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.

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…

My Case Against Spirituality

My Case Against Spirituality

My name is Richard, and I am a grateful recovered alcoholic. I am also an atheist and most certainly not spiritual. It seems like the word spirituality means something different to everyone who uses it in AA. I’ve heard people use “spirituality” to describe strongly theistic belief systems such…

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…

(Re)Discovering Myself in Sobriety: Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

(Re)Discovering Myself in Sobriety: Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

“I feel like a baby bird,” I said during a meeting when I was newly sober. I felt shaky and unsure of myself and like I didn’t know how to do anything as a sober person. I was happy to no longer be a slave to my addiction, but…

Agnostic AA 101

Agnostic AA 101

Before we even decide on what we call ourselves (‘Agnostic’, ‘Secular’, ‘WAAFT’, ‘No-Prayer’, etc.), we should also agree upon what exactly makes an AA group or meeting ‘one of ours’… And yes, we should agree on a name too…

Sponsorship

Sponsorship

This week, we are publishing two articles on sponsorship. The first is written by Ashley H. from Jacksonville, Florida and the other by Laurie A. from the United Kingdom. Both stories were written from the author’s personal experience, and we hope they will generate a lively discussion of what…

The 24-Hour Plan

The 24-Hour Plan

For me the heart of Alcoholics Anonymous has always been the 24-Hour Plan. A day at a time we stay away from the First Drink. I first heard about it as a boy — from my father over the family dinner table. A friend of his had joined AA and…

My Story: Progression and Surrender

My Story: Progression and Surrender

My sobriety date is 12/10/2009. Perhaps two words that describe my three decades with alcohol are “progression,” and “surrender.” Having once been an ardent, Evangelical, Reformed Christian believer, by the time I staggered into AA I had been an atheist for almost fifteen years. I was “without” Theistic…

Evidence-Based Recovery

Evidence-Based Recovery

“…And the result was Nell until we let go absolutely,” my friend said, snickering and glancing at me over his crude translation of Chapter 5, the portion of the Big Book that is read at the beginning of so many meetings…

When I Decided to Stay Sober

When I Decided to Stay Sober

It was the overcast evening of November 3, 1972. I ran screaming out onto 11th Street at the corner of Waverley Place in Greenwich Village from the basement office of Dr. Wolf, my wife’s therapist. I was wild-eyed. Most distraught. Raging. Heartbroken. In a panic…

Emotional Sobriety

Emotional Sobriety

The last page of the last story in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition contains these words: “…we members of AA may never again have to deal with drinking, but we do have to deal with sobriety every day. How do we do it? By learning – through practicing the Twelve…

Share Magazine Articles by Laurie A.

Share Magazine Articles by Laurie A.

According to the 2015 membership survey there are 3,650 AA groups in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) with between 33,000 and 40,000 AA members and over three million individual attendances at meetings each year. Share is the fellowship’s magazine for England and Wales; Scotland has…

Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater: The Merits of the Big Book

Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater: The Merits of the Big Book

There is an old saying that suggests we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. In other words: there may be some nuggets of gold (or a kid) in that dirty water. That is how I feel about the Big Book (BB). There is a great deal…

A Long and Winding Road

A Long and Winding Road

I am an alcoholic. Not a fifth-a-day, drink alone, hide it in a drawer or under the car seat maintenance drinker sometimes not even obviously drunk but always a little, but instead, a once in a while, what the hell happened, went to the bar/nightclub/lounge/restaurant…

Mikey’s Spiritual Awakening

Mikey’s Spiritual Awakening

I had come to a very dark place at about nine years into my recovery. I was on a terrible dry-drunk that didn’t seem like it would ever go away and I decided that my only way out was to kill myself. Drinking was not an option for…