Characteristics of Recovery

  1. We are able to speak with phrases such as: I don't know. I was wrong. I made a mistake. I'm sorry. I can't. I need help. I don't remember. I don't understand. So what? Who cares? Compared to what?
  2. We are able to say: I hurt. I'm uncomfortable with what you said. I'm afraid. I'm sad. I'm lonely. I feel like goofing off. I feel silly.
  3. We accept that others need not always be happy. We don't fight their feelings with logic or distraction.
  4. We believe that many people can do all or most of what we do - as well as we can, or better.
  5. We know that others have limits. We don't expect to predict the future or read minds. We know that failures and incomplete projects are part of the learning process. We realize that no matter how fast or efficiently we work, there are only 24 hours in a day.
  6. We respect our body instead of fighting it. We realize that feeling ill or tired is part of the human experience. We rely on intuition and inner timing and rhythm.
  7. We accept that everyone may not like us.
  8. We can refuse responsibility or requests. We can say no without feeling guilty. We nurture ourselves and give from our overflow.
  9. We delay, delegate, and lower performance standards, when needed.
  10. We realize that it is okay to be inconsistent. We find our own mistakes a continuing source of humor.
  11. While communicating, we notice people's states and respond to them rather than being solely focused on the matter at hand.
  12. We value joy over efficiency. We understand the importance of rest and play. We think of work as part but not all of life.
  13. We believe everyone has intrinsic value, whether they work or not.
  14. We realize we are valued by how we treat others, not by what we own or produce or by how hard we work. We know that people don't care how much we know until they know how much we care.
  15. We realize we can't push growth. We know we can't change, control, or rescue anyone. We have reasonable expectations for ourselves and for others.
  16. We live in the present without regretting the past or fearing the future.
  17. We believe that others who are part of a joint venture share responsibility for bad or good outcomes.
  18. We accept change, the unexpected, and conflict as part of life.
  19. We trust our developing relationship with our Higher Power, and we embrace our goodness and serenity.

Originally appears as pages 179-180 in the W.A. Book of Recovery. This literature is also available as a downloadable file (in PDF).