Spiritual Wisdom Distilled from Those Who Have Left Distilled Spirits

In the past 10 years, I’ve spent a lot of hours in church basements, meeting halls and classrooms. This time was shared with other drunks who’ve given up drinking and chosen a more life-affirming way of life. I am my own kind of madman, and many other alcoholics are crazy people; in those subterranean rooms, though, we focus on our common humanity rather than our isolating lunacy. I wish I could tell you the source of the 30 or so bits of insight into the alcoholic condition—I can’t because I don’t remember who said what when or wrote what where. All I can say is these aphorisms, slogans and one-liners align well with my view of life, and have helped keep me away from a drink or other mind-altering substance. I hope you find them helpful—or at least amusing.

Alcoholics are egomaniacs with inferiority complexes.

Coincidence is God’s work – when He chooses to remain anonymous

We are not punished for our sins, we are punished by our sins

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

The wise man has many cuts, the happy man doesn’t count the scars.

If you feel guilty – stop doing what’s making you feel guilty.

Life is not painful, it’s my resistance to life that causes me the pain

If you keep doing what you’re doing – you’ll keep getting what you’re gettin

Alcoholism is the total disintegration of the human personality

Turn up a stereo to full volume then unplug it. In 2, 5,10 or 20 years later – if you plug it in again, the stereo will come on full volume. That’s what alcoholism is like.

Alcohol plus damage = Alcoholism.

Recovery is made up of glorious years and some shitty days.

. An alcoholic comes apart spiritually, mentally and then physically. You put him back together again in the reverse order. You can put him back together physically in a comparatively short time. It takes a much longer time to put him back together mentally, and a much, much longer time to get him together spiritually.

You can act your way into the right thinking, but you can’t think your way into the right action

In order to give up my defects of character, I must first give up the benefits of my defects of character. Twenty seconds of ecstasy isn’t worth three weeks of guilt.

You don’t get drunk making mistakes – you get drunk defending the mistakes you’ve made.

God is a comedian playing to an audience who’s afraid to laugh.

Acceptance: What is …IS; what isn’t…ISN’T.

Rule 62…don’t take yourself so God damned seriously.

Although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery. (

I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you:
The good news is that you’re not in charge;
The bad news is that you’re not in charge.

When you get sober you can write down all the gifts you get…when you go out you can reverse the pencil and erase each gift one by one.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

The problem with isolating is that you get such bad advice.

If nothing changes…nothing changes.

Pain is necessary, suffering is optional!

Feelings aren’t facts!!!

In recovery, first we remove the anesthesia, then we operate.

Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.

Take an action, then let go of the results.

Relapse begins long before you pick up the drink/drug.

If you hang around a barbershop long enough, eventually you’ll get a haircut.

Expectations are preconceived resentments.

I thought I wanted to commit suicide, but all I needed was a hamburger.

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