We all know the feeling of walking into the room of recovery for the first time. Maybe you were forced to by law; maybe you wanted to for your family; maybe you came in after a stay in rehab; or maybe you just came because you had to save your life. It makes no difference the reason we came. The important thing is that we did and were told to keep coming back.
We sat in meetings, worked with a sponsor and read literature and began to understand, say and pass on many sayings, phrases and acronyms of 12 Step Recovery. I am not sure about you, but I love some of these and there are others, I just can’t take. For the most part, these slogans or sayings have either come from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous or they have been passed from old timer to newcomer and also geographically. In other words, I am not sure that we can always identify a source because no one seems to know or, in many cases, the author is simply “Anonymous”.
I wanted to write something this week a bit lighter and so I thought I would just review some of the slogans, phrases, or acronyms and make my own comments if I felt the need. Please know that I totally respect these words but it doesn’t mean I love to hear them. These will not be new to most of you and I am writing them in no particular order. Actually I am writing them as I think of them and there is only room for a few so I might miss a few biggies this time.
H.A.L.T. is Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. These are four things to avoid because they weaken our resolve to stay sober. Consider these the enemy!
F.E.A.R. There are a couple of different versions to this that I have heard because we have a choice. We can either Face Everything And Recovery or Flee Everything And Run. Actually, this is a different word that we use in place of “Flee” but it would not be appropriate to write it here.
E.G.O. Edging God Out. You mean it isn’t ALL about me???
H.O.W. Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness. The only way to approach the steps and the entire recovery process.
G.O.D. Here is another acronym that has two different versions. The first is Good Orderly Direction which is what our Higher Power offers us when we are willing to believe; and the second is Group Of Drunks, which is what many folks use as their Higher Power before they can believe in anything or anyone else.
F.I.N.E. Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional. How many times has someone said, “How are you?” and your response was “fine” when you actually meant “F.I.N.E.”?
N.U.T.S. Not Using The Steps. I can’t argue with this one. If you are not using the steps, you are definitely NUTS!
S.L.I.P. Sobriety Losing Its Priority. The slip began long before it happened. All of the acronyms above have probably happened for this to occur.
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Sisters. This is my version and it is near and dear to me because this is the name of my favorite women’s group. The other one that is similar is S.I.S. Sisters In Sobriety. Love them both!
Now a few phrases that I love and love to hate:
Don’t leave until the miracle happens! I never understood that. Why would I want to leave after the miracle happens? I wouldn’t. I’m too greedy and want more.
Meeting Makers Make It. Yes, they do. I was told that if you attend less than three meetings every week, you might be looking for a bit of trouble. I now believe everything I hear.
Getting right sized; feeling comfortable in my skin. Okay. I hear these all of the time and usually from the same people. I don’t like these but I can’t tell you why. Maybe I feel they lack imagination. Hey, to each his own!
If you sit in the barbershop long enough, you will get a haircut. Love this one. Hang around in the wrong places and you will eventually relapse.
Let go and let God; worry is the absence of faith; live in the now; pain is inevitable but suffering is optional and there are hundreds more. We all have our favorites because they mean something to us. We feel them. Maybe for many of us, the simplest slogan is the most powerful and the words were and maybe still are a mantra. I never would have thought that five words could possibly save my life. But they did and for that, I continue to be grateful “One Day at a Time”.
Namaste’. May you walk your journey in peace and harmony.