gAy A: A LGBT+ Podcast About Sobriety

Keep Coming Back ft. Kevin

July 07, 2022 Steve Bennet-Martin Season 1 Episode 91
gAy A: A LGBT+ Podcast About Sobriety
Keep Coming Back ft. Kevin
Show Notes Transcript

Steve welcomes Kevin to share their experience, strength, and hope with you, along with advice on getting and staying sober.

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 gayapodcast@gmail.com

And join our Patreon family for exclusive bonus content including post-show discussions today at www.patreon.com/gayapodcast

Or Follow Us wherever you are listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every Thursday. Until that time, stay sober, friends!

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Steve:

Hi everyone. And welcome to GA a, a podcast about sobriety for the LGBT plus community and our allies. I'm your host, Steve Bennet-Martin. I am an alcoholic and I'm grateful for all the amazing connections I made at this year's GSM. As of this recording, I am 402 days sober. And today we're welcoming you guest to share their experience, wisdom and hope with. I am so excited to introduce them. I got to meet them at this year's GSM. They were wonderful. They definitely made the trip as I hinted in our last episode. And they are just a larger than life. Amazing, wonderful human being that I can't wait to get. Have you get to know better? Welcome to the show, Kevin.

Kevin:

Hello? Hello. My name is Kevin a and I'm an alcoholic. And I met Steve at the. Gay men's round up and it was fantastic. So I'm just excited to share with everybody.

Steve:

Yeah. Excellent. And I know I'm excited for this episode because while we were so having so much fun, we didn't really go into a lot of the, the deep dark histories of our, our pasts and our experiences. So why don't you start by telling us a little bit about what your journey with alcohol and addiction was like?

Kevin:

Sure. Sure. So I am from Alabama. I was born up to a Southern Baptist family. We did not drink. We were like the opposite of Catholics. We don't even dance. And so I was always told not to drink. My mother had always told me that my grandfather was an alcoholic and he came home from world war II. He was a bad alcoholic. So we were not, we were for to drink, but I started drinking at a young age. I remember being drunk my very first time on tequila. And I was had alcohol poisoning and I just remember just saying, well, this is awful, but I just continued to do it. Other memories that stick up were Being drunk on my 21st birthday, I had a girlfriend at the time and she was having to deal with me, but what other things really stick out is when I came out as gay, which was very difficult for me, religious reasons. I, I did not have. A very healthy relationship with my sexuality. But anyway I can remember going on my very first gay date. We met on like an online thing and I remember this nice guy sitting there at this Mexican restaurant. And I remember sitting down and just drinking beer after beer, after beer to just feel comfortable talking to this guy. And then that, that, that little story kind of encapsulates so much of my relationship with like dating. And also just like, I can remember when. Straight. Before I came out, I would go to the music hall, which is a straight dance club and just have to pound beers in order to talk to girls. Cause that's how you, you know, that's how you were successful for the night. So I've always had a relationship with social, social activities and drinking. I was never a home drinker. I wasn't allowed to drink, as I said, as a kid. And then it was never part of our family functions, but it was always something I did made me feel very adult. and so I drank unhealthily from the very beginning. But I also kind of had my act together through college. So I was able to get through with a nursing degree and I've had a successful nursing degree for 20 years. So alcohol never really interfered with my work very much, but it really, I moved to New York city at 24 and That really cranked things up. And I discovered the east village and back rooms and the bars didn't close till 5:00 AM, and I just went wild. And so from 24 to 27, I lived in about seven different cities as a travel nurse. And so I just partied my way across the country. And drank and drove myself away across the country. And so looking back at how dangerous and reckless it was, you know, at the time it just felt like youth, but yeah. Should I keep going? sorry to I so I continued to drink until I was 27. I am, my story always has to do. Drinking and driving. I, I was a repeat offender, drink and driver, and I had a, a pretty bad accident at around four in the morning coming home from, I guess, what you would call a circuit party here in Atlanta, which is where I kind of made my home as best. I make a home. And I had a wreck and went to jail. And after that, I said, I'm gonna get sober. I started in AA at 27. And I was sober for about five years and I was in gay recovery and I great had a great network. I had a lot of friends in and outta recovery. I had bar friends. I had, I could go to bars sober. I had a great, pretty good life. I, I took its full-time job here in Atlanta and I was sober for eight years. And at, after about eight years, I decided I went to my sponsor. I went to my parent, I went to my. Friends. And I said, you know, I'm gonna just try some controlled drinking. And I did, I controlled drink for three years. I took Uber and I don't remember a lot of really bad things happening. Then other than I got introduced pot, I got introduced to marijuana. And when I got introduced to marijuana, that was when really looking back on it. That was kind of the beginning of a downfall of my life because. I just over time, I guess the best thing to say is that pot changed me. I'm a very energetic person and funny and loud and pot by the end of it just had me as like a robot going through life. And then I got introduced to psychedelics as the same time, my drinking ramped up over time by drinking and driving. At that time I was living all over the country. I did the tiny home thing. I was living. Cool RV. And so like when you're living a campground, like when should you start drinking? What time of day should you start drinking when you live in an RV? You know? And then I was smoking pot every day. I'd get up and make a thing of French press and smoke a bowl, you know, that was the daily life for me. And then I would drink beer all the time. And so I just kind of became, I thought I was just ROV. Artist poet and I was reading poetry and literature and writing poetry and taking pictures of cacti. And I thought I was just the coolest thing with James Dean, but really, I was just a pothead living in the van at the end of the day and a, and I don't, you know, I always say in my story, I don't re I don't catastrophize the path. I gave this story too, to tell people, like people say, like I had to move back home to get sober or whatever. One of my things I like to share when I'd tell my story is like in New York city, I remember I rolled up out of a cab and I was like asking this guy, if I could, if he knew where the east side club was, it was like five in the morning outside of a cab. And I'm asking if he knows where the new the east side club is. And he's a Hasidic gentleman watering his flowers at like five in the morning in front of his brownstone. And I say that to say that like we lived in the same city, but we didn't experience the city the same way you can get sober in the same city, or you can get trash in the same city. Every city I was in, whether it was Tucson, Arizona, or New York city, I wanted to find the gay bars. I wanted to find connections for drugs. And then I wanted to find sex and that, that was the story of my life.

Steve:

Yeah. And what brought you back into the rooms the second time?

Kevin:

Yeah, so, I mean, I had got to the point and my, and I talk about sex a lot because sex is a big part of my story. And I think sex is a big part of gay recovery just for me anyway. I got to where I was dating this very handsome 24. He was like maybe 26 when we broke up. But he was a very young idealistic college kid and I just could not have sex anymore. Like there were like physical act issues there. And then I just was very unhappy and I felt like a robot and I got tired of hearing pot conversations and I got tired of sitting around pot fill rooms. Just hearing Blaber and I got, I was like, okay, I'm not able, able to have sex. What is going on? And whatever looked back now, I didn't know at the time, but I was spiritually dead. I was just not. There was nothing there, there was this, I look, I, I look back at it now and I say that what it was is I was like a personification of my addiction. I was doing a lot of psychedelics and a lot of people say that they do psychedelics to lose their ego. But psychedelics from me really made my ego ego grow. I thought I was so close to. You know, higher power or whatever, like the, the universe man and all this stuff. And it was just a bunch of bullshit that I tell myself, lies that I tell myself. And so what brought me back was I really hit a spiritual wall and then I hit, a real fucking wall. In my pickup truck, I had this big Dodge Ram and I used to wear cowboy hats and boots. And I was just like, you know, Just Mr. South riding around this big pickup truck. And then I ran that pickup truck into a, I think I hit a tractor or something. I, but I ended up having to go to jail for three days, which is the longest I've ever been in jail, but I've been in jail a few times from my drug and alcohol. And I remember the lady in uptake, she was a, an older lady and she was just doing my uptake and she looked at me and she said, you do realize that drugs are ruined in your life. Right? Yeah. She's like, you're, you're a nurse. You're gonna lose your license. And I said, I don't wanna lose my license from that day on. I got outta jail and it was miserable. It was cold and it was January, but I made my as go to a meeting and then I made my as go to another meeting and here I am.

Steve:

Well, thank you for sharing that. It is interesting cuz you were just so full of life and outgoing now. I mean, what would you say your life and sobriety is like now in general?

Kevin:

It's really interesting because before I got sober I had gone to burning man, which that's a big part of my story. I was a big hippie. My brother says I'm a recovering hippie. Which I think is great. And I had always gone to Bernie man, and I would always talk about how like, oh man, I wanna find my true self. And it's like, it's really cheesy to say that. And you hear that in recovery a lot, but I really feel like I'm starting to get to be my true self in that. I'm learning to not be the lead singer all the time. If that makes sense, like to be the tambourine player, like kind of be on the side and not be the center intention all the time, but to also realize that I can be the center of attention and I can be an extreme amount of fun without having the drugs be part of it. And I. Really in love right now with the fact that I can just know when I'm done being somewhere. I actually went out to a place last night that my friend wanted to go and I can just feel when I walk into a place and there's cocaine in the room, you know, I just know that feeling. And I was just like, I'm done with this place. I'm not here. This place makes me sad. And so I love that feeling of not being a hanger owner, to other people who are supposedly the people you're supposed to be hanging out with, like just being completely free to do whatever I want. And I love not having to have sex with someone or do drugs with someone, or do shots with someone to fill self worth mm-hmm to know that I have worth, and I have, I'm a valid person. Regardless of whatever drugs or alcohol they're doing. I know myself. It doesn't feel good every day. There's some days that are very difficult, but I think that's just humans. Shit, I

Steve:

guess. Yeah. And I mean, you mentioned how sex and sexuality like played a role in your addiction. Can you go a little bit more into how you feel like that affected?

Kevin:

Oh, yeah. I mean I had so much shame, you know, I remember I used to know this guy named Joey. He worked with me in New York when I was 24 and he was sober and I asked him, he was just the cutest. He looked like Joey from friends, ironically, but this was before friends and he used to say, oh honey, we got so much shame. You know, he used to drive a Camaro in Brooklyn. He was just the perfect role model of, of. So Brad sobriety and he's right. There's so much shame. Part of it is being Southern Baptist. Part of it is just being gay. I mean, I think that is a part of, you know, being a, you know, not of the natural order, I mean, and just living a completely different life. And then when you go to the bars and. It's just, it's an interesting life and there's a lot of shame and, and awkwardness. And so sex, I always say sex is the currency for gay men. You know some of us start out life with a big handful of cash with sexual currency, right. They're just gorgeous and beautiful bodies and big penises or whatever, you know, pecks, whatever you got beautiful hair. I mean, and so you use your currency to get what you need or to. Attain things. And I did that, you know, and, and I, I look back now, you know, what I really did was I, I squandered a lot of my life not dating, you know, I, I, I, I didn't know. I still, to this day, really don't know how to date. I'm just now learning how to date, because I was always. Oh, I can separate my sex from my sex, you know, from my relationships and, and then drugs. I think one of the reasons I went out in, in, in 2013 and started 12 and started drinking again is because it facilitates sexual encounters so much. I mean, bars are where you get laid, right? And then you do the drugs and the drugs, you know, you do drugs together and then you have sex and it feels good. You know, I'm not, this is not just me saying that this is a phenomenon of drug abuse, especially crystal meth in the gay community. It's like, you know, Kim sex. And of course it Joel's fucking great because it's like the base of your brain. I just had such an unhealthy relationship with it. I am just now at 42 years old, starting to, you know, take that, take that apart and really look at it. And part of that for me, was to put down the apps I took a two year of no sex. And, and I did a little over a year and a half of like, no anything, which I know I'm getting into specifics, but these are things that were very, very dear to me. These are very, very important things that I did for a long time. And now I'm even looking at like pornography. Like when I came home from GSM, I was like, There are so many beautiful men in this world. And I am an attractive, healthy man. I do not need to watch people on a computer screen doing things like I need to have encounters in my life and, and fantasize about those encounters and not fantasize about things which are unreachable for me, things which are unattainable, which is what pornography is. So I'm constantly in this, like, I'm blessed to have a sponsor. Who's like an old hippy himself. Mm-hmm and he had like 10 years of sexual sobriety. So he has taken away all my fun. I can't even get laid without now. I say that I joke, but it's not, it's not taking away the fun. It's making me a healthier person. And I'm starting to see the benefits of that. You know, I have a, a, a relationship that's there that I'm not sure about yet, but. Some real love there. And then, you know, I get to meet people like you and have boundaries between what, you know, like all these people that I meet on the, that retreat. Like I don't have to have sex with those people to make a connection. Like that's, that's some fucking growth, you know? Yeah.

Steve:

It certainly isn't, it's, it's beautiful. And yeah, it was interesting that seeing the dichotomy of people who had no boundaries and people who had boundaries and in some ways it was almost. Like, I felt a, a better connection or like a deeper connection with people when there were those boundaries in place than when people were like, all bets are off. Take me.

Kevin:

Right. And one of the things I wanted to say too is like, you know, after being a gay GSM with you and then like going to these workshops, which were very sexually explicit, you know, like it's just these people, like you said, with no boundaries and also just like, no, I mean, they're just so open sexually. And then I go to. It was bear. Whatever the hell it was this weekend here. Some kind of bear thing, and I'm in the pool and there's all this sex around me. It just, it becomes so overwhelming. And then it's like, there's this need for me to say to myself, well, I can do all this X, Y, Z, because all these people are like doing all kinds of crazy shit. They're, they're, they're doing all this kink and fetish and orgies and, you know, but that's kind of the same as going to a bar and saying, well, I'm an alcoholic. But Bob over there, he vomits on the bar every night. Like that's not what it's about. What it's about is what's going on in your life. It's not book it's about like how bad Bob of isn't of an alcoholic. And I think with sex, I'm very easy to do that. You know, mm-hmm well, I'm not having anonymous gang bang. Well, that's good for you, Kevin, you know, because that's very far from where you need to be, but, you know, you're having trouble being a monogamous partner. I mean, you know, I've had trouble not cheating on partners most of my life, and I'm not proud to say that, but I have a theory that if you're a ho 24 7, just because you fall in love does not mean you're gonna stop being a hoe. Just like if you don't know. Balance a checkbook. When you get a relationship, you're not gonna know how to balance a checkbook. I don't believe in the whole, if I find the right person thing, I think that's a lie that we tell to ourselves that fails a lot. And so I'm practicing like those skills now, so that when I am with someone, but yeah, I mean, like, it's just so weird. Our community's just so sexually, you know, so sexually free that it's hard to, to like kind. Set boundaries without feeling like a prude or, you know or like comparing yourself to someone else. Yeah.

Steve:

Certainly. And, and talks about like skills that you learn in your sobriety. What are some practices you use in your daily life to help keep you sober?

Kevin:

Oh, this is the part where I'm supposed to talk about how I pray daily and meditate, which I don't and I should, but no, I mean, I know I do have a lot of skills. I don't pray and meditate daily, but I do pray. Quite often, I pray specific things. Like if I saw my ex at a bar the other night and the moment I saw him, there's awkwardness and I prayed for our relationship and we ended up having a great conversation later. Anyway. I pray when I think about something right then immediately I pray about it. I pray when I'm angry. I pray when I'm at work and I'm stressed, which is a lot, cuz I'm an ICU nurse. But I have not gotten a daily prayer and meditation set up. One thing I do do daily is I journal. I'm a big believer in journaling, especially your first year in our country. Like you need to write down that crazy shit that's going in your head. Cause it is like. I saw a play recently that was like eight people inside of this one person's head. And that is what it's like when you're sober. My sponsor says a lot, like that's your committee talking? And sometimes putting the committee's words down the paper is very helpful. So I do suggest to people, if you're in your first year, please, Please write down your thoughts. And then just for fun. And a few years later, if you stay sober, you can go back and read 'em and it's just a shit show. It's just very entertaining as well. And you can read 'em to your sponsor or response feed. Other things I do is I go to a meeting every day. I go to a meeting. I go to straight meetings, which is, which is kind of unusual, I guess, cause I got sober the first time for five years in gay rooms. I go to straight meetings. usually go to a noon. There's also an 8:00 PM meeting. I'm very blessed to have be in a city like Atlanta that has really good recovery. So it's like the noon crew is a completely different crew from the 8:00 PM crew. And there's a lot of young men that are like fresh outta rehab and just, they need adult males in their life. And it's been really good for me to kind of touch on like back to the sex thing. It's like, Gorgeous straight men a lot of times. And I can't tell you if you're gay and you're in recovery. If you're listening to this, if you have trouble with boundaries with, with men, Not, you know, not knowing how to sexualize everyone go to some straight meetings. It's very, very, it's been very, very beneficial to me to go to straight meetings and learn how to like talk to these like sometimes 23, 24 year olds, beautiful straight men, and realize that I have something to give them that doesn't have to do with sex. Mm-hmm I have experienced strength and. Sometimes they need a ride. Sometimes they need, need to buy lunch. They may be embarrassed to ask, but some of them are broke and some of them have kids. And so anyway, there's a lot of help that's needed in the gay community. But I, I, I, I really have benefited from going to a meeting at least a meeting a day. Sometimes they go to two meetings. So journaling is number one meeting a day. also, I, lastly, I have these little books, like Hazelden sells them. Mm-hmm and there's one by Hazelden that has like a rainbow flag on the front. I don't know. Like, I think they, maybe, maybe you got one at that retreat. Yeah. They were

Steve:

giving them out. It's like the glad daily reflections. I

Kevin:

don't know if you've looked at that that much, but that one was really, is really, really good to me. And it has like a little quote and I'm a poet person. I love poetry. And so it has like these little quotes and then sometimes it'll have like a little poem or it'll have whatever. I'm a big believer in poetry, cuz to me like poetry is like a literary meme. It's like, I can look. A five line thing and I get the meaning of it. And a lot of those from that Hazelden book have that. And so I will usually read that once a day and I have several, those, I have a Hazelden one, I have a non AA like religious one. So those are three things that I do. That those are three things I do. You know, want to get my goal one day is to have like an altar in my home, I just have like a studio now, like aloft kind of thing. So it's like hard to have like a really that might creep people out, but to have like these beautiful religious things that I've picked up in my travels, like in the Southwest and to have just a beautiful area that I can go to and like light a candle and some instance, and like really. Be alone with my higher power. That's that's some goals, some sobriety goal shit.

Steve:

Yeah. Certainly as I'm looking ahead at my, my husband's little altar with all of his crystals and stuff,

Kevin:

I thought about your husband. I can't wait to meet him. I know we're just gonna be a BFS. If we meet, I know. And I'm gonna be all about altars and crystals and I'm going to new Orleans. I start in new Orleans on the 20. Excellent. As a travel assignment. So I'm going to collect maybe, maybe got me a little alligator head and some a voodoo do voodoo. Yeah. Some, some mall to go for my my next alter that my mother says is devil worship shit. Yeah.

Steve:

And you know, as much as a lot of our listen, the listeners of this podcast have some time under their belt. We also do happen to attract a lot of newcomer. What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone who's newly sober or considering trying it out.

Kevin:

Well, first of all, to the newcomers, I had a really good conversation yesterday with someone who isn't in recovery. I had a lot of talks with people who knew me from the bars. Cause I was actually back at my old bars that I had not gone to. They were saying like the LGBT community is like exploding right now with recovery. Like you guys just. You bitches that are new, like especially the younger guys, like the grinder is your world is an oyster, you know, the world is your oyster, like recovery for L G people. Like it's, there's a new understanding. I think people are gonna respect it. Like even on the apps you can put sober on there. Like so for as, as to do with L G B T like. You're in a new day where that doesn't, you know, one of the tips I always tell people is you don't have to tell everyone your story. You don't have to tell everyone you meet that you're sober and that you flip the car over and that you stole your cash from your grandmother's bank account. Like you don't have to tell every person that you meet, what you can say is I'm doing this spiritual thing. I don't drink cause of that. I don't do drugs because. I had a health scare. And if they asked you to just be like, I don't really want to share my healthcare. It's just like my health, you know, like people don't have to know everything about you. Because what I find in our community is that so many people are, are sick in, in terms of substance abuse, but they have no fucking clue that they're sick. But then when you tell them you're in recovery, they're like, oh, this person's really sick. And it's just kind of ironic because like, you know, they'll be like, I didn't know you had a problem and you just wanna say, well, I've known you for 10 years, girl, you got a problem. You know, you wanna say that to a lot of people. So I've just found that for me, what's best is go to a party. If you have to go to a party and just like not everyone notices that you're not drinking, like that's something or not everyone notices that you're not using drugs. That's one tip is that you don't have to tell your story to everybody. My other tip is that you You don't have to go to those places like your gay. Yes. Oh, you gotta go to the gay bar. You don't have to go to the gay bar. You don't have to go to those spaces, especially if you have problems with meth or cocaine, like, please do not go to those places. Like alcohol. She's a little trickier, cuz it's everywhere. Right? You gotta go to Applebee sometimes for a work meeting and there's those big fishbowl things. I mean, there's drinking everywhere. But you do not have enough. I used to tell my sponsors, do you never have enough sobriety to go to a meth party? Mm-hmm you just don't you, you, you do not have. Sobriety to go sit around with a bunch of people doing cocaine off of a, a mirror. And you don't have enough sobriety to sit around and do shots with people and then just drink water. Like you don't need to be there. And what I have found is that my higher power took me away from those places. And he helped with COVID cause he closed them down for a few years. But when I got away from those places, I, I learned. The things that I'm passionate about, I found even more passion for, you know, I go to ballet, I go to theater. I go to, I went to a drag race thing with my brother the other day and drove on a race track in a fucking muscle car. Go to a NASCAR event, go to a rodeo, go to. The opera I've been to the opera. You can even go. If you live in some small town, you can go to the theater and sometimes they play the opera and you can watch the New York city opera on the theater go. If you like politics, go to your local politics and, and volunteer as a politics, you know, doing something in politics. And this is where you're going to meet people. They may not be gay and they may not be as fabulous as you want 'em to be. But these are people who are gonna be in your life, who care, who are gonna care about you. Cause they're connected with you other than just that you're sharing a bag of Coke in a bathroom at Blake's. I mean, these are people who you have common interest in, and these are people you're going to end up. Kissing and dating too. This is where you meet people who you, you know, all these people at the conference, you know, you were laughing. We were laughing about me not having the apps and like, how do you meet people? I'm like the last night I was there, this guy comes and sit down next to me. And he has a single ticket. He's 30 years old. He's from Florida, which everybody I meets from Florida, but he's from Florida and he's handsome and he is there and he loves Cedar, you know? And so we both hit it off, like, and spent the night, walked around the village together. That had nothing to do with drugs that had nothing to do with alcohol. It had nothing to do with the gay bar. He was another gay human being. And you know, we're, we're in a different time. There's gay people everywhere. So my advice is you don't have to tell everybody your, your story and you need to change your playground and your place friends, not just to stay sober, but also it's gonna open your life up. Yeah. Because if you're like me, you sat at that fucking bar, you know, watching terrible television. While it's playing and you're drinking and mind you $7, a glass of your money is going down your throat. You know, that was my life for a long time. And so it's really great to have, you know, all these places, the world's might, you know, open to me. So those are two really good tips, cuz if you continue to go to the, like, I used to go to the gay campgrounds and I had so much. I had a camper. I had a cowboy hat. I was camping all the time, but I haven't been camping like that since I got sober, but twice, but I just can't keep doing that. If I kept doing that, I, I drink at camp.

Steve:

Yeah. I understand. I mean, definitely changing your surroundings helps, but also, especially the whole, like, you don't need to tell everyone your story was a lesson that took me some time to learn

Kevin:

it like it does.

Steve:

Like I remember those first 90 days, it like, I would like preemptively people wouldn't even have to ask me while I'm not drinking. I was like so insecure that everyone was watching me not drink that. Like I was like, the solution is to preemptively, tell everyone that I'm not drinking and why I'm not drinking. And what happens when I drink and like, learning that like, Not everyone needs to hear all of that. Like not everyone cares about all that. Like now, now I go out and like, I was at a networking event, I think Thursday night and like not a single person brought it up, cuz like no one noticed in a room of like 60, 70 people that I wasn't drinking, even though everyone had a drink in their hands, like it just wasn't a thing. So I've learned that. Yeah. You know, the person who's most insecure about you're not drinking is typically you.

Kevin:

Oh yeah. Well, I mean. I think that's a hard lesson to learn. You know, they say it in AA a lot. It's like you're not the most important person in the world and you're not like the least important person in the world. I'm not quoting it correctly. Mm-hmm but it's like, you're just another bozo on the bus, right? Like you're just another person and people don't give a. They do not give a shit. The people who know you, especially the ones who saw you being a drunk. Like they, they care because they'll be like, oh, she's sober now, or she's not drinking. Cause if you have made an ass of yourself in front of people at bars, you know, they'll they'll know because they're gonna notice how you act because you've shown them your behavior before. So sometimes they notice and then like my close friends will notice obviously, but. Somebody, some cute guy you met at the bar. He does not give a shit whether you're drinking or not. And now that may come up, if you start dating someone and stuff, and then like I've found, if you meet people that are really bothered by it, then they're probably not who I wanna hang out with anyway, because you know, that's, that's a little. Heavier emphasis on alcohol than I want. But yeah, I mean, I think one, I can remember I was going to church at this local great church that I go to here Buckhead church in Atlanta. And they were doing some volunteering stuff and I got in the car and these two girls were with me and we were like going to do some volunteering and. Habitat for humanity or something. I just started telling them and I look back I'm like, they probably felt like they were trapped in the car with like an Amway salesman. Like I was like selling AA and going on those poor women, you know? And, and it's like, I laugh at that. That was ago. It's like, I'm kind of very much the opposite of that this time. This go round. I don't put my recovery on Facebook. I don't put it on social media. I'm speaking just for me. If you do that, I'm not judging you. Feel free to do whatever makes you happy. I will say this. If you put your sobriety, let let's say for example, I have a very close person in my life who has like 300,000 followers on his TikTok. Cause he had like a TikTok about his mom having an Alzheimer's or whatever. And. He's got like 300,000 people that are following 'em. I'm like if you relapse 300,000 people are gonna know mm-hmm or they're gonna be asking you, or you're gonna have to pretend like you're still sober. Or if they know you have a year, then the next year, if they're still following you and you're celebrating three months, these are just things to think about. You know? I obviously at my two year celebration, I COVID was kind of still going on. I didn't really have a big celebration. I. Should I I'm talking to my parents. I'm like, should I put something on there? Cause like, I'm, they're like, well, you know, I, it is just a hard decision, you know, maybe a nurse, I don't want people to have assumptions about, you know, how that it could have been impacted my work. So I'm very careful, but whatever you feel free to do, you know, the thing to remember in recovery is you can do whatever the fuck you want, but there's consequences to everything and you gotta live with them. So it's a good thing about being sober is you can realize. I'm making this decision. It may be a bad decision and I'll have to deal with it. I don't want putting your social media or putting yourself out there. Sobriety wise is not a bad decision, but it's just something you have to deal with the ramification stuff. Yeah.

Steve:

I, I agree. And it's been tricky. Like I know what one of the workshops that, that was like the bulk of the conversation was about social media and sobriety. But I'm interested, especially being a, such a poet and a man of the world. In recovery, we generally love our steps, traditions, and sayings. Do you have a favorite mantra or quote that you like to live by?

Kevin:

Oh my God. Just, just gonna throw it out there. Cause it's like my first podcast ever, but my favorite poet is Dorian Locke. If anybody ever gets a chance to look her up, I just love poetry and Favorite saying Jesus that's like picking like your favorite child, right? Yeah. You know your favorite harness? The, it there's so many sayings, but I do, I do think keep coming back is like really the core of AA. Yeah. Because I've shared yesterday, everybody was sharing all this. Like, I'm so grateful. And I said, you know, if some of you were in here and you feel like shit, and you're not happy to be here, it's okay to, because this time when I came in, it was cold and nobody was friendly to me. And I was not a happy person. I did not want to get sober. Mm-hmm but I keep, I kept coming back and then, you know there's so, I mean, there really is so many. Keep coming back and don't leave before the miracle happened, you know? And the miracles are very small than AA compared to like bright light miracles. To me, it's very small, but like GSM was a miracle to me. Yeah. That retreat was a miracle to me because I walked down. In front of a million people or however many hundreds of thousands of people with my shirt off at 42, you know, with a sign that says, I have a problem with substances is gay and sober. You know, like you know, with a, with a. With a fan that had a rainbow on it. You know, I was so hung up on like mask and F you know, like, because I was just, you know, I grew up in Alabama, I had to protect myself and thought that that was what it was all about was being masculine and walking down there with this queer flag. And, you know, that's a miracle, that's a miracle to me. The fact that I didn't die in my car accident is a miracle and those are small. Like, I guess that's not a small miracle, but the other saying, oh, I wish I had prepared for that because I have a whole little notebook full of things, but I don't know. They're, they're all beautiful. And I I'll say this, every meeting that I go to, it may not be a great meeting. Like there's a few where there's like a personality that just turns me off, like cuz there's showboating or whatever, or doing some behaviors that I probably have done in the past. But. every meeting. There's some person who stands up and says, or says something that sticks out to me and what I love about my clubhouse and what I love about it. And it is a straight meeting and that's why I love it is like it could be a homeless guy. Like we have a lot of Vance that come in to where I go and it could be him, or it could be a little old black lady that cooked at the hospital for 45 years. And some of the most simple things I've heard from like an old working class guy, like my father kind of guy. And he, I remember one time this guy stood up and he is like, I'm just here because I'm tired of putting important on things that don't matter, you know? And that's really what recovers about like alcohol and drugs do not matter. There. There's such a waste of, of this little bit of life that we have, you know? Yeah. I mean, I wish I had more written down, but that's

Steve:

okay. I've a million. You could save it for the next time you come back on. Yep. And thank you so much for being on Kevin. I also wanna give a special shout out to Brandy Joe for joining our Patreon family. And if you're interested in joining for more exclusive content and behind the scenes, as well as the after show that Kevin and I are about to record about all the crazy shenanigans we got up to in New York city last week, it's gonna be dirty. It is. You can do that by joining the Patreon page, www.patreon.com/gay a podcast. Meanwhile, if you're interested in sharing your story, getting involved with the show or just saying hi, you can email me at GAA podcast, gmail.com or engage on Instagram GAA podcast. and lastly, follow us wherever you're listening so you can get new episodes when they come out every Thursday until next time stay sober friends.