Recovery Slogans for Good Living


If you’ve ever spent any time in a 12-step room, you’ve seen the slogans on the wall.

If you’ve ever spent any time with someone who is in recovery from alcoholism or drug abuse, you’ve probably heard a few of the idioms that are “tells” of sobriety, or at least familiarity with sobriety.

You may like the little ditties so much that you’ve started using them in your own conversations.  Cool!

Maybe, like me, you frequent the 12-step rooms regularly.  If, like me, you’re a person in long-term recovery, the meaning behind those phrases of inspiration can shift with the circumstances in your life.

Easy Does It

This three-word phrase is one of the foundations of recovery and is often repeated to people outside of recovery when they are being encouraged to settle down, to breathe, and to just “be.”

I’ve thought of it often during the last few days as I’ve moved through the third Mother’s Day since my mom died.  On Tuesday of this week, my mom would have celebrated her 75th birthday.  I decided to celebrate anyway; the anniversary of her birth becomes no less important after her death.

I threw myself into my work on Tuesday because Mom was a huge fan of my writing; in fact, I think she lived a bit vicariously through my creative process.  She told me once that she always wanted to write a book but that she was passing that gene on to me.

As I was growing up, I judged my mom for the choices she made.  I secretly thought she settled for a life that was far beneath her talents and abilities.  A part of me always held out hope that she would start that book and when she died, I mourned a life that I saw was, well, wasted.

I wish I could use a different word to soften my meaning.  In the nearly three years since she left the earth, I’ve grown though.  I now believe she lived a good and worthy life.  She loved widely and deeply and isn’t that the best measure of one’s time here?

On her 75th birthday, I realized I had forgiven my mom and more importantly, I’ve forgiven myself for harboring a lifetime of judgment.  There was no longer a need for recrimination.

I breathed and practiced Easy Does It.  Gosh, it sure felt good.

More recovery slogans

Here are a few more of my favorites plus my thoughts on their applications.

Live and Let Live:  Shrug your shoulders and develop a “whatever” way of living.

Think, Think, Think:  Too much or too little?  Your sponsor will tell you which is best for you!

Let Go and Let God:  I believe this is surrender’s release point.

One Day At A Time:  Everything stays in right now.  Yesterday, tomorrow, even 10 minutes from now makes no difference and is actually none of your business!

HALT:  Do your best to not let yourself become too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.

This too shall pass:  Whatever the “it” of the moment that troubles you, just wait.

Keep it simple:  This applies to my magnificent, magnifying mind.  I know I’m not the only one!

And my personal favorite (NOT!):

You’re right where you’re supposed to be.  Ugh!  That’s all I have to say about that!

There are many, many other slogans and acronyms.  Do you have a favorite?  What does it mean for you?

Photo courtesy of Celebrate Recovery

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  1. Cari says:

    I like “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” I hadn’t heard “You’re right where you’re supposed to be.” It makes more sense to me if you put “right now” at the end. Then there’s a possibility I’m supposed to be somewhere totally different tomorrow but for now: deal with what’s in front of me.

    • Beth says:

      Hi Cari,

      I agree that “for now” sounds right when added to “you’re right where you’re supposed to be.” Maybe that will make it a little more palatable to me!

      I did a lot of comparing my insides with others’ outsides when I was newly sober. Then I started listening to the feelings shared; when I connected with those, I knew who I was and where I belonged.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Glad you were liked our photo. The credit goes to “fine art by RT”

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