Nothing is more powerful than our personal stories. Here you will find the experience, strength and hope shared by the agnostic, atheist and freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous.

About Being Here

About Being Here

Sometimes when Jane and I are waking up together, as I lie there snuggling up to her warm body, still halfway in a dream state, my mind will go places I otherwise don’t usually have access to. One of these mornings about three years ago, it was before my…

Alcoholism Plus Religion Almost Destroyed My Family, by Simone | AA From An Atheist’s Perspective, by Ash J.

Alcoholism Plus Religion Almost Destroyed My Family, by Simone | AA From An Atheist’s Perspective, by Ash J.

This week, instead of publishing a single story, we are presenting two brief stories. In the first story, Alcoholism Plus Religion Almost Destroyed My Family, Simone writes about the challenges her family faced when her sister was first getting treatment for alcoholism, and in AA From An Atheist’s Perspective…

Communion Wine and Mud

Communion Wine and Mud

When I came into AA I was not sure I was an alcoholic in full-standing. Unlike most of the other members I heard speak, I had not drunk every day and had never drunk myself into a blackout. Plus. I was a man of the cloth with extensive religious…

Letting Go

Letting Go

I had six months of sobriety, or more accurately abstinence, when my oldest son turned 21. He had been looking forward to this milestone for one main reason—he could discard the fake ID’s he’d used to get into local bars around school. He had planned a big…

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…

Me, My Mom, and Our Friend Natalie

Me, My Mom, and Our Friend Natalie

I turned fifty-nine last summer, the same age that my mother was when she died, thirty-six years ago. I don’t have the number of years sober under my belt as she did when she died (fourteen), but I am working on it…

A Quest For Truth

A Quest For Truth

November 7th, 1997. Key West Club House at 404 Virginia St. I was a 54-year-old divorced female artist, writer, and laryngectomee, speaking with an electro-larynx device called a Servox. I was picking up a 24-hour chip at an NA meeting. I had been two years clean…

It Lasted Over 22 Years

It Lasted Over 22 Years

I grew up in a large family, the oldest of eight children. We were raised Catholic, but even as a teenager I was skeptical about how the same God could be both loving and vengeful. How could it be that unbaptized babies, through no fault of their own, could never…

A Pantheon for Agnostics

A Pantheon for Agnostics

When I’m away from home I don’t expect to find agnostic meetings. A number of my favorite groups are prayer-full, and I’m generally ok with some spirit. My agnosticism doesn’t weigh too heavily; it’s as vague as my religious upbringing. The bible stories in…

Living Cyber

Living Cyber

In my journey, online recovery is a story of liberation. I want to describe the profound value that online recovery brings to my life. As you are likely reading this or listening to this online, I suppose I am preaching to the converted, but still, I have my unique story…

Without A Higher Power

Without A Higher Power

A paragraph from the “We Agnostics” chapter of the book Alcoholics Anonymous tells the reader: “Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we…

Predatory Behavior Within the Fellowship

Predatory Behavior Within the Fellowship

I initially found AA roughly 20 years ago, filled with trepidation and with zero self-esteem. Much to my surprise, I had been diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis after seeking psychiatric help for what I thought was depression. Of course, it wasn’t that simple. I knew I was an…

Leaving AA and Finding a New Freedom

Leaving AA and Finding a New Freedom

Hi, my name is Megan, and I’m … a person who doesn’t drink anymore? For a while, I introduced myself as an alcoholic or an addict, and casually among recovery friends, as a drunk. Later, that changed to a person in long-term recovery. Sometimes, when I’m talking…

Mindfulness and the “Functional Alco-demic”

Mindfulness and the “Functional Alco-demic”

It remains vital for me to remember where I got to on my way to where I am today. Was I, and am I, really a full-blown alcoholic? The answer is obvious now but I didn’t accept it for a long time. In my worst alcoholic out-of…

Group of Drunks

Group of Drunks

I remember Eddie looked bad at his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I don’t mean a little bit bad. I mean bad even by AA standards, as in the early days when low-bottom drunks came in off the streets because they knew they were dying. Not like today’s…

Relapse and New Roads to Recovery

Relapse and New Roads to Recovery

I didn’t initially choose a life on the road. I started trucking in much the same way, and for basically the same reason, that I came into recovery: I had nowhere else to go…

In Bill and Buddha’s Company

In Bill and Buddha’s Company

My last day (When? How? Where?): I have a dream. My two sons are near to me while I am taking my last breath. I could hear their gentle voices. They are thanking AA for my sober death…

Journaling

Journaling

Most of my life I have been an inveterate journalist, recording the ups and downs, the various vicissitudes, of my often unpredictable and at times haphazard life. I started journaling in earnest during the summer of 1966, after flunking out of my first graduate school, a consequence of excessive drinking…

An Oldtimer, a Newcomer, Yet Neither

An Oldtimer, a Newcomer, Yet Neither

November 2005, I walked into a restaurant, ordered a glass of wine and flushed 22 years of sobriety. The following day the obsession to drink hit me like a tsunami. Knowing full well the schemes alcoholics use to control their drinking didn’t save me from trying each and every…

Spirituality and Agnosticism

Spirituality and Agnosticism

When I arrived for my 28 day stay in rehab and introduced myself with a brief autobiographical sketch, I was heralded by the other patients as somebody who surely had the “spirituality stuff” down pat. This seemed a reasonable assumption. After all, I possessed two graduate degrees in theology and…