The Boiled Owl
The Boiled Owl is hosted by Don and Sam, both members of Alcoholics Anonymous who like listening to other alcoholics’ experience, strength, and hope.
We both do this often via podcasts and speaker tapes (well, CDs and MP3s) while working or driving.
Thanks for letting us be part of your recovery and for being part of ours! Head over to aagrapevine.org/podcast for the brand new AA Grapevine Half-Hour Variety Hour podcast. Don and Sam will be hosting this weekly 30-minute podcast starting 04OCT2021.
2 min 1 sec
Susan started drinking at 13. The last 8 years of her drinking were daily drinking. She started trying to get sober in 1986. She called all the alcohol help numbers in the phone book, spoke with a woman for a while, and felt hope. Keeping her drinking life hidden from her mother, she called and told her about her drinking problem. Susan's sobriety date is 07MAY1988 and her homegroup is Down & Dirty in Greensboro, NC. Be sure to listen through the end of this episode. There's news!
53 min 22 sec
Kip was introduced to AA in prison in 1989. He was in and out five times. He had lost all power of choice to drink or not. "If God and church can't fix me, surely Alcoholics Anonymous can't do it." Kip got married and divorced in sobriety and is dating again in recovery. Kip's sobriety date is 08JUL2010 and his homegroup is the New South Group in High Point, NC.
50 min 23 sec
First, a special announcement about the AA Grapevine Podcast! Also, we *finally* realized fans of the show are... OWLCOHOLICS! Welcome to the Boiled Tao! Buddy, a return guest, talks about some of the rough times at the end of his drinking. He had to change/lose his old beliefs in God. We chat about how the Tao Te Ching has added to his recovery, leading him to start his own podcast about it and even to write a book. Buddy's sobriety date is 10NOV2008 and his homegroup is Centre Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in Centre, Alabama.
49 min 8 sec
Caroline stopped drinking for 18 months with a program. She went to AA meetings out of town and picked up a 1-year chip at her first meeting. Heads turned. She was miserable - getting divorced, she had thoughts of suicide and called someone in recovery. She went to a meeting and picked up a start chip. Caroline's sobriety date is 31AUG2008 and her homegroup is Keeping It Green in Greensboro, NC
52 min 56 sec
Perry didn't lose his wife, his home, or his job, but he was spiritually bankrupt - a shell of a person. All the things he'd accomplished seemed worthless now. "Drinking overshadowed everything good about me." His good career in the United States Marine Corps was getting in the way of his drinking. Perry's sobriety date is 25AUG2017 and his home group is Early Bird in Greensboro, NC.
45 min 9 sec
Claudette moved to Tacoma, WA, 6 years ago, with 30 years of sobriety. She found it difficult connecting with AA there because it was different. Work with another alcoholic helped her remember what it was like. Claudette became afraid of her behavior when drinking in public. She came to AA by way of Al-Anon. As an Al-Anon, she went to an open AA speaker meeting. Claudette's sobriety date is 01JUN1985 and her home group is Women in Emotional Sobriety in Tacoma, WA.
59 min 7 sec
Steven was introduced to AA at age 13. He was forced to go into an all-boys recovery facility. The "Living Sober" book was good for him - easy to digest and identify with. He experienced old-school AA in Carson, NV. He identified with an LGBT story in the back of the Big Book. The nearest LGBT meeting was 45 miles away. Steven's home group is the Wednesday Night Book Study in Alejo in Palm Springs, CA. His sobriety date is 24APR2018.
56 min 4 sec
Katherine called herself an alcoholic as a joke for years before coming to AA. She tried controlled drinking and also moved out of state away from family so she could drink how she wanted. Katherine has a fantastic first-meeting story! Principles of recovery helped her with going through getting a new job during the COVID pandemic. Katherine's sobriety date is 15SEP2010 and her homegroup is Keeping It Green in Greensboro, NC.
1 hr 3 min
Sherman has a sereneness and calmness in his life. He grew up in an alcoholic home. The chaos was bad. He started drinking and liked the chaos. He got sober and saw the chaos as wreckage. When he was a kid, he went to AA with his dad. The speakers' stories brought him in. Sherman got COVID-19 and realized the value of life. Sherman's sobriety date is 01APR1994 and his home group is the Agnostics, Atheists, Freethinkers AA Group in Asheville, NC.
57 min 49 sec
OUR 100TH EPISODE! Thanks for joining us! Two months after turning 21, Michael was told he was an alcoholic after starting a fire at university. He took alcoholism classes in his early 30s. Michael also used cocaine to drink more. He drank in isolation due to his guilt and shame about how he let his parents down. Michael's sobriety date is 29OCT2009 and his home group is Early Bird / AA Zoomaholics in Greensboro, NC.
55 min 50 sec
Julie's cat told her she was alcoholic. As a child, she went to her father's sobriety anniversary celebration and there was CAKE! As an adult, she went to an AA meeting on the recommendation of a counselor. It was an anniversary celebration meeting and there was FOOD! (What's with all the food?!) At her second meeting, she felt the love and hope in the room. Julie's sobriety date is 08MAY2005 and her home group is Turning Point in Raleigh, NC.
1 hr 5 min
Jen didn't like the taste of alcohol and drank it for the effect. She knew her father was an alcoholic, so was scared of it and wouldn't try it. Then she did and went downhill quickly. At 10 years sober, she was prescribed Xanax and took it fine... until she didn't. Jen's sobriety date is 08MAY2018 and her home group is Durham Central in Durham, NC.
Brian lost the desire to drink when he cried out for help. He still smoked marijuana but came to feel conflicted about smoking it - it felt dishonest. He got a case of beer for Christmas AND a Big Book. He drank and read. Brian recently launched his own recovery podcast, Addiction Warfare, and you can find it on your fav podcast platforms. Brian's sobriety date is 18MAR2009 and his home group is the Saturday Morning Men's Meeting in Greensboro, NC.
59 min 8 sec
Jerri was in denial about being an alcoholic. She'd gone through cancer and was trying to force things to be like they used to be. A nurse, she knew how to dose, but almost overdosed drinking and taking pills to cope. She went to a meeting where she heard exactly what she needed: shares about drinking and pills from five people. Jerri's sobriety date is 10MAR2015 and her home group is Open Door in Greensboro, NC.
52 min 24 sec
Pat's life was chaos. He tried controlled drinking at a psychiatrist's recommendation. He binge-drank on weekends. Pat was in AA for 3 years before he worked the steps and didn't feel a part of AA until he did them. Pat's sobriety date is 28JUN2009. His home group is Southport Men's Meeting in Southport, NC.
52 min 56 sec
Shana was Sam's "AA wife - assembly required" in NC. She has a few sobriety dates and once was on the "marijuana maintenance plan" for a couple of years. She fought being an alcoholic and was mad that drinking didn't work. Shana went to a roundup where she had fun and a spiritual awakening. Shana's home groups are Colors of Gratitude and Live and Let Live in Greensboro, NC (see nc23.org). Her sobriety date is 15FEB2009.
59 min 22 sec
Josh was calling his boss from jail - again - can't come to work. The beginning of the end of a spiritual crisis. The seed of AA was planted by a therapist. Years later, he decided to go. Josh made his own poker chip system. Josh's sobriety date is 07JUL2006 and his home group is the Basics Group in Durham, NC.
1 hr 14 min
Liz went to her first meeting (an open one) for someone else and heard her own stories. To Liz's thinking, binge-drinking was now the same as being alcoholic. She stopped 5 years once. Liz's home group didn't go online when COVID hit, so she started going to Shivering Denizens. Liz's sobriety date is 01FEB1979 and her home group is Shivering Denizens. (see nc23.org)
1 hr 2 min
It's 2020 and that alone is plenty of reason to publish another special. Here's an encore presentation of our 2019 production of "My Name is Ebenezer S." We wish you all a sober, safe and healthy holiday season! The owl just made some weird hooting sound - make it mean whatever you will. 🦉 "My Name is Ebenezer S." is a ghostly 12th-Step call play that's been presented by members of AA in Greensboro, NC, for many years. The script for "My Name is Ebenezer S." is available for free by request at firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to put together your own production of this fun holiday play and to put your own local flavor into it.
58 min 29 sec
Andrew had multiple relapses before recovery. Crystal meth led him to Crystal Meth Anonymous and then Alcoholics Anonymous. A doctor told him, "you always have an excuse." Andrew thought the future seemed so bleak without substances. Andrew's sobriety date is 13OCT2009 and his home group is the Gay Men's Stag Meeting at 9:30AM on Sundays in San Francisco.
48 min 49 sec
Here's our 2020 take on the "OMG It's Here Again Holiday Special" of old. We bring back Brad and Miranda for a festive chat on how to stay sober and sane during the holidays, particularly in the midst of a pandemic. All our best to you in this special extra episode!
32 min 31 sec
"Night of the Living Dead" was me at the end of my drinking. Tried everything to stop - organs failing - bad DTs to blackouts. Decided to take her life, but didn't want to leave a mess for her children. Katy's sobriety date is 05DEC2005 and her home group is Morning Meditation in Durham, NC.
1 hr 16 min
It took Katharine 20 years to get 4 years. For the first time, she seriously thought she'd die. She crawled into AA and asked for help for the first time. Before that, she'd gone to get her driver's license or thought she was hopeless. Kindness kept her coming back. Katharine's sobriety date is 14JUL2016 and her home group is Atheists, Agnostics, and Free Thinkers in Greensboro, NC.
53 min 56 sec
Program gave Doc a structure to live life: Steps on one side of his spine and Traditions on the other. When hospitalized, his doctor said, "I saved your life this time - don't know I can again." Doc knew he was an addict from age 19. He could not imagine a life without intoxicants. Doc's sobriety date is 20MAY1988 and his AA home group is the Living Sober group in Palm Springs, CA.
56 min 19 sec
Our "Stump The Thumpers" quiz show special 100% puts Don in his favorite place, Big Book trivia - especially the obscure bits. Subject to Don's madness are returning guests, Miranda, Brad, and Angela. Furthering the madness is our incredibly accurate score tabulator and former guest, Tommie. Sam just laughs a lot and practices his gameshow announcer voice. We hope you enjoy the show! (and get stumped!)
59 min 5 sec
Susan had stopped trying to control her drinking and just gave into it. She drove to a hair appointment, still drunk from the night before. As she sat in the chair, she had to look at herself - her skin color, dead eyes... She heard in her head, "Susan, go to AA.) She got sober in Kansas City, MO. Susan's sobriety date is 21JUN1997 and her home group is Keeping It Green in Greensboro, NC.
49 min 18 sec
Angela was 37 when she got sober. Well-accomplished, she figured she could stop drinking on her own, too. She lost so much, including custody of her daughter. She had lots of restarts until she did what was recommended to her. Angela's sobriety date is 21APR2009 and her home groups are Early Bird and Big Book No Smoke in Greensboro, NC.
55 min 57 sec
Jim was in AA for a long time and then moved to NA. His first meeting was in Philadelphia, where he went to NA and AA for 5 years. He moved to NC and NA there didn't fit him, so he went to AA for 31 years. 6 years ago he went back to NA. He has a video in his head of his last moments of using, where he decided it was not for him and he needed to quit. Jim's NA home group is Searching & Fearless in Greensboro, NC. His sobriety/clean date is 22JAN1979.
1 hr 1 min
Melanie started recovery in 1999 at 22 years old. After 10 years, she checked out drinking again because she was older. She wound up being kicked out of bars. Going back to the same treatment center after 20 years helped because people who were there back then were still there and knew her. Melanie's sobriety date is 25SEP2017 and her home group is The Way Out in Greensboro, NC.
53 min 10 sec
Brad moved to LA, where alcohol, coke, and meth led to isolation and loneliness. "Do I want to live or die?" The drugs hit fast-forward on his life's unmanageability. "The Golden Girls" was critical to his recovery. Brad's sobriety date is 01AUG2005 and his home group is the Southwest Michigan Young People's Group in Stevensville, MI.
52 min 40 sec
There was a scheduling situation with a guest, so we caught up with each other and chewed the fat just like we used to do at the coffee shop after the Saturday morning men's meeting.
50 min 31 sec
Mat got sober at 19 in High Point, NC. Having OD'ed in 1986, a therapist sent him to AA. He still recalls how welcoming they were. He joined a Young People group where he got his first sponsor. Years later, he found a men's meeting to be intimidating. He joined it as his home group, connecting with a smaller meeting of the group. Mat's sobriety date is 20MAY1987 and his home group is Summit Men's Group in Greensboro, NC.
1 hr 1 min
Richard hadn't heard of AA until a court "class" suggested he look it up. His first experience of AA was in 1982 in treatment but he went back to drinking. Back in treatment in 1986 and still drank again. He did a lot of the suggested things except enlarging his spiritual life. Four years later, he came back to AA. Richard's sobriety date is 29AUG1992 and his home group is Easy Does It in Greensboro, NC.
1 hr 2 min
Madeline grew up with both parents in recovery. Her last drunk was hilarious. She got sober at 20 and the 3rd Step is big for her right now. Madeline's sobriety date is 17NOV2017 and her home group is Piedmont in Greensboro, NC.
56 min 35 sec
In this special episode on loss, we're joined again by Chris (Owl 011) and Alex (Owl 015 & OMG It's Here Again Holiday Special). Originally planned to be about losing loved ones, the COVID-19 crisis added further depth and weight to this conversation. Though a serious and even painful topic, we talk of our sobriety throughout rough times and, of course, we still find ways to laugh.
51 min 32 sec
Our own resident, well-behaved, and even housebroken Boiled Owl, Don, was one of the guests on the latest episodes of That Sober Guy Podcast. He was invited by Buddy C., a past guest on The Owl (Owl 038 Buddy). The topic is CORONAVIRUS GROUP DISCUSSION: Dealing with Anger, Fear, Change, and Trying to Surrender To It. We dropped it into our feed also as an extra between our regularly scheduled episodes. You can find That Sober Guy Podcast and Buddy’s podcast, The Tao of Our Understanding, in your favorite podcatcher.
1 hr 10 min
Josh (Jazzy) got sober 3 days before he turned 19. He now works in recovery. “Service work keeps me sober.” Jazzy's sobriety date is 31DEC2007 and his home group is Midday Reprieve in Greensboro, NC.
57 min 20 sec
Andrea got sober Feb 12, 2016 in Greensboro, NC at a local treatment center. She discovered she wasn’t really asking for help in AA when she came back from court with a harsh sentence. The judge had decided to make an example of her. And she had told no one in AA she was even going to court. Her home group is Piedmont in Greensboro, NC.
55 min 26 sec
In this special episode, Don is self-quarantined in his home and Sam is holed up in his home. We decided to test out our new remote recording setup while checking in on each other about our experiences in these strange days. We talk about COVID-19 precautions leading to online recovery meetings, our experiences with them and, well... we laugh. A lot. It's all about moments, folks. Hoping the best for all of us.
34 min 55 sec
Dave was in treatment at 15, in & out of AA for 3 years. Drugs were a problem, but alcohol? At 15-20 years old, he was the youngest person in AA in his area. On a road trip to DC with a friend, he got obliterated. "Gratitude first" about 15 years ago changed how he looks at life. Terrific tale of a motorcycle accident in sobriety. Dave's home group is Young People in Greensboro, NC, and his sobriety date is 04APR1988.
55 min 14 sec
Sharon relives, rethinks, and refeels at her birthday each year. She tried many other ways before AA. Working in the restaurant business back then, she would book people in a blackout. Sharon drums for meditation. At a red light, she chose AA over wine. Sharon's sobriety date is 05DEC1981 and her home group is Big Book, No Smoke in Greensboro, NC.
1 hr 1 min
Scott got sober at 24 in Houston, TX. His cocaine use led to his alcoholism. In his last year of college, he dropped all but one course and was failing that. He had a close call with death twice; the second is when he reached out for help. Wonderful discussions of Hot 'n Dry roundup, Crystal Meth Anonymous service, and racial and gender equity in recovery fellowships. Scott's sobriety date is 01APR1987 and his home group is Common Solution in Durham, NC.
Michelle got a DUI. 6 Months later, her drinking was worse. IOP led to AA. Fun story about a goat dealer! She is agnostic on her best days and atheist on her worst. We chat about mental healthcare and AA. Michelle's sobriety date is 18JUN2018 and her home group is Keeping It Green in Greensboro, NC.
1 hr 2 min
Seth started drinking in the 3rd or 4th grade. He was forced into treatment at 16. "Fight Club" was his only understanding of AA at the time. ("The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.") One month before getting sober, he couldn't not drink. He was on a boat for three months... with his 4th Step. Seth is in between home groups and his sobriety date is 08AUG2008.
58 min 3 sec
Patrick didn't think he was an alcoholic; he just didn't know how to drink. A marriage counselor suggested not drinking and that led to his first 90 days sober. His first AA meeting was in a city an hour away so no one who knew him would see him. At 18 months sober, he divorced and his sponsor had died, leading to anger and anxiety. Patrick got sober on 28SEP1990 and his home group is Midtown in Wilmington, NC.
58 min 54 sec
Gabi spent one and a half years picking up white chips. That kept her close to the program for when she was ready. She was in MacArthur Park in LA to buy drugs when her car was impounded. She was homeless and panhandling to get her car back. She stalked her second sponsor. She talks a lot about unmanageability. Here's her spiritual music playlist of unusual songs: 1. Fire and Rain: James Taylor 2. Let It Be: Beatles 3. Surrender: Cheap Trick 4. Beauty Mark: Rufus Wainwright 5. Drift Away: Dobie Gray 6. Good Vibrations: Beach Boys 7. Chicago: Sufjan Stevens 8. Black Water: Doobie Brothers 9. Boy in the Bubble: Paul Simon 10. What’s Up: 4 Non Blondes Gabi got sober on 12AUG2008 and her home group is the No-Name Group somewhere in central NC.
1 hr 2 min
"My Name is Ebenezer S." is a ghostly 12th-Step call play that's been presented by members of AA in Greensboro, NC, for many years. We've pulled together a cast for this audio version to share with folks who can't join us in person. The script for "My Name is Ebenezer S." is available for free by request at email@example.com. We encourage you to put together your own production of this fun holiday play and to put your own local flavor into it. Our 2019 show is on Saturday, 07DEC, and details are available at nc23.org. Happy Holidays, y'all!
A lot of people wanted Emily to stop drinking. She lost 3 jobs in 1 year. She said, "I need major help" and then thought "Oh God, why did I say that?" She was confident there was a problem and not confident there was a solution. Early on, Emily drank while reading her Big Book. The 10th Step Promises touched her soul. Emily got sober on 28FEB2016 and her home group is The Way Out in Greensboro, NC.
53 min 57 sec
For 2 years, Ric was not convinced he was an alcoholic. He was a pro at being apart from. Tacos tricked him into going to his first 3 meetings! There's the rat poison incident. At 2 years, the obsession to drink returned at a meeting. He then worked the steps quickly. Ric's home group is Young People in Greensboro NC. His sobriety date is 23DEC1995.
53 min 50 sec