Monday, March 16, 2009


From: Hope for Today, page 36: "This slogan is intended to help me think before I act, making sure my actions are wll thought out, not impulsive, compulsive, or reactive. I need to remember, though, that the slogan is not "Think, think, think, think!"
"Think" is an invitation for clarity, not endless rumination. God, help me to think, but not too much!"

I have spent a sizable portion of my life either leaping into action so as not to feel a feeling, or suffocating any possibility of action, in a quagmire of convoluted and circular thinking. I not only did autopsies on past events, I did them on a cellular level. I got down in there with the electron microscope, convinced that were the magnification only high enough, I'd find an answer to my questions.

(What usually happened, is what always seems to happen when I watch a video on YouTube - I watch the first, and some reference in that, causes me to do a search on a second topic, and from there, a third and fourth and fifth...perfect example - tonight I started out viewing a video clip of the comic Russell Peters, and ended up watching Secretariat win the Kentucky Derby..don't ask me how I got there from here...)

I'd search and search, trying to make sense of something that has no sense in it whatsoever - addiction. I had lived my life with the firm belief that if I just armed myself with enough information, and relied upon my intelligence, I would find solutions to any problem in my life. Alcoholism was merely another challenge. Once I began attending meetings, I also began to compile information about addiction from every source I could find, and what I found, after all my searching and reading and pondering was: it didn't help.

My intelligence, my ability to think, to gather information and sort, categorise, classify, was useless in the face of the alcoholic's disease. My brain was, in fact, my own worst enemy, since it locked on to the topic and ground away unstoppably until I felt as if I were going quietly mad.

So, I've had to learn to use this slogan in a very specific fashion. I use it when my emotions run high, and I'm feeling that old familiar desire to do something, anything, to give myself the illusion that I'm "fixing this." I use it when I'm feeling compelled to immediate action; I've learned that short of medical emergency, or a black bear in the back garden, very few things in life require instantaneous responses.

I don't use it as proof that 12-step gives me free rein, to drive not only myself, but anyone foolish enough to lend an ear, right around the bend, with microscopic scrutiny as to "what he meant when he said blah blah blah..."

As a program friend once commented to me: "Why would you want to try to figure out what's going on inside the alcoholic's head? He can't even stand being in there, and it's his head, why do you think he drinks so much?"

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