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.

Waking Up: Recovering My Loving Heart

Waking Up: Recovering My Loving Heart

My earliest memory is from when I was six or seven years old. I don’t remember anything before then. I walked into my kitchen with fear flooding and pulsating through my entire body, and my heart pounding loudly against my chest. My mother was sweeping up glass and the…

Reflections at One Year by Martha M. and DYSfunction, by Chloe D.

Reflections at One Year by Martha M. and DYSfunction, by Chloe D.

Our first feature today is Martha M.’s reflection on her one-year anniversary.  Our second feature is a poem by Chloe D. who is an Al-Anon member and subscriber to the website.  We are learning that more Al-Anon folks are following us who appreciate our secular focus…

Can Anger Be An Addiction?

Can Anger Be An Addiction?

The recovery road is hard and long but one we choose to travel. We practice acceptance as a virtue to heal our pain, letting go of our addiction to anger…

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…

Trolls, Bergens and Cravings

Trolls, Bergens and Cravings

I ended up at the cinema the other day. My wife and I went with our two sons of four and five, and watched Trolls. Those without young children would have had no reason to watch such a film, so I’ll provide an overview of the story. The trolls…

Listening

Listening

Many of us are familiar with the events that brought AA’s two founders together for the first time. On May 11th of 1935 Bill found himself pacing back and forth in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel in Akron, OH. At one end of the lobby was a bar…

Don’t Fix It If It Ain’t Broke

Don’t Fix It If It Ain’t Broke

I agree, it ain’t broke. What I think instead is that it was never whole in the first place. So can we please fix it now? I’m just going to look at one issue. There’s too much to try and tackle it all at once. Let’s…

Consigned To A Life Unexpected

Consigned To A Life Unexpected

I’d taken my last drink January 30, 1989, and had just been released from a detox stint at a local hospital. This wasn’t my first visit to AA; I’d made several other starts without much success, but it was the only place I found people like me…

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…

Forgiveness and Recovery

Forgiveness and Recovery

I was recently working the Twelve Steps with a sponsee when I began to ponder whether the steps are incomplete. My sponsee and I were on Step 8, reviewing the list of the people to whom he wanted to make amends; they ranged from his grandparents to a recent girlfriend…

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…