Blog Author Jim S’s Journey

A Lifelong Commitment to Recovery and AA

Jim S., the creator of this website, is accountable for all its content. His journey with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) initiated unexpectedly on August 1, 1987, which he originally thought was his first encounter with the organization. Years into his sobriety, he realized he had actually encountered AA once before during his time at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

From Denial to Acceptance: A Struggle with Depression and Addiction

Following a therapist’s advice, Jim had briefly engaged with AA while grappling with depression. His therapist wisely counseled him, “I’m going to tell you something you won’t appreciate. Unless you confront your alcohol and drug addiction first, we can hardly make significant headway on your depression.”

The Road to Recovery: First Encounters and the Decision for Sobriety

Like many before him, Jim attended three AA meetings, feeling relatively better off compared to others there. This led him to prematurely exit the program, only to revisit it five years later. Upon his return, he was desperate for sobriety. Jim recalls, “I was ready to abandon alcohol and drugs, willing to do whatever it took. It was clear that serious trouble was on the horizon if I didn’t.”

Joining the South Bay Trudgers: Embracing the AA Community

Joining a recovery group, The South Bay Trudgers, in Los Angeles’s South Bay, Jim embarked on a common newcomer’s journey. Amid attending meetings and interacting with veteran AA members, he became acquainted with AA’s Big Book, the concept of sponsorship, and the practice of the Twelve Steps.

Connecting with Legends: Insights into AA’s Rich History

At the Hermosa Beach Alano Club, Jim met many seasoned sober individuals, some of whom had direct connections to notable southern California AA figures like Chuck Chamberlin, Walter O’Keefe, Clancy Imislund, and even AAs cofounder Bill Wilson.

Finding Purpose in Sobriety: Marriage, Parenthood, and Academics

Jim was both intrigued and astounded by the rich history of AA, reflecting, “I was simultaneously impressed and astonished upon learning the amazing history of AA and my complete ignorance about it!” Over time, AA and sobriety became Jim’s steadfast sources of strength and inspiration, helping him untangle the havoc wreaked by alcohol and drugs in his life. He found purpose in his marriage and parenthood.

Behind ‘Pause When Agitated’: A Blog and an Educational Journey

In 2009-10, while attending graduate school, Jim initiated the blog, ‘Pause When Agitated,’ as a class project intending to reach the recovery community. The desire to write and engage with a wider audience led him to earn an MA in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga.

Stepping Out of the Shadows: A Commitment to Recovery and the Community

Though respecting the principle of anonymity, he kept his identity hidden and limited promotion efforts, yet the blog continued to grow organically. Committed to keeping his content free from clickbait or affiliate links, Jim now feels it’s time to step out from the shadows, providing a face to the blog and fostering vibrant discussions about recovery and the role of AA.

Gratitude and Support: Reflections on a Life Rebuilt

Reiterating a popular sentiment, Jim shares, “Without AA and a commitment to absolute abstinence from alcohol and non-prescribed drugs, I wouldn’t have the life I have today. For this, I feel indebted and continue to support those seeking sobriety.”

For a more detailed account of Jim’s story, click here. Jim is also available to share his passion for recovery through his experiences and ideas. To connect with Jim, click here.