God of Coincidence

Flock-of-Two

By Tom P.

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts.
― Albert Einstein, The World As I See It

While I was actively drinking, I was convinced that AA would not work for me. There were many factors behind this belief, the most important being the religious nature of the program. Having felt harmed by the religion of my youth, then ostracized as a non-theist, I could not picture getting any help in a program where I would be “praying only for knowledge of His will for (me) and the power to carry that out” [Step Eleven]. I had also heard from my own patients over the years that AA tried to “shove religion down your throat”; this common complaint reinforced my misgivings.

I was pleasantly surprised, even shocked, by the reality of what I found in AA meetings. The references to God in members’ personal sharing were few and were fairly low-key. The “God-talk” did not seem overbearing or coercive, at least at first. The members were just sharing about themselves, and if God was important to them, then God was important to them, and it seemed reasonable to mention it. After all, I did want to hear from all members about their experience, strength and hope – as long as they did not push anything on me. Contrary to my expectation, I did not feel that anybody was trying to shove anything down my throat. Rather, the absence of crosstalk, the lack of interrupting and the undivided attention we give to one another while sharing was the most respectful way to fellowship with others that I had ever experienced. From the very first meeting, I felt that I belonged and that there was a solution to my problem.

Now with almost a year in the program I remain high on AA, and am attending Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics as well. Yet, my relief and amazement at the seemingly low-key nature of the program’s religiosity during those first few months has given way to mixed feelings of respect and admiration on the one hand, but also sadness and concern on the other hand. I will share a bit more about my background, and then come back to my current thoughts and feelings.

It was not hard to leave the religion of my youth. Not only did the dogma seem absurd, but thinking of the church as a “club” that had insiders and outsiders, I definitely wanted to be an outsider. I wanted nothing to do with it. My own opinion is that the primary psychological driver underlying the religious impulse in our species is the wish to belong. How else can you explain people’s willingness to suspend critical thought, and profess to believe the most ridiculous of ideas? For many reasons, I felt I did not belong in the church, and did not want to belong. It was easy for me to become a non-theist, as I did not think I was leaving anything of value behind, and I hoped to escape the burden of guilt and shame that it drilled into me. Excited by my newfound freedom of thought, I mentioned my de-conversion once at my public school. My peers looked at me with such disgust and loathing, I quickly concluded that I had best avoid the topic altogether.

The dominant AA creed I have found in meetings and in the Grapevine is that there is a God who is always with us, watching us, and He sometimes arranges coincidences that have good outcomes, or, if something bad happens, He allows it to happen in order to teach us important lessons, or because it leads to personal growth. Sometimes members talk like God is all one God, and is involved with everybody. At other times, members talk like each person has their own God, so there would be as many Gods as there are people.

In the big scheme of things, this AA view of God is relatively benign. There is no talk of eternal fire, and when God does arrange events in people’s lives or allow bad things to happen, they are always toward a greater good, not to harm people as the gods of classical Greece sometimes did. So why am I concerned about this dominant AA creed? If the view of God is relatively benign, why not just “let them [most AA members] have their God,” as one fellow non-theist AA member scolded me?

My concern is not so much about individual members, as it is about AA as a whole. Thinking again about AA as a club, most of us see it as overwhelming good, and we want to belong. I do feel like I belong. Yet, it seems that in members’ wish to belong to the AA club they adopt the dominant AA creed of the “God of Coincidence.” How else can you explain that otherwise intelligent and savvy people would discount the obvious explanation that coincidences are inevitable, and positive coincidences are more likely for those who are drug-free, grateful, willing, and working to overcome their selfishness. Just as members of a church accept the sect’s religious teachings in order to belong, and show this acceptance by professing their faith, members of AA seem to look for positive happenstances in their lives, and attribute them to God in order to (unconsciously of course) cement their feeling that they truly belong with AA. In another context, I expect that most of these members would see the same events as simply fortunate chance happenings that occur now and then.

So, for those members who adopt the AA God of Coincidence there is no problem. They adopt the creed, feel like they fully belong, and go about their recovery. Yet, the doctrine creates some problems.

First off, this doctrine alienates people like me, makes me feel like an outsider, like I don’t belong. It rekindles the painful ostracism I have felt in society as a non-theist. At one meeting last Fall, one member started by describing a bad accident she was in, and attributed the fact that it was not worse to the God of Coincidence working in her life. As we went around the table, member after member described something that had happened to them as the God of Coincidence working in their lives, and some of the examples were as trivial as God leading them to the right store to find the item that the member was looking for. (At least nobody mentioned parking spots!) I felt like all the oxygen had been sucked out of the room, and I couldn’t breathe. When it was my turn to share I choked out something about feeling on the outside, and how painful it has been for me over the years. They assured me that I belonged there – and then they closed with the Lord’s Prayer. Arghh! I have not returned to that particular meeting.

Secondly, the God of Coincidence doctrine is a barrier to helping other alcoholics who are still suffering. Almost all religious beliefs can make perfect sense to insiders, but seem ridiculous to outsiders. When I was an outsider I would have thought, and still think, that the idea that God micromanages our lives is silly and childish, that it was just one of many nonsense beliefs that would prevent me from getting anything out of AA. Yet, if I just had walked in the door five years ago just to check things out for myself, and seen that the religious stuff was not as big an obstacle as I thought, I might have come back, and saved myself and the people I love a lot of grief. How many alcoholics are out there destroying their lives, convinced that AA’s religious bent means it could never work for them? Does AA exist just to nurture the insider (a primary focus of many churches, though my childhood faith focused on obligation to the church above all else), or do we also take tradition five seriously – “to carry (the) message to (all) the alcoholic(s) who still suffer”?

In summary, my view is that humanity’s need to belong, and the insider/outsider dynamics that go with it, goes a long way to explain why AAs often embrace the God of Coincidence. These dynamics help explain why we get blank stares or opposition from most AA members when we discuss the religious nature of the program.  What’s the problem, asks the insider. If people want help, they are welcome to join the club, accept some kind of Higher Power, and they too can get the riches the program has to offer. Yet, we also want people to discover and embrace their true selves, and for some of us adopting the God of Coincidence, or labelling anything as a “Higher Power,” would be a self-betrayal. I love AA, it saved my life, and I have no Higher Power. All three of these statements are true. For me, step three is about becoming willing to swallow my pride, and accept the help, wisdom and love the program has to offer. I wish I did not have to talk-around the Higher Power issue when I am sharing in meetings, to hide a part of myself. But then again, it has not been too hard for me to do. I have had a lifetime of practice.


Tom P. is a physician who spent twenty years working in mental health, when the ability to control his own drinking vanished.  Having seen it happen in his own life, he now understands addiction in a way he never did before. He is a grateful member of AA, and two other 12 Step fellowships. His beautiful, devoted wife has found deep meaning, understanding and guidance in Al-Anon.

Dr. Tom sees no evidence that the universe cares whether the Earth or us homo sapiens are here or not, but he also thinks that AA demonstrates the great good humanity can do when we hold hands, unite and take some responsibility for one another. He is also the author of another article posted on AA Agnostica on February 1, 2015, The Doorknob Deity.


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God of Coincidence — 38 Comments

  1. Yes I have always felt like the outsider when it comes to AA here in small town Florida. I once asked if there were any other atheists about while people were having coffee before the mtg. I was told by the group leader “I’m sure there are but its usually not discussed”. The God stuff is a barrier for me. Fortunately I was able to get sober on my own but it sure would have been nice to have a recovery community to be part of. I wish these people could see they are locking some of us out by insisting on a belief in a higher power that is nothing but a thinly veiled god.

  2. Boom. Another gem from AA Agnostica.
    Now that I now have a name for the God I don’t trust – the “God of Coincidences” – (the one Blake held off at the pass), the capricious bully has somehow shrunk to a comical idol in a souvenir shop. More imp, it will help a lot when at a meeting where ‘his’ minions might (innocently) pour forth minute details of how He worked his magic today – eh, finding a lost pair of glasses, bumping in to an old friend, a drinks party being cancelled, etc.
    Keep em coming…!

  3. I sat through one of those coincidence/miracle meetings one time, and when it was my turn I said, “The middle two digits of my Social Security number are the year I was born. I guess some miracles have no significance.”

  4. Thanks for a wonderful article. Here in Texas it’s god god gods all the time. At our Mostly Agnostics meeting it was anti god blah blah, and I think we need some of that. Where else in AA are we going to be able to express that?

    But recently we’ve moved more into a more positive group, talking about steps, the Promises (except the last one). We had the opening paragraphs of Chapter 3 last time, and the newcomers found themselves in it.

    I still feel shunned in god meetings if I say I’m agnostic. But the god of coincidences – what a great topic and way to present it in meetings. BTW, I picked up my 29 year chip this month. I’m still working on how to “come out” to my regular group. I think it’s important that I continue there for the agnostic/atheist who still suffers.

  5. Thank you Tom. This is a great article and is so bang on to the thinking we need to see more of around our tables. I think about it all the time, but in a more fired up nonsensical way – a tendency I have when I feel angry. It always helps me when someone articulates it for me. The only part that is different for me is that I do experience coincidences that cause me to feel there is some loving kind force of some kind somewhere doing something. I just can’t and no longer even try to explain what it is and why it bothered with me at all. I don’t think humans (me especially) are capable of imagining or knowing what it could be. That is why I say I am agnostic. I truly don’t know and believe only fools say they can explain it and then proclaim they have FAITH. I have also come to believe there is something in nature that might be capable of kindness, and I also now know that animals cooperate with nature so whatever force does exist they have a better understanding of it. This helps me and I’m grateful for people who will tolerate my findings in my search which is wholly different from yours, but complimentary. Thank you again for inspiration. Hope you come to our meeting some day.

    • People are capable of great good as well as evil (in a humanistic sense). I can see how people think that there may be something behind the good. My wife feels that way. There is no way to prove or disprove the idea, so I hope it does not divide people. I spent years telling myself I did not care if I belonged anywhere. But I do want to belong as much as the next person. My life is richer now than it has ever been. I have to believe that our non-theist/deist/agnostic voices will be heard eventually. It gets exhausting but it is worth the effort. AA has too much goodness to offer.

  6. “. . . let feeble minds . . . cherish such thoughts.” Must have been a bad moment for Einstein when he wrote that. It is so combative. Many of us feel that way at times. I do. But next steps toward reconciliation, respect and humility are not furthered, at least until the dust settles.

    • Good point. I’ll avoid passing on that quote.

      As my article says, I think the theism is more about belonging, not feeble souls, and we all have a need to belong.

  7. From the author:

    Thanks to everybody for your positive comments. While I go to AA meetings, I actually feel more at home and nurtured in Al-Anon. Among other things, there is less crosstalk, less fundamentalism, and a better adherence to the principle of “take what you want and leave the rest.” I don’t know if it will work for you, but it works for me.

    I admit it still stings a little whenever the God issue comes up in meetings. I have as much a need to belong as anybody does. One has to be careful, as some AAs will prompt you to just ignore feelings like this. Thankfully, I also have Adult Children of
    Alcoholics, where I can accept my feelings whatever they are, and get to know my true self.

    TP

    • Just my opinion. I do not understand any alcoholic attending Al-Anon, even if you are a sober member of AA and you have someone in your family who is an alcoholic. We have AA and I think it is in bad taste for alcoholics to attend Al-Anon. My sponsor attended their meetings for about 15 years and talked me into going to one meeting. I felt like such a fraud invading their sanctuary from us.

      • I think that is all about you, Brien.

        My wife and my sponsor, both sober 27/28y, both attend.

        AlAnon helps them with relationship issues they don’t get in A.A.

        YMMV.

      • AlAnon tradition 3: “The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.”

        AlAnon could help you avoid trying to decide what is best for me, based on what you have decided is best for you.

      • Great example, Tom. I have yet to go to Al-anon, but I’m sure I would benefit. Many of my AA friends attend Al-anon meetings; it’s not at all unusual. I also find Adult Children of Alcoholics helpful. Many AAs in those rooms as well.

      • Brien, that’s an interesting opinion and one I can sympathize with the sentiments of. I have attended thousands of aa meetings but just 3 alanon meetings (two of them by mistake!). The one I attended intentionally was prior to a visit from my sister who was seeking to reconnect with recovery (I’m sure that one meeting “fixed me” Haaa!).

        In aa I heard the line “scratch an alcoholic, you’ll find a co-dependent.” At two years sober I ended up in a men’s step study in CoDA (which I refer to as “alanon without the booze”). 75% of the guys in the step study were AAers, which at first surprised me… but who better to understand the life-saving value of 12-step recovery than an AAer? One guy said “of course I’m co-dependent… I was dependent on booze, wasn’t I?” (I’m not sure the logic fully follows, but the line stuck with me).

        At the “accidental” meetings, the format did seem to call upon us to focus on our alanon issues/recovery… despite that I couldn’t help myself but to acknowledge that my experience with the steps was primarily in “another fellowship.” The first accidental meeting was at night in a church schoolroom; I was running late and it had been a while since I’d been to the aa meeting there and I went in the wrong door. The school desks and chairs were arranged in an odd formation and I had to sort of fight/climb my way to a seat. I sat down and saw the “alternate universe” of the literature (the circle in the triangle, instead of vice-versa) and realized something was amiss, but felt it would be ruder to fight my way back out of the desk trap. A decade later, visiting a foreign city I found a meeting room that hosted a lot of aa meetings and went there a number of times; one time I walked in, sat down and realized there were a lot of women… was this a woman’s stag meeting…. oh… no…there are two guys…okay… then the meeting started and “Alanon” … ooops!

        If I were a little better at following the adage “when in Rome, do as the romans do…” I might feel less like an invading spy and more like someone benefiting from the recovery on offer.

      • You are not expected to say whether you are an alcoholic, as that is not why you are there. Just like other details of our lives, we are anonymous unless things have a direct bearing on our share. However, most of us are not shy about calling ourselves “double dippers.” I’d say 90% of the men and 40% of the women in my home group are double dippers.

      • I have only attended two AlAnon mtgs.

        I have no idea whether or not my wife and sponsor do, but suspect very strongly that they don’t.

  8. Tom, thanks. Reflecting on what you wrote, and some of the comments, I have to say I have gotten way more radicalized than I ever wanted to be. Of course it started with the fight with Intergroup, and then on top of it an LP fight with my home group.

    If it hadn’t been for all that fighting (in AA of all places where we cease fighting everything and everyone), if openmindedness and unity had prevailed, and the god people could just have said “Hey great, they’re starting a freethinkers meeting, great, we support that, it will help a bunch of people who don’t seem to like (or ‘get’, in their lingo) the idea of a higher power” – well, then we would all still just be supporting each other any way we know, and Live and let Live would reign. Any time I would hear people talking about their god I would think “more power to them” and we’d be one big happy family.

    As it is, I got to get so hostile to the whole god thing in AA that I practically never leave well enough alone anymore. I don’t crosstalk, of course, maybe with a speaker, but not with members on the floor, but if the Daily Reflection or some other reading has some nonsense in it I will bring it up, and if I’m in the mood, I’ll go on about it at length. And frankly I don’t even like doing it, I would much rather just mind my sobriety and my emotional growth, but I guess it is a political act, similar to many other good causes, like speaking up against injustice, I feel obliged to in some way.

    If they had taken a 20 minute discussion at that first intergroup meeting and approved to put our meeting in the schedule, all this would have been avoided. Now the unity is lost, and they get to sit and roll their eyes whenever I speak, or feel sorry for me or whatever.

    If I didn’t feel that the fellowship is important for me still, I would probably just quit going, but between having been indoctrinated sufficiently in AA to believe I should not ever stop going to meetings, and thinking that maybe a newcomer will show up who needs to hear an alternate message, I keep going.

    • No shame in continuing to go. We all need to belong. I tried to deny that fact about myself for far too long.

      Tom P

    • Your comment reminded me if something about AA, which is that AA tends to be a society ruled by an order based perspective. AA’s idea of order perspective is that an alcoholic is a dysfunctional aspect of a greater society that is itself whole and functional. To assume for a second that alcoholism is a sign of deep social problems is usually unacceptable in an AA share. NA for example is not as order based, partly because drugs like heroin have a distinct counter cultural element to their use…

      I guess in that sense, agnostic AA folks are a bit of a counter culture one that perhaps has been forced to be comfortable with conflict.

    • YES. AA is about the newcomer. That is why ag’s and others on the edge need to be in the circle. Whether spoken or silent our presence is essential to the health of the fellowship. We all agree. Right?

    • Thanks Life J. for your honest perspective.
      Early in sobriety I noticed that “nothing activates MY EGO… like your ego,” and more recently I feel the same about my non-theism… when theism isn’t an issue, I don’t feel the need to thump my atheist chest, but the more the bible is rammed down my ears, the more “violently” I want to speak against it. The big book says something about how in war “the victor only appears to win.” By provoking me into obnoxious behaviours, the trolls win.

      I can rarely live it, but I try… It can seem impossible at times to, in the words of “Desiderata” … speak your truth quietly and clearly in an environment of loud thumping. It IS important for the new comer to hear that non-theistic recovery is possible.

      “Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
      and remember what peace there may be in silence.
      As far as possible without surrender
      be on good terms with all persons.
      Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
      and listen to others,
      even the dull and the ignorant;
      they too have their story.

      “Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
      they are vexations to the spirit….”

  9. I have heard, many times, some old-timer (or worst of all, an old-timer-wannabe) say that “There are no coincidences in AA — everything is a miracle”, or words to that effect.

    I was working on Step 9 a long time ago, and found myself in Providence, RI on a work assignment. About a year sober, I was getting to any meeting I could, especially when on the road — that was dangerous territory for me then.

    So I found a meeting, and by coincidence, it was a Step 9 meeting. So I introduced myself, and said something like “how coincidental, a Step 9 meeting just when I’m doing a bunch of repairs.”

    For the next hour, all around the room, I was told this vast and universal truth, that there are no coincidences in AA, and God had guided my steps to that very meeting…

    How I avoided throwing up by the end of it I don’t know. I didn’t go to another meeting for several days, until the hotel room began to feel lonely without a bottle in it. Then I went to another meeting, having learned yet again to keep my mouth shut: lesson 99, “coincidences” is a keyword that will unleash God talk.

    I still go to some random meetings. Sometimes I need a meeting, or just want to be in a room full of drunks for an evening. Mostly there is some parroting of “My HP guides me…” and so on, but I don’t engage – I tune it out – and listen for the honest ESH talk. Yeah, if they need it, who am I to tell them it’s nonsense? We still stay sober, together.

    • Lesson 99, I love it.

      A few times I have slipped and used the term “miracle” in my share, then I quickly add “I mean miracle in a non-supernatural sense, as something dramatic, fairly unexpected and overwhelmingly positive.” So far, adding this has kept the meeting on track without threatening anybody.

  10. Thanks for a concise article, Tom. It saddens me to think of the lives lost forever because of the rigidity of the belief in the god of coincidences and the circular thinking that it evokes.

  11. Thanks Tom that resonated nicely with how I feel today. The part of the whole Higher Power thing for me is its irrelevance to my view of the world and myself. It was essential and very difficult for me to understand that I had a problem and that problem was my internal relationship with ethanol. Nothing “made me drink” catastrophically except my own attitudes and the training I had inadvertently put myself through in my quest to indulge my addiction. That and perhaps a genetic and cultural pre-selection toward alcoholism. (In my family ethanol addiction could be viewed as an occupational hazard.)
    So when I came into recovery I had to accept it was me who was the problem and it was me who had to find and apply the solution. This was handed to me by AA and the fellowship to do (I thought) what I needed to do with it. I worked hard to understand, medically and psychologically what was wrong in my poisoned, greedy brain and what I was trying to do to cope with it. I had some success and was told that it was not me it was god. “How the hell did she get involved with this?’ was what I thought. I still do.
    I tried to seek for a god of my understanding that could fit my model of existence but found the concept to be silly especially in the attributions so many AA’s make that their HP manipulates their environment for some unknown reason. I always saw it like god gave me an STD so I could never have sex any more unless I prayed and became worthy or something, yada, yada. That is way too pervy, even for me, and I…well lets not go there.
    The icing on my sobriety cake was being told by people I had come to respect that I was not responsible for my recovery, that god was and that I was stealing credit for something I did not do!
    That obsession of mine was not “lifted” as they say. I beat it like a little brother who owed me money until it was afraid to come out. It is till hiding in there and I am supposed to keep it at bay by praying? No. It is my job and to externalise what is an internal issue seems like a pointless exercise.
    Thanks Again.

    • Well said, Dan! I too believe that I am 100% responsible for my own recovery, and I deserve all the credit for my sobriety and the blame for my slips. My higher power is my higher self, i.e. the part of myself that knows right from wrong. When I follow it, I’m usually ok. When I don’t, I’m fucked.

  12. Thanks Tom – a great read – I too just cant stand all this god crap! and as much as i enjoyed what you had to say – i seldon read Agnostica stuff anymore as again we are discussing “G”. I stopped going to agnostic meetings as we spoke of G i think more often than meetings where they just close with the lords prayer. When will we get over it??? When can we stop debating the ‘G’ issue at every single meeting or email? I stopped going to meetings as i didn’t want to listen to it anymore. Am i happy – sometimes.

  13. I’ve been to meetings where people say that when there’s a coincidence it’s god working anonymously. So, I think, why is god hiding himself? Why doesn’t he announce himself, and say “Hey, Steve, I’m god, and today I’m going to perform a coincidence for you: would you like to find a $100 bill on the sidewalk this morning, and another one this afternoon on the same sidewalk? I can even arrange that the two bills have consecutive serial numbers. Wouldn’t that be nice of me to do that?” Well, yeah. But I’d also like to meet this wonderful benefactor–where is he? He’s nowhere to be seen! But perhaps it’s a little inconvenient for god to reveal himself because he is so busy elsewhere, helping sparrows flap their wings, and whipping up hurricanes to punish sinners…I guess I understand, but thanks for the money!

  14. Yeah, Tom, the Sunday School theology of some AAs makes me groan. The primitive infantilism I object to most is, ‘God was looking after me when I was drinking.’ When I ask, ‘So why doesn’t he take similar care of the countless alcoholics who die agonising deaths and their suffering loved ones?’ I’m told, ‘Ah well, that must be God’s will which we can’t understand.’ Well, I want nothing to do with such a sadistic monster. My black belt Al-Anon wife tells me that in her fellowship she is advised, ‘Take what you like and leave the rest.’ Mercifully I don’t have to take any notice of the religious drivel I hear in meetings.

  15. Hi Tom, thanks for your honest and thoughtful post. I too am a non-theist and have had similar resentments about the seemingly predominant creed at many AA meetings. You and I can help the situation by speaking our truth at meetings, especially when we may feel like an outsider. That feeling can be a threat to our sobriety and can be addressed right then and there when it arises in the context that you have described. When I have had the courage to do this it has paid off. People come up to me afterwards and share similar experiences. Or people start to voice similar concerns during the meeting. I need to keep it real, I cannot pretend. I’m glad you are still in the program and I hope you keep coming.

    • Good points. We do pay a cost when we pretend. Since I have been reminding myself that the God of Coincidence creed is more about belonging than anything else, I find myself more accepting. When I feel like I can be honest about this issue without oozing resentment, I’m more likely to says something.

      TP

  16. Hey, thank you. You really hit on a central thing and described it so clearly: Believing and saying we believe in AA is about our need to belong as much as anything. You have drawn this to the larger social phenomenon of religion to inspire the same.

    My view is that the god of coincidence fumbles, collapses, bursts into flames and quickly leaves the room when we mention babies who die of starvation. I find the ultimate moralist entitlement in any description of such things as part of god’s larger plan.

    Fundamentalist AA is often packaged at some Toronto meetings as anti-fellowship but what you have said here explains that quite nicely: We have such a deep need to belong (especially in early recovery) that we will even adopt a dogma that claims, “I don’t need people at all! Only god can get me sober,” so long as that’s the rule for being a part of such a group.

  17. Well done. The God of Coincidence. How smart. And yes, of course, if I am not drinking, self-absorbed, angry, and controlling, the chances are that more will be good in my life than bad. At a step meeting last week, with several newcomers, I shared that I do not have any kind of deity higher power, and look to the principles of the steps as my focus. One woman got up and walked out. I’m sorry that her 28 years of sobriety are threatened, but do feel it is important to let newcomers know that many of us struggle past the constant god references in AA. Thanks for your share.

  18. Tom P thank you for the great post, it’s a huge part of my story as well, I so look forward to my sunday am internet aa agnostic therapy… LIFE IS GOOD

  19. Yup, once again I get to see another variant of “my story”, written out better than I could do.

    Thank you… it does *so* much good to hear you and share this with you.

  20. I’ve needed an answer to the question of “What’s the problem?”. This article gives me the best explanation I can remember reading. It also describes accurately my ambivalent feelings about AA in general. Thank you.