Stinkin Thinkin

Stinkin thinkin is a term used in Alcoholics Anonymous to describe thoughts or perspectives that can lead the addict or alcoholic back to the drink or the drug. I take that one step farther and say that very little is as it really appears to us.

As in most high schools, mine had the usual pier groups. I was particularly drawn to the smart, pretty, well rounded girls. They had all the good clothes and always seemed happy. I grew up in an alcoholic home that was rarely happy. My assumption was that all those girls came from great homes with two happy parents who were very involved with their children’s life. At my 30th high school reunion I learned that one of those girls actually had an alcoholic mother who she was very ashamed of and rarely brought friends home. Nothing is ever as it appears and caused some real stinkin thinkin” for me in high school.

As an adult I am still making assumptions that are really untrue. Many arguments with my husband are based on things I think he is thinking that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I can run with the most insane thoughts and project terrible outcomes that never come to pass. I literally can drive myself crazy which can translate into a reason to drink or take a drug.

Alcoholics as a rule do not have good self-images. Our self-esteem is usually at an all time low especially when we first put down the drink or the drug. We are filled with shame and are notorious people pleasers. All of these things can cause us to think things about ourselves or others which may be untrue. It is important for continued sobriety to get a handle on these thoughts and emotions. My first sponsor said that I always “shoot from the hip” which means that I take a thought and put it into action immediately. I don’t do that anymore and I don’t always let my thoughts rule my actions. It is about progress for alcoholics and addicts. It is being open to changing behaviors and bouncing ideas off of people we respect and trust.

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