Episode 127: Benn B. at the KC Secular AA Speaker Meeting

This episode features a talk by Benn B. from Omaha, Nebraska who visited Kansas City last summer to speak at the KC Secular AA Speaker Meeting. Benn covers a lot of ground in this short talk. He describes his years growing up before he started drinking, how his drinking became a problem, and his experience with AA as he got sober. The overall take-away is the important role a supportive community can play in one’s recovery.  

Benn’s personal experience in recovery coupled with his training as a substance abuse counselor provide him with an interesting perspective on the program, as he put it the “hows and whys” of addiction and recovery. 

Transcript

00:00 John S: This is episode 127 of AA Beyond Belief.

[music]

00:24 John S: Today’s episode features a talk by Benn B. when he was visiting Kansas City, sometime late last summer. He came down from Omaha, for our secular speaker meeting, which unfortunately stopped meeting. I hope we can start it up again someday. Maybe as our Secular AA community grows, it will happen. We will be able to sustain the speaker meeting again, but for now, it’s defunct. Anyway, in this talk that Ben gave it goes really well with an article that we’re posting by Life-j today. Life-j’s article, AA and what really works, is very similar to what Ben is talking about here. Like Ben, Life-j concludes that what’s really working in AA is the connection made between one alcoholic sharing their story with another. People might think it’s God, people might think it’s something supernatural, but when you really get down to it, it’s probably us talking to each other. Anyway, before we begin Ben’s talk, let me say thank you. Thank you to Glena R from Sharon, Ontario and PJ from Sydney, Australia for their generous donations of $100 each. Thanks also for the many small recurring donations, we receive either from PayPal or Patreon. I can’t tell you how much it means to all of us at AA Beyond Belief that you think enough of our site and podcast, to help with the cost of creating and posting this content.

01:46 John S: Thank you also to Megan F and Judy A for your recent emails. It’s always nice to hear from someone out there who listens to the podcast. Nothing motivates me more than to get a nice note from someone who’s been helped in some way by some episode they’ve heard on the AA Beyond Belief podcast. Also, thank you to Steve K from Manchester, United Kingdom. I appreciate your patience with me as I’ve been getting your book ready as a PDF file. Steve was kind enough to allow us to post chapters of his book, The 12-step philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous, interpretation by Steve K, on our site and to post the entire book in PDF format. It will be completely free for you to read. We’re posting a review of the book today. It’s actually something that I wrote some time ago, that Steve used as the forward to his book, and that was quite an honor. I never before written a forward to a book so having written that for his book, I can’t think of a book I’d rather write a forward to. That’s a wonderful, wonderful honor to have been able to do that.

02:49 John S: I need to have him back on the podcast sometime. It’s been a while since I’ve chatted with him. It’d be nice to have him back on again and see what he’s up to. Speaking of podcast episodes, we’ve got plenty of episodes recorded, and ready for editing and posting. Some of these we’ve recorded some time ago. Dave from Toronto, Douglas from Kansas City, Barbara from Delaware, Ben and I, of course, talking about another movie and Angela B, who’s done such a great job going through the steps with me. Well, we’ll also be recording a podcast with one of the founders of the first known secular Al-Anon meeting that just started meeting in Boise, Idaho. Soon enough, there’ll be another secular Al-Anon meeting in Lawrence, Kansas. And I’d like to have those people on our podcast once they get their meeting going. I think that’d be a lot of fun. So, I’m staying pretty busy with the podcasting that’s for sure, and I do enjoy it, so I’ll keep at it.

03:42 John S: Now back to Benn B who came all the way from Omaha to attend our little meeting in Kansas City. He’s been a great friend. We’ve recorded a number of podcasts together, and I hope we do some more. In this short talk, Ben says a lot. He goes through his story briefly, and then talks about some of the positive and negative experiences he’s had in AA, his background as a therapist always gives him some interesting insight into the program. His talk was well-received, and we actually recorded the discussion of his talk, but the sound quality wasn’t good enough to post with this podcast. So here you go, Benn B at the Kansas City secular AA speaker meeting.

04:19 Benn B: My plan here is to talk a little bit about how things were before I started drinking and then talk about my drinking history and my experience in AA. And I hope I don’t go on too long about any of those things and I’ll cut myself off if I have to. But for me it’s been important to look at the hows and whys. I know that’s not the case for everybody, but it’s helped me greatly. After I got sober, I went back and trained as a drug and alcohol counselor. So, I’ve got experience doing that and believed greatly in the power of therapy, but also still have a firm belief in the idea that AA is a great place and a great thing for people who want to recover. I was the youngest in my family, and my dad was an alcoholic, my mom a highly anxious person. My parents were older when they had me, and I think they were just done. I was the last one. They had to be done having kids. And we had a tragedy in our… Two tragedies in our family. I had a sister who passed away right after I was born, and I had a brother who passed away right before I was born. So, the family I was born into was much different than the family that everybody before me experienced. This is all in hindsight, looking at this. But I can imagine how tough that was on my parents to go through those tragedies, and then here you’ve got this newborn that you’ve got to help nurture into the world.

05:38 Benn B: Yeah, I’m sure it was extremely tough for them. Growing up, I felt like I never really got a whole lot of direction. Now, this is all going to sound very blamey. We got to take our own ownership. But this is this kind of what I’ve learned, and I was always kind of looking for a sense of direction, and I think that’s what first led me into taking my first drink. I wanted validation from people, my peers and I do think there’s definitely a genetic component to this. And when I took that first drink, I mean, I think I had three or four drinks that night and I threw up like crazy off three or four drinks. And John and I have talked about this before, and I don’t remember thinking once like, “Oh my gosh, I’m never doing that again.” I thought like, “I need to learn how to do this better because I really liked how I felt drunk.” through high school it wasn’t an issue, but I always desperately looked forward to the next time I was going to be able to legitimately drink, so yeah.

06:30 Benn B: And then in college it definitely got worse and I started having blackouts. And as we know, those are one of the early signs. And all the stuff that happens where I would wake up in my car in a parking lot of an apartment complex and not know why I was there and then kind of put all the pieces together later and be like, “Oh yeah, I was really drunk and I just decided I needed to pull over and go to sleep.” waking up on people’s couches and figuring out that I fell asleep for about the last… Passed out for the last two hours of the party. I was the person on the couch, that if that would have been the thing, I would have had marker drawn all over me at that time.

07:05 Benn B: So, kind of those early signs. But when you’re hanging out with people who do the exact same things that you do, I think I was normalizing my behavior by hanging out with people who did the same things I did. Yep, absolutely, yeah. So, in all that time, I was just searching for the sense of purpose and direction. I was kind of like a rudderless ship, I was just always, just didn’t have direction and that never changed for me until I quit drinking. Like I said, my dad was an alcoholic too. My parents separated, probably when I was about eight, but never got divorced, which was kind of awkward. I grew up in a family of means so my parents had two homes. My dad was a physician, he lived at the smaller home we had, and he would tell me all the time, this was his justification. He’d say, “Ben, if everybody could afford two houses, they’d have it and not live with their wife.” I’m just like, I mean, okay. And I never knew, I never thought that was normal, I never thought that was normal. And so, I would go out and see my dad out at where he lived, and he’d just be really drunk and I don’t remember once thinking that that was okay or that that was cool or that that was what I wanted to be like.

08:14 Benn B: But his drinking was different than mine. I always told myself as I got older. Well, as it goes, our drinking started looking a lot more alike as I kept doing it, but I definitely used that as rationalization and justification. I can remember, he’d open up the stove and piss in the stove or I’d be cleaning up his broken bottles all over the place. And I guess the point I’m making is I did never think drinking was cool or that it was just great to always be drunk. There was always a lot of conflict within me about my drinking and I think that’s another good sign that you have an issue. So somehow John and I have talked about this before too. Somehow, I made it through college. I did okay, but it was like, I did really well the first semester and I did really well the last semester getting out of there, but the rest was a lot of As and withdrawals. It was like if I liked the class, I went and I did well, if it seemed too hard or I didn’t like it, I’d quit going and then do that whole, Oh, crap. I haven’t been to class for four sessions and then show up. Oh, there’s a test today, like you don’t tend to do too well when that happens, but.

09:19 Benn B: And my drinking was picking up in college a lot. Now it’s leaking into Thursday through Saturday and the hangovers were so bad. Like I’m sure other people can agree with this. I didn’t feel right until Tuesday or Wednesday after being super drunk on Saturday and it was definitely affecting how I thought and how I functioned. And sadly, that stuff went on for a long time. I would get, I would… Anyone that wanted to date me, that was a decent person that I knew I would have to clean up my act for if they were interested in me, I pushed those people away and the people who were the party people, I would invite those people into my life and just have the most toxic bad relationship and never know how to get out of those relationships. And I think I did that for two-fold. I think, one, I would tend to date people who are maybe just a little bit sicker than I was, so that I could focus on their problem.

10:10 Benn B: They’ve got a problem, they need me to help them, I don’t have the problem. And yeah, so a little bit of that savior complex, and allowed me to deny my own issue, I think. And again, it was a distraction too, it was a distraction from taking a look at myself. So, I also firmly identify as a co-dependent as well and I think there’s a great deal of codependency in alcoholism as well. But one of my beefs with the big book and… Okay, let’s get into a little AA bashing here. Not really, but not everybody’s exactly the same in AA. Some people come in and they need to be told, “Sit down, shut up, take the cotton out of ears put the cotton in your mouth.” some people come into AA and they need to learn to open up and talk and be assertive and share of themselves so the blanket statements sometimes can cause harm I think. So, again, my drinking was, the pattern was binge drinking, which I call alcoholism now. But maybe summers I would get to where I’d have a 10-day run of being pretty hammered, and then not drink for three weeks, and then weekends, and then… But perpetually bad things were happening.

11:15 Benn B: Eventually I got a DUI, now we’re in Kansas City. I was driving to Manhattan, Kansas and partied at the Country Stampede all weekend and everybody knew not to drive home drunk from the Country Stampede or drive drunk. And I was so drunk, I tried to drive two and half hour’s home to Lincoln and got pulled over. And that was back in the day when DUIs were more of a slap on the wrist. I think I got my license suspended for 30 days and I got diversion and paid a fine, and that was it. And I can remember my pattern of thinking at that time was, okay, I’m not going to drink any more. It wasn’t a commitment at all, it was like, I need to not drink. And then it became, well, I’m not going to drink and drive. And then it became I’m not going to drink and drive legally drunk. And then it became, I’m just driving drunk all the time again.

12:07 Benn B: And I keep mentioning John, but John and I touched base on this too, it was like past a certain point in the night, I knew not to drive drunk, but past a certain point in the night, the switch flipped and it’s like, that’s for people that don’t know what the hell they’re doing. I’m driving home. And it’s that Jekyll and Hyde thing that gets talked about in AA that I really identified with. It’s like of my own accord, if I was more sober than a friend who was trying to drive home drunk, I’d be like, “Dude, don’t drive home drunk.” But once I got past a certain point, it was like, all bets were off. I didn’t know what was going to happen. So, I woke up in a jail cell in Marysville, Kansas after getting pulled over and it was one of those moments where it’s like, what the hell is going on with your life? You think to yourself; I don’t belong here. And it’s like I look back, it’s like, yeah, I did. You were trying to drive two and a half hours home blowing a.233.

12:51 Benn B: So yeah, that was a… I had a very evangelical gentleman came and bailed me out of jail because they didn’t want to call my family and have them know what was going on. And he said to me, “My son, do you think you might be an alcoholic?” And I said, “You know sir, I think I might be.” And I did actually mean it. I think I was saying it because I thought I had to get him to bail me out of jail. But that was the first time I really admitted it. And I’ve gone back since and looked in journals that I kept and there’s a few different writings in there where I would write like, I’m an alcoholic. For the longest time I had wanted to not drink. So, from then forward, it went on with making a commitment to not drink, eventually giving in and drinking, and then end up in the exact same pattern and wonder how the heck I got there. And I think feeling alone, feeling alone in that feeling and thinking, why can’t I control my drinking? Why can everybody else? Everybody else seems like they’re having a great time, and enjoying it, and I always get out of control and then I can’t anymore.

13:54 Benn B: And so, in Lincoln, I got another DUI, which was my first offense, luckily, because of the light slap on the wrist before. And I got two days in jail and I had to go to AA once a week because I lied my way through the eval really well. And that was my first entrance into AA. And I was still dating one of those people who drank just as much as I did, if not more at that time. And how I stayed sober through that, I have no idea. But yeah so, I walked into my first AA meeting and we hear people say I knew I was home or stuff like that. I don’t know if I felt exactly that right away, but I had to come every week and I did once a week. And then that became more often than that, even though I only had to come once a week. And I think instead of feeling alone, I felt like there were other people that had been feeling the same way I had been feeling all those years about their drinking and I just had never talked to anybody else about it. I think for me, when it boils down to it the power of AA is one alcoholic talking to another honestly, openly, genuinely and sharing what they’re feeling and making that connection on that level. So, I used to…

15:04 Benn B: I would do all the games. I would take a month off of drinking and succeed at that, and then just go balls to the wall right after that because I was celebrating that I proved that I wasn’t an alcoholic, because I could go a month without then that must mean I’m not one, right? So then celebrate by drinking alcoholically. And then it’d be two months, and then be three months and then I got really into fitness for a while and then that was my excuse. Oh no, I’m not going out tonight guys, I got… I’m working on losing weight and getting in shape for this race, for this for that. I could not own the fact that I wanted to quit drinking and that I needed to quit drinking, it still felt like a badge of shame. So, I do tend to be a rule-follower despite all the things I’ve said. And so being on probation from that DUI in Lincoln was probably the best thing for me because I had a built-in excuse to not drink. I know lots of people get away with drinking on probation, but I needed an excuse to not drink. I wasn’t assertive, I didn’t own how I felt about my drinking at that time, I couldn’t just tell my friends, “Hey guys, I’m quitting.” And I think subconsciously I knew what that meant for anybody who can think back to when you first quit. I mean you are giving up a lot of your life or so it seems at that time.

16:15 Benn B: I look back at it now, my life revolved around drinking. Whether I was drinking all the time or not, it revolved around it. If it was a Wednesday and I wasn’t going to drink till the weekend I was thinking strongly about what I was going to do that weekend. And if nobody was going out and doing anything fun on Friday night I would go back to my hometown and go to all my drunk friends there because I knew there was something going on there. So, it occupied a lot of my mind. I liked to golf. I’d always drank when I golfed. So, it’s like, do I even like to golf? Husker football, it’s huge up in Nebraska and it’s like, do I even like going to football games? Do I even like watching football games? Not to mention I didn’t even know what the hell happened after the first half, usually, I’d have to DVR the games and watch them to know what really went on. It felt like such an identity crisis. And then I started playing those games in my head. And they’re legitimate thoughts about, are my friends really my friends? Will people like me if I don’t drink? Will anyone want to date me if I don’t drink? Besides my wife and my high school girlfriend the first time I had sex with anyone in any relationship I was drunk every time. Will someone want to sleep with somebody who’s sober? Can I sleep with somebody sober? Am I going to be too nervous? I mean, it’s insane looking back at how it just infects all of your life and all of my way of thinking.

17:34 Benn B: So again, let’s give kudos to AA. I went there, there were a ton of people who stuck their hand out and asked me to come over for barbecues and go out for coffee. And when I was feeling like a loser who couldn’t drink anymore, and didn’t have any friends because I can’t party, there were all these people who were trying to do the same thing with their lives. Now, I don’t, and I’ll say that about not drinking. Now, we’re not losers, we’re trying to… We’re trying to be ourselves. That’s what I’m trying to do, I know. So, to have a place to go where people weren’t drinking and we’re trying to do the same thing was huge.

18:08 Benn B: And I got a sponsor, in that first year, and he was a pretty rigid dogmatic person, and I did what he said for the most part and we worked the steps and I gained a benefit from them but I don’t think I did them very genuinely. And I’m not necessarily a proponent or an advocate for the steps or against the steps. I think any kind of self-reflection or in-depth thought about one’s life is healthy, no matter how somebody chooses to do that. But I went to the same meeting for about the first four years I was sober. And after two years sober, I went back and got my training to be a counselor. So that meeting was really laid back, and I didn’t realize that there were more dogmatic meetings out there.

18:47 Benn B: So as soon as, I don’t know why, but I think it was, I wasn’t counseling as much one-on-one, so I didn’t worry about running into clients as much at meetings, I just started going to more meetings. And I started running into. A lot more of the dogma and a lot more of the… It felt to me at the time, like it was like, “If you don’t think like we think or talk like we talk, you don’t quite belong here.” I would get confronted after meetings, they were saying, “That’s not AA,” or things like that. It was concerning to me at that time, this place that I’d felt like really a great sense of belonging, all of a sudden, I was kind of feeling suddenly shunned.

19:28 Benn B: Yeah, that was kind of a crisis in its own. And at that time, too, I had been slowly falling out of my belief in God. In my mid-20s, I had kind of a hard core born-again, evangelical time, where I started to drink again after that. And oh my God, I was the biggest asshole. Walking around like put some biblical faith and dogmatism behind wiping out your prefrontal cortex with alcohol. And I was cutting loose on people left and right. I can remember being at after-hours parties at one in the morning and arguing about the Bible with people just completely shit-faced. It’s really insane to think that. And then I kind of had a slow falling away from faith, and I don’t speak for AA, I don’t speak for anyone, I’m just here to speak for my own experience. And for me, in my personality type and being a co-dependent, it was important for me to own the fact that I didn’t believe in God, not that I know there’s not a god, but I just don’t have a belief in God. And that that was okay. And I was having a real conflict in my mind about whether I could stay in AA or not when I was really coming to terms with that, and I think I subscribed to The Fix at that time online.

20:44 Benn B: And I read about the We Agnostics conference out in California, and I was talking to somebody before the meeting about this, my nephew and I decided to go out there and I thought, you know what, it might be like 25 people and… But what the heck, we were going to California. And I felt the way out there that I felt that first year in AA, I felt like I’d found my people, like there were 300 people out there, and people were talking about things that I had had in the back of my mind and my concerns about different things with AA since about year two, and it was that feeling of connection with other people who had… I’m not crazy, having that thought is okay. Why do we say the Lord’s Prayer? Why? We’re not a religion, but we say a Christian prayer. Things like that, concerns like that, that… And I think if it wasn’t for that conference at that time, I don’t know if I would have went back out and drank, but it gave me one less excuse to do so because it could be really easy for me to say, “Well, if I don’t believe this, then I must not be this. Well then, party on.

21:52 Benn B: And I think that’s why I can be kind of outspoken about it now, because I think belief is great if that’s what works for you, but if it doesn’t work for you, Hell, I’ll use some AA lingo, they keep trying to do the same thing over and over expecting different results that don’t work out so well. So, I will speak up. You don’t have to believe. Make a concerted effort to if you want, but if where you get to is non-belief, it’s okay. You don’t have to drink. The conference was huge for me with that and getting acquainted with John and other people who had the same concerns in that AA on its own is the preamble. This is people getting together talking about their experience, strength and hope to help solve their common problem. Period. To me.

22:38 Benn B: You like the big book, great. Parts of it are great. Parts of it, not such a fan of. They even tell us at the end of the book, we know about a little more will be revealed. But I think the things I’ve learned in AA that have helped me the most besides working in steps, and besides making connections with other people are recognizing my feelings, identifying them and realizing that they’re okay. It’s not wrong to feel fearful, that if I don’t acknowledge that I’m fearful, that’s where the problem is. And then talk to somebody else about it, helps a great deal. I use that in my life outside of here all the time. And I found that doing that nurtures that in other people, too. When you’re willing to be vulnerable and honest and share intimately with someone else, that causes that same thing in other people, and it’s kind of contagious, too, I think. I’m kind of a new parent. My wife and I are late to the game, but we have a three-year-old and a one-year-old, so it’s really easy to watch Facebook, and see everybody has all their pictures of their kids and everything’s perfect and everything is wonderful and you’re so happy to have children.

23:44 Benn B: But then it’s another thing to be at a story time and talking to parents doing the nitty-gritty and being like, Man, this is fucking hard. Yeah, no kidding, I’m not sleeping, I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that. So again, there’s that thing being honest with somebody else about what’s going on, cutting through the bullshit, and all of a sudden, I don’t feel like I’m the parent, who doesn’t know what the hell I’m doing, I don’t feel like I’m the only person who thinks What the fuck did I have children for, every once in a while. But what I’ve also realized is that just because I have a thought doesn’t make it a fact, and the thought itself is not wrong. I had a lot of shame about, even thinking certain things before that were maybe normal things that all kinds of people were thinking. And that it’s okay. Acknowledge that and talk to other people about it. It’s okay. And I do have AA to thank for that. And people in AA that taught me that as well, but some of the things I hear, and I’ll get into it a little bit again, but some of what I hear in AA to me is to shut down feelings, and I think that can be really good in the early going when you’re just trying to stay away from that for strength.

24:47 Benn B: But sometimes, you bury that stuff long enough, and it festers, and it’s going to be asked to be dealt with sometime. And I think a lot of that stuff has to be acknowledged because you can only bury something for so long. And we are amateurs, we’re not professionals. There’s lots of things that go on in meetings and people walking people through stuff in their fourth step. I think especially for females, it can be really touchy because a lot of women who struggle with substance use and drinking have had some form of abuse in their lives, and so it’s… To have an amateur walking you through trauma work in a step four can be very triggering. And I can remember, this is after I did all my counseling and stuff like that and learning about all this. We blame the victim, sometimes, in AA. Well, they wouldn’t get honest in their fourth step or they did their fourth step, but they didn’t do it thoroughly enough, and then they went out and drank, and I’m thinking to myself no, mother fucker. You walked that person into a super traumatic experience that you had no right walking them into, you triggered them, and they did what they knew how to do to treat their trauma.

26:00 Benn B: I think in AA, we need to know where to draw the line and say I can’t help. My own struggles too. I think it is great to be of service in AA, but when you maybe have a tendency to be codependent, like I do as well, you can give and give and give and give and give of yourself and have nothing left for yourself. And when I did that, I was praised for that in my old home group because I’d do anything for anyone, which is great. There’s nothing wrong with being of service to other people and there are times where it can help but my motivation was not always the best. I was avoiding looking at what I had to look at within myself. And so, you can get rewarded for things and be a good AA member when really, you are kind of perpetuating, your own stagnancy, I think. I should speak in the eye. That’s what I did. So again, there are lots of great things in AA but there’s some things I need to be aware of too and keep mindful of, it’s not perfect and it’s never going to be.

26:57 Benn B: It’s made up of very fallible human beings like all of us here. We’re just trying to figure this out. And this most recent stretch in my sobriety has been interesting because we have two little kids as I said, and I don’t go to meetings as much anymore. And the first meeting I went to, when I went up to Omaha, I’d… Somebody really hammered on the Big Book and hammered on if you haven’t had a spiritual experience and you don’t believe in God, then you’re not recovered and you haven’t done it right. And all this stuff. Well, I spoke up. And I didn’t make it personal, but I just shared my own experience and I said, “It’s not a requirement.” And man, I’ve got 12 years’ sobriety. It would have been 11 at that time, and I had 10 different people come up to me after the meeting and say I hope that works out for you. You’ll get it one of these years, keep coming back and that kind of thing. And I just thought, I don’t know if I belong here anymore, is what I was thinking to myself at that time.

27:57 Benn B: But again, I’ve got my online connections, I’ve got my secular meeting in Omaha that I touch base with, and I don’t have to let that be an excuse to leave. I have as just much a right to be here as anybody. Nobody has the exclusivity clause on being the best AA member there is. And again, yeah, it’s been… People will say, Well, where have you been? What… I’m being of service to my family, I’m raising two kids, I’m a stay at home dad right now. I have business I have to run as well. And to me, my recovery right now in my being of service is to my family, I have to find time to take care of myself, too. But I found the recovery looks different at different times in our lives. And there’s going to be a time when my kids get a little bit older, I’m going to be able to go to meetings more often than once a month or once every two weeks, but right now that’s where I’m at. And I talk to people a lot. John and I are always talking on messenger or texting.

29:00 Benn B: And that’s important for me to do, I need to touch base with people who know what’s going on with me. Oh, my gosh, I’ve spoken way too long already. Well, that was not very organized. I had a nice little outline here, but I did not follow it very well. But just to summarize, I just hope that everybody stays engaged and finds what works for them, because what works for me might not work for you, might not work for you, might not work for you, but I do think we have to be honest and we have to give it a shot. And through that experience, and just keep at it. I have found that we do find what works for us, and just keep talking to each other and keep connecting is what has been important to me. Anyhow, I want to thank you guys again for having me up here. It’s very important for me to be able to share this and be of service in this way and connect with other people who are trying to do the deal. And so, I appreciate it. Thank you, guys, very much.

[applause]

[music]

30:03 John S: And that’s another episode of AA Beyond Belief. Thank you so much for listening. Hey, if you’d like to help out our site and podcast, there’s a couple of things you can do. First of all, go over to iTunes and leave us a review, hopefully a favorable one. You can also help out financially with either a recurring or one-time contribution. You can do this by setting up small recurring donations at our Patreon page, which you can find at patreon.com/aabeyondbelief, or through PayPal at paypal.me/aabeyondbelief. And you can always visit our site, aabeyondbelief.org and click on the donate button. Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back again real soon with another episode of AA Beyond Belief, the podcast.


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Joe K
Joe K

Great talk. I’ve Ben really struggling with do I belong here, so it was nice and comforting to hear this discussed. I’ve got 3 years sobriety and also helped cofound a secular meeting in NJ but traditional AA can be frustrating at times. Also really appreciate what was said about trauma and the 4th step.