We Agnostics Shine in Atlanta

Joe C., author of Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life, which we use for topics of our meetings, posted on Rebellion Dogs a report about the 2015 International Convention recently held in Atlanta, celebrating A.A.’s 80th anniversary.

With the theme “Happy, Joyous and Free,” the report includes an mp3 recording of the “We Agnostics” panel, whose three speakers certainly exuded mucho happiness, joy & freedom about being agnostics in A.A. with longtime sobriety. The first speaker, Diggins, mentioned how grateful he was to see posters spread throughout the convention announcing the 2nd International Conference of We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers November 11-13, 2016 in Austin, Texas. For me, an added bonus was hearing Mike, whom I went to meetings with on Long Island in the 90s, share his bountiful spirit again.

An extra bonus was the link that Joe C. put up to the talk of the last speaker on the last panel of the last day — John K. from New York spoke on the topic from page 164 of the Big Book, “We Know But A Little.” The talk includes a segment of Bill Wilson’s remarks at the Toronto International A.A. convention 50 years ago in 1965 on the dangers of too much dogma in A.A. Our Responsibility Declaration was the theme of the Toronto convention

Thomas B.

Many Paths to Recovery . . .

It’s been a most exciting time for me the last couple of weeks. Jill and I took an exciting and fun trip to Tucson, AZ with visits in Flagstaff, The Grand Canyon, the White Mountains and Sedona before we ended up in Tucson. I know, who  the F . . . visits Arizona in the summer when temps range from 105 – 115 degrees? Well, we had a special reason to go. Our son, Tommy, also aka Thomas B., celebrated his 10th year of being clean & sober in NA. His mother, Sara, her husband, Michael, and Tommy’s wife, Mica, celebrated with us.

Tommy hit his first rehab at Hazelden when he was 14, but spent the next ten years in and out of rehabs, psyche wards, long-term residential programs, jails, living in a crack house, robbing drug dealers in East Harlem, wearing an ankle bracelet, etc. Primarily addicted to Special K in the Rave scene of  ’90s, it took him many relapses with beer to get it that, yes though primarily addicted to Special K, he was also a drunk, just like his Daddy. I moved him to live with me out in Tucson in 2002, and eventually after another experience with the law while drunk, he got clean and sober again in 2005. When I returned from a two-year stint as an ex-pat in Sri Lanka, working as an unarmed peace keeper between the Sinhala Buddhist Army and the Tamil Tigers, I gave him his 90 day coin in August of 2005.

Married, with budding careers both in business and as a DJ, Tommy’s recovery today is focused on a weekly NA men’s meeting, weekly yoga sessions and weekly Buddhist meditation with a group in Tucson who follow the dharma of Noah Levine.

It was truly one of the most specially gifted days of my longterm sobriety in AA, to give son, Tommy, his ten year clean & sober medallion at the Monday night NA meeting in Tucson on June 29th !~!~!

Thomas B.