Rules to Keep Principles–Not Personalities–in Charge
- Garbage Rules will prod you to face your self-defeating thinking that’s keeping you addicted.
- Ego will help you to understand and overcome the underlying problem in your addiction.
Note on the 12 Traditions
The Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous were accepted and endorsed by the membership as a whole at the International Convention of AA, at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1950.
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Quotations from Various Sources
“And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” —Luke 12:22
“Believe in recovery, redemption, and rehabilitation especially when the world wants to punish you instead of to help you.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Correct it or accept it.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Detach with love.” —Al-Anon
“Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living.” —Jean Kerr
“Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.” —Chuang-Tzu
“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.” —Anonymous
“Guilt is really the reverse side of the coin of pride. Guilt aims at self-destruction, and pride aims at the destruction of others.” —Bill W., As Bill Sees It, p. 140
“I didn’t cause it. I can’t change it. I can’t control it.” —Al-Anon
“I’ve developed a new philosophy–I only dread one day at a time.” —Charlie Brown
“Recovery does not take care of itself no matter how old it is.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Recovery is the process of recovering who you were as a child.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Recovery requires conquering the seven-headed dragon: physical, mental, emotional, social, motivational, renewal, spiritual.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.” —Matthew Arnold
“Suffering isn’t ennobling, recovery is.” —Christian Barnard
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” —Matthew 6:34
“The AA program can be summed up in two words: acceptance and surrender.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“The attitude of unconditional self-acceptance is probably the most important variable in their long-term recovery.” —Albert Ellis, Rational-Emotive Therapy with Alcoholics and Substance Abusers, p. 71
“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.” —Mark Twain
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” —Matthew 6:25
“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” —Buddha
“You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.” —Eleanor Roosevelt