Episode 206: Rich L.

Rich L. is from Mountainview, California, and he helped start a secularly formatted AA meeting in his community. In this episode, he shares his personal story of recovery, how and why he started a secular AA meeting, and how things are going today for both him and his group.

Key points discussed

  • Growing up in an alcoholic home.
  • Drinking makes Rich feel normal.
  • Rich’s feeling about religion.
  • Trying to quit on his own.
  • First impressions of AA.
  • The utility of the Twelve Steps.
  • Experience starting a secular AA meeting.
  • Impact of COVID on the group.
  • Why AA should update its literature.

Memorable quotes

Drinking seemed to work for me. I was able to expand my social network and become a sort of normal person, connecting with people and making friends. Maybe, in hindsight, it was just that time of life, but I thought it was the alcohol.

It was fun, it was fun with trouble, then it was mostly trouble for the last five years of my drinking.

I came to AA because I had a couple of relapses when I tired on my own.

The “god thing” fell away during my step work. I didn’t worry about it.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, by Russell Brand
Episode 72: Dr. Nicole Labor