Half Measures Availed Us Nothing

Foundational Sayings from the 12 Steps

Alcoholics Anonymous is a powerful program that can help those suffering from alcoholism to make solid changes in their lives and recover. But, like any kind of addiction recovery, it’s not a quick fix – it takes dedication and hard work. To make progress through the twelve-step process, participants must be willing to devote themselves completely to recovery.

If they show up to meetings but don’t actively engage in the process, there won’t be any progress. A successful journey through AA requires a willingness to embrace change and open-mindedness to listen, learn, and do whatever it takes to stay sober.

One key principle underpinning the program is ‘Half Measures Availed Us Nothing’ – one of the foundational sayings from the 12 steps and the Big Book. This must be followed. Only by addressing an issue in its entirety, with determined effort and commitment, can people bring about meaningful change in their lives.

This is a concept that has helped countless individuals around the world for many decades to reach sobriety and gain the freedom they desire.

To learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and staying away from drinking, keep reading. Find Addiction Rehabs can help you get connected to AA meetings or other types of treatment and make sure you get the help you need.

How It Works

Chapter 5 in The Big Book – How It Works

Chapter 5 in the AA Big Book –  “How It Works” – has become synonymous with AA meetings, and for good reason. Part of it is read at the beginning of almost every meeting and reciting and reflecting on it each time serves to bring members back to the core principles of their sobriety that are essential for successful recovery.

Most importantly, it drives home the concept that honesty—with ourselves first and foremost—is a non-negotiable factor in this journey. We must admit that we have a problem and be willing to change – no matter what it takes. Half measures availed us nothing. We have to be all in and be willing to do whatever it takes to stop drinking for good, not just take a half measure whenever we feel like it and hope this will lead us to stop drinking.

One of the most important parts of Chapter 5’s How It Works is the following phrase:

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

So what does this really mean and why is it such a foundational saying of AA?

Half Measures Availed Us Nothing

One of the most important tenets of staying sober is to avoid taking any kind of half-measures. You might think that engaging in only a few risky behaviors – such as one night out at the bar or only drinking once a week, limiting binge drinking, or only drinking beer, will have little effect on your sobriety and your life.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Half measures like this often create environments where people begin to normalize their behavior again and more easily engage in more frequent lapses in their journey towards staying sober. The only way to truly stay sober, both in terms of short-term and long-term sobriety, is to commit to avoiding all kinds of temptation and never indulging in any kind of substance.

You have to do what others suggest and stop assuming that you can do it all on your own. Find a home group, speak to people there, ask someone to be your 12-step sponsor, and just generally be willing to surrender and do whatever it takes.

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We Stood at The Turning Point

The term “turning point” is used by AA members to refer to a moment in time when they have an epiphany or spiritual experience that helps them understand their addiction more deeply and realize that they must stop, and they want to stop drinking.

This can be a moment of clarity where they are able to identify their character defects and why they need to change and stop drinking or gain insight into why they drink. It can also be a moment when they understand that recovery is possible and that life without alcohol is both achievable and desirable.

How Do You Get There?

Overcome guilt and shame

Getting to this place of addiction is different for everyone, but one key factor is openness. For members to reach this milestone, they must be open to new ideas, experiences, and perspectives about their addiction and recovery. This means being willing to explore uncomfortable emotions such as guilt and shame, fear, anger, frustration, etc., which are often associated with addiction.

They must also be open-minded about trying different approaches—such as therapy or self-reflection —to help them on their journey toward sobriety. Lastly, they must have faith in themselves—that even if it feels like an impossible feat at first, recovery will come with time and effort.

Another important factor in reaching the turning point is support from others within the AA community. Through sharing stories and experiences with other members who have gone through similar struggles with alcohol abuse, individuals can learn valuable lessons about their own addiction while gaining strength from those around them who are going through similar journeys. This kind of camaraderie is essential for any meaningful progress toward lasting sobriety.

More often than not, you don’t find the turning point; the turning point finds you. But you need to take action to make yourself open to change.

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We Asked His Protection and Care With Complete Abandon

The saying, “We Asked His Protection and Care With Complete Abandon,” is often heard in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. This phrase represents a belief that by completely surrendering to a higher power, we can find protection and love – and therefore, sobriety.

It’s not uncommon for those who struggle with addiction to feel alone or to want to try to do everything on their own, but giving ourselves up to a guiding force can open us up to new opportunities. Having complete abandonment of all doubts or fears can foster hope in seemingly impossible times and encourage faith in an unknown path forward.

Coming to Trust a Higher Power of Your Understanding

Trust a Higher Power

Many of those involved in AA regard this statement as crucial in understanding the core principles related to their recovery process. Ultimately, it’s about recognizing that there are others out there who will provide the strength we need when facing the most difficult battles.

Keep in mind that “His” doesn’t have to mean God – it simply means your higher power (HP). This can be anything you want it to be. Your HP can come in many forms and be anything you want it to be. You could look to an organized religion’s HP, your own beliefs constructed over time, or even find solace in the beauty of nature.

Recognize that whatever form your higher power takes, it can provide guidance, healing, and growth, which can empower you to believe in yourself and work through adversity.

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Reach Out and Give it Your All to Find Recovery

Everyone deserves helpful, compassionate treatment when struggling with alcohol and drugs. That’s why we offer the best services to provide you with the options necessary to succeed. We don’t judge, we just want to see you get better and stay healthier for the long term.

We will help make sure you get connected to the treatment you deserve. Contact Find Addiction Rehabs if you’re ready for help.

All calls are confidential, so please reach out in confidence today to get options for your recovery now!

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