Glossary of Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

7th Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous
The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members.

We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise.

Then, too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.

— Tradition Seven (long form)

Abstinence
1. Living without drinking or using other mood-altering substances.
2. Staying entirely free of any mood-altering alcohol or drugs.
3. Not drinking or using.

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Action
1. Acting with deliberate intent to make an improvement.
2. Doing what you said you were going to do.

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Addiction
1. A habit or trait, done to excess in the unrealistic hope that it will improve one's mood, when in reality it will be negative and harmful.
2. Repetitive patterns of behavior that result both in an impaired sense of reality and personal isolation.
3. An allergy (physical) coupled with a compulsion (mental) to use drugs. The inability to stop using. "Going to any length to use drugs," characterized by insanity and a failure to manage the rest of one’s life. Physical, emotional and mental breakdowns. Relationships suffer immensely.
4. Your mind and/or your body constantly telling you to do to excess something that is not good for you.
5. A habitual inability to choose good behaviors or actions over bad, despite the knowledge that the behavior or action is consistently destructive.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
1. A fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with one another, in order to solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
2. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking or using. There are no dues or fees for AA membership. It is self-supporting through members’ willing contributions. AA is not allied with any religion, denomination, politics, or institution. It does not wish to engage in any controversy. It neither endorses nor opposes any other cause.
3. A member’s purpose is to stay sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

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Alcoholism
1. The illness of any person who becomes ill physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually from drinking alcohol.
2. A disease characterized by drinking alcohol routinely, such as daily or on repeated binges, craving alcohol obsessively, yet believing that you are in control of this drinking habit.
3. An allergy (physical) coupled with the compulsion (mental) to drink alcohol. The inability to stop drinking, no matter the consequence. Displayed behavior includes "going to any length to drink alcohol," which can be characterized by insanity and inability to manage the rest of one’s life. Physical, emotional and mental breakdowns. Relationships suffer immensely.
4. A disease during which your mind and body constantly crave alcohol, even when you know it isn't good for you. The person who has this disease is often the last to realize it. The symptoms show in our conduct: -- what we do, and what we don't do. Nobody has figured out how one gets it, but once you have it, you always have it. The treatment -- total abstinence and a complete character change.

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Amends
1. As in, to make amends. To act genuinely to fix things. These things usually include relationships with self and with others (individuals and institutions) who have been harmed from our having been sick with alcoholism.
2. Going to the effort to recognize and right a past wrong.
3. Clearing away the "wreckage of the past" or, in some cases, the present. Setting things straight. Being accountable for one's wrongful acts.
4. Showing someone you're sorry for bad things you've done by attempting to fix the damage in a way acceptable to the person wronged.

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Attraction rather than promotion
1. The active alcoholic is a highly suspicious person, disinclined to seek recovery from anyone "selling" a solution. But to this active alcoholic, the notion of someone offering a bona fide solution, for free with no strings attached, is so compelling that one cannot help but take a look.
2. We do not promote AA. Instead, we attract alcoholics to recovery by living as examples of recovery.
3. Showing someone how to change a life is best done by example. Words are cheap.

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The Big Book
1. The basic textbook of our fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous, first published in 1939.

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Blame
1. Blaming someone else is what an alcoholic often does to avoid assuming responsibility for actions.

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Bottom, as in "hitting bottom"
1. Things getting worse faster than you can lower your standards.

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Character defects
1. The result of learned behavior from prolonged substance abuse. This abuse allows the user to ignore his or her negative traits, and to rationalize bad behavior.
2. We have found that, when we come to AA, we discover many personal flaws, which we previously tried to hide from ourselves by using alcohol. At first, alcohol was only a cover for our problems, a way we dealt with them. Later, it became a problem of its own. We needed a sober awareness of our drinking before we could confront and overcome our character defects.

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Citizen
1. A person who is an active, responsible member of a community, society or nation. Many of the people in recovery find the ability to become such valuable members of our society.

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Clean and sober
1. Living life free of alcohol and all other mood/mind-altering chemicals, with the exception of medications prescribed by a physician fully aware of the patient's history of alcohol and/or drug problems.
2. Living totally free from drugs and alcohol.

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Commitment
1. The ability to stick with a decision, often gained by people who are in recovery.
2. Doing what we say we’ll do without "bringing it up for a vote" all the time.
3. Doing exactly what we said we’d do -- when, where and how we said we would.

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Conscious contact with God
1. A relationship with "God as I understand Him," most often developed over time through a religious affiliation, or less formally through personal prayer and meditation on a daily basis. The essence of such contact is the knowledge that God is in my charge, and my role is to become His willing and humble servant.
2. It's as if you had a DSL line "on-line" with The Higher Power at all times --24/7.
3. Often we see The Higher Power in the people in and around our lives, if we choose to look carefully.

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"Controlled drinking"
1. Uncontrolled drinking.
2. A belief that one can limit intake of alcohol (and/or drugs), usually in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary. A person who wonders if he or she has the ability to maintain power over consumption most likely has a drinking problem.
3. Many of us tried "controlled drinking" before coming to AA. Alcoholics now in recovery are convinced that drinking is not an option for us. Unless we are convinced of this, recovery is not attainable. If you are not convinced of this, try some controlled drinking to see if you are one of us. We have the solution.
4. Attempting to plan what you will and will not do after you begin drinking. Most of us used to tell ourselves that we'd quit after so many drinks. Few of us could. Actually, maybe none of us could!
5. See "Cunning, Baffling, Powerful"

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Creator
1. The One responsible for bringing the Universe into existence.

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Cunning, baffling and powerful
1. Adjectives for alcoholism and drug addiction. The addictive disease tricks the mind into believing that feeling bad is feeling good, that doing evil is acceptable, and that one is in control even when life is completely unmanageable. For example: the gentleman with numerous DUI’s who maintains he merely has a legal problem.
2. Microsoft Windows (all versions).
3. The disease of alcoholism is trickier, more difficult to understand, and more powerful over us than we are over it. We find ourselves doing things we didn't want to do, and not doing things we wanted to do.

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Death
1. The end result of birth; the requisite for rebirth.
2. For the alcoholic and addict, the ultimate victory of the disease.
3. Proof positive of the cunning, baffling, and powerful nature of alcoholism over countless thousands of active users.
4. Invariably, Jails, Institutions and Death are the natural consequences of Alcoholism. See Alcoholism.
5. A state that some people pathetically consider a goal, to avoid having to live with this active disease.

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Delusion
1. The ability to fool oneself_as no one else could.
2. In the active alcoholic, the belief that he or she does not have a drinking problem, despite abundant evidence to the contrary.
3. In the recovering alcoholic, the belief that one day he or she can return to "normal" drinking.
4. The belief that facts are not facts, and real is "not real," despite all evidence to the contrary.

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Denial
1. Acronym: Don't Even Notice I Am Lying
2. Not just a River in Egypt!!

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Dependence on alcohol
1. The reliance upon alcohol to get through the day.
2. Characterized by obsessive thinking about acquiring, consuming, and maintaining a personal supply of alcohol. See Alcoholism.
3. Once we alcoholics give ourselves even a little alcohol, we crave more. We think we can't live without it. It seems easier to put up with the chronic pain of our abuse than the temporary pain of withdrawal.

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Depression
1. A chronic feeling that "something is just not right".
2. There are two kinds: One is being sad. The other, the real depression, is when our brain chemistry causes us to have severe mental problems, which affect our entire life. This is when doctors can help.
3. Hidden Anger. However, many of us have found that our depression is organic or biological, in which case medical treatment has proven effective in treating it.

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Disclaimer
1. This website and the information it contains are meant to help make you think. It is not our intention to replace any of the wonderful tools Alcoholics Anonymous has given to us, but merely to share with you how the members of one AA group think, as a group and as individuals, of the effort to stay clean and sober. You are encouraged to glean from our experiences, but also to continue to search for the answers, which will lead you to become a better person. It’s that simple!
2. These definitions are a pretty good shot at helping you to better understand AA as we have come to know it. Please don’t get hung up on our words. Instead, just like any AA meeting you go to, take with you what’s best, and ignore what may need more work. There are plenty of both.

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Dilemma
1. In the context of alcoholism or addiction, when a person no longer gets relief by drinking or using - yet cannot stop.

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Discipline
1. Keeping your commitment, no matter what! The training of the mind and character to make this possible.
2. Making ourselves repeat positive actions and thoughts, even when we don’t want to, or they make us uncomfortable.

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Discontent
1. A state of unhappiness or unease.
2. While alcohol (or drug) consumption once made us feel good, we now continue to feel bad while using.
3. We find ourselves (or sometimes fail to notice) separating from the things in our lives that help us to be better people.
4. The opposite of peace.

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Disease
1. The state of being sick, or of not being well.
2. A sickness, malady, disorder, or ailment.
3. A state of mind or body caused by a bona fide external pathogen or internal defect, as distinct from the moral fault of the afflicted person. In the case of an alcoholic, this disease can be "arrested" through abstinence and an active program of recovery.
4. We believe that Alcoholism is a disease that can be treated.
5. Something we can "get," no matter what we have done to try to avoid it. Alcoholism is a disease in which mind and body constantly crave alcohol, even though you know that it isn't good for you. The person who has it is often the last to know. The symptoms show in our conduct -- what we do and what we don't do. Nobody has figured out how we get it, but once you have this disease, you always have it. The treatment must be total abstinence and a complete character change.
6. At Loyola, this disease has been referred to as the opposite of being "at ease," and, instead, a chronic feeling of "dis-ease."

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Dishonesty
1. To lie, cheat, steal and otherwise "act out" in ways that we know are wrong.
2. A characteristic of alcoholism in which the alcoholic's thinking has become so distorted that behavior is false.
3. We tell people things that are just not so. Sometimes, we attempt to make people believe something is different than it really is. Some of us live our entire lives in a manner intended to hide the truth - mainly because we can’t bear the sight of it ourselves.

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Drunk
1. The state of being under the influence of alcohol . . . instead of oneself.
2. The name we use to describe a person who drinks all the time.

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Dry
1. Not drinking, but still exhibiting bad behavior.
2. A term used to describe an alcoholic who doesn't drink, but isn't working on changing his or her character. All too often, a dry person is satisfied with having a better life when, with a little more effort, a great life is obtainable.
3. A Dry Drunk is an alcoholic who lives a miserable life, but does not drink. The Dry Drunk lacks sobriety.

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Envy, gluttony, jealously, pride, lust
1. Characteristic traits of many alcoholics who fail to live an active recovery program through the 12 Steps.
2. Five of the Seven Deadly Sins described in the Bible.
3. Five examples of character defects we in AA attempt to avoid in our lives.

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Excuse
1. A made-up reason for doing or saying something. Sometimes for not doing or saying something.
2. An alcoholic will make up an excuse for his or her behavior, so that someone else is to blame. The responsibility is "not mine"!
3. A pretext we use to explain our actions, or lack of action. It is common that this reason target someone or something other than us.

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Experience
1. What you get when you are expecting something else.
2. Results derived from living every day, good and bad, and letting that day be instructional.

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Experience, strength and hope
1. An AA saying. Men and women share their experience, strength and hope with each other in order to recover from Alcoholism.
2. An often-used term in AA, which means that a person has shared a personal life–story with us. That sharing enabled us to understand what we need to do. It encouraged us to take some action in our own lives, believing that we, too, can find positive results.

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Faith
1. Knowing I am going to be okay, regardless of what my present circumstances may be.
2. Acting in ways I may not think make sense, but knowing a Power greater than myself is guiding and directing me.
3. Believing in something you can't see. See God, and Higher Power.

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Family
1. Many of us have families and practice the principles of AA with our families successfully. Our home group has a family night meeting once a year, and a family camping trip once a year.
2. For many, a home group becomes a supportive "second family".

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Fatal
1. Acting in a way that leads to death.
2. Drinking (and using), if done repeatedly or to excess.

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Fear
1. An emotion that disables or cripples the human spirit.
2. Faith is the antidote.
3. A profound negative reaction to threatened security. We have found that Fear is the driver of most or all of our problems with Alcohol.
4. Not trusting the process of AA to the point where it prevents us from doing our part.
5. At Loyola it has been defined as "False Evidence Appearing Real".

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Fellowship
1. Many of us join together in fellowship, with activities like golf, camping, going to coffee, even skydiving. We intend to live our lives with shared passion and enjoyment.
2. Becoming a friend and allowing others to befriend you.

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Foundation
1. For many of us, The Higher Power is the foundation of our recovery.
2. That which supports our entire structure or being. In AA it is the 12 Steps and the millions of men and women who use these Steps to better themselves and others.

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Friendship
1. The state of men and women supporting, trusting, valuing, and enjoying each other in a mutual way.
2. Many of us have never experienced true friendship. We thought we had friends before coming to AA, but many of us were deluded.
3. We have found that, if you want to have good friends, all you have to do is to be a good friend.

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God
1. The Supreme Being, Creator and Manager of the universe, the eternal and infinite Spirit.
2. In the context of Alcoholics Anonymous, the word or concept, when modified with the phrase "as we understand Him," that has allowed more people to recover successfully from alcoholism than any other.
3. A Higher Power than us. AA indicates that we should choose our own conception of this Power.
4. The name that many people use to refer to our Higher Power.

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Golf
1. A form of recreational gamesmanship involving a set of sticks used to hit a small ball around with the goal of putting it into a little hole, usually, some distance off, with as few strokes of the sticks as possible.
2. A game played outdoors by men who are dressed in bizarre attire.
3. A frustrating game in which one can improve only with repeated practice.
4. Many of us join together in outside, even outdoors, fellowship, including golf.
5. A game that has nothing to do with Recovery, and everything to do with skill, practice, lessons, fellowship, luck, example and patience. Something that is more fun when done with others, and when done well can help make you feel better. Come to think of it, it's just like Recovery!

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Grief
1. The feeling of loss or sorrow.
2. A feeling alcoholics can avoid while active in their disease. Later, it can be experienced with truth, satisfaction and fulfillment when we do it as part of a program of recovery.

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H and I
1. Hospitals and Institutions are places where alcoholics often end up towards the end of their drinking careers.
2. Places where alcoholics in recovery deliver a message of hope and strength to the still- suffering alcoholic.

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Happiness
1. The state of well-being.
2. One of the feelings alcoholics are able to avoid while active in their disease. Often this feeling is experienced later, with satisfaction and fulfillment, when we participate in a program of recovery.
3. Oftentimes the result of working the AA Steps.
4. Feeling good for the right reasons.

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Happy, joyous and free
1. An expression used to describe how we go about our lives as a result of living The Steps.

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Harmed
1. Having been hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually.
2. Many of us new to AA believe that we have been harmed. Upon careful examination, we usually find that we were wrong. In fact, we often find that we made up this harm to disguise our fears.

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Health
1. One's state of being: physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually.
2. In the context of AA, it is believed that by working the 12 Steps we may be healed, and find our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

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Higher Power
1. A Spiritual Power greater than oneself.
2. An alternative name for a Spiritual Being, or the Creator, for those uncomfortable with the name God.
3. A spiritual entity of one's own choosing.
4. Often people come to AA having never believed in a God or whatever you might want to call It. As they listen and learn with an open mind, they begin to see this Higher Power in the lives, words and actions of their new AA friends. Something happens.
5. Some of us choose a spiritual entity, most of us acknowledge one.

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Hitting Bottom
1. The time when an active alcoholic reaches an absolute low point, and becomes willing to consider AA as a solution.
2. It’s like an elevator that’s going down. You can get out on any floor. Why wait any longer for it to hit bottom, which it will eventually do?

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Home group
1. A group of people who meet together regularly, usually weekly, for recovery and fellowship.
2. Many of us have an AA meeting that we go to routinely. We identify ourselves as a member of this group.
3. The AA group with which one identifies as a member. A member attends the meetings faithfully, except when that is impossible. Members provide service by participation in a wide array of group activities.

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Honesty
1. The ability to tell the truth, and obey legal and moral codes, and thereby be reliable to do good things.
2. In the context of recovery, something we learn to have by working the 12 Steps.

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Hope
1. Trust, or reliance.
2. In the context of recovery, gaining the belief that a better life is obtainable.
3. The frequent result of becoming a member of AA, working the AA Steps, and participating in the fellowship.
4. Looking forward to the changes we make in ourselves both positively affecting our lives and our relationships with others.

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Hopelessness
1. Despair.
2. The belief that nothing good or worthwhile exists . . . within reach.
3. A common symptom of the disease of alcoholism.

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Horror
1. A painful emotion of fear, dread and abhorrence.
2. A common symptom of the disease of alcoholism.

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Humility
1. The state or quality of being free from pride and arrogance.
2. A state of selflessness that is achieved by working the 12 Steps, practicing these principles in all our affairs, and working with other alcoholics.
3. The opposite of alcoholic behavior. There’s nothing humble about being an alcoholic.
4. Humility means truth. A humble person can bear to recognize the truth. Oftentimes, recovery brings to our lives new and superior talents and abilities. The humble person uses them without shame.

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Illness
1. Any disease or sickness afflicting someone; alcoholism is a disease causing one to be ill physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
2. Alcoholism is one of those diseases that does not only afflict the person who has it. Our families suffer as well.

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Impulsive
1. The tendency to do something on the spur of the moment, without consideration of the consequences, often for self-gratification.
2. A common symptom of the disease of alcoholism.
3. Acting without thinking, upon an impulse, not a thought.

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Inferiority complex
1. The sense of being less than one should be, less than one is, less than the people around us.
2. A common symptom of the disease of alcoholism.

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Insane
1. Crazy, nuts, out of one's mind.
2. Doing exactly the same thing over and over again and still expecting different results each time.

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Insecurity
1. Fearful, unsafe, unsure of oneself, or feeling in danger.
2. A common symptom of the disease of alcoholism.
3. Often described by alcoholics as "feeling less than".

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Inspired
1. The feeling of having possibilities.
2. Finding the ability to do good by observing the good will and example of others.
3. The frequent result of working the AA Steps, participating in and becoming a member of AA.

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Intimacy
1. Being close to another human being emotionally, spiritually, mentally and/or physically.
2. Knowing someone or something very well and very reliably.
3. An experience newly achievable by a recovering alcoholic who has worked through the 12 Steps.

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Intuition
1. Knowing what the right thing is, in the sense of feeling it rather than thinking about it or consciously deciding upon a textbook answer.
2. The frequent result of working the AA Steps, participating in and becoming a member of AA.

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Isolation
1. Being alone, or being present but out of touch with family, friends, and society.
2. In the context of alcoholism, as one sinks deeper into their disease, one usually becomes detached and disassociated from the surrounding world.
3. Antonym is intimacy.
4. Alcoholics often define this as a feeling of "being alone in a crowd."

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Laughter
1. A verbal/physical signal of happiness; to wit: a dog laughs with his tail; a man laughs with his voice and smile.

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Lies
1. Telling a falsehood. Not telling the truth.
2. Deception; dishonesty.
3. Antonyms are honesty and truthfulness.
4. A common symptom of the disease of alcoholism.

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Look for the similarities, not the differences
1. An AA saying - often newcomers to AA feel unique, that their situation and circumstances are special (See "Isolation"). By identifying our common experiences rather than our individual traits, we find an effective way to learn from one another.
2. An AA saying. Newcomers often bring their isolation, fear, self-centeredness, and low self-esteem to the meetings and sometimes find it difficult to relate to those of us who live happy, healthy, productive lives. As time goes on, many newcomers will find that they have more and more similarities to others in recovery.
3. Often a newcomer doesn’t want to be an alcoholic. Who would? So, while listening to others share their stories, they tend to focus on the things they’ve never done (yet), and ignore their involvement and the things they do that are similar to other members. Just because we haven’t all been in jail, or married four times, doesn’t mean that we’re not similar to those who have been.
4. One similarity everyone at an AA meeting has is an acknowledged inability to drink alcohol without excess or wreckage.

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Love
1. Feeling of strong personal attachment - ardent affection.
2. Primarily an act of the will, not the feelings. It wishes well and does good to another: for that person’s gain, not one’s own.
3. The common result of working the AA Steps, participating in, and becoming a member of AA.
4. We become lovable ourselves as a result of "living" The Steps.

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Loyola Men's Group
1. My AA home group, which is a Men's-only group of Alcoholics Anonymous and meets every Monday evening at 8:00 pm for an hour-and-a-half. We’ve been doing this since 1954. The Loyola Group offers numerous opportunities for recovery, involvement, service, fellowship, and spiritual growth. We used to meet at a spiritual retreat lodge called The Loyola Retreat House. We outgrew that place but we kept the name.

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Meditation
1. The process of quieting one's mind to the point of calmness or silence, in order to listen for and hear God or our Higher Power as we may understand Him.
2. Silently listening for God's directions.
3. Quiet, focused, positive thought or contemplation.

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Meetings
1. Groups of men and/or women who come together to discuss and share our experience, strength and hope of recovery. Meetings are held all over the world. Look in the White Pages of the telephone book under "Alcoholics Anonymous" for a number to call and ask where you can attend a meeting. Believe it or not, police stations are another good place to inquire about meeting sites and times.
2. Some are better than others! Go to different meetings to find the one that best catches your attention. Remember, you don’t have to "feel" comfortable in a meeting to get something out of it. In fact, you’ll probably not feel comfortable for a while. We didn’t either, so no big deal.

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Member
1. Membership in Alcoholics Anonymous is subject to just one requirement: a desire to stop drinking.

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Newcomer
1. A person new to The Program of AA. Newcomers are welcome and wanted. Sharing what we’ve learned with others helps us live what we’ve learned.

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Obsessiveness
1. A repetitive thought process when a person is unable to stop thinking about something. For an alcoholic: repetitive, compulsive thinking about getting the next drink.
2. A common symptom of the disease of alcoholism.
3. An inability to eliminate certain thoughts or actions, which are a constant distraction to ordered daily living.

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Prayer
1. The act of speaking to one's Higher Power, God as we might understand Him, usually done silently and privately to seek strength, guidance, and an understanding of our role.
2. Speaking or communication with our own Higher Power.
3. Some of us choose to pray in a conversational manner. We just have a little chat with our Higher Power.

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Principles
1. Fundamental truths, ultimate bases or causes.
2. Ideals or beliefs, which are lost or missing from the lives of many alcoholics prior to beginning recovery.
3. Essential truths upon which other truths are based and accepted by the mind.

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The Program
1. Activity or action associated with participation in AA.
2. A slang phrase we use for Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps. When we say we’re "on the Program" we mean that we’re clean and sober and using The Steps in our everyday life. Another usage you will hear is "working my program."

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Recovery
1. The process of taking action so that one gets better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
2. In the context of AA, one is said to be in recovery when he has stopped drinking alcohol and is taking positive steps to improve his condition, such as attending and participating in meetings, gaining a sponsor, and working the 12 Steps.
3. The act of appropriately remedying one's disease of alcoholism. An alcoholic can be actively drinking and showing bad behavior; not drinking but showing bad behavior (See Dry); or not drinking and showing good behavior by practicing the principles of AA (in recovery).
4. Living an active daily life of abstinence and growth by participating in AA.

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Relapses
1. To relapse is to fall from the state of recovery back into active drinking. Relapses usually follow a period during which the alcoholic has retreated from active involvement in AA, but may also result from certain overwhelming triggers specifically meaningful to the individual. Most relapses are due to insufficient defenses having been established by the recovering alcoholic, as described in the Big Book of AA.
2. Drinking again after showing some promise of recovery. Usually planned. Many people who relapse experience jails, institutions or death. Some just go on living a crappy hopeless life.
3. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Even between bouts of drinking it grows or advances within us. Therefore, if we do drink, each relapse leads us to worse abuse than at the point where we began to recover.

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Resentments
1. Curdled anger.
2. Holding a grudge against people, places or institutions. Resentment is our number one hazard in recovery. Hanging onto these feelings can be compared to holding onto a lighted stick of dynamite.
3. It’s been said at Loyola, "Nourishing a resentment is drinking poison, then waiting for the other person (or focus of our resentment) to die."

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Restitution
1. The act of settling up for one's harmful, hurtful or negligent actions.
2. Recovering alcoholics must make restitution, or amends, in order to build a sufficient defense to prevent relapse.
3. See Amends.
4. If we are to recover from our disease of Alcoholism, we must "make right" the things that we have neglected or harmed.

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Restored to sanity
1. Rarely does a true alcoholic recognize the insanity of her behavior while drinking. Multiple DUI's, broken relationships, lost jobs, and failed aspirations are but a few of the experiences she is able to rationalize as acceptable or not her fault, never admitting until she hits bottom that her alcoholic life was crazy.
2. Many of us have found that in AA recovery, our Higher Power restores our ability to see the truth and to deal with it in a constructive manner.

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Security
1. A sense of well-being that the recovering alcoholic realizes as he makes amends and restitution, gains faith in a Higher Power, and turns his will and life over to the care of God as he understands Him.
2. Many of us in recovery have found that our Higher Power removes our fears of economic, emotional and relational insecurity.
3. A sense of wholeness or centeredness that improves through practicing an active AA program.

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Self-esteem
1. How we feel about ourselves when we have self-worth. This feeling always improves vastly when one works an active program of recovery. Many of us - in fact, most of us_have discovered that we had low self-esteem when we first came to AA.
2. When we began to become more focused on others, we found our own self-esteem beginning to improve.

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Selfishness, Self-centeredness
1. Almost universal symptoms of the active alcoholic, who cannot help but think of himself and his or her needs. An alcoholic often suffers from delusions of grandeur and terminal uniqueness.
2. AA has taught us that selfishness and self-centeredness are commonalities to those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism. We have learned by focusing on others that the suffering we cause others and ourselves is optional.
3. Chronically placing one’s self and one’s needs above everything else, obviously at the expense of others.

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Service work
1. In the context of AA, any deed or action taken in support of, or for the purpose of, helping another alcoholic. Service work ranges from making coffee for a meeting to listening and sharing during a meeting, to becoming a Sponsor (see below). The most humble, and valuable, form of service work is that for which recognition is neither sought nor desired.
2. Participation in carrying the message of recovery. Many of us start by making coffee for a meeting, or calling a newcomer on the telephone. More experienced persons in recovery may become Sponsors.

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Shortcomings
1. Human characteristics, which fall short of the societal norm. While most people have shortcomings, for the alcoholic, they can fester and be fatal if not addressed forthrightly in recovery. As alcoholics, we have spent years simultaneously ignoring and compounding our shortcomings with drink and drugs.
2. We have found that when we come to AA, we discover many shortcomings, or character defects, which we tried to hide from ourselves by using alcohol. Alcohol was, in this case, a symptom of our problems.

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Simple
1. Easy to comprehend or follow; uncomplicated; elementary.
2. The Founders of AA developed a simple program of recovery that has proven effective for millions of people afflicted with the disease of alcoholism.
3. The Steps of AA are simple to understand. To take a Step is another matter.
4. Those who have come before us have encouraged us to KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. They know how easy it is for us to dwell on the awesome magnitude of recovery, instead of actually not taking the first drink, not missing meetings, and trying to keep an open mind.

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Slip
1. Another word for relapse, which minimizes the seriousness of returning to the drink, as if it had been an "accident."
2. See Relapse. Note: It is usually planned.

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Sobriety
1. Not only being not drunk, but also being habitually temperate in the use of alcohol.
2. For the recovering alcoholic, sobriety means being free from all drink (and drugs), and achieving a degree of peace of mind – by embodying AA's guiding principles.
3. See Recovery.

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Solution
1. The correct answer to a problem.
2. In the context of AA, we believe the Solution is found by adherence to the principles embodied in the 12 Steps, and by active participation in The Program.
3. There is a solution to Alcoholism, and we believe that we have found that solution. In order for a person to get the solution for herself, she needs to come to the meetings.
4. Said simply: Don’t take the first drink. Don’t miss meetings. And try to keep an open mind.

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Spiritual
1. From the Latin word for "breath": pertaining to the moral life or welfare of the soul, the real breath of life. Life viewed as breathed into us by a Higher Power. The quality of all vital and conscious function in man rooted in the soul.
2. Many of us in AA have discovered that living a spiritual life is essential to recovery. Many men and women learn how to live a spiritual life by coming to the meetings and learning for themselves.
3. Many Members who are not religious find a spiritual power in the Program and the people who share it with us.

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Spiritual awakening
1. With sobriety and through recovery, successful men and women in AA will experience a spiritual awakening. This is due to a restoration of the deeper senses, and the development of a relationship with God, as one may understand Him.
2. A newfound relationship with and understanding of God.
3. A newfound clarity of vision about whom you are, how you got here, and where you could go.

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Sponsor
1. A person in recovery who willingly and voluntarily works with another recovering alcoholic to help that person work The Steps. Like most coaches, the Sponsor has a personal background to share and feels a stake in the recovering person’s fidelity.
2. Kind of like a big brother or sister.
3. A "mentor" who has recovered some, or a great deal more, than the person being sponsored.

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The Steps
1. The Big Book of AA includes an account of the 12 Steps, or principles, which are the basic directions to follow in order to succeed in recovery. They are progressive, to ease the suffering alcoholic into beginning a "stepped" process of recovery. The 12 Steps of AA have proven valuable to other recovery movements, as an amazingly insightful account of what it takes for human moral resurrection.
2. AA has 12 Steps to recovery from alcoholism. Come to the meetings and find out how they apply to you. Many men and women are willing to help newcomers first learn and then work The Steps. These men and women are called Sponsors.

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Suggestions
1. An offer to try an alternative course of action, or consider a different way of thinking about or looking at a particular person, place, or thing.
2. For the alcoholic, who has done things his own way without seeking help over many years, considering a suggestion is much more palatable than being told what to do.
3. Men and women in AA may make "suggestions" on how to change your life to make it better. A sponsor might suggest something like this: "You know, I turned left there once and I got hurt. You should think about turning right instead".

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Suicide
1. For the active alcoholic, who feels hopeless and helpless, killing oneself is often felt as the only option, the only way out. Unfortunately, suicide is always a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
2. Taking one's own life. Many of us have tried to do this consciously or unconsciously, but were unsuccessful, or unwilling to fully participate.
3. Not a good idea. There is another solution. Come to the meetings and find out what it is.

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Sunlight of the spirit
1. God turns us into beings of brilliance, inside and outside, if we let Him/Her. The source of that brilliance is God. If you don’t believe this, come and see for yourself.

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Surrender
1. The point at which an alcoholic gives up and stops fighting the disease of alcoholism, a fight that can never be won alone.
2. To join the winning side.
3. Letting go of the life and the path that has led you to this starting place. Discovering the honest thought that you "might" be an alcoholic or addict.

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Traditions
1. Alcoholics Anonymous, as an organization, is guided by the 12 Traditions, which are the principles guiding group dynamics.
2. AA has 12 traditions to group recovery from alcoholism. Come to the meetings and find out how they apply to you and your group.

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Trust in God, clean house, and work with others
1. An AA saying. Refers to using The Steps of AA to sweep away the debris in our life, while trusting the outcome to our Higher Power, and at the same time being of service to others. We’re asked to do these things in their natural order: first trusting in God, then cleaning our own house, and when made ready, working with others.

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Welcomed, wanted and needed
1. The quality of our recovery in AA is based upon our ability to reach out to newcomers who also want recovery.
2. Newcomers are "Welcomed, Wanted and Needed". They’re needed because working with others is how we ourselves "live" this Program. It’s just that simple: We have to give it away to keep it.
3. Directly related to the 12th Step of AA, which tells us that attracting other people starts with this attitude.

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Willingness
1. An attitude that you are ready to try just about anything to effect a change in your life. Willingness is an essential attitude for the alcoholic new to recovery.
2. We have found that "willingness" is the only thing that a person needs to begin his or her recovery from alcoholism.

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Wisdom
1. The ability to judge soundly and deal wisely with facts, especially as they relate to life and conduct.
2. We have found that many of the men and women who came to AA before us have wisdom because of their experience. We find that leaning on to these people has served us well.
3. Old–timers can be wise! Look for the old–timer who has something to give away.

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