In the 12 Step movement I belong too Ala-Anon. Alcoholism has two faces. The first is AA committed to helping the drinker to stay sober. Al-Anon is for those people whose lives has been touched by someone else’s drinking.
Actually Al-Anon does not ask questions. If you need the strength and comfort the program provides you are welcome. AS it works out people who come thinking there are no Alcoholics in their lives in time in the program find out there are many alcoholics all through their lives.
An Al-Anon person feels that it is their duty and best effort comes from them controlling the drinker so he will not drunk. They might as well be trying to stop the surf. The result is they become control freaks just like I was when I finally got to the program.
As a consequence Al-Anons often say “As drinking is to AA thinking is to us”. Our job is to learn to trust the love of God to order our lives. We realize we cannot cure them, we can not control them and we did not cause them to drink.
It therefore seems out of line for Al-Anon to have as an official slogan “Think”. In my own life there are two thought excesses. The is excessive analisis. Here is an example of too much analysis.
I was riding around with one of my favorite people. Here name is Tami Lewis. I spotted a DON’T LITTER sign. I said. That is a bad sign because there is no built in reward system. If you don’t litter nothing happens. If the sign was “LEAVE IT ClEANER” It would be better because after you take an action. You could say. “I did a good thing. I picked up some trash.
I felt “Man that is so smart”. I expected a reaction like that from Tami but she just sat there quietly. Finally she said “That is the first time in my life anyone has ever analyzed a “DON”T LITTER” sign. I instantly spotted the excessive analyzing problem in what I said and smiled a self conscious smile
Another thought problem was compulsive responses.A week ago I went grocery store I spotted a huge package of plastic cups and bought it It had four columns of stacked cups. There must have been 225 plastic cups. I thought with those I wouldn’t have to wash glasses. How wonderful.
In that instance I acted impulsively
First washing glasses is so easy to do, The second problem was that if I used plastic cups it violated my conscious. The slogan ” Think” teaches me to take notice of what I am about to say so I do not over examine. “Think” Also helps me spot my tendency to overreact. I am very glad for the “THINK’ slogan.