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I doubt if there is anybody in this hall who really ever sought sobriety. I think we were trying to get away from drunkenness. I don’t think we should despise the negative. I have a feeling that if I ever find myself in Heaven, it will be from backing away from Hell.

Edward Dowling
Edward Dowling (1898-1960) American Jesuit priest ["Father Ed"]
Address to the Alcoholics Anonymous Twentieth Anniversary Convention, St. Louis, Missouri (Jul 1955)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (1957). Dowling was spiritual advisor to Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA.

Variants of the final line are also attributed (though they only quoted it) to Mariette Hartley, Carrie Fisher, and Courtney Love.

More discussion about the history of quotation: If I Ever Find Myself in Heaven, It Will Be From Backing Away From Hell – Quote Investigator.
Added on 17-Jun-22 | Last updated 17-Jun-22
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