The Best AA Phrases and How They Can Support Sobriety

AA Phrases |

The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) community has some excellent phrases. They’re quick and witty and clever. They’re short but packed with meaning. Like a koan that a mystic must contemplate to uncover its meaning, some of these phrases require reflection. They can be used to meditate on or even used as an affirmation throughout the day. They can be used to fill the mind with and replace the negative thinking that often happens instead.

Phrases of AA

Some of the phrases of AA have lasted since the community’s inception because of the significant meaning that it has brought into the lives of recovering addicts. For example, First Things First is a saying that is full of healthy information. In simple terms, it’s communicating that instead of making alcohol, drugs, money, success, sex, etc come first, there are more important areas of life that need to come first – such as a higher power, your own welfare, and family. So first things first and trouble will likely disappear.

Here are more AA phrases to reflect upon:

  • It works if you work it.
  • No matter where I go, there I am.
  • Resentment is a poison. I drink to kill the other person.
  • Do I want to be happy or be right?
  • I only have to change one thing – everything.
  • You are 3 people: Who you think you are, who other people think you are, and who you really are.
  • If I don’t change, my sobriety date will.
  • We have a chair here with you name on it.
  • It’s always easier to take someone else’s inventory.
  • I’m really grateful to be here.
  • Don’t drink and go to meetings.
  • If drinking doesn’t bring you to your knees, sobriety will.
  • Easy does it.
  • One day at a time.
  • If you fly with crows, you’ll get shot.
  • I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.
  • It’s easy to talk the talk, but you have to walk the walk.
  • If you spot it, you got it.
  • Gratitude is an attitude.
  • You have to give it away in order to keep it.
  • If you hang around a barber shop long enough, you’ll get a haircut.
  • Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink.
  • Don’t try to recruit people before they’re ready.
  • Fake it till you make it.
  • It’s a selfish program.
  • Stick with the winners.
  • Keep coming back.
  • Just For Today
  • I’ve been here a few 24 hours.
  • Under every dress there’s a slip.
  • Let Go and Let God
  • SLIP: Sobriety Losing Its Priority
  • KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid
  • FEAR: False Expectations Appearing Real
  • FEAR: Face Everything And Recover
  • EGO: Easing God Out
  • HIT: Hang in there
  • GOD: Good, Orderly Direction
  • HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

It Must Begin in the Mind First

Another thing to keep in mind regarding these phrases is something that Stephen Covey points out in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He says that everything starts first in the mind. That if we are going to create something , such as a change in life, it begins first in the mind. That’s why reflecting upon these phrases can open up the mind in new ways. They can guide us towards long-lasting sobriety.


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