Bobby, who is currently in his 50’s and is now 6 years clean, takes us through 39 years of some of the most excessive, gut wrenching alcohol and drug abuse a human being could ever endure. Starting at the age of 6 years old bar-tending for his parent’s “cocktail hour”, Bobby quickly begins experimenting with alcohol himself. When his parents divorce, Bobby stays with his Mother until her alcoholism takes its toll and Bobby, who comes from a long line of dead alcoholics, asks his father if he can move to California to live with him. For the first few years Bobby’s life takes a turn for the better; it’s a magical time where he adopts the surfing California lifestyle.
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During High School around the age of 16 he learns to play the bass guitar and joins a band. The band does well and eventually catches the eye of Geffen Records and they are asked to cut a demo. It’s at this time that Bobby is introduced to Cocaine for the first time and addiction begins to rear its ugly head. Over the next 30 tumultuous years Bobby gets married, divorced, loses careers, and is arrested and incarcerated on multiple occasions as a result of his addictions.
One day he is found half dead in his apartment by AA Members from an alcohol induced coma and gets then rescued by his father. He finds recovery and is clean for 7 years, but relapses only to wind up several years later flat lining on a hospital table after he ruptures his stomach from massive amounts of cocaine and vodka. It is only by the grace of God that Bobby is alive today. This is an intense and compelling story of addiction and recovery you don’t want to miss. Join us now!
SHAIR – Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery
Here are Bobby G.’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
Clean Date: February 21, 2008
Tell us about how your life is today, your hobbies, what you do for a living. Take us into your normal daily routine, including recovery.
Bobby: Life is really pretty sweet today. I do some reviews for progressive music on some online progressive rock sites, which I really love a lot. Music is a really big part of my life. I listen to a lot of music. I’m a musician. I play music. My normal routine is to get up really early. It’s funny, I don’t sleep probably more than about 5-6 hours a day and I think that’s my mind trying to make up for all of the lost time.
So I’m up very early and that’s my time for prayer and meditation, my recovery is integral to that. Like I mentioned, I’ve been on the road for the last three years and meetings are sometimes not easy to get to. Conscious contact with higher powers has been really essential and I have found a greater and greater reliance on that. Now that I’m back home, I’ve got great meetings that I can go to and I’m really excited about getting into those more and being of service where I can.
“O”: Excellent. Listen, I just saw you the other day and I’ve seen some pictures of you. You look absolutely fantastic buddy!
Bobby: Thanks bro. That wasn’t always the case I promise you.
“O”: I’ve known you for a long time and you’ve seen me at my best and my worst, I mean as far as weight goes. I think this is the best I’ve seen you since I’ve known you.
Bobby: Taking care of my physical self is so important and I know that you feel much the same as I do and it’s part of the daily routine. It’s so essential and I’m in my 50s now and it makes me feel a lot younger than the 50s that I’m in. There’s another part of it. I can be of more service when I’m healthy. It’s eating right, it’s exercising, it’s being conscious of what your body is trying to tell you at any given moment and it’s just essential. People all the time say “how does it feel getting older” and I say “it feels a heck of a lot better than not getting older”.
What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Bobby: The insane belief that I could successfully use again. That’s it in a nutshell and I think for many of us that’s what keeps us out of there.
At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that ‘aha’ moment in recovery when you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed a hope that you could recover?
Bobby: Interesting. I have to go back to my AA days and those nights and days when I would ride the five miles back and forth to the Newport AA club and one evening I was riding back from a meeting, a late meeting. It was a Friday night candlelight meeting and I was riding along the Pacific Coast Highway and I realized that I was out of smokes. I zipped off the path real quick, across PCH, ran into a store, grabbed a pack of smokes, got back on my bike as I’m pedaling away I realized that I had just walked into a liquor store and had not seen the booze.
“O”: Wow! That is an “aha” moment!
Bobby: I thought “holy cow” and then it was a domino effect because at that point it was like a trip hammer hits about “holy cow, it is working. It works” and that was a real epiphany for me that at that point, my drug of choice had lost my phone number and I knew it.
Do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to a new comer that you read in early recovery?
Bobby: Yeah, all of them. I can’t stress this enough. I’m a reader so literature is really important to me and all of our approved literature, but there is a book that is especially close to my heart and it’s a book called “A New Pair of Glasses” and the author is a fella by the name of Chuck C and Chuck was an original old timer in California and he wrote this book. I can’t really express in any short amount of time what this is, but Chuck tells a story and then he talks about what recovery is like for him. This book is so old oh my gosh, it’s got to be, Chucks been dead for 25-30 years. It rings true today and I would recommend it for anybody in recovery regardless of the fellowship that you attend.
1. A New Pair of Glasses – by Chuck C.
“O”: Yes absolutely. It’s already been recommended a couple of times already. It’s a wonderful book.
Bobby: It really is. This is kind of cool. Chuck is my great-great-great-AA sponsor. We do keep track of lineage. It’s important and so when my first AA sponsor said “you know Chuck is your great-great-great-sponsor”. Okay, is he around? No, he’s dead. Okay. It’s cool though, right?
“O”: We do love our stories!
What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Bobby: It would have to be from my gruff old Italian AA sponsor and it was Rule 62 and those of you who are listening who are not familiar with what Rule 62 is, Rule 62 is don’t take yourself so damned seriously. If you Google Rule 62, there’s a whole back story behind it, but essentially it’s don’t take yourself so damned seriously.
“O”: Perfect. We can all take a page out of that book.
If you could give a new comer only one suggestion, what would it be?
Bobby: Ninety meetings, ninety days. There’s a thing that if you do that, you’re going to know by the end of the ninety days whether you will stay or go. Our program is all about building foundations and building on top of those real strong foundations and for me and for countless others that formula seems to work.
SUGGESTION’S FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“90 in 90 – Make Ninety Meetings in Ninety Days”
“Rule 62…don’t take yourself so damned seriously”
“O”: Absolutely, you make ninety meetings in ninety days and if at the end of those ninety days you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll gladly refund your misery.
Bobby: Let me know how it is. I love hearing the stories because it’s like listening to myself talk. Unfortunately sometimes they don’t make it back.
“O”: You shouldn’t have made it back bro. You’re a walking miracle.
Bobby: Let’s face it. This disease is a killer and I am one of the lucky ones. I had to die, but I got to come back. Many don’t and God help me if I ever, ever forget that my disease wants me dead.
“O”: Well God’s got big plans for you brother because that story of yours is meant to inspire.
Bobby: Again, if one person gets anything out of my story, mission accomplished.
Great suggestions and before we say goodbye, I have one more question for you. Of all the meetings you have attended anywhere in the world, which one is your favorite and where is that group located?
Bobby: Well I think this is going to sound familiar to your listeners. It’s got to be anything that happens at the Vigilance Group in Costa Rica. That’s my home group. I call many meetings there my home group and if you’re ever down our way, come on in. The door’s always open.
“O”: Yep, Bobby and I will take ya!
1. Vigilance Group – Sabana Sur, Costa Rica
Thanks again for your SHAIR Bobby!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.