David G 00:00
I made the wasn't really a mistake. I was about to say a horrible mistake. This was going to happen no matter what happened with our wedding gifts. But I had all the wedding gifts that we were going to return in the trunk of my car. I had all our wedding gift money in my car with me anyone seen where this could be a bad idea for a guy who's like two months over? And I started thinking about, just man, this is a lie that some of you will understand. And I understand those of you who only drank will not understand but it's still the truth about me. I believe the lie that is the craziest lie that anyone could believe and it shows how mentally ill I am. I'm just going to go get a 20.
John M 00:48
What Hello friends of Bill W and other friends you have landed on SoberSpeak. 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 for 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 AA or any 12 Step community. We represent only ourselves. We're here to share our experience, strength and hope with those who wish to come along for the ride. Take what you want. And leave the rest at the curb for the trash man to pick up.
John M 01:53
Greetings from deep in the heart of Texas. That was the voice of Mr. David G that you heard at the beginning of this episode here. Number 211 or dos Uno, uno 211. For those of you counting at home, and you are going to hear so much more from David G in just a moment.
John M 02:26
But first things first this episode that excuse me. I'll explain that in just a second. This episode is coming right out to you and brought to you by Michelle. You know Michelle, Michelle God bless her heart, she went to our website, w w w dot sober speak dot com and she clicked on little yellow Pay Pal tab and she made a contribution. So thank you very much, Michelle, for your generosity. This episode is coming right out to you.
John M 03:06
So when I said I'll explain that in a second I'm I got a few things going on here. I mentioned this last week, but I'm in the middle of some heavy travel as I'm having to get these out ahead of schedule. And then I noticed this morning I was coming down with a little something little some. So I had to take a little Sudafed, and I just feel like I am all over the place. I'm a little tongue tied. I'm a little jittery, you know how it goes. And so I don't feel all there. But I wanted to get an episode out while I can on the weekend here. And you know now that the COVID has slowed down a little bit. I know it's not gone. But it's kind of slowed down a little bit in my business travel is starting to pick up and you know, and it just takes a lot of my time away. But in fact, let me fill you in on a little something that happened here. Oh, a few days ago, I was coming back from a business trip. And one of these things that I know many of you have been through before. I'm not complaining. But you know, my flight got delayed by like three or four hours and I was just sitting there saying, okay, just get some work done. Just do what you can, you know, in doing my thing, so to speak. But then I went into the app, my American Airline app, and I saw a flight that I thought was earlier and I clicked on that flight. And I made the changes and it says congrats you've made changes and there's no fee for this and all that kind of stuff. It was like a big party or whatever. Well the reason American Airlines is showing us So excuse me, throw such a big party is because I got off a plane that was very crowded, and onto one that was not very crowded, and it was gonna end up taking me through Charlotte and back here to Dallas, and I was just like, oh, no, you have got to be kidding me. So that would have delayed me by even three more hours. And so the whole point of the story being is, once again, I know people go through travel issues all the time and have to deal with weather, canceled flights and all these sorts of things. But I was able to kind of, let me put it this way, I didn't freak out. And I just kind of kept going through the motions. And I eventually, through a phone call to American Airlines got back on my flight and all was okay. But you know, it's just, um, I wasn't drunk. I didn't go off on anybody. I didn't blame the world for my mistakes. In other words, the fact that I actually clicked on that little thing to make the flight change. And so anyway, I don't know why I wanted to share that I just thought it'd be kind of fun.
John M 06:15
I, John M, just another Bozo on the bus, by the way, will be the chairperson for this meeting between meetings. And I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening is to take a seat if you will, around this. And I'm doing my hand a little circle, little, little, little like, you know, virtual table circle 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 and said this in a little while. But for those of you who do not know you can find us on Apple podcast formerly known as iTunes, Google podcasts, a Spotify Stitcher Podbean, TuneIn you can even play is on. Oh, I can't say it. I did this last week. I'll spell it you could say Alexa as loud he can and then just say play Sober Speak and play Sober Speak podcast. And it will take off and your ears will be just so happy that you did that. Nonetheless, you can find us in all those places. And I know I know, your time is valuable and there are so, so many other things you could be doing with your time and I'm appreciative that you're listening in to my silly little podcast. I hope we're doing a little bit of good in this world.
John M 07:46
If you are not in the super secret Facebook group, go to that Facebook application search up secret excuse me Sober Speak secret group and ask for and ask for admission and we will get you in there. If you're not following us on Instagram, the gram. You that is at @SoberSpeak all one word and I monitor all the DM's in there and Miss Cassandra does all the great posts in there. And you'll want to go in there and check that out.
John M 08:20
Alright, a couple things here. Before we get to Mr. David G. I came across this this week. In fact, in the super secret Facebook group, this was from Gary K, the Gary K that many of you know he's very active within the Sober Speak Facebook group, and the secret group I should say. He put this in there and it just kind of made me kind of stop and think about it for a second. And this is a quote from the big book. It says when the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. PAGE 64. We read that again, when the spiritual malady is overcome, not the financial malady, or the emotional malady, it says when the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. Once again, that's from the big book on page 64. And then, this is something else that I wanted to make note of this week, I was in an AA meeting. Imagine that I was in an AA meeting and somebody named Mary was chairing the meeting and she said, I just got a kick out of this. She said you know what? I'm a perfectionist, but I don't have any follow through and that's a very bad combination. I just thought that. That just tickled me to know and she said once again, I'm a perfectionist, but I don't have any follow through and that is a bad combination.
John M 10:00
All right, everybody. Now on to our featured guest. This is Mr. David G. And he went up to, some of you may know what a City Wide event is, we have him here in Dallas they have him in Oklahoma City as well. They have them in Fort Worth have it was started down in Austin, I believe, by my friend Harris. And they have city wide events all over the country. And basically, what this is, in fact, if you don't have one in your city, you may want to think about cranking one up, I could always get you in touch with Austin, if you're interested in the template for doing that, but none of the set but I said Austin Harris, my friend Harris, who lives in Austin, but nonetheless there is an event is called Oklahoma City Wide. And basically what they do is once a month they bring in a speaker, sometimes they're local, sometimes from out of town. And as opposed to all the groups having separate speaker meetings, just all the groups in the entire city come together. And they have one large event and David G. my friend was actually invited to speak at that conference. And I asked for a copy a recording of that a copy of that recording. And a Mr. Randy, thank you so much, Randy supplied that to me via David, he brought it back in his car. But nonetheless, this is just David, I know so many of you know him from the podcast already. If this is your first exposure to him, and you love this, and I know you're gonna just go to our website, click on the podcast and if you search the word, David, in the podcast, it'll give you all of David's episodes. I'm assuming he has, ah, somewhere between seven and 10, something like that. He's been a very popular guest on the podcast, and I'm so thankful to present him to you in another format if you will. This is This isn't me interrupting him with questions all the time. This is just David presenting his story live. I know you're gonna enjoy this, we're gonna have some listener plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of this episode. So enjoy David. And we'll see you on the rear end of this didn't sound quite right, does it? I'm just gonna let it go. Bye.
David G 12:39
Hey, guys, David, alcoholic, man, it's killer to be here. Somehow I got sober on September 15 of 1993. So birthdays coming up, which is always a good time to hear What happened? Why am I like this? Why am I here? Why do I know you guys, you know, wasn't a plan. You know, I didn't wake up one day and say I wasn't gonna believe in anything other than getting high. I just wasn't like that for me. You know, I came from a good place a good home a good family, who loved me and cared about me and took care of me. And the only thing I wanted to do was exactly what they did not want me to do. So like, when I was a kid, if you invited me to your house, and you said, Man, you can go anywhere, you can do anything, just make yourself at home. But please stay out of that closet. All I would be able to think about was getting into that closet and finding out what was going on in there because that's obviously where the good times were.
David G 13:39
So the day before my first day meeting was in May of 1987. I was between my freshman sophomore year in college, I was a blackout drug addict, which means I was blacking out every time I drank and coming to on drugs. And this particular night, I was at my mom's house. She used to be a Methodist minister married to a Methodist minister and I would be in there I was in what became when I moved out my bedroom very quickly became a sewing room. And so I was in the guest room. And somehow I ended up at home. And at two or three in the morning, I came to blazing on acid. I mean, like I had no idea how I got there. I had no idea what I was on. I found out a few days later, after having a lot of problems at home with my family what had happened, that I had been too drunk and out of control. And my friends didn't think that what we took was gonna affect me.
David G 14:39
And so when I came to I was in this so my stepdad brought into this this relationship and old school like 70s waterbed. You know, like the big like, oak headboard. You know, like if you pushed on the corner, you could make waves go across, and in the head of the headboard was this big oval smoked mirror. And so I'm trying to figure out what's going on. I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with me. And I just keep coming back to this mirror. And I'm staring in the mirror and things are changing and I'm becoming this evil horned red. I get red anyway. But I literally looked like blood red. And that went on for probably five or six hours. This was the last time I ever took acid because it was what people call a bad trip. And at about nine in the morning, I hear this and I skittered across the bed like a rat. And it was my mom saying, honey, it's time to go to work. There's a place in Dallas called Dave and Busters. And every summer I had worked in the Midway being the basketball guy, right. And I had to be at work that morning at 10 o'clock, my mom had cooked me this breakfast, you know, we're, we're kind of southern people. So it was grits and bacon and eggs, you know, really what I would love to go eat right now. But in this state, I was not capable of eating it. So I took this long shower when you take it. So here's the thing about being an alcoholic. And everyone here I know is going to relate to this. The worst thing about being an alcoholic is being so messed up at a place where you can't be messed up. And really like trying to hold it together. So like you walk across the room worried that people are going to notice that you're uncomfortable with the way you're walking, so you'll literally so I walk into the kitchen at my mom's house, she has this breakfast at the table, and she has a plate for herself. And she's sitting next to me and I'm trying to put the scrambled eggs in my mouth, trying with all my mind to put the scrambled eggs in my mouth that are crawling all over the floor and the play. And my mom is getting closer and closer to me. And she's going What is wrong with you. You're not just stoned right now something is wrong with you. And as she got closer and closer to the side of my face, I couldn't hold it anymore. I couldn't hold the I'm trying to be sober. And I just said Mom Get away from me. I think I'm trippin acid. So that was the first day I went to NA. I went to na instead of a because I thought I could drink it in a and I wasn't ready to give that up. And the first thing they read there was you know, alcohol is a drug and we are in the grips of an addiction and must abstain from all drugs, something like that. I mean in in 25 years, but that's what they said there. And I was like, so I go back to this treatment counselor, they had sent me to whose job it was to keep me sober that summer and drug test me at the end, which was going to be like the litmus test for whether I got to go back to school. And I said, you know, they said that you can't drink there he goes, Oh, yeah. And I became so depressed.
David G 17:54
Because at that point is crazy as that little story I just told you. I already knew at 19 years old that I did not know how to function without alcohol and drugs. I knew it. And that I was going to have to stay at my mom's house for the next two and a half months and not drink, not do drugs. What was I going to do plus it in a they kept telling me I had to change my playmates and my playground and my play things. And I'm like, I don't wanna so here's what I learned. I stayed sober that summer, 60 days. I actually relapsed right before I was thinking I was going to get drug tested, but I didn't. But I had a friend of mines urine and a little pill bottle in my pants. And I it didn't work because when I walked into my dad's office, he was a dentist, the pill bottle broke and it poured cold urine all down my leg that I had to disguise for my father the whole time I was there. And they did that. So I went back to school. Don't hate me, but I graduated from UT in Austin. And I know I know it's good. What I learned is don't go home for summer. So I didn't go home for summer until I graduated. I got home from UT. And I was like a total or stoned person, you know, just totally like deeply Austinites. You know, I had a blood red VW bug with a header that set up everyone's alarms. It was lowered. You couldn't see through the windows, we used to pull the seat out and put a keg in there. So we always had beer no matter where we went at the parties. I was like in Dallas, I had long hair. I wanted to like get a job and I felt so out of place in Dallas, because in Austin is a super comfortable place to be that way. In Dallas where I was living. I was like trying to convince my parents that I was going to be able to get some sort of job based on all the money they just spent on college, but I couldn't. I couldn't. So I did what you do and you can't pass a drug test. I wouldn't work at Chili's. They don't drug tested till they didn't then they may now. And so I went to work at Chili's and I became just a worse Uh, worse alcoholic. I got, you know, we don't know, to go into details. But I started trying to get sober it was it was ugly enough that I voluntarily went back. You know, I went back to NA, I started going to a, I tried, you know, the first time I picked up a chip and like June of 1991. I stayed sober for six, seven months, which was really a beautiful thing. Looking back, you know, when we lose our sobriety, we say we, we lost sobriety, I didn't lose sobriety. during that seven months, I got to take care of my grandmother when she died in hospice, you know, and I was there for her every day, I was batshit crazy. But I was there for her every day, I knew something was wrong. And this is an important thing. So my grandmother helped raise me, my parents, they were very good parents, and very good to me. And they weren't volatile in any way because they were stoned all the time. And so that meant that like, my grandmother would come over and she was in recovery. And she would come to our house and kind of take care of me, you know, my mom was just really high and didn't want to do stuff. And so my grandmother was, so I was very close with her and, and when she passed away, we had a little funeral in her backyard under a tree with rose bushes. And we had cremated her and I dug a hole. And I'm standing there with my mom and my sister and my grandfather and my aunt, and we're holding hands, and they start to sing AmaZing Grace. And so I'm about six, seven months dry. And they're singing, and I'm not singing and I love to sing. And the reason I wasn't singing as I couldn't figure out why I didn't feel anything. I stood at my grandmother who I loved graveside in the backyard where I grew up, knowing that I would never see her again, in everything inside of me was dead. And that is what unrecovered alcoholism feels like when you're dry. And I didn't know that at the time, I just thought I was broken. And I was broken. So then I relapsed actually on the morphine that my grandmother was given. And, and I started becoming a revolving door guy at a just revolving door. And I went to both, you know, in Dallas, people told me, you know, it's gonna be different today. And it wasn't, you know, the people that a treated me just like gold, you know. And I went to a lot of meetings, and I would get two to three months sober, and I wouldn't want to drink and I would go to tons of meetings, and I wouldn't want to drink and I feel like it's working this time. And that would work perfectly right up until I wanted to drink. And then all of the I didn't want to drink and this is working for me. And I'm doing 90 and 90 and Collins some dude, everyday course it was different in the early 90s. I would call when they were at work, no one had cell phones and I would just leave a message hey, man, this is me checking in. And I would just want to drink again, over and over and over. So I met this girl. I met a girl just like any good alcoholic, we got pregnant on our first date.
David G 22:53
When I introduced her to my mom and told her we were getting married, I didn't actually know her last name. That's the truth. But I'm able to pull it together I'm able to have a little sobriety I'm able to like be cool for like two or three months, two or three months seemed to work. And then I would relapse. She never saw me drink. She didn't know what it was like she didn't know how I disappeared. You know, there are binge drinkers, and there are daily drinkers. I am a daily binge drinker. You know, when I wake up in the morning, we named it waking bank. I know you guys called it that too, right? You gotta wake up, man. You need the bomb ready, the beer ready, it's time to go. That is the way I lived. And so the two weeks I got married on August 2819 93. And I made the what wasn't really a mistake. I was about to say horrible mistake. This was gonna happen no matter what happened with our wedding gifts. But I had all the wedding gifts that we were going to return in the trunk of my car. I had all our wedding gift money in my car with me. Anyone seen where this could be a bad idea for a guy who's like two months sober. And I started thinking about just man. This is a lie that some of you will understand. And I understand those of you who only drank will not understand, but it's still the truth about me. I believe the lie. That is the craziest lie that anyone could believe and it shows how mentally ill I am. I'm just gonna go get it 20 Right. It's crazy. No one could possibly believe that. So I went got it. 23 days later. I'm in the hotel, the deluxe Inn on Harry Hines in Dallas. Right I people were all alumni of the deluxe Inn. I missed the Deluxe. And all of a sudden one of the fine people that I was with said, man, there's a really beautiful woman kicking the door of your car and all of a sudden the alarm went off. And of course I knew it was happening. And I once again skittered. into the corner. So what happened next is my parents helped her leave, helped her get everything out of our apartment. I learned later that my mom was, you know, crying horribly. He's telling her how sorry she was that she thought that her being pregnant and what a beautiful woman. She wasn't what a kind person she was, maybe could change me, but they should have been honest with her and told her who and what I was my only sister who we love each other. I just visited her last weekend, my sister did not come to our wedding, because she thought it was so ridiculous that this alcoholic crack addicted guy is going to somehow get married and everything's gonna be fine. So I come back to my apartment. It's basically like the morning after the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Like, everything of value is gone. Like literally, the toaster is gone. Anything that could be traded, or pond in any way, except she made the mistake of leaving some of her clothes. And those are tradable. She made the mistake of leaving the jewelry box that her of the jewelry that her deceased father had given her as a little girl. And of course, is despicable is that is nothing matters when you're in that state. I wish it did. You know people look at us, and they just don't understand. And that's why we love each other so much. Because as much as you're like, ah, you know what you're going because you did it too. So I'm sitting there in the living room of my pretty for North Dallas sort of ghetto apartment. And I have this butcher knife, and I'm rotating and ended my forearm, I still have the scar. And I'm not really thinking about killing myself. I'm thinking about if I do something here, maybe she'll understand how much I love her. I just want to do a little footnote about where you are in your relationship life. If that is actually a strategy for getting the woman back that you love. I mean, it's pretty dark that it's it's really crazy, right? And so I'm sitting there and I'm crying. And it's the last half of the slits, malt liquor 40. And I smoke like I'm down to my last cigarette. And I'm going through this mantra just over and over because I've been an AEA. Now, since 1987, it's 1993, I've been a daily member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I had gotten six months sober a couple times, I had been a part of the group. And every time I decided to use again, I decided to take a sip of champagne. I let that join that the Pink Floyd laser light show past me six times, and then finally just said, that sit on.
David G 27:54
And I knew that this would not work for me that no matter what I did, this would not work for me. I had had sponsors, I had tried to work the steps, I had been a part of my group. And I always just humiliated myself worse. Here is the truth about me on that day. If you loved me, if I mattered to you, if you cared about what happened to me, if I affected you in any way, to the extent that you loved me was the extent that you would suffer at the hands of my addiction. In the worst part about being a dick is you walk around feeling like one. And I had been one for so long. I didn't know that. That's what I felt like, I was used to being the guy who disappointed who couldn't tell the truth about what I was to anybody. Because if I told you the truth about who and what I was, you would not be in a relationship with me. This is what I'm thinking. It's like a mantra, you know, we're supposed to do prayers, mantras, I don't know if we're supposed to do, but I was just going, I'm never gonna have anything. I'm going to be a loser. I can't have a career I can't have a family. And in the midst of this, like emotional breakdown, I don't know. I'm going to go ahead and say higher power. This is a we're supposed to talk about God. And it's, it's sometimes means God like the God I grow grew up being taught sometimes for me, it's just like the energy of the world around me and the way I affect people in the way people affect me. But I'll tell you a moment that shot the thought shot through my head like a spear that this is what it means to be powerless over alcohol and have your life be unmanageable. And I realized that that moment, and I don't know why I realized it because the facts were there the whole time that I had been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I had had a desire to stop drinking. I had asked people to sponsor me I had been to countless meetings probably in the 1000s at that point, picked up probably 25 Desire chips And I had never worked the 12 steps. I'd acted like I had. Let me see if anyone can jive with my definition of honesty back then. If what I told you, you believed that was telling the truth. Right? There you go. And I did that with my sponsors. It was like BS in the professors at UT Do you know, I graduated from UT, with decent grades. And the first book I ever read in my life was Silence of the Lambs. And that happened after I graduated from UT. Because I was, you know, I think that alcoholism is a great training. If you're not a salesman, and you're having trouble finding something you're good at. You learned how to sell bullshit that nobody wants for years. And I did it in a and you what I really didn't realize is that you can't con a con, you know, I am not going to suffer because of your relapse, I might feel bad for you. You know, I care about the people in AI around me. And I believe that the guys who helped me cared about me too, I believe there's a collective care and AI, but is you are not going to suffer life consequences, because I'm not working the steps. And yet, for me convincing you that I was working the steps and having you say, man, you're doing really great. That doesn't matter. So I got my ass up, took one of those long showers because man after three and a half days of drinking yourself into oblivion, and blowing every penny you have on crack rock, you're not feeling very clean. And I and I had slept. And I went up to my a group and this is what I decided. I decided that I was not going to ask someone who I could relate to. Okay. I don't think people actually say they say get someone who has what you want. What I heard from that is get someone that you can relate to. That's not good for me. The only people I can relate to are kind of the people who like stand off in the back and make fun of people who like get irritated that the same person talks every meeting, you know the big book thumpers, the A Nazis, the people who like spontaneously quote the big book while they're sharing and you're like, what did they like, study that so they could be cool at a meeting? You know? I mean, here's the truth. I didn't like happy people. Let me tell you, you were in a meeting, and you got so grateful that you started to cry.
David G 32:46
I feel like shut up. And so of course, I picked sponsors, who told me to call him every day but never suggested I read the big book. They had never read the big book. Why would they tell me to read the big book? And I'm not putting anybody down? Listen, it'd be like, if we were at the cancer ward, and you had melanoma, I had, you know, basal cell cancer. And you were like, man, you're just not as bad a cancer victim as me that doesn't go on. But in a there seems to be a little competitiveness, like who's really an alcoholic, and I get it. I don't know that we're all real alcoholics. But I can tell you I know guys who've been sober 25 years, and they didn't even think about working the steps till they're 20 years sober. That did not work for me. And yet, I kept asking people to sponsor me who clearly didn't talk about the steps. They told funny stories. They were cool dudes, they usually had hot wives. Tell me yeah, you want what I have. Okay. So what I decided that day is I am going to ask one of these big book thumpers. And I swear to you, I stood by the coffeemaker and I waited. I got there about 1130 for the noon meeting. And really, frankly, the most irritating of all came hobbling into the group. His name was Clovis. And Clovis always had his big book. Clovis always got a little gut level honest, he called it that would sometimes lead to him tearing up. And I frankly thought Clovis acted like that so he could get laid. That's what I thought. And, and so Clovis comes hobbles up, he had cut. I didn't know this. Why he limped, he limped because he had been in a blackout, crossed over the median and killed a woman whose son was in the car and they had to slowly amputate his foot while he was in the hospital on the same floor as the son who had lost his mother at six years old. And when he finally got out three months later, he went straight to the liquor store. That's the guy asked to help me. He didn't even know what crack was. He used to say taking crack. This for those of you don't know you smoke Crap. It was the most unlikely of people. He was an older guy. He never even smoked weed here I was this like, multifaceted alcoholic drug addict, you know, I was like Doctor, alcoholic addict, but I wasn't quite that crazy. For those of you don't know who that is, it's now called something it's about. It's the anyway, we'll move on from that. And you know what he said to me, and I didn't ask him to be my sponsor, I'd done that over and over. And what came out of my mouth was, will you show me how to work the 12 steps. And he looked at me for a second, I'd wasted a lot of people's time, I borrowed a lot of money from a lot of people at the group. I had hit on every girl that seemed like she would let me stay at her apartment. And he said, Oh, you think you're going to get sober now? Now, I would say that you guys can relate. I heard some groans. I had that feeling. And the feeling was I didn't slap this dude in the face. Who does he think he is? And all I said was, man, whatever you can do to help me? He said, All right. Do you have a big book? And I said, Yeah, I said, I got into treatment A couple years ago. And he goes, have you ever highlighted in it? No. He says, I want you to get a yellow highlighter. And I want you to start at the Preface. And I want you to read and highlight anything that sounds like the problem of alcoholism. Here is a problem we believe in so suggested a few years ago that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy. That is a problem. If you have that problem, you have alcoholism. And then he goes, I want you to highlight also anything that sounds like the solution. In the doctor's opinion, it says Strange as it may seem to those who do not understand the same person who seemed doomed, he had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol. As long as he follows a few simple rules, I want you to read that, I want you to highlight it, I want you to get it spiral, not some fancy leather bound thing, I want you to get a cheap 79 cent that was about the price back then Walmart spiral that you would have used in third grade. And I want you to meet me here this Friday. And I was like, alright.
David G 37:22
And I started to do the work. And I started to go through and we talked about the allergy. And I had to tell him something. And he understood even though he never did all the drugs that I did, he understood what I was talking about. And maybe some of you will understand, too. I had this feeling in my stomach. The first time I ever felt it that I remember was when I fell in love with Kelly Walker, when I was a freshman in high school, it was my first love. And you guys are going to understand today. And for a long time, I've understood but many of you have had this experience. This is the person who had I loved more than I had ever loved anyone before that when I was with her and she held my hand, I felt a warmth inside of me and an acceptance inside of me that surpassed anything that I've ever experienced. And conversely, when she would break up with me, I felt so sick and nauseated that I thought I might die. Kind of like butterflies with a little bit of nausea. And that's what it started to happen to me when I craved and obsessed over drugs and alcohol. And I called it the gut. And I was like close. I mean, I don't know what we're going to do. But I have a physiological thing that happens to me. Like a lot of times I have to go to the bathroom before I take a hit. Because my stomach is so messed up. And I know there steps on the wall. And I know there's a book. But that's going to always be here. How can you make that go away? There's a book that I didn't read. But I always appreciated this quote, men live lives of quiet desperation. And I used to think about that when I would be at meetings and people talked about, you know, sometimes you just got to back your ass into the corner and hold on. Sometimes you got to tie a knot on the end of that rope and hang on. And I thought that's the way the rest of my life was gonna be in October of 1993. A month or so sober, sitting with Clovis reading this book, going through it page by page following his instructions. I thought that no matter what I did, that I would just be finding a way to live my life. Just burying the misery of that feeling. Because I had had it so long in so many areas of my life, the regret, the remorse, the disgust with myself the fear of a future that I didn't have any way to picture because I had just destroyed every relationship, every opportunity. Everything that could be there for me, seemed dead. And he said man I don't know what to tell you about that. I just want you to keep doing your assignments. So catapult forward into about November, maybe December. We've just gone through about, you know, 10 or 15 of my amends, we're meeting to start talking about six, 610 and 11. And, you know, we had the promises, and the promises are awesome. And you know, a lot of those promises are in my life today, the ones we read, you know, like, we have lost our fear of financial insecurity, you know, no matter how far down the whatever we've gone, we'll see where our experience can benefit others. Those are legitimate things. But the ones I needed written on my wall, were on the next page, where it says we have ceased fighting everything, even alcohol. And then it goes on to say the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We have not sworn off. Just gone. So we get to that. And he remembered me in the gut. And he said, David, let me ask you a question. If I had some of that Kraken here would you take it? And man, I sat there and I tried to conjure the gut. Literally, like I closed my eyes, and I thought about the deluxe in the luxury in the circle in the anchor. And these are fine hot spots in Dallas, most of which thank God had been leveled except the Deluxe, which I check out sometimes. There's a mom, his daughter across the street, I always have to sit in the window that I can see the parking lot. Anyway, and then I thought about New Jack City and Pooky and all that stuff, right? And I was astonished. No matter how hard I tried. It was gone.
David G 41:57
It's never come back. You know, when people say to me, Wow, man, you've been sober. 27 years. That's amazing. It's not amazing. It's not amazing that I've been sober. 27 years. When I have my birthday night, it will not be amazing. Because I know I'm gonna have my birthday night I will pick up this is one day at a time. But I know without question that if I keep doing the things that I do every day of my life, I do more in a two day than I did in my first year sober. And it's not because I have to, it's because I love a. But there is nothing amazing about my sobriety date. It's not hard to stay sober when you don't want to drink. It's not hard to not smoke crack when you don't have when you don't have the obsession, it has been removed from me. So that promise in step 10 is maybe the biggest truth in my life today. Because I want you to know something. I have felt guilty about the things my mom died in 2005 she I was 11 years sober. And I did not feel good about the way I had treated her. And frankly, she died of cancer. And that cancer came on during the depth of my addiction in 1989. And I took personally it may be crazy, but it's me and I'm crazy, some personal responsibility for how I had traumatized my mother. Because she was that person who loved me more than her own life. Who is codependent is Helen needed Al Anon, like nobody's business, and that I drug through the mud with me, who kicked down my door because she thought I was in bed dead when I'd really snuck out the window after stealing the money out of her purse. You know, so I'm not saying I don't ever feel bad about that. I'll tell you what I feel good about. About two weeks before my mom passed away. And she had been in hospice for about a month and had not left the house. I come over it's my 11th year birthday. It's birthday night and I just want to say or say hi mom and give her a kiss. And I want to preface this by saying I know that the people in this room love your mom. And I'm not saying I love my mom more than anybody in this room because I know that's not true just like my first love. But I want you guys to know, I love my mom. You know, and we had a great relationship for the last 11 years of her life, a healthy happy relationship and she was struck down by melanoma. And I watched her and held her every minute of the way. And I go to her house and she has not been out of bed for about a month. And she's dressed. She's sitting on the couch wearing one of her little Mexican dresses, you know the ones with the embroidery and and I'm like, what's going on in my step dad's like she refuses to stay home. And so I literally carried my mom I put my hands under her arms. She weighed about 70 pounds. I lifted her up the ground. I carried her. I set her in my car. I took her to my group I carried her into the back of the in the back of the non smoking room. She had this thing I won't go into detail. It's called Broca's aphasia where you cannot, you cannot communicate, like you can't blink your eyes, you can't write things, you can't use signals, you are physically incapable of communicating. And she had not spoken because she couldn't, for weeks. And I'm up at the podium just like this. And I'm looking at the back of that room, and my mom is just waving to me. And you know, what I knew that Alcoholics Anonymous had given my son exactly this on that she had always wanted. In the gratitude that I have for that is so much of the reason. I mean, I'm here tonight, because this is really cool. I mean, I, I don't know if you can tell I like talking about a, I like people. But I also do my very best not to say no to recovery, because of what it has done for me. And remember, I'm a guy who believed that this wasn't gonna work. I had given up on this working and the crazy part about it, is in that giving up, I finally understood what step one was about. That's what Surrender means. Now, I have to do that all the time. Now. Not in terms of alcohol and drugs. You know, this whole thing about, you know, we hear people say things like about humility, and a, you know, some people kind of, and I think they're being funny, but you know, I don't know, if it's a newcomer I really understood. They'll say things like, you know, AI is a selfish program or utility, once you think you've got it, you don't have it anymore, right? Like these qualities, these things that we need to have. I was the guy who would kind of mock those qualities, right.
David G 46:47
Today, I've been sober a long time, I don't have any of the consequences or problems that I had, when I got here. None of those things exist in my life today, other than carrying the message to newcomers. And that stuff swirls around the all the time. I mean, I have sponsored, it's no telling how many people, we have people over at our house all the time, my wife is in the program. We do a throughout our lives. And the thing about it is, is where does humility come in? Where does surrender come in? When do I recognize what it is that I need to be doing? And it's not something that you can draw from your mistakes. I mean, I think we get wisdom when we don't die, and we don't drink. But I don't know if you call it wisdom or just recognizing, I can't, you know, you hear this, but it's hard to take on when you're trying to help people. I can't get you sober and I can't get you drunk. You know, I can't make consequences that are going to make you change. If I could shame you into drinking, not drinking, you would have been sober a long time before, you know. I mean, we our families don't get it. You know, I was watching this documentary a few years back on Karen Carpenter. And you know, for those of you who are too young, they there was a family that were singers, Karen Carpenter was probably the biggest light in the group, kind of like the Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five. And she killed herself with anorexia. And I watched this documentary because I love the music. And she's been interviewed by Barbara Walters, about two months before she passes away. And she's just gotten out of treatment. She weighs about 90 pounds, and the bones are jutting out of her body like a UNICEF commercial. Some of you may have seen this. And as she's talking about how when she looks in the mirror, she's just disgusted by the fat person she sees. It all of a sudden dawned on me why my family does not understand my alcoholism. They don't understand my alcoholism, just like my first thought was, Why doesn't she just like eat a cheeseburger, these addictions, these issues, they're not really the problem. They're the solution to the problem. This lack of control. I always felt this way when I was a little kid and I started embellishing on my life because who I was and the family I came from wasn't good enough for me. And I knew it wasn't good enough for you. What do I mean? My dad was a dentist. It's a great profession, right? My dad's office was in the middle of my neighborhood for 50 years. On the end of the building. It said Dr. Philip R Greenleaf, general dentistry. When people asked me what my dad did, I had to say was an oral surgeon. Now anyone who knew my dad and knew me and knew my family knew my dad was an oral surgeon, but my dad being a dentist somehow didn't measure up to what I thought you needed my dad to be for me to be cool. I started embellishing on who I was as a person. I'll tell you one of the reasons so they did bussing in Texas. I don't know if they did that here. And I think this really affected had me in kind of a bizarre way, probably anything would have affected me in a bizarre way. But when they bust in Texas, they shut down all the schools in the primarily white neighborhoods, and they shipped all of us to black neighborhoods to integrate. I mean, that was the purpose. And my family, when I had to start doing it, I had to be at the bus stop at 6am. And I didn't get home till five. I'm in kindergarten. And so my parents didn't have a ton of money, they sacrificed and put me in a really good school. That was a private school in North Dallas. And I know now being a parent of children, that they really sacrifice to do that. The problem was, which probably wouldn't be a problem to maybe a normal person or a person who's not prone to low self esteem is I was surrounded by wealthy people, and I wasn't from a wealthy family. And I felt less than I would go to people's houses and they would have like maid's quarters that were much nicer than the house that I lived in with my family. And I started lying about things I started this is at 678 years old, nine years old, I started having to embellish about who I was as a person. And what I didn't realize I was doing, was basically telling myself that you're not good enough. I didn't mean to tell myself that I wasn't good enough. I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to seem like I was one of the Zales of the lip shares kid went to my school. And I just didn't feel like I fit. And you know, when you took alcohol away for me in the 90s, before I got sober,
David G 51:33
man was I naked? You know, I was like a naked person with Cold wind blowing on them. I just felt in my own skin, like it didn't fit, like I wasn't okay. And if you just gave me some alcohol, or some weed, or a combination of whatever you had it so that it made it go away. Even when I knew it was going to come back worse, because of the things that I always did. It didn't matter. I was joking when we were coming over here about how, you know, I wasn't able to think I wasn't able to say, this is a horrible idea. You need not to do that. The only thing I was able to think was how is this gonna make me feel good for a little while. We'll come up with the consequences later. You know, I didn't unlearn that and recovery in sobriety, I can tell you, you talk to any of these old dudes here that have been sober a long time, they will tell you that we fail, we fail, we are going to fail. Being sober. No one with the big book says being able to talk about it being able to be with a bunch of people that you don't even know. But you know, that you'd love if you got to spend time with them. Doesn't mean we don't do stupid stuff. We lie we cheat. We, you know, in the first year of sobriety, I was so proud. Like if there was cheer in the bottom of my grocery cart, and I forgot to pay for it. I had marched myself back in and feel so honest. And that's true. I did do that. But as time went by, kind of, metaphorically, I let some cheer boxes go. Right. And what happened is, you know, if you're walking this way, and you just turn this way a little bit, it will you will notice it for a while. But in a couple days, you're going to be way off track. You know, you're going to be cheating on your taxes. Cheating on your your wife. Why at work, lion at meetings, it doesn't mean you're going to drink. You know, it means you know what makes you relapse is when you drink. There's plenty of things you know, the Titanic had lots of deck chairs, alcohol was just one of them. And a lot of things can take you down in staying sober for a long time means that I get to practice these principles in all my affairs, which unfortunately, has meant sometimes I have been not the guy I would like to be as a sober guy. But just like not drinking and not dying, you become an old timer. Not not drinking, not acting out. You get to learn from these things. And you know, I get to be a better father than I ever was when I was a young man. You know my wife today I have two stepchildren and I get to be chill around them. My my birth my biological children had a safe word for when we did spelling words. We get to grow in here. We get to be imperfect in here. I mean, thank God, we don't have to pick up a desire chip. Every time we act inappropriately. Every time we're rude every time we're not polite to someone, thank God we're not we wouldn't we wouldn't have enough frickin 10 in the world to make the desire chips we needed. But we all do this together. You know? So I guess I'll finish with this. So Clovis passed away a few years ago. And this is just a part of my story that I think is uplifting. It feels really good to me. So Clovis passed away a few years ago, the guy that helped me get sober. And his wife, who I'd known for years had disappeared into the meth world of Dallas. And she was missing and his little boy who I had been there when he was born, had nowhere to be. And we found out at the funeral, we held a funeral for him. It was in a funeral, and it was full of hundreds of people who he had brought the steps to, and he had saved their life, just like me. And I know that God is the one who saved my life. But before Clovis came along, God wasn't saving my life. Okay, so Clovis mattered to me. And at that funeral, I see his son, you know, that we his name changed. And I realize he's in, in foster care, he's being tossed into the system, there is nowhere for him to go. And that was six years ago, and Jack is my son, we adopted him. And yeah,
David G 56:08
in the reason, I guess I'll finish with this. I do believe that any one of you would do the same thing. You know, what we get in this place, it is impossible for us to repay. And if you're not getting that, get one of those big book thumping a Nazi, we be hyper grateful people, and ask them to show you how to work the steps. I got news for you. There's nothing wrong with being a happy person. Thanks, guys.
John M 56:42
Thank you, Mr. David G one more time. So much enjoyed that. And I'm glad I could share with those out there, who were not able to attend your event at the Oklahoma City city wide event. And I know the listeners are going to enjoy that if that was impactful to you. And you think hey, I'd like somebody else to hear that. We'll go ahead and pause your device and share it with a friend or family member and maybe just what they need today. We don't want you sharing gossip, or your STD. But we do want you to share this episode with a friend or family member. Thanks so much for listening, if you have any comments, so you want to send them to me and get them to David or if you have any comments about any of the other speakers or you just want to drop a line. Not that kind of line. I know your I know where your little minds going. If you just want to drop a line or email me at John J O HN. S sober speak.com. Now under a little bit of listener feedback. Jill writes in Jill B, as she says, Hey, John, do you have transcripts to each podcast? I'm fairly new. And I love these last two. Thanks for all you do. And just so you know, the last two that she's talking about, or when she wrote this actually, were for rich be part one or rich be part two. If you hadn't heard those, I would highly suggest you go back and give it a listen. But to answer your question, Gil B. Yes, we have full transcripts for all of the recent speakers. Now, we don't have full transcripts for the ones that I don't know, I think I think we started putting full transcripts out there about 12 to 15 episodes ago, so we don't have me, you know, through one through 100 or 150, or whatever the case may be, we could always get one out there. Somebody really needed one. But nonetheless, we do have transcripts. Good. So group speak.com. Click on podcast skews me click on Oh, what is it? Let me go over here. Sorry. I know I should have this figured out beforehand. But if you click on Oh, click on blog, and then you will see an actual category called transcripts. And you can see the last two are rich be part one and two, the whole transcript so you can read it at your leisure. Thank you for writing in jail. Mary writes in Mary says, Hi, John. I feel like you're an old friend, but I barely know you. I've listened to sober speak since my first day of sobriety on March 17 of 2019. And you've been a calming guide posed as I trudge the road of happy destiny. Cool, Mary, I'm glad you found us right at the beginning of your sobriety. A really she says I sobered up in California, but I now live in Maryland. We have lots of a here and meetings upon meetings upon meetings but I always listen to server speak as a home group, but I returned to your meeting between meetings. The speakers are insightful. It's at my fingertips in your voices peaceful home. Thank you so much very, there's good a and your podcast. And that's what this alcoholic needs. Especially I enjoy Brenda J. I could play her story every day. Thank you so much for providing the podcast and please keep up this necessary service. May God bless you and keep you, Mary. Well, may God bless you and keep you until then as well. Miss Mary, thank you so much right now. Now Lori wrote in Oh, this was an interesting one. I remember this. The subject line was sober pot smoker. And Laurie starts out she says, I started smoking pot one year ago, my last drink was on December 9 of 2014. I still go to a and I still do service work. And I sponsor and I am sponsored. But I'm afraid to tell my sponsor. I don't want to stop or reset my sober day. Thoughts as a question mark. She says I'm a 62 year old female. Thanks, Laurie. Well, what I wrote back to Lori said was, first of all, I know many of you out there who are listening are going to have an opinion on that. I get it. I do as well. But I told her I'm not really here to give advice I would. But I did say if you really want advice, join the super secret Facebook group and
John M 1:01:42
put that question out there. And I said my guess is you're probably going to get a lot of feedback you don't care for but usually when people are writing in and they're asking questions like that there's some sort of gut feeling they have inside but best of luck to you, Laurie, figure that out. Be sure to keep me posted. I appreciate. Barry writes in in Barry's email is entitled from across the pond, John. He says Dear John, thanks for making my weekend was such a big shout out over the sobers beat pod waves. What he means is he once wrote me a an email and he said tallyho in there. So every time I start the program with tally Whoa, that's kind of a shout out to Mr. Berry over there. He says we're in this together my friend what a contribution to you. You're welcome. Very. He says diddly Dee tallyho and our revoir for now mon a miss Mona miss now. It looks French. I'm not I know what our revoir means. I'm not sure what mon amiss means. I'll go ahead and look that up. Maybe after we get off here, but it sounds French. Something like you know best wishes or something. I hope I'm not saying you know what? He could have put like a bad word or something in there. For me. You never can tell. But if you're French, and I just said a bad word. I'm so sorry. Nonetheless, and then he continues on until the next Friday and beyond with about eight exclamation points. It's a sober speak thing now get on the bus bozos and that he's got no clapping hands and smiley face and prayer hands and he's a big emoji guy. Thank you very for writing in. Oh, and I think that oh, yeah, that's right, because I'm doing this Oh, really? That, my friends. Is it for this week. God bless you. May God bless you too. We get back. Keep coming back. It works if you work it. And I'll be talking to you as soon as one week at a time. But with the miracle of automation. I should be able to get this one out a couple of weeks in advance. God bless y'all. Bye bye now.