1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
  2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
  5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
  8. Self-seeking will slip away.
  9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
  10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
  11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  12. 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.


Millions of people over the 80 year span that the Alcoholics Anonymous program has existed have experienced these promises.
I am just going to focus on the second one, “we are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness”. Today I have a choice, in active addiction I might have believed that I had choices but one thing was certain, I was going to use drugs that day no matter what. Besides for the freedom of choice, I now have freedom in what direction my life actually takes. I have the freedom to be close to the right people, doing the right things for the right reasons. I have the freedom to acknowledge myself as an addict and to make informed decisions around my limitations. I have the integrity to be able to take responsibility for my actions and not blame people for what I do. With all these wonderful gifts comes the insight into a new happiness.

I experience happiness as a state of being and not as a self-regulated emotion. Gone are the thoughts of, “if I get this, then I’ll be happy”. I try to take life as it comes. Life on life’s terms they say, which isn’t always easy but it is worth it. There are moments when everything I have learnt, everything I have gone through and everything I believe, sync together to form an experience that cannot be matched by any chemical induced high. Whether its happiness or freedom I don’t know? What I do know is that with drugs and alcohol in my life these experiences are not possible