Top Ten: You Know You’re An AA Member If…

  1. The crazy cat lady won’t stop accosting you with her lunatic, spit-flying rants, and it takes you hours before you can politely extract yourself when she has you pinned to the wall with her desperate eye contact, because, hey, God must have chosen her as your sponsor for a reason. (Don’t forget to call her first thing in the morning, before you make any decisions.)
  2. You were rushed to the emergency room to be re-hydrated, from weeping through your drunkalog for the 21st time this week.
  3. Your group has numbered all the slogans, just to save time, and you laugh your ass off every time Burt says “Yeah, well, number 271.” (It’s all in the delivery.)
  4. Your car looks like this:

    Image procured by Donald T. Quinn

  5. You are grateful to the church for providing a basement where you can pray to your Higher Power, Ted Nugent.
  6. Hey, God wouldn’t have made you horny if He didn’t have a lesson in mind for that sweet piece of… uh… newcomer.
  7. You’re always driving around lost: You’re so comfortable with contradiction that you don’t know what to do when your GPS tells you to take a left. (But, it’s OK. God’s driving; and you’re exactly where you should be.)
  8. You have a poster of Bill W. on your wall, and his eyes follow you wherever you go.
  9. You made amends to someone who doesn’t even remember you, then made amends again for freaking him out, and then made amends again for holding a resentment against him because you were embarrassed, and then you reconciled the whole thing by telling yourself that it’s his problem and your side of the street is clean.
  10. You wake up one morning, and realize that you ARE the crazy cat lady.

Your turn!

  • Sarah

    OMFG yes! I laughed for the first time in a while. Thank you FTG.

  • murray

    Ha ha higher power Ted Nugent at least he is a teetotaller.

    What about higher power Aerosmith? on second thought argh no.

  • true believer

    11th) God is a sugar daddy who provides you with parking spaces.

    12th) You want to give away what you have.

    Optional 13th) You are afraid to tell your new girlfriend that you have herpes, then after sex you find out it's OK, she has aids.

  • Brian

    Great list! Some more that I've experienced:

    – You have bragging competitions about who is/was the "sickest".

    – You are afraid that you will automatically identify yourself as an alcoholic when giving a presentation at school or work

    – You can't shake the feeling that there is something wrong with you, but you know you just need to go to more meetings or work your steps harder

  • @ brian. i have left to get up after a school meeting, and have been confused that every1 is not holding hands.

  • Rick045

    You know you're an AA member if…


    You think that anybody outside of AA really gives a shit how long it's been since you had your last drink…

  • murray

    You go out on a 12th step mission telling the lucky candidate how non religious and great AA is whilst simultaneously feeling like a lying sack of shit.

  • k

    You think alcoholics are of subspecies of humans knowns as alkies as opposed to the nominate race the normies

  • k

    Your a proper AAer when you start to realise you have to be rigorously dishonest in meetings about your meds or any outside help you are getting

  • k

    When you start wearing stupid jewellery with the AA emblem that makes you look like a weird cross between a free mason and a devil worshipper and you are continually asking random people if they are a friend of bill ws

  • AndyM

    If AAers want something to look profound and deeply spiritual they always opt for that ghastly funeral parlour gothic typeface with red capital letters. Have they got a patent on this?

  • poetwomyn

    you and your aa clique get the aa symbol tattooed in exactly the same space.


    you become even more self-centered than you were when you were drinking.

  • Rick045

    You don't notice the weird looks you get because you insist on muttering "thank god I don't have to drink over it" every time you make a simple mistake.

  • Mark Mounce

    You have a bumper sticker that says " Bill said it, I believe it,…that settles it"

  • Ohi

    You sponsor has your boss's phone number on speed dial.

  • Alex T

    Thank you very good

  • Rotten Ralph

    Donald T. Quinn:

    Looks like you have also managed to mock a Native American Vietnam veteran with your picture. Didn't you notice the other stickers on the back of his truck, or didn't you care enough to blur them out along with his license plate?

    Did you bother to ask him if you could use that picture of his truck on this site to mock him and his beliefs, or was that too much of a bother for you? I don't care for AA and have made that clear in my postings, but I don't attack those people that actually are holding on to life with it.

    To me this picture looks like just another cheap shot at minorities and veterans, but I suspect it was the natural thing for you to do. I am part Seneca and proud of it, and have experienced this sort of abuse many times before. There is a graveyard on the reservation nearby, and almost half the graves there are those of US veterans, proudly displaying US flags.

    • MA

      I believe Rotten Ralph is pulling his arguments out of his ass again.

  • Rotten Ralph,

    I was the one who didn't blur whatever you think needs blurred. I'm responsible for posting that picture.

    [I deleted the rest of my comment here.]


  • k

    So its ok to mock AAers aslong as they are not indian. Being from the UK I don't understand how you know its indian anyway.

    Its not against the law to take photos. Google street view has asked permission, what they have done is more intrusive than a photo of a back of car.

    I like the car it has character, its got silly stickers on it but then man city fans probably think the man utd stciker on the back of my car is silly.

    Lets not get too PC and rotten about it all ralph, nothing malicious was meant


  • Ralph,

    My grandmother is half Blackfoot.
    You can learn about the Blackfoot here…

    I don't usually like to talk about my service… but for your information… I am a United States Army Veteran who served in the 24th Infantry Division (a rapid deployment mechanized infantry division)

    You can learn more about the 24th here…

    It's not against the law to take a picture of someones truck in Massachusetts.
    You can learn more about Massachusett's wire tapping laws here…

    I had every intention of allowing ftg to post the picture, and she made sure that the license plate was blotted out.

    The funny thing is… This truck was plastered from bumper to bumper with AA slogans… Every fender was just like the tailgate.

    I think it's a good example of how fanatical AA members can be.

    So much for this guys anonymity… huh???

    First To Fight Ralph… and while we're at it… Victory!

  • Rotten Ralph

    Donald T. Quinn:

    My grandmother was half Seneca, and I already know something of the Blackfoot people.

    Anyone may take a photograph of any person or their property anywhere in the USA, but usage of that photo is where things get sticky. That truck tailgate is as distinctive as a fingerprint, and I'd bet that dozens of people could identify the owner from it. His AA anonymity wasn't the issue at all (he obviously didn't care  much about it himself), but the other stickers photographed alongside the "drunk junk" were, at least to me. Your photo linked AA, the VVA, and Native American art all together in an attempt to ridicule fanatical AA support, and I took exception to that approach. I would not have done as you did, but might have photographed the truck from a different angle where only the AA stickers showed, if I chose to take any pictures at all (the issue of the public ridicule on this site of an identifiable truck owner still remains). I am really surprised that as a Native American and a veteran that you didn't realize all this.


    The vertical stickers on either side of the VVA stickers are Native American art, and I have never seen the sort on any vehicle other than a "Indian" vehicle. As far as I know, only reservation shops sell them. I have never been accused of being PC by anyone, I was "rotten" only when I drank (hence my nickname), and I saw no malice, just carelessness in the photo.


    What's this language about "pulling arguments out my ass"? Are you filling in for McGowdog – he's another person I've seen post like that. Maybe a visit to the Dunce Room would do you some good, or is that place only for AA supporters?

    Quinn can speak for himself; that's why I addressed my first post to him. He has responded, but I still feel that he was wrong about that photo. Why don't you just wander over to some other thread and let Quinn and I perhaps work this out?


    You didn't take the photo, and probably couldn't recognize the Native artwork or the significance of the VVA/POW/MIA stickers. As I told M A, I raised the issue to Quinn himself as the photographer, and if others just butt out it might be worked out. We have a couple things in common…



  • Rotten Ralph "I raised the issue to Quinn himself as the photographer, and if others just butt out it might be worked out"

    Quit violating our first amendment rights! Sheez!


  • I just can't stay outta this one.


    I don't consider myself to be any more native American than anyone else who was born here in the USA.

    I do believe you are pulling ridiculous arguments out of your ass.

    Why don’t you just wander over to some other thread and let me and the guy with the truck, plastered with nutty bumper stickers, work this out?

    Do you really think he needs to be defended by you? Are you that delusional Ralph? Are you really fighting for the rights of American Indians, or are you pissed off because I disagreed with you in another post?

    Do you always get upset when others disagree with you?

    You know what I'm gonna do Ralph? I'm going to ignore you from this point on… and I'm gonna suggest that others do the same, because frankly Ralph. I think you are just a baiting AA troll who can't stand it when people speak out about what's really going on in those dirty church basements that you love so much.

    "Keep comin" Ralph! But don't expect another reply from me.

    Have a nice "life second to none."

  • Rotten Ralph

    Donald T. Quinn:

    If you don't consider yourself Native American, then why did you mention it, and provide the link to the Blackfoot tribe? I am well known in this region as an advocate for Native American rights (which are under attack again by NYS), and personally regard blood as thicker than water.

    I didn't have the time or interest enough to check out your 24th I.D. link, but would have liked to hear of any combat experience you may have.

    I am not aware of any other postings you may have made about me, and don't care to look for them now. I think it would be great if you could take possibly this matter up with the truck owner, and I suggested that in my first post.

    I don't have any use for AA (it took a court order to get me into it in the first place), and try to stay out of all churches. I don't thank the program for my 31 years of sobriety, but I also don't attack those people who benefit from it. If you have followed my posts you would have seen that. As far as "baiting"is concerned. that is what this site appears to be all about. If one dishes it out, then they should be able to take it (although I wasn't trying to do bait you). I don't mind disagreements and arguments at all, as long as they're civil.

    I tried to work this out with you, and if you want to remain resentful (yes, that's the word) about what I have posted, well fine, just go ahead and sulk then. Replies like yours above don't help anyone. I just can't regard your attitude as either very mature or very healthy.


    I have seen about enough of your site to well realize its' limitations. You do a fine job of criticizing 12-step programs, without providing any constructive answers. You are also guilty of much the the same BS as in AA. I am going to take a "sabbatical" from this site for a few months, and then will check back (if it is still online). I have a hunch that all the academics and wordy "intellectuals" here will have bored each other silly and left by then, or will have returned to whatever habits that led them here in the first place.

  • Ralph sez:

    "I have a hunch that all the academics and wordy “intellectuals” here will have bored each other silly and left by then, or will have returned to whatever habits that led them here in the first place."

    You're really exposing a lot more about your own resentments and limitations than anyone else's.

    That's the pitfall of being a scold, I guess. Seeya in a few months.

  • Ez

    Ralph, take what up with the truck owner, your objections? I feel the serenity washing over me.

  • Rick045

    I've actually done a few things on this list, and I'm glad that I had some 'normies' in my life to call me on them. FTG did a wise thing by adding number ten because it captures that moment when we do realize what we've become, and that's also what saves this from being just plain ridicule. AAers routinely ridicule each other, and they think it's cute, but as soon as an outsider pokes a little fun, they go ballistic.

    It's hard to see what's so beneficial about an organization that instills that kind of cultish zealotry and total self-absorption. You know you're really an AA member if you think that means anything other than simply being an AA member…

  • lilmissamiture

    1.When you plan on what you are going to say in an A.A meeting to get a good responce and say things that contradict what you realy think.

    2.when christas is approching i get the same friend on the phone with the same stuff. The adverts with the bailys is talking to me!!! ARHHHHHHHH.

    3.When you start to agree with A.Aers that christmas is a time for amitures.

    4.When you constantly try not to judge others. but inevitably end up doing so.

    5.when you get in to compotition with other A.Aer about how much servise you do.

    6. When you start saying "its Quolity not quontity"


  • Karl P

    You know you’re a 12 Stepper when…

    … No matter how insane meeting attendance is making you, you are assured by your sponsor that you just need to go to more meetings.

    … You have a distinct need to hide and cover up your membership from all professional ties.

    … You have a fight with your partner about not being home (cause you were at a meeting and out with fellowship after the meeting) much after work and think that more meetings is the answer.

    … You spend hours trying to convince others to give up on a large chunk of both their core beliefs, life commitments/goals and important relationships in order to get sober or they will die.

    … You are discouraged from thinking about things rationally.

    These are likely not funny but tie into my thoughts and feelings around the subject nonetheless. I could come up with these all day and even through some profane language into the mix!

    Note, this is a funny thing that I have learned. They say that anything can be your Higher Power, like Ted Nugent for instance. As long as it is loving, caring and forgiving (I am sure Ted fits that criteria). However, I once attempted to use Logic as my Higher Power as I see it as the ultimate in loving, caring and forgiving but what I found was that it led me further and further away from the programs ideology. Ergo, the true required elements of a 12 Step Higher Power is not just loving, caring and forgiving but irrational too.

    * I wish I had the drive to proof read this post but I do not * 🙂

  • Johnny Crash

    I have to get a Bill Wilson Picture and put LED lights where the eyeballs would be …. frame it and everything 🙂

  • hulahoop

    When you absolutely believe the cunning, powerful, baffling bottle booze used its higher intellect to trick you in to taking a drink again.

    When you choose to not to attend a family event because going to a meeting is more important. Or when you refuse to attend a family function because there is going to be wine served with supper. You decide to go to a meeting instead.

    When you have the Serenity Prayer posted on your front door…the twelve steps taped to the bathroom mirror in every bathroom, a copy of the big book in every room of your house, and you change the slogan daily on your refrigerator with those ABC magnets kids use.

  • You spend valuable time at the Alano Club cleaning the ashtrays, coffee pot and re-arranging chairs instead of being home and trying to find ways to build your family relationships back to a sustainable level.

    Instead of talking about relationship problems with your significant other, you talk to only your sponsor about it and they decide you need to go to more meetings.

  • Swamibedpan

    You spend all day reading the stinkin thinkin website and it makes no sense to you whatsoever.

  • Skeptic

    what swamibedpan said.

  • ..Other than talking in 12 step slogans, you also talk in Eagles lyrics.

    Your bff’s all have motorcycles and wear chaps, but never helmets. They read biographies on Hell’s Angels, but have actually met two live members. This is OK, b/c they have their own fifth chapter badass-ness thing going on.

    You just turned down the job opportunity of a lifetime b/c taking it meant you’d miss the nooner. And really, what is this life without the nooner.

    … you buy new lipstick, get your hair foiled, and purchase a new tube top to go with your boot cut jeans from 2003 cuz yer gonna get your four month chip tonight and everybody’s lookin’.

  • Sue

    Google: Top Ten Reasons To Run From Alcoholics Anonymous

    Quit now, or if you havent started, dont. Maybe you have seen it but if not, enjoy!!

  • You obey your sponsor’s instruction NOT TO EVEN PEEP at the orange papers and stinkin thinkin.

  • MikeAugustine

    LOL, hyacinth. I’m wondering if the no Orange Papers/ST rules is now being instructed to sponsees in the rooms. Unfortunately for the cult, telling an addict not to do something will likely lead them to do just the opposite. You gotta love the First Amendment and the Web.

  • Swamibedpan

    You have memorised the preamble.

  • Swamibedpan

    You start believing that your drunkalog is what actually happened.

  • You insist that AA is a program of “attraction rather than promotion” and that only a small percentage of followers are mandated by the Court System when you are talking to the Inmates because of the Hospital and Institution (H&I) that you are the head of in your area.

  • @MkeAugustine; I went to a meeting last week and heard a newcomer who was doing 90/90 say that his sponsor had told him that some sites on the internet would harm his ‘recovery, and he shouldn’t look at them. It is already happening. At least they must have heard of the ops.

  • MikeAugustine

    That’s great to hear…censorship is a sign of fear. Hope springs eternal.

  • Sally


    If my sponsor told me that, I think I would have looked at the computer to see what they were talking about. Do you think it could have partly been because you put pamphlets on cars?

  • hulahoop

    You hear about SMART and avoid it because you don’t want to be too smart for the AA program.

  • You get accused of “Stinkin Thinkin” anytime you mention something that is not “Conference approved” because a corporation that does not exist to you so.

    You leave your brains at the door because a vocal and well liked felon in one of the meetings told you to.

    You immediately try to exchange phone numbers with every young newcomer that comes through the door that they left thier brains at.

  • Ooops …. corporation that does not exist told you so.

  • @Sally; no, because they hadn’t seen the leaflets at that point. But perhaps future leaflets should read, ‘DO NOT LOOK AT THESE SITES! THEY ARE OPERATED BY PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SABOTAGE YOUR RECOVERY!!! : The Orange Papers, stinkin-thinkin, SMART(tm), Rational Recovery..etc’

  • Very Interesting…….. you do not even have to tell them what sites to look at. Do a Google search for “stop stinkin thinkin”, “stop stinkin thinkin slogans” , etc……. These are the type of search terms a stepper will put in a search engine and they will find these sites on thier own. There really is no need to give them the actually address, you just have to give them a reason to put these terms in a search engine. Let Google do the rest…….

  • MikeAugustine

    I was thinking pamphlets or small business cards that ask rhetorical questions and urge the reader to conduct their own research. The die-hard believers really can’t object because a passive approach assumes that an open mind is all that is required – and AA is a very open-minded fellowship, isn’t it? (-:

    If all else fails we can always use a font that looks like old German script. JD and his ilk will be drawn to that like flies on Scheiße.

  • One way that would help the search engines to find this site is by the use of “word density”, the higher the word density of a site, the more chances of it showing up in a search engine. Currently this site has the following word density:

    Stinkin : 0.29 %
    Thinkin : 0.29 %

    1 Key word “stinking thinking”

    Stinking : no measurable word density
    Thinking : no measurable word density

    As can be seen by this analysis, a search for “stinkin thinkin” will result in a high probability of a search engine hit. A search for “stinking thinking” has a possibility but it will not result in a direct hit. One way that the probability of a direct hit can be increased is by instead of referring to this site as ST online, refer to it as “Stinkin Thinkin” instead. The more mention of those keywords or “Stinking Thinking” in your posts the better. Be aware that the search engines have algorithms that detect one time posts of keywords and disavow a post that has those keywords in them 100’s of times. They also do trend analysis of what is being search for and clicked on the most due to those keywords.

    Have a Stinkin Thinkin Day now……….

  • flannigan

    Do not , I repeat, do not ever look at that site Stinkin-Thinkin. It is horrible. Wait a minute, too late.

  • What about when Aerosmith’s newer song lyrics actually make sense in 12 step context (OK non-70s Aerosmith) instead of being just random catchphrases strung together by Steven Tyler?

    Or you realize you’ve heard Aerosmith songs written after the 70s at all? Just sayin’.

  • Leanna

    11. You get addicted to coffee & sugar (and notice that you have started putting on weight).
    12. You totally forget about diet & exercise, because AA doesn’t give a damn about your health.
    13. You live in a small town & there’s no other alternative in the town (except go back drinking in the bars, because bars, AA, & church are the only things to do in the small town!).
    14. Everyone in the meeting really don’t care what you have to say. It goes one ear & out the other. And then a few days later, they ask you the same damn question again, that you already answered!!
    15. You find yourself bored when you get home, after the meeting (meetings are only 1 hour long). And everybody can’t wait to leave & never stick around to ask if you want to go for lunch or shopping. They don’t care about you after the meeting.
    16. You try to make friends with a very friendly person, but they later turn out to be really weird folks or are “backstabbers”…You try to call them & all you get from them is, “Can I call you back later?” They never call you back either…NEVER!