QUOTES (Sponsor)

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.

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Our sponsor can’t read minds.
It’s up to us to reach out and ask for help.  – all we have to do is ask. –Just for today

I told my sponsor how good of a circuit speaker I would be and asked what I needed to do that.
He smiled and suggested that a year of sobriety might be a good start. –Pocket Sponsor

Many people think that the Twelve Steps are the work. But they are not.
The Twelve Steps are the preparation for doing the real work.

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The real work is in reaching out to the still suffering alcoholic and addict.
‘God has no hands but yours.’ [attributed to Mother Theresa]. –Pocket Sponsor

If you don’t deal with your feelings, they’ll deal with you.
Whatever you are thinking right now is creating how you feel.
One of the best ways to deal with the way you feel is to create positive thoughts. –Pocket Sponsor

The road to recovery is always under construction.
When a person tries to control their drinking they have already lost control. –Pocket Sponsor
,
When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too.
If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others’ –Gifts From the Sea 1955

Don’t let your starting point in recovery ever discourage you.
Don’t let your starting point today put a frown on your face.
Anyone who gets to be an old-timer had to be a newcomer first.
Smile and start. –Pocket Sponsor

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Whatever you are trying to avoid, we won’t go away until you confront it.
When I see myself as others see me, do I deny it? –Pocket Sponsor

Few of us realize that God is all we need until God is all we have. –Pocket Sponsor

You can’t think your way into right actions.
You have to act your way into right thinking. –Unknown

We are now learning to keep our thoughts in recovery and not in the insanity of the past.
The program fixes it so we don’t have to suffer from insanity anymore. Now we can enjoy it! –Pocket Sponsor

I had an unusual childhood … and a long one. – Anon.
Alcoholism is a disease which tells us we don’t have it. – Anon.

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Don’t ever think you have nothing left to learn in the fellowship and that everyone wants to hear you talk incessantly because you are so wise.
You cannot have an open mouth and an open mind at the same time. –Pocket Sponsor

First, let me congratulate you for the courage and self-esteem it took for you to begin something new in recovery. Recovery is not an end in itself; as we frequently hear in meetings, it’s a bridge back to life. Education is a path that beckons many recovering people. Taking just one step, like signing up for a course, furthers you on your journey. –If You Want What We Have

At the same time, you’ll want to take care to protect your recovery as you engage in new pursuits. Staying close to the program by going to regular and frequent meetings is still the top priority for anyone who doesn’t want to relapse. The work we do to maintain our recovery is what makes everything else possible. –If You Want What We Have

As for your doubts and fears, it’s natural for them to come up. Instead of giving them too much attention, you can use this opportunity to calm and center yourself with meditation and to ask in prayer for help and courage in carrying out your Higher Power’s will for you. –If You Want What We Have

The old timers used to say that the world’s most difficult prayer was ‘O, Lord, be as good to me today, as I was to my fellowman, yesterday.’ –Pocket Sponsor
I looked up ‘Willing’ in the dictionary. It said: ‘Cheerfully ready’ – Cindy F.

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Willpower … our will-ingness to use a Higher Power.
The smallest package in the world is an alcoholic all wrapped up in himself. –unknown

Seven days without an AA meeting makes one weak. –Unknown
In order to recover we have to uncover. Lower your standards and improve your program. –unknown

Alcoholism is an incurable disease; loneliness is not. –Denial is Not a River in Egypt
Alcoholics don’t have a normal reaction to alcohol OR abstinence –Unknown

Do not regret the past.
‘The past is but the beginning of a beginning/and all that is and has been/is but the twilight of the dawn.’ ~H. G. Wells from Beside Prayers.

Your past is the beginning of this beginning.
I ‘will not regret the past nor wish to close the door on it.’ (P 83, AA Big Book) –Pocket Sponsor

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Fear is really just an illusion. It’s optional.
Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us. –Unknown

Although thoughts are things, they are not actions;
Although feelings are real, they are not facts.
They only have the power we give them through our actions.
When I act kindly, I give power to loving thoughts and feelings
When I use harsh words and ‘get even’ I give power to angry thoughts and feelings. –Pocket Sponsor

If you don’t stand for something, they say you will fall for anything.
Do you stand up for recovery? Do you stand up for principle?
Do you stand up for the Traditions, Steps, and Fellowship?
United we stand; divided we stagger. –Pocket Sponsor

The primary problem for the alcoholic is ego
The primary solution is surrender. – Barney M.

Resentments are like stray dogs:
If you don’t pet them, they will go away. –Denial is Not a River in Egypt

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Have you ever found yourself saying, ‘I can’t believe this!’ because things have gotten out of hand?
You can’t believe it because it’s gotten out of your hand.
This is the time to laugh at yourself for trying to control again-poke fun at the situation, your beliefs, whatever.
Have fun. –Pocket Sponsor

Having a God of our own under-standing does not mean we have to withhold saying ‘God’ around non-believers.
People who try to get the word ‘God’ out of the Twelve Steps in order not to offend others, are missing the point.
The point is, no one has to say ‘God’ in order to recover-it does not mean others can’t call their Higher Power ‘God.’ –Pocket Sponsor

God is the answer.
Now what is my problem?

You cannot think yourself sober,
read yourself sober or act yourself sober.
You must live yourself sober. –Pocket Sponsor

Being lonely gets in the way of learning how to live alone.
You are not alone even though you may have felt alone in a crowd in the past.
The remedy for loneliness is service.
Show up to a meeting 30 minutes early tonight and help set up.
We promise you will not be lonely! –Pocket Sponsor

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Do I want to drink, get oesophagus lesions, pee blood until I die a horrible death in a flophouse?
Or do I want to go to AA, do some meetings, do some steps, live a certain way and stay sober?
Ah… Can I get back to you on that? – Charlie C.

We live our program in one-day portions
And our actions today have immediate consequences. — Touchstones

Sobriety often brings us effects we never expected, like becoming the person we used to resent!
I used to resent people whose standards I could not live up to. Now, by the Grace of God, I am one! –Pocket Sponsor

Change is not easy, but it’s absolutely unavoidable.
Recovery is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it. –Wisdom of the Rooms

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
My sponsor’s mistakes become my gifts when I listen. –Pocket Sponsor

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Get Ready. Get Organized: The agenda of the sponsorship meeting is important.
This is not to say what the topic will be, only that there will be a specific topic.
Be sure to know ahead of time where it can be found in the Big Book. (“Yeah, hang on a minute. I know this part is in here somewhere.”)
A sponsor might even read this section before the meeting. A sponsor might spend a few minutes to organize his own thoughts before he starts a meeting with his sponsee. –AA Redux

There is no progress without change.
I keep my sobriety by giving it away.
The spiritual approach to recovery is not about relinquishing responsibility for our lives to some Cosmic Butler. –Unknown

Our program won’t keep you from going to hell nor is it a ticket to heaven.
But it will keep you clean and sober long enough for you to make up your mind which way you want to go. My journey is my destination. –Pocket Sponsor

A sponsor is not necessarily a friend, but may be someone in whom we confide. We can share things with our sponsor that we might not be comfortable sharing in a meeting. –IP No. 11, “Sponsorship, Revised”

Whatever our initial reasons for getting the sponsor we have, we’re sure to find that our reasons for keeping them are quite different. Suddenly, they’ll amaze us with some stunning insight, making us wonder whether they’ve been sneaking peeks at our Fourth Step. Or maybe we’re going through some sort of life crisis, and their experience with the same problem helps us in ways we never dreamed possible. We call them in pain, and they come up with a special combination of caring words that provide genuine comfort. –Just For Today

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All our suggestions are free. The ones you don’t take are the ones you end up paying for.
When all else fails, I take the suggestions. –Pocket Sponsor

There are two times when you need to go to a meeting, when you think you need one and when you know you don’t.
Rather than thinking about going to a meeting, I go to the meeting, and then think about it. –Pocket Sponsor

Whatever you are trying to avoid, we won’t go away until you confront it.
When I see myself as others see me, do I deny it? –Pocket Sponsor

My sponsor pointed out to me that by focusing on what I don’t have I am stopping myself from enjoying what I do have.
Which might go along with “If I’m not happy with what I have, what makes me think I would my happy with more?” –As we see It

They say 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. The most important word in my Steps is the first one… ‘WE’ –Pocket Sponsor

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When we were newcomers and just getting started, we were generally very confused.
Our sponsors give us good advice and sound instructions. We can choose to listen to the advice or not. We are responsible.
Although we will always be dependent on God for our strength, it is up to us to ask God for that strength and do the necessary work to receive it.
We are responsible. –Easy Does It | More…

Trying to pray is praying, even when we aren’t sure exactly what God wants from us.
Trying means we have the desire to communicate with the Divine Source.
Even if no words come, just hitting your knees means a prayer has occurred.
My healing begins in kneeling. –Pocket Sponsor

Knowing what to do with this moment, is as simple as doing the next right thing so that your Spiritual Source can act in your best interests.
When my Higher Power is for me, what can be against me? –Pocket Sponsor

Humility is not so much thinking less of yourself as it is thinking of yourself less.
True humility is accepting myself without embellishment and without embarrassment. –Pocket Sponsor

There may be some people who want you to be perfect.
But thanks to our fellowship, to God, and the Twelve Steps, you don’t have to be one of them!
I claim progress, not perfection. –Pocket Sponsor

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Almost all anger is some form of control-either you trying to control people, places, or things or them trying to control you.
If it’s you controlling them, stop it. If it’s them controlling you, stop it.
I can’t do HP’s will, my way. –Pocket Sponsor

It really is a daily program. Think about it, if you only quit one day at a time, every day that you don’t pick up will be an accomplishment. If you quit forever, you won’t have accomplished anything until you’re dead.
Today, my one day. –Pocket Sponsor

As you work to solve different dilemmas that arise in your life, don’t stay so focused on your troubles that you miss discovering the solutions. Give your attention to your Spiritual Source in prayer, meditation, or service to others. By taking your focus off the situation, solutions have a way of finding you.
Through conscious contact, I allow solutions to find me. –Pocket Sponsor

According to the martial arts, Aikido, the best way to win a fight is not to be there in the first place.
Think of this the next time you are invited to a bar, to ride in vehicle with a pot smoker, or to celebrate at the office party.
My best path to cease fighting anybody or anything, is not to be in the ring in the first place. – Tian Dayton PhD –Pocket Sponsor

‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. …You must do the thing you cannot do.’ -Eleanor Roosevelt
I do the thing I cannot do as I overcome F.E.A.R. I ‘Face Everything And Recover’. –Pocket Sponsor

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Don’t let the therapeutically ‘correct’ way to run a group hijack your meeting.
Leaders are reluctant to cut a newcomer off for fear of shaming their inner child, rejecting them, or appearing to be mean.
We are not therapy and we can’t share with them if they can’t listen.
I do not let the newcomer’s inner child run our meetings.
This is not play therapy. –Pocket Sponsor

When you start the day with quiet meditation, you create a consciousness of serenity and peace.
At any time during the day you can bring your mind back to this moment.
When things get hectic or stressful, I bring my awareness back to the peace that I create now. –Pocket Sponsor

We make two great choices in life: one, the decision to get clean and sober; the other, the choice to stay that way.
God, as I understand You, help me stay away from that first fix, pill, drink, smoke, or snort for this hour. –Pocket Sponsor

Humility is not so much thinking less of yourself as it is thinking of yourself less.
True humility is accepting myself without embellishment and without embarrassment. –Pocket Sponsor

The old timers used to say that the world’s most difficult prayer was ‘O, Lord, be as good to me today, as I was to my fellowman, yesterday.’
I say what I mean, mean what I say, and don’t say it mean. –Pocket Sponsor

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Deal with the small stuff or it will deal with you. Do not allow the small stuff to pile up on the camel’s back. Take each situation that bothers you and deal with that as one unit, not as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
When I feel it, I deal with it and then can heal from it. –Pocket Sponsor

It doesn’t pay to argue with ‘slippers’ about the proper way of getting clean and sober.
Why should people who are still drinking and drugging tell those who are sober why it can’t be done!
We learn not to get in a pissing contest with a skunk. (or should we say drunk!)
The only thing I need to tell a drunk is how I got sober.
I can’t tell him or her how they will get sober, because I don’t know. –Pocket Sponsor

If you have one hand in the fellowship and one hand in your Higher Power’s, you can’t pick up today.
I put my hand in my Higher Power’s by saying. ‘Thy will not mine be done;’ I put my hand in the fellowship by saying ‘I’ll be there, at the next meeting. –Pocket Sponsor

A main theme in most spiritual traditions states that the best way to get what you want is to provide it for another. If you want serenity, make it peaceful and serene for another.
Do you want a feeling of safety? Provide a safe place for another.
Do you want to understand what has happened? Help another to understand.
I teach best what I most need to learn. –Pocket Sponsor

No one wants to hear the Sermon on the Mount or Zen philosophy when they’re trying to save their ass.
They want to know what to do-not hear words of wisdom. Tell them what you did.
I do not get so spiritual, that I am of no earthly value. –Pocket Sponsor

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Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
I never trust my tongue when my heart is bitter. –Pocket Sponsor

We are often surprised by who we can count on when the going gets tough.
Someone we did not expect to come through might and others whom we thought we could count on may fall short of our expectations.
We do not blame the ones that fall short and are grateful for the ones who go the extra mile.
I measure others by their best moments, not their worst. –Pocket Sponsor

Pissing contests about who drank how much and who acted bad are ego trips in reverse. ‘It doesn’t matter what or how much we drank.
In AA, staying sober has to come first. We realize that we cannot drink and live.
When I brag about how much I drank, how bad it was, and how much damage I did, I am doing one of two things, trying to make myself look larger or them smaller. –Pocket Sponsor

Do not become one of these people who have two excuses for everything: one excuse for what you don’t do and another for what you don’t have.
Excuses are simply my lack of faith in me. –Pocket Sponsor

No God; No Peace. Know God; Know Peace.
My program teaches me that I will have peace of mind in the exact proportion of the peace of mind I bring into the lives of others. –Pocket Sponsor

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Our program won’t keep you from going to hell nor is it a ticket to heaven.
But it will keep you clean and sober long enough for you to make up your mind which way you want to go.
My journey is my destination. –Pocket Sponsor

Through the Fourth and Fifth steps we learn who we really are.
Once we know who and what we are, we don’t have to be what we were.
Today, I am myself. I am perfect for the part. –Pocket Sponsor

When making amends, a subtle shift occurs in our thinking. We go from thinking we were a mistake to acknowledging we made a mistake.
I may make mistakes but my Higher Power doesn’t and my Higher Power made me. –Pocket Sponsor

Each place along the way is somewhere you had to be to be here.’ ~Wayne Dyer
I cannot get ahead until I learn to be here. –Pocket Sponsor

Resentment is from the Latin, meaning to ‘feel again.’ Rather than feeling that again, think of how it could have been worse, then be grateful it isn’t.
Once you get to the grateful part, you can’t be resentful.
I cannot be grateful and resentful at the same time; I can’t serve two masters. –Pocket Sponsor

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The AA Big Book does not need to be rewritten. It needs to be reread.
I begin this day by reading at least one page from my Big Book. –Pocket Sponsor

A sponsor who had a slip after 27 years sober was asked by his sponsee, how come you slipped?
The sponsor responded; I guess I got too comfortable counting the years and not the days  –Pocket Sponsor

Like the song says, ‘I’ll bet you think this song is about you?’
You need to get over yourself if you want to get over feeling sorry for yourself.
They’re just doing it; they’re not doing it to me. –Pocket Sponsor

Unity in our program does not mean conformity.
Unity means joining for a common purpose, despite our differences.
I can disagree without being disagreeable. –Pocket Sponsor

The Twelve Steps: One to Three: Clear up; Four to Nine: Clean up; Ten to Twelve: Contact up.
These are also called the Foundation Steps, the Action Steps, and the Maintenance Steps respectively.
Are you looking for something easier?
The easier, softer way is the Twelve Steps. –Pocket Sponsor

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We do not believe in lemming recovery.
Clement wrote ‘faith must go hand in hand with inquiry.’
If you do not ‘get’ something, ASK.
Ask at meetings, ask a clean and sober friend, ask your sponsor, or ask your Higher Power in prayer.
The only stupid question is the one I don’t ask. –Pocket Sponsor

You will be receiving many gifts from people in the programs: gifts of help, time, energy, possibly money, talents, and knowledge.
You will never be able to pay them all back. You are not obligated to pay them back.
You are obligated to pay them forward by giving away what you have when you can.
I appreciate the generosity of others and pay it forward when I am able. –Pocket Sponsor

It’s all a matter of perception:
I say I have a high tolerance for pain.
My sponsor says I have a thick skull. –As We See It

Our feelings don’t define us, our actions do.
We are not bad because we have a quick temper–but we learn that expressing that anger hurts others.
The longer we keep our temper the more it improves.
I am only as big as the smallest thing that makes me angry. –Pocket Sponsor

When egos collide, use kind words, do what you have control over, and do what you think is right.
Surrender what you don’t have control over, even if you think what others are doing is wrong.
Others have the right to be wrong.
I define myself by what I do and how I do it, not by who wins. –Pocket Sponsor

Before our recovery we used people and loved things and given recovery we learn to love people and use things.
Things are not important, people are.
I treat others the way I would be treated.  –Pocket Sponsor

Who knows why they are chemically dependent?
The answer will not change the fact, and yet many continue to question, why?
Indeed, they need an answer, but they are asking the wrong question.
The real question is, ‘How can I become free?’ Free of the fear. Free of the pain. Free of the bondage.
I do not receive the right answer when I ask the wrong question. –Pocket Sponsor

Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude. ~Martin Luther King.
How long do we have to keep going to meetings? – Until we want to go to meetings. –Anon

Undoubtedly, there are many on your list to forgive.
There is only one whom you must forgive-that is yourself.’
Because my Higher Power forgives me, I forgive myself. –Pocket Sponsor

We find that the smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.
My actions speak louder than words. What are my actions saying now. –Pocket Sponsor

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If you have never experienced the results of working the Twelve Steps, no explanation is sufficient.
If you have experienced the results of working the Twelve Steps, then no explanation is necessary.
I am the poster child for the miracles I cannot explain.

When you continually don’t like the way people treat you, it is usually because you are cooperating with the treatments.
The difference between me being a victor or a victim is ability. Response ability. –Pocket Sponsor

Newcomer: I’m in a crisis. I got myself into it — there’s no one else to blame.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it yet; I’m going back and forth over the alternatives.
I can’t think about anything else right now.
Sponsor: Your word “alternatives” is a helpful one. In most situations, we have more options to choose from than we can see at first.
There usually is a “Plan B” if we’re willing to open ourselves to it.

People in our society stress that we ought to be happy. If you’re not happy something is wrong, we are lead to believe.
Yet, unhappiness is not a symptom of sickness, it is an expression of life, a natural reaction to situations we don’t like. When **** happens, you don’t have to like it.
I will not be unhappy about being unhappy. –Pocket Sponsor

Sanskrit saying ‘God sleeps in the mineral, awakens in the plants, walks in the animals, and thinks in you.’ The Universal Source of life actually thinks in you. Use this well.
Every bad choice I ever made began with a single thought. Every good choice I ever made began with a single thought. I choose my thoughts carefully. –Pocket Sponsor

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How to share what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now. Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.
When I share, I share to draw attention to the message, not the messenger. –Pocket Sponsor

God didn’t do it!
God doesn’t do anything to me, but always through me. –Pocket Sponsor

Seven days without a meeting, makes one weak.
Just as I am not independently wealthy and need to work to stay solvent, I am not independently healthy and need meetings to stay solvent. –Pocket Sponsor

‘Smile facts:
It is 2.5 times easier to smile than to frown.
It takes 43 muscles to frown, but only 17 to smile.
Smiling stimulates our nervous system to produce ‘cerebral morphine.’
This hormone give us a pleasant feeling and it has an anaesthetic effect.’ ~Karlynn Baker Scharlau, A Thoughtful Moment
When I meet someone today who isn’t wearing a smile, I give them mine. –Pocket Sponsor

Sobriety often brings us effects we never expected, like becoming the person we used to resent!
I used to resent people whose standards I could not live up to. Now, by the Grace of God, I am one! –Pocket Sponsor

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Relapse is part of recovery: NOT!
What the fellowships say is keep coming back SOBER.
Members warn of the very real danger of that last relapse: stepping in front of a car or bus, overdosing, being institutionalized, and death!
The truth is, any relapse can be your last.
Never kid yourself, relapse is part of the disease process, not part of our recovery process.
I do not help people work on their recovery by OK-ing working on their disease. OK –Pocket Sponsor

In working with others, remember that no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
I love the unloveables. –Pocket Sponsor

Everyone has problems.
Your problem though, is not the real problem.
The real problem is how you deal with the original problem.
I work the program, not the problem. –Pocket Sponsor

Recovery is not an event; it is a process.
The disease of addiction affects all three aspects of our physical, mental, and spiritual selves by changing our behavior (to self-destruction), thinking (to self-serving), and allegiance (to no purpose).
It was a slow debilitating process. Recovery is the same slow process in reverse. –Pocket Sponsor

Road rage and recovery rage are closely associated.
People, places, and things get in our way and we freak.
When the rage begins, quickly ask yourself, ‘What would my guardian angel do now?’
My DUI’s are no longer under the influence of alcohol.
Today, I Drive Under the Influence of Angels. –Pocket Sponsor

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There are no deals being offered here.
You cannot trade the courage needed to live every moment for immunity from life’s sorrows.
To gain that worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else. –Pocket Sponsor

People are always blaming their circumstances for being what they are.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.’ ~George Bernard Shaw
As long as I blame my past, I’m not free to claim my future. –Pocket Sponsor

One of the joys of this program is the path it provides us with to do the right thing.
Our steps don’t give us a whole lot of room for justifications.
There is no right way to do the wrong thing.
I learn to do the next right thing, not the next ‘me’ thing. –Pocket Sponsor

Sponsor: You know that moment of silence they ask for at the beginning of meetings?
Sponsee: Yeah; What about it?
Sponsor: I use that moment of silence for HOW, Honesty, Openness, and Willingness
Sponsee: Whaddya mean? I thought HOW was an Indian term for hello
Sponsor: When it’s quiet I say;
1, Let me hear what You want me to hear
2, Let me share what You want me to share
3, And I’m willing to have an open mind –Unknown

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.
I work steps because my recovery is ‘contingent on the maintenance of {my} spiritual program.’ (P 85, Big Book) –Pocket Sponsor

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You can’t laugh and think at the same time!
So every time you laugh you’re getting a break from you.’ -Ken D.
I take my program seriously, not myself. –Pocket Sponsor

You will respect yourself to the degree that you do not violate your own value system.
Self-respect is the most important respect I can earn. –Pocket Sponsor

Whatever vexes you currently, imagine for a moment what could make it worse.
What can make it worse than that? Again.
Imagine it, feel it, and come back to now.
If you can make it worse, then you can make it better.
Remember this: you are not helpless before your feelings.
I am stronger at what I’m doing, than my feelings are at what they’re doing. –Pocket Sponsor

Whether you pray, petition, plead, protest, prod, or praise your Spiritual Source, whether you sing songs of gratitude or whisper words of doubt, this is prayer.
Got prayer? –Pocket Sponsor

When you are having a bad day, lower your expectations and start over!
The more I work on me – the better most people behave. –Pocket Sponsor

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Do you like being lied to? Didn’t think so.
Yet how many times have you said, ‘I’m fine’ or ‘Everything’s OK’ when it’s not?
When your friends ask how you are, they deserve not to be lied to.
When you lie to others, you lie to yourself.
I am authentic with others and thus myself. –Pocket Sponsor

Emotional pain is not a character defect.
It is a part of life and must be attended to like all our feelings.
Feelings are not facts.
They are bio-feedback on how we are doing today and what needs attention inside.
How are you doing today?
Feelings won’t kill me, but killing my feelings will. –Pocket Sponsor

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
I never trust my tongue when my heart is bitter. –Pocket Sponsor

The difference between self-love and self-conceit is very important.
Self-love is a healthy appreciation of God’s gift to you.
Conceit is comparing yourself to others and finding them lacking.
I do not climb the mountain so that I can look down on others. –Pocket Sponsor

People think that ‘nobility’ is something special.
But when you study the word, you come to realize that ‘nobles’ were simply those who served the King.
Nobles were servants. In the Twelve-Step programs, we are all nobility.
The highest office I can attain in our fellowship, is Chief Servant. –Pocket Sponsor

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Stop looking for the differences. People who matter, don’t mind; people who mind, don’t matter.
No matter my age, race, religion or chemical, I am more alike my fellow addicts than different. –Pocket Sponsor

Our greatest strengths taken too far become our greatest defects and our greatest defects tamed, become our virtues.
Wrongly used, honesty can become brutal confrontation, nurturing can become ‘I’ll fix you,’ and consistency can become inflexibility.
I examine my Fourth Step list and see how, properly used, each fault becomes a feature I desire. –Pocket Sponsor

If you have never experienced the results of working the Twelve Steps, no explanation is sufficient.
If you have experienced the results of working the Twelve Steps, then no explanation is necessary.
I am the poster child for the miracles I cannot explain.

Newcomer: I’m in a crisis. I got myself into it — there’s no one else to blame.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it yet; I’m going back and forth over the alternatives.
I can’t think about anything else right now.
Sponsor: Your word “alternatives” is a helpful one.
In most situations, we have more options to choose from than we can see at first.
There usually is a “Plan B” if we’re willing to open ourselves to it.

People in our society stress that we ought to be happy.
If you’re not happy something is wrong, we are lead to believe.
Yet, unhappiness is not a symptom of sickness, it is an expression of life, a natural reaction to situations we don’t like. When **** happens, you don’t have to like it.
I will not be unhappy about being unhappy. –Pocket Sponsor

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They say, ‘When all else fails, read the directions.’ In recovery, we say, ‘When all else fails, only then are you ready to read the directions.’ It takes what it takes.
I do not wait to hit the bottom of a problem before I hit the books for directions. –Pocket Sponsor

Some of us change when we see the light, most of us change when we feel the heat. Are you waiting to get burned before you do what you need to?
If I don’t change… my clean and sober date will. –Pocket Sponsor

The law of physics says there is only one way to coast: downhill.
If I am not moving forward, I am moving backward. There is no coasting in recovery. –Pocket Sponsor
Sarcasm is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to tear flesh!’ We know that the only weapon that gets sharper with use is the tongue.
I use my wit to amuse and not to abuse. –Pocket Sponsor
My Higher Power does the impossible, after I’ve done what is possible. –Pocket Sponsor

The possibilities in this world are endless and abundant even when they appear impossible.
Watch a tiny bird lift itself into the air by flapping fragile wings.
See a pollywog transform into a frog, a seedling into an oak.
Many wonders exist in God’s world and you are one of them.
My Higher Power does the impossible, after I’ve done what is possible. –Pocket Sponsor

On the way to becoming an old-timer, there are those who glow in their growing and those who are slow in their growing.
The person who glows is always able to see the larger picture and the one who doesn’t stays focused in their own little world.
See yourself as a small part of a magnificent whole and do not see self as the whole.
The fellowship is not my whole world but my world wouldn’t be whole without it. –Pocket Sponsor

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Always remember that each day as you look at your world and see millions upon millions of flowers opening up, God does it all without using any force. –Dr. Wayne Dyer
If I have to force the solution, then it’s not the solution. –Pocket Sponsor

Don’t try to clear away the wreckage of your future.
I stay in today and forget about jumpstarting tomorrow. –Pocket Sponsor

A temper will get us into trouble and pride will keep us there.
I can’t save my face and my butt at the same time. –Pocket Sponsor

We may have empathy for your situation but we will not pity you. We know that pitying you leads to you pitying yourself which leads to mind-affecting chemicals. Rather than pity you, if you need an attitude adjustment, it’s very likely a fellow group member will let you know.
Attitudes are contagious. Is mine worth catching? –Pocket Sponsor

Is your ideal to be clean and whole? If so, ask yourself: What sort of neighbour is a clean and sober person? What sort of family member is a clean and sober person? What sort of Twelve Step program will a clean and sober person work?
Sober is as sober does. –Pocket Sponsor

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Sweat the small stuff. The big stuff we can handle, it’s the day to day crap that gets us. How do we attend to the small stuff? Steps Ten and Eleven.
Today I treat myself to quiet time in order to review the small stuff. –Pocket Sponsor

If you think you are having a problem with God, just try to imagine the problem He/She is having with you!
There is no way to know God’s Will unless I do it. –Pocket Sponsor

Some people do not have to have a program to stop drinking and using. But for us, we remember untreated abstinence will make our past our future.
I don’t work the program to get my life back; I work the program to get my life forward. –Pocket Sponsor

Your journey has moulded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. –Asha Tyson
The consequences of being dishonest, of being a liar, is not so much that others will not believe you, as it is that you cannot believe others.
Does what I gain by lying balance out the integrity I lose? –Pocket Sponsor

The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt. –Max Lerner.
That ‘core of strength’ is based on abstinence and spiritual principles.
I suit up; I show up: I grow up. –Pocket Sponsor

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Going to a lot of meetings is important, supportive, and full of fellowship.
However, our program is not about meetings but what happens in between meetings.
Do I align my actions with the picture I paint of myself in meetings? –Pocket Sponsor

Sanskrit saying ‘God sleeps in the mineral, awakens in the plants, walks in the animals, and thinks in you.’
The Universal Source of life actually thinks in you. Use this well.
Every bad choice I ever made began with a single thought.
Every good choice I ever made began with a single thought.
I choose my thoughts carefully. –Pocket Sponsor

Resentment is when you didn’t get your way yesterday.
‘Anger’ is when you don’t get your way today.
‘Fear’ is that you won’t get your way tomorrow.
There are no good reasons for resentment, anger, and fear – just good excuses. –Pocket Sponsor

If you stop doing the things that keep you in the program, you will go back to doing the things that brought you to the program.
The price of my recovery is eternal vigilance. –Pocket Sponsor

Do it right the first time. If you don’t have the time to do something right, when will you have the time to do it over?
It takes less time for me to do something right, than to explain to my sponsor why I did it wrong. –Pocket Sponsor

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Sponsor:  Hey, there!  How’re you doing?
Sponsee:  I am doing GREAT!  I’ve been to a meeting every day this week.  My wife isn’t irritating me as much, my boss gave me a compliment yesterday . . . doing great.
Sponsor:  That’s terrific.
Sponsee:  Yeah.  But y’know, I think I’m going to too many meetings.

Recovery is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.
My recovery comes from new daily habits I form in seconds, minutes, and hours of simple Twelve-Step living. –Pocket Sponsor

Many people think that the Twelve Steps are the work. But they are not.
The Twelve Steps are the preparation for doing the real work.
The real work is in reaching out to the still suffering alcoholic and addict.
‘God has no hands but yours.’ (attributed to Mother Theresa).
I become the hands of my Higher Power. –Pocket Sponsor

There may be a great temptation to believe that some sort of sacrifice is being asked of you when you are told you must accept reality.
After all, isn’t it reality that keeps messing up your fantasies?
Do reality; it is the easier softer way.
Reality check: I am here ’X’ –Pocket Sponsor

Your life works FOR you.
It hones you, teaches you, and makes you a better person.
Nothing in your life happens to you, but for you.
This isn’t happening to me, but for me. –Pocket Sponsor

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People will tell you to ‘work’ the steps and that may lead you to believe that the steps are our work in recovery.
Working the steps is not doing our work, they are the foundation for doing our work.
Our work is getting into the trenches and helping others.
When my life is not working the way I want it to, I find I may not be doing my real work. –Pocket Sponsor

And so our very best thoughts won’t save us.
When we are given a program of action, it tells us what to DO, not what to think.
Think anything you want, just DO the suggestions (your thoughts will change).
What can I do this moment to have an awesome day? –Pocket Sponsor

Every day in our lives is not going to be perfect just because we are not drinking or drugging.
The best way we know of to treat PMS (Poor Me Syndrome) is get rid of the words ‘It ain’t fair’ and ‘Why me?’
God does not owe me happiness because I no longer am an intolerant, abusive, self-centered, practicing addict. –Pocket Sponsor

You must learn to pick up a program, not just set down a drink!
They call this foot work. Your Higher Power wants to make a deal with you.
You do the foot work and He’ll take care of the results.
If I have one hand in the fellowship and one hand in God’s, I can’t pick up today. –Pocket Sponsor

One of your greatest resources can be your pets.
Animals are wonderful companions and better listeners.
They give undivided and devoted attention–long past the time when others have exited.
They do not judge and they love unconditionally.
I work toward becoming the person my dog thinks I am. –Pocket Sponsor

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When adversity strikes, my message is always, even this will pass… and better days than we have ever experienced will come.’ ~Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
I can’t run from God, so I let God run me. –Pocket Sponsor
Your sponsor helped you up. Don’t let them down.

Courage is more complex than spontaneous reactions to traumatic events.
It may take courage to rush into a burning building or jump in a river to save a life, but they are almost instinctual.
Sharing your deep feelings might be an act of courage far beyond gallant feats.
My courage is my fear in action. –Pocket Sponsor

Being angry at God won’t hurt God, and neither will it provoke Him to take measures against us.
If it makes us feel better to vent our anger at Him over a painful situation, we are free to do it.
The only thing wrong with doing it is that what happened to us was not really God’s fault. -Harold S. Kushner / When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Usually, things don’t happen TO make me angry; things happen THAT make me angry. –Pocket Sponsor

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
I never trust my tongue when my heart is bitter. –Pocket Sponsor

They say the easiest way to stay clean and sober is to breathe in and breathe out and don’t drink or drug in between.
That leads to abstinence.
Working the Steps leads to recovery.
Nothing is so bad that a drink or drug won’t make it worse and nothing is so good that working my steps won’t make it better. –Pocket Sponsor

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You spend more time with yourself than with anyone else. Doesn’t it make sense to put something into that relationship?
I am my own best friend and value my own companionship. –Pocket Sponsor

One day in early sobriety my sponsor sent me to his sponsor and I dumped “my important stuff” on him.
When I stopped talking he asked, “Are you done?”
“Yes,” I replied, “That’s about it.”
His response was, “You are beyond help today. Go help someone else.”
Can you feel the love? Oh, how true!
So, what I have learned from my sponsor’s sponsor is that when I am personally beyond help, struggling and can’t get anywhere with my stuff, I don’t waste the effort, I go help someone else.
It gets me out of myself and what’s going in my life when I extend the hand of AA and help someone else (and they don’t even have to be another sober alcoholic — just someone other than ME!

It’s easy to see the difference between ourselves and assholes, unless, at the moment, we’re the asshole.
I have got to get out of my own way. –Pocket Sponsor

The choice is up to you. It can either be ‘Good morning, God!’ or ‘Good God, morn-ing.’ -Dr. Wayne Dryer, Everyday Wisdom
Choice, not chance, determines my day. –Pocket Sponsor

Why wonder why? Why ask why?
The ‘why’ questions spring from only one place inside: self-pity.
The questions to ask are the ‘how’ questions.
The right questions contain clues to the answers we need.
When I ask the right question, I get the right answer. –Pocket Sponsor

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The law of physics says there is only one way to coast: downhill.
If I am not moving forward, I am moving backward. There is no coasting in recovery. –Pocket Sponsor
Which ‘isms’ affect you?
Alcoholism: Incredibly Short Memory.
Egoism: I, Self, and Me.
Recidivism: I Sponsor Myself.
Narcissism: InSide Me.
Pessimism: I Sabotage Myself.
Optimism: Incredibly Spiritual Moments.
Which ‘ism’ do I adopt for my life? –Pocket Sponsor

In order to forgive, you have to have blamed.
I don’t have to forgive people, places, and things, if I don’t blame people, places, and things. –Pocket Sponsor

In the Big Book there is a chapter called “Into Action” not one called “Into Thinking.”
Feelings always follow actions and every time I take a positive action, I get positive results.

We recommend that you take your Third Step every morning and turn your will over to the care of God, as you understand God.
Then at night, take a Tenth Step to see how God is doing.
I talk often to my Higher Power. S/He understands better than most people. –Pocket Sponsor

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Sarcasm is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to tear flesh!’
We know that the only weapon that gets sharper with use is the tongue.
I use my wit to amuse and not to abuse. –Pocket Sponsor

It has been said that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience.
As a dream is to your human experience, addiction is to your spiritual experience. When you awake, you realize it no longer has power over you.
Sometimes I need a rude awakening before I can have a spiritual awakening. –Pocket Sponsor

You cannot go back and make new choices or change the outcome of the past.
But you can face the demons of your past and change your destiny.
Not everything I face can be changed, but nothing can be changed until I face it. –Pocket Sponsor

Probably any one of us can get along with perfect people, but our task is to get along with imperfect people.
The worst part of trying to get along with imperfect people is that they refuse to change into what we want.
When I think about how hard it is to change myself, I know how hard it will be to change others. –Pocket Sponsor

Laughter has something in it in common with the ancient winds of faith and inspiration; it unfreezes pride and unwinds secrecy; it makes people forget themselves in the presence of something greater than themselves; something that they cannot resist.’ ~G.K. Chesterton
I cannot feel sorry for myself and laugh at the same time, so I take my levity seriously. –Pocket Sponsor

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Some members of the fellowship say ‘Our mind is a dangerous neighbourhood to be in alone.’
But together we can be on block watch! Don’t let your mind get the better of you.
Turn that ‘M’ in me upside down, like we are asked to turn it over, and make a ‘We’ out of that ‘Me.’
It isn’t ‘me’ and ‘you’ anymore; it’s ‘we’ and ‘us.’ –Pocket Sponsor

No matter how hard you attempt to control the people in your life, you will not find your fulfilment there. If they don’t change, you will be frustrated; if they do change under your pressure, they will be frustrated.
If I look to others for fulfilment, I will never be fulfilled. –Pocket Sponsor

Do you have so many skeletons in the closet that you had to build a walk-in? Share the load.
The AA Big Book says that, we ‘should be willing to bring former mistakes, no matter how grievous, out of their hiding places.’ (P 124) Not to do so is being self-centered and selfish.

Our feelings don’t define us, our actions do.
We are not bad because we have a quick temper–but we learn that expressing that anger hurts others.
The longer we keep our temper the more it improves.
I am only as big as the smallest thing that makes me angry. –Pocket Sponsor

You will be receiving many gifts from people in the programs: gifts of help, time, energy, possibly money, talents, and knowledge.
You will never be able to pay them all back. You are not obligated to pay them back.
You are obligated to pay them forward by giving away what you have when you can.
I appreciate the generosity of others and pay it forward when I am able. –Pocket Sponsor

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It’s all a matter of perception:
I say I have a high tolerance for pain.
My sponsor says I have a thick skull. –As We See It

When egos collide, use kind words, do what you have control over, and do what you think is right.
Surrender what you don’t have control over, even if you think what others are doing is wrong.
Others have the right to be wrong.
I define myself by what I do and how I do it, not by who wins. –Pocket Sponsor

Before our recovery we used people and loved things and given recovery we learn to love people and use things.
Things are not important, people are.
I treat others the way I would be treated.  –Pocket Sponsor

Deal with the small stuff or it will deal with you. Do not allow the small stuff to pile up on the camel’s back. Take each situation that bothers you and deal with that as one unit, not as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
When I feel it, I deal with it and then can heal from it. –Pocket Sponsor

A main theme in most spiritual traditions states that the best way to get what you want is to provide it for another.
If you want serenity, make it peaceful and serene for another.
Do you want a feeling of safety? Provide a safe place for another.
Do you want to understand what has happened? Help another to understand.
I teach best what I most need to learn. –Pocket Sponsor

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If you think you are a victim of the universe, you are probably right.
If you think of yourself as becoming whole from your experience, you are probably right.
I am the victor, not the victim. It took all of my past to make this person I love today. –Pocket Sponsor

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.’ -Talmudic Saying
I need to put things in perspective because I have a disease of perception. –Pocket Sponsor

Back to the Basics of Sponsorship; More here

When you’re being nice, it’s OK to overdo it. During the HALT moments, when you’re too hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, it’s not.
When I go too far, it is seldom in the right direction. –Pocket Sponsor

You may very well under-stand your demons, defects, compulsions, and fear. You have an arsenal of information about recovery to overcome them. Why then is it all so difficult? Deep inside you know what you always have known: knowledge alone is not enough.
I know that ‘no-ing’ is not enough and ‘knowing’ is not enough. I must do. –Pocket Sponsor

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The people you most need to give love to will seem like the ones who deserve it the least.
It begins with me. –Pocket Sponsor

Honesty without kindness is cruel and kindness without honesty is co-dependence.
If I can’t say it kindly, I needn’t say it at all. –Pocket Sponsor

It is better to have some-one sober and hating you because you told them the truth, rather than have someone drunk and liking you because you told them a lie.
I don’t heap on the bull**** when the truth is like Miracle Grow. –Pocket Sponsor

Six ISMs
Which ‘isms’ affect you?
Alcoholism: Incredibly Short Memory.
Egoism: I, Self, and Me.
Recidivism: I Sponsor Myself.
Narcissism: InSide Me.
Pessimism: I Sabotage Myself.
Optimism: Incredibly Spiritual Moments.
Which ‘ism’ do I adopt for my life? –Pocket Sponsor

When working Steps Six and Seven we honestly have to ask ourselves ‘Do I really want to give up the defect? Or do I just want to give up the result of the defect?’
Being an alcoholic does not give me the excuse to act alcoholically. –Pocket Sponsor

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Reputation: what others are not thinking about you.
What others think about me is never as important as what I think about them. –Pocket Sponsor

Imagine if at every moment we each embraced the world as the gift it is: An apple is a gift; the colour pink is a gift; the blue sky is a gift; the scent of honeysuckle is a gift. Hidden in every experience is a gift,  –Marcia Prager/The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine
What is my gift right now? –Pocket Sponsor

There are no magic wands or burning bushes in our program. Just footwork and faith.
As I feed my faith, my doubts will starve to death. –Pocket Sponsor

We make two great decisions in life: one, the decision to get clean and sober; the other, the decision to stay that way. Never make the decision not to stay that way when you are depressed or unhappy.
‘Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time.’ ~Robert Schuller –Pocket Sponsor

Positive clean thoughts of ourselves are a must. Picture yourself speaking at meetings, greeting newcomers, laughing, sponsoring others, and holding your head high. Clean and sober thoughts help counter years of drunk and dirty thoughts.
I picture myself laughing and sharing with others. –Pocket Sponsor

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According to the martial arts, Aikido, the best way to win a fight is not to be there in the first place.
Think of this the next time you are invited to a bar, to ride in vehicle with a pot smoker, or to celebrate at the office party.
My best path to cease fighting anybody or anything, is not to be in the ring in the first place. –Pocket Sponsor

“I was lucky,” a man explained to me.
“One of my first mentors in life made me practice serenity.
Whenever I’d call him in full-blown panic mode or with that frantic tone in my voice, he’d refuse to talk to me until I calmed myself down.
‘Go get centered,’ he’d tell me. ‘Then we’ll talk.’
Sometimes we need help working through our panic, anxiety, and fear.
Find someone to talk to who will support serenity, rather than feed anxiety. –52 Weeks of Conscious Contact | More…

How important are the slogans? Sometimes, these are the only things we can bring to mind when we stand at a turning point, the thresh-hold of a crisis.
The slogans work much better for me when I decorate my life with them rather than decorating the walls with them. –Pocket Sponsor

There are a lot more reasons for working the Ninth Step than freedom, serenity, and moral responsibility.
Making amends is a good way of having the last word.
I take my program seriously and myself lightly. –Pocket Sponsor

When the pain of where you were is worse than the discomfort of where you are going, then you’ll move.
The pain of my growth is a good sign, not a stop sign. –Pocket Sponsor

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We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.’ ~Helen Keller
My adversities are opportunities in disguise. –Pocket Sponsor

If you think you are a victim of the universe, you are probably right. If you think of yourself as becoming whole from your experience, you are probably right.
I am the victor, not the victim. It took all of my past to make this person I love today. –Pocket Sponsor

The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention. The smallest kindness is better than the best pitch.
It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice. –Pocket Sponsor

Sometimes, chaos needs to precede order. –Journey to the Heart
Your past is always going to be the way it was. So stop trying to change it. –Anonymous Sponsor
Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like you do when nobody’s watching. –Anonymous Sponsor
At the start of a meeting we always ask, ‘Is there anybody new or coming back?’ We should also ask, ‘Is there anybody old and going out?’
I remember that the ‘still suffering alcoholic’ can include old timers too! –Pocket Sponsor

Spiritual sobriety leaves nothing for alcohol the fix. –Sandy Beach
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 –Sandy Beach

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There is no completion for the circle of recovery. A circle has no beginning and no end. It is suggested that recovery begins when you have learned enough from those before you and pass it along to those behind. Love is the process that keeps the circle moving.
Standing hand in hand or arm in arm after a meeting I absorb the love that travels our circle of recovery. –Pocket Sponsor

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Pocket Sponsor is accredited with many of the entire above, and incorporates many Oldtimer basic messages of recovery, and words of wisdom when it comes to recovery.

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NB: Quotes unless already accredited are unknown and contributed by individual program members

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