Monday, March 19, 2012

Keep it simple stupid

Yes, this title sounds harsh.  No, it’s not meant to put anyone down nor is it meant to label anything or anyone stupid.  This is a slogan around recovery communities that isn’t used so much anymore.  It’s usually just said as ‘Keep it simple’, which I admit is a great message by itself.  For me though, the stupid works.  I didn’t always agree that it was a useful saying.  The reason it works for me now and didn’t a few years ago is that my perception, the way I view myself in relation to everything and everyone, has drastically changed.  I used to feel like a little piece of terd.  If someone was trying to help me, but used a slogan with a derogatory term at the end, I took it as a personal offense.  I couldn’t hear the message through the delivery.  I don’t feel smaller or less than anyone today nor do I feel at all unintelligent.  Yet now, more than ever, “keep it simple stupid” really does make good, logical sense.  

The ‘stupid’ reminds me that I must remain teachable.  I heard it said best like this, “You can’t teach someone something they already know.”  I spent years telling people I couldn’t stay sober or stop purging.  I would tell them exactly why that was.  I would tell them what I needed to do if I was ever going to ‘get it’ and then all the reasons and emotions that prevented me from doing any of those things.  Clearly, I was not going to change because I had it all figured out.  I knew all the answers to all my problems and no one could convince me otherwise.  So, neck deep in despair and desperation, I held onto just enough intellectual egoism to stay stuck and miserable.  

Finally, finally, finally, I just didn’t know.  I had no ideas or solutions of my own and couldn’t find any persuasive arguments to excuse myself from trying something different.  It took what it took for me.  I could tell stories upon stories that lead me to the day I ran out of ideas, but I could not begin to guess why it was that day that it happened.  It simply did.  Without answers I began listen to folks who appeared to have them.  Stupid me was the beginning of the me I have become today.  It gave me enough willingness and openmindedness to seek a simple solution.  Thank God I did.  It really is simple! 

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