Happy Anniversary, LSRsafe!

image of laptop computer with star to celebrate LifeRing LSRsafe eGroup anniversaryCelebrating 20 Years of Positive eSupport!

Today — 4/4/24 — is the twentieth anniversary of the start of the LSRsafe email group. Starting it was just about the best thing I've ever done in my life. When I began it as a sort of offshoot of LSRmail, the original LifeRing email group, I assumed it would appeal to those few people from that group who were looking for a somewhat kinder and gentler support group. LSRmail was unmoderated by design and some of the members there had become, um, "assertive" about the right way and the wrong way to get sober. I decided that some newcomers were much too fragile for that approach. I assumed that a new group emphasizing positive support rather than doctrinal purity would make a nice alternative for those few people who were made uncomfortable by the rough-and-tumble of uncontrolled discussion. Mind you, I liked the debates — arguing about politics, religion and other issues was great fun for me and others in the group. But one day I noticed that a newish member, after being berated for repeatedly trying-and-failing to get sober, disappeared. I thought, "wait a minute ... we're a SUPPORT group; driving people away can't be part of what we do!"

Starting a new group was very easy even with my limited tech skills. I took heat for the name (someone commented, "What! you mean people aren't safe here?!" That was pretty much exactly what I had in mind, but I pretended it was just shorthand for Support, Affirmation, Friendship, and Encouragement). I thought a few of the more fragile members might follow me and it would become a small but kind-hearted refuge for a few. But it attracted a lot of people from the other group and gradually supplanted it in size. LSRmail, although still unmoderated, has mellowed over the years and no longer is plagued by fierce arguments. It's been rare that I intervened in LSRsafe to quell a dispute or over-the-top insistence about the "right" way to get and stay sober. I think LSRsafe is well-synced with the general LifeRing approach to getting and staying sober.

Technically, we have over 400 members right now, but the great majority of those are inactive — they either set their membership to "no mail" or abandoned the email address they had been using. Still, I like to think that many are just reading posts when they feel the need.

Anyway, my heartfelt thanks go to all of our members, past and present, for providing two decades of support to hundreds — maybe thousands! — of LifeRingers, not least to me and to other long-time members who stay involved to help themselves by helping others.

Happy Anniversary to all!

Craig Whalley



Craig Whalley: I found LifeRing in 1999. I had been resisting attending AA, primarily because I got hold of the Big Book and found nothing in it that jibed with my idea of the help I needed. Searching for alternatives back then was a challenge, but eventually — thanks to the word "Secular"  — I stumbled across LifeRing on the internet and joined their LSRmail email group. LifeRing was a perfect fit for me and I soon became involved as a volunteer. In 2004, I launched the LSRsafe email group and have been convening it ever since. I strongly recommend getting involved with LifeRing's work as a great way to strengthen one's sobriety while helping others.




  1. robert edward omohundro on April 4, 2024 at 7:48 pm

    Wow Craig, keep it going.

    Bob O, YSF

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