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Daily Archives: March 29, 2022

The Idea of “We” Over “I” in Recovery

A fine key to a happy life in recovery:

If you look into the Twelve-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, you’ll notice “I” is not mentioned in any of them. Not once. Everything is “we”, and we like to point that out on a regular basis.

Take Step Ten, a particularly important step: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

See? There’s the “we”. And isn’t it wonderful, in a “we’re all in this together” kind of way?

Let me throw a hitch in that giddyap. That “we” doesn’t mean “we” in the common sense of the word. As in, help us out, Oxford:

used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people considered together

That’s not good enough, though. That “we” is meant in the royal use of “we”. It really means I. When I, as a part of the greater AA project, am wrong, I must promptly admit it.

used in formal contexts for or by a royal person, or by a writer or editor, to refer to himself or herself.

My point is this; if I’m waiting for someone else to promptly admit when they’re wrong, I should do so whilst, and at the same time, holding my breath.

Oops. All of a sudden everything went dark. Nap time.

It says we, but I treat that as the royal “we”. It really means me. There’s a plus-side to this, though. Think about this a second; I only have to worry about keeping my side of the street clean when it means “I”. That’s why I can be happy – I don’t have to worry about cleaning anyone else’s street. Just mine.