I hate to say it, but most AA slogans are pretty much nonsense. Imagine an AA bumper sticker that directly contradicts the fundamental principle of AA. I’m not sure you want to advertise advice that might kill the people you want to reign in, especially when you’re attaching AA’s namesake to a bunch of utter bullshit. Now, I’ll admit there are one or two diamonds in the rough, so I promise to give them their due another time. But for now, let’s just take it from the top:
“Just Don’t Drink” & “Put The Plug In The Jug”
These two slogans contradict the fundamental principle of the very 1st Step of AA – that we are powerless of alcohol. Having no power over alcohol means that alcoholics have LOST the ability to ‘just not drink‘. We have lost the power to choose whether we drink or not. It is an obsession, an insanity that we cannot fight alone. Sure this might work if you’re not really an alcoholic, but for any certified alcoholic or drug addict, there is no ‘putting the plug in the jug‘. If it were that simple, we’d all be fine!
“Sit Down, Shut Up & Wait For The Miracle To Happen”
Ah, okay. This is advice I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. According to modern day AA, we should just come in, sit down, shut up and wait… and eventually a miracle will occur as we’re staring off into space drinking lukewarm coffee. First of all, if you have recently achieved sobriety, then you are freaking out inside. We can’t ‘sit down‘. We’re going nuts. Our heads are about to blow up. We need to DO something, and soon.
Second, shutting up is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. Those of us who are new to sobriety and to AA are the ones who need to open our mouths and ask, “How the hell do I get better??? I’m going crazy here and I’m not gonna make it unless someone offers me a solution that actually works!”
And finally, ‘waiting for a miracle’ might actually kill you. First of all, I can’t wait very long, folks, because I’m gonna go get jammed if I don’t start feeling better soon. Thirdly, miracles don’t zap us in the brain while we’re sitting on our asses doing absolutely nothing. We create the miracles with the help of God by getting up and taking action – in the case of alcoholics or addicts, this action would involve taking Steps.
“Easy Does It” & “Just Keep Comin'”
These may be the two most dangerous slogans from the new age of watered down AA. Alcoholics and drug addicts need to do the opposite of ‘taking it easy’ (unless you take it to mean not trying to overachieve in the beginning). We must engage in rigorous action if we are going to beat an opponent as lethal and relentless as addiction.
‘Just keep comin’ refers to ‘just keep going to meetings’. If that worked, I would have recovered ten years ago. So I feel the need to repeat here that newly sober alcoholics and drug addicts are completely insane and will not make it for very long just dragging themselves to meetings everyday. For me, meetings made no internal difference whatsoever, as I still felt untreated and depressed. I knew I was going to keep drinking and using.
If alcoholics and addicts have any chance of staying sober, they need to immediately replace their addiction with a powerful solution, a solution capable of restoring them to sanity, and certainly a solution more powerful than an AA bumper sticker slogan or a string of local meetings. I feel like hitting myself in the head when I hear these guys get up and say, “Just Keep Comin’!” That’s advice of someone who’s either not an alcoholic, or someone who thinks AA is group therapy and snack time, and the solution is to white-knuckle it until you somehow magically get better.
Don’t mean to be too harsh. I enjoy meetings, shit coffee, and someone pretending to know how to bake, too… sometimes. But this is my experience as a chronic alcoholic and drug addict. Addiction carries with it a grave spiritual imbalance that can only be addressed by fairly drastic measures.
God, show me that getting better entails more than reciting a few bumper stickers…