The 10 Possible Meanings of This Popular AA Acronym

Alcoholics Anonymous (which is better known by its acronym, AA) is a program that welcomes individuals who struggle with alcoholism and motivates them to live a happy and healthy life. Through group meetings, therapeutic techniques, and non-stop support, AA gives people the tools they need to stay sober and alcohol-free forever.

In AA, members practice what is taught to them from what is known as The Big Book. The Book highlights all AA principles and messages in one place. It addresses a variety of emotions that individuals fear as they go through recovery, including fear. Fear is something that affects all of us and comes along with a sense of impending doom or anxiety. According to The Book, “Fear is an evil, corroding thread; the fabric of our lives is shot through with it.”

Those who struggle with alcoholism usually drink to cope with the fact that they are afraid of themselves, someone in their lives, something they have to face, or the unknown future. Fear occupies their lives, and alcohol may help them momentarily forget it. However, alcohol does not mask fear for long. Most of the time alcohol abuse will cause a person to be more afraid of what is to come.

Since so many people who struggle with alcoholism are plagued with constant fear, AA uses the term “fear” and flips it on its head to make everything seem a little less scary. AA has created several acronyms using the letters F.E.A.R. to inspire positivity and success in recovery.


What Does FEAR Mean In AA?

The acronym FEAR can stand for a variety of terms in Alcoholics Anonymous and related support groups. Here are just 10 of the possible definitions of FEAR in AA:

  1. False Expectations Appearing Real
  2. False Evidence Appearing Real
  3. Frustration, Ego, Anxiety, Resentment
  4. Failure Expected And Received
  5. Feelings Every Alcoholic Rejects
  6. Feelings Expressed Allow Relief
  7. Fighting Ego Against Reality
  8. Forget Everything and Run
  9. Face Everything and Recover!
  10. Forgetting Everything’s All Right

Of course, these terms all mean something different. But they all chalk up to the fact that while fear is a very real and very debilitating emotion, it can sometimes be based on situations that will not or cannot occur. AA, along with other parts of the recovery process, help alcoholics who have fear within them decipher what is real and what is not to achieve clarity and peace.

Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups for alcoholics use acronyms and sayings to provide inspiration and give members the push they need to stay on track. With these acronyms, AA members can condition their thoughts to be more beneficial. As silly as they may seem, sayings like this can provide quick mental guidelines for AA members and can come in handy when people need a positive reminder to keep moving forward with their recovery.