Marty C 00:00
For anybody who is listening to this podcast if I was to say that when I talked about the transition around my sexual abuse and stuff, it was steps four through nine had nothing to do with just step for me looking at it again, I’d looked at it many times through therapy on it, I’m looking at it again. When I put in the last column, all the things that I had done in my life relative to that and just the things that I had done the people, I began to lose my victimization, I began to lose my perspective that somehow this world has been damaging to me. I started to see that I had been damaging to it.
John M 00:38
Well, hello, friends of build via 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 from Studio A deep in the heart of Texas. That was the voice of our friend Mr. Marty see the you heard at the beginning of this episode and you will be hearing so much more so much more goodness from him in just a moment. He has some pearls of wisdom to share with all of us. But first things first on this here episode number 227 dos DOS, Societe. This episode is brought to you by Tammy and Jane. Do you know what Tammy and Jane did? Well, they went to our website, sober, speak calm and they clicked on the little yeller, donate tab, and they made a contribution. So thank you so much, Tammy. And Jane, this episode 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. You can’t see me right now. But I’m kind of bowing you know, like you would bow for somebody to serve all of you listening in. So take a seat, if you will, around this virtual table. And let’s get started. I have many of you throughout the years, who have written in or come up to me when you see me and say, John M, where should I start listening to episodes now that you have whatever it is to whenever the time was at this point, it would be 227 episodes, right? Well, it’s hard for me to tell you where to start, because all of the episodes are like children. To me, they’re all fantastic. But I can tell you that we just recently published on the website, the top one, okay, when I say top episodes, I mean, most listen to episodes of 2021. And we also have the episodes from 2020 and 2019 on there, and those were either voted on by listeners or they were the most listened to so anyway, you could go to our website and along the Oh, what is it? What is it we got? Along the top it says Oh, top episodes, the lovely Mrs. M actually put all of that out there for us all to consume. So if you go to Silver speak.com Click on the top episodes tab at the top of the page, you will be able to listen to that. Alright, now on to a little Mr. Marty see we have had more DC on in the past and he is back again. And we’re gonna have him again in the future folks. And this episode is called these are the steps we took as you can tell from that opening little
John M 04:58
clip that was played, we get into some heavy stuff. But this is just keep in mind Marty is from Hamilton, Hamilton. Oh my goodness, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and he got sober on July 16 of 1987. This is truly a wide ranging conversation. Like I said, that clip was just the beginning of it. We talked about to stepping Marty’s 14 year experience in Alcoholics Anonymous when he met Mark you are when he when Mark Euston told him, Marty, you are asleep, dreaming that you are alive in that got Marty’s attention. We’re talking about Marty’s 10 Step experience. A tragic situation involving Marty’s middle daughter. Marty’s mantra is, it’s gonna be okay, I almost entitled this episode, it’s gonna be okay. But we went with, these are the steps we took we talked about love and tolerance is so much more you truly have to listen to this one all the way through. Because at points, it’s funny. Sometimes it’s very emotional and to the point where you can hear a pin drop, and we discuss some of the imperfections of Alcoholics Anonymous. And the people in it. We’re all over the map, I know you’re going to enjoy this one. So ladies and gents, take a seat or well relax and enjoy this in whatever position you happen to be in. If you’re standing up and you want to enjoy it. I’m good with that. If you’re sitting in one to enjoy it, I’m good with that. If you’re laying down and want to enjoy it, I’m good with all the postures, do whatever you need to do. And we will Flint do we have plenty Oh listener feedback at the end of this here. App. Enjoy Marty see. Okay, everybody. So we are back once again, with the great Mr. Marty see from the great white north of Canada. So Marty, why don’t you go ahead, introduce yourself. Give your sobriety date, if you wish, and then we’ll tee it up and get started here.
Marty C 07:30
Well, yeah, the most important thing is, I’m an alcoholic. My name is Marty Cosgrove. I’m a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. My home group is called the Prince George group. I was telling John Yes, I want to make it want to make sure I put a plug in for my group and my group members. Just an amazing, amazing place to be. And you’re all welcome. Anytime you’re in the area. That’s where I’m at and what I’m doing,
John M 07:52
guys, I would love to get up there. I love Canada. It just I just love going up there. I just I don’t know why just whenever I would come up there. In fact, I would go to meetings in that area. I was in the Toronto area, all sorts of different meetings and I would come in the meetings and they would all look up and yell at me. They go there’s Texas right there, you know and a
Marty C 08:16
did you get to the World Conference? Were at the World Conference in Toronto? No, I
John M 08:19
wasn’t at that one. So five, I
Marty C 08:21
think we have a great day, we got a great roundup of the Ontario regional conferences. That’s a great Roundup, if you ever were coming up for function for an activity, that’s the one that come up for what month
John M 08:32
is that? In? What? Usually April? It’s
Marty C 08:34
usually in April, May. Okay, like it’s in the early spring.
John M 08:38
Okay. Is that one of the most? Is it one of the most well attended conferences in the area? Or? Yeah.
Marty C 08:44
What’s one of the better itineraries? You know, it’s just, it’s probably it’s our premier event in Ontario. Yeah.
John M 08:50
Super. Well, for those of you listening in also, I hope they were able to come in, and I’m sure you will, you’ll be there you go see Marty, see, just let them know you’re coming beforehand. You could always email I didn’t say this on the last episode, but you can always email me at John Jo HN at sober speak.com. And I’ll get you over Marty Fs all these comments on and I love to hear any comments that you have regarding the speakers. So yesterday, well, we covered a lot of area. And as you know, we we kind of ran out of time. And I had to schedule some more time. Get you back on the calendar today. And I’m so glad to hear but we we were able to talk about what a lot of things but I want to talk about two things right there at the end. Oh, and before I go into that we were talking a little offline here. And and I was saying no, no, no. Like, hold on. I want to get that on a on the the actual the episode. And you’re saying there was a saying that you had heard from things you’re doing years ago is called Don’t leave it in the greenroom. And then actually, with this particular Killer technology we use they have something called the Virtual green room right for what were you? What did you mean by that?
Marty C 10:08
Yeah, like the green room is the waiting room before you go on air and in any of these sort of broadcast opportunities and did a live call in show on addictions on Sunday nights for many years, and we would have the guests come in and we’d be sitting in the room was actually green. It’s the waiting room. And we would sit in the green room before we’re going on air, you say hi to somebody. And of course, we’re all open books, right? We don’t really hold any secrets, we’re not talking. When we get together, we don’t talk about the weather. So some good stuff starts flying out of our mouths. And we we catch ourselves, oh my god, this is the show, we kind of can’t leave it in the greenroom, we got to put it out there and get it on there. So that was it. That was a live call in television show. It was a lot of fun, very rewarding thing very much like this, like when you you know when you said a prayer to bring us in John and, and asking that this message be, you know, set before anybody out there that that needs to hear it. That’s how I see these opportunities is a very powerful, anonymous endeavor. It’s like, you and I are going to get together talk about some things and somebody might actually bend their ear towards it and catch something that inspires them or changes their life. That absolutely excites me beyond all belief. Yeah.
John M 11:23
I can’t tell you Morty I don’t know how much you listen to the podcast or not. But I you know, I always put a there’s a big portion of what we have here is called listener feedback. Right on the end of it, I just read through all the various Facebook comments and emails and Instagram messages and all that that I get. And it just blows my mind relate that. And I know that there’s only like me, I listen to various podcasts, but I rarely take the time to go ahead and actually write in you know, and that’s and I know, that’s just a portion of the people that are hearing this out there. And hopefully we’re doing so good in the world. Yeah. All right. Alright, so um, though, like I said, the last time we we ended up on a couple of notes. Number one, you had a, a jail cell moment, I really enjoyed you talking about that where you heard, you heard that voice saying that you that you don’t have to live that way anymore. And then we got up to the point to where you had been in Alcoholics Anonymous. And by the way, if you didn’t hear the first part of Marty, go back and listen, it doesn’t mean you have to stop listening now. But definitely go back and listen to the first one. But nonetheless. And then we got to that point in sobriety where you had been doing the deal. And you had been basically kind of to stepping I think, is what we talked about last time. And then you got to that point in your sobriety where you were 14 years sober, and something occurred. Why don’t you take us from that point on?
Marty C 13:07
Yeah, yeah. And the funny thing about, like a change of that sort of magnitude is, is very seldom do you ever realize that it’s necessary, or that it’s not just that it’s coming, but that it’s even necessary. If somebody had told me before the moments before all of these stars lined up, that there was something wrong with my Alcoholics Anonymous program, I would have, in fact, the way I, I’ll tell you the story, the way it unfolded, and you can see the sort of arrogance in the self that was so predominant in my sobriety, I took all the credit for my sobriety for all of those 14 years, I have this relationship with God, but it was it was a pinch League, pinch hitter. God, it was a, it was it was something that was, you know, these were decisions and choices I was making in my life, and, and some were good, and some were bad.
John M 13:56
And so I’m assuming when you say you’re taking all the credit for it, it’s probably not like you were outright saying this is me to hell with God, it was probably more of a subconscious sort of thing. Am I right? Can you explain that a little bit pride
Marty C 14:11
would be would be my pride would be filled. Like I was just talking about doing the television show, I was an active member of my community and in the addictions realm, I was, you know, everybody gave me praise. My mother constantly talked about my my sobriety. And so these these sort of levels of self would be attended to in some degree, and my identity became, became very much centered around that. And like, yeah, it wasn’t like there wasn’t an arrogance or an ego ism around it. It was more about I left God out. You know, when Sandy always talks about that, it’s like so easy. It’s not about you know, I’ve got this I’ve got this, I’ve got this and it isn’t on the conscious level. It’s on the subconscious level. I’m rolling through things and when things go bad, he gets all the blame. And when things go well, I get all the Credit. And it’s just a mutual understanding in a way we go. And when I talk about being in a, I’m at a conscious level, in the middle of Alcoholics Anonymous with service positions HomeGroup sponsor sponsees many meetings a week because I love them right and doing these conferences around ups, I’m speaking a lot. And because I have this sort of spiritual edge, I’m speaking a lot of Sunday mornings, my life is full. And a represents a big, big part of it. So what I didn’t recognize was I was lacking the real driving force. And and when I went to stepping is what two, two stepping looks like. It really looks like not drinking. And it really looks like being a good dude, being a good man. And not for any other reason, you know. But what tells us in our third step that no matter what our motives, we can be kind, virtuous, these kinds of things, or life is still based can be based on self, we can still be very self driven. It’s not just mean egotistical, and arrogance that can sometimes hide itself behind the kindnesses and those kinds of things, but self was definitely running the show. And the way I knew that was every couple few years, I would have these major calamities and spiritual breakdowns where I will be so angry, and so self loathing, and these periods would last for anywhere in between a day to you know, a couple of weeks, never longer than that. And again, when I would come out of it, I would take all the credit when I would go into it, I give him all the blame. And this was a just an ongoing thing that I thought everybody who was sober went through. I just thought they did. So here’s what happened, John, is I was asked to be the closing speaker at around up and the main bank would speaker and I were outside smoking cigarettes, talking about fitness and health care. And this unfortunately, this dude was smoking about five cigarettes. It was like, I smoked three packs a day he was smoking. We’re at a good old chinwag about life. And he was an amazing, exhilarating man to be around that could feel this incredible energy. And I felt the need to tell him what a great AEA member I was. And I went on and on and on sharing with him all that I knew of a and all that I knew of, you know, my role in AA, and my experiences in a and right in the middle of about a 20 minute diatribe. He looks at me and he says, Son, you’re asleep dreaming you’re awake.
John M 17:23
said Say that again. He says said you’re asleep, son.
Marty C 17:27
You’re asleep dreaming, you’re awake. And I said, Pardon. And I was offended. I said what? What he said, I can tell there’s an experience in Alcoholics Anonymous You haven’t even had. I said, buddy, I don’t know if you weren’t, you must never listen. And there isn’t anything about a I don’t know. I am the king of a and all of Canada. And I have no idea why you would come at me like that. He said, I’m coming at you like that, because I can tell is an experience that you haven’t had. And I said, Oh yeah, I’m what’s that wise guy? And he said, the steps. So what about the steps? He said, Have you ever taken the steps?
Marty C 18:05
Well, of course, of course I have. I’m 14 years sober. I mean, of course they have. You said I didn’t ask if you knew what they were, if you’ve studied them, if you read them if I didn’t ask I said have you ever taken here the steps we took? Have you ever taken the steps? I had to concur that whatever he was alluding to was was making starting to make sense. Okay. Well, no, I don’t I don’t know. And he said, I could help you with that. If you got if you’ve got a few minutes. Come on with me. I followed him up to his hotel room, walked up the stairs sheepishly. I might add, I have to say I was there was a lot of apprehension and trepidation. I hadn’t heard the guy speak yet. He was speaking that night. I walked in behind him he closed the door and he said to me, he said why are you an alcoholic? What makes you an alcoholic? And I told him what I thought made me an alcoholic and for the first time in 1414 years have been in a man qualified me as an alcoholic. No one had ever asked me that question before you guys let me come to your tables. You let me say it over and over and over again. But you never ever took any time to describe to me or explain to me what an alcoholic was. And I didn’t have a big book experience. I told you that yesterday was not my so I had this idea. I sat around the same tables you didn’t because you said you were alcoholic. I said I was an alcoholic. I had no idea what it meant. And this guy said, can you stop when you start? And I said no. He said can you stop start? And I said absolutely not. He said that’s what an alcoholic is. That’s it. And so we started to have a conversation around step one and I said holy crap no one had ever done had this conversation before about powerlessness. He says it’s the only issue in Alcoholics Anonymous, marry powerlessness, you either our yard and he says if you are, then you need power. If a lack of power is your problem, then you must access that power. You have not taken the steps. You’ve never done that and I thought and I’m getting goosebumps talking about John because he was right. He was right. And as he walked a little bit into the room, I follow it into the room and we’re talking about minutes, not hours, days, weeks, months, we’re talking about a transition of moments. And as I follow the many said, you said, you know, you’re talking a little bit about God’s sight. It’s not as I have no doubt, he said that you believe that there is a God. But do you believe that God knows you to do to have that experience? Nice, nice. Oh, well, because you’re, you know, when it says that, do you now believe or you’re unwilling to believe? He says, I understand. In the second step, you probably you’re good with that. But God has everything or else he has nothing. That’s not what the way you live, you live a life based on self according to what you’re telling me outside. And again, I had to concur. I had never seen that stuff in the big book. And he said, God is everything else. He’s nothing. What’s your choice? And I said, everything I didn’t realize, even realize until we were done. Well, I’ll keep going. And he said, No, he said, You know, when we talk about making a decision already, this is a boat sitting there and you have this powerlessness, this need for power, and then you need to make a decision to access that power. And he said, we use this little prayer to access this power this what we do, he said, would you say that prayer with me? And I said, I will. And then when we got down, he said, Would you get down underneath and I said I will. And he moved the coffee table apart. And us two big guys because he’s a big, he’s a big James Coburn looking dude, big, handsome, barrel chested guy with silver beard silver hair, and we draped our arms over each other. And he started seeing a third step prayer, a prayer I had never heard before, 14 years sober.
Marty C 21:22
And in the prayer for the first time, in praying, I actually heard the words of the prayer in its their literal meaning. And I began to feel the shift inside my chest, if I could try to explain it, I could never do it justice. And I knew that something of incredible magnitude was beginning to take place. And when we stood up, I really believed when I stood up, about eight or 10 minutes with this man, I believed that I was a different man. And so what we did was we sat down and we talked and he talked about all the things were blocking me driven by myself, and he asked me about my life and there was nefarious, there was dishonesty there were affairs there was in some of them were overt, some of them were more clandestine. There was all kinds of manipulations around finances these kinds of things dishonesty in my marriage, and, and, you know, parenting, like I was angry at times, and I would never allow myself to be honest about that with with other AEA members, it was a lot of stuff in my life that because I’m 14 years sober, I’m not supposed to lose it, those kinds of things, these things started to break open. And he talked about a four step inventory, which I had never done. In my 14 years of Alcoholics Anonymous, out of the big book, resentment, fear, sex condom, we’re going to look at these things. So he helped me set up my four step inventory. And when me and Mark Houston parted ways, I have never been the same since he spoke that evening, I hugged him as he left. And after that time, I’ve checked in with him on my four step inventory about a week later, and our relationship was never connected live again. But through messages and emails, and these kinds of things, we had contact in the heat, I just kept him abreast of the progress. Within a couple of years, he came up to do a conference up here in Canada to see a conference. And I was able to, to just to say hello to him and spend some time with him there. But other than that, that powerful, powerful moment that that that moment, to me is the same as them. It’s exactly the same as the moment for Bill when Bill met Bob, it was no different. And so because because something major and powerful is shifted inside of me because this man had an answer. So I was having a Dr. Bob experience, this man had an answer. And, and that’s what happened, I got driven into the 12 steps. Now, having had a spiritual experience, as a result of the steps, I tried to carry this message to alcoholics, you should have seen my sponsees faces as stable responses for 25 or 2530. Guys that have never taken the steps all of us running around hitting on women, you know, dances and camp boats and, and all kinds of activities and all kinds of service positions, and, you know, bad relationships, financial blow ups, playing sports together and all that kind of stuff, doing a not one step, not one step among us. So that’s what happened. That’s that’s what happened. That was the trans devcich That was the transformation period of my life. And then Charlie talks about the same thing as 16 years sober and I was 14 years sober when it happened to me it was like it was just this transformation.
John M 24:25
We will be continuing our conversation with Marty see just a moment just a reminder, you’re listening to sober speak you find us on the worldwide web at www dot sowore speak.com. There you can find also you can also find the donate button on our website and you can use if and only if the spirit moves you please keep in mind this is a podcast funded by you the listener Okay, so you so you have this conversation with Mark Houston. And you feel like you’re a changed man. But when you went back to your response season as such, and started talking to them about actually doing things differently. I mean, what was that experience like?
Marty C 25:08
Well, you can imagine what the number of sponsors that I had how many of the guys were actually not really doing a, and even then even a moderate, nice sense, like, and I don’t know how to explain it, but I went to a lot of guys who were really dug in it, and said to them, look at, I’m not your sponsor, I’m going in this direction, you can come with me if you want. But if you’re not really into this, aka things, you know, you need to find a sponsor, or sponsor, there’s going to sort of be okay with that. But I gotta go this way. And it’s going to be it’s just going to be the way it is. And then when
John M 25:38
you explain that to them go this way. I mean, obviously, I’m sure they had questions, What were you telling them was going to be this way, what was going to be different?
Marty C 25:49
It was the 12 steps. It says, like, if you’re not going to take the steps, I got nothing here for you. I’ve been sitting here trying to problem solve for you for years. I, you know, I you know, my story. This is an ex con, and who have been, I’ve been lousy in relationships. You know, the only time I ever spent any time in any banks or anything was to make withdrawals of money that didn’t belong to me. And the whole thing was, like, so I’ve got these, I’ve got this history, people in my sponsors, are asking me financial questions, you know, and I’m giving them to the 25 years old, I’m giving grown men marital advice and advice about their children and university, I’ve never had a family of my own at all, you know, and, and that’s because that’s what everyone else was doing, they would come to me, and they would have a problem. And I would solve that problem. Some of the most ludicrous responses to because I was making shit up as I went, and I thought we all were doing the same thing. And I thought it was my job. I thought, as a sponsor, it was my job to have every answer that a guy asked, Oh, my God, can you imagine John, not, you know, and I had an answering machine, one of those old tape answering machines, you know, tapes on them. And every day I would come home and it would be filled, it would be filled, and so on my one that would call the guys back and I say, you know, you need to leave her and then a click, and then the next one would be like, You need to go to a hospital and get that looked at. And then the next one be like, and you can hear in there, there is no mention of any spirit, God connection, no steps, nothing, nothing, no, go help another alcoholic, nothing. Nothing. And because I was so driven by myself, I didn’t even recognize selfishness and self centeredness and the other individuals I was trying to help. Now the now, I think that, underneath that when I talk about two stepping step one, or, um, I got a big alcohol problem. Step 12. Help people. I did help a lot of people. You know, I make a joke. If you hear my talks lately, it was because I was 240 pounds of let’s say, energetic rage when I first got sober. And so I was a good guy if you needed to move things. So my sponsor and I, the first five years, that’s what we did. Every weekend, we were moving people. And I thought that was a help. I thought that’s what they meant. And they said, Oh, what are you doing this weekend? I don’t know. But I’m probably moving somebody and moving somebody every weekend. And I thought I was doing the A I swear to God, I know it sounds ridiculous. But when I look back in hindsight, it’s like, staying sober was like, following the direction following the direction and being obedient to something, you know, Dr. Bob says you got to be obedient to spiritual principles and, and but being obedient to something is probably what kept me from not drinking. But it didn’t bring any sort of sanity or peace of mind, or, or reconciliation, or cleanup or an amends to my life, it didn’t bring any of that. So the entire thing in between steps two, and 11 was missing. So when I told these guys, this is what we’re gonna do, some of them were all over it. And could and some a few of them sustained and I got one guy, I’m 34 years sober. I got one by a guy. I’ve been sponsor for 30 years. 31 years, I had a guy in my house yesterday who I sponsored 3334 years ago, he went in another direction. He’s never taken the steps or anything, but is still in my life. He’s still a good friend. A lot of the guys just disappeared. John, it was very interesting how I was the link to there. I was the link to the connection to a, a became very, very much less important when I headed in this direction. And I gotta tell you like that, you’re the first person ever asked me that question about how it affected the men that I was quote unquote, sponsoring. I’ll tell you how it affected my my reputation in Alcoholics Anonymous, it was awful. It was awful. Because if I was to, in any way, shape, or form, accept what Mark Houston was saying to me to be true. Then that meant that every stick of information and support and Alcoholics Anonymous that I’ve been given to that date was errant. That’s what it meant. And I don’t mean 100% 100% I’m just saying there was a major piece that was missed, and if it was missed by The Message carriers to me how far and how deep Was it when I came back in fact, that Sunday, my sponsor who was sitting on the audience, that Sunday, my first sponsor,
Marty C 30:14
I’m just so I’m just so natural, right? I had that experience on the Saturday, and my wife was with me. And she’ll attest to this, like, something very powerful moved inside of me. And I was reduced to tears about two things about what I had, I missed all these years. And then, of course, now the joy of the opportunity to grow more, because I thought I had arrived, I already thought I hit everything in eight, it was to hit. Now, like I said, yesterday, oh, my god, like, there’s every days, there’s more ill. And so. So when I got up to speak the next day on that Sunday, my sponsor was sitting out there. And I said, you know, I, I’ve never taken the steps. Here I am, I’m your Sunday morning speaker. And I’ve never had a 12 step experience. I’ve never taken the steps. And I didn’t take the steps. And my sponsor didn’t take me two steps. How could he take me through the steps, he’d never taken the steps either. And I thought, and I pointed to him, you see what I’m saying? Like, I’m up at the front of a room for what, six 700 people, and I and I shovel it off like that thinking we all know this, I’m, I’m just gonna say something that we’re all we need we all are going to become aware of, I’m going to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Well, people don’t want to hear that. And he was very upset with me and has not talked to me since. Really, yeah. In fact, in fact, he, there was a campaign a bit of a campaign that took place to be smart and and harmed my reputation. And so
John M 31:48
did you all get to talk to the say why he was upset?
Marty C 31:54
No, no, he hasn’t. But there’s a lot of other people, you know, and it’s a very tenuous thing because it just separated this town, separated city. And like I said, I’m active, I’m involved. Now I’m going to come at it from a 12 step perspective, everything I come at is going to be able to new guy, working with others. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and a 1212 step perspective, I always tell people, I’m not a big book Thumper, like I I got into the book, I became a very important part of my life, I became friends with Charlie Parker Myers, Chris and a lot of guys these are my friends downright Chris Schroeder is one of my best friends. So I become very involved in a in a in a group of folks that speak the same language. And this is the message we carry. Well, there’s a separation that took place here. So I started having all these one day round ups, and I called them day in the steps and I have these all these round ups here where people could come and be in in invested in their own journey and their own discovery, rather than me sitting up at the podium. I never get asked to speak in my area at all. I speak all the time abroad, but I never get asked to speak. They always say that you’re vilified in your hometown. So
John M 33:01
maybe somebody will hear this and think otherwise. Have you ever talked about this? Like kind of publicly before from the podium? Yeah.
Marty C 33:11
Okay. Some people actually, some people suggested that I stopped a few years ago, it was with a lot less love and tolerance. You know, it was like, there was a non aggression, I don’t want to say an aggression, but there was I was hurt, right? I got hurt by the fact that all I was trying to do was explain my experience and say, you know, if, if, if the 12 step says having had a spiritual experiences, the results of these steps, my jailhouse experience on July, the 16th 1987, albeit dramatic, and transforming is not the message of Alcoholics Anonymous. And I was trying to carry that message for many years, that you had to have a spiritual, powerful spiritual awakening like that. So, but no idea about how to get the hope what happens for you, this is what I was describing yesterday. Hope it happens for you that you get desperate and in pain enough that you have to scream out for help. Well, little did I know there was actually a 12 step process, which sponsorship is basically charged with the duty of carrying that message to you. And that isn’t me pointing my finger at the sponsors. It’s like it’s groupthink. The whole and I’m there when they say there are pockets of enthusiasm about Coach Now, if you’ve heard that saying before, right? Pockets of enthusiasm. Well, that must mean that there are if there’s pockets of enthusiasm, that must mean there’s pants, not non enthusiasts. And what I would like to say the middle of the road a which is untreated, non spiritual, non 12 Step Alcoholics Anonymous, where you go to meetings, to discuss the troubles of the day, and you share with those and people, people. When in Rome, if you think that’s what Alcoholics Anonymous is, that’s what it is. And you will have the same experience with me. I was talking with Chris, we were doing a workshop together one day and I said how could so many people be fooled how could so many people be deluded? And he said, it’s it’s his theory. And I happen to agree with him, I won’t be able to repeat it, as well as he stated it is that when 12 and 12 meanings busted open in your mid 70s, into the 80s 1000s and 10s of 1000s of meetings across the United States and Canada, opened up based on the 12 and 12. So people would get sober. And they’d be sober for a few months and stuff like that. And they would start reading this book at tables. And they would begin to identify with having have the experiences in these 12, this 12 and 12. So I’ve never gone and made direct amends. But I’ll read ninth the ninth step and think, Well, my parents and family are talking to me now. So I must have made amends. And so I begin to acclimatized my sobriety and having taken the steps with what I’m sitting and listening to you talk about because if I’m identifying with experiences you’re having, and you’ve taken the nine step, hold on, I must have taken a nice step to just like being an alcoholic. And I love the meeting. So I was around meetings all the time. And it’s what Christmas Christmas theory is, it’s so people believe that they’ve taken the steps. And and in fact, you know, there is a specific directive way to engage in the process of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is a program. It’s an actual program, like any other treatment program for addiction, that has a beginning, a middle and an end process to it. And when you go to a treatment center, some like that they have a program and you follow the program doesn’t matter if it’s making your bed in the morning, brushing your teeth, going for breakfast sitting in the group, you follow the program in AA does nothing like that you shake hands, get coffee, you sit down, you can listen, you can talk you can, you can do anything you want in a meeting, if you’ve been to enough meetings, you’ve actually seen that. Yeah, it’s an amazing place to be. So so that’s, you know, so that’s, that’s how it all happens. So you know that this transformation, I’ll be remarkable and incredibly wonderful. And it wasn’t it wasn’t it wasn’t easy to be around. And my wife was also an Alcoholics Anonymous for 30 years, she’s again, she was, she was often taken aback by because she was married to that guy.
John M 37:13
Really? Okay, so you’re an open book. So I’m just going to ask you a few questions. I Bella, by the way, I feel, you know, as you’re describing this, I just feel so fortunate my sponsor, his name is Bob, I got him in 1989 still have him today, I call him my temporary sponsor. Gotta give it a shot. And, and he, I was similar. I had been in and out of a VA for three years. And he took me and he says, Hey, have you ever worked the steps? And I was like, I could add a VA, right? I was like, Oh, that makes sense. And he took me through the steps. And we did it by the big book, we did the, you know, we all the steps by the big book. And I just feel so fortunate that I ran into him right off the bat, you know, and, and I know a lot of people don’t have that sort of experience. But let me ask you a couple questions. So you seem like a very reasonable rational, I’m sure you are reasonable, rational, fun kind of guy. Right. And and so now I’m kind of wondering about this, this is a little bit of you. This is something I would not ask you about during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, but I’d asked you off to the side him and asked you on this podcast. If you talk to somebody who has some sort of angst or some sort of you know, won’t ask you to speak or whatever. What’s their side of the story? I mean, what are they thinking over there? I can you help me understand that?
Marty C 38:42
Well, it’s not all on them. And some of it’s on me as I say the way I came out of the gate, people used to say to me that I split rooms. There are people that carry this same message that I have like Charlie and Kate and people like that they don’t necessarily split the room. I used to say from the front of the room and there’s there’s a couple legendary things about me doing roundhouse kicks and knocking down slogan trees and throwing fourth edition big books across the room and modem to modem that’s never going to happen. You know, I wouldn’t even open up a fourth, fourth traditional fourth edition. So I had these I had this experience but then I also had this narrow minded close minded so it wasn’t really a good match.
John M 39:26
You got you it’s kind of my way or the highway. You’re all idiots if you don’t do it. My wife got a
Marty C 39:30
lot of people Yeah, like think, like Chris say, Chris, Chris Raymer you speak with Chris today and he’s an absolute affable and lovable human being dreadfully shy but an incredibly, incredibly nice man. And when he had this transformative experience, seven years you know, he was gonna, you know, you know, a story and he, you know, and that’s what happened and then he came out guns blazing, and and some people and I see it as passion and some people were seeing it as anger. And they would. So I would split the room and people would say, Come on, you know. And so because I would say there are only two kinds of people in a those that take the steps and those that don’t. And then was it don’t think the ones that do are in a clique. And we are, I would say that, and we are in a clique. And, and, and the fact is, is that I don’t necessarily disagree with that sentiment anymore. But those are room splitting. Those are because somebody’s sitting there. Now. I just want to talk about this really quickly, John, I’ll give you a quick example. So we have a group, a guy. He’s one of the most revered old timers in my group. I absolutely love him. And he calls me up one day says, Hey, Marty says I got this guy. You remember the guy used to be our secretary, then he’s, he’s hammered man. Can I bring him because I have this. We got two meetings a week in this one meeting. We got in the basements like it’s called the backroom meeting and we really take it. We really take it to the point down there, he says, so this whole guy says, Can I bring him to your meeting? I says, it’s your meeting too mad. Of course. He’s, yeah, bring him Yeah, but he’s drunk. I said all the better. And so he brings them in and, and this old guy in my group who again, I say is revered. He comes in, and everybody’s so glad to see him there. He never comes on a Thursday night. So he comes in and he sits down. And I’m talking and I do my thing. And all of a sudden, there’s chalk flying around all over the place and spit, getting all excited. And I look down and the drunk guys half asleep, but I look at the old guy and his jaws on the on the table like that. And I’m like, get it all done. We wrap it all up, we start putting the chairs and everything away, and he’s 36 years old. And I’m walking up the stairs and he tugs on my shirt, John. I’m in front of them. And he just him and I left in the whole meeting. He tugs on my shirt. And I turn around. I said, Yeah, but he was up. He said, I think I’m, I think I’m one of those guys, you were talking about there? And I said, What do you mean? And he said, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the steps. And I just started to laugh. And I said, I love you, buddy. If I was to scour the world, the earth for a father, I’d pick you. I don’t know whether you need to take the steps or not. But I knew that. And he said, How did you know this was, you know, a sponsor? Anybody? said, wow, nobody’s asked me. That’s it. That’s not the point. If you took the steps, the 12 step says that you’d be doing that. That’s what it says. That’s how I could tell whether people take the steps and not do the carrying the message. And then I said, I love you, man. And this is a guy who any finds out anybody struggling, he dips into his pocket, if he’s, he’s just a beautiful, beautiful, dude. So there are many occasions like that. And I take guys through the steps in my basement, I got guys 25 and 30 years stepping up to the plate and seeing you know what my heard you speak there a couple of weeks ago, and there’s no way I have the same experience that you guys are having. So let’s see what’s going on here. And when they sit in the room by step three, they’re going where’s the shit coming from? Where’s this stuff coming from? And it’s the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and message carriers, you know, like sandy beach, Mark, and people like that, you know, I just get these guys together. And all of a sudden, guys who’ve been sober for a long time, who were just living these sorts of lives no great, no great highs, no, no terrible lows, just as humming across. And they go, Oh, my God, and they have new experiences. And, and there are some of us and who talk like this, that, that know that part of our charge is the guys were 12 and 14 to 16 years old. Guys who have been here for a long time who have never ever taken the steps who’ve never sponsored anybody. And they wonder why their life is just why they aren’t feeling it like you’re feeling like, people look at me and think I’m crazy. And I look back at them and think, man, you’re crazy for not taking the steps. If you took the steps, you’d be naughty like me. That’s that’s the outcome.
John M 44:00
There was a guy Morty, that when I first got sober in our group, who was a, a wonderful, wonderful man just absolutely loved him. And he was a traditions expert. He really and he kept the group kind of on the straight and narrow and made sure that we were considering all these things that you do in a really nice way. And I liked him. And, and there was we were coming up with some steps, speakers. And I was in charge of getting the step speakers and I went up to him. He’s passed now but I don’t want to say his name. But I went up to him. And I said, Hey there, would you be willing to speak on the fourth step next week? And he said, Well, John, and he was like, 25 years over, I think 2025. He said, John, I’ve never done a four step. And I was just out I remember just kind of blowing me away. And there’s another guy in my group, David G, who says he’s been on this podcast many times, he says, you know, what insanity is, is, is being part of a 12 step program. And never doing the 12 steps, you know, doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Marty C 45:21
But it’s still the norm, the power of the norm is so strong, like it’s the group think and people again, like I started getting when I started getting more and more, more. I didn’t get less, I was passionate all the time. But I stopped being I stopped being offensive. And the thing about is, is was I was never ever pointing at anybody I was, you know, I wasn’t pointing at anybody. But I would have people come up to me, and here’s the thing that happens. Don’t forget, I’m 34 years sober. I still have people come up to me today. And they’ll say, Oh, come on, or do you remember me back in 1987 8089? Talking about the steps? No, no, no, no. And I’ll say to them, so. So what you had a 12 step experience you? Someone took you through the steps? Oh, yeah, I went up north there for six years. Remember, it was up north? And this one took me through the steps? And I say, and you came back to Hamilton just kept it secret? Like I don’t. I don’t understand like, and I’ll say them, please don’t say that. Please don’t say that. Because I have this discernment inside of me of what it looks like to have a 12 step experience. You know, if, like, like that, that’s first sponsor, I told you, I’ll know when he takes the steps. When I hear this. When I hear the knock at my door, I’ve gone four times on the direction of my current sponsor, to, to sit and make amends with that man, because he saved my life. And I and I all my life, he saved my life. And, and he resists any dialogue or conversation about about that stuff. So that’s okay. So I back off. And I’ll be honest, I mean, this guy went on to high level service positions. He’s really well known in the world in Alcoholics Anonymous. And it is what it is, but I know that when he takes the steps, that’s what will happen now. You know, I don’t even know how I don’t even know how to describe it anymore. Like there’s no. And so the guys that here’s the funny thing is that, in this community now, when I talk about this Prince George group in this community in Hamilton is it’s flipped over, like it’s flipped right over DDS. Now everybody who’s new coming in, they go into the steps right away, they have sponsorship, and are sponsoring people within, you know, weeks, couple months, having had this 12 Step experience, and some of the older guys will go that’s blasphemy. No, it’s a big book. And and, and, and these new people who come they don’t know, there’s no other way, they don’t know that there’s a way where you don’t actually have to do anything, you know, where the most of the information that most means will be driven towards stopping you from doing anything. You shouldn’t do that for a year, you shouldn’t sponsor people till you’re five years old, but you shouldn’t. And you don’t, you shouldn’t know you don’t need to make those amends. And most of the, you know, most of the conversations is driven towards what not to do. And so they’ve got these young people with like, three months of sobriety, and they’re going their sponsor new guys, they’re going down to the detox and putting on meeting stuff, and people are going, that is so wrong, it’s they’re sick, they can’t help other sick people. Thank God that we didn’t rely on that when Alcoholics Anonymous was formed. Thank God, our co founders were so well. What a was founded God, you know, it’s all we always blame the half blind leading the blind, they don’t understand it.
John M 48:51
Okay, so you’re gonna have people listening to this morning that in so, you know, I can always tell you that when something comes up in a meeting that I’m attending, and it is slightly kind of on the edge, sometimes, I used to not like it. But now what I have found out that for me, is that it helps me to crystallize what I actually believe, right? It kind of it puts that, that that that stake in the ground. So here, so the reason I’m saying that is because I’ve got a feeling, there are gonna be people listening to this that are a little divided on this, and I’m okay with that. I’m good with that. And so, what I’m asking what, if you would please share your experience, strength and hope for the ones who are sitting there and they’re saying to themselves, you know, what, I’ve experienced what Marty’s experience. I want to have a 12 step experience. I want to work the steps I want to make sure that I’ve done everything in my power to have a 12 step experience. So why don’t you talk to that group of people right now, just share your experience strength and hope around that.
Marty C 50:05
Okay. Okay, so alcoholism demands treatment, there’s no doubt about it. And I believe that if someone individual hasn’t engaged or taken the 12 steps driven toward a spiritual, spiritual life, that they’re going through alcoholism will demand treatment like this, it will demand treatment like, over working too hard, monetary sort of acquisition, materialism, pornography, and all kinds of self indulgent behaviors like gambling or these kinds of things. And it just manifests untreated alcoholism manifests in those self centered ways. And so over time, goddamnit I didn’t take a drink today, as a good day, you know, at least I didn’t drink today. That stuff is is deadly, you know, because we don’t meet people who suicide when they’re drunk, except by accident. Drinking saved me from dying from alcoholism. It’s like, we the people that check out here, the people that did just can’t do it one more goddamn day are untreated, alcoholics untreated. So let’s just 12 steps for just some treatment. So the way mark qualified me and put me into the second and third steps in those first few minutes is exactly what it says in the big book. And that’s how long it takes us a few minutes. But it required an amount of humility. It required this ability for me to say, Okay, I’m going to come with you, and follow Him. And why I did that is not like me, and is not like me. So I feel that it was profound, I feel that it was it was it was divine, I feel that something was was directed to happen. So that’s, but once you sit down with another man, and to do a third step together, nothing is more binding, I think, then maybe with the exception of hearing a person’s fifth step, I forced that, I think that that’s that’s what happens, right? So if you’re, if you’re around here for five and eight and 10 and 12 years, and you’ve never had a 12 step experience, this takes a couple of days, it and but what you need to do is you need to have a sponsor that either is carrying that message or is open to the fact that you’d like to do that. And you would go to them and you’d say I’d like to have that experience, I’d like to do that. And there are many people that Wednesday night PPG group that Charlie and Chad and Ashley, and those guys run, they offer that up right there. So you can keep your sponsor. But if you want to have a 12 step experience, we’ll take you through the steps here, virtually, if you like, and that is a not only a distinct possibility, it’s an absolute recommendation. Once you engage in this process steps four through nine, you will not turn back when you do an inventory for real and resentment, fear and sex conduct and you share that with another human being. You’re going to go immediately start knocking on doors and looking people in the eyes and you’re going to think right now Well, I don’t need to make amends to anybody, everything’s pretty peaceful in my life. But when you make a list of all the persons you had harmed, I’d like to say I’d like to see you say the same thing. I’d like to see the same say the same thing. And the same have the same response when you make a list of all the persons you have harmed. Once you make that list, you become committed to the prospect of cleaning it up. Only, only the desperate will do them. And people who are 12 years sober, 14 years sober on a middle of the road sobriety and not desperate anymore. When I asked somebody, you know, look, are you willing to do this? When they’re brand new? Yeah, whatever. Once they get a couple of nights sleeping a few cheeseburgers, man, it’s awful hard to convince them to do anything. It’s you know what? It’s like, it’s tough. And that’s why in the ninth step, we remind people remember, at the beginning, you were willing to go to any lengths for victory over alcohol, we remind them that the ninth step, and for anybody who is listening to this podcast, if I was to say that when I talked about the transition around my sexual abuse system, it was steps four through nine, it had nothing to do with just step for me looking at it again, I’d looked at it many times through therapy on it, I’m looking at it again, when I put in the last column, all the things that I had done in my life relative to that and just the things that I had done the people, I began to lose my victimization, I began to lose my perspective that somehow this world has been damaging to me, I started to see that I had been damaging to it. And when I made a list of that those damages and started going out knocking on doors and looking people in the eyes, that’s when the whole sexual abuse stuff started to slide away and slip away. And then God started presenting people in my life on both sides of that fence abusers and the abused. And I was asked to, you know, to deal with that when, when the 10 step says love and tolerance is our code. Can I just, I don’t know how much time ago you’re fine. Okay, I just want to say something. And I’ll try the sandy beach became my friend, my friend, my sponsee. Kevin and I drove down a few years going and and had a wonderful conversation with Sandy bought some stuff and in the I got so much out of
Marty C 54:45
my friendship with him in the short time that it existed. But one of the things that Sandy used to always say was about the 10 step. He always talked about the 10 step entering in the world of the Spirit. Now this 10 Step thing, I’m going to practical eyes it for people because when told you when I was looking at the steps, how weird the 10 step sounded. It just sounded weird to me. And it didn’t make any sense. But I believe that all the secrets to good living and intense them, all of them. And what that means that there’s nothing wrong, ever. There’s never anything, there’s no problems anymore. We entered the world of the Spirit. This is when these crop up what resentment, fear, dishonesty when these crop up? What do I do? We have this program now that tells us that it says what am I the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to ask God wants to remove it. That’s when I learned to do that. And step six, and seven. And then it says, you’re going to identify as what you learned how to do four, and then it says, we’re going to tell somebody about it, which is Step five, and then it says we’re going to make amends if we hurt anybody in the process, which steps eight and nine, and it says, and we’re resolutely going to turn our attention to someone can help, which is step 12. So in the moment when these things crop up, we’re immediately going to do this. And that steps four through nine. And then step 12. And that’s how our lives live in the moment right now the Power of Now all the secrets to life are right here right now. It’s like, it’s like the Vedas. In Hinduism. It’s like everything. The all these secrets about spiritual living in Alcoholics Anonymous come from this, like sort of old archaic way of being centered and being peaceful. Now, the reason I tell you that is theoretically, that’s what it is the information we’re giving you. Here’s how it works practically at 34 years sober, driving home, I’m driving to my AA meeting one night to get a phone call that my middle daughter suicide, she committed suicide, she took her, she took a rope to put it in the rafters and she hung herself. And I’m driving down the road on the way to my meeting, and I slam on the brakes, pull the car over and I can’t believe and I start smashing on the dash, I start smashing the mirror, I grab my steering wheel, I bend the steering wheel. And then all of a sudden, all that stuff came to me about when these crop up. What do I do ask God who wants to remove it? And I did that and with tears and anger all over me. And I knew that my friend Brian, who I did my workshops with is just down the street that drove the car down the street and I saw Brian it fell into his arms. I told him what happened. He said, What do you want to do? And I said, Let’s do the meeting and see all the guys are here. A couple drunk guys there that night, it was actually pretty good. But we sat in the meeting and sat on my hands and just tried to attend to others very difficult, but I tried to attend to others as best I could. And when the meeting entity said let’s go we went down to the hospital. Now my daughter hadn’t died. She was on life support system and all wired up. I went I saw my wife and she was crying and I held her and I whispered into her ear, it’s gonna be okay. It’s because I knew it was. And I went to the doctors and the nurses and I thank them for looking after my daughter. And then when I said can I go and see and they said, Yeah, and I went in, I put my hand on the stairs head and I kissed her on the forehead and whispered in her ear is going to be okay. It’s because I knew it was. And we’re talking about an hour and a half of a circumstance in a situation that was devastating, debilitating, painful, absolute, insane. Out of control sensations in my body. Gone. hour and a half. Why is that important? Because a couple years ago, just after COVID started, my oldest daughter rolled in an ATV and she banged your head and roll bars and they sent her to the hospital to what I actually saw her she looked like she was concussed. I said go to the hospital to have it looked at. And when they looked and they found something and it hadn’t they it was a tumor size of a plum. And while I was sitting here at my desk at the very desk, I’m sitting here right now, I have a roomful of people here on weekdays. And I’m sitting at this desk and I get the phone call that this is what’s happened. My daughter’s found out and her and her husband are in the truck coming towards me because she needs me. And she gives me the news and I lose it spiritually mentally I lose it sitting here, nobody can see it happening. But inside of me, it’s like what if, after all, I do this do all this bargaining and I I get up and walk into the room right adjacent, I dropped to my knees and I asked God who wants to remove it. I see I’m not gonna be of any use to her. If she doesn’t come I came out and I told my colleague, which is three feet from the door exactly what the news was I just gotten I said, I’ll be right back. And by the time I went down the stairs to meet her coming in the backyard, which eight minutes later, coming into the back of my office, she fell into my arms and I was able to hold a very close and whisper in her ear. Just kind of be okay. Because I knew it was. So that’s an hour and a half to eight minutes. And this is how it works in a practical way that is gone. This is all that did was open up a door brain cancer and we just found out three days ago that she’s got lung cancer to like it’s not good. But I’m good. And she’s good. And it’s all good. And the thing is we go through these things and and the 10 step gives me that venue to to to experience and engage in it doesn’t make me numb. Do I see him now?
Marty C 59:45
Like do I see numb in any way? I react? I cry at Alpo commercials. Boys throwing the Frisbee to the dog and and then when last night Did you see that fight? Oh my god. I was jumping up and down too. Ace in theory and it was incredible what a fight and I’m passionate about everything I do. I mean, I can, I can do a crossword and get bent out. So it, it’s the 10th step keeps me ever present in the moment. And that’s what helps me live, I’m an alcoholic. And I’m reminded right after I’m learned in that experience, that we only have one code in a hey, don’t drink go to meetings, nine amuse nine days. It isn’t any of that stuff. It isn’t about reading the big book study in the book, it’s not any of this. We got one code that we have to live by love and tolerance. Everybody, everybody focuses on the tolerance, they always say, Oh, wow, you know, I, I’m pretty tolerant of forgetting to recognize that other people are pretty tolerant of you. I’m, I got to recognize other people are really tolerant to me. It’s the code I have to live by to love people who are tolerating me I am, I’m a hard thing to handle sometimes. And, you know, it’s the love. It’s the it’s the only part of our code. I mean, I don’t think we talked about it enough. I really know you want to you want to empty out in a meeting, talk about two things, love for God and love and tolerance is our code. It’s our code. Anyway, I wanted to share the 10th step experience because you asked about people who are stoic in their sobriety, you know, people who are just not feeling it, you know, I mean, they’re sober a long time and not drinking a long time. We look Chuck Chamberlain’s a new pair of glasses. You tell me do you feel that way about your life? And if you don’t, if you don’t, you’re missing the trip. It’s not like you got hand selected to have a shitty life even in spite of not drinking. Like, it’s just amazing. It’s an amazing life. Amazing life. Yeah.
John M 1:01:55
I love it. I’m a hard thing to handle seven times that never really thought about that.
Marty C 1:02:04
Gotta tolerate me not the other
John M 1:02:05
way. Yeah, yeah. Right. We always take about the other. Yes. All right.
Marty C 1:02:09
Yeah, I’m so tolerant.
John M 1:02:13
I am a walk in the park. But you on the other hand? Exactly. Alright. Thanks, everybody. Alright, so I’m going to close it up here with page 164. In the big book, abandon yourself to God as you understand God, and pitch your faults to him and to your fellows. clear away the wreckage of your past, give freely, what you find is join us. We shall be with you and the fellowship of the Spirit and you will surely meet some of us, like me. And Marty. See, as you trudge the road of happy destiny, may God bless you, and keep you. Until then, once again, my friend Marty, I really have enjoyed meeting you. And thank you so much for your time and your willingness to share. God bless.
Marty C 1:03:07
Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
John M 1:03:11
Marty See, just most excellent. Thank you so much, sir, for joining me and sharing your thoughts and your story and your perspective. And with with the silver speak, audience, I so much appreciate it. And I look forward to having you on again in the near future. If you heard that today, and that impacted you in some form or fashion, please pause your device and share with a friend or family member. Remember that may be just what they need today was again, thank you so much more Dc. Now on to a little bit of a listener feedback. Jude writes in and Jude says, Hi, John, I’m grateful to have discovered your podcast. I’ve been trying to get sober and stay sober for the last nine months with some good stretches. But I still haven’t gotten it to stick. I’ve been trying to work with my sponsor and do the steps. I’ve been going to meetings, but then I’ll trail off. I’m writing because something though, one of your recent guests said Doug are really stuck with me. He commented on recognizing that he was talented and intelligent. And yet that was not enough. I feel like I’m in the same situation. I have advanced degrees. And I know I’m pretty smart and yet I haven’t been able to stay sober. Think that asking for help from a higher power has been hard. And I’ve not been doing it well. I know that’s where I need to be focusing. thanks to Doug in for sharing his story. Best, Jude, would you there are many folks out there just like that. And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to put that particular letter or email at the top of this episode. Because there are many folks, and I’ve tried to do it myself trying to outsmart God trying to outsmart the program, if they can, that our human reasoning could carry us far enough. But in my experience, that does not work out too well. But thank you so much do for being vulnerable and writing in. Chris writes in and Chris says, I live in the small town of Maysville, Kentucky. I’m 35 years old. And recently on January 7 2022, I needed help with alcoholism. I am currently at a rehab facility in Jackson, Mississippi called defining wellness. This is my first time ever getting help with my alcohol abuse. Your podcast was recommended to me by Brian, he says his last name Brian P, who resides in Texas, and is also in recovery. Well, I don’t know if Brian told you this, Chris. But Brian’s been on the the podcast many times over. Anyway, he says, I recently read a book called no more vodka in my orange juice. This was a really good read and I was able to relate to it. Thanks. Regards, Chris. Ah, and then he gets his phone number. Well, Chris, ah, God bless you. Sounds like you’re on the right track. I’m glad Brian recommended the podcast to you and keep us posted. Michael J writes in this is not Michael J. Fox. So like, it’s Michael and then his last initial is Jake. Nonetheless, he says, Hey, John, I love the podcast founded about two months into my second try in Alcoholics Anonymous. It has really helped me tremendously. I started listening with Mumbai mic, and over time realized that there were just so many to get caught up on and I’ve listened to all of them now. For those of you don’t know, he’s Mumbai, Mike he’s talking about was the first episode that I ever did. And that was episode number one. And he went back and he found that and I guess all the rest of you have listened to quite a few episodes. Mr. Michael J. That’s great.
John M 1:07:42
Thank you very much. It. Anyway, just I’m flashing back now to Mumbai. Mike and I’ve talked about this a little bit on the program before but I just I went to a meeting one day and I knew I was thinking about starting this podcast and I had like a microphone setup. And I didn’t really know what I was doing. And this guy named Mike was visiting from India, which is where he lived. And we ended up titling the episode, Mumbai Mike, and I got him over there recorded him and just, you know, he gave me something to kind of figure out what to do. It was like, Okay, I have this recording. No, what do I do with it? How do I get it out there to people and so I’m very grateful for them by Mike. Anyway, back to Michael J. Michael J says, I love listening over I really want to get in touch with the kitchen table. A guy’s all three of them has really opened up my program in again over the last five months. My last drink date is July 13 2021. And discovering this podcast was obviously a gift from my higher power, because I seem to be listening to the perfect speakers at the perfect times have struggled. I plugged the show up my home group I attend it’s called the fog lifters of St. John’s Michigan and another towns nearby and the allanon and the Illinois clubs of Lansing I love the title of that. Meeting the fog lifters in St. John’s Michigan if you’re out there and you’re one of the fog lifters tell Michael Jaya said hello. But nonetheless, he says I have a wonderful sponsor who himself has a wonderful sponsor. I used to love to listen to talk radio, Howard Stern and etc. So this actually fit right into normal life for me. I find each episode intriguing and feel so much love from the program of recovery from all of you. It is truly a blessing in what you are doing is truly remarkable. not to cut out any of the other podcasts. But for this alcoholic, this one sober speak, is the one that fits me the most. I listened through Spotify and I found that there is actually a big book podcast by Howard. And it’s an audible version, a big book podcast by Harry’s, and Howard Stern. I don’t think so. But anyway, that’s very interesting. Anyway, I says, I like to listen to stories in that. And I use it to read along at home, like a mini big book, study, laugh out loud. This has been very helpful to me and understanding and understanding better the writings and I thought it might be useful to the listeners, May we all be blessed in our pasts. However, they may be laid out and may God guide us to all the happy destiny, happy destiny, we are deserving as His children. Thank you for what you do, John M and all aspects. Being able to listen right when I need to has been, has been the remedy for situations that I may be baffled by. And for some reason that happens to be right when I need it. Is it odd? Or is it God? I don’t think I’ve heard that one before. And I’ve heard them all. Nonetheless, it either says God bless you. Oh, Michael J. Is it odd or is it God? Thank you, Michael J Thanks for writing in is very kind.
John M 1:11:40
Janice writes in and Jen says Hi, John. I’m so glad I found your podcast. I love having a meeting between meetings. I was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, where I now live with my husband and two children five and seven. I realize I had a drinking problem in 2007 After watching my aunt nearly die in the ICU from a year of alcoholic drinking. I first came to AEA in 2018 Scared of shaking could really couldn’t really take it in so scared a high school friend of mine set me up with a woman who happened to be a nurse. We met a little before the meeting and she walked in with me. My first meeting was not a good one. So I didn’t think he was for me. I kept in touch with the nurse for a couple of weeks but eventually ended up going in inpatient for suicidal thoughts. Taking away alcohol my coping mechanisms revealed some major depression after a brief three days stay at a psych ward win a 30 day treatment center. Then a 30 day treatment center for mental illness. I came home but suicidal again and went to another psych ward for 10 days. Being away from my kids for 45 days was excruciating. A meetings were brought to the hospital and I went every night. And that they were offered. I started to relate to the people who shared I continued to go to AA meetings almost daily post hospitalization, but didn’t realize that that wasn’t enough. I needed a sponsor and found one we attempted working the steps but my whole head and heart weren’t in it. I was able to stay sober for over 500 days by joining a sober mom Facebook group. But without working a spiritual program. I relapsed. Then I continued to relapse many, many, many times over. I couldn’t stay sober for a little while. And then the fact that I didn’t have emotional sobriety would bring me back to the bottle. As of January 3 2022. I decided to take my life I’d been living in a hell I created in my mind, and I couldn’t take the pain any more. I took a few months worth of of two of my prescriptions. And I thought that that would certainly take my life. My husband, my husband found me not breathing well and called 911 I was taken to the ER and then an ICU. I woke up in the ICU not sure if I was dreaming after a couple of days. I came to an ER nurse knocked on the glass doors of my room and waved at me she said hi. And I was looking better. Where had I seen this woman before? Then I remembered her holding my hand in the ER. I knew her but wasn’t sure from where. Then it dawned on me. She was the nurse who took me to my first a meeting Wow. God was telling me to go back into a high eventually got my cell phone, and I was able to attend a meetings via zoom while in ICU for eight days, I was transferred to a local psych ward for four days, and then came home. I have attended a meeting every day since sometimes more than once a day, I found a sponsor via the Zoom meetings, I call her daily. And we meet twice a week and read the big book and 12 and 12. I’m about to start on the fourth step. I pray every morning and night. At first, I didn’t know what was going what I was doing, but I’m starting to learn a is saving my life. If I drink again, I die. I know this for certain my two children need me and I need to get well for myself so I can be the best mom possible for them. My aunt now has five years sobriety through a and she is a great person for me to talk to. I have seen the program change her into a beautiful, peaceful person. For me to talk to I have seen the program change. Oh, I’m sorry for me, a beautiful, peaceful person. And it gives me so much hope. I’m making sober friends. I haven’t had friends in a long time. I thank God every day for a and the people in the program. Thank you for your service and your podcasts, Janice. While Janice Thanks for writing in that is took my breath away for a second.
John M 1:16:42
And, gosh, I don’t know what to say. I’m so glad that your attempt to take your life was unsuccessful above you, your family, your children, your husband, ever all those near you? And I sounds like you’re on a great path. And I’m so glad to hear that. Please keep me posted. Janice, God bless you. Paul writes in and he says, Hey, John, I’m in British Columbia, Canada. My sobriety date is October 9 18th 1989 32 plus years, I originally became aware of sober speak on a Facebook group. I started calling. I started calling in it’s called sober seniors of Alcoholics Anonymous. So I’m assuming somebody can search that up there, Paul, if they’re in Facebook and combined, yes. So if you’re interested in sober seniors of Alcoholics Anonymous, I hadn’t tried to find him on Facebook, but I’m just assuming that is there. Anyway, he says since then, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to a number of recording and enjoy the shares. I enjoy working with newcomers. When I share, it’s usually about not giving up as it took me a number of times in and out of a before I finally did steps one, two and three. We are very similar. Mr. Paul. Anyway, he says thank you for your service. And if you want please keep in touch take care of Paul. Well, thank you, Paul. I appreciate you. Man. We’ve been sober for about the same amount of time I got sober in 1989. After going in and out myself, my friend. I completely get it. Mary writes in last but not least, Mary says Hi John. My name is Mary M and my partner Andy B and I live in Newport Rhode Island. I found out about your podcasts on the secret Facebook group from my partner who is an avid fan of your podcast. He works on a car carrier ship and listens every week because he can’t make it to meetings while he is away. I am looking for more recovery support online to supplement my A meetings and found your group. I have seven and a half year sober and my partner has 17 I honestly haven’t listened to too many of your podcasts but the ones I have to. I’ve enjoyed very much I look forward to listening to more in the future. Mary M. Well Mary M God bless you. God bless NDB if anyone’s out there in Newport, Rhode Island and you know a NDB and Mary M or give them my best. Alright everybody. That is another week in the books. I take this one we get our time. Hope to be back next week. May God bless you and keep you on Till then keep coming back it works if you work it love you guys