AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery





I am Michael H, an alcoholic from Topeka, KS, affectionately known as "Dr. Mike" to my friends in A.A. Retired after practicing medicine for 40 hears as a medical oncologist in July 2016.

I went to treatment in 1987. I had physical sobriety for about 14 years, but not emotional sobriety. I was living a self-centered life and suffered from the spiritual malady. I made decisions based on self that harmed me and others. I didn't see that at the time - I just knew my life was not working, in a lot of emotional pain, and didn't see how Kahlua and cigars could make my life any worse.

After a short time I was completely defeated; alcohol was not my solution. On Feb 8, 2002 at 2:30 in the afternoon I got down on my knees and said "God please help me I don't want to live like this anymore."

I had been to AA after going to treatment in 1987. I knew if I went back that something there worked. I went back to AA and met wonderful people that helped me and worked the steps the best I could. All of the meetings were discussion meetings, and I became part of the fellowship and had a sponsor I called every day.

It wasn't until 4 or more years sober that I was introduced to the Joe and Charlie tapes. Prior to that I had tried to read and study the Big Book on my own. I actually started a Big Book study in my home that subsequently moved to a church. We just read the book - there was no directed study. The "12 and 12" was also read at the meeting.

It wasn't until I listened to Joe and Charlie that I understood there was a program and directions in the book that was a path to a relationship with my Creator that would give me access to a power to live. There were spiritual exercises designed to destroy my self-centeredness enabling me to be in conscious contact with God. It was a powerful transformation in my life.

I had a pattern where I would exercise every morning on the Life Cycle and began to listen to all the workshop speakers available on the Internet. I was seeking to improve my understanding of the program and pathway to incorporate it into my spiritual journey.

In Aug 2008 my son died of a drug and alcohol overdose. We had tried to help him, had him in treatment, took him to meetings, all that I could. Unfortunately I didn't have the power and he died. I had tremendous support from my friends in AA.

I got the call at 7:30 on a Sunday morning from the emergency room. I didn't know why they where calling and they told me my son had died. As I was holding the phone I could see page 67 - the statement that if I stayed close to God and played the role he assigns me I could handle calamity with serenity.

Prior to that time, in May 2008, I got a waterproof MP3 player so when I swam I could listen to my AA tapes. I say this because my son died on a Sunday in August of that year - the following Thursday we buried him and that night I had these feelings you can't describe when you lose a child. I was very anxious so I said:

"I am going to swim and listen to my MP3 and push the button and listen to whatever God wants me to hear."

It turned out to be step 3 by Joe and Charlie. After listening I got out of the pool and got down on my knees and said the 3rd step prayer. I asked God to demonstrate through me what he could do. What could I do to make something positive out of this tragedy.

The thought came suddenly from God that I need to start a meeting in Topeka where I lead a directed study similar to Joe and Charlie. Illuminate the path so someone can see what they need to do, follow the directions and they could recover and then help someone else recover.

Maybe keep someone from having to die in their car at 3 in the morning.

I recalled the story about the man and his son walking along the shore and there are all these starfish dying on the beach. The son is throwing back one starfish at a time and the father says "there are so many starfish, you can't make a difference." The little boy looks at the starfish in his hand and says "It makes a difference to this one."

I had a vision of studying the first 102 pages and people would follow the direction to have a spiritual awakening and help someone else.


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