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5 Common AA Sayings That Are Actually Helpful

by | Last updated Feb 11, 2021 at 4:59PM | Published on Jan 3, 2020 | Health and Wellness, Sober Living

Popular AA Sayings

Like with most recovery programs, AA sayings can often sound cliche, but they’re quite helpful. Instead of brushing off these well-worn mottos, listen carefully to their meaning. Let’s explore some of the most commonly recalled adages and famous AA sayings meant to promote a positive mindset while in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction.

AA Sayings List

These AA sayings are meant to help you work through the steps and find the strength you need to succeed in your recovery journey. Some of these sayings call for a higher power, but you can use them as your daily mantras to keep going.

AA Sayings - One Day at a Time

1. “One Day at a Time”

In early recovery, the concept of a lifetime of total abstinence can seem overwhelming. For this reason, recovering alcoholics should stay focused on maintaining sobriety “just for today,” or celebrating “one day sober” every day. It’s easier to see your recovery as one step at a time than feeling the pressure of your high expectations. 

Also, stress is one of the biggest relapse triggers for many addicts in recovery. Individuals in recovery must face conflicts without the assistance of alcohol. Thus, this recovery saying helps bring attention back to the moment to help reduce stressful situations.

AA Sayings - To Thine Own Self Be True

2. “To Thine Own Self Be True”

Generally, self-deception is relatively prevalent amongst addicts and alcoholics. Addicts often convince themselves, while early in active addictions, that they have everything under control. Additionally, they can stop using drugs and alcohol whenever they want. Thus, one of the most beautiful gifts of sobriety is the self-awareness that begins to foster. 

As a result, individuals in recovery become more in touch with their genuine selves through the fulfilling process of authentic self-discovery. 

Realistic expectations are also one of the many reasons for the progress and survival of the twelve steps programming. So the recovery saying, “To Thine Own Self Be True,” means trusting your gut instinct. These instincts can range from learning to set boundaries, protecting your sobriety, and develop a better understanding of yourself.

AA Sayings - Keep Coming  Back

3. “Keep Coming Back”

The majority of long-standing AA members did not ‘get it right the first time. Generally, many individuals struggling with drug addiction or alcohol addiction attempt addiction treatment programs more than once. You may also hear many members admit that they were not “one white chip wonders,” – meaning that relapse is a part of their recovery stories. It’s all about progress nor perfection.

Statistics show that even after seeking addiction treatment, anywhere between 40 to 60 percent of recovering addicts will experience relapse the year after completing treatment. However, despite relapse, AA meetings are always a safe space for those struggling in recovery. The “keep coming back” AA saying is an ode to their ongoing support to everyone in recovery. 

AA - It Works If You Work It

4. “It Works If You Work It”

Essentially, this axiom means, “If you work the program of Alcoholics Anonymous thoroughly and honestly, it will work for you.” When people refer to ‘the program,’ they are not necessarily referring to the completion of the 12-steps. It is essential to engage in the whole process. This process includes obtaining sober support, regular meeting attendance, and also helping others.

Just like addiction treatment, AA meetings aren’t a magical solution to maintain sobriety. It takes effort, will-power, and dedication to maintain long-term sobriety. This popular AA saying is proof that recovery from addiction starts from within.

AA Sayings - Stick with the Winners

5. “Stick With the Winners”

Spending time with addicts with prolonged sobriety is the best way to stick with the winners. Individuals actively engaging in support groups have higher chances of remaining clean and sober than those who lack recovery support networks. This recovery saying is a reminder to spend time alongside sober individuals you respect and admire. Generally, that includes men and women with a quality amount of recovery time, and that also practice these recovery sayings in their own life.

A huge part of recovery is changing the scenery, moving away from any potential triggers — including people. Maintaining long-term sobriety means fostering new, healthy, and sober relationships that can positively impact your recovery journey and support your sobriety.

Get Help for Addiction

Don’t brush off these clichés next time you hear them. When life becomes difficult, thinking positive thoughts might seem impossible. That is why these recovery sayings provide such immense benefits for individuals in recovery. These sayings provide immediate mental reminders for encouraging progress and staying sober.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact our admissions office today to learn more about our treatment programs. We incorporate the teachings of the Big Book and incorporate behavioral health therapies to help people in recovery find long-lasting sobriety.

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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