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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Rules for a Reason

sub·mis·sion (noun) :

The action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or the will or authority of another person.

Variations of board games have been around for thousands of years. Evidence of the games Ur, Senet, Hounds, and Jackals have been discovered deep under today’s surfaces in the Middle East. And though games have developed and multiplied, they share one common theme, and that is that there are associated rules that apply. Players must agree to play by these rules, submitting to their constructs for the experience to have any validity.

Digital games developed for current generations, such as PUBG, Fortnite, and Minecraft, are much more complex, have many more options, and bring a more intense emotional element to the gamer. Still, rules must be accepted, lest chaos and a void of purpose exist.

Successful societies have abided by structured rules since twenty-two centuries Before Christ. The Code of Hammurabi, a standard guide on determining legal and illegal, was enacted in 1754 BC and has morphed into the global rules that most today follow.

Rules are designed to keep people and players safe while allowing individual freedom to succeed. They are guardrails that keep us in the game. Regulations attempt to maintain the playing field level to make the experience pleasurable for all participants.

There are a few exceptions to rules-based activities. One should always become familiar with rules pertaining to the objective they seek.

As there are rules of submission in life, there are also rules when taking on sobriety. We were happy to find out that there was really only one rule (as we were not fond of over-regulation in our lives.), followed by a dozen or so “suggestions.”

Daily abstinence is the only condition that is mandatory for the healing process of abuse to begin. One can stop there but will be A) overly exposed and significantly susceptible to relapsing and B) left short of the available rewards for those willing to follow the suggestions laid out in 12-step recovery.

Submitting to the words and suggestions found on the pages of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” has altered the trajectory of our lives from doom to dreams, chaos to calm, and wreckage to relationships.

We can quit the game any time we wish – but are having so much fun winning that we rarely entertain the thought. We know today that the guidelines we adhere to have produced results we once thought unattainable.


oday we submit to 12-step recovery. In our waking moments, we are submissive to honesty,hope, surrender, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, love, responsibility, discipline, awareness, and service.

We are grateful for the roster of self-imposed rules that we follow today. They were taught to us, unselfishly, by those that have succeeded in sobriety. The rulebook and game guides are available to anybody who wants to conquer this new and exciting world.

Will you join us?

True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself.”

Henry Miller (autobiographical author 1891-1980)


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a podcast #E22 Is "Surrender" a Key to Sobriety? - It's Not just a Cheap Trick Song... …the episode dropped on 9/1/2021 Click here to hear the podcast.


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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