Recovery Acronyms

I’ve always liked acronyms. Starting in 3rd grade with R.O.Y. G. B.I.V. and through college and work, and beyond (DNA, RNA, GPS, GNSS, MIA, ETA, AWOL…). So, when I came into recovery I took to using acronyms like a fish to water. We all know that recovery is full of them, but I remember the moment that I understood just how important they can be.

I was with my first AA sponsor, Robin. She had this little frog on the dashboard of her car. I never mentioned it because I assumed she just had a thing for frogs. But she brought it up to me. A good friend of hers had bought it for her for one of her celebrations. She told me it’s an acronym for Forever Relying OGod. She kept it there as a reminder that she needs to constantly surrender. It was then that I realized the power of these acronyms. Here was an innocent decorative object that no one would ever think twice about, yet, for Robin, it was a constant reminder of her Higher Power and her recovery. It was then that I went to town and did research on recovery acronyms and took them all down.

So here goes… I have listed them alphabetically for the most part (yes, i am a bit neurotic in that way). The first bunch are plays on the founding recovery program, AA’s, name. I hope no one takes any offense to some of them. I did not put in any that use language I wouldn’t use except for one (BS, and I left it in because it is so accurate!).

Some of these speak to me more than others. Enjoy them, and take the ones that talk to you and do something to hold onto it (frog on the dashboard, anyone?). I know a lot of recovery people who have step prayers and acronyms hanging around their homes, in the bathroom mirrors, in their recovery books…

AA = Absolute Abstinence
AA = Adventurers Anonymous
AA = Altered Attitudes
AA = Altruistic Action
AA = Attitude Adjustment
AA’s-R-US = Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery Unity Service
ABC = Acceptance, Belief, Change
ACTION = Any Change To Improve Our Nature
ADDICT = Anybody Doing Drugs In Compulsive Trouble

AIDS = Active In Dangerous Sex
AIDS = Addicts Injecting Dirty Syringes
ALCOHOLICS = A Life Centered On Helping Others Live In Complete Sobriety
ANONYMOUS = Actions Not Our Names Yield Maintenance Of Unity & Service
ANGER = A No Good Energy Rising
BAR = Beware Alcohol, Run
BAR = Beware Alcohol Ruin
BIG BOOK = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge
BS = Before Sobriety
BUT = Being Unconvinced Totally
CALM = Can Anger Leave Me
CARE = Comforting And Reassuring Each other…
CHANGE = Choosing Honesty Allows New Growth Everyday
CLEAN = Completely Leaving Every Addiction Now!

COURAGE = ‘Cause of Using Recovery’s A Great Effort
DEAD = Drinking Ends All Dreams
DENIAL = Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying
DENIAL = Don’t Even Notice It’s A Lie
DETACH = Don’t Even Think About Changing Him/Her
DUES = Desperately Using Everything but Sobriety
EDI not DIE = Easy Does It not Does It Easy
EGO = Easing God Out
EGO = Edging God Out
FAILURE = Fearful, Arrogant, Insecure, Lonely, Uncertain, Resentful, Empty
FAITH = Fear Ain’t In This House
FAITH = Facing An Inner Truth Heals
FAITH = For An Instant Trust Him
FAITH = Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him
FAITH = Fear And Insecurity? Trust Him!
FAMILY = Father And Mother I Love You (I’ve got a hard time with this one…)
FEAR = Face (Fix/Forgive) Everything And Recover
FEAR = Failure Expected And Received

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
FEAR = Feelings expressed Allows Relief
FEAR = Feelings Every Alcoholic Rejects
FEAR = Fight Everything And Run
FEAR = Fighting Ego Against Reality
FEAR = Forget Everything And Run
FEAR = Forgetting Everything’s All Right
FEAR = Frantic Effort to Appear Real
FEAR = Frantic Efforts to Appear Recovered
FINE = Faithful, Involved, Knowledgeable and Experienced (When you really are fine)
FINE = Feeling Insecure, Numb and Empty (When you tell people you’re fine)
FINE = Frantic, Insane, Nuts and Egotistical
FINE = Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional
FINE = Feeling Insecure Neurotic & Emotional
FINE = Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic & Emotional
FOG = Fear of God
FROG = Forever Relying On God
GIFT = God Is Forever There
GIFTS = Getting It From The Steps
GOD = Good Orderly Direction
GOD = Get Out Devil
GOD = Go On Dreaming
GOD = Group Of Drunks (before we’re sober we think we’re God, and we are… a group of drunks)
GOD = Group Of Drug addicts
GUT = God’s Undeniable Truths
HALT = Hope, Acceptance, Love and Tolerance
HALT = Horny, Arrogant, Lazy and Tragic: if you’re any one of these, get to a meeting!
HALTS = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Stressed
HALTS FEAR = Hope, Acceptance, Love and Tolerance Stops Forgetting Everything’s All right
HEART = Healing Enjoying and Recovering Together
HELP = His Ever Loving Presence
HELP = Hope, Encouragement, Love and Patience
HOPE = Happy Our Program Exists
HOPE = Hearing Other Peoples’ Experience
HOPE = Hang On! Peace Exists
HOW = Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness; that’s how we do it
ISM = I, Self, Me
ISM = Incredibly Short Memory
ISM = InSide Me
ISM = I Sabotage Myself
ISM = I Sponsor Myself
KISS = Keep It Simple, Sweatheart
KISS = Keeping It Simple, Spiritually
LET GO = Leave Everything To God, Okay?
LOVE = Living Our Victories Everyday
M&M = Meetings & Meditation
NEW = Nothing Else Worked
NOW = No Other Way
NUTS = Not Using The Steps
OUR = Openly Using Recovery
PACE = Positive Attitudes Change Everything
PAID = Pitiful And Incomprehensible Demoralization
PAIN = Pause And Invite Newness
PHD = Pretty Heavy Drinker
PMS = Pour More Scotch
PMS = Poor Me Syndrome
PRIDE = Personal Recovery Involves Defeating Ego
PROGRAM = People Relying On God Relaying A Message
RAGE = Real Angry Gut-level Ego
RELAPSE = Recovery Exits, Life And Program Seem Empty
RELATIONSHIP= Really Exciting Love Affair Turns Into Outrageous Nightmare Sobriety Hangs In Peril
RID = Restless, Irritable and Discontented
RUN + I = RUIN…RUIN – I = RUN. Let God run the show ’cause I ruin everything (I know this isn’t an acronym, but I like it anyway)
SASTO = Some Are Sicker Than Others
SLIP = Sobriety Loses Its Priority
SOBER = Staying Off Booze Enjoying Recovery
SOLUTIONS = Saving Our Lives Using The Inventory Of Needed Steps
SPONSOR = Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery
STAR = Start Talking About Recovery
STEPS = Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety
STOP = Sicker Than Other People
TIME = Things I Must Earn
TIME = This I Must Earn
TRUST = Try Relying Upon The Steps
WASP = Worry Anger Self Pity
WILLING = When I Live Life, I Need God
WISDOM = When Into Self, Discover Our Motives
WILLING = When I (Let Go & Let God/Live & Let Live) I Normally Grow
WORK = What Our Recovery Knows
WORRY = Wrong Or Right Remain Yourself
YET = You’re Eligible Too
YET = You’ll End Up There

As always, have a serene and sober day!

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