Bullshit slogan of the day:
“My disease is doing push-ups in the parking lot.”
Translation: Your addiction is waiting for you to leave Alcoholics Anonymous and stop working the steps, so it can pounce on you once again. Your cravings and urges to drink do not diminish, and the lessening in your desire to drink is owed to the invisible friend of you created in step 2. If you leave AA, your invisible friend will not go with you, and those cravings to drink will overtake you.
AA has created a kind of separate reality, complete with a Heaven (Alcoholics Anonymous), Hell (Drinking outside of AA) and Limbo (Dry Drunk Syndrome). Bill Wilson is the savior, and that little voice in the back your head telling you that what you are witnessing in AA is certified, batshit, dyed in the wool crazy – is the devil. He is the little guy AAs are referring to when they spew out this slogan.
This slogan is used effectively on a newcomer who might otherwise leave AA out fear and the desire to get away from the crazy. Later, it is used effectively on the person who no longer has a desire to drink. It scares them into staying with the program. Later, it is used by the old-timers and true believers to rationalize why continue to come to meetings, even though they have no urges to drink.
People in AA will tell stories, often using themselves as examples, of people who left AA and fell right off the wagon. All of these are cited as evidence of what happens if a person stops working the steps, but examples of those who stop working the steps and don’t start drinking again are completely disregarded. In AA, “take what you want and leave the rest” extends to anecdotal examples in proving the effectiveness of the program. AAs have an uncanny ability to manipulate perception by wrapping things in slogans. In the case of this slogan, they are manipulating “cause and correlation”. Here is what I mean:
Most people who try to quit drinking will fail. This is a statistical truth. Most AAs who begin drinking again will stop going to AA, just as most members of weight watchers who revert to eating fast food and cheesecake will stop weighing in at their meetings. Nether group failed because they stop attending meetings. They stopped attending meetings because they failed.
AA takes every failure, and exploits this correlation by making it appear that the reason these people failed was because they left the program. Story after story is told of people who left the program and failed, reinforcing the idea that leaving AA is a cause for failure – and it is supported with mind numbing slogans like this one. This is the false choice presented to a person who is “free to leave the program anytime”. Sure, a person can leave; but in so doing, they are leaving without their guardian angel, and into a world where the disease devil has been waiting to pounce.