I have often wondered if addicts are complicated people, or people who like to make things complicated?
I know that when I ask myself this question, I find that it is me who is making life more complicated than it needs to be.
Addicts are overthinkers; we are experts at making mountains out of molehills. We can turn the littlest inconvenience into a huge personal attack.
We are great at playing the victim card and love any excuse to cry ‘oh poor me’.
We complicate life to avoid participating in it to it is fullest. I have noticed that with myself.
My need to investigate and look for the perfect solution to a problem that life serves up, is often to avoid action or to hope that the situation will magically take care of itself, without any need of intervention from me.
The truth of the matter is sometimes, and we must keep it simple.
The phase I find myself in currently is a reminder of that. Over the last two, maybe three, weeks I have sensed a sense of disconnection with myself.
Getting up each morning has been more challenging and getting to sleep each night has been difficult.
My productivity has suffered, and I seem unable to finish tasks in my usual timely manner. I have lost a little interest in reading alongside struggling to retain focus.
Now that addict in me wants to explore why;
Is it the change in seasons?
Is it because of prolonged periods being at home alone?
Is it because I cannot understand our government instructions?
Maybe it is my diet – am I getting enough nutrients? Do I need to be more active? Or am I suffering from a mental health issue?
This overthinking is what we refer to as analysis paralysis. I can overthink overthinking at times.
What I fail to realise that whilst I am exploring every possible answer, I am not taking any action.
Even if I do somehow identify the right reason, I will quickly convince myself it must be something more, and I am no closer to finding a solution.
Sometimes we must go back to basics, and we must keep it simple. They say an addict trapped in their own head with only themselves for company is in dangerous company.
The solution can be found in connecting with others. In its simplest form 12 Step recovery is the therapeutic value of one addict helping another.
So, I ask myself;
Have I been in contact with another person in recovery today?
Have I been open to helping them and have I been accepting of them helping me?
Next, I remind myself that this too shall pass.
The truth is I do not need to know why I am feeling this way. What I do need to remember that this feeling will pass.
Life is continually progressing, and my current situation, like every situation, will change.
I remind myself that I must keep it simple. I quickly ask myself whether I have contacted a loving higher power today.
Have I affirmed to myself that I am an addict and that I choose to be committed to recovery today? Instead, I find that keeping it simple will keep me grounded and avoid me living in my head.
Steps you can take to keep it simple:
Reach Out and Connect
Pick up the phone, log on to an online meeting or speak to a recovery peer. Remember an addict in their head with only themselves for company is in a dangerous situation.
Service works both ways
The therapeutic effect of one addict helping another is without parallel. This means are you not only available to help someone else but are you open to receiving yourself.
Step 11 is a daily step
What I did yesterday will not keep me clean today. Remind yourself it is a just for today programme apply what you know and aligns yourself with your higher power daily.
I hope this helps those who are not quite feeling themselves. The greatest trick addiction ever played was to convince us that no one else felt like we did.
This is a reminder you are not alone. You are never alone, ever again.