We humans sure do think a lot! All day, every day… its what we do.
Then, we choose to act or to not act on any particular thought. It generally happens in an instant and we don’t even notice that we are constantly processing thoughts.
Sometimes while at the local convenience store, a rose attracts my attention. You know, those flowers at the checkout. They are there for the purpose of impulse buying… great extra cash for the store. Anyway, sometimes I buy one for Lisa, bringing it home with such pride (especially when I am not in trouble), and presenting it to her with a mention of my love and appreciation for her. The look in her eyes is enough reward for me.
And, why did I buy that rose? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all good ideas at the time were healthy and positive?
Many years ago, when I had about 5 years’ sobriety, I was strolling though a warehouse retail store in Albuquerque, when I spotted a full pallet of baking soda boxes… jumbo size! Above it on the upper racks were more pallets of the same product. My immediate thought was, “Oh, my, if I only had enough cocaine to cook with all that baking soda…” I just stared and began to sweat like I was in a sauna. I couldn’t move for a few seconds. Then I felt my carriage being pulled forward and I snapped out of that mesmerizing moment.
Reality sunk in and I realized how dumb that thought was… heck, I didn’t have the money to accomplish such a task. But, hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time! I remained sober, but as you can see, I have never forgot that event.
How can we entertain such a thought, when we surely know the disastrous results?
I learned that day about that “strange mental blank spot” referred to in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is a phenomenon that can occur at any instant, and that can end in disastrous results, from relapse to death.
A drink nearby on a table, an open door on a bar that I walk by, any offering that we can jump on in an instant can be the thing that gets us, seemingly without much thought processing. A sip, hit, piece… strange indeed, but sadly a reality. Seems it is in our DNA. But it IS in our thought process because it seems like a good idea at the time.
How can we live our lives and not get caught in that trap of the strange mental blank spot, which erases all knowledge of addiction or alcoholism? That instant where we forget how good a sober life is for us? How we know that ONE is too much? How we know the damage we would again cause all those around us?
The answer is actually pretty simple. It is “work”. We must do the work that allows us to live in a society where booze, pot, heroin, cocaine, Xanax, Percs, and all the other stuff exists, seemingly all around us. All of that exists within two blocks or so of where I live. Heck, we keep wine here for cooking.
As a sober man, I can assure you that working a dedicated program for recovery on a daily basis, internalizing the concepts of that program and maintaining your sobriety as the first priority in your life allows you the chance to think things through before reacting to that good idea at the time.
As a former substance abuse counselor and as a current Sober Recovery Coach and Sober Companion, I can tell you that there are many programs that will afford you sobriety, and will provide you with long-term sobriety IF… you do the daily work.
I help people almost every day to identify, plan, and adopt such a program. I work hard to help them gain a strong foothold in sobriety, both within their chosen program as well as outside if it.
The process begins with first cleansing the body of the alcohol and/or the other drugs, Then the work begins.
We can learn to study our good ideas at the time, to and separate the bad ones from the truly good ones.
Well, I am going to get on with my own life now, as I am sure that Lisa is waiting for what may next seem like a good idea at the time… and so am I.
About the Author:
Dave Innis, CRC, is an independent certified recovery sober coach and companion. He works with recovering alcoholics and addicts globally, either in person, via Skype sessions, phone or email. Dave Innis began as a counselor in late 1994 and has worked in the field both in the southwest and eastern US. Dave operates in the US as well as globally, and lives in Chicopee, Ma. Dave will work with individuals, families, employers or recovery agencies upon request.
Please share this… maybe you can save someone from acting on a bad idea. Thanks, Dave