Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded by Bill Wilson (Bill W) and Dr. Robert Smith (Dr. Bob) in 1935. The program was developed to help those seeking recovery from alcoholism through literature, group therapy, and support. Members have continued this tradition of recovery over the years, revising and augmenting the methods to better serve the AA community. Members have found great solace in recovery sayings, or mantras used in the group. These quotes and acronyms promote a positive mindset, and remind members to push through when things get tough in recovery.
“One Day At A Time”
Stress is the biggest relapse trigger for many people in recovery. One of the most well-known mantras of AA, “One day at a time,” refers to the focus, patience, and persistence necessary to tackle addiction. Considering sobriety a day-to-day endeavor puts focus on the task at hand, easing anxiety about the future, and regret over the past. Put a bit more bluntly by AA members, “When you’ve got one foot in yesterday and the other in tomorrow, you can only piss on today.”
Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. Some of the most common quotes from AA are regarding the relationships of those in recovery. Self-awareness and problem solving is the key to finding peace. AA members are encouraged to embrace the things that can’t be changed, and work toward changing the things that can. Many AA quotes support this mindset, including:
- “What other people think of you is none of your business.”
- “I’ve found that you can not save your ass and your face at the same time.”
- “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
- “The healthy person finds happiness in helping others. Thus, for him, unselfishness is selfish.”
Changing things that can be controlled is an empowering experience. Many people in recovery are to face conflicts without the assistance of alcohol. Mantras such as these allow a “go-to” mentality, and help keep thoughts and actions in check.
Realistic expectations are one of the many reasons for the success and longevity of AA. Your experience with addiction and recovery will never be sugar-coated. Honest, authentic representations are useful in accepting things that have happened. Some blunt sayings regarding addiction and the recovery process include:
- “If you like everyone in AA, you’re not going to enough meetings!”
- “I’ve never done anything in moderation — except maybe these steps.”
- “You are not responsible for your disease, but you are responsible for your behavior.”
- “Sponsoring yourself is like using unskilled labor.”
- “An alcoholic without a sponsor is like leaving Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”
- “If you want what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done.”
- “Winners do what they have to do and losers do what they want to do.”
- “Most alcoholics would rather die than learn anything about themselves. In fact, they do.
- “Insanity is not doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results; insanity is doing the same thing over and over again knowing full well what the results will be.”
These honest quotes have been adopted by the AA program as unofficial mantras to assist members when hope is hard to find. These quotes serve as reminders to stay grounded in recovery, and acknowledges the difficulties in a realistic and clever way.
AA members follow their own advice by “keeping it simple” with acronyms. These sayings inspire empowerment, prevention, and a reminder of the principles that are taught in the group. Some acronyms adopted by the AA community include:
- Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (HALT) – Referring to the common triggers involved in relapse. When temptation strikes, make sure you’re putting your mind and body in check.
- Sobriety Losing Its Priority (SLIP) – When menial issues take precedence over sobriety, this can challenge the recovery process.
- Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) – Stress and over-complication can lead to temptation. Maintaining simplicity can cut the distraction and ensure focus on recovery.
- False Expectations Appearing Real (FEAR) – Fear and anxiety are sometimes unfounded, but feel very real. Deciphering what is real and what is not is an important step in recovery.
- Good, Orderly Direction (GOD) – Guidance from a higher power is a core principle of the teachings of AA.
- Easing God Out (EGO) – Feeling that you can take on more than you’re able can lead to relapse. By easing out your higher power, you’re losing a level of support that is much needed in recovery.
- Hang In There (HIT) – The road to recovery is a very bumpy one. Sometimes, we need a good reminder that there are better times ahead.
When times get very rough, it may be difficult to think positive thoughts. These acronyms provide quick mental guidelines for boosting progress and thought conditioning. In recovery, you may find that these acronyms come in handy when a good reminder is needed.
AA Helps Members Grow And Thrive
AA provides guidance for facing these difficult experiences by providing mantras that are useful in everyday life. AA sayings have been documented over the years to provide inspiration, hope, and a good push to help members stay on track. Through repetition, these ideas become a go-to mindset for AA members. By bolstering goodness, AA helps members grow and thrive throughout recovery, and beyond.
We Can Help
If you or someone you know needs guidance in alcohol addiction recovery, the caring staff at AlcoholTreatment.net can help. We are here to listen, provide guidance, and aid in connecting resources for treatment. Contact us today.