Tag Archives: Keep It Simple Stupid

Against All Odds

Standing Your Ground

Standing Your Ground

For those who have not experienced addiction, it is hard to understand why a person can not simply “say no,” or “stop” their addictive behavior when they choose to do so. To a person who has not experienced the struggle of addiction, stopping is just “a matter of willpower.” I can not tell you how many times I have heard this. If only it were that easy.

Even if the addicted individual could just stop, they would not, simply because they fail to see the real cause of their difficulties. It is not the booze, drugs, sexual liaisons  gambling, etc. that is the problem; no, these things are relief from the real problem(s). In their addiction afflicted mind, the real problem is the boss at work, the wife at home, the troublesome kid in school, the multitude of people that “do not understand” them. The universe is against them. The world is out to get them.

AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) does not call alcoholism a “cunning and baffling” disease without reason. Addiction is one of the few diseases (maybe the only one) that actually tries to talk its captives into staying addicted until they lose their mind, go to jail, or die. Loosing jobs, family, homes, status, money doesn’t matter because the disease convinces us it is not the addicted person’s fault. The goal is triumph of the addiction over the soul of the afflicted; the ultimate result of this is death. This scenario can be applied to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex addiction, and many more addictions.

What makes addiction unique among diseases is that the addicted is the major catalyst for their own recovery and sustainability. They have to fight every day to succeed in staying clean/sober, etc. I was told more than a few times in the rooms of recovery that “For every 10 drunks out there, 1 makes it to the rooms of AA. For every 10 of these, 1 will stay sober for five years.” That is some scary stuff.

If someone wants recovery, they have to work at it … really hard … every day. Every day we are in recovery, we are basically granted a reprieve from our disease, for that day. The next day, we start all over again. If the work required of each individual for their successful recovery is not done, every day, the foundation of that recovery will erode and become unstable. Remember: Our disease is “cunning and baffling.” Our disease waits for these opportunities to undermine our progress in recovery.

So it is that we must stand our ground, and fight every day for our recovery. Sometimes, even in recovery, we are still going to have hard days. Some days will even be downright shitty. Life does not stop because we choose recovery. The assholes of the world are not going to stop being assholes. How we deal with all that is what makes recovery the better option for us. If we want to live, and have a chance for a better life, then we must fight the demons of our addiction(s), against the overwhelming odds that face us. Some of us will even succeed.

The First Rule: KISS

Today I got a lesson in the most basic rule of stress-free living: Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS). I was trying to figure out a problem with this new website; I only had one bar in the edit view and no “Visual” tab. So after poking around for an hour, and then looking through numerous forum pages, I was resigned to the fact that I would have to download yet another plugin and deal with that. Then a friend suggested the obvious: “Google ‘No Visual tab in edit view’ or something like that.” Well, DUH! So here it is I am getting myself all in a tizzy and halfway into freakout mode and then, wham! So being a good little boy, I Googled and found the answer. Then I followed the directions and it worked because … RIF (Reading Is Fundamental).

So there you have it folks; another example of me having to cuddle a problem and wrestle with it, and accomplish nothing instead of stepping back and seeing the big picture. (You know, the obvious.)

Every now and then we get so caught up in what we are doing, and trying to resolve an issue, that we miss the obvious solution that is right in front of us. Is this because we are not happy unless we are miserable and in the mist of some form of crisis, no matter how minor? Is it because if some endeavor of ours goes off without a hitch we feel cheated and guilty, like “That was too easy?” Is it our need to complicate everything to feel like we are accomplishing something of value? Do we have an innate need for constant struggle against the universe; especially those of us with abusive and/or addiction backgrounds? Or were we just being a dumb ass and missed the obvious?

Well today, I missed the answer right in front of me because I failed to look and “Keep It Simple Stupid.”

Barry K