Quotations from the 'Big Book'

Quotations came directly from the 3rd edition of the 'Big Book' of Alcoholics Anonymous. The most recent ones are nearest to the top of the page. Feel free to e-mail any quotes you may have or would like to see added.

"....and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray" (page 9)

" the remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning are unforgettable " (page 15)

"There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us." (page 15)

" How dark it is before the dawn! " (page 17)

" The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. " (page 17)

"We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning" (page 19)

"Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs" (page 20)

"Moderate drinkers have little trouble in giving up liquor entirely if they have good reason for it. they can take it or leave it alone" (page 20)

"He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde." (page 21)

" It meant destruction of self-centeredness. " (page 23)

"We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink." (page 24)

"We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed" (page 25)

"There is a solution" (page 25)

"An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature" (page 25)

"Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them." (page 27)

"A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, 'a design for living' that really works" (page 28)

"The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker." (page 30)

"The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed" (page 30)

" No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows." (page 30)

"He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking. " (page 31)

"If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol." (page 33)

"To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have" (page 33)

"Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not." (page 34)

"Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems" (page 42)

"Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you" (page 47)

"Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed. they flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that power, and to do certain simple things, there has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking." p. 50

"The achievement of freedom from fear is a lifetime undertaking, one that can never be wholly completed. When under heavy attack, acute illness, or in other conditions of serious insecurity, we shall all react to this emotion - well or badly, as the case may be. only the self-deceived will claim perfect freedom from fear." (page 55)

"There are those too who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest." (page 58)

"We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection" (page 60)

"Selfishness--self-centeredness! that, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate." p.62

"When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically." (page 64)

" It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness" (page 66)

"If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us" (page 66)

"The inventory was ours, not the other man's. When we saw our faults we listed them. We placed them before us in black and white." (page 67)

"We avoid retaliation or argument" (page 67)

"We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength." (page 68)

"If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let god take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lession" (page 70)

"More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor" (page 73)

"We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world" (page 73)

"The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others" (page 74)

"If we still cling to something we will not let go...." (page 76)

"We must not shrink at anything" (page 79)

"The spiritual life is not a theory" (page 83)

"As Gods people, we stand on our own feet, we don't crawl before anyone." (page 83)

"We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough" (page 84)

"And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol" (page 84)

"We have entered the world of the spirit" (page 84)

"Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear." (page 84)

"Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer" (page 87)

"Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone" (page 98)

"Life will take on new meaning." (page 89)

"You will begin to see that the world and it's people really dominate you" (?)

"We represent no particular faith or denomination. We are dealing only with general principles common to most denominations." (page 93)

"After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol." (page 103)

"Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill." (page 122)

"Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition." (page 122)

"Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now." (page 124)

"Many alcoholics are enthusiasts. They run to extremes." (page 125)

"We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap." (p125)

" We absolutely insist on enjoying life." (page 132)

"We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it was just that for many of us." (page 133)

"The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy, envy, frustration, and fear." (page 145)

"Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it." (page 152)

"Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that." (page 152)

"The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead." (page 152)

"No one is too discredited or has sunk too low to be welcomed cordially-if he means business. Social distinctions, petty rivalries and jealousies-these are laughed out of countenance." (page 161)