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 carpets, dog-eared books that looked and sounded like children’s readers. Bad coffee guaranteed, the options black or fake creamer.

Continue Reading Outsiders Anonymous

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 my long-term recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Continue Reading My Experience as a GSR

Step One

I opened the door and walked into the room, the first to arrive. Across from me, displayed on the wall were the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. As I read that first step, it got my attention. It was the perfect description of my situation and my life at that moment, and honestly just reading the words filled me with a sense of relief. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Continue Reading Step One


On the weekend of December 17—20, 2015, my wife, Jill, and I attended the 19th Western Area Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous. It was held at the Doubletree Hotel near the Oregon Convention Center in Portland with some 2100 AA members in attendance.

Continue Reading WACYPAA, XIX

AA Grapevine: The Traditions in Action

THE LEGACY of Service affirms our faith in the democratic ideal of majority decision, the group conscience, basic decency, and the collective wisdom of AA's representatives in the General Service Conference, together with the Trustees of the General Service Board of AA, both AAs and nonalcoholics. The spirit of this Legacy can be summed up best exactly as Bill wrote about it:

Continue Reading AA Grapevine: The Traditions in Action


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.

Continue Reading Compassion

Henrietta Sieberling

Bill Wilson was having some panicky moments in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel, in the early afternoon of the second Saturday of May, 1935. Much has been made of his “hot flash” spiritual experience of five months earlier at the Towns Hospital, but at least equally important was his theory that attempts made to reach out and help others could KEEP him sober.

Continue Reading Henrietta Sieberling