What are Some Common Recovery Slogans and their Meanings

Slogans can be important to any group of people. These short phrases and sentences carry a lot of weight and meaning within different communities, but they’re simple enough to be remembered easily during tough times. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step Programs have popularized the use of slogans for recovery, but you don’t have to be a part of a 12 Step group to use them. If you think that recovery slogans may help you with your addiction, then take a look at some of the slogans below. This is not an extensive list, so feel free to look up more slogans if you don’t find what you need here.

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Recovery in General

Slogans about recovery in general are motivational in nature. They remind people why recovery matters and what benefits they can get from recovery. Furthermore, they remind people who are sober what it was like when they weren’t sober. Using these slogans can help people remember why they wanted to become sober in the first place, which can provide motivation to continue with sobriety. Here are a few of the most popular recovery slogans:

  • Nothing is so bad, a drink won’t make it worse
  • Do it sober
  • Hugs not Drugs
  • I was sick and tired of being sick and tired

Spiritual Slogans

One of the core tenets of 12 Step programs is spirituality. Though God in this context means different things to different people, 12 Step meetings center themselves around finding a higher power of some sort. This does not mean that one has to be religious to find sobriety or even to participate in a 12 Step program. Some 12 Step programs exist especially for atheists and agnostics, and these groups define their higher power differently than traditionally religious people do. Nevertheless, these higher power slogans help provide a sense of purpose to many people who are working toward sobriety:

  • First things first
  • Let go and let God
  • GOD = Good Orderly Direction
  • Turn it over
  • To thine own self be true

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Inner Peace and Self-worth

Drug and alcohol addiction can often lead to shame, and shame can lead to more drinking and drug use. Slogans that promote inner peace and self-worth help put a stop to the shame cycle, thus encouraging sobriety. These slogans help remind addicted individuals that they are important, valuable human beings who deserve to feel better:

  • God doesn’t make junk
  • Your worth should never depend on another person’s opinion
  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
  • Misery is optional
  • Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less

Practical Advice

Some slogans offer practical advice rather than spiritual wisdom, and these slogans are especially helpful during moments of temptation. With enough repetition, these slogans will eventually spring to mind automatically during the difficult moments that might lead a person to drink or abuse drugs. They remind people to call a friend or sponsor. They also remind people to avoid situations that would lead to temptation, such as hunger or loneliness. Here are some examples:

  • Call your sponsor before, not after, you take the first drink
  • You only get out of it what you put into it
  • Help is only a phone call away
  • Recovery begins with the first step
  • HALT = Don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired
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Recovery is a process, not an immediate victory. It requires a lot of patience. These slogans help keep people from worrying about what happens in the future and focus on what happens today:

  • Recovery is a journey, not a destination
  • Don’t quit before the miracle happens
  • One day at a time
  • Easy does it
  • This too shall pass

How to Use Slogans

Start by browsing through the recovery slogans and seeing which ones resonate the most with you. If none of the above slogans work for you, many more are freely available for you to find online. When you find slogans that work for you, write them down in a highly visible place such as your bathroom mirror. Say them out loud multiple times. Take the time to make these slogans a part of your life. If you memorize your slogans when you’re calm, your brain will start to automatically associate those slogans with feelings of peace.

Next, practice using your slogans in situations that cause you stress, anxiety, or temptation. Once your brain has started connecting these slogans with calm feelings, saying them out loud will bring a sense of calm into these stressful situations. When you use them regularly, recovery slogans can have a major positive impact on your life and sobriety.

Of course, recovery slogans are not a cure-all for addiction. They’re merely tools that can help you. Furthermore, if you decide that you want to use recovery slogans, don’t feel like you need to use all of them. If a slogan or even an entire category of slogans don’t resonate with you, there’s no reason for you to try to force them into your life. As one popular recovery slogan says,

“Take what you need, and leave the rest.”

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