The quality of this recording is variable and in places it is difficult to make out what Bob is saying but it is one of the earliest recordings and I’ve tired to improve it. Later recordings are better quality – I’ve summarized it below.
Bob Earll wrote 2 great books about his recovery which you can buy from these links:
1: Turning on the Light: (https://goo.gl/WroSqJ)
2: I Got Tired of Pretending: (https://goo.gl/nZ8YG6)
Below are some of Bob’s choice quotes and messages;
1) There is no problem that you can take to your sponsor that will frighten him/her ……. it is when you listen to your own solutions.
2) The first year is the most frightening
3) ….it took me a long time before I was ready to share some of the responsibility for how I turned out….
4) ….I didn’t trust people at first…the only time people were that kind was when they wanted something……
5) ..the book says share your experience, strength and hope in an open and honest way….not read the book and repeat quotes at newcomers for fear of frightening them away
6) They [oldtimers when he was new] gave me the impression that they came in to AA….sat down in a chair and then the good fairy zinged into the room, rapped them on the head with a magic wand and then ….. they never did anything wrong again as long as they lived……. I knew that was impossible for me….but I knew my attitudes, values and many things about me would HAVE to change if I was going to live…..and I stand here 8yrs later and I have done most of the things they tell you not to do……it caused great suffering.
7) A change of attitude is so important if you don’t want to die
8) Gratitude: …..I didn’t have instant recall for gratitude….I had instant recall for hostility
9) Maybe it won’t work for me: Do it anyway, even though you don’t want to do it….go and do it
10) One of the biggest reliefs of my life was when I finally reached the point ….. where it was no longer necessary to react to the expression on somebody’s face….I found out how many years…I had wasted…reacting to the expression on somebody’s face…..and knew it was me….I never stopped to consider [they] might have gas or have had a fight with their [spouse]…..it was always [about] me.
11) The quickest way to get an immediate depression with little or no effort on your part is to go to a meeting, pick out somebody [well turned out] and compare your insides to their outsides and you’ll become depressed immediately
12) In first 5yrs of sobriety, I asked myself, ‘why ….. do I screw up so badly so much of the time…everything I tried to do sober was wrong’ ……….then realised……I arrived at AA after 26yrs of being crippled…..it was not going to undo after 1, 2, 3yrs…..I was not going to turn into a superhuman being after my first meeting at AA
13) I came to AA like a computer, programmed, conditioned….. to react in a certain way to certain people and situations……..we’re programmed to accept failure much more than success…..
14) Talks about a time in his life when externally he had all the hallmarks of a successful young man in AA but the internal truth was very different……’eventually after about 3yrs I began to consider God seriously……and build a working relationship with Him…..
15) Bob’s Eskimos: “Two men drinking in a bar in Alaska; one is an atheist and the other is a very religious man. The conversation eventually gets round to God. The atheist says, ‘I don’t believe in God’ and the other guys, ‘why not’. The atheist says, ‘Well I gave God a chance to prove himself to me once and he didn’t do it’. The religious man asks, ‘in what manner did you give God a chance to prove himself?’ and the atheist says, ‘about 6 months ago, I was lost 150 miles north of town in a blizzard…I looked at the sky and said God, I’m lost and I’m going to die’. The religious man looked at the atheist with a knowing smile and said, ‘why you must believe…you’re here!’. The atheist says, ‘nah some guy came along and gave me a ride back to town’. This is when Bob recognised the values of Eskimos
16) The quality of the recording is very poor but Bob goes on to talk about the absolute importance of only sharing experience and if one doesn’t have shared experience of a person’s problem then not to advise but to take them to somebody who has had a similar experience.
Bob Earll was a great recovery speaker who helped many people.
The official AA and NA websites can be found here:
If you are struggling or need a meeting phone the AA/NA helplines (google for your local telephone number or local websites)