al-anon sayings

Al-Anon Sayings and Acronyms

TOP 10 Al-Anon Sayings

Acronyms and mnemonics always seem to help me remember concepts. Here are some helpful Al-anon acronyms we can use as reminders through out our day.


  1. THINK is it..?: Thoughtful. Honest. Intelligent. Necessary. Kind.

“If only I can learn to quiet my mind before I speak! I do not want to act with impatience and hostility, for I know it will react on me. It is a mistake to think this requires self-control; patience can be acquired by learning to let go of self-will. Jonathan Swift said: “Whoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn into bees who kill themselves in stinging others.” (One day At a Time in Al-Anon pg. 20)


  1. HALT if you’re… : Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired.

Be aware when these four physical or emotion conditions arise. When these do arise we are in a vulnerable position to have a severe emotional react.


  1. FEAR: False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.

“In Al-Anon, the answer to “What if? Is: “Don’t project! Don’t imagine the worst; deal with your problems as they arise. Live one day at a time.” I cannot do anything about things that haven’t happened; I will not let the past experiences make me dread the unknown future. “It is a vain and unprofitable thing to conceive either grief or joy for future things which perhaps will never come about.” (One day At a Time in Al-Anon pg. 193)


  1. HOPE: Happy. Our. Program. Exists.

“The first gift a newcomer receives from contact with Al-Anon is hope. Seeing how other rise above their problems, listening to situations worse than their own, absorbing the atmosphere of love and goodwill, send them home with a new lease on life.” (One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.94)

  1. NUTS: Not. Using. The. Steps.

“When I read a step and think about it deeply, I find it opens the door to new insights. When I read that same step again, it reveals new spiritual ideas. They seem to dig into our consciousness and unearth for us the wonderful potential for good in all our relationships with life.” One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.141)


  1. DETACH: Don’t. Even. Think. About. Changing. Him/Her.

“How can I best help the alcoholic? By not interfering when he gets into difficulties. I must detach myself from his shortcoming, neither making up for them nor criticizing them. Let me learn to play my own role, and leave his to him. If he fails in it, the failure is not mine, no matter what others may think or say about it.” One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.29)


  1. HOW: Honest. Open. Willing.

Honesty, open-mindedness and willingness are the three primary principles in laying down a solid foundation for recovery. Honest with oneself. Being open to Power Greater than our selves and willing to take certain steps.


  1. STEPS: Solutions. To. Every. Problem.

“If we have Al-anon, there is no need to stand in our own light and try to solve our problems in darkness. The ways and means that Al-anon offers have lighted the way for so many thousands of despairing people that no one can question their power. “When I am faced with a problem that seems impossible to solve, when I feel trapped in a situation and can see no way out, let me ask myself whether I am standing in my own light. I must find the vantage point where I can most clearly see my difficulty as it is; then answers will come.” (One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.297)


  1. QTIP: Quit. Taking. It. Personally.

“When the guilt of the alcoholic explodes, I must realize that it is always aimed at those nearest, and often dearest. I want to remind myself that such outbursts only reveal the drinker’s own unhappiness. I will not make the situation worse by taking seriously what the alcoholic says at such times. (One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.55)


  1. LOVE: Let. Others. Voluntarily. Evolve.

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” (Thomas Merton: No Man Is an Island)

  • Mardi
    Posted at 09:28h, 20 June Reply

    Thank you for this list. I’m printing them now.

    • Julia Taft
      Posted at 11:24h, 15 July Reply

      Thanks Mardi, I hope it helps you, as much it me to write them.

    • Sharon Stanley
      Posted at 22:49h, 11 December Reply

      I need help with Christmas gift ideas. What was a hit with Alex last year?

  • Jesse
    Posted at 08:08h, 08 July Reply

    Oh wow. I know I am not an alcoholic but I can see how I could utilize these acronyms. I really need to read this full book. I may not be an alcoholic but I see similarities in myself as someone who is too impulsive and reactive with lack of self control.

    • Julia Taft
      Posted at 11:27h, 15 July Reply

      Yes, these help very much. because from time to time I also react impulsively and have a lack of self control. Glad these could help Jesse

    • Kelly O'Hara
      Posted at 17:39h, 19 July Reply

      Alanon is for family members or friends of alcoholics,you don’t have to be a alcoholic to go to alanon meetings.It’s a great program

  • Nina
    Posted at 15:24h, 24 July Reply

    Some fabulous Acronyms that I really must memorize. It sounds cheesy but I’d rather have this printed on a wall art than some other choices out there at the moment, these are much more important!
    Thank you for such a thoughtful and helpful post Julia.

  • Zoya
    Posted at 09:09h, 26 November Reply

    What does alanon stand for?

    Posted at 22:42h, 03 December Reply

    The Al‑Anon name is a derivative of the first portions of the words Alcoholics Anonymous.;)

  • Jim Morman
    Posted at 22:46h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you. Not acronyms, but worth a honorable mention include the 3 C’s, the 4 M’s and the 3 A’s. Thansks again.

  • quakeroat
    Posted at 02:42h, 10 June Reply

    What does the 4ms and the 3As stand for I’m quite new to Alanon

    • Derek Free
      Posted at 09:35h, 10 June Reply

      Thanks for the question! I think that these would actually make quite a good topic as well. When I write about it I will be sure to respond with a longer answer. To answer it:

      The Four Ms:
      Managing, Manipulating, Mothering, Martydom

      The Three As:
      Acceptance, Awareness, Action

  • Marie
    Posted at 10:58h, 12 July Reply

    Extremely helpful! Will make it a daily reading!

  • Bonnie L.
    Posted at 02:30h, 03 March Reply

    This was so wonderful and helpful! I got so much from it and I’m passing it along!

    • Howard Barker
      Posted at 17:05h, 03 March Reply

      Bonnie – glad it helped you out! Feel free to check out some of our other postings in the family section for a lot more Al Anon wisdom and experience!

  • Nicole Williams
    Posted at 16:34h, 06 June Reply

    OMG … Love this … I’ve been a member of Al-Anon for 3 years and am the GR for our group and am quite familiar with these sayings and acronyms (besides QTIP which I absolutely love and will definitely be using going forward) but want to thank you for taking the time to list and share them so clearly … Soooo grateful I happened to stumble across your site while looking for Al-Anon material online today 🙂 … Will definitely be back to your site again … Looking forward to my home group meeting tonight even more than usual after reading this … Thanks again

    • Howard Barker
      Posted at 17:40h, 06 June Reply

      Hey Nicole! Thanks for reading 🙂 There’s a lot of us in recovery that are super grateful for our loved ones who are active in Al-Anon, glad we could be of service!!

  • ana paula
    Posted at 22:57h, 22 August Reply

    thank you so much, you have no idea how much these acronyms help, lightens up a darkness. Thanks!!

    • Derek Free
      Posted at 18:55h, 31 August Reply

      No problem, thank you for reading!

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