Some AA Slogans I like and why

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Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby Dan2000 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:19 pm

Some A.A. Slogans I Like and Why

As for my AA beginnings, I went to a detox first, spent about 2 weeks there. When I got out I went to my first AA meeting, I remember being scared and my hands were very clammy from being nervous. Someone mentioned just listen to the speaker and try to identify with what is being said, like I knew what that meant, I just sat quietly, drank my coffee and smoked a cigarette (you could smoke at meetings back then) and listened.
At the break in the meeting, some people came up to me and introduced themselves and welcomed me in the group.

I had mentioned to someone that I still had strong cravings for alcohol, he responded that to get through those times, that I take it "One Day at a Time"

I worked full time back then, I would go to a meeting at night. When weekends came I went to meetings sometimes 3 or 4 times a day, because that's how strong the cravings to drink were and I wanted to stay sober. When I was at a meeting, I felt safe.
When I was home alone at night or I wasn't around people from AA, the slogan "One Day at a Time" became my lifeline, I used it often and spoke the words aloud, many times. And when the obsession to drink became very, very strong, I changed the wording to "One Hour at a Time" and when the obsession grew even more stronger, I changed the words to "Five Minutes at a Time" and even down to "One Minute at a Time" and when some time passed, and my cravings for alcohol faded and when they faded, it seemed like my lifeline had faded with them, as I figured I used it for what it was worth.

Awhile ago, I was at a meeting and someone mentioned "One Day at a Time" and at that time, I was locked up in my head, (Stinking Thinking) and what I noticed is, when I have problems and I get locked up in my head, I'm either thinking of my past, in which I cannot change or I'm thinking of the future, which doesn't exist, so all I have is TODAY. And I've heard people say that to me many times before, I guess it never registered in my brain until then. When I live for today I usually don't have any problems.

It's all I or any of us have is "One Day at a Time" ...........

Today is a very good day for me, I woke up, I have a roof over my head, I was in a nice warm comfortable bed, I ate breakfast and lunch and I read some pages in a good AA type book, I even did some laundry.

I think I'll make "One Day at a Time" another one of my lifelines again, it worked then and still works today.

I belong many groups, one I joined about a year ago, it is a bible based, 12 step group, where it uses the 12 steps of AA and we read the scriptures and how they are associated with each step.
Many in this small group had very little understanding of what the 12 steps were, never mind that there was principles behind each step, however they did have a very good knowledge of the scriptures. So I thought it would be a good mix, as I am not well versed in the scriptures, and we could learn from one another.
I began giving out some paperwork that I thought would give the people in the group a little bit of a jump start, just to try to make learning the steps a little more quicker, I thought this was a little weird for me to do, as I usually don't try to push anything on anyone.
You know what, I didn't realize this at that time was, I couldn't make anyone learn anything faster than they are capable of learning.

You may be aware of this saying "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"
This is very true.

I then realized that people have different ways of understanding and then with that, they would also have different levels of sobriety (not years) and then with that, then they would also have different levels of spirituality and so forth. This is really simple stuff, I just, never really thought of it.
And with all that happened to me with this group, brings to mind the slogan:

"Live and Let Live" I have to live and let other people live.

I think it's good to share our knowledge with each other, else how would we learn, however we must keep our expectations to ourselves as we cannot change anyone, only ourselves.................."Live and Let Live"
I suppose, I could have influenced some of the group members, however for this purpose lets "Keep it Simple" (see below)

Another slogan I like is: "Let Go and Let God"

When I first seen this, I thought how exactly does one, Let Go and Let God, and I didn't know the answer until I got more heavily involved in the 12 steps.

When I see those words now, one word comes to my mind "Surrender" and the word Surrender is one of the great paradoxes of AA in where if your at war and you Surrender it means you are defeated, you lose, however in AA, Surrender does not mean weakness nor defeat, it means WE Gain Strength, because what we are Surrendering is our WILLS and letting Gods Will be our guide..........."Thy Will be Done"

Got a problem, that you don't know the answer too, ask yourself this, What would God Do? you might not like the answer, but it will be the correct one........"Let Go and Let God"

And probably the hardest one for me of all the slogans is this one: "Keep it Simple"

I've heard through the halls, that AA is a simple program for complicated people, I think that best describes myself, when I'm trying to "Keep it Simple" However I will say this, if you WORK the program, it does get "Simpler".

Please join in if you would like and describe your favorite AA slogans and why

Thanks Dan2000
Remember in all we do, it's Progress,not perfection.
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby positrac » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:31 am

As I reflect on this post I still remember clearly how I felt and how I was going to figure out how to get out from under this AA stuff! Three is the charm for me and it took me being retreading 3 times for it to stick and for me to surrender that I was powerless over alcohol. I remember smoking in the rooms before they had a smoking side and a non smoking side and I cleaned the ashtrays and made coffee because it kept me busy and it was a habit that made me show up early to meetings. I didn't like having to reach out and meet and greet because I really don't like people being forced on me. Even to this day I have my boundaries and yes I put on my game face and play nice when it is required and otherwise I stay to myself. Knowing that people liked that the coffee was fresh provided me a feeling that my contribution mattered and that felt good.

living in the SF Bay Area back then did yield some odd personalities and the stories I could tell made staying sober all the more important to me. One thing was the amount of new free time I had and how I was going to deal with that and reading the literature gave me sound points and things to consider. I didn't fight the literature as much as personalities telling me I "had" to do this or that. I did want my free get out of jail card just because and well that didn't happen either. I guess fear had me under control as I didn't want to drink again and yet it was all I knew when it came to coping with reality and life on life's terms.

I haven't forgotten my last drink and for that I am ever humbled at the gift of sobriety.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:05 am

I had mentioned to someone that I still had strong cravings for alcohol, he responded that to get through those times, that I take it "One Day at a Time"


hmmm. sorry, my experience is that I came into the fellowship looking for a solution and I got it. My mentor pointed me to those 10th step promises. I loved that "Problem has been removed" part. After working the steps, should say continued working of the steps, I was able to experience those promises. What a liberation.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby Noels » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:00 am

Nice post thanks Dan :D One that had me baffled right in the beginning was 'THINK'. This was because newcomers wasn't allowed to think or speak at the group I was at at that time. This has changed now. So I used to ask myself "why would they have "Think" on the table if we're not supposed to do that?" :lol: In hindsight I realize not being allowed to think or speak at the meeting was possibly one of the best things that could have happened to me. Well .... the speaking part. Nobody can stop me from thinking if I want to do that. No human own my brain.

Except for 2 members who were at the group when I was there, we are all still sober. That's about 9 out of 11 members that is still sober and one of the two who relapsed is already back in the rooms for another try.

So my best advice to a newcomer will be to "shut up and listen" as it was said to us. Yes I agree. It is extremely rude, demeaning and socially not acceptable to speak to another human being like that but .... if that is what it takes to "save a life" - then so be it. So although I wont speak to someone like that, if there is a group member in your area who does, perhaps before addressing him on his ways "THINK" of this post. :D

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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby Noels » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:35 am

Awhile ago, I was at a meeting and someone mentioned "One Day at a Time" and at that time, I was locked up in my head, (Stinking Thinking) and what I noticed is, when I have problems and I get locked up in my head, I'm either thinking of my past, in which I cannot change or I'm thinking of the future, which doesn't exist, so all I have is TODAY.

There are two days in every week
about which we should not worry,
Two days which should be kept free of fear and apprehension.

One of these days is YESTERDAY,
With its mistakes and cares,
Its faults and blunders,
Its aches and pains.
YESTERDAY has passed forever beyond our control.

All the money in the world cannot bring back YESTERDAY.
We cannot undo a single act we performed;
We cannot erase a single word we said.
YESTERDAY is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW
With its possible adversities, its burdens, its larger promise.
TOMORROW is also beyond our immediate control.

TOMORROW, the sun will rise,
Either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds,
But it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in TOMORROW
For it is as yet unborn.

This leaves only one day - TODAY.
Any man can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities
- YESTERDAY and TOMORROW -
That we break down.

It is not the experience of TODAY that drives men mad.
It is remorse or bitterness for something which happened YESTERDAY
And the dread of what TOMORROW may bring.

Let us, therefore, live but ONE day at a time.

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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby Brock » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:04 am

I have a love hate affair with the AA slogans, they can be used to do much good, and then easily switched to do much damage. One of the biggest culprits in my mind is the 'one day at a time,' it is useful for those who haven't done the steps at least to #5, and are forced to struggle staying sober, then completely ruined by those who say we stay sober one day at a time for the rest of our lives. Newcomer sitting shivering can't even hold their coffee, listens to another say they have been sober many years 'one day at a time,' unless that person explains themselves, (which in my experience they rarely do), the new person thinks that sobriety is a struggle every day for life, not very encouraging is it. I would think the book is fairly clear in that we live one day at a time, not wake up each morning and plan how we will stay sober for that day.

Another pet peeve of mine is what AA calls rule 62, it came into being as explained in the 12 & 12, a fellow decided that he would build up all sorts of AA hospitals and offices, it went badly so he wrote the GSO -
The head promoter wrote the Foundation office. He said he wished he'd paid some attention to A.A. experience. Then he did something else that was to become an A.A. classic. It all went on a little card about golf-score size. The cover read: “Middleton Group #1. Rule #62.” Once the card was unfolded, a single pungent sentence leaped to the eye: “Don't take yourself too damn seriously.”

Nice little slogan, but both here and in live meetings, I have witnessed someone making a first class point in discussion debate, and because someone doesn’t have an answer and is “loosing” the debate, they counter with rule 62, and tell the person they are taking themselves too seriously. We could walk past someone raping another and say live and let live instead of saving them, use of the slogans requires a little common sense, I even heard a member tell a new person, “just use those slogans on the walls to keep sober for the first three months.” Thanks for the topic.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby Duke » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:09 am

My experience is that most of the slogans have their use in the right time and place. My favorite is "do the next right thing" because it always reminds me I'm not in charge, I don't have to have all the answers, I just need to take the action of making sure what I do next is in accord with the principles.

I've found that despite having had a spiritual experience, I often have to deal with unruly thoughts or emotions and many of the slogans are quick reminders of how to live the principles, like "one day at a time".
"Think, think, think" for instance, is a reminder a friend of mine and I like to use with each other to remind us to pause when in doubt about whether we should do or say what we're contemplating. We use a lot of them with each other. It's almost a game we play, finding new and creative ways to bring them into the conversation.

Thanks for the topic Dan. You caused me to "think".
:wink: :wink:
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby positrac » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:49 am

One thing is the drunks in the world have egos as large as the stories we have told and at the end of the day it is a mere opinion. If we did the next right thing we didn't drink and or called another sober drunk as to keep us from drinking. Speaking of egos in the rooms: Some people have good sound judgment on leadership and others don't. When my service positions I have held become not fun anymore I give them up because I can only please one master and in service positions a lot of want be masters think they have it all figured out like arm chair quarterbacks.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:48 pm

Thanks for sharing your ESH on your journey and AA slogans. I have come to think of AA slogans as wisdom proverbs in shorthand and all of them have guided me in my journey. "One Day At A Time", "Live and Let Live", "Let Go and Let God", "Keep It Simple", are some of my favorites too.

I really like a newer slogan I heard a few years ago--"The miracle happens when we get sober. The magic happens when we apply the principles to all our affairs." It is magical the way people, places, and things suddenly seem to "straighten out" and become more "agreeable" when I apply AA's principles to all MY affairs. Funny how that works..... :lol:
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby clouds » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:34 am

I love the slogans. We used to have them framed along with the 12 steps and 12 traditions on my original home groups walls.

One Day at a Time, Keep it Simple, Live and Let Live, But for the Grace of God, those are my faves.

Thanks for this topic!
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby tomsteve » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:44 am

one I don't like hearing is
meeting makers make it.


one I have to STILL remember now and then
don't go into your own head without adult supervision.
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby clouds » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:10 am

I also like 'First Things First'.

It means put sobriety FIRST in my life.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby Lali » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:20 pm

Brock wrote:...they can be used to do much good, and then easily switched to do much damage... One of the biggest culprits in my mind is the 'one day at a time,' it is useful for those who haven't done the steps at least to #5, and are forced to struggle staying sober, then completely ruined by those who say we stay sober one day at a time for the rest of our lives. Newcomer sitting shivering can't even hold their coffee, listens to another say they have been sober many years 'one day at a time,' unless that person explains themselves, (which in my experience they rarely do), the new person thinks that sobriety is a struggle every day for life, not very encouraging is it.

[/quote]

This is a very valid point IMO. However, I feel like One Day At A Time can be a very good lifeline for someone in EARLY sobriety who has not yet come out of "the fog" and who has not yet begun stepwork. It takes whatever it takes! And it seems to work for some. Sometimes newcomers have difficulty finding someone willing to sponsor them and they need to use every tool available to them in the meantime. My first sponsor told me when I had an urge to drink (I was in my first 30 days), to play the tape through. I have heard many people argue about this, but it worked for ME!! I could take myself back to my last drunk - how dark and depressing it was - and it worked as a defense against that first drink. I wanted to get as far away from those memories as I could. My feeling is, let's give newcomers EVERY possible tool to put in their toolkits!!

On another note: FWIW, I have a love/hate relationship with "Take what you want and leave the rest". IMO this could really be detrimental to the newcomer. For someone still in denial, I feel like it could be dangerous as in they are going to pick and choose what they WANT to hear, not want they NEED to hear. I feel like it could set someone up to follow their OWN program, not the suggested program of recovery in the Big Book. Does anyone feel the same about this slogan/phrase?
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby PaigeB » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:22 am

Yes - Lali. it is like this phrase regarding the Steps, ALL the Steps.

If you are going to jump out of a plane, it is suggested to wear a parachute.

Of course, you will want a parachute that is well manufactured and well put together. Skipping nothing. :lol:
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Re: Some AA Slogans I like and why

Postby Lali » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:33 am

PaigeB wrote:Yes - Lali. it is like this phrase regarding the Steps, ALL the Steps.

If you are going to jump out of a plane, it is suggested to wear a parachute.

Of course, you will want a parachute that is well manufactured and well put together. Skipping nothing. :lol:


:lol:
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