1. Easy Does It
This is probably one of the most important AA saying because it is a reminder of what most alcoholics need on a regular basis. It is so easy to get worked up about life and all of the tasks we have to perform on a daily basis. It is easy to think that you should be further along in your recovery than you are, and so remembering to just take it easy and let life unfold is essential to happiness and sobriety.
2. First Things First
Another simple saying, First Things First, reminds us not to put the cart before the horse, but rather to take a look at whatever it is that we are facing, and then take the first step and go from there.
3. We Are Only as Sick as Our Secrets
A person who does not divulge that which is ailing them cannot find help in AA, and so it is important that you share whatever that secret is with someone that you trust.
4. Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously
This saying is a great reminder for all of us who tend to think that our lives and our actions are so deadly serious. It is a good reminder that while we are important, we are not the be-all-end-all of life and nothing is permanent.
5. Think, Think, Think.
This saying is great because of the visual component to it. It is usually on display in most AA meetings— written upside down to remind individuals in recovery that they have to turn endless overthinking on its head if they are to recover.
6. 90 Meetings in 90 Days
There seems to be a dispute over this saying sometimes. People argue that the book doesn’t say 90 Meetings in 90 Days anywhere and so it’s not really a suggestion, but regardless of that, individuals seeking recovery should go to as many meetings as they can in the beginning. Not only will this help to get them acclimated to the program, but also it will help them stay focused during this early phase of recovery.
7. Sobriety Is a Journey… Not a Destination
It is so easy to get wrapped up in the idea that we should be somewhere at a certain time period and this saying cuts away at that myth. It reminds us that there is no destination in life, beyond the final one. What happens along life’s journey is what is important. Recovery does not move in a linear fashion towards a finishing line, but rather it takes us on winding roads of self-discovery.
8. Stick with the Winners
While this may sound like a judgment against people, and it is to a certain degree, it is important to remember that many individuals new to AA will not stick around for long. This is not because AA doesn’t work, but rather because many are not ready to give sobriety a go. If you hang out with this crowd, it will make it more difficult to get involved in the program. So stick with the winners and avoid falling out of the wagon.
9. Willingness Is Key
Willingness and a desire to stop drinking are really the only two things you need to be successful in AA. If you have the willingness to listen to others and try something new, then more than likely you are going to be okay.
10. This Too Shall Pass
When we are in the midst of a problem it is oftentimes hard to remember that one day it will pass. It is hard to remember that life has ups and downs and that both are transient by nature. Whenever you are going through tough times, it is sometimes helpful to say to yourself this too shall pass, as a reminder that one-day things will get better.
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Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.