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.

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…

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…

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…