Have a question? Call us! +18285390700
Who is Considered an "Oldtimer" in AA?

Who is Considered an "Oldtimer" in AA?

Who is Considered an "Oldtimer" in AA?


Alcoholics Anonymous is an incredible and life-saving organization that has helped millions of people over the years. One of the fascinating things about AA is the sense of community and camaraderie that exists among its members. This is especially true for those who have been around for a while and are considered "oldtimers". But what exactly does that mean? Who qualifies as an oldtimer in AA? That's what we're going to explore in this blog post.



First and foremost, it's important to remember that AA is not a hierarchical organization. There are no titles or ranks, and no one is more important than anyone else. With that said, the term "oldtimer" is typically used to refer to those who have been sober for a long time and are actively involved in the program. While there is no set amount of time required to be considered an oldtimer, many people would agree that it takes at least a decade or more of sobriety to earn this status.


Oldtimers are often looked up to and respected within the AA community. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be a huge asset to both newcomers and those who have been around for a while. That said, being an oldtimer doesn't necessarily mean that you have all the answers or that you're infallible. Oldtimers are still human and still have their own struggles and challenges. However, their experience and wisdom can be a real asset to anyone who is trying to stay sober and navigate the ups and downs of life in recovery.


One thing that's important to note is that being an oldtimer doesn't automatically make you a leader in AA. While many oldtimers do take on leadership roles within the organization, this is not a requirement. In fact, one of the things that makes AA so unique is that everyone has an equal voice and everyone is encouraged to contribute in whatever way they feel comfortable. Oldtimers are certainly valued members of the community, but they are not necessarily the ones calling the shots.


Another interesting thing about oldtimers is that they often have their own language and inside jokes. For example, they might talk about the "good old days" of AA, or refer to a particular meeting spot as "the clubhouse." They might also have their own lingo when it comes to recovery-related concepts, such as "getting your chip" (the practice of receiving a sobriety milestone token) or "pulling service" (volunteering to help out with tasks around the AA meeting space). These terms and phrases may seem confusing or even exclusive to newcomers, but they can also be a source of comfort and connection for those who have been around for a while.


Oldtimers are a unique and important part of the AA community. They offer a wealth of experience, wisdom, and support to those who are struggling with addiction and trying to find their way in recovery. However, it's important to remember that being an oldtimer is not about being better or more special than anyone else. We are all equal in AA, and everyone's journey is respected and valued. If you're new to AA and don't know any oldtimers yet, don't worry. Everyone starts somewhere, and with time and dedication, you too can become a valued member of the community.


  • AA is not an organization, it is a fellowship. Reference is made to tradition 9.
    (First paragraph).

    Lars H. on

Leave a comment

* Required fields

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.