On today’s episode of The SHAIR Podcast Randy H. now 15 years sober, takes us through 20 years of drug dealing, addiction and alcoholism. At the age of 18 Randy moves out of his parents’ house and moves into his friend’s closet. To make ends meet he starts selling drugs to the college students in all the local schools.
A few years later Randy moves to Mexico to sell time shares and begins consuming massive amounts of cocaine and heavily drinking daily. Unable to stop on his own Randy moves back to the United States and gets a job in a car dealership 2 blocks from an AA meeting place, he finally finds recovery. Joins us now as Randy gets the Monkey off of his back and takes us through his amazing journey in Recovery traveling to Machu Picchu, Uganda and Mount Kilimanjaro you absolutely do not want to miss this episode.
Clean Date: May 12, 2000
Here are Randy’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
Tell us a little bit about how your life is today, your hobbies, what you do for a living. You’ve got a pretty exciting life Randy. It’s really relaxed, but I’m sure people will want to hear about where you live and how your life is, including recovery. So go for it.
Randy: Oh it’s great man! Yeah, I’m living down here in San Juan Del Sur in Nicaragua, actually 30 miles away from the border of Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean, a great little surfing fishing village and it’s beautiful down here. I came in 2005.
Well my daily routine, I have kind of a big vacation type home where I live on the third floor and I rent out the house below on the first couple levels. Vacation rentals and sometimes a high end B&B type of thing. What I do when I get up in the morning is I usually get up at 5 and my wife usually gets up at 6 so at 5 o’clock I’m up and I have my little quiet time. I just get right up, go over there and I kneel and do my prayer and just say “Thanks for giving me another 24 hours of not drinking and being clean and I pray for another day. Whatever your will is, thy will be done. Take away that obsession man”! It’s been gone for years but I still pray to take away that obsession because I never thought that would have been possible way back in the beginning.
O: Absolutely. What about meeting routines down there?
Randy: Well so what we do is after I get up, my wife likes to go to the gym in town so I go to town and some mornings I meet my buddy Kenneth at the market at 7 o’clock in the morning. He’s getting his breakfast and it’s our little time to just touch base and say hi, but now we are up to three meetings a week here. I came here in 2005. Me and Ken started the first English speaking meeting and up until recently the only one in Nicaragua, but we just did one a week and now we have three.
We have a speaker meeting on Monday. We have a step study on Wednesday and then we have daily reflections on Saturday. There is a new place about an hour from here, Iguana, they just started up a Friday morning meeting. They got some people that will be there for a few months so we’ve been supporting that meeting and one of the ladies out there had an 11 year birthday yesterday so she came in and we got to celebrate that. We got basically four of us are just kind of toying around a little bit coming in and out checking it out and there’s basically about four of us all the time.
O: So you guys are driving out now to where is it again?
Randy: It’s Iguana. It’s about an hour drive. It’s been the last three Fridays. They do a 10 o’clock meeting out there.
O: What do you guys listen to on your way out there?
Randy: Hey, we’ve got to have the big O on man. We listen to two on the way up and it takes about an hour and a half by the time you start and everything else and cruise out there. It’s a great way to have some fun and get some laughs and also remind us what we’re going to and what we’re in the middle of. Things are good today, but I’ve got to be reminded.
O: You get in the car, you plug in the podcast and you’re on the road.
Randy: It’s great man! I’ve got about eight I’ve got to listen to, but I want to wait. I want to be surprised. I want to laugh and hear stuff. Can you believe that? You always hear something. I always hear something I should say.
What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Randy: Really nothing. When I jumped in, I jumped in with both feet. I was done man! I was scared that I did not have one more chance. There was the last house on the block and I’ve got 15 years and some change now. I was just afraid that if I went out, it’s not that I was afraid about coming back, I just was afraid that I’d die. That’s the main thing. I was concerned that I wouldn’t have another run left in me.
At what point did you have a spiritual awaking, 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?
Randy: Well in the meetings, I got onto that kind of quick. I saw there was hope in there. I saw what was happening and if it was happening with some other people, I knew it was there. I think my moment was where I really started doing that four step and it really felt good to myself that I was finally giving this a really good shot and going inside myself and really looking or looking back on things. That was probably my first spiritual awakening because I just felt good that I was finally not running away from things like I used to do. I was finally looking at it.
Do you have a favorite book that you could recommend to a newcomer that you read in early recovery?
Randy: Well, “A New Pair of Glasses” by Chuck C. That’s always a good one. The other thing is too get your daily reflections. That’s a great way to read that daily reflections every day and it keeps you right on track. Every day, just pick up that daily reflection. It’s easy to read and you go through the whole year and go through all the steps in there.
What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
SUGGESTION’S FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“Hang out with the winners”
Randy: Do your four step for sure. Don’t be thinking about it. Get in there and do your four step, but hang out with winners. Get commitments at your meeting and hang out with people that are doing it. Hang out with the people that are having fun. Look for the light in their eye.
What is your favorite meeting that you attend and where is that group located?
Randy: Well right here in San Juan Del Sur. I mean we got three meetings here right on the beach.
O: What’s the name of that group?
Randy: San Juan Del Sur SJDS, Sober Journey Down South.
Thanks again for your SHAIR Randy!
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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.