The AA Big Book: What it Promises

When a person begins their 12-step journey in Alcoholics Anonymous, it is with the hope that their life will change for the better as a direct result. In a nutshell, these are the AA promises. The whole point of recovery, is to not only regain the self that was lost to addiction, but to redefine yourself and the kind of life you are leading.

Throughout AA’s Big Book, there are several promises intended for those who work a thorough program. If a person follows the 12 steps as they are laid out in the Big Book, they are guaranteed a spiritual awakening, as long as they do so honestly.The Big Book discusses all sorts of AA promises; However, the most well known and possibly most appealing AA promises, are the 9th step promises:

AA Big Book - Pg. 83

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”

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