TOP 40 TIPs (text)

We present here a UNRESTRICTED ACCESS sampling of an evolving aphoristic list that now numbers in the hundreds. Each “TIP” represents a distilled wisdom that has been tested in the Twelve-Step rooms for theoretical resonance and practical efficacy. At least 5 minutes of Oral Presentation accompanied each, but Written Discussions continually expand into RESTRICTED ACCESS and CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL that may be Available on Request

# 40a: Recovery is not Safe—and neither is AA

# 40b: “You will have to walk over a lot of bodies to make it in AA.”

# 40c: You can do everything you are supposed to do in AA and still get drunk.

# 39: A desire to stop drinking may be the only requirement for membership in the AA Fellowship, but it is not nearly enough for entry into the AA Program.

# 38: Ninety-meetings-in-Ninety-days is diagnostic,  not therapeutic.

# 37: The most important meeting is the meeting-after-the meeting

# 36a: Being powerless is a temporary experience, not a lifelong philosophy.

# 36bi: AA’s first Step is the first Step towards relapse.

# 36bii: The first Step is the only Step you cannot do 100%

# 36c: There are two kinds of letting go: one sows the seed for relapse; the other does not.

# 36di: When you give up something because it has made your life unmanageable—because it has beaten you down—a part of you always reserves the right to fight again.

# 36dii: There is no such thing as no reservations.

# 35: A power “greater than our selves” is not the same as a power “greater than self-will”

# 34: The person who Makes the Decision is not the same person who has to live with that decision.

# 33: Resentment was Bill Wilson’s Number One Offender.

# 32: It is a spiritual axiom that whenever Bill Wilson was disturbed there was something wrong with him.

# 31: You cannot do a fearless moral inventory when fear is a part of that inventory.

# 30: AA does not show you how to self-examine without becoming self-obsessed.

# 29: There is no getting out of Self.

# 28: Ego-deflation is not Spiritual Experience

# 27: The best AA replaces Belief & Faith with spiritual Experience.

# 26a: If you think getting drunk is the worst thing that could happen to you in AA, then you haven’t been sober long enough.

# 26b: There is always another bottom—with or without drinking.

# 25a: Self-Knowledge is the best Self-Defense against spiritual bullies.

# 25b: Self-Knowledge may not get you sober, but it will keep you sober.

# 24a: Build up a credible, compelling, coherent, compassionate sharing repertoire.

# 24b: Know the Big Book better than anyone.

# 23: Be your own sponsor, your own big book, your own home group and your own higher power: god created you to be that way.

# 22: You are your own scorekeeper.

# 21: Identify to get sober; Compare to stay Sober.

# 20: Beware the Trojan Horse: Alcoholics who don’t like being told what to do rarely notice how easily they are told how to think..

# 19: Choose your own concept of alcoholism: Disease? Sin? Choice? (You decide!)

# 18: Do not make your Higher Power too small or too close.

# 17: Do not make your Higher Power too large or too far away.

# 16: A spiritual adult is just as at home in  an AA without god as an AA with God.

# 15a: You do not have to  give it away in order to keep it.

# 15b: There is a big difference between helping others to stay sober and staying sober to help others.

# 15c: Sobriety (or spirituality) is not a commodity that can be accumulated, stored, or given away.

# 14: You are only as sane as your secrets.

# 13: Turn Promises into Milestones: learn how to track your progress through the Steps.

# 12a: It’s not the first drink that gets you drunk; it’s the decision to take that first drink that gets you drunk.

# 12b: Relapse starts before  you take the drink.

# 11: If you couldn’t tell when crossed over from problem drinking to alcoholism, then you won’t be able to tell when you are longer in fit spiritual condition. —And neither will anyone else, including your sponsor.

# 10a: Everyone comes to AA with different stories; everyone leaves with the same one. (Avoid the conditioning of the group-speak. Only an individual can be part of a community.)

# 10b: If you are agreeing or disagreeing with what you hear in AA, then you are not listening.

# 9: Many alcoholics die from reading the Big Book the wrong way. (Write Your Own Big Book: everyone does anyway)

# 8: A small dictionary is better than a Big Book. (Create your own recovery language)

# 7: Don’t forget AA’s Secondary Purposes: make coffee, read in public, listen to everyone, be punctual.

# 6: It’s not how you react to things that matters; it’s how you react to your reactions.

# 5: The group conscience is often wrong.

# 4: What got you sober will not keep you sober, nor will it get you sober should you drink again.

# 3: If your life revolves around not-drinking, then your life still revolves around alcohol.

# 2: The final Step on any spiritual path is giving up the Steps that got you there.

# 1: It’s OK to outgrow AA; It’s not OK to stop growing

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