Eight 12-Step Slogans Useful to Any Recovery Path
Whether your recovery includes a 12-step program, Smart Recovery, Harm Reduction, Moderation or another path, here are some helpful slogans to help anyone gain perspective when struggling!
“Addiction doesn’t discriminate.”
Society has stigmatized substance-use disorder and painted a common picture of “addicts” and “alcoholics.” This picture commonly includes a brown paper bag, unsightly tattoos, and a negative attitude. But the way you look, feel, and behave will not make anyone less likely to suffer from addiction. We are mothers and daughters, friends and wives. We are teachers, managers, doctors and nurses.
You can wear a business suit or yoga pants; addiction doesn’t care.
“Look For The Similarities, Rather Than The Differences”
I love this one. Being so involved in the online sober community, I’ve begun to realize different things work for different people. There isn’t just one way to find or maintain recovery. Furthermore, there isn’t just one way to live. People in recovery practice different cultures have different experiences, and different ways of life. That is beautiful. I can find value and inspiration from all different backgrounds. Although I may not agree or relate with everything, I can learn something from everyone.
Find the similarities, move past the differences and celebrate the victories, together.
“Easy does it”
I’ve been sober for four years, and I still practice this in my daily life. Easy does it means many different things to me. I actively aim to take it easy on myself, but I’m my toughest critic. Easy does it. My life doesn’t need to be complicated. On days when I’m trying to be everything; a mom, a wife, a student, a friend, and it feels like I just may explode or pass out, I remind myself. Easy does it.
“(H-O-W recovery works) Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness”
We can be honest with ourselves about our problem, come to terms with it, and make the decision to change. We can be open-minded to suggestions. If meetings aren’t for you, there are so many other resources. Try to remain open-minded and take suggestions from like-minded people. We must be willing to change, put in the necessary footwork, and look at ourselves in and honest light.
I try to implement HOW into my life on a daily basis. I try to be honest about my feelings and expectations. I try to remain open-minded, and I am almost always willing to hear people out, take a break, and help when I am needed. By exercising HOW, I’ve been led down some pretty beautiful paths.
“(H.A.L.T.) Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired”
Whether you’re feeling like you want to do that thing you know isn’t the best for you, overly agitated, or wanting to isolate, it’s always a good idea to HALT. Stop, and ask yourself; Have I eaten today? Could I be angry about something completely unrelated? Am I feeling alone, or do I need support? Did I get enough sleep?
These are feeling we ALL experience. They are completely normal and (more importantly) fixable! I don’t want to throw away all I have worked for just because I need a snack and a nap! I’ve learned to breathe. I’ve learned to take a moment to assess my emotional state; I decide what I can change about my environment, and do just that.
This cliché acronym may not prevent relapse, a breakdown, or brighten every dark moment, but it’s a useful place to start.
“Progress Not Perfection”
One of my absolute faves. Such an uncomplicated thought. A simple reminder to be kind to myself. A way to lessen that the ominous pressure we’re feeling. I personally use this phrase in all aspects of my life; not just in recovery. In motherhood, school, fitness, working on my credit score, housework…it’s all about progress not perfection.
“Just For Today” and “One Day At A Time”
I can do anything for one day. I can deal with my cranky toddler for one day. When I’m exhausted, I can make it through one day. When I hate myself, when I’m battling a head full of self-loathing, I can make it through one day without self-harm. And, if I desperately want to pick up I can absolutely go one day without doing so. After I make it through that one day, I can go to bed and wake up to a new day. Reset my perspective. One day at a time we can continue to fight.
“Let Go And Let God”
I’ve never been a fan of this slogan because the “God” part makes me uncomfortable. Although I’m not enthusiastic about the words, I do appreciate the idea itself. My ‘god’ is the Universe, and whatever ‘god’ we believe in, even if it’s none at all, we can let go. We can let go of our negative thoughts and we can let go of our failed expectations. We can release fear of the unknown and choose to trust in the universe, trust in god, or just trust in ourselves, that it’s all going to be alright.
Melissa is a fulltime working mama to her two young boys; Watson and Emerson. She is married to a wonderful sober man and they have created a blessed life in Southern California.
Melissa has been sober since 11.6.13 and is active in 12 step fellowships and the online sober community and . She understands there are no sober blueprints, and different things work for different people. Along with addiction, Melissa struggles with mental health issues, addiction to self-harm, and has a habit of self-loathing. Through recovery, she has begun to overcome those obstacles.
She works at a non-profit, men’s recovery home and spends her free time blogging, podcasting with her husband, and recycling old clothes.