AA Speaker Meeting – The Gold Digging Irishman (Steps 1-12)

March 16, 2021

The gold digging irishman is shared by a man from Ireland who came from a good family with good siblings. He was and currently still is the only man in his family that has the disease of alcoholism. He has declared himself alcoholic by the age of 18 but had to be brought to rock bottom, which wasn’t until he was in his late 40’s, to find alcoholics anonymous. He shared a quite comical idea of trying to find wealthy women in order to get by on his drinking problem.

The Gold Digging Irishman Transcript

The transcript from the audio is slightly edited for readability

Yeah my name is (hidden) and I’m an alcoholic. I’d just like to say to anybody that’s on their way back in after a relapse or call it what you will. Or if there are any newcomers who are in here, just look for the similarities in the stories, rather than the differences. I can’t emphasis that enough because when I got to my first meeting which is a fair time ago now, I certainly didn’t like the life that I was leading. I was at a point where I was desperate, absolutely desperate. I didn’t know if I’d be able to stay in alcoholics anonymous. I had no idea what alcoholics anonymous was all about really. Only like a surface thing where, you know. I knew some famous people who have tried it. and some it had worked for them and some it had hadn’t. But a short investigation about what it did, what it is, and what it does was something I was scared of looking at because I wasn’t exposed to any recovery until I got to my first meeting, which has been quite a long time ago now.

Coming up on twenty one (21) years now, that’s by the grace of God in this fellowship and the people that I met in it. I got in here after I was 49 (years old) when I came in here. What happened was I led this life where I was sort like a crisis management from day to day, week to week, from the ages of seventeen or eighteen right up until forty nine (years old).

What I’ve found over that time was like in the early days, I loved to drink because it changed the way I felt and it changed the way I could be in the world for a certain amount of time. While I was taking the stuff on board it made me more outgoing. It was easier to talk to the opposite sex. I fitted in better with the friends that I had and I don’t suppose it’s that much different to the loads of others here tonight.


My story is that I come from a loving family background. My mother and my father were like.. they were decent hard working people. Like I never saw it like that as I was growing up. I seemed to fit in with my family and after I passed a certain age from after 12 years old, it was like I was uncomfortable where ever I was, you know? And I was a day dreamer and I thought that I had the answer to everything.. and uh, I knew more than every body else for some reason..

I don’t know where the idea come from but I had this idea if I couldn’t work out what people were trying to teach me then it wasn’t worth knowing. That was my idea. As I said, I came from a loving family background this was all going on under the surface. I always had quite a lot of fear in social situations, even in my family situations. I’m one of four brothers. I’ve got 2 older and 1 younger. God bless them, none of them are alcoholic. In my years, between… say 18 when I was getting really drunk regularly. I had a job. I had a good job. I was training. I enjoyed doing what I was doing but I wasn’t prepared to put the effort in required to move forward. As I found the drink what I found about drink was it just changed me from the time that I was drinking to the time when I was drunk. I wanted to be like that all the time. That’s how I wanted to feel all the time.

From my early drinking experiences, which were probably alcoholic. I wasn’t someone who could go out in the evening with absolute points because I had to go to work early the next day. I’d go out with the intention of not drinking much or, you know, being steady or maybe meeting someone here or there, or where ever.

Well what used to happen is..

I’d go out I’d have one (drink), as soon as a couple past my lips I wanted more and more and more and usually it meant that I would run out of money or I was helped by school friends. I thought it was like an easy going thing, I could always get more work when I needed it to pay whatever bills were required of me. I was in at home most of the time so I could pay what I needed for my keep and then the rest of it was always down in the pub and it was down in the pub in the early days. Up until the age of 28 or 30 I lived this selfish life where I was doing exactly what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. What ever relationships I had, with like you know, a girlfriend, never lasted because I felt more about seeking out my using comfortably. I wouldn’t go anywhere without the drink to about the age of 30.

I didn’t have a good job I was working on laboring jobs, manual work and stuff like that. So I took on a training thing where I went to train to be in the construction industry as a carpenter and after I came out of that, I started working for local builders and stuff like that. I was very unreliable, every time I went out and took a drink, the next day you couldn’t guarantee whether I’d be here or not be here. So I went on like that up until the age of say 30 years old and then I did get into a serious relationship. She had a young son and I was with her for about 12 or 15 months. She turned around to me and said, “look I want to marry and get on with it.” I was like, I couldn’t be dealing with that you know.. cause I realized I couldn’t take responsibility for myself, let alone for herself and her child. Providing for them, it’s not what I saw as my future, so basically I just dumped her. And then, I told myself I was doing a noble thing letting her go because I was giving her a chance to get back with her husband.

It (actually) had nothing to do with that. It was just I didn’t want the responsibility of a commitment to someone on an ongoing basis like that. By this stag I was easily a candidate for these groups. I was probably a candidate for these rooms when I was 18. As soon as I started drinking I was out of control with it. There was absolutely nothing I could do. My idea would have been to met some one that was super rich and got them to provide for me for the rest of my life so I could get drunk and do exactly that. Drink what ever I wanted whenever I wanted to. That’s basically how I thought about then, but I never really took stock in myself and thought, “you got a drink problem” and you need to do something about it.

There was a time when I was 30 and around that time I thought, “I know I drink too much”. Probably, you know a lot more than what’s good for me because I was not like my friends from school nor my work friends. The loads of people around me were living normal lives. That’s to say, they were responsible adults that were getting married, they were having children – houses, cars.. and all responsible jobs that went with it. Oh it was never going to be for me, let me tell you. I was in this cycle of seeking out drink when ever I could get it. I don’t know, I lived like that for a long time. From the age of maybe 35 to when I got to my first AA meeting and you know, you would have thought that I led some sort of life, but I just described the life that I lived. Which a lot of it, I didn’t know what I was doing from one week to the next. But when physically the drink got really bad with me I was drinking against my will, I’ll put it like that. I would pick a drink up and three weeks later I just couldn’t put it down. It was like it had me, I was full of fear and terror because I could see that I was in big trouble and I didn’t know what to do about it. I never asked for help. My family watched on this. My mother and father, all through my drinking at one time or another – they were helpful; useful trying to do the best for me. It must have been exasperating having this son living a life that was just leading this life of being wasteful.

Anyway, I’m glad it got to the way that it got to because it gave me the rock bottom that I needed to do something about it when I got to my first AA meeting. Well, I got to my first meeting. I was terrified, I was full of fear and all that. I heard what the people said in the meetings and they were talking about pretty much what my life was like before they got to AA or before they stopped and got recovery. They spoke about what they did to recover and what their lives are like now.

If I had had any sense, I would have wanted what they had but I didn’t really understand what they had. I didn’t know what a normal life was like. It says it in the book that our drinking lives become the norm for us and that’s what it became for me. Anyway, it was what it was. It took a long time before I got to AA and I’m just grateful that I got into AA, when I got into AA. I got to my first meeting and I heard a guy do a share and all that and I thought it was fantastic. It was unbelievable to me. These people were sober for 2 weeks, a month, 6 months. How can you stay sober for any amount of time at all? If I had money, I was going to be drinking and it was just a matter of degree, how drunk I was going to get

But anyway..

I got into AA and I got to my first few meetings and there were a lot of people at the meetings and most of the people that seemed to be doing better than others were people that had been through the steps and they got a sponsor. Because the process of going through the steps for them was something that gave them a chance in life. They got new lives. That’s what I wanted, so that’s what I did. I got myself someone to show me the steps. He asked me a few questions like, “are you willing to go to any lengths?” And I replied yes to that and then he gave me a set of things to do, like praying in the morning on my knees. Reading the book alcoholics anonymous to find out about what the meaning was. Reading the Just for Today card and the reflections and spiritual readings to get me to change bit by bit. The mindset that I had was full on self-centeredness. I got 2 groups where I could serve as tea maker, sweeping up, and putting the chairs out. Anything..

I was to get there early so I could be of service as much as possible and stay after to sort of help with the meeting. My sponsor started taking me through the steps. I went through the first three steps quite quickly and it didn’t take a lot of convincing. I was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanageable. So I had the acceptance of my unmanageability and we went on to step 2. Do you believe in a power greater than yourself? I have no religious background. I believed in a God, but it was a foxhole God where you say, “please help me out”, you know, “get me out of this one”, “and I won’t do it again”

I did it again and again, and again, and again, but all I needed to do was get on my knees and ask this higher power or God, whatever it was to help me stay sober so I could be of use. So that really was my step two. I mean the insanity of it. I’ve been living this life. I didn’t know how to ask for help and I knew nothing about recovery. And I knew very little about how to live my life. Bills were a pain, I never had a enough money no matter how much money I had. It was just a crazy way to live. I went on to step 3. I had to hand my life over and that’s where the power comes from, the courage if you like – to go through the steps. Because I looked at the steps and typical, selfish, self-centered me was saying, “I ain’t doing step 4, I ain’t telling no one nothing about my past life” but what my sponsor explained to me, he said just do up to step 3 and see how you get on. And once I started on that, I just got on with it and it took me ages because I was balking at putting down stuff that I had guilt and shame of. But anyway, I got it down.

Once I got it down, I took a lot of power out of it and I was ready to go, knocking on door to step 5 and I shared it in step 5. It was a fantastic step of improvement for me. Absolutely fantastic. Doing step 4, I was introduced to step 10 at the same time. I could honestly take inventory in myself and see how my behavior was the cause of how people reacted to me. I was expecting people to live up to principles that I wasn’t prepared to live up to myself.

So I went on in steps 6 and 7 to ask for my character defects and shortcomings be removed. Then we got to step 8. It was a painful step. I’ve never looked at myself before. I was like,

“is this what I was like?”

“is this how my mother and father felt”

How I’d a felt if they had done that to me. And then, step 9. There wasn’t hundreds of amends to be made. I thought there were probably about 20 or so. There was some stealing and dishonesty with my taxes and all my affairs needed to be straightened out. I had some personal ones with my family. And over the next 2 years I did most of them. All the amends to my family was just to do the next right thing and be the best person I can on a daily basis. What I do, is I still take inventory on myself. I still see it like I have a lot of self pity for myself. You know, poor me thing. But I got a problem with defects of character that they talked about in the book. I got a problem so I have to look at myself and then ask for them to be removed.

Step 11, I’ve tried to expand my conscience contact with this God. I do so with the meditation part in the morning, I’m on my knees in the morning and what I do is I ask for help via the step 3 prayer and I just listen to what my higher power has to say to me about other situations and people, places, and things.

Step 12 for me is a very empowering step because if I am helping others then I’m not thinking about myself all the time, which is my natural state, really. Still to think like the world owes me a living and these types of things. But I need to be practicing these last steps to the best of my ability. I know I’ve gone on long enough, so I better not take up much more of my time. Just to say, this is the best thing I’ve ever done in me life by far and this is the only way I could stop drinking. This is the only way I could get any sort of sobriety and peace of mind which I do have in long periods. I do help others, I am a sponsor and I do it to the best of my ability. And I’ve got a person who is my sponsor so I’m not out of control and doing it my way. It has to be done. I try to live my life on spiritual principlesIt’s

I’m really grateful to be here tonight. I’m really grateful to be asked to share with you and like I say, it all comes back to the newcomers. Don’t judge AA on my share or anything like that. We all have different paths and we all have different paths getting here. And we all have different paths getting to the solution. I would already recommend you stick around, the miracle will happen for you because that’s how I feel about what’s happened to me.

It’s a miracle that I’ve been able to have a joyous and happy life over the last 20 years. Mostly what I have done, is that I’ve kept coming back and what I have done in that time is that I’ve tried to use the tools that I was freely given.

I mean, what a program!

You don’t pay for any of this stuff. Look it, you just go to a meeting. You want help, you get help. You stay on long enough to get through the steps and continue on and then you just keep getting help. This is a marvelous fellowship, I can’t praise it high enough.

Thanks everybody for listening.

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