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10 Suggestions on Staying Sober

24-Hour Plan

The Plan

One of the easiest, most practical ways of keeping sober is the day by day plan, the 24 Hour Plan: Live in today only. Forget Yesterday. Do not anticipate tomorrow.

You can only live one day at a time, and if you do a good job of that, you will do well.

You are only one drink away from trouble.

Whether you have been sober a day, a month, a year or a decade, one single drink is a certain way to go off on a binge or a series of binges. It is the first drink – not the second, fifth or twentieth – that gets you drunk.

You know that it is possible to stay sober for 24 hours. You have done it many times. All right.

Stay sober for one day at a time.  When you get up in the morning make your mind that you will not take a drink for the entire day.  Then go to bed at night grateful for a day of sobriety.

Repeat the performance the next day and the next. Before you realize it you will have been sober a week, a month a year, and yet you will have only been sober one day at a time.

From A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous (the Akron Manual), first published in1939

Glossary of Some AA Terminology

AL-ANON: An independent fellowship with the stated purpose of helping relatives and friends of alcoholics.

ALCATHON: Usually over the holidays, meetings are held every hour, all night long. If the meetings are held in-person, there is usually a potluck where all can share food and fellowship through the night. Alcathons typically begin in the afternoon the day before and run through the following evening.

ANONYMITY: Often referred to as the greatest single protection the Fellowship has to assure its continued existence and growth. In stressing the equality of all A.A. members — and unity in the common bond of their recovery from alcoholism — anonymity serves as the spiritual foundation of A.A.

AWOL: "A Way of Life” is a kind of meeting devoted to the study of the 12 Steps. AWOL meetings use a specific format to study the 12 Steps of AA for a prescribed period, usually six to 12 months.

CLOSED MEETING: An AA meeting whose attendance is limited to those who have a desire to stop drinking.

CROSS TALK: Giving advice to others who have already shared, speaking directly to another person rather than to the group and questioning or interrupting the person speaking at the time. 

DRY DRUNK: A person who has stopped drinking alcohol but who still acts impulsively, behaves in dysfunctional ways, and makes risky decisions associated with addiction. Signs of dry drunk syndrome can include dishonesty, isolation, depression, anxiety, and glamorizing alcohol use.

FELLOWSHIP: A fellowship refers to a group of people who share similar goals. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship where the common goal is to stay sober.

FRIEND OF BILL: A recovering alcoholic, especially one who is a member of AA. Are you a friend of Bills? Is a safe way to ask someone if they are in AA.

GEOGRAPHICAL CURE: This is when people try to escape their alcoholism by moving to a new location. Such attempts are unlikely to be successful because the individual will take their addiction with them.

H.A.L.T.:  Means hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. For recovering addicts and alcoholics, this word is how they monitor their state of physical and mental well-being.

HIGHER POWER: A vital element of the AA program is accepting that a power greater than themselves will help the individual defeat their addiction. For many people, this higher power is called God. This is why non-believers can feel comfortable with AA. There is no rule that says that people need to call their higher power God. They may decide to choose the power of the group to be their higher power instead (sometimes called Group Of Drunks - G.O.D.)

HOME GROUP: Most AA members will have one group that they attend most frequently. It is beneficial to have one regular group because it makes it possible to build relationships with other members.

I.O.P.: Intensive Outpatient Treatment (also known as IOP for "Intensive Outpatient Program") is a primary treatment program recommended in some circumstances by a clinical and medical assessment.

PINK CLOUD: A is a phenomenon many recovering addicts experience when they first go into recovery. When pink clouding, they feel a sense of euphoria that is often followed by a crash once reality sets in.

ROOMS/HALLS: AA slang for meetings.

JACKPOT: Terrible things that happen because of drinking.

MOCUS: A state of confusion, often referring to the state of mind brought about by detoxification.

OLD TIMER: Generally considered someone who has at least a decade of sobriety. 

OPEN MEETING: An AA meeting that welcomes everyone who has an interest in AA.

7TH TRADITION: The Seventh Tradition states: “Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” While contributions cover each group's rent and other expenses, the Seventh Tradition is essential at every level of A.A. service.

SOBRIETY: Sobriety means more than just staying sober. It also means living a good life and doing the right things.

SPONSOR: A sponsor is an experienced member who will be able to provide support and advice on a one-on-one basis. Sponsors also take the sponsee through the Big Book and the 12 Steps. It is advisable to have one sponsor at a time.

STEP STUDY MEETING: This is a meeting where the main focus is studying the program. Members share their experience of working the step under discussion.

STINKING THINKING: Negative thinking can be dangerous for people in recovery. They may start to believe that staying sober is not so wonderful. Stinking thinking can easily lead to relapse.

THIRTEENTH STEPPING: This is where more experienced members of the group take sexual advantage of vulnerable new members.

TURN IN A WET ONE FOR A DRY ONE: Turn in old (wet) Desire Chip after a relapse as a symbolic gesture. Get a new (dry) Desire Chip and renew commitment to stay sober for 24 hours.

TWELVE STEPS: This is the AA program in the form of steps that members should take.

TWELVE TRADITIONS: These are the guidelines for AA groups and the autonomy of AA in the world.

TWO STEPPER: This refers to those members who attend meetings but do not follow the AA program.

Other Fellowships Similar to A.A.