Quotes (Program)


Definition of Quote:
Repeat of words or a text by another person.

Synonyms of Quote:
Recite, repeat, reproduce, restate, echo, reiterate, excerpt, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs. Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail. We hope you find them helpful.

Love in fellowship.


If you are waiting to be happy, you never will be.
One of God’s greatest gifts to us is eternal life.

Simply asking for help seems to be a help in itself.
Pray and wait for the answer. If you don’t get an answer, that’s the answer.
A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. –Paulo Coelho
Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.

One way to tell how well you are practicing the principles in all of your affairs
is to notice how you treat people who can be of no service to you.

You need newcomers to tell you where you came from; old-timers, to tell you where you could go, and a sponsor to tell you where you are at.

Heard at a meeting: My sponsor says that if you squeeze an alcoholic hard enough, often times, out pops a co-dependent.


Pray and wait for the answer. If you don’t get an answer, that’s the answer.
Don’t put a question mark where your sponsor puts a period.
AA does not teach us how to handle drinking,
it teaches us how to handle sobriety.

Worry about tomorrow saps today of its strength.
It’s not the load that breaks you down…it’s the way you carry it.

Some people move when they see the light;
Alcoholics move when they feel the heat.

The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity.
The strength to move into action comes from this belief.

Love is less a feeling than a thousand tiny acts of kindness.
Seven days without a meeting makes one weak.
Making amends: If you have to eat crow, eat it while it’s fresh.
Suicide is such a long term decision.
While living has so many more variables.


The first step to knowledge is….
to know that we are ignorant.

The longer you are sober the more you have to fight abstractions.
Suicide is such a long term decision. While living has so many more variables.
A sure way to set yourself up for a ‘slip’ is to be convinced that others will slip if they don’t listen to you.

As humans, we do not ‘have’ limits; we are limited.
There are no chemical solutions to spiritual problems.

Complacency is the enemy of members with substantial clean time.
If we remain complacent for long, the recovery process ceases.
Resentment – Taking poison and hoping the other person dies –Wisdom of the Rooms. The program fixes it so we don’t have to suffer from insanity anymore….. Now we can enjoy it!

God does not want me to do extraordinary things; He wants me to do ordinary things extraordinarily well. The program is simply sharing, working the Twelve Steps, attending meetings, and practicing the principles of the program.


Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God.
We take for granted so much of what God has planned for us.

Religion and churches are about power and control.
Spirituality is about helping each other to make this life a better one for all.

Sometimes before you can have a spiritual awakening, you have to have some rude awakenings. If you put sobriety first, everything you put second will be first class. One way to tell how well you are practicing the principles in all of your affairs is to notice how you treat people who can be of no service to you.
You need newcomers to tell you where you came from; old-timers, to tell you where you could go, and a sponsor to tell you where you are at.

Heard at a meeting:
My sponsor says that if you squeeze an alcoholic hard enough, often times, out pops a co-dependent.

Looking for the right person? Become the right person.
Happiness in recovery and in society depends on our honesty.


I always remember the friendliness and kindness and closeness we all felt.
Later, I could go anyplace in the whole United States and find a friend in A.A. –Henrietta D.

Behaviors are like tennis rackets; if yours is broken, get a new one. –Wisdom of the Rooms Do your Third Step every morning and turn your will over to the care of the God of your understanding. At night, take a Tenth Step to see how God’s doing. Be brave enough to accept the help of others.
Remember what you have left, not what you have lost.

As you sponsor others, remember this:
If you are trying to recreate someone in your own image, then one of you will be redundant.

The slogans work much better when you decorate your life with them rather than decorating the walls with them. Any failure will tell you-success is nothing but luck.

Sobriety and all that comes with it is a gift, not a right
Drunkenness, if we drink, and all that goes with that, is a right.


If you think you have a good idea
you might want to get second opinion from your sponsor.
Sobriety and all that comes with it is a gift, not a right
Drunkenness, if we drink, and all that goes with that, is a right.

You get sober not with your head, but with your feet.
Everyone needs to be loved…especially when they do not deserve it.

The chains of alcohol w ere too soft to feel till they were too hard to break. –Anon. Living in the HERE and the NOW opens up untold possibilities for new growth.

Coffee makers make it.
Adversity introduces us to ourselves
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

When we have to justify our actions,
It may be that our actions are not just.
We’re part of the fellowship we call “the program.”
Let’s also remember that we’re part of a larger fellowship called ” the human race.” –Keep It Simple


It’s OK not to do anything,
When we don’t know what to do.

Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober.
The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it. –unknown

Trials are part of life.
How you respond to them determines the quality of your life. –Unknown

Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back.
What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get.
What you see in others, exists in you.
Remember, life is an echo.
It always gets back to you. –Unknown
We are responsible for the effort, not the outcome.
Only those who see the invisible can accomplish the impossible.

We do ‘not merely think’ the program ‘or feel it’, ‘we live’ the program ‘as much we are able, otherwise it is’ not program ‘but fantasy or philosophy’.
‘Whether’ we ‘like it or not’ we ‘show our attitude’ towards’ the program ‘by our actions and can show’ our ‘attitude only by our actions’. –(G. I. Gurdjieff)/Inspirations


It works — it really does.
The Promises are a result not a right.

Your mind is your predicament.
The real problem is how you deal with the original problem.

We cannot be free if we are dishonest
nor can we live a balanced life if we are dishonest. –Elders Meditations
The instructions for recovery are in our Twelve Step program.
There are times when we feel our program isn’t working.
At these times, we need to read the instructions. –Keep It Simple

I used to think that I had all the answers,  but today I am glad that I don’t
Members who have achieved long-term recovery are the first to admit that the longer they are here, the more they have to learn. –Just for Today

Each of us must conform reasonably well to AA’s Steps and Traditions,
or else we shall go mad or die of alcoholism. — Bill W./Language Of The Heart


Life is an adventure in forgiveness.
Courage is the willingness to accept fear and act anyway.

Each day, we all face a peculiar problem.
We must validate our past, face our present, plan for the future. –365 Daily Tao
Alcoholics Anonymous offers alcoholics a program of recovery that is more than just a life without alcohol.
Not only is this way of life better than the hell we lived, it is better than any life that we have ever known. –Just for Today

We are on this recovery path because each of us wants a new life.
We have come to believe that change is possible if we look for it in the right place. This is the right place! –Karen Casey

Day by day, we try to move a little toward God’s perfection.
Progress is our aim, and His perfection is the beacon, light-years away, that draws us on. –As Bill Sees It

The “Fellowship” is NOT the “Program”.
The Steps are the “Program”. — Barefootsworld


God can make all things new, even you.
The program is for participants, not spectators.
Prevent truth decay—read your Big Book.
Keep your sobriety first to make it last…

Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. –James Allen
Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power. –James Allen

We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. –Big Book

My recovery is too precious to just wish about it.
Today is a good day for action and prayer. –Just for Today

To live a new way of life, we need to open our minds to new ideas.
Working the steps, attending meetings, sharing with others, trusting a sponsor, requires effort –Just for Today
The idea of “twenty-four-hour living” applies primarily to the emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking, we must not live in yesterday, nor in tomorrow. –As Bill Sees It


The Fourth Step helps us to know our inner power.
As we learn about our own power, we can use it carefully, on purpose, to do good. –Keep It Simple

Alcohol … cunning, baffling, powerful!
If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be where you’ve always been.

We want to change, to grow, to become something more than we are today.
To do that, we open our minds, try on the new ideas we’ve found in AA, and learn to live a new way of life. –Just For Today

Our dependence must rest on a Power greater than ourselves.
No human force can restore our sanity, care for our will and our lives,
or be unconditionally available and loving whenever we are in need. –Just or Today
You may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer. BIG book p.44
Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded –Unknown
Backsliding begins when knee-bending stops. –Unknown


There are no maps to recovery, only steps to freedom from active addiction.
Take out your book right now and read the first three steps. These are the tools you need for recovery. –Hour to Hour

The program’s message is to trust, to have faith; our higher power is in control.
We are faced with no person, no situation too big to handle if we trust the program. –Karen Casey

Smiles are contagious.
See if you can infect someone today.

If you are clean and sober, the miracle has already happened.
Stick around, the impossibilities take a little longer.
Inertia is a powerful force. So is compulsive behavior.
You cannot have an open mouth and an open mind at the same time.

Reputation is what people think of us.
Character is what God knows about us.


Faith is our greatest gift.
Sharing it with others is our greatest responsibility.

Faith is complete surrender to the will of God
and acceptance of His plan for us.

Compulsion is loss of control/power/harmony and
continuation of the behavior despite the consequences.
AA does not teach us how to handle drinking, it teaches us how to handle sobriety.
Worry about tomorrow saps today of its strength.
It’s not the load that breaks you down…it’s the way you carry it.

Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. –Maxwell Maltz
Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict. –Anon.

Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action. –Brendan Francis
Impossible is not a fact. Impossible is an opinion. Impossible is nothing –Alessandra ‘Ali’ DiNicola


I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and
I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want. –Muhammad Ali

Man Plans….. God Laughs! –unknown
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wake up every morning with a thankful attitude. Expect something good to happen. –Joel Osteen
It works if you work it. I’ve begun my days by reading pages 86, 87 and 88 of the Big Book.

I sit down, take a few deep breaths, and I ask God to come into my life.
Without exception, my days are measurably better when I begin them by working the program and asking for the guidance and support of my Higher Power. –Wisdom of the Rooms

For ‘suggestion’ you have two choices: Take it or leave it.
The wreckage of the past is environmentally safe and bio-degradable.

Silence is the great revelation. –Lao Tzu
God answers all knee-mail. –Gary R.
Make a conscious effort to thank God today. –Patricia Ferris


Courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to go on in spite of it.
In life it is those that persevere that will succeed.
Share the light-hearted moments of your life with others.
We are as weak as our fears and as strong as our faith.

You will have an easier time keeping your thoughts positive if you look for good in every situation. If you live in the light of God, He will bless the work of your hands and you will see your efforts flourish.

Being hopeless is being insane.
Smart won’t get you sober, but stupid can get you drunk!
Coming to believe is accepting spiritual help.
Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God.
You can’t change reality, but you can change your attitude towards it.

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader;
a boss says ‘Go!’ – a leader says ‘Let’s go!’ –E.M. Kelly

A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous, and then dismissed as trivial,
until finally it becomes what everybody knows. –William James
You must allow people to be right, because it consoles them for not being anything else. If we are in the program on a basis of ‘temporary permanence’, then we need to re-evaluate.


Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.
If you marry your past, you must divorce your future.

God will give you strength because He gives of Himself.
Seeing and accepting the Great Reality is our birth right. It is what it is.

Nothing can keep you from having the complete understanding
you need to go on besides yourself.

To be rich is to have good friends, good health, and
the energy to experience the many things that life offers.
It gets worse, so you have to get better.
We know that the program does work, but why?

The program actually relies on ancient principles that always amaze people when they are employed:
Help Others, and you help yourself.
Clean up your own house.
Put your trust in God, not frail human beings or shaky institutions.
Remove false gods, such as alcohol and other drugs.
The Twelve Step program does work. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B.


The program is simply sharing, working the Twelve Steps, attending meetings, and practicing the principles of the program.
Our lives can be filled with serenity and hope when we live by the guidance of the simple principles of our program. –Just for Today | More…

Encouragement from an old-timer can turn a newcomer’s life around.
If we think, ‘I like having a clear mind; I like remembering; I like growing,’ we have positive thoughts directed away from our diseases.

Relax, God is in charge.
Right now you are safe.
Whatever is troubling you is not so bad that your sponsor or another group member cannot help.
Call them as soon as you find a phone.

For ‘suggestion’ you have two choices: Take it or leave it.
The AA Big Book does not need to be rewritten. It needs to be reread.

All of us go through phases of loving meetings, hating meetings, or ambivalence. The ups and downs and erratic emotions are a normal part of recovery. To stay in recovery we make 90 meetings in 90 days regardless of our many phases.


You can’t run from God, so let God run you.
Reality can be as painful to accept as it was to escape.

It is now time to forgive ourselves and to forgive others who let us down.
We are not well yet, but have made the first giant steps: admittance of our disease and forgiveness for not being well.
Reality can be as painful to accept as it was to escape.
Our sobriety grows out of an awareness of and response to a spiritual program.

Now we must choose and use a sponsor. Just one.
We ask for guidance in choosing a sponsor, then we use them.

You spend more time with yourself than with anyone else.
Doesn’t it make sense to put something into that relationship?

Believe that life is worth living
and your belief will help create the fact.


Age will take care of your ego –Wisdom of the Rooms
If you lose your temper, you lose.
One hour at a time leads to one day at a time in our recovery program.
Revelation did not stop with the Bible and sobriety doesn’t stop with the Big Book. –Dan F

“Take what you need and leave the rest,” is oft heard in the rooms from experienced sponsors. “Our book is meant to be suggestive only,” it says on page 132 of the Big Book.

Mind is the path. Flesh is the vehicle.
Sometimes you have to just let go and see what happens.
With the 12 Steps, you have break throughs, not break downs.
The difference between a ‘winner’ and a ‘whiner’ is the sound of the ‘I’

Spiritual progress comes as a gift, not as an achievement.
Slogans are the Swiss army knives of Recovery.
Your mind works very simply;
you are either trying to find out what are God’s laws in order to follow them; or you are trying to outsmart him.

The great art of living is to make the best of things as they are.
We are the inheritors of those who have gone before us, the originators of the 12 step recovery program.


Just because you have pain, doesn’t mean you have to be one. Abstinence, honesty, and the willingness ‘to turn it over’ are the only ways to fight the Four Horsemen of mind-affecting chemicals: Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Despair.

Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up. –Wisdom of the Rooms The man who says, ‘I can’t’, is usually right. It’s not about letting God in today, it’s about letting God out –Wisdom of the Rooms

We have many worries: economic, marital, parental, employment, religious, and legal. We mustn’t see our recovery as connected to a good marriage, job, or socialization. We know it isn’t true. Look back and be grateful, Look ahead and be hopeful, Look around and be helpful.

Every day is perfect.
The problem is, you don’t know until tomorrow.
We are as sick as our secrets.

Sober and Serving.
Occasionally we get a glimpse of how others have truly seen us.
It is a dreadful experience and if it weren’t for the loving attitude of our fellowship, we sometimes could not bear it.
But the growth process is worth the pain as we slowly transform into the people we have always pretended to be.


It all works out in the end… if it hasn’t worked out yet, it’s not the end. –Wisdom Vol IV
It’s not about letting God in today, it’s about letting God out –Wisdom of the Rooms
Bring the body, the mind will follow.
I can’t fix the mind I got with the mind I got.

Whatever your problem, know that there is a solution.
You can work the Steps to get out of trouble or you can work the Steps to stay out of trouble.

Make the solution so big, the problem does not exist.
I do not receive the right answer when I ask the wrong question.
There are no magic wands or burning bushes in our program. Just footwork and faith.

Practice these principles in all your affairs-or change your affairs.
Now is the time for action with our welcoming.
As people come to their first meetings, shaking, scared, and confused,
we give them our phone numbers, take them to meetings, and teach them what we have already learned.
If god seems far away, who moved ?
Before saying anything about anyone, I will ask myself three questions
Is it the truth?
Is it loving?
Is it necessary?
Rarely have I spoken badly of anyone after asking myself these questions.
We are all important, but not for the reasons we think.
Keeping their secret keeps you sick.
When people stop and find excuses for not going to 90 meetings in 90 days, ‘I can’t find enough time.’, then they really aren’t ready to let go of their disease.


Slow and sure.
The time is always right to do what is right.
When we let go, we let go of our need to always be right
Recovery is an attribute of two personalities which bear a relationship one to the other.
This is our self and our higher self or God-self.
If you think you want a drink, just roll the tape to the end. –Wisdom of the Rooms

When urged to be open-minded, what’s really involved?
Success means getting your ‘but’ out of the way.

The slogans may sometimes annoy us in their simplicity.
But repetition is an important learning tool. Think of the repetition that alcohol brings.
God, help me to go from where I am, to where I need to be, for who I am

You cannot have an open mouth and an open mind at the same time.
If you live on the edge of the program, you might fall off.
Just for Today. Day by Day. 24-hour program. Don’t use today, forget about yesterday and tomorrow. Only 24 hours at a time.
One day at a time. Take a daily inventory. The sooner you live in the now, the sooner you will find freedom.
Fairness is what justice really is. –Keep It Simple | More…
We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them.
If you have two addictions, throw two bucks in the basket.
Our new life-style calls for a new self-responsibility.
We begin the process of being responsible by being on time, keeping promises, doing what our sponsor says.
If we fail to ‘repair,’ we can only impair. June 1945 “On the Eighth Step,” Step By Step

Don’t romance the drug.
The time is always right to do what is right.
You never have to be alone again. Where ever you are, the Fellowship is close by and always, always where ever you are, your Higher Power is too!
I no longer always have to be right. –Palmdale, Calif., July 1992/”An Unexpected Shot at Life” / Grapevine
There is no right way to do the wrong thing.
If we want to change our lives, then we must change our thoughts first


Controlling life isn’t the answer, it’s the problem.
Be patient with others, but mostly be patient with yourself.
Compulsive behavior is characterized by the need to be better than, sooner than, bigger then, more than.
This creates pressure which creates stress, which for us creates danger!
Help me not to expect five years of recovery in five weeks.

Life is change… Growth is optional… Choose wisely…
Pray together as a family and share each other’s joys and burdens.
If you feel the need to get even, try getting even with those that have helped you.

Do you feel like you are compelled to do everything perfectly now that you’re sober?
Impatient for everything to be normal?
Take (Step) three deep breaths and relax.
You are right where you are supposed to be and all will unfold in it own good time.

Each of us needs to find our own center so that we can occupy our own place.
Others will recognize us –The Promise of a New Day/Karen Casey & Martha Vanceburg | More…

The more frantic we feel on the inside;
The more compulsive we try to organize the outside.
Resistance is only a waste of strength.
I don’t have a rewind button in my life, but I do have a pause…
Meeting Makers Make It
Some addicts have returned to using mind-affecting chemicals because they tried to ‘cope forever’ and couldn’t face never, ever using anything again.
But you can maintain abstinence by just not picking up that first dose/drink of anything NOW.
Progress always involves risk.
Begin each day with the certainty that today is the best day of your life and watch what happens.
Make today the best day of your life.


There is among us AAs the ever present need for further spiritual growth. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1960/”Let’s Keep it Simple – But How?”
All our past ‘good intentions’ were fragmentary at best, facades at worse.
This program teaches, that I am at the root of my own problems and this hour, I can be at the root of my recovery.
If you’re not working with others, then others will be working with you.

Keep an open mind, something may fall in.
We had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery.

When we feel that fate has dealt us a bad hand with chemical dependency;
We simply remember that many people have MS, or cancer, or diabetes, or lupus, or heart disease, or….
Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. — Thomas Carlyle
I’m not an alcoholic because I drank too much. I’m an alcoholic because I can’t drink enough.
Let go of your old ideas – even the good ones.
Try to listen sober, your ears work better that way.
Pain is an experience.
Suffering is a choice.

First things will always need to be first: humility before success, and unity before fame. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., October 1947/Grapevine
From Alcoholic’s Obvious to Alcoholics Anonymous.
When I begin to worry about things I can do nothing about, I tell myself to accept what you can’t change.
Often I’ve used the ideas in the Serenity Prayer as a trigger for relinquishing my need to control and as a reminder to take action when some discontentment can be remedied. –El Granada, Calif., March 1989/A Program of Action
Drinking was dramatic. Sobriety is not. – Dan F
Sharing how one is or is not staying sober today always leads to the strongest meetings, in my experience. – Dan F

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift. That’s why we call it ‘the present’.
We live our program in one-day portions, and our actions today have immediate consequences.
Respect the anonymity of others.
I won’t hassle you any further. It is YOUR decision.
I inched a little bit closer to AA and a little bit closer to myself …
I was suddenly a part of things, no longer just a shadow figure pulled toward the edge by the centrifugal force of my own fears.


Life is fragile; handle with prayer.
Change is not easy, but it’s absolutely unavoidable.
Pray like you mean it.
If I am to have a share of those promises enumerated in the AA book, there is a price I must pay. That price is destruction of self-centeredness.

Whatever happens to me is not nearly so important as the way I look at the happening — the way I feel about it.
Life by the mile is a trial; by the inch it’s a cinch
If you treat people badly today, you get to reap the benefits tomorrow.
Two things an alcoholic doesn’t like; The way things are…and change. – Anon.

One must live one’s own life.
Sponsor’s question: Who’s not doing it your way today?
Have you taken your disappointments to God?

Self-will cannot be overcome by Self-will.
Egotism is the drug that soothes the pain of stupidity.
Thank God for what you have.
Trust God for what you need.
Whether we have lost our family, friends, or our dignity through this devastating affliction, the greatest loss of all was our relationship to our Higher Power.
Grace is not a do-it-yourself project. –Ontario, August 1962/”Boy Lying in the Grass”
You cannot get ahead until you learn to be here. –Manchester, Mass., October 1964/”This Business of Getting Ahead”
Forgiveness entered my life through my heart, not my head. –New York, N.Y., April 1977/”The Years That the Locust Hath Eaten”

Count on God for what you lack.
Would you not do the same for someone that you loved?
Chapter Five is called ‘How It Works,’ not ‘Why Me?’


Today, let’s be clear in how we think, speak, and act.
And if we start to get mixed up,
Let’s stop thinking and listen for our Higher Power’s voice.
It’s not what you get from a meeting, it’s what you take to a meeting.
It is impossible to know everyone, but if I try to relate myself with just one other person, something will happen, something remarkable. –Marietta, OH, April 1993/Grapevine

Are you angry or about to get angry?
We have learned that only one thing causes anger: not getting what we think we want, need, or deserve.

God does not hurry.
Worry gets in the way of getting what you really want.
It’s a wonder

Live life today as though you knew you were dying
Don’t regret growing old, it’s a privilege denied to many. –Tobyhanna, Pa., / Grapevine

Because our body chemistry is so damaged by our disease of addiction, it is important to pay attention to our body’s nourishment needs.
Are you eating regular balanced meals?
We don’t care why you’re here, it’s why you stay.
Once we clear a hurdle, it doesn’t seem so high.
At this time many people will get on our nerves. This is normal during early recovery.
How we see others is often a mirror of our feelings–thus we are not so much upset by the actions of others as we are upset with ourselves.


We have to grow or else deteriorate.
For us, the ‘status quo’ can only be for today, never for tomorrow.
Change we must; we cannot stand still. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., February 1961/Grapevine

AA’s message promises healing and wholeness for any alcoholic who will pay the price.
The price is simply to accept the help that will save our lives. –Grapevine/Riverside, Ill., August 1977

In the first six months of my own sobriety, I worked hard with many alcoholics.
Not a one responded. Yet this work kept me sober. –AA Co-founder Bill W., January 1958/Grapevine
Give yourself more exercise than jumping to conclusions.
If there is someone weaker than you, be kind to them.
If there is someone stronger than you, be kind to yourself.

Work on Step Nine has freed me from fears about the past and given me more energy to devote to present-day living – this twenty-four hours. –Joliet, Ill., July 1985/Grapevine
We mustn’t make a decision about staying sober with insufficient data.
To collect data on what staying sober is like, we have to stay that way 12 months or more.

What I did need and need desperately, was not more knowledge about God, but, with God’s help, a deep and penetrating knowledge about myself. –April 1970/Grapevine
Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.
You are the problem, but you are also the solution.
I spent years looking for things to alienate me, make me different, make me special or unique, better or worse …
I was taught through the Steps to start dwelling on the positive – the ‘alikeness’ instead of the differences. –Grants, N.M., July 1980/Grapevine
Let Go and Let Go’ is a simple phrase that helps us realize that we are not in charge of the world.
Our need to control and manage all things in our life will soon be replaced as we allow our Spiritual Source to operate.
The Winners are stuck with me.
Once an alcoholic, always and alcoholic.
The worst vice is advice. –Wisdom of the Rooms


Unless I accept my virtues, I will be overwhelmed with my faults.
Love is what the soul thrives on. –La Canada, Calif., August 1987/Grapevine
My Higher Power works incognito, defying definition and requiring faith. –“Working Incognito,”/Grapevine

It gets worse, so you have to get better.
Today, if I’m having a rough start to my day,
I’ll remind myself to change my thoughts and perspectives.
I will remember that it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.
I feel close to the Great Spirit of my fathers.
Words are not necessary. The Great Spirit speaks in all languages. –Tucson, Ariz., July 1992/Grapevine

The art of life is to live in the present moment.
Whenever you try to get even, you get even worse.
I’m not so quick to judge others. If I’m critical of you, it’s often because I’m trying to ignore that quality in myself. –Renton, Wash., October 1987/Grapevine
Drinking was dramatic, sobriety is not
Enforce the ‘Respect-me rules’
Change is the characteristic of all growth.

Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.
Minds are like parachutes, They won’t work unless they’re open.

When I’m able to stay focused on my primary purpose, my ‘secondary purposes’ work themselves out quite satisfactorily. –San Diego, Calif., February 1995/Grapevine
Suit up, Show up, Sit up, and Speak up!
Discover how really nice today is by taking it less for granted.
If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!
When we are generous with the hat we give a token that we are grateful for our blessings and evidence that we are eager to share what we have found with all those who still suffer –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1957


I will to will Your will.
Everything you can be you are now.
Anger and resentment are masks for fear.
When you reach, all you know is you know nothing, the next step is to know that’s all you need to know.

Practicing the Steps teach me how: The measure of my sobriety isn’t the distance between now and the last drink;
The measure of my sobriety is the distance between now and the next drink. –White Rock, British Columbia, May 2005/Grapevine
Practicing the Steps teach me how to think and act.
The Traditions keep my personal program of recovery simple, well-balanced, and healthy. –Fanwood, N.J., January 1991/Grapevine

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
You may not always know what is right but you sure know what is wrong.

Take my advice, I’m not using it.
Responsibility: Your response to God’s ability.
You cannot give away what you don’t have.
When you smile, your brain thinks you’re happy!!
There are no musts in our program, but a lot of ‘have-tos’.
Insanity and isolation are often companions; they feed off each other. –Father Leo
Vision is … the very essence of prudence. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., April 1959/Grapevine
‘Let Go and Let God’ is a simple phrase that helps us realize that we are not in charge of the world.


Self-respect is the most important respect I can earn.
Part of the magic of AA is that the Fellowship, like the loving God who presides over us all, never gives up hope for the suffering alcoholic. –Grapevine

We can’t change the world by taking an inventory, but we can change the way we react to it.
I can recall that even as a small child I had allergic reactions to certain forms of reality. –Williamstown, W. Va., December 1997/Grapevine
When all else fails, try following directions.
If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.

If you don’t like what you’re getting; change what you’re doing.
We take the steps, but it’s funny where the steps take us.
Hope can be pretty damn contagious. –Eugene, Ore., July 2002/Grapevine
Many times we go to meetings to listen to what happens to people who don’t go to meetings.

Sobriety is a choice and a treasure.
It says: ‘here are the steps we took,’ not suggested, not understand.
I discovered that there really is an easier, softer way – the way of striving to be a part of. –Manchester, N.H., September 2000/Grapevine
Learning to be tolerant of others, a difficult task at best, does not mean that we have to agree with them!
Our joys are multiplied by sharing good days; our sorrows are lessened by sharing the bad.
Each time we are honest, lies lose their power, and finally truth comes through.
The more I work on me – the better most people behave.
It took me a long time to find out that AA wasn’t here to limit my life, it was here to fulfill it. –Schaumberg, Ill., March 2006/Grapevine

God never gives me more than I can handle, but sometimes he takes me right to the edge / Grapevine
One day, I simply heard myself talking about Step Three to a new ‘baby,’ and I knew I believed what I was saying. –Sumner, Wash., March 1982/Grapevine


If you want to know God’s will, spend time with Him.
The ego of the alcoholic dies a hard death … fitting and wearing halos is not for us –AA Co-Founder, Dr. Bob, September 1948/Grapevine
If you were the helper and not the helpee, how would you like the person you were working with to behave?

God speaks through people, don’t worry about which ones.
The slogans we are learning are like combinations to unlock something of value and make it accessible to our mind.
There are no absolutes but one: ‘I am not absolute’
Your sponsor helped you up. Don’t let them down.
Alcohol in Latin is spiritus, and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison.
The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum. –Dr. C. G. Jung, January 1963
Even though you are a unique human being, you are not so unique that your recovery is any different than thousands before you.

Refuse to attack yourself.
Feelings won’t kill me, but killing my feelings will.
I’m in the action business, and God is in the results business
The parent who overstays his time can only hamper the growth of his offspring. Bill W/Grapevine
I show up early, I am involved, and I reach my hand out to the next person coming through the door.
It’s amazing how very easy it is to make a difference for others and for yourself just by accepting the responsibility to pass the message on. –Nelson, N.H., August 1998/Grapevine

There is a fundamental unity that underlies the fellowship of our programs.
It is this unity that can comfort us and help us hold on when we want a fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort more than we want this new unfamiliar life. –Hour to Hour
Denial is self-deception
Honesty is being void of self-deception

Sponsors carry the message, not the sponsee.
Every decision we make is not critical nor is every mistake fatal.


Alcoholics Anonymous was nurtured in its early days around a kitchen table …
True, we have progressed materially to better furniture and more comfortable surroundings.
Yet the kitchen table must ever be appropriate for us. It is the perfect symbol of simplicity. –AA Co-Founder, Dr. Bob, September 1948/GRapevine

Today, I realize that if I am to stand centered and strong within my life and self, I will need to plant a garden within my own soul. -Hour To Hour
Where do you find recovery? Twelve steps past any lengths.
I do not agree that the newcomer is the most important member at any meeting …
Equally important are those old-timers who showed me the way, and any middle-timer who may be today suffering.
If newcomers are indeed the lifeblood of AA, old- and middle-timers are its skin and backbone. –New York, N.Y., June 1970/GRAPEVINE
Codependency is “the chronic sacrifice of self for the maintenance of a relationship”
Codependency is a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement

Patience is giving God space.
Get rid of the excuses for not doing those things that make you happy.
Codependent behavior is an attempt to take control over the uncontrollable.
I have learned how to place principles before personalities, begun to understand that it’s okay for me to be wrong, and that it is also all right for me to allow others to be wrong and to make mistakes.
Learning to let go is a huge part of service work on all levels. –Cleveland, OH, February 2010/Grapevine

Physical recovery does not grow without spiritual progress. This Program is a journey. –Heard At A Meeting
Rather than giving others a piece of your mind, don’t—and have peace of mind.
I have often seen our Society timid and fearful, angry and prideful, apathetic and indifferent.
But I have also seen these negatives fade as the lessons of experience were learned and gladly applied. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1965/Grapevine
No one promised us a rose garden and if they did they were wrong.
Recovery is not a thing like a rose garden; it is a process like the act of gardening. -Hour to Hour


Few of us realize that God is all we need until God is all we have
I may not know how to make it better, but I sure know how to make it worse.
My recovery relies on the hands of many people being extended to me.
The welcome I received was more than a word. It was a word followed by actions. –Santa Rosa, Calif., November 1999/Grapevine
Right now you don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not.
You don’t have to pretend that you don’t want to drink, if you do–share what is real.
We can’t help if we don’t know the truth.
Don’t worry about finding your feelings; they will find you.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Sometimes all we can do is not use, hold on, go to another meeting and tell them, ‘I am not using, holding on, and going to another meeting because that’s what you told me to do at times like these.’
I had been undergoing a spiritual experience without knowing it.
My confused questioning about a Higher Power, my changed mental attitude, and even my physical recovery had all be part of a spiritual awakening.
Without knowing it, I had been in contact with the source of life, whatever or Whoever that might be. –York, Pa., January 1977/Grapevine

Addiction: touched by an angle. Recovery: touched by an angel.
Often times that which we find difficult is that which teaches.
Let today’s troubles be sufficient to today. –Indianapolis, Ind., August 1982/Grapevine
Sometimes we are confused about what to do. But we tell people, ‘Do the next right thing.’
We do know what is right and what is wrong from the age of seven.
Often our mind tries to muddy our thinking by making excuses or rationalizing.
You really do know the right thing to do.
A sincere attempt to exercise the first ten Steps brings into play some of the finest virtues in the human character;
Humility, hope, faith, honesty, courage, and sincerity. –Jackson Heights, New York, April 1956/Grapevine

Anxiety is the by-product of trying to run the universe.
A signpost, like a peer, only warns you about the road ahead.
But a map, like a sponsor can show you how to get where you want to go.
Service to another alcoholic or to our group can help calm us when the jitters get rough.
I can’t walk on water, but with my HP and my AA friends, I can keep my head just above it. –Inverness, Fla., April 2012/Grapevine

When you lose your temper, you lose.
Today, take care of yourself. Tomorrow you can worry about them.
At times, while traveling this road, we find it easier to just agree with everyone now, and do our own thing later. It’s called ‘just talking the talk.’
Let us remember that great legion who still suffer from alcoholism and who are still without hope.
Let us, at any cost or sacrifice, so improve our communication with all these that they may find what we have found – a new life of freedom under God. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., February 1961/Grapevine
Through doing the Steps and receiving love from my AA family, my perception of life has changed.
Once my thoughts changed, so did my actions, then, finally, the results. –Susanville, Calif., December 2007/Grapevine

The Fourth and Tenth Steps cannot be too strongly emphasized, ‘Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves ….
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.’
There is your perfect antidote for halo-poisoning. –Dr Bob June 1955/Grapevine”


Stark Raving Sober. Our greatest defects tamed, become our virtues
The more willing I become to admit it when I am wrong, the less often am I in the position of having to make such an admission. –“Not Under the Rug,” January 1967/Grapevine
You don’t have to worry about your faults now or feel shame.
None of us are near perfect, even if we’ve been clean and sober a long time.
We strive for progress, not perfection. –Hour to Hour

How do you know when you’ve hit bottom? When you stop digging.
Take the program seriously, not yourself.
Forgiveness is another word for letting go.
I believe the peace I get from an effective Tenth Step is what God feels like. –Gold River, Calif., December 1996/Grapevine
Right now, you are getting rid of the toxic things in your life: toxic substances, toxic people, toxic behavior patterns and toxic thoughts. –Hour to Hour

Keep an unmade mind instead of a mind made up.
Thoughts and beliefs are nothing without action.
First Things First’ is definitely a good philosophy but in the third week of recovery it seems impossible

This is a self-help program that you can’t do by yourself.
Everyone has the right to be wrong! That includes whatever occurs this hour – either our mistake, or another’s.
In AA we have no VIPs, nor have we need of any.
Our organization needs no title-holders nor grandiose buildings …
Experience has taught us that simplicity is basic in preservation of our personal sobriety and helping those in need. –AA Co-Founder, Dr. Bob, September 1948/Grapevine

Keeping their secret keeps you sick. Sometimes, all we need to do is ask.
I could do something about changing my own thoughts, but nothing about changing the people around me. –La Verne, Calif., December 1966/Grapevine
Slow and sure.
When we let go, we let go of our need to always be right
I do not need to make amends on my hands and knees; I need to walk tall, without false pride.
When I go in humility and sincerely ask people to forgive me, this will remove the burden from my shoulders. –Reynoldsburg, OH, September 1979/Grapevine
Recovery is an attribute of two personalities which bear a relationship one to the other.
This is our self and our higher self or God-self. – Hour to Hour


If you live on the edge of the program, you might fall off.
You cannot have an open mouth and an open mind at the same time.
This is not a headache we’re talking about.
We’re talking about a terminal illness.
I have to be sober.
Sobriety and life are synonymous.
Perfectionism is a beautiful characteristic when we learn how to live it, but until we do it’ll kill us, forever disappointed in ourselves and everything around us.
We’re not emotionally immature, we’re highly sensitive
Sobriety has to come first. Unless and/or until sobriety comes first we can’t have it.
You can live yourself into right thinking, but you cannot think yourself into right living.

Talk does not cook rice.
Our problems go deeper than just staying sober.
You can’t find what you’re looking for with what you’re looking with.
When you’ve been lost, lonely, forgotten, rejected, it’s the most important thing in the world to have somebody shake your hand. –Santa Fe, N.M., May 1972/Grapevine
KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. We are not suggesting you are stupid, but your disease is.

Depression is not a sign of weakness.
It is a sign of being too strong for too long.
Chapter 5 ABC How it Works, sobriety without abstinence is impossible

Step1 states the facts
Steps 2-11 are the program
Step 12 Is the result
I don’t foresee outgrowing my need for help
I asked what I had to surrender and how often, I was told, “Everything, all the time.”

Our problems go deeper than just staying sober.
Spiritual sobriety leaves nothing for alcohol to fix.


When I remember that I’ll never have it all together, I can finally let go of the illusion of control.
By not having it all together, I can remain open to the unexpected gifts yet to come. –Wisdom of the Rooms

Honesty without kindness is cruel and kindness without honesty is co-dependence.
If I don’t change… my clean and sober date will

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
Every recovery from alcoholism began with the first sober hour.
Although loving and being loved is an important aspect of balance in our lives–it is never the solution to drinking.
We sometimes focus on the strong emotion of love rather than face taking each step at a time, one hour at a time.

Recovery is the easier, softer way.
Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
It’s not the ‘yets’ we have to worry about, it’s the ‘agains.’
The Power behind us is much greater than the problems in front of us.

The miracle of recovery is that no matter where you are, you’re here.
Try to keep your words palatable; you never know when you may have to eat them.
Work the Steps. You may still have living problems but you will no longer have problems living.
What a different world this would be if people would magnify their blessings the way they do their troubles.
Learn from other’s mistakes.
You will never live long enough to make them all yourself.
We’re all here because we’re not all there.
Sobriety delivers everything alcohol promised
When an alcoholic stops drinking, he feels worse.
When a heavy drinker stops drinking, he feels better.


We don’t like change and we’re not really happy with the way things are.
The process is perfect; let it work.
Spiritual awakening is painful, spiritual enlightenment is delightful.

Complaining is not an action step.
Resentment unites anger, fear, and sadness.
These are not the Steps we discussed, or memorized, or analysed. These are the steps we took.

Joy increases as you give it,
And diminishes as you try to keep it for yourself.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
It seems as though our members with the strongest faith are the ones who are best able to live in the present moment.

I’m glad I got sober while I was still living
I was born at a very young age
I’ve been sober ever since I can remember
The only reason I mention my sobriety date is because I’m bragging –Franklin Williams


The solution is simple. The solution is spiritual.
Recovery is an inside job.

I never knew the value of my life until I looked beyond it.
We are the only ones who can change how we think or how we act.
Work the Steps. You may still have living problems but you will no longer have problems living.
Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future and not enough presence.

We are not responsible for our disease, only for our recovery.
If anyone speaks badly of you, live so no one will believe it.
We are not responsible for our disease, only for our recovery.

Today, we are right where we need to be.
Learn to enjoy little things; there are so many of them!
Acknowledge your tallcomings along with your shortcomings.

What if we were caring rather than judgmental?
Do not allow others to upset you; their only power comes from your reaction.


You don’t get drunk watching others drink.
You don’t get serenity watching others do the steps.
As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.
It’s not the ‘yets’ we have to worry about, it’s the ‘agains.’

Enjoy life, that’s what God intended.
Going to a meeting doesn’t make you sober any more than going to church makes you a minister.
As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving.

We act our way into a new way of thinking.
We don’t think our way into a new way of acting
20/20: Come 20 minutes before the meeting, stay 20 minutes after.

The experience of reality does not have to be postponed.
Don’t ‘keep coming back’ just stay.
First we work the program because we have to.
Then we work the program because we are willing to.
Finally we work the program because we want to.
If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
Sponsors: have one, use one, be one.

There are really only 2 choices: worry or trust God.
No one is in charge of your happiness, except you
Keep coming back, it works-don’t go away; it works even better!
I know I am not perfect and I have many pains and problems yet to face.


Look back and be grateful,
Look ahead and be hopeful,
Look around and be helpful.
Every day is perfect.
The problem is, you don’t know until tomorrow.

The man who says, ‘I can’t’, is usually right.
Sober and Serving. We are as sick as our secrets.
Bring the body, the mind will follow.
I can’t fix the mind I got with the mind I got.
Whatever your problem, know that there is a solution.
You can work the Steps to get out of trouble or you can work the Steps to stay out of trouble.

Do your Third Step every morning and turn your will over to the care of the God of your understanding.
At night, take a Tenth Step to see how God’s doing.
Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
This is a self-help program that you can’t do by yourself.
If I want God to remove my character defects, I’ll have to stop doing them.
There is really only two potentially dangerous times in sobriety; one is when you are first sober, and the other is all the time after that.
Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.
You don’t have to want what we have – You just have to not want what you have.

Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


You must learn to pick up a program, not just set down a drink!
It gets worse, so you have to get better.

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.
With the first three steps, you get the courage to work the rest. When you work the rest, you get rid of the garbage so you can work the first three.

Going to any lengths are our strengths.
By letting go we create our own well-being.
Life is not a static thing.
Procrastination is really sloth in five syllables.
We are free today only by the grace of God.
It came to pass; it didn’t come to stay.

Along the road well-travelled, there are many pity potholes.
Don’t give up before the miracle happens.

Easy Does It–But Do It
Don’t ‘people please’, ‘Higher Power Please.’
Life is difficult because it is a series of problems.
This program is simply about coming to terms of ‘living with reality’.
AA is not something you join, it’s a way of life.
You can be a human being-you don’t have to be a human doing.
Being an alcoholic does not give us the excuse to act alcoholically.
For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.


Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you.
Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.

When you feel your worst, try your best.
Ignorance is bliss for the disease of addiction!
The acceptance and awareness of my past is my treatment for today.

The Steps keep us from suicide; the Traditions, from homicide.
We are only as sick as our secrets; we are only as healthy as our honesty
Alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer
Recovery is contagious; we catch it from coffee cups.

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. May your journey be long.
A sure way to set yourself up for a ‘slip’ is to be convinced that others will slip if they don’t listen to you.
Life happens; joy is optional.

Alcoholism is for us unconditional
Unconsciously, we placed conditions on our sobriety
We ignored the biochemical, unchangeable nature of our ailment.
We must learn to pick up a program, not just set down a drink!


Sobriety is a grant, not a gift.
A gift is something we get to keep forever.
A grant is contingent on us doing something to keep it
Judge yourself by your insides not by someone else’s outsides.
You cannot really listen to someone and do something else at the same time.
Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching today?
Surrender means following the direction God’s finger is pointing.

Thinking about what you’ll say before you share, or what you should have said after you share means you missed the meeting.
On the first drink: When you get hit by a train, which kills you, the engine or the caboose?

Do the right thing, everything goes fine; Do the wrong thing, everything’s a mess.
Life without recovery: Even roses have thorns. Life in recovery: Even thorns have roses.

Don’t try to be normal; try to be healthy.
Every day of sobriety is a high degree of attainment.
Service is the backbone of our program. The reason is simple.
Service to our H.P. and to others breaks down our wanting to be self-centered.

Our life is to be enjoyed not endured. –Father Leo
Untreated abstinence will make our past our future. –Pocket Sponsor


Serenity comes when you stop expecting and start accepting. –Walk Softly
This is a self-help program that you can’t do by yourself.

You can have a God-centered life and suffer the consequences, or
You can have a Self-centered life and suffer the consequences –Chuck Chamberlin

All problems can be reduced be reduced to one problem – conscious separation for God
All solutions can be reduced be reduced to one solution – conscious contact with God –Chuck Chamberlin
Keep your sobriety first, to make it last.
Self-respect is the most important respect you can earn.

Surrender, don’t quit.
The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers.

Practice makes progress.
Take a walk with God.  He will meet you at the Steps.

Talk does not cook rice.
You can’t find what you’re looking for with what you’re looking with.

Spiritual sobriety leaves nothing for alcohol to fix.
Conscious Contact; Spiritual condition is the name of the game;
That’s what it’s all about, that’s what the steps are all about, that’s what the program is all about.
To the desolate alcoholic, the act of kindness can be the difference between getting ‘better’ or getting ‘bitter.’

NB: Quotes unless already accredited are ©Anonymous and made by individual program members


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