrophe, so probably things that would be considered like childhood trauma. As far as what I was exposed to didn't know any different. And it wasn't for lack of care. But literally what else you can do get this kid in tow with you. And my grandma was the one that everyone called for everything. So a lot of is usually just one crisis to another especially Yeah, I would say up until I was school age and then even after that, just always kind of always run into the rescue. So got some got some good qualifiers for Al Anon as well.
John M 19:33
So you don't want to talk about this as well. I you know, I had shared with you and the group actually that I had been going to so my counseling range. So recently, I've been going to some what's called Brain spotting, and you send me an email, and it was the kind of a feelings how to identify your feelings email, and I know that you had had some sort of experience with that can can you talk about that?
Emily U 20:00
Sure, I, man, I'm so glad that I sought mental health care it was way later than I should have. But that's another thing that runs in my family. Again, lots of anxiety issues, lots of clinical depression, and just no one had any professional help for it. So, you know, drink and drug and, and, you know, food and whatever else you can medicate with that was rampant as well in my family. So there's not a lot of healthy relationships to dealing with your own icky stuff. It was really just go through the motions of go through whatever the catastrophe is, then numb it later. And so I didn't learn a lot of healthy coping skills, I would say and so really just didn't have any basis for that what I thought was normal was you know, you know, exhaust yourself and try try try and you know, self will self will. And of course, that doesn't work. And so yeah, in the last probably the year leading up to me getting sober. I finally you know, sought professional counseling, and that was absolutely the catalyst for me getting sober. me realizing a lot of things about myself. Me. Yeah, just really growing into into the person that I am. But that had a huge that had a profound made big difference for me.
John M 21:30
Okay, so let's go back a little bit then. Also, you you're growing up in Oklahoma, you are with the with Nan, you're kind of going through a saving a lot of different people. When did the alcohol and or drugs come into the picture? Talk to me about that.
Emily U 21:51
I can't remember the first taste of alcohol specifically that I ever had. I know it was magic immediately. It was instantly a warm, happy feeling that I didn't that I didn't know before. And from my early my earliest drink, I drank to blackout. And so probably when I was 17. Nan passed away. She literally wore her heart out and she dropped dead of a heart attack. And she was kind of my only anything, the only person I was close to. And so when she died, I was so lost. I was not close to my own parents. They had worked shiftwork worked very hard, but I was not close to them. So I had these strangers. And of course, I'm 17. So I think I'm grown and I know everything right. And I know I'm I can take care of myself. And I always just kind of kept to myself played by the rules was making it through school doing okay, not really, you know, acting out or partying or anything like that. But as soon as I graduated and made it off to college, boy, we were off and running. And I could I could go in between, you know, I didn't drink all day, every day. But when I did, I went real hard. And it was absolutely an escape. And at the time it was it was working. And I could I couldn't sleep, I was doing a lot of grief. And I couldn't sleep and I had a lot of nightmares. Well, if you drink till you pass out, you're out, you know. So it was working. And so I drank quite a bit. I have no idea. I don't remember undergrad like the first few years of school. I don't remember any of it. It's an absolute miracle that I even went to class. But But then, when I was 20, in one year, we lost. I think it was four or five other family members. It was just like every three months, someone else close to me died. And I really wasn't super, super close to God or what I who I thought God was. But man, I was mad. Because who is this person that's supposed to be taking care of us. And so I started real quick, not getting along with that guy, whoever that old guy in the sky is that I thought God was he was not taking care of me. He hadn't given me all the things I thought he was supposed to have given me at this point, you know. And boy, he sure was causing a lot wreaking a lot of havoc, you know. So, so that at that point, I started drinking pretty heavily. And I can home I'm a pretty big girl. I'm a sturdy German girl. I could hold my liquor, and I was proud of it. And that was tough. And all of the family catastrophes didn't stop. And I still had that innate sense of growing up with me and I've run into the rescue of everybody. But I realized really quickly I wasn't capable of any of that. So I also also drink to numb that because that was a weird feeling of I'm supposed to be an adult and when you're 20 you are not an adult and you're not capable of anything but you You're expected to be so. So yeah, my my early 20s. I drink real hard, but I still play but I still made it to class still made A's and B's have no clue how but still did it. So it worked for quite a while. Alcohol was working for me it was keeping it was allowing me to sleep. It was allowing me to kind of reach out and make a friend I thought, you know, as high a drink and friends for sure. And so it absolutely got me out of my shell. And I thought it was fixing, you know, it was putting a lot of band aids on a lot of problems. That's what it was doing.
John M 25:43
We will be continuing our conversation with Emily, you just a moment just to reminder, you're listening to sober speak, you can find us on the worldwide web is sober speak.com. You can also find the donate button on our website, which you can use if and only if the spirit moves you to do such please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you the listener? All right now back to MLA. So you are in this state to where your I guess you would call it what they say not a functioning alcoholic, whatever the case may be. I'm assuming at some point has started to turn on you. Can you walk us through that phase?
Emily U 26:25
Sure. So gosh, how old was I, I think it was I think I was finally 21. So then I'm actually legal to go to the bars in Oklahoma. So boy, then you know, and at that point, it was just off the rails. And I can't even pretend that it wasn't. But I would go out, I had to have a roommate who was Whoo, she could drink too. And so we were repair. And we would go out probably three, four or five nights a week, I had a job, I had a little my first little office clerical job, that I had to show up to a hand to crawl in the door by 830. And boy, I barely made it. But um, so real quickly, you know, I was trying to trying to do this trying to go to school, trying to work full time at this little job. And it very quickly, you know, was off the rails. And I knew, man, I knew really early that this was going to be a huge problem for me. But I didn't know what else to do. And so I was just going to see how long we could go basically see how long I could make it drinking like this. And I drank to blackout. Almost. I mean, I don't. I'm sure that normal people with healthy brains that are not alcoholics can pick up a drink and think, oh, that tastes delicious and set it down. But not drinking for an effect just blows my mind how someone could not you know, that's just like, well, what's the point? And so, you know, I yeah, I was I was absolutely medicating. And so it went off the rails. And I realized, I think I started my grades started suffering and really went off the rails. I'll just say quick trigger warning for anyone about especially ladies, in this program, a lot of us have dealt with sexual assault. That's some of that started coming into play, I would drink not know where I was not have my faculties about me. So I'm already vulnerable, you know, hugely vulnerable. Um, and, you know, like I said, I thought my ego thought that I'd been playing by the rules. And I've been pretty good girl as far as that goes. And so I actually, I was raped when I was in a total drunken stupor. I remember freezing because I was scared and freezing because I was not able to fight. And so then, you know, so then I absolutely felt carried a huge amount of guilt that I didn't do this to myself. But I absolutely put myself in a situation where I couldn't, couldn't help myself. And so that really, really scared me. And that kept me that that got me out of the bars for quite a while. That kept me at home didn't keep me from not drinking on my couch, but that kept me at home for a long time.
John M 29:17
So you know, I don't want to belabor the issue here but obviously that's a traumatic incident. Right? Getting Did you can you take me through the progression of that particular event in other words what happened as the the weeks went on and even into sobriety and realizing what it did? Just take me through your thought process with all
Emily U 29:48
at the time you know, I at this point I'm I realized that I had a problem. And at this point, I was getting close to finishing college. allege my assault happened by someone who I was in every class with him. So I couldn't handle that couldn't face that. So I dropped out of school for a year, I was so close, so close to finishing, but I dropped out of school for a year and I thought, I'm just going to work, I'm just going to get up, I'm gonna go to work every day, I'm just going to be straight, you know, I can do this. I just got to get away from those people, and everything's gonna be okay. And I thought if I, you know, reinvented myself with some new people, well, of course, that that didn't work either. Because unless you absolutely cut out all of those, you know, all those habits, that's not going to change. But that put a big, you know, that slowed me down in school. So eventually I did finish school. And when I graduated, I knew Okay, I can't, I can't be doing this. And I decided that, okay, I'm just not going to drink. I cannot drink. I know that bad stuff happens. I'll just not drink. But there was no spiritual change. No, asking a higher power or any power greater than myself or outside of myself to help me. I just thought, Okay, I'll just not drink. And I honestly did it. Um, so I was just a dry. Oh, man, I was a pass. I was just, I was just a horrible, you know, I was just a dry drunk.
John M 31:19
Did anybody had you shared with anybody what had happened to you? Or was this is all
Emily U 31:24
eventually, no, eventually I did a few people. Sadly, this and ladies listening might know this. When you ever get around to letting most of this big, horrible thing. You're talking to another lady so much of the time they go, Yeah, I know, me, too. It's happened to so many people. And we don't talk about it. And it was almost like, I thought I had this big, bad, horrible thing happened to me, and that I was so special and so unique, and I wasn't. And so, you know, no, nothing. I never pursued anything legally, or anything like that, but but my son myself, will is just like, you know, I can I can do this, I can fix this, I'm going to keep myself safe. I'm going to keep myself out of harm's way. Um, you know, to some extent that works, but not, you know, not totally. So, you know, I work to get out of school and worked and still would be in situations where I thought, Okay, now I'm an adult. Now I'm at a, I'm at a conference, or I'm at this or that, and I'm going to have a grown up lady drink, I'm going to have one martini, and you know, whatever it was, and this is different. And it just never was. And so that went on for five or six years. And it just never was and I could go a year, two years, six months, I would have these big long stretches of time with no alcohol. So I'm like, you know, it's not a problem, right? But I always thought that I just changed my mind. I always thought that I just decided, uh, well, I'm just going to have, I'm going to go have drinks, I deserve it this one time. And it turned into a binder every time. And so, my, my, my bottom is not really like a big dramatic, you know, or a big, special event. It was just like tired of the same old crap. And dealing with the mental health issues. I had I at the time, I worked a job and my boss was she knew I struggled with mental health stuff. And she was very unsupportive. She was She joked about stuff all the time made some horrible jokes at my expense. And so I quit my job which I've never never quit anything I'm too bullheaded. But it quit my job. I've always had at least one job my whole life and absolutely just quit my job and came home and said, Oh my God. Oh, um, but just had to get out of there. And that was probably the first time I'd ever taken a stand for my own good my own my own mental health and knowing like okay, this situation I'm in got to get out of it. I can't these half measures of trying to eke around and just get by or not working. So that was really the the path that I guess that would be my blockquote you know, bottom, my rock bottom. How did that go?
John M 34:23
How did you know about Alcoholics Anonymous.
Emily U 34:27
I had met a man which Sam was skinny John we call him skinny. Because you know there's lots of John's and I and I long before I had met him in college and skinny was skinny has since passed away now but skinny was the face he was the big book before I ever cracked the big book. Met him and he was like that one thing that I remembered like, oh yeah, skinny was all right. And he was sober. And he was a he was a man skinny had been homeless. I could tell skinny stories all day. But, but so that kind of, you know, had me thinking like, okay, maybe, maybe it's not that bad because skinny was pretty cool. He was a cool dude. He had been homeless before, he was just like this, he was kind of half cuckoo, like the rest of us, he was great. And so I thought, well, you know, it's gonna He's not the worst person in the world. So at that point, I finally sought mental health care. And you know, you don't go into therapy on a winning streak. Usually. That's usually how that works. And so I go in, thinking, I've got all these problems, right, like fighting with my dad. At the time, I had a boyfriend, he's a pain in the ass. And I've got all these people, right? So I go into therapy, I'm like, You got to fix all these people. Can you please tell me how to get you know, fix all these other people in my life so that my life will be better. And I'll be darned if I was not the common denominator. And so. So that's that, really, luckily, the therapist that I sought out just happened to be a drug and alcohol counselor. And I ended up Yeah, I was, I was doing sessions with her. And I came in, we had talked, we talked about alcohol quite a bit. Probably, and that was probably a tip off, too. If it's not such a problem, why do we have to talk about it all the time? So so, you know, I did some experimenting with sobriety, I went to some parties, and I remember going, I had, I had a holiday party that I was going to go to and I went in and I told I said, You know what, I'm going to go, I'm going right after this, and I'm not going to drink. And my therapist said, okay, you know, okay, cool, what's you know? And she said, Okay, we'll try. That's cool. It's, you know, it's not a problem for you. So you should just try that. It shouldn't be a big deal. And let me know how that goes. So next day, I called her, I said, Oh, my gosh, I went, and I thought about it. And I went, I proceeded to tell her an hour long story about how much I thought about it, but I didn't do it. And that eventually she let me hear myself enough to go. She said it bounce, you know, sounds like you sure do think about alcohol a lot. And I Oh, I was like more she read me up and down. And so um, so that was in you know, that was in the fall or that Christmas time of that year? And by Yeah, by New Year's Eve, every time I tell someone my sobriety date, they go, Oh, God, no, you're new, you're late. But my New Year's Eve, I, I and I've never loved that particular holiday, I poured myself a drink. And I sat and I looked at it. And I was like, I don't want to do this. And I had it in front of me and I was like this isn't I had the moment of this isn't going to help anything. Come on now. Um, and so I'm sure you know, there were several days before that that I hadn't had a drink but that's that's my first intentional Hey, I don't want to do this moment. And so my desire to stop drinking was definitely was that New Year's Eve day so and boys you go
John M 38:07
to a directly right after that, or
Emily U 38:10
I did not I had so I've been listening to sober speak a lot and really show your listener
John M 38:15
why you're out there. I you know, we get a lot on the right hand. Originally, when I started doing this, I thought this is just gonna be a bunch of my buddies listen in and you know, but I noticed that there are a lot of people who are, you know, struggling to make that move. So anyway, you don't have to do this over speaking and
Emily U 38:35
listen to server speak. And somewhere back if you guys go back and listen to if you're going to go back and listen to some early episode I wrote in and you and I wrote in of oh my god, I'm an alcoholic. And this is a weird moment to be talking to you about this now because I remember you reading it and saying hang on Emily. It's okay. And you read my comment. Um, and so this is a trip to be here. Um, and yeah, I really clung to this podcast, because there were not meetings in my little town. I actually, I worked so I work the steps with this with this counselor, right? She's, she's a drug and alcohol counselor. And she got there was one meeting halfway close. And it was a 12 step program wasn't a but it was a group of court card folks signing each other court cards like there was no there were you know, there wasn't a month of sobriety in the whole room and I remember her I said, Well, maybe I should just go to that and she said, you know, you're gonna make a friend you don't need don't go there. Don't go to that did not go to that meeting and looking back that's probably that's good. That but so I ended up working the steps with her and I really had to, you know, do my homework and come every week to therapy and I was so on fire. Because I saw I finally saw away How did this because I You know, God, really, the gift of desperation is no joke. And I truly was at the point of when it clicked for me that I was the common denominator. And, you know, even if I could put down the drinks at this thinking problem was completely my own. Yeah, and, you know, listening to this podcast, I listened for the similarities. And no matter who it was, what age what background, I was at, at this point, I'm self employed, so I could listen and listen to put it on my speaker and listen all day long. So I stood out there in my shop, and I aim in all day long to go to speakers. And, you know, realizing, oh, man, oh, I'm just like her. Oh, I'm just like him all day, every day. I mean, 40 hours a week, I just like plugged in hard, you know? So, so absolutely. This podcast and other sober podcasts and a few other mental health resources totally, in early sobriety, were my lifeline, because I didn't have meetings.
John M 41:04
And I know that, you know, we have a common friend, buddy, see, who has a podcast called a Tao of our understanding, I believe, was what was called. And I think that's one of the ones that you grasped onto as well. Am I right?
Emily U 41:19
Yeah. And that's, that's been more recently, but that oh, man that has been instrumental in I'm at this point. So since I moved to St. Louis, I'm now working the steps again, with a new sponsor, because I've worked the steps but work the steps but not you know, I would say it wasn't real because it will you know, it's a completely different experience. So I'm getting this cool new. Just cool new, I'm just so reenergized about a now be in here in the city. So yeah, my concept of God. And I took a long time working on my third stuff this last time and talk to buddy and listen to that podcast, and really dove in. And that has has been really a real cool experience.
John M 42:04
Okay, so talk to us about that. So will you say it took a long time working on my third step this time, and it's been a cool experience, run us through that.
Emily U 42:12
So I had the opportunity to through you know, God bless us. It took us a pandemic for me to just get on a Zoom meeting every day, but and I'm sure that resource was available three years ago, but I just didn't know about it. So plugged into a international Zoom meeting. It finally came around to me, I finally like sharing, I said that I was from St. Louis and I see one little square on the screen start frantically waving. And pretty soon this person goes, Oh, my God, this girl said, Oh, my God, I'm in St. Louis. We get we exchanged numbers. The next week, we're out. So this friend I've made through an international meeting. She instantly the first time she and I go out for we call it our A dates, we go out for coffee. She says, Well, do you have a sponsor in St. Louis? I said no, she she hooked me up that right then and there. She said, here's a number. And I think she maybe even dialed it and put it up put me on the phone with her. So right away, you know, it took it took, like I said, this international zoom thing for me to get someone locally. But I got this sponsor, and she just absolutely could not believe that I was sober. Like, how in the world, you know, how have you done this without meetings? Have you done this? So she and I, we hit our knees, it was supposed to be let's do this every day for 30 days. And then we did it more like 60 days. Um, you know, working on third step prayer, and I kept a huge journal. And so the this so buddy's podcast, the Dow of our understanding talks about, you know, these, these ancient works of literature, but Eastern philosophy and a lot of these works of literature and readings, and how those relate. And it's, it's some of it's just the oldest, most common knowledge, really simple stuff for 1000s of years, right, that these guys wrote down 1000s of years ago, their ancient texts, and you know, it's not as related to a deity. Again, I got a lot of had a lot of resentments to this, this image of a dude upstairs that I had, that I had created in my head. And so this is a it's a, it's a new concept of God. And it's something that I I'm really proud to, you know, to get to experience because it's something that I don't think a lot of people are given that opportunity and I'm so grateful that I get to get to, you know, plug into these cool people on a is absolutely, there's no way I would have come to that had it not been for recovery. So that's a that's really cool.
John M 44:49
So you have a lot of people sitting out there who are just like you were kind of struggling to get sober. By the way, you know, I do want to say this and Before I go on to that, is that we talked about this on the beginning is that the, you know, see, you said you were nervous, and I said, you know, just basically just be vulnerable, you know, just just be yourself, you know, tell who you are. That's what people care about. And you have done that in spades. I, you know, I know I've been in some meetings with you online. But, you know, obviously, I didn't know everything about your story, I still don't know everything about it. And I can see you sitting there tearing up right now. And I'm just so glad that you've, you know, come on here and shared your, your truth with so many out there that are listening, and I'm really thankful for that. But look at it this way, you have a lot of people out there that are listening to this, there may be kind of struggling to stay sober themselves. And you know, as you know, we can't get them sober. But we can share experience, strength and hope. So what would you say to people that are out there and they are on the edge? If you want to call us over curious funeral called however you want to phrase that? Would you share a little bit in that arena?
Emily U 46:25
Gosh, I sometimes think okay, what would I tell myself? And then I think, you know, as wonderful as my life is now and I couldn't have imagined how how wonderful this could be now, I don't think I would have listened to me. But if I did, I said, Hey, this is future you listen, but But what I would tell Emily, three or four years ago, was it's okay, that it's okay to reach out for help. And even if you don't know what you're asking for, you know, even if you just cash it, whoever it is, if you're if you're stumbling into a, in a meeting somewhere, if you just go into, you know, go into a counselor for the first time calling to ask if you can get an appointment for a counselor, you know, because that's, that's how it happened to me, I wasn't even calling to ask I just, in general was calling it was I was a total BS, like, hello, I would just like some more information about your therapy, it was such a shame, ended up saying she was like, Well, some people need help. And I said, I need help. That's how I got it. So you know, pick up the phone, and the words will fall out of your mouth, you know. And it was a, it was pretty funny. But but, you know, gosh, don't be afraid to reach out. And don't be afraid to, you know, if you're listening to this thinking podcast or whatever, right, that person, you know, when John says, You can reach me, John, it's over speak. Right? Right, the man and email, you know, because that that was huge. For me, the fact that you responded to me at all, much less, I didn't, you know, not that you read my comment on the air or whatever. But, um, because connection is, connections, everything connection is the antidote for this crazy disease, you know, and whether we know it or not, and it can be what we're most afraid of. And this vulnerability can be what we're most afraid of, but God, it's the only way out, you know, the only way out is through through this kind of connection, and just reaching out to somebody. And that's the cool part about the traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, is that once you know once, that's what you and I are here for now, we're in and we can't wait to extend a hand and we can't wait to be here. And to talk to somebody. And it's it's only been recently that you know, we share numbers in meetings, I had put my my name on a list of a lot of ladies numbers, and someone reached out to me and called me. And the feeling that I had the first time after someone reached out to me because they wanted to talk to you know, I had this always have this feeling of what do I have, but the fact that someone wanted to talk to me. God, that's an amazing, you know, that's an amazing feeling. So, if you are afraid to own or bother someone, or oh, I don't want to, though Oh, they don't want to talk to me. We do because it keeps me that keeps me sober. And it helps me way more than you would ever know. So God don't be afraid to to reach out to somebody we it's it's better for all involved.
John M 49:41
Oh, Emily, you've had just fantastic. See that wasn't that bad, was it? No, that's all right. All right. Alright, I'm going to read from page 164. From the book to close this out. It says abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to him and Do your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past, give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit. And you will surely be some of us like me. And Emily, you, as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you, and keep you until then, once again, Emily, you're the best. I really appreciate you coming on today.
Emily U 50:26
I love you, John, thank you so much. Love you.
John M 50:30
Emily, you are the best. Thank you so much one more time for spending time with me and sharing your story. We all appreciate it. God bless you. Thank you very much. And I know the listeners are going to enjoy that. If you enjoyed that, and who did not write, go ahead and pause your device if you would, and share that episode with a friend or a family member. It may be just what they need today. And if you have any feedback regarding Emily, or any of the other speakers, please reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you. I'm at John J. O HN as sober speak.com. Now on to a little bit of a listener feedback. And first we have here, Mr. Oh, let me I forgot the name. Calem. Right. Yes, Kailyn. And Kailyn is going to give to you a voicemail, which he he's not going to give to you I hope that's not the way to phrase that we will be giving we will be in here is a voicemail from Kayla, we'll just put it that way.
Hi, John. My name is Kailyn I just want to let you know how absolutely amazing your sober speak podcasts are and how amazing you are as the hosts and speakers are all so good. You really helped me in every aspect of my life right now. I'm a little over four months sober. I've been in and out of sobriety for 20 years, never longer than a year. I never have done a or anything. And that's something that I am really looking into this time because what I've been trying to do before, obviously has not worked for me at all. So yeah, I listen to you every day, almost the whole time. While I'm at work. I don't know what I'm gonna do when I catch up to them. Today. We only do once a week did give up the good work. And like I said, I love hearing you. I love listening to you. You guys are an inspiration to me. And just everything about you is amazing. So thank you.
John M 52:52
Thank you, Kayla. I sure appreciate you leaving that message. That was awfully kind of you. God bless you once again and I'm so glad that me and everyone who works on this podcast and all the listeners can be part of your journey. But thank you for leaving that I appreciate it. Katie writes in and Katie says hi oh she actually DM me on Instagram, the gram the Insta you know we cool people say stuff like that. She says Hi John. I just finished listening to episode number 207 With norm A and I just had to drop you align to say thanks for sharing. I got a lot out of what he said and couldn't help but think of my grandfather. By the way, if you're out there and you haven't heard norm A episode number 207 go back and listen to it is absolutely fantastic. But anyway, Katie goes on my grandpa died an alcoholic at age 55 When I was just 10 years old. He never found his what his wager a as far as I know, but I think he would have really liked norm A norms words hit me in a special way that reminded me of the lessons my grandpa used to teach as his kids. I'd like to think that maybe this is my grandpa's way of letting me know that he finally made it to the pig meeting in the sky. Big hard. I'm hoping my brother is joining him as well. Tomorrow marks 10 years since my brother lost his life to this disease. And your podcast has been helping me to reflect on how important the Al Anon program has been for me as I work to unconditionally love the alcoholics in my life, both alive and those who have passed. Thank you so much for your service. Katie, with the purple Mohawk in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Katie, what a lovely note on Instagram. I really appreciate you. God bless you and your family that really touched me. And if anybody is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and they know somebody named Katie with a purple Mohawk, please let her know you heard about this and give her my best. Thank you, Katie. Thanks for writing in. Okay, so Oh, here is a post from okay. So if you listen on Apple podcasts or iTunes, they used to call it and you're able to give a review. They let you give reviews in there. And, and I've not been as caught up as I should, by the way, if you ever want to give a rating or review on Apple podcasts, you can, but this is one that I got. Hey, folks, I give you everything right, the good and the bad and the ugly. And so anyway, somebody named NWA Robert, that's just the, you know, get their real names. It said, all he posted was I'm assuming Robert is a male. It says it says about my podcasts, it says what an incredible recipe for relapse in all big capital weathers and letters. And then it says underneath that it says, How about more recovery and less sigh College? Now, you know, and I don't know exactly what Robert listened to, but I get it, right. I what I do is not everyone's cup of tea, and he can't please all the time. I wish I could communicate NW. Robert, if you want to send me an email and just have a small discussion about it. I would love to know specifically what you're talking about. But nonetheless, you know, we got a lot of people who do enjoy the program. But anyway, NW, Robert, I I'm assuming that somebody so if you Hey, do me a favor, if you're listening out there. If you if you are in the northwest area of the United States, and you know somebody named Robert, if you could just ask them if they left a review on on Apple podcast about cyber speak.
John M 57:31
I would like to know that but anyway, God bless you and have your Robert, wherever you are. I do hope you're finding what you need. And you know, so I get the less psychology portion. I I did do. So I did I did one episode a long time ago, where we did have a counselor when we talked about oh, do we talk about Oh, shame and stuff like that. Maybe that's the only episode he found or something like that. Who knows, but nonetheless, but here is another post on Apple podcasts. And this one comes from Kirsten, ah, I'm not gonna say her last name, but it is there. But she says John M. Can you find some tapes on Clancy from California also, there's a man named norm A an old timer he died now, I would be it would be great to hear in these two. Thanks. And you know what, I do need to post something from Clancy. And we did post norm A to Your wish is my command. Miss Kristen, thank you for posting that. And you know what, I forget that. I know who normally is and I know who Clancy is. And I know a lot of these old timers but I forget that a lot of people coming into this podcast for the first time don't know these old timers. And I think I'm going to start doing more more of that I had a suggestion from some of these other people. I've just you know what it is? I've got to go back I got to find the tapes. I've got to listen to make sure they're clean from an audio perspective and that is you know, it was one of their better talks or whatever the case may be and then get it uploaded. So anyway, I appreciate you writing with that. That review that you live there Kristen are sure do appreciate it. Krista not Kristen, but this is another one this is Krista writes in and she says Hi John. Oh, this is Krista wrote in with a little she she made a contribution to in the amount I usually talk about the the the amount or any amount is good. And by the way, I just want to reiterate if you have the chance once again, between key giving a contribution to my silly little podcasts and giving to your local group. I would much rather you give that to your local group, okay? Because that's where the real work and the real action in Alcoholics Anonymous Al Anon in any of the other 12 Step groups has taken place, and I would read the give it there. But anyway, Christina, she, she made a little contribution young. And it was a weird amount. I'll just put it that way. Right. And I'm going to how did they come up with that amount? And I wrote back and I said, Hey, Krista, where did you come up with that amount? And they said, John, this was the amount the amount was such and such. And, and I thought you may think it was a sobriety day, but it's not. It's the exact amount I had left on a gift card. That was great. And she says, I will donate more as I listen where you don't have to donate anything, Chris, just keep listening. Okay? She says after I get a job, just keep listening, no more donation deed or none at all. Like I always say in the middle of the broadcast, you know, only if the spirit moves you, you know, this is God will take care of me. I'm more than fine. But nonetheless, I just thought that was hilarious. It was that she had an a gift gift card. And she says I found your podcast yesterday, when I was searching for something recovery base to listen to on a longish scenic drive. By the way, she sent me pictures of her scenic drive and what she came across. It was absolutely beautiful out there. She said in the past, I've listened to YouTube speakers, and I was delighted to find your podcast. It is fantastic. And I have shared it with many folks since yesterday. I love the interview format. You are quite talented, John. Well, I don't know about that. But we have some really cool people that we have on here. My job for the most part is to get out of the way. Anyway, she says so far I've listened to Brian P number 194. Rich be number 208 and Adam T these are all three so rich with a nuggets. I have to keep passing your
John M 1:02:20
I have to keep pausing your podcasts to write down those nuggets. Oh, that's really cool. She says I've just moved to Portland, Oregon from Oakland, California. And she says I've just graduated my Master's in Counseling Psychology program. I hope to work in the addiction treatment program. I'm waiting to hear back and I'm hopeful I will be able to continue to share your podcasts far and wide. My sobriety date is December 3 of 2016. Thanks for using your gift to carry the message John gratefully, Christa will thanks for using your gift and going back to school and getting out there in that addiction treatment program. We always need good good people out there with a good heart and I'm so glad that you've gone back to school and gotten your degree that's absolutely fantastic. Timothy writes in and Timothy says Hi John. Thanks for letting me in the super secret Facebook group I heard so much about one no problem Timothy thanks for Jenna's are really appreciate uh, you. He says I've been sober for most of the time since 2011. And I recently had my first ever three year cake after my after my second two year and my third one year cakes in that time. I live in tumbler Ridge, BC, Canada population 1000 ish. I moved back here three years ago after going to school in Vancouver. We've had in person meetings throughout this whole pandemic time. And I've been opening the doors for a little over two years now. Our little fellowship here is growing. We have almost 10 People coming somewhat on a regular basis now but when we started it was usually just me sitting in my van listening to the sober speak back Cal Well listen, all you folks up there and tumbler Ridge BC, Canada. I love that that meeting is starting to take form and Oh, that is absolutely fantastic. All of your guests have been just what I needed one in particular. I can't remember who said it but I've been using this line quote. The first time I did my step four, I stole some rope. A few weeks later there was some horses attached to that rope. I don't remember who said that either. was good but that's really funny and He says so much. I'm basically known for it around here now. Good for you. I, I can't remember who said that now, I should probably give proper credit to the anonymous person who came up with it. And now that I'm doing things right where, you know, hey, listen, just about everything that comes out of my mouth. I've heard in the rooms before, and I can't always remember where, but, but that's great. Oh, and the other thing I've heard is that you should give the person credit at least three times. But after that, hey, it's yours now, right? Anyway, he says, yeah, that line really resonated with me. And I think back to my first times, half passing the steps looking at search list searching and fearless and thinking, I'll give it one of these. One. Oh, I'll give it one of those. Anyway, he says, and I don't know why I think he's, I don't know why he signs this way. But he says, maybe, Timothy, you'll have to write me let me know. He says Jesus loves your mom sign, Timothy. Well, thanks. Alright, everybody. That's it for another app of sober speak. Thank you so much. God bless you. And thank you. Thank you all so much for being there. Keep coming back at works if you work at I take this one week at a time. Hopefully we will be back next week. God bless
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