Episode 109: Simon P.

For this episode, I spoke with my friend Simon P., who I met a few years ago at the We Agnostics group in Kansas City. Simon has recently started a secular AA speaker meeting which has been doing well. In fact, we have turned the meeting into a podcast, which is fun but also makes the meeting more accessible. It was nice to have Simon over to my house and to get to know him better as he shared his journey of recovery. 


John S: This is Episode 109 of AA Beyond Belief: The Podcast.


John S: In today’s episode, I’ll be speaking with Simon P, a friend of mine who I met at the We Agnostics Group in Kansas City. Recently, Simon started The Secular AA Speaker Meeting here in KC, which is doing great. In fact, we’ve turned it into its own podcast. You can listen to those episodes at secularaaspeaker.org or wherever you download your podcast.

John S: I met Simon, I guess, maybe three or four years ago you started coming to our group?

Simon P: Yeah, I think it was about a year after you guys got started.

John S: And then you recently started this speaker meeting, The Secular Speaker Meeting, which is going really good.

Simon P: So far, yeah.

 John S: Yeah, and it’s been a lot of fun hanging out with you lately, so I thought it’d be nice to have you over here to kind of share your story, because I haven’t heard it.

Simon P: I appreciate it. I guess, I really don’t talk about my personal life a ton, kind of on purpose. When we’re in groups, I always, I guess when I share, I try to think of a way to explain how I’ve used things I’ve learned that have helped, and it often doesn’t involve going back and remembering the, I don’t know, times in my life that I was really depressed, far away from what I consider reality at this point. And, I don’t know, I guess, remembering those times in detail out loud to other people is, at most, sometimes entertaining or fun for me, but it’s usually not productive. I wasn’t doing well then, and I didn’t have a good perspective on life. So, I guess I’ll kind of though at this point, start back, give you a brief rundown of my youth, and what maybe led to drinking, and what led to me wanting to stop drinking.

 Simon P: When I was really young alcohol was a big part of my parent’s social lives. I was always allowed to drink alcohol, and I wasn’t getting drunk at the age of five, but I could have sips from my dad’s beer when I was getting it from the fridge. I remember being pretty young and getting to taste hard liquor for the first time. I think, I didn’t really enjoy the flavor of liquor at that point. Beer, I did like the smell and the taste, but it just wasn’t a big deal, and everybody who did drink that I was around growing up, had a good time, enjoyed themselves. I didn’t see the social conflicts that happened within families because of it back then. It just seemed like kind of a party. Then when I was a teenager, maybe 14 or 15, I got drunk for the first time, swiping beers from my dad. This was all still well and good though. I remember towards the end of high school I started, when I would drink, I would drink a lot, and I was kind of known as the guy who could drink a lot. I knew that it took away what I felt to be crippling, social anxiety, and I wasn’t unpopular or even… I don’t know, I was pretty sociable. But I still got nervous when I was talking to people. I was a teenager. I was still figuring out who the hell I was.

Simon P: And it eased tension, I guess, at that point. But I wasn’t doing anything more than the random weekend bender party or whatever, and it was still very social. I moved away from home, and when I eventually got to the point where I was around people who could get alcohol, I was in situations where I could get it myself, I still wasn’t quite 21, I noticed that my drinking ramped way up, and I had a huge desire to have it regularly. I kind of created, just through the friends that I had, the things that I enjoyed doing, and the jobs that I had, I created a life for myself where alcohol was always accessible and always acceptable, so I could drink all the time. And I often think about what came first. Did all of the things that made me want to drink heavily in the end start in my life and never got dealt with, and drinking came along. I don’t know, my life kind of fell apart in that structure. Or did I just drink way too much for so long…

John S: Right. [chuckle]

 Simon P: That it caused me to get really depressed from just being in that state for so long. I was, for real, drunk every single day, most of the day, for at least… I remember at one point thinking, “You’ve drank every single day for three… ” And I figure out, I don’t know, some sort of a system to get this under… Then about three years later, thinking again like, “Oh man, it’s been another three years and that my life has not progressed. Drinking, I guess, has progressed. And when I was about 26, it started to affect my social life, and I started to hide my drinking. I knew it was a problem, and that’s when the physical effects started to take over. I didn’t know what to call it back then. In fact, I would say I was a very relaxed person, and I wasn’t. But if I stopped drinking at any point, the overwhelming anxiety made me feel so horrible that no matter how much I didn’t want to drink, it was a better option than how I felt.

Simon P: I didn’t realize that it was only going to get worse, and the only way out of it was through that misery you had to go through, and it just seemed so horrendous every single time, profusely sweating, not sleeping. I had a big fear of not being… And not being able to concentrate, just not feeling like myself, not be able to enjoy any… So I started to fight drinking harder, but I didn’t stop. I got to a point where I was living in Oregon, and my family pretty much come and get me, bring me back to Kansas City, because everything around me was failing. My body, my mind, jobs and relationships were starting to crumble. And I got back to Kansas City and was able to isolate more. Liquor was more accessible here than it was in Oregon. In the off hours, it’s a little bit harder to get action in Oregon. Lived by a gas station down here in Westport with my sister. That was a really hard time in my life. I’d been introduced to AA by my cousin who… Alcoholic. He actually just lived a few blocks from… And I was fighting very hard again. I didn’t like AA. It made me feel uncomfortable. I don’t know. I’m going to step aside for a second and say, I don’t know if any of this could have been avoided. I really don’t. I don’t know if in my life I ever had… Truly had the opportunity to avoid this whole sit.

Simon P: There are even times when I think I sought it out. And I try to see that in other people, and I get, I think, a better perspective on how they’re dealing with their problem. When I think of it like they’re not responsible for the place they’re in. I wasn’t responsible. It was a series of a lot of circumstance, maybe biology as well, but some reason, that was part of my growing up, a part of how I got to where I am. And I kind of appreciate the struggle now. Going back, though, I was living with my sister, and that was very difficult, because I knew she was in struggle. And I was drinking so much. Very, very danger… And working restaurant jobs, just barely surviving. I had to, for my health and my sister’s, move out of her house and into my parents’ house. And I kind of got together some dry spell… I was not happy at all. I’d convinced everybody in my life that AA wasn’t right for me. I had grit my teeth and just starting getting bits of sobriety. I had done a lot of reading. I was fully aware that I was an alcoholic. The first step. Totally comprehendable and accepted by me. I just couldn’t stop. Every once in a while, something would happen, a stress in my life that I didn’t know how to deal with, I would end up drinking. It would spiral quickly out of control. And there for a while, though, I was able to kind of piece together some different pieces of sobriety.

Simon P: I got better jobs, saved up some money. I was kind of prospering. And I kind of… I had all my friends back in Oregon. I felt like I needed to get back. Almost proved to myself that I was… I hadn’t really done a lot of… So I got back there and was doing okay. I got a phone call one day that the cousin who had introduced me to AA, committed suicide. That caused a spiral. It eventually got to the point again though, where my friends were calling my parents. They came back to Oregon. I had to get out of there. I had to have some sort of a support system put in place. You know what? I don’t know. I might have done fine now. But there are people who did care about me. They were afraid I was going to die. So about a… I spent another year out in Oregon, and I came back to Kansas City. And I was doing well again and started going to AA community. And I’m getting intriculated back into that population. I didn’t really have any friends, so… And I was still struggling with depression severely. So I fiddled with that, tried having some serious relationships that did not work out, also did a little bit of drinking here and there. For the most part, tried to stay sober, and I did a pretty good job. I’d say about 80% of the time, after I moved back from Oregon, I managed to stay fairly sober. When I did drink though, the alcohol consumption was dangerous.

Simon P: I would drink to get drunk. Immediately turn off completely. That was almost always my… After I started being fearful of drinking, and after I didn’t want to… What I always used alcohol for was to shut off constant drone in my head that was my inner dialogue. It was constantly spouting unhealthy things, worrying about unrealistic thing. I would lay awake at night and drive myself pretty crazy. So I would drink. I could shut that voice off. Could go to sleep. Have a part of my day that wasn’t high anxiety and very low depression. So I was still dealing with the heavy issues in my life. Through friends of a friend, somebody mentioned that they were going to an agnostic AA. And I had kind of fizzled out of AA again at that point. It doesn’t suit what I was supposed… And I started going with my father who had also had a drinking problem, and stopped, I think with a lot more ease than I did, which was frustrating. So we started going, and I don’t know, I really… As far as the secular meetings go, I really fell in love with the amount of thought that went into the reasons why things work for people.

Simon P: Instead of following a set of rules and expecting illogical… To me, illogical things to happen in your life because of following these arbitrary rules, I was able to talk to people about the physiological and psychological processes that they went through that made their lives. I still wasn’t done drinking, and that was when we met four years ago. I can’t tell you exactly why I didn’t take to not drinking. It took me… So after I started trying to not drink, it took me about seven years. It was very hard, but I think I finally got to the point where I had seen my life ruined. And I mean, pretty… I don’t know. I have nothing, no job, no friends, all the way. So many time. I guess, that was the point. I was willing to do any… So again, I kind of just grit my teeth and got… At the beginning. Again, I had kind of stopped coming to AA but I had… I had started a relationship with someone who filled a lot of the holes in my life that AA now fill. I guess it was… We talked about our feelings a lot. I was able to… And she didn’t drink. Not because she had a problem with it, but I think just because she… I’m still learning how to deal with different problems. But for a year, when I was with her, I was able to not drink. And it got enough time between… I had enough experiences, I guess, and I didn’t deal with them than alcohol.

Simon P: All of that built up. I was able to eventually even just imagine myself not failing. And I was able to… I guess… No, I think that’s the best way to put it, because I had never imagined myself not failing. I always thought something would crop up, I’d start drinking again.

John S: So, something happened when you were able to get past that.

Simon P: Well, it wasn’t one thing, it was just a lot of things happened. And some things were hard. Some things were easier than I expected. I just didn’t drink. Eventually that relationship kind of dissolved, not in a horrible way, but I did know immediately that I was going to have to fill that. I still don’t. In fact, I don’t think most will do well alone with their thoughts, I especially. So I went back to AA, and I felt immediately relieved.

John S: Yeah, it seems like when you came back, you got really involved too.

Simon P: Well, I did, I did. And I was kind of thinking about that. I still do get a lot of satisfaction and self-worth from thinking I might be able to help another. Sometimes I take that. I’ve even done that in recent… But I think that I’m really effective in this environment. Not just people who have gone through it seem to have a lot to say about it. And getting together with a group of like-minded individuals on a regular basis to talk about your feelings and reinforce things going through your head that you may not see on a day that’s working, but if you take a moment to reflect, you think.

John S: So do you think it’s… Do you get the most benefit out of what actually happens in the meeting there… At the actual meeting? Or is it like just the relationships that you’re developing with the people that go to the meetings?

Simon P: Well, I have conversations with people from the meeting. I have a lot of friends. I have a lot of conversations with people from… Like to talk about these things that we talk about in AA, outside of them. So there’s natural conversations very similar. I’m getting benefits. I think a lot of the thinking I do about sobriety happens in and around the meet, but I keep returning to the meetings because I have relationships.

John S: It’s fun, I think, to watch the people come in, because there’s been a lot of the people come in that weren’t coming to the meetings when you were first coming around. It’s fun for me to watch those people over time kind of get themselves together.

Simon P: It is. It’s really interesting to see the waves.

John S: Yeah. It is, isn’t it? That group has changed personalities over the last four or five years, hasn’t it?

Simon P: It sure has. And yeah, I guess just… You almost don’t notice it.

John S: Yeah, yeah. It’s very slow, gradual, people come and go.

Simon P: So, I guess, talking about meetings more specifically. Well, actually, I want to talk about the social aspect real quick. I think maybe people within our group, who know me, may think of me as a pretty social person. That is not necessarily the case. I have a strong tendency to stay home alone, and now that I enjoy my own company, then easier. But I know that I don’t do well alone, and I work very hard to maintain my relationship… That’s something that I… It worked.

Simon P: And to kind of dovetail into our meeting. I really love the people that we meet. I’ve got a connection. I don’t know though at this point a secular meeting. I think if I had to start over in another city, and there wasn’t one available, it would not be a problem. I do feel though, right now anyway, we’re filling an important… I see people who come in regularly, say that they were specifically looking for an alternative to AA. Whether or not AA is supposed to be any certain way, there is a general cultural outlook, or view of AA, that is religious. If you see it depicted in pop culture or movies, it’s almost always in a scene with a prayer, hand-holding or something kind of ritualistic. And times change… The culture has changed in a way that that’s not necessarily how people want to deal with their problems right now. I’m not saying it… Religion is bad or good. I’m just saying that there is a gap that needed to be filled, and I’m glad that we’re…

John S: Yeah. I find it interesting because when the… So our group is like from this long line of groups that were started by agnostics and atheists. But anymore, I’m beginning to see people come in to the meeting that they don’t necessarily identify as atheist, agnostic, or anything. They don’t really… You know.

Simon P: I also have noticed over the past year, the conversation about religion does not… And complaints about traditional… I’m holding air quotes up right now. Traditional AA doesn’t come up. I really didn’t like that.

John S: No. Me either.

Simon P: I don’t think that… Man, if you gotta get something off your chest, then AA meetings a good place to do it. I just don’t have a lot of room in my life to be thinking about things that…

John S: Right. Same here.

Simon P: But I don’t know if spending our one hour at best…

John S: Well, I think it’s funny because I think that the group mainly consists of people who probably really weren’t going to AA before they came to our group. That’s probably one reason.

Simon P: I would say, at least half of the people that I see on a regular basis now have gone to very few, if any, meetings outside of…

John S: So they don’t really have a bad experience. They don’t really have anything to compare it to, really.

Simon P: Yeah. And I know we’ve talked before about it, and you’ve written a blog about it. But we don’t talk a lot about the steps, or the traditions, or even sponsorship that much. I know that that does rub people, some people, the wrong way. And I do see the benefit of those. But I see people coming back to the meetings, see them not drinking.

John S: Well, it’s kind of funny because I was having a conversation with someone about that, and I said that, “You know what? People are staying sober, and they’re coming back.” And as I really watch what’s going on, I see that all this stuff that’s happening anyway. People kind of get curious, “What are those steps about? Will you help me? Will you explain this to me?” And I’m starting to see it a little bit happen a little bit more.

Simon P: Yeah. It is, and the people that I am closer friends with within the group have kind of naturally sought it out. I think once you start down the path of looking inward and changing, it leads you to common questions. And I’ve read a lot of self-help books, AA kind of books and Buddhist kind of books, and just feel better kind of books. A lot of them point towards the same forms of therapy for… I found a lot of relief in the idea of staying focused on the moment. And I guess, you know what, I’ve gotten the most out of just staying committed to changing. Where I see myself lacking in an area, or if I feel myself telling a story to myself about how I am not a way that I want… I now actively work against that. I don’t know if it’s… I just work to change, and I have not thrown away my life for a long enough period now.

John S: So I have a theory about these steps. I think all the steps are a description of what these people went through back in the 1930s, and they were describing it the way that they were experiencing at that time. But all it was, it was what happens naturally when we stop drinking and come together to support each other. And that if we were to write them out today, it would be pretty much the same thing.

Simon P: Yeah, very, very similar.

John S: I think so.

Simon P: In a very general sense, I feel the 12 steps, they say, “Look at your life. See where your problems are, realize where you can and do work on those things. Accept the things you need to, make changes where you can and be willing to make progress along it. Maybe help others.”

John S: Yeah, and I see that happening. I just think it’s like… Well, this is like an organic, just a natural thing. And I think it was back in the ’30s too. I think that they had their little group that they went to and everything. And maybe they were a little bit more dogmatic, but, basically, it was just what happened when they got together, I think. Maybe the whole idea of looking inward… I don’t know if that would have been something that would of come around natural or not, but maybe it does because maybe it is just a natural reaction because I think it is when I think about it, because for me, I was kind of shocked that I couldn’t admit that I had a problem. And so almost immediately I started questioning, “What the fuck was going on with me?” [chuckle] So I thought I would talk about the speaker meeting a little bit, because I got to the point… I’ve gotten to where that’s been my favorite meeting in the week now. And I think early on in my experience in AA, I think I kind of liked speaker meetings, and then I went through a long period of time where I didn’t like them. But now I really like them. I get a lot of value out of those stories.

Simon P: I do too. I started the speaker meeting for a multitude of reasons. One, we didn’t have evening week and meet, and that’s go-to time for… You hear your friends out doing other things if you’re used to hanging out with that. And we didn’t have a regular speaker meeting that was really sticking. It was half scheduled into it here and there, but it didn’t necessarily ever work out. And I liked the idea of somebody sitting down, thinking about a message they wanted to convey to a group of people and getting some time to play that out. In the meetings, we often speak from our heart at our meeting. There’s a lot of people speaking from their heart, and it’s spontaneous, emotional, but sometimes leaves you wanting more. Or sometimes I think of the things I wanted to say after the meeting and didn’t get a chance to. I think they’re important. And, yeah, I just wanted to change it up too. So here we are a few months or months into it. I’m getting a little bit stressed because I’ve somehow weaseled somebody to show up every week but I’m worried that one week, it’s just going to be me there wondering what’s going to happen. I guess I get one free pass. I can do it myself in one week. [chuckle] But it’s been exciting, and I’ve gotten some people from outside of the group. I’d like to do some more of that, and I’m willing to see where it leads to. I’m not stuck in my ways.

John S: It’s been fun that we have had people from other groups, and we’ve had visitors from out of town too, that have come to that meeting. And I don’t know if they have ever been to a meeting like that before. They never really say anything, like [chuckle] it’s different or anything. They just seem to enjoy it. [chuckle]

Simon P: Yeah, we’ve never really gotten a complaint. You know what, we have. There have been a couple of surprises. Not at speaker meeting but in the secular meetings. Surprises when somebody doesn’t know we aren’t going to do a prayer. I think they really expect it. I always feel really bad at that point, because I know somebody from our groups are pissed. For the most part though…

John S: I think that we’d be okay with speakers. I hear people say, “Oh, we’re going to run out of speakers.” I don’t know, but there’s actually a bunch of us in that community. Plus, like you said, reaching out to other people. I like the idea of getting people from other groups.

Simon P: Yeah, I keep trying to get… I need to do some more leg work myself. My time’s thin these days.

Simon P: I hear you.

Simon P: I try to get people scouting out for me if I hear that they’re going to other groups, but maybe someday I’ll be able to pass the reins off to somebody else, and they can figure out what to do for a while. Maybe I’ll have a business and see what… But it’s been really fun, and people talk about service work a lot, or, actually, in other groups people talk about service work a lot. We don’t really. But it does really help to plug yourself in, and if you want to get comfortable with the community, you gotta get some skin in the game. And you get a little bit of praise from time to time, and you get to feel like you’re a part of something, and hopefully you’re helping people.

John S: So is this how you’re dealing, the fundamental thing that was kind of driving your drinking was depression, it seemed. Is this how you’re dealing with that now? Is there… Are you doing anything else for depression?

Simon P: Yeah, I do, my entire life… Of tricks I do… Depression every moment of the day, pretty much. And I’m not complaining at all, but if I feel myself going down a strange path, and I’m getting better at identifying that, I gotta do something to change it. I still get depressed, I still get angry, but I don’t stay there, but I notice what’s happening. I either accept the emotions that I can’t do anything about for what they are, or I take action, that’s…

John S: So I take an antidepressant. Have you ever thought about that or did that…

Simon P: I did. I took an anti-anxiety medication, or I took Gabapentin, which is for anxiety, and it worked well for me. It was hard to come off of also, which is not something I was told or aware of, but I think just naturally, if you’re taking something that deals with anxiety or depression for you, and you come off of it, you’re going to naturally feel those effects of depression and anxiety again, and you’re not used to them.

John S: That’s right. because I’ve done that and because my doctor has talked to me about maybe going off of it, and my problem was that when I would go off of it, it seemed like I just fell off a ledge, but she said my problem was that you should never stop it immediately, you should… You need to…

Simon P: Yeah, you know, I…

John S: And I did not know that.

Simon P: I tapered off thing… I also want to be clear, I’m not saying that one should try to get off medication. That’s something I’d thought about for a long time and talked to doctors about before I did, but it caused other side effects.

John S: It does. Everyone does, it does.

Simon P: And I also, for me, I felt like I needed to be able to take life on its… And I didn’t want to filter it out anymore. And honestly, maybe I wasn’t clinically depressed, maybe I didn’t have those chemical imbalances, but I’d drank for so long that it mimicked that closely enough that it could be diagnosed, and well, or I did for a period of time have those symptoms, because I put myself.

John S: Right, yeah. Yeah.

Simon P: But I decided to quit one day, and I did. I didn’t taper this last time off medication. I had really bad anxiety, and I was irritable for a while, and it slowly got better.

John S: Yeah, it’s something I want to think about too, like you said, you gotta talk to you doctor about this kind of stuff, and I do, I do talk to her, and I’ve talked to her a number of times. As a matter of fact, she’s the one that brings it up about getting off of it. And because I might be at a point where I might be able to… because what depression I have is probably pretty mild, really. And, like you, it was, I don’t know what came first, if it was that or the drinking or what, but it was all kind of mixed in together.

Simon P: Oh, and I guess we were talking about what I do. I have a super physically demanding job. And before that I was doing pretty physically demanding work, and I didn’t have a license for a while because of drinking. And I didn’t… So I didn’t have my license for a year, because… Then I just didn’t trust myself to get a license for years, because like I said earlier, all I could imagine eventually… After that faded. So I get a ton of exercise, and I can sleep at night.

John S: That’s great. That’s…

Simon P: When I don’t feel like I’m going to, I take a Benadryl, and call that what you will, but it helps me go to sleep.

John S: No, I had a doctor tell me to do that. So, yeah, that’s something I need to do. The exercise definitely does help.

Simon P: And I’m just actively aware of my feelings and thoughts to the situations I’m putting myself into, and if I feel myself slipping… So like before, when I was taking medication, before I was taking medication, when I would get depressed, it would send me to the couch, or my bed for a week at a time, and I would feel unmotivated to do anything. I still get that feeling, but now I just start doing things, and it does not feel right or comfortable or fun at first, but I’ve done it enough now that I know through my actions, I can change my thought patterns and my feelings.

John S: Yep. Yeah, I had a therapist tell me that, he said that one of the best things for depression is activity. And he said that back in like the ’40s or the ’50s, when they had people, we had depressed patients in mental institutions, what they would do to help them out, they’d have them scrub the walls and stuff like that. Any kind of activity seemed to help them out. And he’d always tell me, he said, “Just go for a walk, just move. Force yourself to move.” And I think that helps.

Simon P: So, I’m sure chemically that’s good too. But for me in action, taking a physical action is sometimes sacred. It’s a way for me to bypass whatever is going on in my head and put myself into a task, and all of my mental problems disappear. I just think about what I’m doing, and I try to bring that idea, and I think about that a lot, into more and more aspects of… The hardest place I found that to do is while driving. It’s kind of comical, but it really is one of the only places in my life that I feel truly unhappy.

John S: When you drive?

Simon P: And have a really hard time getting out of my head, right?

John S: Right. [chuckle]

Simon P: So, it’s getting better.

John S: Yeah. [chuckle]

Simon P: But I, if I find myself thinking about something that’s bothering me, it’s usually just the thinking is the problem, and if I can stop it, everything else… If I look down at my hands and my feet, I’m almost always in a decent, I’ve got all my fingers and toes, can expect a meal and a place to sleep.

John S: Well, I think you’re doing great, man. I’m glad that you came back to the group, and I’m glad that you started the speaker meeting. Like I say, it totally is my very favorite meeting of the week. I love all of them. I loved Greg’s talk, and I’m looking forward to that. Jenny’s talk. I mean all of them have been really, really good. People have put some thought into what they’re going to say.

Simon P: They have, yeah. I’m actually really looking forward to the speaker tonight. I have been able to kind of cherry pick people so far that I enjoy listening to. And he’s one of them. I’ve been trying to pick people who so far have got more sobriety time than I have got, and I think do put some thought into what they had to say.

John S: Yeah, yeah.


Simon P: And if anybody is listening, and they feel like I’ve been discriminated against them, for them, those purposes, you’re willing to bring it up with me, it’s probably not the case. [chuckle] Yeah, I do. I really enjoy listening.

John S: And I like also the conversation afterwards. Sometimes it’s really, really interesting what people have to say.

Simon P: It is, and I’ll go through one of the speaker meetings and not pick up on everything that somebody else picked up on, and it expands the conversation, and it also… You get to feel like you’re getting to know somebody a little bit too. Whether it’s manufactured or not, it’s a real experience.

John S: Absolutely.

Simon P: So it’s a moment that I get each week that brings me closer to other people.

John S: Yeah, I’m looking forward to when the weather gets nicer too, and we can hang out afterwards, because it’s really been a bitch of a winter.

Simon P: Oh, yeah. [chuckle] I’ll bet attendance tonight is a little light.

John S: Yeah, yeah.

Simon P: I also bet as soon as it does get nice, everybody comes out of the woodwork, because the stuff’s so much there.

John S: Yep, I think you’re right, yep. Alright, well, it was really nice to talk to you like this, it was good to hear your story. I have a lot in common with you. Actually, I started off pretty young and all that myself, but you really have had a hard road, and I’m glad, I’m glad you’re doing well today, man, I’m glad that you’re here.

Simon P: Well, I’m… [chuckle] I’m especially glad I’m doing well, but I’m also glad you’re here, John.

John S: Thank you. [chuckle]

Simon P: You’ve provided a lot of important structure to the Life of Recovery that I’m needing right now. Hope we both continue to help.

John S: I do too. [chuckle]


John S: And that concludes another episode of AA Beyond Belief: The Podcast. Thank you so much for listening, everybody. We’ll be back again real soon.