A “keep it simple” girl in a truly complex world

When I entered into the residential treatment center, I remember a counselor telling me that I had “analysis paralysis”.
It would seem, after I’d pondered it a bit, that she was saying that I thought too much.

“Think think think”

…a sign at the meetings read. An oldtimer liked to tell the Newbies, “That doesn’t apply to you!” I didn’t know what he meant by that, but I was pretty sure I didn’t like it.

I had always been told, before, that I should think as much as I could!
“You’re such a smart girl! You could get straight A’s if you just applied your…(mind).”
But now that they mentioned it, I reckon it hadn’t done me a whole lot of good.

image

Think thunk thank

“My best thinking got me here”

They told me to keep it simple; don’t overthink things. Considering the sh*tstorm that my life had been, they had a really strong arguement.

So, how am I supposed to stop thinking?

Thankfully, they began helping me to slow down the “Freight-train Brain”, as Dad used to call it. I found that giving my mind something simple to hold onto, like the Serenity Prayer, for example, was often enough of a distraction to keep me from mentally running myself into a ditch. I never got to be an Expert Meditator, but by listening to the Oldtimers – even the one who said that saying didn’t apply to me – I eventually got into some good habits that allowed me to “comprehend the word serenity” and even to “know peace”, however briefly. Listening to music that wasn’t connected to the old life was helpful, as well. It gave me something safe (positive lyrics) to think about, that kept my brain occupied. And my mind needed a complete overhaul, really. I was “bankrupt” in sooo many ways by the time I was ready to climb down from the throne of my life.

Simple isn’t the same as imbecilic.

After having worked on it for a couple of decades, there are many times when I mention to someone (outside of the fellowship) that I like to keep things simple, and the look on their face says I must be a complete moron. I have to smile to myself, as I recall the saying “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?” Over-analysing everything in my life (cos if I can understand all of it, maybe I can control it!) certainly didn’t find me a lot of happiness. I’d really rather be happy. And that’s as simple as it gets for me.

Posted from my cabin in the thunderclouds.

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22 responses to “A “keep it simple” girl in a truly complex world

  1. I heard someone in a meeting once use the term “mental masturbation”. He said you get a thought in your head and work it over and over, constantly playing with it and eventually you begin to realize you’re fucking yourself. (Please excuse the vulgarity.)

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  2. Amen. I’d just like to be happy too. I enjoyed reading this! I tend to over think myself and I know it only causes worry, fear, and stress where often times there doesn’t need to be any, but it’s just something I’ve always done. I’m trying to get better at that. Life really is too short….

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  3. For me it got to the point that I couldn’t pick out anything to eat at a restaurant–or even which one to go to. Finally I read somewhere to just begin going to restaurants more–just to make quick decisions and change the brain a bit.

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  4. “Listening to music that wasn’t connected to the old life was helpful, as well”

    Wow, this resonates with me. I have found that there is some music that I really love that I just can’t listen to anymore because it either takes me to a place where I don’t want to be or because it’s got a themes of glamorizing drinking. I can no longer listen to most modern country because of the fact that so much of it is about drinking and having a good time.

    So, I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz as well as more alt-country/americana lately.

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        • You’ll have to let me know what you think of KLOVE. It took me a few tries to feel comfortable with the message (it’s kinda the opposite of what I had listened to before!), but now it’s just aboit the only thing I have on my radii.

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  5. Aaaah! “Cos if I can understand all of it, maybe I can control it!” I never understood the connection to addiction but this is the control thingy with overthinking. Aaaah! Insight! Thank you! πŸ™‚ Funny thing is that today, at work, I have been having conversations in my mind with somebody and he made me aware of my overthinking and lack of being in the moment too. Guess it is time to look at it. πŸ™‚
    xx, Feeling

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  6. Pingback: Sporadic Thinking: My thoughts on Sexuality, Gender, Gender Identity, Alcoholism and anything else F*&ked up! – Tarnished Soul

  7. I get it, When I went into treatment, I thought my intellect would help me…and it did, to a point. I soaked up all the information about addiction, and I took copious notes. But when push came to shove, as it were, I have to shelve the intellect, ask for help, and keep things simple. Now with a little time under my belt, I don’t overthink things as much, but I’m also not afraid of my own mind and thoughts, either. I don’t deal in extremes as much as I used to. I have a long way to go still, but I’m a much better place now (physically, spiritually, and mentally) than I’ve been probably since I was a kid.

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  8. Oh boy, I sure am an over thinker!
    My dad always told me to THINK when I was trying to learn physics. (And that didn’t help much!)
    I never did pick a word of the year, but if I did it might be “move”.
    I over think, and then can’t make a decision so I stay stuck!
    xo
    wendy

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