Bob D. – AA Speaker – “The Triumph of Recovery from Alcoholism” NEW 2017
One of the best AA speakers of all time shares his moving and powerful story of recovery a couple months ago. I do not know what it is about Bob, but every time, every talk, there is always something poignant and useful I get from his talks. It is absolutely amazing how he just draws you in to his world with his incredible story telling and sense of humor. This is a great talk for someone who is new, and a wonderful representation of how the 12 steps can work in overcoming alcoholism. We are incredibly grateful to be able to laugh, cry, and experience the hope with messages like this one. Enjoy everyone!
Bob D.’s experience with drug addiction and what makes a “real alcoholic”
Well I’m an alcoholic not because I drink alcohol, not even because I drink alcohol abusively. There’s a lot of people who do that. I’m alcoholic it because of the reaction I get when I drink alcohol. People ask, “what is your drug of choice?” The only thing I can think of is, “what you got?!” I mean the question for me, what they should ask me, is what happens to you when you drink alcohol? They should ask “do you have that allergic reaction the book refers to, craving when you drink alcohol, do you break down with an irresistible yearning for more?”
So I have this allergic reaction to alcohol, and I came from a time where there were a lot of drugs on the table. I mean, I was I was a wannabe with drugs. I was a musician, and I was in bands and you know, I was just part of that lifestyle. But the abuse or heavy use of drugs does not make you an alcoholic. There are you who have known this for some this is now. If someone has a different experience than this, I will gladly listen to you. Anyways, I’ve never met an alcoholic, a real chronic alcoholic, that could safely use drugs. But I have met many drug addicts who could drink. At the end of the Vietnam War we saw thousands. I was part of that deal. We saw thousands and thousands of guys coming back from Southeast Asia with heroin addictions. It was off the charts because it was so pure and so cheap down there. You know that a lot of those guys ended up switching to alcohol. But there was a lot of those guys who fit every clinical definition of drug addiction and yet they when they went to the V.A. hospital, they got the monkey off their back as they went through some form of post-traumatic stress disorder counseling. And forty some years later, they can have two beers with their buddies and they’re not compelled to burn their life to the ground. And yet their problem their problem came within the substance abuse. My problem comes within me. Alcoholism doesn’t come in bags and bottles, it comes in people.
The litmus test that Dr. Silkworth discovered to find out if you have alcoholism, is to see if you have the allergic reaction alcohol. And the reason it’s big, is that we don’t care if you have other problems. We don’t care if you did cocaine or pills. We don’t care if you gamble, we don’t care if you watch porno and you end up in the burn unit. Alcoholism is the reason to be in AA, it is because if you could take it or leave it alone in regards to alcohol, you could be in Alcoholics Anonymous 20 years sponsoring people and be able drink occasionally because it’s not a problem for you. You could go around for decades and just don’t say anything because you don’t want those fanatics about the alcohol in AA to say something. And I’ll tell you that’s the frightening thing about that. That would make this a very unsafe place for me, and people like me.