Steve welcomes Scott to share their experience, strength, and hope with you, along with advice on getting and staying sober.
Follow Scott on Instagram @scotttgrasso and follow us while you are at it @gAyApodcast.
Also check out their website: https://www.scottgrasso.com/
Thank you for listening. Please rate and review if you have found this information helpful.
If you are interested in sharing your story, getting involved with the show, or just saying hi, please e-mail me at email@example.com
Or Follow Us wherever you are listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every Monday and Thursday. Until that time, stay sober, friends!Support the show
Hi everyone. And welcome to gay. A podcast about sobriety for the LGBT plus community and our allies. I'm your host, Steve Bennett, Martin. I am an alcoholic and I am grateful for my career where I get to help seniors. As of this recording, I am 330 days sober. And today we're welcoming a guest to share their experience, wisdom and hope with you. Welcome to the show.Scott:
Well, I thank you, Steve. I'm delighted to be here. Scott G a recovering alcoholic here with you today and all the way from Queensland and the state in Australia and the east coast. Wow. Very far away from where I got sober in Boston, but but that's part of the sobriety journey.Steve:
Excellent. Well then to get started, why don't you tell us about what your sobriety journey wasScott:
like? Yeah, well, absolutely. And please feel free to flash, you know, timecard signs at me. So look, I guess, just for anybody listening, I just want to, you know, I used to work in marketing for, as my first career and we always had to run everything past the legal department. So the legal department for a, I am not a spokesperson for AA. I'm just I'm just a garden variety drunk. So for anybody listening. I don't represent AA or any AE has no opinions on everything. I have lots of them, but, and I'm, so it's okay to disagree with me and it's okay to not like me and don't please don't hold it against any of the 12 step fellowships. I'm just this idiot sharing to the best of my knowledge, you know, inability the, my experience, strength and hope. So so look, I grew up in Western, Massachusetts on the east coast of in math on the states really. And a super gay kid. So for any, you know, this idea for anybody who's listening, Lives, you know, a queer lifestyle in any of in any of its permutations. I was you know, the super queerest kid in the 1970s in a tan very well affluent town where a lot of the leading families trace their lineage back to the Mayflower. Is that kind of uptight Protestant shit going down. And I was. Catholic and I was Italian, so that was bad. My surname ended with a Bible with me, you know, everyone was like, you know, had three hyphenated names. Smith's decanter Jones, that kind of stuff. And. And I wore bright green flare trousers when all the other boys were blue jeans. See, they're like I wear pink shirts. I was really, really out there. And part of my recovery journey has been going back and spending time with that kid and saying you were so fierce, like you were fierce than when that word didn't exist. But I got my ass. Mike for all through school, I was bullied and terrorized and I, and I had to seek outside help for that, because what it did was it made me feel unsafe and not felt unsafe, like high wasn't unsafe people would walk down the hallway and be like, I'm going to beat you up after. Yeah. And I had this, if anyone, and you may be too young, the in the wizard of Oz, Ms. Gulch, who's the, you know, becomes the wicked witch of the west has an old bicycle, an upright bicycle that she rides. And I had one of those in powder blue, and it had Chrome fenders. And I used to put colorful things in the spokes I got was so gay. I was like, satellites could see me from space. I was so gay, but I, and I had a Chrome headlight that I was particularly obsessed with. And. So somebody would say, they're going to beat me up and I'd have to gather my books by like two 14 and two 15. When the alarm went off, I'd run to my miss sculpt bike, get an pedal, my ass off school grounds. And that fucks with you, you know, like that's trauma. I didn't know the word trauma existed until I got sober, but that was traumatic. And, and I come from a long line of alcoholics, but half of my family is Italian. And to the best of my knowledge, there's no alcoholism there. There's French Canadian, my family. There's no alcoholism there. I have some native American ancestry. That's a problem. Because native Americans, there's a belief that they can't metabolize alcohol. And I have one great grandparent. Who's who's Irish Fitzgerald, and all of the alcoholics come falling out of the closet over the centuries, through the Fitzgerald line. So I believe very passionately that alcoholism is a disease and it's inherited genetic. My mom and her sisters are affected badly by the diseases. They have alcoholism and addiction. My grandmother, her, my mother's mother died at 59 from this disease. So it's deadly and it's, it's killed a lot of members in my family, basically. So I was just the next in line. So. So I think that, you know, there's always one of your questions was, you know, what effect did my sexuality have on it? So, absolutely it was part of feeling different, but alcoholics we know, feel different anyways. So it was, I felt different times 20 and and the trauma absolutely contributed to my need. To escape in whatever way that was. So when the alcohol came along, I was the last of my friends to drink. Cause I saw how stupid they were. But I vivid and this is a sign of alcoholism, alcoholics. Remember their first drink. Right. So no ordinary drinkers do not. Right. So I remember it was a Miller Highlife beer, and I hated the taste, but my friends were all doing. And I drank it with one of my friends, gave me a straw. So I drank a Miller Highlife beer out of a straw, and he said, drink it quickly. And I drank it quickly and hated the taste, but really liked the effect really heatedly and for a queer kid who felt on the outside of society, I never, alcohol never made me feel like. But it made me feel like I didn't care that I didn't fit in. If that made sense, it was just a relief. It was just a period of relief. And I'll tell you that I would still be drinking Steve, if it still worked. If I got that relief, but alcohol stopped working relatively quickly. You know, I had my first drink at maybe 15 and a half. And I was in AA at 20. Like Dunsky like cook fried, you know? So I believe that I'm addicted to alcohol. I, it triggers a compulsion in me and an obsession I would, when I wasn't drinking about, I was, I had a very calm, I'm a Virgo. My star sign is a Virgo and Virgos are very organized where the very organized and we're right about everything. It's just annoying. Virgos are annoying to know and let alone be in a relationship with, but. I used to organize like who I was going to drink with when, and this was in my mid twenties, this is how bad I was alcoholic. He saw me drunk last week. He can't see me. So I was organizing where I was going and who I was going with and who had seen me in which liquor store I had been in too often. And, and that's a lot of work. There's a lot of work. And as a blackout drinker by my mid twenties, I would take drinks and then wake up, I'd take a drink in Boston and wake up in the. No idea how I got overstate lines and you know, once I was quasi kidnapped, you know in a blackout and woke up in a totally different town from where I'd been drinking and no idea where I was. And I thought that drama was living. I thought that was, wow. Look at me being out there. I'm a suburban boy. Look at me in New Hampshire, waking up in a, you know, in a woodpile. I, one of my friends when I got sober, told me that he saved my life because on a ski trip in New Hampshire I went outside and passed out face down in the snow pile. And if they hadn't found me, I could have died. So that was just, that's how I drank. I drank like a pig and my people say, what's your drug of choice? My scriptures more, no more. And and back when I was drinking in the, in the eighties and nineties I had a real thing about drugs. Drugs are for dirty people. I was from the nice suburbs until I got drunk. And then you offered me something for free. Right. And then it was like, sure. And then I judge you you're right. I wouldn't pay for it. I'd smoke. I do your Coke. I'd never pay you for it. And then I'd scorn you the next day for your drug addiction problem. So, you know, just smug bastard I was. And and look, the bottom line is I got into dangerous situations with dangerous people. I ended up dating a bartender in a gay bar because I figured it out. This was a very good strategy, by the way. If you are having sex with a bartender, you never have to wait for drinks. That's a V anybody who's still drinking. If you want to get out there, like fate, the bartender. So Trey's used to come around and never had to wait because part of the ALK, my alcoholism was once I started drinking, I had to feed the monster and there was no waiting in lines. Right. So that was the scariest thing. I didn't go out on me years. I'm an alcoholic. I didn't go out on new year's cause it was amateur night and you had to wait. It wasn't fucking being social. It was about, I had to feed the disease. Two things happened when I was 29, 1 was, I was dating a super hot Frenchman. He was an interior designer. He met me at the gym and he was like 16 leagues out of my data. Like it was just, I don't know where he came from. And his name is Ned and he was sober three years and I went to his house one night for dinner and I brought a six pack with me and Ned opened the door and he looked at me in horror. And said, Scott, remember I told you I'm I'm a recovering alcoholic. And my response was, yeah, I know. That's why I only brought one six pack. Right? That's how inconsiderate and selfish and self seeking. I was that, that was just for me. I brought what I needed on this date with this hot Frenchman. And he broke up with me. We didn't date for a long, but he, anybody said something that was super important to me. If you said you're dangerous to my recovery. And it was the first time I'd ever heard. I knew my drinking was dangerous for me, but I couldn't stop. I had now I heard that it was a problem for someone else. So that was the first signpost. And the second was I, my best friend growing up had a beautiful partner named Tim and Tim got sober and we used to drink together and take drugs together. And all of a sudden Tim was bright and shiny on Sunday mornings and he wasn't spending his rent money. You know, at the data, whatever it was, club cafe, I think it was in Boston at that time. I don't even know if it's still around, but he got, and I watched the quality of light chain biased and he looked shiny and happy. And I had crippling hangovers and often tell the story about how my, my closet in my little apartment in the south end of Boston had louvered doors on it, you know, for air circulation. And I, with my bed was close to the. Closet doors. And I would, I was particularly allergic to red wine and I would projectile vomit red wine from my bed into my closet. I would vomit through the louvers and it would end up all over my work clothes and all of that. So I'd open up the next morning. There'd be stripes of red wine and vomit on my clothing. That's the kind of messy drinker I was. And It just didn't I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. You know, this and the epic moment for me was on Sunday. Usually I vomited a lot because I was so allergic to alcohol and I would, when we'd go out for a night, I would put three extra Tylenol on my kitchen counter, and three glasses of water before I went out. That's how much planning had to go into my alcoholism. And when I'd come home, hopefully I'd see some water and take the extra strength. Tylenol. At the end of my drinking, I decided that projectile vomiting from my bed was becoming a problem not to mess it, not to mention wedding my bed. And and then I had friends that were shipping themselves all of a sudden. I was not interested in that narrative at all. So I took to sleeping in my bathroom on Sunday nights and I would, I had this really expensive polo, Ralph Lauren comforter. It was a very important that you knew that it was polo Ralph Lauren, too. Right? I was all about labels and what Brooks brothers suits. And I was very ripped and I did step aerobics. It was all about looking good on the outside and having a God-sized hole on the inside. And so I was sleeping. I used to sleep sideways on the. And my rationale was if I vomited, at least some of it would get in the toilet and the rest of it, the toilet, the linoleum came up around the sides in the bathroom, so that it created like a natural catchment for the rest of the vomit. Yeah. And I thought that was completely normal. Sleeping on your toilet wrapped in your polo. Ralph Lauren comforter. I thought that was perfectly fine. Strategy. While on this particular Sunday morning, I think it was something like December 1st, 1992, I had an out of body experience. I saw myself, I woke up on the toilet and I was floating above myself and I saw, and the only word is depravity. I saw the depravity of my life. I saw that it wasn't normal and I believe in. It was a very angry agnostic for my first 10 years in recovery. And I fought by words God and higher power. But I had a moment. This was a total moment of clarity. That was not from me. So whatever we ascribe that to, I now talk about having a goddess of my misunderstanding, but. I saw that and I cried out and this is I have, I find this in most people's recovery, there's a moment of truth. And whether they literally crowd I'm quite dramatic. Right. So I always go for a John Paul Sartre moment, but I cried out and said, dear God, if you're out there to help me or kill me. And I came to some hours later in a meeting of AA and right. And my first year, like, as you're different to your edge, like everything was happening. And I spent, oh, that's mysterious. Like I wouldn't, you know, How's that, you know, so I came to a meeting of AA in Boston and it was in the high, holy Catholic cathedral of Boston in the south end. And, and I was not very happy with the Archbishop and the Cardinal at that time, they were saying some awful things, but the, and I knew this was so much of my recovery is about ego deflation at depth. And I think my ego needs to deflating. So my first meeting was in the high holy Catholic cathedral, and I was an angry, agnostic, recovering Catholic. You could say it was in the base. Of this church and it was next to the crypt where the dead priests were buried. That was my first meeting of a and I thought, oh honey, you've really arrived. Like, oh, you've like home run tight, you know, great work. But I saw men gave us a gay meeting, gay men who were clean and sober, like clean, like physically and happy. And what I got in my first meeting was hope and they said to me, Keep coming back and they surrounded me and they gave me their phone numbers, which I thought meant they wanted to have sex with me. So it was very, I was like, you know, and I scorned in judgment. I'm like, you're too fat. You wear inappropriate clothing. You're wearing polyester. Like, you know, reasons that I wasn't going to be part of this group, but, but I kept coming. I went to, and I only went to a meeting a week for my first four months. Cause I that's all I knew I was so insane. I can't describe to you how insane I was at the end of my drinking. So I went to one meeting with. Didn't get a sponsor. Didn't touch the literature. Didn't have a service commitment. And after four months I went to south beach on holiday and I drank because that's what alcoholics do. And when I drank in south beach I was astonished because I've been to AA, but I, I know the words I know there are steps. I know I could pair it to you what it meant, but I got drunk. And one of those phone numbers that was in my wallet. I, and this is how long ago it was 1993. I had to go to a payphone at news cafe in south beach, Miami, and I had to go to the bartender and get coins. I had to get quarters and put them in a payphone. Now my nieces who are in the early twenties don't know the sound that quarters make when they go in a payphone. And, you know, they're astonished by the, you know, rotary dial kind of concept. But I rang this guy in Boston, which would have cost a buttload of money back then. And I got this guy name is. And I called him and I said, Hiebert, I'm drunk. And I don't know how this happened. And he said, this is, I hope everyone has comedic sponsorship. He said to me, honey, did you put alcohol in your mouth? And I was like, ah, yes, I did. How did you know that? Oh my God, you're so wise. And he said something that I needed to hear. And my first step, honey, if you don't put alcohol in your mouth, you can't get. And I thought this is the wisest man I have ever met in my life ever. And look, he, he became my sponsor. I went back to Boston and we began to work the steps. I'm so grateful to that, man, because he didn't, I was so fucked. My step one is I'm fucked. My step two is I'm insane. And so if I'm fucked in and saying, I better look for wisdom outside of myself, right? That's step three. I better look for God. Group of drunks are great. Outdoors are good, orderly direction. I, and I tried not to forget that. And my sobriety date is the 12th of May, 1993. And so that's 28 and a half years. How could a drunk, hopeless, drunk, like me stay sober. Well, remembering that I'm fucked and I'm insane. That's my resting state. And I know people listening to this might be really insulted by that, but I say that with great compassion for myself and others. It's just like, if you're fucked and you're insane, don't try to solve your alcohol problems by. All right. That's not going to go close to good, crazy plus crazy. It's going to equal crazy. Right? So, so this man started taking me through the steps and he didn't say to me, step one, he didn't say, are you powerless over alcohol? And is your life on manageable by you? Because that would have been Mandarin to me. He said, honey, have you had any. And that continues to serve me. Well, whenever I'm struggling in recovery, I've struggled with credit card debt. I've struggled, struggled with sex behavior, with food. And my sponsor had the same sponsor now for 24 years. And he just says, I'll be off. I'll be up to something. Cause I'm always up to something by the way, even. Yeah. And I'll comment and say, oh God, you know, I mean the cookies. You know, whatever, whatever it is, we set up Tim teams in Australia that are wonderful, but in whatever it is in America, fig Newtons, mallow, puffs, whatever you're. But, you know, I'll find my face in, you know, an entire box of those and I'll call my sponsor and be like, Hmm, I'm in the cookies again. And the journey to recovery starts with just heavy head enough. All right. He'll say, have you had enough of the compulsive spending? Have you had enough of the credit card debt and have you had enough of the cookies? And when I say yes, then I can start to make progress in recovery. So, so for me working the steps has been an entire new way of looking at life because I was so focused on. The last thing I wanted to do was look at my own shit. Right? And we're in the fourth month now, and it's the fourth step. The fourth step changed my life. The fourth and fifth steps are the game fucking changes. Right. So I realized I was fucked. That was insane. I was going to look for wisdom. So I got a sponsor, started working the steps, got a home group, got a service commitment. And in step four, I learned about the instincts. Like, so the most important, I think the most important thing, I've things I've learned. I have an progressive fatal disease. That's incurable. I can get a daily reprieve contingent on my maintenance of a spiritual committee. And to look at my fears and instincts, right? So my partner, Steve, and I just bought a beautiful three acre property in Australia. It's he describes it as we've bought an abandoned boy scout camp. It's in really rough shape. And so I'm as a reader, as a perfectionist Virgo, suburban boy. I am triggered as fuck cause the gardens are messy and the houses are falling down. And and, and I have to really, you know, what I was taught in the fourth step are I have instincts for security, self-esteem personal relations, money and sex. And whenever any of those instincts are triggered, I behave badly. Or I go into panic. And then, and I also have fears that I'm going to lose what I have, that I'm not going to get what I want or both. And I learned that in the fourth step, that when I'm triggered, it's not about you, it's not about what you're doing, but it's about my instinct. So did moving into this house has affected my instincts for 16. Like, like there were big gaps in the foot. We have six foot pythons that live in the forest where we are in in Australia, you know, like we have big monitor lizards. We'd like all kinds of poisonous spiders and their gaps everywhere in doors and shit. So my S my instincts for security are triggered as fuck right now. And then when I realized that and call my sponsor and tell him it dials back the anxiety, right? So in four and five, I realized I'm riddled with character defects. All of my resentments, I have the character defects of pride and anger, every single resentment. I'm the character defect pride is I know how you should act. I know how the president should behave. I know the weather. I know, I know. I know. I know. And nothing separates me from my goddess, from my spiritual self. My fellows faster than me knowing what's best for you. Like, and I spent so many years minding your business. Oh my God. And I was full of helpful advice, but what AA taught me is that while I had lots of opinions, I had very little experience. Right. So I used to give my friends relationship advice. I'd never been in a relationship, right? Like, so, you know, my sponsor started saying, do you have experience in this area? And I would say, And he'd say, okay, restraint of tongue and pen. Let's not give advice where we don't have experience. And when it got to be about 15 or probably more likely 20 years sober, it occurred to me that most people are not interested in my wisdom and my. And so nowadays, even with my sponsees, I've got five spots at the moment. I won't, you know, they'll be called, they'll call me and they'll be talking about, I was going to say crapping on about something. That's really what I meant I was going to. But, and I'll say, would you like my experience on this? Or are you just venting and 99% of the time, they're like, no, I'm just spending, I'm not actually interested in your wisdom. I'm like, okay, saves me so many words. You know, I don't have to solve your problems today. So. When I did my fourth and fifth step and finished it in Boston, my sponsor said to me, Scott, you've, you're an alcoholic. You've got these resentments, you've got these character defects, pride, anger, less loft, gluttony, greed. You know, he said, first of all, congratulations, you're a member of AA. You've done your fist step. And he asked me a question. He said, what do you want your life to look like? And I was astonished by the. And I was a frightened kid. I was never going to be 10 more than 10 miles from my parents. My sister lived in Boston. I was never going to leave my friends. I had a great home group and I thought about it for a minute. And I said to him, I want a great adventure. And my sponsor who was probably 12 years sober at that point almost fell off the chair because he knew what a frightened kid I was. And he said, be careful the university. What do you choose for your life? And I must as astonished as he was. And I said, yeah, I want a big adventure. And, and be careful, be careful when your higher power is there and you're listening. So I've, my life took off as frightened kid from Boston. When I was four years sober, I moved to San Francisco. One of my sponsees moved out there and all they had to do was say to me, we don't shovel snow. He said, I'm in San Francisco, great recovery. We don't shovel snow. Yeah, four years sober. I was in San Francisco and I met a guy from New Zealand when I was living in San Francisco and we were together for nine years and we moved to, he wanted to move home to New Zealand initially. And I was like, man, I didn't even know where New Zealand was on the map, by the way, I had to look it up. And I thought it was somewhere near Denmark. And we moved to Australia in 2000 and I've lived for five years, ended up living in New Zealand for five years. I've been in Australia on and off since 2000. So I've been out of the United States for the most part for 22 years. So how did a recovering alcoholic a fall-down queer drunk kid from Longmeadow, Massachusetts end up. The hinterlands on a, in a rainforest in Australia. Well, I asked for it. I asked for a big adventure and I kept doing the work. I continue to do the workout in recovery. I have a service commitment. I have a home group. I continue to do the work and my life continues to grow and change in unbelievable ways. And the work for me today is in my 11th step, continuing to try to continue to improve my conscious connect. With, with whatever the spirits of the universe are, which for me is love. Right. Get out of fear and get into love and to examine through daily meditation and prayer. Where am I take my own temperature? I've taken your temperature for decades. I know you're flawed. I don't have as much experience in focusing on all my flaw. So keeping the focus on me and trying to be the most loving and kind person. That I can be today is shaping up to be a very rewarding and busy life. So so yeah. So thank you for having the opportunity to share that story with you. Yeah, itSteve:
was a great story to listen to. And with that, I mean, out of all the positive changes in your life since finding sobriety what's one or two that have surprised you the most,Scott:
I, as a, as a gay kid I had so much. Know, I was a sinner. I was going to hell and my church confirmed that for me, by the way losing shame that having shame wash out like the tide by doing the steam of blacks by, by becoming a person that I was proud of, instead of I was experienced so much shame and then I'd go out drinking and shame myself. It was this repetitive cycle. So not having. Dominate. My life has been the relief from that has been completely game-changing. I'm no longer ashamed of who and what I am. I can say I'm a recovering alcoholic without being embarrassed by that today. It's just like, oh yeah, I've got Hazel eyes and I'm a recovering alcoholic. And, and somehow along the, you know, that, that shame going away, I could tell you now that I'm a gay man of dignity and work. And I don't bow before anyone else in the way everything was like, hi, I'm Scott. I'm gay. Is that okay with you? And today it's just like, here I am and it's okay for you not to like me. So just finding humility as my sponsor talks to me about a lot is the definition of it is it's an honest understanding of who and what we are followed by an earnest desire to be all that we can. And I think that's, that's a beautiful roadmap. I know who I am today. I'm an alcoholic, I'm a gay man. I'm a member of society and, and I'm pretty happy about that. So, so definitely the, the shame going away was a big thing. And the other thing was I was, I got sober in gay meetings. And so for my first, maybe three years, I was only going to gay meeting. So I thought only gay GLB L B G T I Q plus. I only thought we had feelings and fears. And then I needed to start going to morning meetings at about three years sober. Cause I was bat shit crazy again, and couldn't make it through a work day until the night meeting. So with my sponsor, I started going to a morning meeting in Boston and there were straight people there. And I was sitting next to these gigantic firemen and policemen and football players. And they were sitting next to me and they were talking about their alcoholism and they were talking about being. And being unsure and not knowing what to do. And it was just, this wall came down like straight guys are afraid to, you know, I had built this narrative that I'm the sissy, Mary who's afraid of everything and everyone. And I'm the only one who's afraid. So going, mixing more broadly in society, I've realized that I'm just a human being. I'm just another bozo on the bus that my sexuality doesn't define. You know, it's much more inclusive for me to think about my alcoholism because I can go into a meeting and I've been all over the world going into meetings. And it doesn't matter if you're a Buddhist monk or a sex worker. It's just like, Hey, I know who you are. And that feeling of community blossoming around me has been probably the other super great gift. Yeah. That'sSteve:
amazing. I definitely need to expand my meetings a little bit more. So that's a good kick in the butt for that. I needed to hear that. And you share on your Instagram page, how you are an energy healer, psychic and mentor. Can you share how those gifts have impact your suburb?Scott:
Well, I would say that they've come about entirely because of my recovery. So in, in doing in the third step, I acknowledged, you know, I was, I acknowledged that I was insane and fucked totally at my spot. I wouldn't get a higher power and my sponsor who, who busted me on everything, I could never get away with anything he just said to me, well, Scott, let me ask you a question. Do you believe that? I believe, and I was like, Hm. Yes, I do believe that you believe in something. And he said, great, why don't you borrow my higher power? And I was so busted that I couldn't debate him. I was like, all right. And he said, get on your knees in the morning, get on your knees for two seconds and say, please help. And at the end of the day, get on your knees and say, thank you. And I was like, there is no fucking way. Because it was just, we're triggered me in my, my, my religion of upgrading. Like there's no way I'm getting on my knees. He said to me, I'll never forget this. He said to me, oh honey, you've been on your knees for far less than prayer. And, and I laughed and was like to Shea motherfucker. And, and so, but I did it and you know, the first day my boyfriend wasn't around, I got my niece. I was like, And I ran. And at the end of the day I got on my knees. I was like, thank you, Moran. And within a couple of weeks, I couldn't wait. Right. So my spiritual press I've practiced having a spiritual connection to whatever is out there. It's led me to be curious about lots of things. So I joined the Unitarian Universalist church when I was about a year sober and lots of recovering people, and lots of people in the queer community were there. And that was amazing for me. We had a lesbian was our. Minister. And that was amazing coming from the religion I came from. And so I continue to get curious. And then I had friends, my sister had spiritual experiences in meditation and she was doing astral travel at one of our best mates, became an a ShawMan and she started doing energy healing. Again, I always have to tell you, it's never about virtue with me. It's always competition or desperation, and that gets me to do work, but I wasn't going to let my little sister be more spiritual than me was I, right. So I followed her into meditation. I followed her into investigating traumatic practice and I joined groups and I started getting training and a teacher told me, Hey, Scott, you've got intuitive abilities. And I didn't know that I was. What, 23 years sober. And I didn't know, he said, you know, those things, you know about people that's not normal. And I thought it was just being a good sponsor. I'd be doing this. I'd be hearing somebody who's fifth step. And I would tell them stuff about their life. And they'd be like, how do you know that? I haven't told you that I'd be like, oh, it's just AA. And, and with some training, I was like, oh, it's a something, it's the thing. So. Look at being, being a psychic and a medium and an energy healer. It's just a skill. Like I'm a carpenter or an electrician. I just happen to have skills that I can read people's energy. I know what's going on for people and I can help them with that. So that's from practicing the 11th step continuously, consciously repetitively being curious about how I'm connected to the universe. I still do. I work with the, with the elderly, I do elder care. That's part of my career. And I work with people. Great, wonderful people, supporting them, people with disabilities. So I've left the corporate sector altogether and I'm loving these people, these elders. And when you come from where I come from, you know, I know surrendering my corporate life because it wasn't feeding my soul was very difficult. It was a death of ego that was very painful. And my partner had to support me. You know, in doing that because it was really hard. I had to get retraining. I make a fraction of what I used to make, but I'm so happy because I grew up on the east coast thinking I can't do work, that I am. That's not an option for me, my Italian family, my grandmother used to say, life is a fatality. Scotty. DiMasi, you know, life is a battle you're going to suffer and then you're going to die. You know, that's the wisdom from, you know, six generations of new Englanders, pull your bootstraps up. If you sever your artery, you put a band-aid on it, go to work, you know? And, and so all these years later I'm doing work that I love love with souls that I adore and doing healing work that I can't believe I get paid to do, but it took. Far out 25 years to believe that I was worth doing, you know, having work that I enjoyed, that it was a possibility for me. So it's all from AA and the continuous work of, of step 11 and, and just dropping, you know, one of your questions is why the three, you know, what's the greatest thing I've learned is my sponsor gave me three statements that have changed my life. One is I give up the second is, I don't know. And the third is it's none of my business. Like, that's like my God, that's my spiritual program. I give up knowing it's none of my business, what you're doing in your life. It's none of my business, you know, what's going on in the world. I just have to be the best person I can be. And just, if I keep the focus on me, if I keep tending my own garden, amazing things happen. You know, I keep saying this to you, but like I'm a drunk from Boston. I'm in Australia. I've been overseas for 20 years. Well, how did that happen? Like, how is that possible for a drunk who used to project Obama into his closet? That was my life and look at it now. So hell yes. I'm incredibly grateful for recovery and it's a journey that I can't outgrow. You know, every, I have to say, I don't know, this is something the Americans say as much, but I have problems in areas where I didn't have areas before. Like I have home. I own a home. I have a beautiful partner. I, none of that was possible. Yeah. It's so it's an extraordinary journey. Yeah.Steve:
And part of your journey, and another thing we have in common is podcasting. Would you like to share a little bit more about your fierce conversations podcast?Scott:
Well, I love you. Thank you. I had a girlfriend part of the spiritual work, you know, I started meeting extraordinary souls who were curious like me and and my girlfriends started a spirit to a magazine a couple of years ago called fierce truth magazine and. Part of recovery for me is I used to say no to everything. Like there's a story. My parents used to tell when I was first going to kindergarten, my parents sent me down. It was me, whatever, four or five, you're going to go to kindergarten and you're gonna make friends. It's gonna be wonderful. And I said to them, no, thank you. You know? And my poor parents were very young when they had me and they were like, what the fuck? What do you do with no, thank you. That was my, I didn't want anything to do. I want it to sit on the sidelines. I didn't want to play. And, and over time that, no thank you. Which was my knee jerk reaction to every opportunity has become not no. Right. That's 28 years of recovery is someone will post something to me. They'll be like, I'm not going to reject you right now. I'm going to go talk to my sponsor. So when I started working, supporting my friend in the magazine, Ah, fuck it. Why not? And that's tremendous freedom. So I was at her editor for two years 18 months, maybe 18 months editing spiritual articles. And we started doing podcasts and had great fun with it. And then it was time for me to move on. So I've moved on from that and thinking about my own podcast and thinking about what's next for me in terms of, I'm trying to express my gratitude for 28 years of recovery and the profound changes like. I'm a big talker as you've probably figured out, but like I'm, I'm so undone by the thousands and thousands of hours that I was going to say alcoholics, but human beings have spent with me throughout my recovery, guiding me and, and, and offering me helpful experience that, how am I ever going to pay that back? How am I ever going to do that? You know, I try to, if my gut, my sponsees. I go to regular meetings, but like, man, I got so much to be grateful for in so many thank yous to give that, you know, I think it's time that I step out on my own and I've been shit scared about that. That's why I'm so proud of you doing your own thing, you know, because that old gate, that gay kid on the playground with the flare covered. You know, stands next to me goes it's unsafe. It's unsafe to step out. Don't step out from your comfort zone. So, you know, for me, I've had to come out a number of times I came out as gay at 26, came out as a recovering alcoholic alcoholic at 30 came out as, as a psychic and medium at what, 55 age, 55. And now it's, you know, coming out again, as, you know, as somebody who wants to be more connected to my spirituality and more. Publicly about that. So, you know, one of the things they always taught me is I thought growing up that courage was the absence of fear. And AA has taught me that courage is real courage is being scared, shitless, and still taking that the action taking the healthy action, not stupid action, not step in front of a train action, but well-considered action with your sponsor's input, blah, blah, blah. And and that to me another gift, right? Being scared shitless. Like I recognized the scared gay kid says, don't put yourself out there, but it's in conflict with wanting to say, thank you for the incredible life that I've been given him, wanting to help other people have their best life. So, yeah. So it continues to unfold.Steve:
Yeah. And you mentioned, you know, how you're helping other people. I mean, if you can give one piece of advice to someone who's sober, curious, or newly sober, what would that be?Scott:
If you think if someone, if you think you have a problem with alcohol, you probably do people that don't have a problem with alcohol, rarely think about whether they have a problem with alcohol. You know, so I would say to somebody, I guess alcoholism is a disease. It's nothing to be ashamed of. And I had so much, I was like, oh fuck, I'm a sissy Marianne. Now I can't drink like a man. I know, God damn it. You know? And you know, I talk about Phyllis. I have the voice of my addict. I call Phyllis she's a 70 year old woman who lives in a 30 caravan in Scottsdale, Arizona. And she smokes unfiltered cigarettes. And her hair's always encouraged, but that's Phyllis, you know, is oh, I don't know why this is all hell you, you suck. I suck. And it sucks. But. There's no shame to being an alcoholic. If you have a progressive faith, if you, my sister had double breast cancer, my sister did not have to work through toxic shame about cancer. She was like it's cancer. So for somebody who's thinking about alcoholism, if you have a problem with alcohol, there's no shame in that just means you can't metabolize alcohol. Like other people, you know, my partner is allergic to strawberries. As an example, he doesn't spend years going on. Well, maybe it's not strawberry jam. Maybe it should be blueberry jam. I'll try blueberry jam. He had an allergic reaction to strawberry jam. He doesn't need strawberries anymore. You know what I mean? So if you have an allergy, it's just like, think about that. Come, come give us a red hot go. And I used to think this was the. And I said to my first sponsor, oh, this is a cult. And he's like, well, interesting. It's a cult that you can come and go and you never have to come back here and you know, that's fine. And I said, oh, you want to get all my money? And he said, no, it's just a suggestion. You can contribute or not, but we are, we're glad you're here. And I said to him, you know, I think you're trying to brainwash me. And he said, oh honey, your brain could use a wash. Just come here and check it out with an open mind. Look for the similarities. I'm always looking for the differences. He's tall, she's this, this, this, you know, and it's just like, come listen. Is there something here that resonates in your soul, in our messages about our disease and having found a way out, if something resonates with your heart, give yourself the gift of checking. Yeah. AndSteve:
speaking of things, resonating with your heart in recovery us addicts typically love our step traditions and sayings. Do you have a favorite mantra or quote to live byScott:
the look I've I've spent time in Alanon and debtors anonymous too. So there's so much wisdom in all the affiliated 12 step programs. I think the thing my sponsors told me, I give up, I don't know. And it's none of my business. That's the thing that saves my ass and and probably close behind that is when it says in the big book practicing restraint of tongue in pen carries the top priority for us, like keeping my mouth shut or not. Don't send that text. Don't tell that person when you're triggered in your instincts for security, self-esteem personal relations, pocket book, and sex. When you're triggered, don't do anything, pause and breathe. You know, that moment of grace, we call it in recovery, you know, between my, my reaction, my triggered reaction and my response that, that golden moment of don't don't doubt, doubt, doubt, count to 10 has saved my life more times than I can tell you. So that's probably. And I use that on a daily basis. Excellent.Steve:
Thank you so much. And thank you so much for being on tell our listeners a little bit more about how they can find you if they want more.Scott:
Oh, come, I mean, contact me, you know, I'm in meetings hopefully, and we're all remaining anonymous with each other, but you can find me, I've got a website, Scott, Scott, Grasso, Scott dot Grasso where you can talk about my services. I do stuff online as well as in person. And I'm on Insta Scott T Grasso. And so yeah, and Facebook. So I'm happy to connect with people and happy to support them in their recovery journey. So What a joy. Thank you. You know, what a joy seeing you, what a joy. That's, you're excited. I'm excited that you're excited about your recovery and yeah. I look forward to the dialogue continuing. Yeah. Excellent.Steve:
Well, thank you so much again, and thank you listeners for listening to another episode of gay, please rate and review. If you found this information helpful. If you're interested in sharing your story, like Scott here, getting involved with the show or just saying hi, I always love to hear from you. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram at gay podcast and be sure to follow us wherever you're listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every Monday and Thursday. And until next time stay sober friends.