PJ

Writed 9 posts and 0 comments

Bill from Paddington

Bill from Paddington

Bill from Paddington got sober in Sydney in 1955 and was a member of the Paddington A.A. group, hence his A.A. nickname. This audio recording of Bill is a typical example of storytelling shares that I heard at Sydney A.A. meetings. Bill died sober in 2020 and had been sober for over 64 years…

Simplified Secular Sobriety

Simplified Secular Sobriety

I have been sober for over twenty-six years, an atheist who doesn’t believe in the existence of a deity, having developed a much more natural secular sobriety. But if I could travel back in time with this experience and attend my early sobriety A.A. meetings, what would I now see in hindsight as the simple and true…

Brewery Bill, Campsie Mick, Roland, and Lois Wilson.

Brewery Bill, Campsie Mick, Roland, and Lois Wilson.

I met Brewery Bill in early sobriety and enjoyed his humour and A.A. storytelling. He got sober in 1971 when he was in his twenties, knew many of the original members of Sydney A.A. and was a great storyteller…

Brookvale and Burwood

Brookvale and Burwood

How can anyone describe what AA means to them, what their sobriety has done for them? Can the answer be found in literature whether it be theistic, atheistic or scientific? Or perhaps the answer can be found online. If anyone asks me this question, the best response I can give is to take them to an AA meeting and let…

Secular Sobriety, The Final Frontier

Secular Sobriety, The Final Frontier

At around eighteen years sober I needed to get honest with the fact that I was an atheist, praying to a god I no longer believed in was pointless. I have come to similar personal crossroads of directional decision in sobriety many times before, but this was probably the most challenging. All well and good to get honest with my…

Alcoholics Anonymous Dogged by Dogma and Argument

Alcoholics Anonymous Dogged by Dogma and Argument

“Hi, I’m John, welcome” a kind man said to me as he extended his hand in friendship. Instinctively I responded in kind, saying “I’m PJ” extending my hand in turn to receive a very warm handshake. For the next hour and a half, I sat and listened to alcoholics share their stories in a general way to disclose…

Jimmy from Ramsgate and my Brush with the Joys of Recovery

Jimmy from Ramsgate and my Brush with the Joys of Recovery

In my early AA days, I encountered two very distinct and opposing styles of sobriety. One, represented by Jimmy, was practical, with alcoholics sharing their story in a general way to describe what they used to be like, what happened, and what they are like now. Alcoholics could identify with each other through their shared experience and affinity, to create…

Early Shaky Days

Early Shaky Days

What was it that kept me sober in those early shaky days of sobriety? It was in the early 1990’s in Sydney Australia when I found myself sitting in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was incredibly frightened but I was so desperate to change my life that I had no choice but to force myself to walk through…

Notes from Down Under: Meetings, Storytellers, Fellowship, and Sobriety

Notes from Down Under: Meetings, Storytellers, Fellowship, and Sobriety

My transition to atheism came over a long period of time and started at around seventeen years sober. I had the industrial strength Irish Catholic God of fear beaten into me as a kid. So initially, I had to learn how to unwind all of that and was advised to establish a relationship with a loving God. I thought I…