Mantras of Recovery

One of the defining principles of recovery is reformatting the psychological patterns created by substance abuse.

This reformatting occurs through the adoption and creation of new thought processes that exist in support of “recovery” from the self destructive patterns. Daily mantras serve as reminders in times of need to get you through the reality of life’s stresses.

By using mantras which resonate most with you, you build the ability to stop, assess and move forward .

So pick your personal recovery mantras, copy paste, book mark this page, recite them, adapt them and use them, when you need them.


Here are are few hundred to keep you ticking over .

  1. We are only as sick as our Secrets
  2. Identify don’t Compare
  3. Be part of the Solution, Not the Problem
  4. Sponsors: Have one – Use one – Be one
  5. Willingness is the Key
  6. You either is — or you ain’t
  7. Don’t quit 5 Minutes before the Miracle Happens
  8. You are not Alone
  9. When all else fails Follow Directions
  10. The Price for serenity and sanity is Self-sacrifice
  11. Anger is but one letter away from DANGER
  12. Bring the body and the Mind will follow
  13. Accept your Admission
  14. FEAR is the darkroom where Negatives are Developed
  15. When your head begins to swell your mind stops growing
  16. You received without cost, now give without charge
  17. There is no chemical solution to a spiritual problem
  18. I’m perfectly imperfect
  19. Easy does it
  20. First things first
  21. Think think think.
  22. One day at time.
  23. Let go and let God.
  24. Act as if.
  25. This, too, shall pass.
  26. Expect miracles.
  27. Sobriety is a journey, not a destination.
  28. Faith without works is dead.
  29. Poor me, poor me, pour me another drink.
  30. To thine own self be true.
  31. I came; I came to; I came to believe (Steps 1,2,3).
  32. Live in the NOW.
  33. Turn it over.
  34. Nothing is so bad, eating won’t make it worse.
  35. We are only as sick as our secrets.
  36. There are no coincidences in O.A.
  37. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
  38. Sponsors: have one use one be one.
  39. I can’t handle it God; you take over.
  40. Keep an open mind.
  41. It works it really does! (page 88 in the Big Book)
  42. Willingness is the key.
  43. More will be revealed.
  44. You will intuitively know.
  45. You will be amazed.
  46. No pain, no gain.
  47. Go for it.
  48. Do it abstinent.
  49. Let it begin with me.
  50. Just for today.
  51. Pass it on.
  52. It’s in the book.
  53. You either are or you aren’t.
  54. Before you say I can’t, say I’ll try.
  55. Practice an attitude of gratitude.
  56. Decisions aren’t forever.
  57. It takes time.
  58. 90 meetings in 90 days.
  59. You are not alone.
  60. Where you go, there you are.
  61. Don’t drink, read the Big Book, and go to meetings.
  62. Use the 24-hour plan.
  63. Stay abstinent for yourself.
  64. Look for the similarities rather than differences.
  65. Try not to place conditions on your abstinence.
  66. When all else fails, follow directions.
  67. Count your blessings.
  68. Share your happiness.
  69. Respect the anonymity of others.
  70. Share your pain.
  71. Let go of old ideas.
  72. Try to replace guilt with gratitude.
  73. What goes around, comes around.
  74. Change is a process, not an event.
  75. You received without cost, now give without charge.
  76. Abstinence is a Journey, not a Destination.
  77. If God seems farther away, who moved?
  78. Identify don’t Compare.
  79. Practice an Attitude of Gratitude!
  80. Bend your knees before you bend your elbow.
  81. Bloom where you are planted.
  82. Backsliding begins when knee-bending stops.
  83. The First Step in overcoming mistakes is to ADMIT THEM!
  84. Formula for Failure: Try to please everyone.
  85. We’re responsible for the effort not the outcome.
  86. In recovery meetings, we don’t carry the addict, we carry the message.
  87. Don’t curse the darkness; Light a candle.
  88. I’m perfectly imperfect.
  89. Live and let live.
  90. There’s a blessing of a lesson in every problem.
  91. The greatest of all faults is to tell yourself that you have none.
  92. Be as passionate about the program as you were about the addiction.
  93. Recovery is a lifestyle, not a turnstile.
  94. The program steps and tools are suggested; we also suggest that you don’t jump from an airplane without a parachute.
  95. I can’t, God can, I think I’ll let Him (Steps 1,2,3).
  96. Keep coming back, it works if you work it and work it ‘cause you’re worth it.
  97. Circumstances do not MAKE us who we are, they REVEAL to us who we are.
  98. I can’t handle this one God; please take over.
  99. Too blessed to be stressed!
  100. Don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens!
  101. Group meetings are the Soul-ution.
  102. Just for today, I can be abstinent.
  103. We’re all here because we’re not all there.
  104. Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer.
  105. The road to abstinence is a simple journey for confused people with a complicated disease.
  106. Have a good day, unless of course you have made other plans.
  107. Perfectionism is the purest form of self-abuse.
  108. The world record for abstinence? 24 hours!
  109. Make use of the telephone therapy.
  110. I don’t have an additions problem; I have a thinking problem!
  111. Always remember your last binge.
  112. Remember that compulsive addictions are incurable, progressive, and fatal.
  113. YOU may be just what someone is looking for today!!
  114. BE YOURSELF TODAY, so the rest of us can relish in your unique magnificence!
  115. You can DO what you want, or you can GET what you want.
  116. I have met wisdom and I have met kindness, and kindness is better.
  117. Comparison is the shortest route to insanity.
  118. Compared to me, I am spectacular.
  119. The pen is mightier than the addiction.
  120. Forgive easily – as if your life depends on it.
  121. Call your sponsor before, not after.
  122. To keep it, you have to give it away.
  123. Thankfulness is passive; Gratitude is active.
  124. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.
  125. Powerless does not mean helpless or hopeless.
  126. “What if” gets you nowhere, “Yeah but” halts progress in its tracks, “If only” never came true.
  127. My best thinking got me here.
  128. While I’m sitting in a meeting, my disease is doing push-ups in the parking lot.
  129. Trust God, clean house, help another addict.
  130. Help is only a phone call away.
  131. Pray for those who hurt you; they need the prayers and we need the practice.
  132. Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.
  133. One drink is too many, a thousand are not enough.
  134. Half measures availed us nothing.
  135. Easy does it.
  136. We will love you until you can love yourself.
  137. An unwillingness to forgive is a form of self-abuse.
  138. Before engaging your mouth, put your mind in gear.
  139. Recovery is not something you join; it’s something you live.
  140. We can be positive that our addiction is negative.
  141. Take the mess to your sponsor; take the message to the meeting.
  142. Acceptance is vital. It is what it is!
  143. Sorrow is looking back; worry is looking around; hope is looking forward.
  144. Willpower= Willingness to use a Higher Power.
  145. Addiction is an education with no final exam and no graduation.
  146. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
  147. Unity does not mean uniformity.
  148. G.O.D. = Good Orderly Direction. E.G.O. = Edging God Out.
  149. Our disease is mind altering, but so is our recovery.
  150. Recovery adds years to your life and life to your years.
  151. Trying to pray is praying.
  152. Humility is acceptance of ourselves and others, good and bad.
  153. Relapse does not drown our problems, it irrigates them.
  154. Co-incidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.
  155. Keep your abstinence first to make it last.
  156. If you turn it over and don’t let go, you will be upside down.
  157. Addiction recovery is a school in which we are all learners and all teachers.
  158. God teach us to laugh again, but please don’t let us forget that we once cried.
  159. Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm.
  160. It isn’t the load that weighs us down; it’s the way we carry it.
  161. When you do all the talking you only learn what you already know.
  162. I might have another binge left in me, but I might not have another recovery.
  163. When we surrender to our Higher Power, the journey begins.
  164. The person with the most abstinence at a meeting is the one who got up earliest.
  165. H.A.L.T. = Don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. (or bored!)
  166. F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real
  167. Plan for tomorrow, but live for today.
  168. Getting something you’ve never had requires doing something you’ve never done.
  169. The 12 Steps tell us how it works; the 12 Traditions tell us why it works.
  170. We meet all types in life so that we can better appreciate those we keep closest.
  171. Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.
  172. When a person tries to control their addiction they have already lost control.
  173. The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
  174. Seven days without a recovery meeting makes one weak.
  175. S L I P = Serenity Losing its Priority
  176. You are not required to like it; you are only required to DO it.
  177. You can’t think your way into a new way of living; you have to live your way into a new way of thinking.
  178. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
  179. Listen to the message… not the messenger.
  180. Happiness is not getting what you want; it’s wanting what you get.
  181. People who don’t go to meetings don’t hear about what happens to people who don’t go to meetings.
  182. “And acceptance is the answer to ALL my problems today.”
  183. Abstinence is a state of mind, “personality change sufficient to bring about recovery.”
  184. Nobody ever found recovery as a result of an intellectual awakening!
  185. H O P E = Happy Our Program Exists
  186. In AA we don’t carry the alcoholic; we carry the message.
  187. We are not human beings having spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings having human experiences.
  188. Seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously. (Rule 62)
  189. The time to attend a meeting is when you least feel like going.
  190. The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.
  191. Your Big Book is your sponsor too.
  192. Time wasted in getting even can never be used in getting ahead.
  193. Some addicts are so successful that they turn out to be almost as good as they used to think they were!
  194. Abstinence delivers everything that addiction promised.
  195. Being ‘willing’ to do something is not the same as ‘wanting’ to.
  196. First we stay abstinent because we have to, then because we are willing to and finally because we want to.
  197. Every moment is a gift; that’s why we call it the present.
  198. If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
  199. Every recovery from addiction began with one abstinent hour.
  200. The only thing that I need to know about God is that I’m not it.
  201. Addiction recovery has a wrench to fit every nut that walks through the door.
  202. How does one become an old-timer? Don’t drink and don’t die.
  203. Faith is our greatest gift; it’s sharing with others our greatest responsibility.
  204. If you want to drink or use, that’s your business; If you want to quit and can’t, that’s our business.
  205. My worst day in abstinence is better than my best day of using.
  206. The answer is in the steps and the directions are in the Big Book.
  207. Anonymity is so important it’s half of our name!
  208. All you need to start your own recovery meeting is resentment and a coffee pot.
  209. Religion is for those who fear Hell; Spirituality is for those who have been there.
  210. Intolerance = Contempt, prior to investigation.
  211. The smartest thing an a recovery meeting member can say is, “Help”.
  212. I can do something for 24 hours that would appall me to do for a lifetime.
  213. Just for today I will not tackle my whole life problems at once.
  214. It is not the experience of today that drives people mad, it is remorse of yesterday and the dread of tomorrow.
  215. The road to resentment is paved with expectation.
  216. Be nice to newcomers; one day they may be your sponsor.
  217. Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.
  218. There is no magic in recovery, only miracles.
  219. Recovery meetings are the last stop on the train.
  220. We’ll love you until you can love yourself.
  221. Try to be grateful and resentful at the same time, you can’t serve two masters.
  222. If you have a problem and slip back to your addiction, you have two problems.
  223. FAITH: Fantastic Adventure in Trusting Higher Power.
  224. Success means getting your ‘but’ out of the way.
  225. The easier softer way is one through twelve.
  226. Don’t work my program, or your program, work THE program.
  227. An addicts mind is a dangerous neighborhood; don’t go in there alone.
  228. Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections!
  229. Cunning, baffling, powerful, and patient.
  230. Where do I find abstinence? Twelve steps past any length.
  231. How does it work? It works just fine.
  232. Short version of the Serenity Prayer: Fix it or forget it.
  233. N.U.T.S. = Not Using the Steps
  234. The unwritten Promise — You never have to be alone.
  235. Fake it till you make it.
  236. Don’t let unpleasant people rent space in your head.
  237. Try it for 90 days, and if you don’t like it, we’ll gladly refund your misery.
  238. Go to meetings when you want to, and go to meetings when you don’t want to.
  239. We have a disease that tells us we don’t have a disease.
  240. My daily abstinence is contingent on my spiritual condition.
  241. Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, only today is cash in the bank.
  242. Ask an addict what time it is and he’ll tell you how to build a clock.
  243. I am unique, just like everybody else.
  244. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
  245. I don’t always know what God’s will is for me, but I always know what it’s not.
  246. I didn’t seek abstinence to be miserable.
  247. I didn’t experiment with alcohol / drugs. I was in advanced research and development.
  248. I love you, God loves you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
  249. If God is your co-pilot, switch seats.
  250. There are three kinds of business: my business, God’s business and none of my business.
  251. If your head falls off, put it in a paper bag and take it to a meeting.
  252. There’s safety in numbers: One through twelve.
  253. Addiction recovery is a simple program for complicated people.
  254. You can’t speed up your recovery, but you can sure slow it down.
  255. Every drink / drug I took got me here. Every drink / drug I don’t take keeps me here.
  256. I came for the vanity and stayed for the sanity.
  257. What others think of me is none of my business.
  258. Keep your head where your feet are.
  259. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
  260. Expectations are premeditated resentments.
  261. You must be present to win.
  262. Glance at the past, but don’t stare at it.
  263. Today is the tomorrow that I worried about yesterday.
  264. When you feel left out, reach out.
  265. Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.
  266. Even if I’m on the right track, if I don’t move I’ll get run over.
  267. Feel, Deal and Heal – Feel it, Deal with it and Heal from it.
  268. Thoughts are not things and feelings are not facts; they only have the power we give them.
  269. No matter how far off the path we’ve stumbled, we’re always 12 steps from the solution!
  270. If you keep doin’ what your doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what your gettin’.
  271. BINGE – Because I’ve Never Been Good Enough
  272. How does one become an “old-timer”? Don’t drink and don’t die!
  273. 12 Step is not a ticket to heaven or hell, but it will give you the clarity to make up your own mind which way you want to go!
  274. Sponsors: have one — use one — be one.
  275. To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil on it.
  276. Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?
  277. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
  278. Learn to listen and listen to learn.
  279. Is your program powered by Will Power or Higher Power?
  280. I may not be who I want to be, but thank God I’m not who I used to be.
  281. It came to pass… it didn’t come to stay!
  282. My sponsor says I’m trying –VERY trying.
  283. All in good time, all in God time.
  284. Dwell on the problem and the problem gets bigger. Dwell on the solution, the solution gets bigger.
  285. I do not recover today on yesterday’s actions.
  286. Today I have more solutions than problems.
  287. Pray to catch the bus, and then run as fast as you can.
  288. Higher Power, please watch what goes in my mouth and what comes out of it.
  289. I don’t need to try harder, I need to trust harder.
  290. “Figuring it out” is not a tool.
  291. Veni, vidi, velcro … I came, I saw, I stuck around.
  292. Don’t tell God how big your storm is; tell the storm how big your God is!
  293. If I make your addiction an option, it will be the only option.
  294. A journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.
  295. Slogans are wisdom written in shorthand.
  296. Don’t intellectualize – utilize.
  297. First Things First – Abstinence above all else.
  298. I may be the only Big Book that someone will ever read.
  299. Fear: I might not get my way.
  300. Anger: I am not getting my way.
  301. Resentment: I did not get my way.
  302. To push the drugs out and pull more God in.
  303. Do the stuff to get the stuff.
  304. Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening.
  305. If you don’t have a Higher Power, you can borrow mine.
  306. The Big Book does not say “Half measures availed us half”.
  307. The price for serenity and sanity is self-sacrifice.
  308. One compulsive overeater talking to another one equals one.
  309. Take what you can use and leave the rest.
  310. If I think, I won’t drink. If I drink, I can’t think.
  311. Stay in the main tent, and out of the sideshow.
  312. The first step in overcoming mistakes is to admit them.
  313. There are 12 steps in the ladder of complete abstinence
  314. Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.
  315. Get it —give it—grow in it.
  316. Faith is not belief without proof but trust without reservation.
  317. We’re responsible for the effort not the outcome.
  318. This is a selfish program.
  319. Minds are like parachutes—-they won’t work unless they’re open.
  320. What you hear and see here, stays here.
  321. It’s a shame we can’t forget our troubles the same way we forget our blessings.
  322. Be careful what you pray for; you’re liable to get it.
  323. Possibilities and miracles are one in the same.
  324. Get out of the driver’s seat and let God.
  325. H.O.W.= Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.
  326. RULE 62: don’t take yourself seriously.
  327. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
  328. God will never give you more than you can handle.
  329. Slow but sure.
  330. A coincidence is a miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous.
  331. There is no such thing, as a bad meeting.
  332. Give time time.
  333. Pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.
  334. Fear is the absences of faith.
  335. Courage is faith that has said its prayers.
  336. Depression is anger toward inward.
  337. Faith chases away fear.
  338. Take other people’s inventory until you can take your own.
  339. Pain before sobriety and pain before serenity.
  340. Unity, recovery, and service.
  341. We have a choice.
  342. Get to the meeting early and go to the meeting after the meeting.
  343. None of us came here on a winning streak.
  344. If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you’ll get a haircut.
  345. Y.E.T.=You eventually, too
  346. If you can’t remember your last binge, maybe you haven’t had it.
  347. If you want to stay sober, make the coffee.
  348. If you fly with crows, you get shot at.
  349. Analysis is paralysis.
  350. I got sick of being sick and tired.
  351. It’s easy to talk the talk, but you have to walk the walk.
  352. Life starts when you stop.
  353. You have to give it away in order to keep it.
  354. Daniel didn’t go back to the lion’s den to get his hat.
  355. If you stick with the bunch, you’ll get peeled.
  356. It gets better.
  357. The doors swing both ways.
  358. You have to put in the time.
  359. If you don’t want to slip, stay away from slippery places.
  360. Lead us not into temptation. I can find it myself.
  361. Sorrow shared is halved; joy shared is doubled.
  362. There is pain in recovery. Misery is optional.
  363. Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.
  364. My best friend became my worst enemy.
  365. When my insides match my outside, I’m practicing a good program.
  366. My Higher Power was: To Whom It May Concern.

More about the AA Twelve Step program here.

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