Paradoxes of Recovery

A paradox is a statement that apparently contradicts itself and might be true.

  • “When we surrender our ‘freedom,’ we become truly free” (SA 81).
  • The way up is down.
  • To win, I had to surrender and admit defeat.
  • I had to die to myself in order to live.
  • Arrest and surrender in order to be set free.
  • If we don’t give it away, we can’t keep it.
  • Start taking the right actions toward others before it feels natural.
  • Through powerlessness, I receive the power—and love—that come from above.
  • This is a selfish, self-centered program of selfless self-giving.
  • “We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength” (AA 68).
  • From weakness (adversity) comes strength.
  • We forgive to be forgiven.
  • We suffer to get well.
  • We surrender to win.
  • From darkness comes light.
  • From dependence we found independence.
  • “I was finally able to realize I could do without sex completely, and, paradoxically, that was when sex became clean and free and good” (RC 60).
  • “The divine paradox of giving is finding your own reward” (12&12 109).
  • “Step One showed us an amazing paradox: We found that we were totally unable to be rid of the alcohol obsession until we first admitted that we were powerless over it” (AA 107).

Bob M., Australia

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