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…

You Can Do It!

You Can Do It!

I was born in Lorraine, a part of France where the churches have long been closed but the bars are doing well. I started drinking in my early teens like most of my friends and I was good at it, better than most. I moved to Florida when I was…

Forty Plus Years of Learning: What Worked and What Didn’t Work

Forty Plus Years of Learning: What Worked and What Didn’t Work

It took the author several decades to finally obtain long-term sobriety; eventually he did and part of his solution was agnostic AA meetings. Tomorrow Bill P. turns 89, so let us celebrate with him by reading this insightful account of how he found long-term recovery. Happy Birthday, Bill…

Rediscovering AA

Rediscovering AA

I was aware of my potential alcoholism by the time I was 20. Less than two years into college and I was in trouble. My grades were borderline and the only major I settled on was drinking. I was on the Rugby team and my drinking behavior and escapades became…

Outsiders Anonymous

Outsiders Anonymous

It took a long time for me to admit that the fellowship of AA had anything for me. Maybe they didn’t want me; maybe I didn’t want them — a bunch of seedy guys chugging cigarettes outside beat-up back doors. Inside was worse: ratty chairs and sofas, torn…

My Experience as a GSR

My Experience as a GSR

Recently, I completed a two-year commitment as the GSR for my home group, Beyond Belief, in Portland, Oregon. It was my first experience in AA General Service above the group level since my first decade in recovery. It was also a most rewarding and gratifying experience, a boon for…

Compassion

Compassion

Nick hobbled into the AA meeting, shuffling his cane, serenely drunk again, lobotomized by Ripple. He gazed about him, quick-moving darts of blurry eyes, as if uncomprehending fully what he saw…

My Journey to Atheism

My Journey to Atheism

I’m Mike, alcoholic and atheist; sober since March 1990. I accepted atheism at age 65. Now 70, I realize my beliefs changed as a result of a paradigm shift in my spirituality. I don’t hate god or religion and I’m grateful theists find sobriety in AA. Unfortunately…

Am I Agnostic Enough?

Am I Agnostic Enough?

When I walked into the rooms over eight years ago, I would have simply told you that officially I was a lapsed Catholic or ‘fallen away’ as my dear departed mother used to say. Now make no mistake, this was not my first go around in AA…

Faith and Belief

Faith and Belief

Most often when I hear discussions about the second step, folks have gone way beyond the sentiment of the step and are busy attempting to define God, or at the very least trying to reach some conclusions about what constitutes a belief. One of the most restricting of those old…

Positive Affirmations and the Placebo Effect

Positive Affirmations and the Placebo Effect

To the average AA member, the hardcore nonbeliever poses a conundrum. In the words of Sir Winston, most appropriately spoken in 1939, he “is a riddle. wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Fred, or Jane, or Tom, in a sincere effort to assist in overcoming the encountered “belligerent denial…

AA Grapevine: In the Spirit–Not the Letter–of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA Grapevine: In the Spirit–Not the Letter–of Alcoholics Anonymous

My friends (and enemies) had diagnosed the problem–I could not drink without getting drunk. They weren’t telling me anything I didn’t know. And they offered no solution except, “Just don’t drink,” or, “Stop when you’ve had enough.” If I could have done that, I would…

True Salvation

True Salvation

At my first AA meeting 16 years ago, a priest slapped the podium and bellowed a question.

“HOW LOVABLE WERE YOU WHEN YOU CAME TO AA…

For All of Us

For All of Us

Normally it doesn’t bother me when something is read from our literature with which I disagree, but this really got my goat! If I was the newcomer in the room, and this was my first meeting, what I would hear would be ,”You have to work the steps” period…

To Know the Difference

To Know the Difference

In June of 1995, I left the court-ordered residential treatment center which had been my home for the past five months. I was sent there after causing a car wreck and being convicted of felony Intoxication Assault. While there I faced my step one powerlessness, immersed myself in the…

Out of the Closet

Out of the Closet

It’s 8:35 p.m. on Saturday and the speaker has just suggested the topic “How God works in your life.” I settle back in my seat, preparing myself to be open to receiving the message of recovery. I’ve become very good at listening and finding a message…

Saying Goodbye to My Home Group

Saying Goodbye to My Home Group

I sometimes write just to let out whatever emotion is tying me up in inside, and when I do this, I don’t plan or think too much about the words I choose, I just let it out. I’ve been doing this for most my life, probably for as…

AA Grapevine: Who’s Sitting Next to You?

AA Grapevine: Who’s Sitting Next to You?

I know who you are. You are “X” who attends the “ABC Meeting” at the “XYZ Club” where AAs meet in Anywhere, U.S.A…

How Do I Feel?

How Do I Feel?

When I went to rehab in 2010 it didn’t feel like I walked through the doors at the main entrance. It felt like I crawled under those doors.I didn’t know what I was doing there. I didn’t know what had happened. But I knew I had…

The Myth of the Angry Atheist

The Myth of the Angry Atheist

Most myths and stereotypes have a least some basis in reality and it is clear, even to the casual observer, that some portion of self-identified atheists (including this one) exhibit what can be misidentified, on the surface, as an aggressive, superior attitude…