The Day I Stopped Saying ‘I Know’

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
2 min readJun 6, 2024

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An excellent share from an AA sister began with her saying, “The turning point in my recovery was the day I stopped saying, I know.”

She continued, “The two most dangerous words for an alcoholic of my type are, I and know. Recovery requires three conditions: teachability, ego reduction and a realization that I am not the Highest Power.

When I say these words, I terminate all three conditions: I stop learning, assert my ego, and deny there is anything higher than me. It is a complete bar to Recovery. And if that were not enough, it terminates any dialogue.

“Alcoholics who hope to Recover must become teachable. I know, eliminates any teachability. The teaching moment is gone as soon as I say these words. I have nothing to learn if I already know.

I know, is the hallmark of ego. I am saying I am independent and self-sufficient, and by the way, I am in charge.

I know, says there is nothing present which is greater than me. If I say, Yeah, yeah, I know, to a person, I am saying I am his or her equal. If I say to God, I know I am saying, “You have nothing to offer me. I am your equal.” Whether I say I know out loud or think it in my head, I assert that nothing present is greater than me.

“Finally, how many of us have heard someone say to us, “You have to do something about your drinking,” and replying, I know, I know. The phrase is terminally dismissive. It ends the conversation and any hope of progress.

“This simple two-word phrase is powerful and deadly. It bars all progress or hope of Recovery. Losing it was the best thing I have done.”

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Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.