Why Not – Andrew R_Lifeline Dec 2019

In A.A. we place a lot of emphasis on our identity as “addicts”, “in recovery” or as “alcoholics”. But why are we addicts, alcoholics or in recovery? It’s because we have errant coping mechanisms or thinking errors about acceptable ways of dealing with an array of issues, from boredom to traumas. At some point during an impressionable period of our lives we believed it was “ok” to use, and once we saw results in short term gratification we began to use for any and all issues till we became powerless in our addictions. My name is Andrew R. and I have “think errors”. My addiction started out of boredom and became my excuse for anger, abandonment, loneliness, sadness, and every little thing in between. The beginning of this “thinking error” started in a belief. A belief that “there is no problem with this so, why not?” “Why not” became my first thought anytime a craving or situation presented the opportunity or excuse to use. I’ve been presented with the realization that my coping mechanisms are in need of some serious change. I’m learning not to rush and try to change everything at once but instead to change one thing, no matter how small, at a time. I’m learning to replace my previous “why not” with a “why not” of some substance. If I’m bored, “why not” write this paper? If I’m angry “why not” write a letter to my son? If I’m frustrated “why not” do some school work? If I’m depressed “why not” inspire others to change? I’m learning to replace my “thinking errors” with productive activities to be more constructive. Self-help improvement may seem a herculean effort on your part, but it is possible. The error in thinking that allows us the belief that our behaviors are acceptable coping mechanisms are self-created beliefs. Regardless, they are nothing more than beliefs in need of change. Many never try long enough to learn anything that will help, they want the quick fix without having to do any work. I challenge you to change your self-defeating beliefs into productive rational beliefs and seize any advantage in life you can. I can’t change you or your problems but maybe I can inspire you to make the effort yourself. Avoiding your problems is only easy in the short term. Putting things off till the last minute can make them worse later on, so I ask, “why not” start now?
-Andrew R.

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