Happy New Year. I like New Year’s Day because I can’t help but reflect on the year that has passed and think about all the ups and downs, the people I’ve met, and what I learned along the way. I do that with my life in general, so why not do the same with the podcast. In this episode, I’ll take a look back at 2021 and look forward to 2022.
It was January 1, 2021, when on episode 204, I announced the name change for the podcast from AA Beyond Belief to Beyond Belief Sobriety. For five years, the podcast centered around people who found a secular path to sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous. They talked about the challenges they had with being an atheist or agnostic in AA and how they overcame what was for many a real obstacle. Some, me included, went on to start their own secularly formatted AA meeting. Those were all interesting episodes, and I will forever be grateful to the secular AA community for giving me this opportunity.
Having a focus on AA was natural since that was my experience, and I was part of a thriving community of agnostics and atheists in AA. However, I was becoming interested in other paths and my relationship with the Twelve Steps was quickly changing. I used to place great importance on the Steps and in early episodes, I would interpret the Steps in a way that was workable for a secular person. Though I still value the Steps and may still talk about them, I see them more as a natural process that is written out in outline form. They are essentially experiences we had, and actions we took and most likely would have taken had they never been written.
So, changing the name to Beyond Belief Sobriety gave me the freedom to explore other secular paths. In episode 241, I had a conversation with Mary Beth O’Connor from Life Ring Secular Recovery and Adrienne Miller from Women for Sobriety. I also started a series of episodes about SMART Recovery that we are calling SMART Talk, and I’m looking forward to those continuing in 2022. Changing the name of the podcast also seemed to coincide with my own changing relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous.
Let’s take a look at some statistics for the podcast. I think it did well in 2021. We posted 43 episodes and 37 live streams. The podcast was downloaded 143,705 times, and we had 110,000 views on YouTube. The YouTube channel really took off in 2021 with 1,100 new subscribers. We now have over 3,500 subscribers on YouTube.
The podcast is downloaded from all over the world. Here are the top ten countries by downloads:
I’m still amazed at just how many people listen to the podcast and how important it is to so many. I love getting emails from listeners who let me know just how valuable the podcast has been to their recovery.
Looking forward to 2022, there are a few things that I would like to improve upon. First of all, I need to show more gratitude and do more for those of you who support the podcast financially, either through monthly contributions on Patreon or as members of the YouTube Channel. I also want to build a community around the podcast.
Starting this month, the listeners who contribute through Patreon or YouTube will have the opportunity to meet with me and other listeners for a casual get-together. It’s an opportunity to become better acquainted, to discuss some of the topics covered on the podcast, or use the time to ask me questions or to provide feedback on what I can do to improve the podcast. I also started a private Facebook group for listeners as a place to gather for further discussion of what we cover on the podcast.
I’m excited about the year ahead. I feel that both I and the podcast have matured over the years, and I’m interested in seeing what direction it will take in 2022. I know that whatever course it takes, I will most likely continue to benefit from the experience of all the guests to who I will be speaking over the coming year.
Thank you for giving me this incredible opportunity. I’m grateful to you for listening and for supporting me and this project all these years. In September of 2022, this podcast will be seven years old! I never imagined when I started this thing that I would still be here seven years later, and without your support, I wouldn’t be here. So, thank you, thank you, and thank you again.
Happy New Year
Our Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/beyondbeliefsobriety
Our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/BeyondBeliefSobriety
Episode 208 Ibby A: https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/personal-stories/episode-208-ibby-a/
Episode 210 Ben’s Friends: https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/podcast/episode-210-bens-friends/
Episode 212: Until You Try: https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/personal-stories/episode-212-until-you-try/
Episode 22 Katies Godless Awakening: https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/personal-stories/katies-story/
Episode 232 The Sobriety Diaries with Nate Kelly: https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/recovery-podcasters/episode-232-the-sobriety-diaries-with-nate-kelly/
Episode 241 Multiple Paths: https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/podcast/episode-241-multiple-paths-life-ring-and-women-for-sobriety/
Episode 242 Is Moderation Ever an Option? https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/addiction-science/episode-242-is-moderation-ever-an-option/
Episode 243 Tara Boyce Addicted to Recovery: https://beyondbeliefsobriety.com/recovery-podcasters/addicted-to-recovery-with-tara-boyce/