Richard H. from We Agnostics Calgary

This week’s podcast features Richard H. from the We Agnostics group in Calgary. By the time that Richard made it to his first AA meeting, he was ready, he was done, finished. He knew he needed to stop, but he wanted to learn how to stay stopped, so he went to Alcoholics Anonymous. At that time, there were not any agnostic groups in Calgary, but he felt welcomed at traditional AA. There he found people who told his story through their own, and he was hopeful that he too could find sobriety. 

As he collected sobriety chips, his confidence increased and he could begin to imagine a happy, sober life,which by my estimation is exactly the life he lives today. Eventually, Richard joined a group of AA secularists who formed We Agnostics which meets in the Sheldon Chumir Center located in downtown Calgary. The group bases its meetings on the book Living Sober, and they also have regular discussions about the Steps. 

In this podcast, Richard shares his personal story in AA, and we have interesting conversations about how we approach singleness of purpose, and the role that social media plays in our recovery. We also touched a little on the topic of spirituality as a follow up to the article he wrote for AA Beyond Belief, “My Case Against Spirituality”. We will need to have him back again to further explore that topic. 

Thank you Richard for agreeing to participate in the podcast. It was a pleasure to finally meet you in Austin this month, and I enjoyed this conversation. 


Transcript

You can read the full transcript of this podcast by scrolling through the window below, or you may download the pdf file

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  1. Benn B December 20, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I loved this discussion!

    It was super great to hang out a bit with Richard H in Austin. He also directed us all to a solid BBQ place 🙂 Really look forward to hearing his GF Megan’s podcast as well.

    Great stuff guys!

  2. Bob K. November 30, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Good podcast!! There are dozens of things I could comment on, so let me go with the most self-serving – “story.”

    “Story and storytelling lie at the very heart of Alcoholics Anonymous… the history of AA is a story about stories and the healing power of mutual storytelling. Anyone wishing to truly understand AA must look first, not to ideas, techniques, or studies, but to stories.” (Ernie Kurtz & Bill White, FOREWORD to Key Players in AA History)

    Whitby Freethinkers has a great format. We rotate a step a week, and two topics related to alcoholism. No readings. Works out well.

    Other than as a matter of principle, and to make a point, there is limited value to reading altered steps at an AA meeting. Who’s intently listening, anyway? Once the floor is open, anyone can SAY anything. “I can’t do step 3 as written, so I do this…blah, blah.”

  3. life-j November 30, 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I don’t have time to read this morning, but for starters I can’t help but wonder what that weird thing in the picture is…

    • Richard H. November 30, 2016 at 1:55 pm Reply

      As John  said its the Peace Bridge which crosses the Bow River which runs through Calgary, just north of the downtown business district.

      It was built in 2012, and has I think become somewhat of a landmark here in Calgary.  One of my favourite things in the city.

       

       

    • John S November 30, 2016 at 12:39 pm Reply

      It’s the Peace Bridge, a pedestrian bridge in downtown Calgary.

  4. Joe C November 30, 2016 at 8:33 am - Reply

    http://atheisticrecovery.com/ is John B’s website from Dallas Texas.  John was the cowboy hatted member who came up to the podium during the Living Cyber workshop whom Richard and John mentioned.

    Great show. Calgary was my home base from about year 2.5 to 8 years (1979-1985) so it was nostalgic to listen in.

    Until next week…

    • John S November 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm Reply

      Thanks Joe. I love his website. What a talent!

  5. Thomas Brinson November 30, 2016 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Thanks so much, Richard and John, for this one other podcast that readily demonstrates how our shared stories of hope, strength and experience, the Fellowship of secular AA members, keeps us clean and sober a day at a time.

    Though we didn’t connect personally, Richard, I was impressed with your comments and strong power of example presence at the convention — Thanks !~!~!

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