From the December 2013 magazine.

December 2013: Where the ducks swim

Sweet talks by a golden pond help a “grumpy” agnostic spread his wings

Today I celebrate 24 years of sobriety, but this year has been like no other. After all these years, I believe I have experienced a spiritual awakening as described in the Eleventh Step. Today I want—and need—a Higher Power that goes beyond my home group and the Fellowship. I also believe I’m ready for Step Three. That’s quite an admission for this self-proclaimed hardcore agnostic.

My nickname is Grumpy Tom. I’m a successful recovering alcoholic who never worked the “God Steps,” never did a Fourth and Fifth Step, and was perfectly content with the path that I walked. My nickname and agnosticism were badges of honor that I wore proudly. I had a message that was very simple: your life will improve if you 1) don’t drink, and 2) work the Steps that don’t offend your lack of religious beliefs. I was proof that a Godless recovery was possible. If I could do it, so could you.

-- T.E.

Seattle, Washington

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