Pine Valley Secular AA Meetings

About Pine Valley Secular AA ("PVSAA") Meetings

PVSAA meetings are online Zoom meetings on Monday evening that run from 6PM to 7PM Pacific time.

To join the meeting click this link: or use this Zoom info:

Meeting ID: 944 218 5194

Passcode: secular

PVSAA meetings are listed in all the popular Secular AA meeting lists. You can join the meeting invite list by sending an email at the bottom of this website page. As of April 2022 PVSAA meetings have run continuously for over a year.

PVSAA meetings are secular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. AA secular meetings endeavor to maintain a tradition of free expression and to conduct a meeting where alcoholics may feel free to express any doubts or disbeliefs they may have, and to share their search for it or their rejection of it. In keeping with tradition, we do not endorse or oppose ANY form of religion or atheism. Our only wish is to ensure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in AA without having to accept anyone else’s beliefs or having to deny their own. Experience has shown that conceding to our innermost selves that we are real alcoholics is the only belief we required to achieve sobriety.

PVSAA meetings focus on staying sober, rather than getting sober. Emotional sobriety is the theme. I use readings from Joe C's excellent book "Beyond Belief - Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life" to provide a subject for the meetings. The readings are quite evocative, in that they inspire many interesting and diverse shares.

While PVSAA meetings focus on staying sober, rather than getting sober, alcoholics with less than 30 days of sobriety are very welcome, and can benefit greatly from our meetings.

In PVSAA meetings we use some literature that is not "AA approved"; additionally we use some literature that is "AA approved".

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are supported by 7th tradition donations. You can donate to https://aasandiego.org/contribute/

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My name is Rod, and I am an alcoholic. I am 75 years old, first time in AA, sober almost 2 years. I had been binge drinking all my life, and my lifelong alcohol use had caused many problems for me, my family, and my finances. In 2019 I started getting as stoned as I could on weed, then I would drink a 6 pack of high-test beer, then drink a bottle of wine and then maybe switch to scotch whiskey. I was drinking and smoking more and more, but not getting the high I wanted. I was considering stronger chemicals.

It was getting to the point a couple of times a month I would do something to humiliate my girlfriend. I would fall down and could not get up at a neighbor's gathering, or pass out, etc.

I realized that alcohol was adversely affecting my life and the elevator doors had opened up, and the announcement "Going Down" was made, and if I did not do something RIGHT THEN I would go all the way to the bottom with alcohol and drugs. So I joined AA January 18, 2020 and I am truly grateful that I did.

When I first started in AA I was scared and vulnerable. I was scared I would not be able to stop drinking. In the traditional AA literature I was very put-off by the God-stuff, as it seemed so like Christian Religion writings, which I dislike intensely. In the traditional AA writings God is mentioned so often and plays such a major role, I was afraid I would not be able to get sober because the AA literature depends so heavily on a (Christian-like) God. The traditional AA literature talks about having a Higher Power, as I understand my Higher Power. However the writings about God gave God attributes that were not part of the God I understand. Therefore I thought many of the actions traditional AA literature prescribed would not work for me.

So, I gritted my teeth and kept coming to meetings.

I talked with many old-timers about my dilemma. I got answers like "You are just in the right spot in your recovery", and "Fake it 'till you make it". None of which helped me one bit. AT NO TIME DID ANYONE MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT SECULAR AA! One person did, however, suggest I search for groups that held a similar view of God as I do. Her suggestion was pivotal for me.

I discovered Secular AA meetings, and started going to them. That was about the time the pandemic hit, and online Zoom meetings started to become more available. After some time I realized I just could not cope with traditional AA meetings, and I was spending more and more time in Secular AA meetings. Now there are databases with hundreds of Secular AA meetings around the world. See the Links section for more info. Also, if you send me an email via the Contact section at the bottom of this page, I will send weekly invites to you which include previews of the meeting.

Before I started AA I assumed AA was solely about stopping consumption. AA is about so much more than that! AA taught me how to unburden myself from the emotional problems that fostered addiction, and how to lead a fully functional life connected to other people. Among other things, AA teaches patience, acceptance, and humility; each one a priceless tool for recovery and everyday living. I wish those skills were taught to everyone in high school. My life is more comfortable now, and I am enjoying life more than I ever have. (I know, I know, at this point you may be wanting to gag yourself at such a testimonial, somewhat akin to "my car runs better, and my dog likes me now", but what I said previously is true)

Secular 12 Steps

Courtesy of Beyond Belief, Toronto

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol –that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to accept and to understand that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the A.A. program./li>
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
  7. Humbly sought to have our shortcomings removed.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through mindful inquiry and meditation to improve our spiritual awareness, seeking only for knowledge of our rightful path in life and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs

Note the link below, Agnostica 12 Steps.pdf, offers quite a few alternative 12 step descriptions. One particularly interesting version is the Native American version, which uses just one word to define each step.

Survival Skills

In my life I have read hundreds of self-help books. This describes 3 outstanding books I believe are so important for psychological well-being that they should be taught to everyone in high school as basic survival skills. (I have no financial interest in book sales). They are:

1. I’m OK, You’re OK by Thomas Harris M.D. "Extraordinary. Harris has helped millions find the freedom to change, liberate their adult effectiveness, and achieve joyful intimacy with others." —Los Angeles Times. 15 million copies in print (in the 90s) To me, this is an extremely important book to read. It describes Transactional Analysis ("TA"), which is the basic structure of interactions between people, and between different aspects of our own personality. TA helped me understand the craziness in my family of origin, the craziness in my own head, and helped me understand my interactions with other people. I use TA concepts very often. The book is easy to read with lots of diagrams and explanations. It provides many “aha!” moments. The book is reviewed and available here:

2. Feeling Good The new mood therapy, by David Burns, M.D. The clinically proven drug-free treatment for depression and anxiety. This book introduces Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It was recommended to me by a prominent psychiatrist. It provided the tools I needed to defend myself against depression. I use its concepts daily. To me, it is a psychological self-defense instruction course. Studies have shown even when traditional therapy and medication fail to relieve depression, using CBT in combination brings about amazing remission from depression. Written for all of us, not just professionals. The book is reviewed and available here:

3. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray, Ph.D. Basic survival skills for man-woman relationships of any sort. Men and women think so differently and communicate so differently, and this book reveals those differences, and helps us navigate that complex maze. It amazes me that men and women can communicate at all without understanding concepts presented in this book. The book is reviewed and available here:

Please email me and I will send weekly meeting invites to you. Click Send Email The invites will include a preview of the meeting subject material so that you can formulate your thoughts prior to the meeting. Your email address will be kept strictly confidential, and will not be shared under any circumstance.