Episode 66: Paul A.

Paul started drinking excessively while in his teens and lost control early on. He tried various ways to get his life and drinking under control, but nothing worked. He was feeling hopeless and had no self-esteem. After getting arrested for driving under the influence and violating probation, he finally had enough. He decided that he would go to the railroad tracks and wait for the train to come to end it all. He came dangerously close to succeeding, and could actually see his own shadow in the headlight of the train before he decided that he wanted to live. He jumped out of the way, the train sped away.  

Sober since January 1, 1990, Paul never had much of a problem with the spirituality of AA. He worked the program as a believer and went to a lot of meetings when he was first getting sober. After about six months of sobriety, he joined a nondenominational church, and he was doing his best to live a spiritual life.

Over time, he eventually began to question religion and ultimately realized that he’s an atheist. Paul defines this period as his “reconversion.” As far as he’s concerned, we are all born as atheists, and it’s not until later that we are taught religion. His acceptance of his atheism was simply returning to his natural state.

Today, Paul is comfortable with interpreting the program as an atheist. He feels at home in AA and lives a sober and contented life.

Thank you, Paul, for participating in the podcast.

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  1. Gerald September 28, 2017 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    That’s a good one: we’re all born atheists till we’re indoctrinated in a religion. Coming into atheism after several years sober in AA was a new kind of non-believer recovery story for me. Yours, Paul, is the fourth such story I’ve heard here at AABB in the past few months since I discovered this site. I’ll add it to my “collection” so that I can pass it on some day when needed.

    I came into AA atheist at age twenty, and basically I just ignored the religious part of AA same as I had ignored it in the real world outside of AA.

    I did need someone in AA to make it clear to me that AA was safe for non-believers and that there was a place for me in AA.

    I’ve always chosen the steps- & traditions-oriented meetings, the principles before personalities type meetings. I’ve always shied away from the True Believers, but I didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. I just had to be careful not to do that.

    Thanks,

    Gerald

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