“Just got the book, and sat down and read the first handful of stories, and I am absolutely amazed and moved. It is all so beautiful. I think we’re moving toward the light rather than fleeing from the darkness and I am grateful to all who contributed to this book for having rode the wave of transformation we’ve all been going through and giving it a voice in this book.”
Our dear friend, the late Ernie Kurtz, said that storytelling is in fact “the practice and indeed the essential dynamic of AA”. It is the way we AA members support each other and help guarantee our ongoing recovery.
The stories in this book are all by AA members who do not believe that an interventionist deity – a God – had anything at all to do with their recovery from alcoholism. As readers will discover, many struggled mightily “in the rooms” with the idea of God or a Higher Power, wanting to fit in, as Alcoholics Anonymous was their last hope.
Some were nonbelievers from the very beginning. Others, as the life-saving “personality change” in recovery took effect over time, abandoned a belief in God. Most felt unable to be honest at meetings, afraid that what they said would be attacked. If they did “come out of the closet” the consequences were hurtful: other members of AA would often take a condescending Dr. Bob approach (“I feel sorry for you”) and warn them that they would pick up again if they did not find God. They often felt dismissed, disparaged and rejected in the rooms of traditional AA.
But they stayed, as so many do not. And survived. And are here today to share their stories.
There are a total of thirty stories in Do Tell! And they are very personal and honest stories. All unique, all different. The stories in the book alternate between those by women and those by men and so we discover – if we did not appreciate this already – that the factors involved in addiction and recovery are often quite different in the lives of men and women.
Moreover, the style and tone of each author is different. Nevertheless there is without doubt something in each one of these stories that will resonate with those of us who have lived part of our lives in the struggle for recovery. As Marya Hornbacher, author of Waiting: A Nonbeliever’s Higher Power, says in the Foreword: Do Tell! is a “diverse and richly textured collection of recovery stories by non-believers… It is a book that would certainly have made a difference in the early days of my stumble toward sobriety and the Twelve Steps… It is also making a difference in my sobriety today.”
Enjoy these wonderful stories of “experience, strength and hope” by atheists and agnostics in AA.
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