The AA Preamble is a brief text that opens up and welcomes you to the organization. It says, “We, the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, are sober today because we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” The first part of this statement is often referred to as “the Big Book” or “the blue book,” which is just one version of it; there are many different versions.
The Alcoholics Anonymous Preamble is a brief, positive statement about the fellowship itself.
The Alcoholics Anonymous Preamble is a brief, positive statement about the fellowship. It was written by Bill Wilson in 1939 and first published in Alcoholics Anonymous (1957). The preamble is used during AA meetings to introduce new members to their local fellowships or as an example of what it means to be part of AA.
Those familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous will know that the 12-step program is a huge part of the organization.
The AA Preamble is not a religious text. It’s more like a manifesto or a set of guiding principles.
If you’re familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step program, you’ll know that it’s based on the belief that alcoholism is caused by an addiction to alcohol, which can be overcome through spiritual guidance and support from other members of the organization.* The Preamble serves as an introduction to this program: it explains why people become addicted and how they should go about overcoming their addiction.
The AA Preamble states: “We have found that when we carry our message in love—and work together for change—we are stronger than any problem can ever be.” This might sound pretty bleak at first glance but remember that this document was created by some of America’s most famous writers, including Ernest Hemingway, who wrote “The Sun Also Rises” back in 1926!
The AA preamble does not mention God or any higher power, as other places within the 12-step program do.
The AA preamble does not mention God or any sort of higher power, as other places within the 12-step program do. The following examples illustrate this:
- The first three steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” In these lines, there is a sense that you are powerless over something rather than being able to control it or make decisions on your own behalf.
- A phrase used often in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is “God as we understand Him,” which could be interpreted as being equivalent to saying “God as I understand Him.”
- Another example comes from page 508, where Bill Wilson talks about how he felt like an alcoholic during his first year sobering up: “I’d sit down every night at 8 p.m., drink a hot toddy…and cry myself into sleep.”
The 12 Traditions and Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can be helpful guidelines for how to be an active participant in an AA meeting.
The 12 Traditions are a set of principles that guide the group in its decision-making process. It is not uncommon for the traditions to be passed around orally rather than in writing. The Twelve Steps are a series of steps that Alcoholics Anonymous uses to recover from alcoholism. These steps outline what it takes for someone to become sober and how they can stay that way for the rest of their lives.
Regarding the idea of spirituality and not religion, which can be confusing to some, consider this quote from Bill W.: “Spirituality is that which enables man to feel his relation to all living things and live in harmony with nature and her laws.”
As a recovering alcoholic, I can tell you that spirituality is a personal thing. It’s not something you have to believe in order to be spiritual; it’s something that comes from within each of us and makes our lives more fulfilling. So the first step toward recovery is recognizing your own power through your personal experience and then finding ways of using this power for the benefit of others.
As Bill W said: “Spirituality is that which enables man to feel his relation to all living things and live in harmony with nature and her laws.” And as we begin this journey together toward recovery from alcoholism, we must remember how important our connection with nature was for us before we got sick—and how much better off we would be if we could return there now!
Knowing and understanding the AA preamble can help you make decisions about your AA meeting attendance.
If you’re new to AA, you might wonder what the preamble is and how members use it. Those questions are addressed in this article.
The first thing to note about the AA Preamble is that it’s not a religious statement. It doesn’t belong in any church or synagogue; instead, it was created as part of our fellowship’s founding documents (like an oath) and reflects our beliefs about ourselves as human beings who struggle with addiction issues—not just alcoholics alone but all kinds of addicts too! The second thing worth mentioning is that while there are many different versions of this document floating around out there online today (including some pirated versions), they don’t necessarily represent what every single person believes about themselves or their relationship with God/disease/etcetera…so please read carefully!
The Alcoholics Anonymous Preamble is a brief, positive statement about the fellowship itself. The 12 Traditions and Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can be helpful guidelines for how to be an active participant in an AA meeting. Find an AA meeting nearby and move forward with seeking a life of sobriety.