Should You Really Trust Yourself to Think Think Think?
Think think think? I think not! I’ve got to get real about my own great ideas; they suck. And, here’s why:
Look, we were given brains to use. And I’m all for using them there brains, once they’re straightened out. But, the truth of my experience is that my thinking has been altered (to my detriment) by years of self-centeredness, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity—not to mention drugs and alcohol.
Before I cleaned up, my very best intentions landed me at rock bottom, got me gently placed behind doors with no knob on my side, bunking with people I feared may kill me at any moment. (Makes for a light 16 or so nights of sleep.)When I first sobered up I was suffering from a major case of alcohol withdrawal symptoms , and my best intentions were definitely insufficient, given that I could barely muster up the courage to get out of bed or brush my teeth. Left to my own devices, I would have stayed in bed and cried for the first two years of my recovery.
Now, listen, when I say “best intentions” I’m not mocking you or myself, my friends—I actually did have good intentions most of the time, and meant no harm. The problem is that my thinking was so skewed, it was impossible for me to see how my best thinking was actually creating my problems. Good motives coupled with an alcoholic mind still left me with less than the desired results. Unless I was actually interested in living in remorse, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and terror… In that case, it could be argued that I was doing a darn good job at running my own life!
It was, in fact, my sponsor who told me that she didn’t care what I thought, how I felt, or what I wanted to do—I had to get out of bed. Then I had to brush my teeth, and call her to let her know I had done so. I’m certain I’m not the only person for whom these simple tasks were pretty much impossible to perform without aid.
All that to say— until you are certain you can trust your own thinking 100% of the time (good luck with that!) then it simply can’t hurt to run your ideas past somebody who has your best interest at heart. And if you look around and there’s nobody around who has your best interest at heart—go get somebody! Get a great therapist, a minister, an old family friend, or somebody who has been walking on a spiritual path and practicing those principals for a solid amount of time. I’ve saved myself a tremendous amount of pain by practicing restraint of pen and tongue (especially when I get excited about that great idea!) until I’ve prayed, meditated, done some writing, and talked with my sponsor. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite practices is waiting for 72 hours before making any major decisions. I practice that, even today, with a little time under my belt.
Now, what makes me the expert? Not much. But I am telling you the truth— from my experience. And I do have quite a bit of that. Oh, and I’m the host of my own show, which automatically makes me an authority, right? God, I hope so.
Speaking of the show-- it’s already time to plug that sucker! I hope you’ll join us on www.BagheadSponsor.com for some ridiculous recovery videos, including this article’s companion video on “Think Think Think?!” It’s almost as if decent and hilarious commentary on the 12 step program of your choice is just a mouse click away. Until next time… do the next right thing, take it easy, and whatever you do-- don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself. Oh, and think that good idea through-- all the way to your sponsor’s house.
Saving lives. One episode at a time.