Teachable Moments

What Have Been Your Biggest Teachable Moments?

There are many teachable moments on our journey to becoming recovered alcoholics available to us if we are willing to do the inventory needed to embrace them.  There are at least 21 specific examples in the first 164 pages of the big book where the author calls them out for us.  Here are just a few…


“It relieved me somewhat to learn that in alcoholics the will is amazingly weakened when it comes to combating liquor, though it often remains strong in other respects.”


“We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics.”


“We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions.”


“We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people.”


“Tell him how baffled you were, how you finally learned that you were sick.”


“You will learn the meaning of “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Would You Like To Share Yours Here?

I created this section of the site to share alcoholics’ most teachable moments in an effort to let that experience, strength and hope help others.  CLICK HERE to share your most teachable moment and I will be happy to post it here.  Any moments you share with me will be anonymity protected and will follow the guidelines as outlined in Tradition 11.

shared teachable moments

Only One Thing I Can Do Perfect

“As the years go by, it doesn’t matter how much step studies, tradition studies or other book studies I attend, meetings I go to, how often I work with my sponsor or the amount of service I do, the only thing I will perfect in Alcoholics Anonymous is staying sober one day at a time. The rest is left for negotiation after investigation.”

– William M., Waianae, Hawaii

Insanity Doesn’t Have an Expiration Date

“At 29 years sober while on a business trip in NYC, I was staying at a hotel and I woke up one morning and the coffee maker in my hotel room was broken.  UGH!  I put on my clothes, go down to the front desk and ask, “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?”  The clerk says, “Ok, walk out the front door, turn left, walk down the sidewalk to the next corner, turn left, go two streets, turn right….” (blah, blah, blah – that’s what I heard). So instead of saying something snarky like, “Are you kidding me with this?” I said, “Thank you.”

I walked out the door and as I was walking, I noticed there is a Hampton Inn connected to the hotel I was staying in.  If you’ve ever stayed in a Hampton Inn, you know what they have in the lobby.  FREE COFFEE!  So, just like I was staying there, I walked in the front door, walked over to the coffee station, got me a to go cup, and walked out the door – JUST LIKE I WAS STAYING THERE.  So, at 29 years sober, my untreated alcoholism (in that moment) told me it was okay to basically STEAL a cup of coffee. Without going into all the gory details, my HP didn’t let that selfishness, self-centeredness, and dishonesty last long.

Because I do want to have the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery in my life, within 15 minutes I was standing in front of the hotel manager at that Hampton Inn making an amends (making it right – not saying I’m sorry), paying her for the coffee and doing the next right thing.  In that moment, one of my biggest teachable moments occurred… “Insanity Doesn’t Have and Expiration Date.”  2 days, 2 months, 2 years or 20 years…. if I am not hyper aware of my defects of character in the moment as they are happening (and connected to a God of my understanding), I stand the chance of my alcoholism becoming untreated once again.”

– Rick W., Grapevine, TX