7 Cliché—but Surprisingly Wise—Lessons I Learned in AA.

When I was new in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), I heard these corny phrases spoken by old-timers (people with many years of sobriety).

They were mostly silver-haired older folks who looked at me with a slight smile as they leaned back in their folding chairs.

“Just take it one day at a time.”

“Fake it ‘til you make it.”

“Easy does it—but do it.”

They weren’t preaching per se, more like stating facts (like, the weather outside is sunny and 80 degrees).

I thought the mottos of AA were simplistic and silly. I didn’t understand what they had to do with not drinking. Many of them hung on the walls—gold-framed prints with gothic lettering. They were usually unevenly spaced and crooked. But, much like everything I’ve learned in recovery, I eventually realized how important these distilled bits of wisdom were.

Although there are so many things to be addicted to, such as alcohol or drugs, sêχ or love, gambling or shopping, video games or Instagram, overeating or overexercising, some people just don’t have an addictive bone in their body and would never dip their toe into The 12 Steps recovery world. I’ve learned there’s much to these phrases that can be of benefit to all beings in our modern world.

Here are the expressions that have helped me find my way, time and time again:

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