sobriety’s promises


1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84
Reprinted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

When a volunteer reader recites the promises of Alcoholics Anonymous and reaches the last sentence, “They will always materialize if we work for them,” the group often responds with, “work, work, work.”

Therein is the secret to a successful recovery: work, work, work.  For us to undertake the work of the AA program with courage, determination, and dedication is  beyond anything we have previously attempted.  It is a life-changing, challenging endeavor which requires total commitment.  “Half measures availed us nothing.”

There are no compromises.  The promises listed above are realized when we are willing to say yes to a Higher Power, when we are willing to listen to long-term sobriety speaking, when we are willing to work our butts off to reach a state of clean and serene.   It works if we work it.  Alcoholics Anonymous is a very simple program to understand, but, for most of us, it is the most difficult  thing we have ever done.



7 Replies to “sobriety’s promises”

  1. It is also the most life affirming. It is the most loving and compassionate thing we can ever do..both for ourselves and others. Thanks, Larry! BY THE WAY BUCKO….PLEASE stay safe. Stuff can be replaced. There is NO replacement for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks….trust me, I am no hero. If Irma comes this way as a Cat 3 or 4, I’m outta here. But today’s models show her skirting up the east coast. We’d have a lot of water but not the winds here on the Gulf coast. And thanks for making me feel irreplaceable.


    1. Amanda, appreciate the comment. I have enjoyed 36 years of clean and serene with the 12 step program. My sponsor celebrated 40 years last year. Millions have found sobriety through 12 step programs. I won’t argue with the numbers, but I am sincerely happy that you have found your way to a successful, non-contentious sobriety. May the powers above, beyond, and within us bless you.


      1. It is extremely important that the non-spiritual (such as myself) are not exempt from the opportunity to attain sobriety, and in the AA/NA program, we are exempt.

        Congrats on your achievement. But let’s remember that the 12 steps are one option, and not the only one.

        It is highly damaging to perpetuate the message that 12 steps is THE one and only solution, which is the very message the 12 steps sends.

        Sobriety is for EVERYONE, not just the spiritual; and because the 12 step program disagrees with this notion, I can not ethically support the program.

        I think it’s important for me to share my atheist sobriety experience because I know there are so many people out there being pressured into beliefs they don’t have, which is invalidating and downright discriminatory. Someone has to be the voice.

        Thanks for allowing me to express my perspective in your space, and again congrats, you must have quite the chip collection! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda, thank you for reminding me. When I talk or write about the 12 step programs, I am directing what I say to those who follow the path of a Higher Power and support what has worked for me.. In no way do I discount nor diminish the sobriety of those who are not believers in a higher essence of power. That essence, for me, does dwell within; however, it is not self-directed nor dependent on me. Good luck on your journey. May I add that AA probably has shifted over the many years since my first meeting, but, at my first meeting God was simplified to something I could grasp at the time: g.o.d. good orderly direction. I still follow that premise. It’s called sober-living.Thanks


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