Episode 205: Brendan from Rainham Freethinkers

In this episode, I spoke with Brendan from the Rainham Freethinkers Group located in London, England. I met Brendan at the online International Conference of Secular AA where I was working behind the scenes and he was participating in the panel about The ‘God’ Word Pamphlet.  Brendan shares his story of recovery and his experience as a secular person in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Key points discussed

    • Brendan’s story.
    • Suicide attempts.
    • Initial positive impressions of AA.
    • Opinion about the Big Book.
    • Influence of Common Sense of Drinking, by Richard Peabody on the Big Book.
    • Importance of peer support in recovery.
    • Learning about secular AA meetings.
    • The upcoming online conference hosted by the London groups.

Memorable Quotes

It was a shock, really that I actually picked up a drink. It was on a school trip. My first trip away from Ireland, to Amsterdam.

That was it, I was away, once I started. To me, it was as if I was keeping my drinking a secret, which was impossible really because when I drank, I drank to excess and when you do that, things happen.

My last drink was on the 31st of May ’93. It was a bank holiday and I went on a binge. I took some pills. I really genuinely don’t know how many pills I had taken. I think the vodka knocked me out

I loved AA. It was everything the counselor told me it would be. My first meeting was on the 22nd of July 1993 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.The stories helped.