On today’s episode of The SHAIR Podcast we have Seth Manter joining us and he recently celebrates 5 years Clean and Sober. I met Seth through Shane Ramer of the That Sober Guy Podcast and he is a riot. He takes us through multiple years of drug and alcohol abuse and the bottom that led him into recovery.
The thing I love most about Seth is his passion for recovery. When he get’s into his journey of recovery you can almost picture him beaming with the sunlight of the spirit. It’s a power and moving story, you don’t want to miss this episode.
Clean Date: October 7, 2010
This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.
Here are Seth’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
Seth: So man, my life is good. I’m a husband, a step-father. I’m just a normal average dude now. I go to work. I work a lot. My most favorite thing, my hobbies, are spending time with the family. I’m an avid sports fan. You know just a regular average dude to be honest with you. As far as my recovery goes, I’ll start off by saying my recovery works for me and obviously it’s not gonna work for everybody, but what it’s done for me it’s just really changed my life and opened my eyes to a whole new lifestyle. Early in recovery I started out with Alcoholics Anonymous, had a sponsor, he took me through the steps and it was great. Today I live my life by the principles of AA. I know I should probably be spending more time in the rooms of AA, but what I got going on right now it’s definitely working.
I learned one thing in AA man. If what you’re doing is working, work it. You know what I mean. You don’t change. I always keep in the back of my mind you know like there’s AA and NA out there for me to fall back the principles I learned in those rooms. I stay connected. I have a really good support system. Like I said earlier, I spend a lot of time at work and it’s really crazy the way this sobriety has worked. I have a couple of co-workers and one of them has 35 years man. I sought this dude out. Thirty-five years and I sought this dude out and we’ve actually the last 7-8 months, myself, him and then there’s two other guys that are in recovery, we commit to having lunch together on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it’s kind of like a little support group that we have at work. It’s cool. It’s really cool. My recovery is everywhere dude, it’s at work, it’s when I get home, it’s my life.
Omar: Beautiful, beautiful man! As it should be.
Seth: I shouldn’t say it baffles me. It’s just amazing to me man that, I’m the type of guy that’s really open about being an alcoholic. That’s who I am. I’ve got to remember that I’m an alcoholic so I talk about it to quite a bit of people and it’s amazing to me the people that are just like me and you would never know it. You know what I mean? It’s like the connection that you have with being open about it with other people, people like you and me Omar are all over the place, dude, and I’m so amazed by it. It’s a brotherhood man. The love you feel when you tell somebody. Oh yeah, I’m a recovering alcoholic. It’s a whole new lifestyle dude. It’s great and then I share it with people that I work with. You know what I mean? I’d have never thought.
Omar: So Seth, how do you maintain your spiritual conscious contact with a higher power on a daily basis?
Seth: I talk to my higher power real early in the morning. I get up super early every morning and I ask for guidance, to guide me through my day and then shortly after I hop in the shower and I sit down and that’s where I do my meditation. I just close my eyes and I listen. I like to think that my higher power is planning my day out for me, how my day is gonna go. So I connect every morning and before I leave for work I say the serenity prayer. I have a sign in my house I pass by every morning. It’s kind of a reminder to stop and say it and remember to stay connected with my higher power on a daily basis and it’s crazy that I can say that now because I was that guy that had the hardest time with the higher power and when I went, right when I got out of treatment, I went to my first AA meeting out of treatment and I remember some old guy told me “if you’re having a problem with the word ‘God’, think of it like this” and this was amazing, “think of the word ‘God’ as an acronym for Group Of Drunks” and from that day forward I was able to say God with power and conviction so that’s how I got really connected with my higher power. My higher power started out I think as leaves blowing in the wind and then it kind of grew from there. I’m not quite sure who my higher power is these days. You know what I mean? I know that I have one and that I need to stay connected on a daily basis.
Omar: That’s it man. That’s absolutely it. I love it. So Seth, how much clean time you got and when’s your anniversary date?
Seth: Well I recently just celebrated 5 years of recovery. My clean date is October 7, 2010.
Omar: Awesome man! Congratulations! I love that episode with you and Shane on your 5 year anniversary, man. I mean you guys have a lot of fun man and that’s what it’s all about man. I love this fellowship. It’s a beautiful thing to watch people evolve and that 5 year mark. Have you felt any different in these past few weeks since you just celebrated 5 years?
Seth: You know Omar, no I’m not. Like I told Shane on the podcast: the most important thing is today, dude. I wouldn’t have 5 years if it wasn’t the 5 years and days leading up to that. Like I told my step-daughter on to my 5 year sobriety day, man, I thought I was gonna have like glitter fall from the sky and there would be this awesome euphoria and I didn’t have that. It was just another day so really dude, I celebrate one day of sobriety every day because if I continue to do that, I might get to my next milestone. You know what I mean? I’m pretty sure that my next milestone will feel like the last milestone I just got through. So really the importance is today and I’m just minute by minute man. So yeah, 5 years. It’s been a good road.
Omar: Perfect man. So Seth, tell us how old were you the first time you drank or used drugs and more importantly how did it make you feel and what was it?
Seth: The first time I had a drink I would say was probably 6th grade. Sixth grade was probably the first. Let me go back a little bit. I remember taking beers with my friends and sneaking out back, that was my first time drinking experience of feeling cool and feeling grown up in 6th grade and I tell you what Omar. It allowed me to not feel. The feeling of not being able to feel was amazing. That’s what I wanted. I wanted to not feel.
Omar: So, what was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced into recovery?
Seth: That’s real simple man. I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t hit my bottom. I was in rehab twice and the first one just didn’t stick. I wasn’t ready.
Omar: At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that ‘aha’ moment in recovery when you accepted you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed a hope that you could recover?
Seth: I’d have to say it was probably my third day in rehab. Check this out. This is real quick. I’m not gonna get too far into it, but I checked myself into rehab on the 7th of October, 2010. My biological birthday, my real birthday is October 10 and I turned 30 that day so I was three days into this new treatment center, just feeling awkward and fucking weird. I lifted my head up and a bunch of strangers came walking in with a fucking cake, a birthday cake and I got 27 strangers singing happy birthday. At that point in time I was like “you know what? I’m gonna fucking remember this. I need to be empowered by this” so I would say at that point in time man is when the light came out of the sky and was like “Seth you are right where you need to be” and the craziest thing. For my 30th birthday I had big plans. I’m a big Raiders fan so I had planned to go to the Raider game and getting completely annihilated, but you know what. I’m gonna remember my 30th birthday and look and remember the love I felt. That was my awakening, when I had 30 strangers singing happy birthday, a heartfelt happy birthday. I got a hug from each and every one of them.
Omar: Dude, you got great stories Seth! Great stories man. I love the way you tell stories, dude. Alright, number three, do you have a favorite book you would recommend to a newcomer that you read in early recovery?
Seth: Yeah, absolutely I do and this is a book that I still read today. Other than the big book, I love the big book. I love the big book. Something outside of AA program “The Four Agreements” is how I try to live my life today. I would definitely recommend checking that out. It’s by Don Miguel Ruiz I honestly have it on an audio book now that I listen to. When I’m not listening to podcasts I listen to that. There’s many times I buy that book and I’ll hand it out, like “here motherfucker. You need four agreements in your life.” The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
Omar: Alright. Seth, what is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Seth: I would have to say I received a lot of suggestions, but I think the biggest thing was that just as I mentioned earlier, it put me in contact with my higher power and that would be Group of Drunks, the acronym for God. Use the acronym for God if you have a problem with God.
Omar: Beautiful. Dude, I like that one. Group of Drunks. That’s the first time I’ve heard that one. It’s great. Especially when you’re a newcomer. You need acronyms like that to break the ice. It keeps things very, very simple and it’ll make you laugh.
Seth: It’s been my experience that most people that are going through what we went through back in the days man, we weren’t too spiritual or religious, but that word God, that throws up a big road block early in recovery, but like I said man, God can be anything. It could be a Group Of Drunks, it could be a tree in your front yard. It’s more of a spiritual being.
Omar: One hundred percent, I agree 100% brother. Alright Seth, so number five, if you could give a newcomer only one suggestion, what would it be?
SUGGESTION’S FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“Group of Drunks, the acronym for God. Use the acronym for God if you have a problem with God.”
Seth: Reach out. There’s millions and millions of people just like you going through the exact same thing you went through or that I went through, that we all went through. You’re not alone. There’s millions of us out here and also too with that being said man, there’s so much fun to be had without the drugs and alcohol. It’s amazing how much fun you can have.
Omar: No doubt about it. We’re having a blast right now!
Seth: Yeah, oh dude. I want to get up and fucking go run right now and I’m probably gonna go do it because I’m so amped up and so worked up right now, dude. I appreciate it. I had some fun. It was a great time.
Omar: Seth, thank you so much for being on the show brother. Thank you really.
Thanks again for your SHAIR, Seth!
See you then!
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.