215- Joe Mc- Dear God, I‘m reporting in for Duty Sir
Joe Mc 00:00
So we clear away the wreckage of the past see that our relationship was right was is right with Him and great events will come to pass for you and others. This is just my story I'm a guy who came in here weighed 370 pounds was court ordered. I was just got out of the state hospital 81 days 37 shock treatments 370 pounds waiting to get in SSI sleeping on the floors of benevolent members of a my own group I was corridor take 14 pills a day to sedate the intensity of my emotions and there wasn't a single human being that I knew that would have anything to do with me. And I came into Alcoholics Anonymous and you people made me feel welcome and told me that it doesn't we don't care where you've been or what you've done. It's what you're doing today.
John M 00:51
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 are 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 01:57
Greetings from deep in the heart of Texas. That was the voice of Joe M that you heard at the beginning of this here episode number 215 215, or for those who like it this way. Dos Uno.
John M 02:23
Oh my goodness. St. Joe. This is episode number 215. But first things first. This episode is coming out to you and brought to you by Kate and Gerhard and David and Michelle. What you may say to Kate and Gerhart, and David and Michelle do where they went to our website silver speak calm. They clicked on that little yeller donate tab, and they made a contribution to. So thank you, Kate, and Gerhard and David and Michelle, this app is coming right out to humans. I, John M just another Bozo on the bus will indeed be the chairperson for this meeting between meetings and I am truly honored and privileged to serve all of you listening in. So take a seat, if you will, around this virtual table and let's get started. Remember, no matter who you are, or what your past looks like, You Are Welcome Here it is an open table to all and we're glad that you have found us. I will say Muchas gracias. Yes. And as I have said many times on this podcast before do not please do not be jealous of mine. bilingue Tality coming at you a God grant some people that talent and others do not receive it. I am just trying to share goodness in the world. I have no idea what I'm talking about. Alright. For those who are not in the super secret Facebook group, you could do one or two things go to our website, www.soberspeak.com Click on the tab. This says I think there's something there that says like, join us or you know, here's our social media. And you could click on that or you could just go to your Facebook application and you type in the word secret will hold up. Yeah, secret secrets sober speak group or sober speak, secret group. And you will find us there if you are not following us on Instagram, the other social, you can find us there is the app sober speak all one word and we would love to have you along for the ride speaking of the website, if I've had many of you writing before, and ask about having transcripts for the various speakers and all I shouldn't say all, I'd say the last 20 or so transcripts 2025, something in that nature, something of that something in that realm. We have the transcripts that are listed on the website, and you can go and read along with your favorite guest. And we have also the various listener contributions, contributions he owns, that have been posted on the website. And you can see that as well. They wrote some very one fantastic posts there. And you're more than welcome to go. And check that out. If you're listening to this, the day that I am releasing it, so there's just one day we will be having tonight. And I'm thinking out into the future, because it's not actually tonight, when I'm recording this, nonetheless, you get the idea. We will be having a superspeed live event that is on December 3 at 7pm Central time in the United States. If you were here, local, come on down and see us we're at the Grace Avenue United Methodist Church in Frisco, Texas, if you're not local, you can join us through the super secret Facebook group. If you're in there, we're going to be streaming it live stream, I'm not going to tell you where my mind is going on that one. Nonetheless, we will be streaming it. So you could join us there. No matter where you are in the world. You just got to be in that super secret Facebook group. What else do I want to say about that? That's a bad ad.
John M 07:23
You know, I was at a meeting the other day and my friend, Chad, who is in that meeting? You know, we're as you know, we're in December. Now, by the time you're listening to this, and Chad talked about this being the time of year when Alcoholics Anonymous has its biggest membership drive. No. Just in case you don't get that? Well, I guess if you have to explain it. It's not real funny, but we don't really have membership drives if you will, like the coladas club, or what is Quwata I don't even know what that is that were just gave up. But my Yeah, but nonetheless, we don't have membership drives and Chad is being facetious. But this is the time of year where we have a tendency to a lot of you know, we have a tendency to see more people in January, coming in the rooms. In fact, this podcast right here that humans are listening to, actually the the numbers go through the roof, which is January and February yet, and you know, I'm laughing It's kind of half funny half not funny. But anyway, this is December, where we have our biggest membership drives. I just love that from Chad. Okay, so I heard this quote, this week, it's actually on a meditation that I listen to at night, before I go to sleep. And it was from page 86. In the big book, and in the big book, I needed to hear this week, maybe somebody else needs to hear it this week. But if you look at page 86, it says, In thinking about our day we may face in decision, we may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, and intuitive thought or decision. And this is the part that was in the meditation. And I just love it and it keeps kind of going through my head because this is something that I really struggle with. It says we relax and take it easy. We do not struggle. We say that again. We relax and take it easy. And I'm just breathing heavy. Just And that we do not struggle. And that's something that I needed to hear this week. And maybe that's something that you need to hear also this week as well.
John M 10:14
Alright, so now on to our guest speaker, this is Joe muck is his last name search for the MC and I'm not It's not McDonald, and it's not MC fierson. And it's not Mac Donald. And I'm not gonna say what it is right, but it's the MC word. But anyway, this is Joe muck from Galveston, Texas, and we're calling this one. Dear God, I'm reporting in for duty, sir, don't you love that? Joe addresses many different topics. But he, he talks about romance, finance, and piscines. Not really like that. He talks about the middle C and the middle G and you just got to listen in to find out what that one's about. One discussion we had about it was about the word slip that we used in Alcoholics Anonymous, and where that actually originated from I did not know this story. Joe has been in Alcoholics Anonymous for many years. But he talks about being 18 years and AA and his second surrender. We address what we can change and what we cannot change. Here's another discussion I've never had with anybody. He talks about the dark side of spiritual growth.
John M 11:42
And we actually talk about Tammy Faye and Jim Baker during this interview, which I love. And then finally, well, it's not the final thing he talks about. But finally, what I want to share with you is he talks about the guiding principle of a and what does that you ask? Well, stay tuned. Anyway, enjoy Mr. Joe muck. And I will be back with plenty Oh, listener feedback at the end of Joe's episode. Enjoy. Okay, everybody. So today we are sitting here with Mr. Joe. Elma. And I guess we'd call you, Joe muck where you caught you call yourself whatever you want to call yourself, Joe. So this is Joe, Joe, why don't you go ahead, introduce yourself. Give your sobriety date if you care to do that, and let people know where you are sitting right now. And what area of the country of the United States is what I'm asking.
Joe Mc 12:46
My name is Joe McFadden. I'm a very grateful alcoholic. I have a sobriety date of June 14 1993. I'm coming to you from the beautiful island of Galveston, in Texas. My home group is the Jamaica beach group we meet at 7pm Every Monday, and every Thursday if you're there and visiting our fair Island, we encourage you and invite you will will treat you like a home group member and will make you feel welcome. We had birthday night about three weeks ago. And we had seven recipients and the youngest one was 26 years of sobriety. So we love the sab fresh meat there. So come on.
John M 13:28
That's great. So for those who may not be familiar with Galveston and what it is, it's kind of a touristy kind of place. I mean, I know a lot of people live there as well, but explain to them where it is. It's on the coast there. We're about
Joe Mc 13:43
42 miles I guess, south east of Houston and it's it's a it's a nice nice little little like you said a tourist island and there are some nice homes here. And as I'm talking to you i looking out at my pool and looking out at the ocean and and that's a long way from the state hospital and, and being on SSI disability and be in court sedate ordered to be take 14 pills a day to sedate the intensity of my emotions, and job washing dishes would have been too much pressure on me.
John M 14:24
Okay, we're gonna get into that. Just real quick. I want to ask you before we were getting started, you had mentioned something about, we were trying to make sure you had a proper internet connection and such and you said, oh, I need to go talk to the guys that we have downstairs right now. They're they're downloading some spreadsheets for ninth step amends and stuff like that. And so why don't you explain to us what do you have going on in your house right now? Well, we
Joe Mc 14:51
believe that Alcoholics Anonymous isn't just a one hour meeting we believe on page 19. We think a man is on thinking when he says a question. Drinking. And that's enough, a much more important demonstration of these principles are needed in respective home life, occupation and affairs. We have three we have three legacies unity service recovery, we have the steps, traditions, we have the concepts, they treat the Mind, Body Spirit, so that we can carry out from our one hour meeting every day, the other 23 hours, home, occupation and affairs, work, play love, I can go around and say I'm a recovered alcoholic, because it says it on the I should be introduced as a man who has recovered. And it says the story on the on the cover page, the story of many hundreds of men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind body, but I, you know, I went through this big book phase of where I would say I am recovered, and I tell everyone what they were doing wrong. And then I'd flip somebody off on the way to the meeting, etc. So what we do is we found out that if if we're really practicing these principles in all of our affairs, we're going to make a third step decision. And if once a person understands the full implications of that third step, and so we have a home full of Al Anon, and Alcoholics Anonymous members, there are no partitions between any area of our life. And the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, we really take quite literally when it says practice these principles in all of our affairs. So we invite the family in, we we invite with God in every area of our life, and God is expressing himself through our second tradition. So we have a meeting downstairs, and it's full of people who come in and we get we're all accountable to one another. I have what I call whenever I get somebody who I sponsor, they have littermates and there are other people I sponsor and they call twice, three times a day to other littermates. Usually, it's the bitch about me tell you the truth. But and, and so what we've got right now we have a ninth step amends class where we're looking at financial amends, we've got spreadsheets, we go over it, we see how much money's coming in, how much is going out. We believe that you you don't just get your body sober, you get sober, and you're Romans finance and piss ants and I'd like to explain what that piscines means. It's the little foxes that spoil the vine in the bigger big book talks about what that means Roz is in here in Texas, we have a lot of hurricanes and tornadoes. ABC pest control had this commercial one year it said hurricanes do more damage every year than all of the I mean, not hurricanes. But termites do more damage every year than all the hurricanes and tornadoes combined in the nation. And I started looking at that, isn't that true? The way it is for us alcoholics, it's those little things, a guy went off the went out because he busted his shoelace or something like that. We can handle divorce bankruptcy, we can handle cancer, we handle all that. But let us break a shoelace. And so what we found out is once we get sober in these other areas, once we start seemingly unrelated, when we start making these amends, you know, we talked about in the 11 step plan only for two things, knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out. It's like we've got this divine triadic circuitry, where we have god, me and others, and others are the people we owe the money to. And once we clear that up, we get a divine circuitry. And guess what happens and Carl Jung wrote about this. And synchronicity, his essay on synchronicity, it's seemingly unrelated things get set up in a series. It's like God's Will as a heat seeking missile, and it starts coming and you can't, it's just like, hey, I was just thinking about this. And this came, every good thing has ever happened to me, in my life has been as a result of me keeping the main thing, the main thing, and that's carrying this message and staying sober. So there is no partition between any area of my life who you're hearing today is going to be the guide you see if you were to follow me in my car, or be in a board room whenever I'm in charge of a meeting there.
John M 19:14
So let's go back in time a little bit, Joe, I don't know a ton about your story. By the way, I want to mention real quick that the reason that we're sitting here together today is because a good friend of mine from the group here that I attend in North Texas, The Frisco group, his name is Ricky. Ricky see he was actually on vacation down there in Galveston. He heard you in a meeting. And he was just tickled pink about the things that you had to say. He called me up asked me to look you up on the internet and stuff like that to kind of hear your talks and stuff so he was able to bring us together. And I appreciate you being here. But I know that your, your past and where you came from, and how your life started was far from ideal. Can you talk about that
Joe Mc 20:15
a little place? Sure. I never met my father. My i The name that I have now is not my my born name. My mother had me when she was just had turned 15. And I was a problem and her life. And I used to carry that around as a badge of glory. And it made a lot of good drinking once in a while to get girls to feel sorry for me. But what I found out was I'm an alcoholic. And how this started for me is I was a stutterer, I went to special education. My cousin's were criminals. My aunt was a woman of the night my uncle's were pimps in between when they were being Street Preachers, and then they get in their backslidden condition, and then be the alcoholics. And all of them die, my people die. Most of my people die in the throes of alcoholism in the projects in Kansas City, in their own feces and vomit. And that's not very pretty. But that's, that's where I come from.
John M 21:25
So you strike me as highly intelligent, and I have no doubt that you are, but you said you were in special education when you're growing up like did do were they talk to me a little bit about that, because it seems very strange, if you are
Joe Mc 21:48
sure that my name was they, and this isn't socially acceptable or anything, but this is my story, and that my nickname in the neighborhood is retard. I was highly emotional, I would cry, I wouldn't fight anybody. I couldn't read my grandmother said she'd give me a quarter if I could learn all the big words in the back of Reader's Digest and pronounce them. And that's how I started reading and how I started learning.
John M 22:18
You because You were a very well read, man. I mean, I've talked to you both on the phone and I've, you know, talk to you, you know, on this podcast and such like that, and I can tell you read or do you still read a lot
Joe Mc 22:31
I you can see I have first edition big books over here. I've got an original manuscript, I've got all sorts. I'm page 87. I take quite literally when I says there are many helpful books ask your rabbi Minister priest, but I have to tell you, I was all everything I've got. Everything I've got is been a result of the people in Alcoholics Anonymous, showing me how to get it. I had some old timers, I used to have Dr. Bob, son and daughter in law, Betty and Bill Wilson's second secretary, no wing at my home for Thanksgiving. And in that book, I've got it over here an autographed 1000 years of sobriety, the man who's got the second story in there, I believe, Bill, he took me into my first international, and they believed in me, and I thought those people were horrible judges of character, but they saw something in me and they took me under their wings. And they told me, No, you're smart, you got something. And I started reading, they handed me books that they give me Sermon on the Mount, they give me the prophet by Khalil Gibran, all of this stuff, and they started believing in me, and they had me start taking actions. You know, I don't believe Alcoholics Anonymous is about information or education. I really don't. I believe that Alcoholics Anonymous is about identification. And when you have that identification, you want to impress those people who are helping you. I did. And what I did was I took actions and from that action, those actions that I was based on the identification I got from them, I took actions, and that led for transformation, which is an appendix to a profound alteration to your reaction to life, a personality change. They said, Joe, if you could change, you would need Alcoholics Anonymous. And Alcoholics Anonymous is not for people who can change, you take the 12 steps and you will be changed and there are big books that puts it this way. It says we become possessed by the power. And that's what happened to me.
John M 24:41
So it Yeah, another thing that I want to ask you about So you mentioned that, you know, those those guys that are there during the night step right now you have spreadsheets and stuff like that. So I you know, I've worked a lot of guys through the nine steps, you know, and I've walked through myself, but you've gotten really down to brass tacks and you know, and I think that's fair. tastic so, I mean, where did that idea of actually? I mean, almost being a financial educator, so to speak, right and walking people through that process? Where did that come from?
Joe Mc 25:13
Well, it all started back, a friend of mine out in California who's who's now pass was Vince yo. And he helped me with it. And he and Pat would have for the Pacific Group, a ninth step, amends, classes and finances and, and something that he told me that stuck with me. I said, you know, I was on disability at the time getting like $800 a month and living in SSI on Section Eight housing and everything. But I said, How can I make these amends, he goes away will be shown. And I said, Well, I just need to get like 1600 a month because I was getting $800 a month, he goes, No, no, I have people coming in here and make a million dollars a year I have people coming in here who make make $20,000 a year and I have people coming in and making 400,000. And they all say if they could just make he goes, I didn't know the exact dollar amount it'll take for you and me to be happy. And I said, Well, how much is that? He says $20 More than you and I will ever have. And that started me looking at it. That's an actually a soul sickness. Everything isn't going to be all right. Everything already is all right. And it says gratitude. And we'll get into that whenever we talk about that nine step. And when we start talking about our the fear inventory, because what stem from there was fear, lack and limitation and strife and conflict was separating me. And I had that in my consciousness. And once I bought that, and he sold me on the idea, I did a fear inventory. And this fear inventory. You know, there's a there's a line in the big book that says fear set in motion trains of circumstances we felt we didn't deserve but did not we set them in motion. Now, a very interesting thing here is that that there is a implication there. That fear sets things in motion for the band. So Bill Wilson said that prayer and meditation that he said, meditation is constructive imagination. Now, if you look at the 11th step in the big book, it says we constructively reviewed our day. Now if fear set in motion, destructive, imagination, bad things, what would just happen? Spiritual Kohonen honies. And having the courage to act like God's got our picture on his refrigerator door, and it's just pulling for us? What would faith and courage set in motion? And by definition, would that be grace? unmerited divine assistance? Now, if we look at that, where did the word slip come from? A guy who started the New Yorker magazine Joe was his name. He died at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, of course, a cop syndrome, alcoholic wet brain. He didn't show up for Bill Wilson's meeting three weeks in a row on Clinton Street and they asked him they said what happened to Joe and Bill said he slipped no one in Alcoholics Anonymous ever heard that before? He said, What do you mean he slept he said he slipped from the grace of God. If we there is so much power here in Alcoholics Anonymous, we're like starving people fishing for minnows not unwittingly knowing that we're standing on a whale. There's so much power here. We're just settling for so little. So we clear away the wreckage of the past see that our relationship was right was is right with Him and great events will come to pass for you and others. This is just my story. I'm a guy who came in here weighed 370 pounds was court ordered. I was just got out of the state hospital 81 days 37 shock treatments 370 pounds waiting to get in SSI sleeping on the floors of benevolent members of a my own group. I was corridor take 14 pills a day to sedate the intensity of my emotions and there wasn't a single human being that I knew that would have anything to do with me. And I came into Alcoholics Anonymous and you people made me feel welcome and told me that it doesn't we don't care where you've been or what you've done. It's what you're doing today. And man, my life just just got rocketed.
John M 29:47
Let me do a quick break here. We will be continuing our conversation with Joe in just a moment. Just to reminder you are listening to sober speak. You can find us on the worldwide web at WWW dot sober speak com You can also find the donate button on our website you can use if and only if the spirit moves you to do such please keep in mind, this is a podcast funded by you, the listener. All right now back to Mr. Joe. So I've heard you speak before about the fear inventory in something around the definition or the the thought or the process or the idea of middle see, can you talk to us a little bit about that Joe?
Joe Mc 30:29
Sure, if you were to walk into the Steinway store or the piano store, and they've got this big $80,000 baby grand piano in the middle of the store their their creme de la creme, and you were to walk up to that and strike the middle C of that piano, every piano within its range, middle C is going to vibrate. Now, if we're walking around it with our middle F fear. And remember the 12 and 12 talks about the chief activator of our defects of character is primarily self centered fear. Fear, we're not going to get what we want or fear we're going to lose something we have. So for walking around vibrating, that, that middle F fear, it's going to set in motion trains of circumstances we felt we didn't deserve. But if we're going around with the middle G, see, Plato, Socrates or Aristotle, one of them said, greatness attracts greatness when we're going out with an overflowing grateful heart. In other words, we don't look at where we're at today and compare I compare myself to Johnny's probably got much better program than me, or compare where I think I should be. And that's all ego. If we compare where we're at, in our program, the litmus test for our program is this, you look and see where you were when you came in the first day and where you're at now. And if you're not the most grateful person in the world, shame on you and me. And if you are the most grateful person in the world, you're probably not near grateful enough. Hmm,
John M 32:02
very well said. I like that. I've also heard you talk a lot and you've already referenced it. But talk to me about the 11th and 12th step and kind of what that means to you and your world.
Joe Mc 32:13
Well, I the 11th step is where it's at for me. Kaluga Brian had a saying that I read early in my sobriety said the first step in unselfishness, is going mad, go mad, and come back and tell us what lies behind that thin veil, we all were called sanity. Hmm. And you see when I was in that state hospital, getting those 37 shock treatments, and they would tie me down in a gurney and strap me all in and put the rubber in my mouth. So I wouldn't bite my tongue off and then put the gauze and wet my head and then put it on there and do this shock treatments. I was hoping that would work because Alcoholics Anonymous didn't work for me. But that wasn't the truth. I didn't give alcoholics not I didn't do all the things were asked to do. But what I did is I would lay there and then afterwards that the shock treatments, they would take you in a room and I'd look out at this big field and see this beautiful home out there and and say My God, how did I end up here? How do I end up here? And I came back. And then I started thinking about that. And I remember walking in this 12 foot Constantine wire courtyard and walk around say, Man, if I ever get out of here, I'll give I'll really go back in and I say God, I'm in a trap I can't get out of if you would, please. Let me show me a way to get out of this. I'll go back to Alcoholics Anonymous and do everything you asked me to, they asked me to do. And a series of events led me to a man of God His desire tip from Bill Wilson, February 6 1957. He's still alive. And and he took me to the 12 surrenders of Alcoholics Anonymous. And through that I started practicing in the 11th step. A lot of Emmitt fox and a lot of the original 100 drunks would go to Carnegie Hall and see him every week. In fact, Bill Wilson's best friend's mother was Emmitt Fox, his secretary, executive secretary. And once you get into Emmett Fox, you will undeniably know that a lot of the big book was plagiarized. And a lot of ideas were from that. And I got into to that, and here's here's the deal. You can cultivate the 11 step when we when it says we've entered the world of spirit. It really is the big and I didn't know what the word of the spirit was. What's the big do not in the big book we heard in that chapter. Every time we go to mean it says do not be discouraged. I look up the word discouraged as I'm not a real bright guy, and it said it to be deprived of three things hope, competence, and spirit.
Joe Mc 34:50
So if you have spiritual courage to take the actions the surrenders of Alcoholics Anonymous, you will enter the world of the Spirit Now what happened in the world of spirit, I was kind of afraid because I was afraid. I said, Jim, you know, if I get in there and really meditate, I'm afraid I'll go insane again and go back to the state hospital. He said, Joe, you will never go insane again and go back in the state hospital unless you decide you need to. And so I tested the water and somewhere between sleep and wake with my eyes closed, all I was supposed to do is just relax and keep my eyes closed and say, Dear God, I'm reporting for duty sir. And then just see your we asked the big book asked us to put herself in a position of neutrality safe and protected mostly from my own thoughts. And let's see what comes on your your spiritual radar. And people Alright, it says our very life is X problem drinkers depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may meet their needs. People started coming in to my spiritual radar, they're against my middle seat. And I would silently extend whatever would be the most appear to be the most helpful, it's the best gift to give and receive. And I'd start 12th Step in these people. And you know, it was spooky, they would start showing up in meetings where I get a phone call. Now, if you look at Dr. Bob, and the old timers, there's a lot of references about this, they had their Tuesday nights, spook sections, sessions. And I'm telling you, we have tapped into so much here, but we settle for so little. So I start 12 stepping in, I get up at 4am, from 4am to 530. I'm in that world of spirit, and I'm doing a lot I do more actual, spiritual 12 stepping in that time than I could in two weeks of temporal world out there in the physical world. Now, I'm still a part of the spiritual of the temporal world, I got a business and I'm I'm because of what he taught me and how to practice these principles is I've become quite successful. But the thing is, is that if you you can not get my good friend Mark Houston. We started the first steel on steel. And when he when he was sick, he called me because we're old friends. And we went over there. And we had a very close talk and stuff. And he asked me to speak at his at his his home groups anniversary, which I didn't stop and when he died, I started going to his meeting. And there were like, 37 men in there and I would just sit there, and I would be doing this 11 Step, 12 Step work, and then all of a sudden, people would start sharing and then all of a sudden I ended up sponsoring most of those 37 Min there. There is something to this and you don't have to believe me. I know not a pit I'm not interested what they told me we're not interested in your opinion of experience you haven't had Don't knock it till you try it. If you try it, you'll get it and you can cultivate this. Joe Hockey told me something once we had a group of 81 of us assignable throw aways and we started to true seekers. And what happened was, it was we named it after the doctor's opinion where an alcoholic times cannot distinguish the truth from the false and we thought that a big book study would be a waste of time. We thought that reading the big book would be a waste of time. We thought the only way thing that wouldn't be a waste of time is doing what was in the big book. And so here I am a shaved head word of black T shirts that work the steps or die EMF for carried my big book around on the side of it it said bullshit sifter and I tell these half measure timer we ought to bring them before the magistrate or assessor do a murder with a BS nurse they're saying and Joe Hawk told me by the year one day and he says you know I'm sitting in these meetings I'm seeing you counting because I do it too. is sitting there counting how many people there in the meeting that your sponsor and he says he says listen like a powers our dilemma he goes but whenever you take the 12 steps you clear away that dilemma you have access to that power but lack of power is not near a dilemma is having that power and using it wrong, because it will turn on you and I have experienced that in Alcoholics Anonymous. I have experienced one of the very worst bottoms I've ever had stone cold sober you know, they say if you take away the IQ out of the alcoholic, the all you have left is the IQ. I went through a time in my sobriety at 18 years, where I hit a bottom of bottoms. I was speaking I was scheduled speak at 20 conferences that year. And in a period of about three weeks. I lost my wife and sponsor.
Joe Mc 39:53
I lost my job I got in a lawsuit with a member in my home group And my cancer came back. And I felt like I had a spiritual connection. It was like spiritual incest when I lost my wife and my sponsor. And I was in the darkest night of my life. And I met Father Tom, I was scheduled to speak up in Ottawa, Canada, that was a Saturday night banquet speaker and I wasn't going to do it. And a dear friend, Frank Jones from the Pacific Group showed up my house said you will be on that plane and you will go up there he goes, there's only one acceptable answer to an a request. And that is yes. And you're going to beat this cancer, I'm going to die of it, because I got it here in two different areas, but you will. And when we do die, they will pull us from where they found us in the gutters in the trenches with fellow alcoholics, given away what has been given to us, and I got on that plane, and I went up there. And then the next week, I was speaking in Las Vegas, and I went there and I met father, Tom. And he told me some things that saved my life. He said, Joe, there's three things you can't change. And that's the truth, other people and the past, then there's three things that you must change, but you cannot change it alone unaided, and that is your attitude, your beliefs and your actions. And he says, I'm going to ask you to cancel all your talks, he goes, your spiritual is hemorrhaging Mnemic condition right now you need your family, and you need your your god that and friends that nurse you back, and I cancelled every one of those and I came back. And I have to tell you, it seemed like it was the very worst thing you see. And there we go, again, with the doctor's opinion, not being able to Singlish the truth and the false. I thought my life was falling apart. But in fact, it was falling together. And I wrote something out of that on coming back. Because my life is on steroids. 20 million times better than anything I ever had before. I give a million dollars not to go have to go through that pain. But I give that same million back plus everything else I have, not to miss the gifts. I wrote this, it really helped me and it's helped a lot of people when they hit their second surrender, and I'm hoping that it might help someone listen, this count. And it's talking about the dark side of spiritual growth, the internal tap transformation that happens there. It's getting free of throwing things involves an endless series of internal surrenders of letting go of limited beliefs that block you and others from the source of all good. That surrender often looks like a nervous breakdown as it involves letting loose of some of the innermost protective mechanisms we have devised to avoid this painful process. One often will feel vulnerable to every possible nightmare and fear imagine, this is part of the process in this dark, internal barren wilderness, the real you is finally come into service. This is not a death that is a rebirth of all spirituality, which is the sale good. Christians call it being saved or reborn, as it says on page 63 of our big book, this horrific and intense but quite necessary time of grieving is a pruning, purification, cleansing time of your soul, resist not this evil, for it is making room for tremendous spiritual gifts for one to bring back and heal others with let it all come up and out. And then a spiritual mentor told me once when I was in this, he said, There is no link to which he will not go no depth to which he will not be sin to when the love of your heart and mind Joe, God is always searching for us through that sense of separation that we may be experiencing. Even though God seems absent from your job. God is never absent, and is trying to hard to reach us through what I like to call our sense of lostness. And through that, I learned this prayer that has helped me and I say it every time I speak. I always get up there and I say it say a prayer I say to prayers, let the words be thine let the voice be mine. And then I say and this was a I understand was written by a pair a quadriplegic at that was canonized and it's called I Am the place prayer it says I am the place where God shines through he and I are one not to I need not worry fret or plan. He wants me where and as I am and if I be relaxed and free. He will carry out his plan through me.
John M 44:37
That's beautiful. I love that. Can you talk to us a little bit about what I guess was the final straw or what kind of got you in to Alcoholics Anonymous. I think you've referenced it so far. But is there more detail that goes around that?
Joe Mc 44:56
Yes, it was My bear in mind, I don't have a pretty bottom. And I don't think any of us do. But my on the outside bottom was really horrific. I took 38 Xanax I was I was doing outside issues and drinking Crown Royal, and I couldn't get drunk. And I walk into my then wife and I said, Can you help me I can't. And she just started crying. And she took the kids and she left. And there I was alone with me. And in fact, if I ever had this name, my recovery would be surviving Joe. And I took 30 Xanax a half a gallon, a riuniti. slip my left wrist I called Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, the prayer hotline told him that I was going to pee on Baby Jesus feet, because I was going to cop a plea. And I was going to come back and haunt the old timers at Club 12, the Ellis Island of alcoholics, San Antonio, and I woke up in the ICU, and I had tubes going in my mouth tubes going down my throat IVs in my arms, and I said, God, what a failure, you can't even commit suicide. And I ripped the tubes out of my arms, my nose, my mouth, I jumped up, I got on my feet, and I run over to the window. They're in the ICU and I jumped out the window to my death. But I was on the first floor. They put me on a straight jacket, and they took me over to the state hospital. And when I got out of the state hospital, I knew I was busted disgusted not to be trusted. And I knew that if I ever sprung out of this trap, I would go to the good people about colleagues numbness and take those actions. Now I might might just add one more thing for me. I was invited, because you people taught me how to do service work. And you told me that you could run the General Motors Corporation with the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous big book. And you told me that if I knew how to apply the principles and treat everything, like in my life in every area of my life, like it's a newcomer at their first meeting, and the guiding principle of Alcoholics Anonymous, if you don't remember anything else about Alcoholics Anonymous, the guiding principle on page 128 is giving rather than getting becomes the guiding principle. And if you apply that it says in the big book with this attitude, you cannot fail. And with that, like a heat seeking missile, God's will for me just start showing up over and over and over again. And I got to be very quite successful in business in spite of myself. Now I'm invited a few weeks ago, I had to call my sponsor on the way out and I was crying. I was invited a few weeks ago to go to this big ranch. I was sitting at a table with a movie star with the owner of the largest company in America a not a corporation, but company I was sitting with to two senators and three judges, and I'm sitting at this table with them. And we started talking. And it's hard for me to say this because I don't want to come across costs bragging and I'm not because I'm in all alcoholics anonymous and what Alcoholics Anonymous is doing through my life is we start talking and one of the senators asked me for my phone number. And I gave it to him. And he started talking about where and I asked him where he's from and stuff. And he introduced me to his wife and his daughters and everything and we start talking and I said I know where you live. He says, Oh, really? Where's that? And I told him because he described it and I told him what his house looked like and what his rolling hills were and everything. And he says My goodness, that yeah, that is where I live. I said, Well, yeah, I'm familiar with your city. And as I was leaving the ranch and going back to my mountain home, I had to pull over and start crying because the reason I know he he didn't ask me how I knew.
Joe Mc 49:09
The reason I know is because after they gave me those shock treatments, and they'd send me over to the recovery room, I would look out on those Frawley hills and see that big house there. Now how do you get from a ward of the state of Texas MHMR that stands for mental health mental retardation corridor take 14 pills a day to sedate the intensity my nation's living in Section Eight housing getting 400 At that time, $400 a month almost on SSI. How do you get from being there where the psychiatrist tells your wife to go ahead and divorce you? Because you can never even hold a job doing dishes it's too much pressure to being asked to sit at the table with those people and rubbing elbows with them. And them asking me for my phone number. And I'll tell you it's nothing more nothing less than the power of God expressing himself through A feeble little Mnemic spiritual weenie Jomon. Me. And that's because I practice these principles in all of our affairs. And I believe with this attitude, you cannot fail. I really believe when you enter the world of the Spirit that you have a co partner and a co creator in every year of your life, that's just waiting and pulling and one of the best for you.
John M 50:27
Joe, I think that's a perfect way to wrap up this session with us. I'm just in awe. You know, do you do workshops on the steps as well?
Joe Mc 50:40
I have, um, you know, I pretty much do anything that I'm asking because the only God shows up in one word in Alcoholics Anonymous, and that is yes. So I have, I have some really good friends. And usually when if it's going to be a weekend, I'll get one of them to go with me because it's just, I'll do anything. Alcoholics Anonymous comes first they said, if you put Alcoholics Anonymous, first in your life, everything you put second will be first class. And that is my truth.
John M 51:19
Love it. Okay, so. And the reason I was asking if you do workshops is, you know, I have people back on here who do the steps sometimes and stuff like that. So we'll talk offline, maybe get some more time scheduled to have your voice shared with our listeners, because I really have enjoyed our time together. So I'm going to go ahead and wrap it up. I was read from page 164, the big book, it says, abandon yourself to God as you understand God, admit your faults to him and to your fellows. clear away the wreckage of you your past, give freely of what you find much like Joe's been describing here today, 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 Joe, as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you, and keep you until then, once again, Joe, thank you so much for your time. I must say. Thank you so much again, Mr. Joe, really, really enjoyed spending time with you. You are just a heck of a gentleman. And I appreciate you sharing your story with the sober speak, listeners. If you are out there, and have just listened to this, remember now we don't want you share your gossip. But we would love for you to share this episode with another friend or family member. It may be just what they need today. Now on to a little bit of listener feedback, Anthony writes in and Anthony says, Good afternoon, Brother John. My name is Anthony L and I suffer from alcoholism. I'm from the Southern California area. And I stumbled upon your podcast at work. I guess it was just laying there on the floor. Greg was about sundown. Anyway, he says, let's just say listening to your podcast has lifted, that contemplation of taking a drink, I would be throwing away three years of sobriety, not only throwing up the beautiful life I have built in that time. My alcoholism put me in prison. That is where I found the big book of a My life has never been the same. I attend meetings on a regular basis. I have a sponsor and I work the steps. But this new career path has me mentally drained. So listening to your podcast on my air pods, as greatly put my time at work into greater perspective. Thank you for your time and effort that you put forth in this podcast, as well as the other sober members you have on. Thank you sincerely, Anthony. Well, thank you, Anthony. I appreciate you listening. And I'm so glad that you have a sponsor. You're working the steps and you're attending meetings. That is fantastic to hear. God bless you, my friend. Fred writes in and Fred says Hello, John. I have been in recovery since May 1 Oh, since May. I have I've had a few relapses since then, but by the grace of God, I have a sobriety date now of October 31 2021. And I'm taking things Day by day, I stopped going to a for a couple of months, I was really hitting the gym hard. And I was seeing results. I got lost again and I started drinking. My kids mom is not wanting to pursue anything with me anymore. And it has been tough. But I know I can do anything by the grace of God that she can read. I was searching for a podcast and I happen to listen to one of your episodes and I was hooked. It helps me so much. And on how to break down certain things. Whenever I'm working the steps. A gentleman I go to AA with his good friends with one of the speakers on your podcast, Fred. That sounds really cool, Fred, once again for you. It sounds like you're on the right track as well. And I sure do appreciate you listening and God bless you, my friend keep coming back.
John M 55:59
Mike writes in and Mike says Hi John. I'm a mailman in Worcester, Massachusetts. I hope I pronounced that right. I think I've been to Wooster I'm pretty sure then everyone has said it looks like a word Chester but I think you say Wooster, like you know Wilshire shots or whatever that is anyway, he says, I started listening to your podcast a few weeks back while I walk around my route. So if you're up there in Worcester mass, and you see a mailman walking around with with like air pods in his ear or something like that. And his name happens to be Mike, this may be the same guy. I'm sorry, Mike. I'm not gonna I hope I don't break your anonymity. But there must be more than one. mailman in Worcester, Massachusetts. They might get he says, I love the podcast. Very well done. And the guests are great. I've been sober a little over three years and your podcast helps me stay connected to the program. While I work. I love listening to Matt am Oh, I'm going to be having him back on real soon. By the way, I listened to one of his shares early on in recovery. And I was excited that he's featured on your podcast many times. He helped me through so much in the beginning through his talks, and I found you on the tube. I found you on you Oh I found you on YouTube. My apologies Mike my bad thank you for what you're doing. Mike M and worst your mass will thank you for writing in and thank you for doing the service that you do on a day to day basis by delivering our mail my friend appreciate that. Anthony This is not the same Anthony that wrote in early this is another Anthony he says Hi John. Oh, the reason he's writing in is because Okay, Anthony has written him before and there is a a text at the at the base of his email signatures. And I read it and I'm always like, what does it say anyway, the text at the base of my email signature is in Norwegian, it reads med which in parentheses says May so I guess you pronounce it May May and then van leg silent G Oh. So then like some may some may eventually Hilson I pronounce his as his his. I pronounced as in his okay. So may Vandelay. His may even lay his which means with friendly which means with friendliest regards. So feel enlightened today my friend. I love the lap last episodes. That is always thank you Tony D so may ven lay his right back at you. Thank you so much believer for writing in and explaining that. I appreciate it. And as always, it's the tone that I love. You're really a great guy. Barbara writes in and Barbara says Hi John. I am in allanon. I've been living in Florida for 20 years. Two of my three adult children are are alcoholics and are currently sober. One is an untreated allanon. I first heard your program recorded on the recovery show. Yes, that is my friend. Spencer over there on the recovery show. If you're in Al Anon and you have not heard that podcast, I would highly suggest you go check it out as the THG recovery show. I think he changed is a URL at some point back there. But anyway, that'll find it. The recovery just put it now on on the recovery show and it's a podcast and it's actually very, very well done.
John M 1:00:13
Okay, everybody, that is another app of the pond.
John M 1:00:20
Thank you so much for tuning in. I take this one week at a time and I hope to be back next week. Keep coming back a works if you work it, loved you guys out there be well