Tools for Recovery

The Serenity Prayer

Al-Anon suggests the words of the Serenity prayer can help us gain perspective, sort out what we can and cannot do, and know when to act and when to let go.

God grant me the Serenity

to Accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can

and Wisdom to know the difference.

The Three Legacies: Al-Anon’s Guiding Principles

Al-Anon has three sets of guiding principles that are referred to as our Three Legacies. These Legacies were adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous. The Legacies include:


Al-Anon uses slogans to assist members to recover during difficult periods:

  • One Day at a Time

  • Think

  • Let Go and Let God

  • Easy Does It

  • Listen and Learn

  • Together We Can Make It

  • First Things First

  • Live and Let Live

  • Principles Above Personalities

  • Keep It Simple

  • Love, Learn and Grow

  • Progress, Not Perfection

  • How Important Is It?

  • Just For Today

  • Mind My Own Business

  • Keep An Open Mind

  • But for the Grace of God

  • Let It Begin With Me


Alcoholism is a family disease.

Living with the effects of someone else’s drinking is too devastating for most people to bear without help.

In Al-Anon we learn individuals are not responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it.

We let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights; lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves.


  • Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people;

  • Not to allow ourselves to be used or abused by others in the interest of another’s recovery;

  • Not to do for others what they could do for themselves;

  • Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink;

  • Not to cover up for anyone’s mistakes or misdeeds;

  • Not to create a crisis;

  • Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.

Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgment or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person’s alcoholism can have upon our lives. Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible.