How Do AA Promises Fit Into the 12 Step Program?

While addiction may well be classified as a chronic medical condition, the recovery process has as much to do with healing the mind and spirit as it does healing the body. People going through recovery experience change in every aspect of their lives to the point where a total personality change gradually takes place.

The AA promises define what you can expect to accomplish as you progress through the different stages of the recovery process. Understanding how the AA promises fit into the 12 Step program can give you a better idea of what you’re working towards.

If you’re just now considering 12 Step program treatment and have questions about available treatment options, call our toll-free helpline at 800-781-0748 (Who Answers?) .

AA Promises and the Recovery Process

AA Promises

Promise 1 claims you will experience a new freedom and happiness.

Recovering from alcohol addiction doesn’t happen overnight, but rather requires ongoing effort on a day-to-day basis. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, as a person becomes stronger in recovery, certain qualities will become more pronounced in his or her actions and behaviors towards others.

The AA Promises are indeed “promises” that the AA program makes when a person works the 12 Step program to the best of his or her ability. In effect, the AA Promises act as guideposts that describe the types of changes you can expect to see in your life as you progress through the program.

The AA Promises

The AA promises appear on pages 83 and 84 of the Alcoholics Anonymous guidebook, also know as the Big Book. Each promise takes shape in a person’s life as he or she experiences growth and healing in the recovery process, according to the journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The AA Promises go as follows:

Promise 1 – We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

Promise 2 – We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

Promise 3 – We will comprehend the word serenity.

Promise 4 – We will know peace.

Promise 5 – No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

Promise 6 – That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

Promise 7 – We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

Promise 8 – Self-seeking will slip away.

Promise 9 – Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.

Promise 10Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

Promise 11 – We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

Promise 12 – We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Live One Day At A Time


Much like months or years of addiction change a person’s core personality and values from the inside out, the 12 Step program helps you develop the type of mindset that’s motivated to maintain a sober lifestyle on a long-term basis.

In essence, the AA Promises depict the types of changes that must take place in order for a person to overcome the effects of addiction in his or her life.

If you’re considering 12 Step program treatment and need help finding a program, call our helpline at 800-781-0748 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our phone counselors.

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