Twelve Promises of Sobriety
The Twelve Promises of sobriety describe the benefits you will gain if you work very hard on the Twelve Steps. Interestingly, they do not mention alcohol or other drugs at all. Instead, the Promises describe the joys of living a mature and healthy life of recovery—a joyous state that is the reward you will earn for ongoing abstinence and hard work.
What are the Twelve Promises?
The Big Book passage on pages 83–84 outlines the promises of sober living. The Twelve Promises of sobriety say you will
- Know new freedom and happiness
- Not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it
- Comprehend the word serenity and know peace
- See how your experience can benefit others
- Sense feelings of uselessness and self-pity disappear
- Lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in others
- Let self-seeking slip away
- Feel your attitude and outlook on life change
- Let go of fear of people and economic insecurity
- Know how to handle situations that used to baffle you
- Realize that God is doing for you what you couldn’t do for yourself
- Understand that the Promises of sobriety will always materialize if you work for them
What do you need to do to enjoy the Promises?
The Promises are a gift. Some may come very soon, and others may materialize over time. Be patient and look around you at the Promises coming true for others. Ask what work they did to get there. With the help of your sponsor and others in your support network, you will get there. For example, sharing your story with others is a powerful way to come to terms with your past, viewing today’s struggles not as trials or tribulations as you did before, but as lessons that you are learning from. Listen carefully to the next speaker at an AA meeting and see what Promises they have come to enjoy.
You may have heard the phrase “working a good program” in treatment or in your Twelve Step group. What exactly does that mean? You’ll know it by how you feel. When you feel centered because you aren’t acting out of ego and selfishness, when your interior life is steady, and when you can respond to daily living with maturity—you’ll feel that you’re working a good program.