I may never back down from my belief sobriety can be easy, but I am willing to concede to the idea sobriety can be simple. I saw the acronym K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) the other day in regard to sobriety, and it made me smile. I thought, well this seems to be a much more acceptable idea for people in sobriety, so I decided to write about it. I believe keeping things simple in sobriety benefits us a great deal? As in most aspects of our lives, I believe we overthink and overcomplicate most things. I am not sure why this is the case, but I am certain if we maintained a simpler perspective of most of our day-to-day activities, our lives would be better off. Now, obviously, sobriety may not be a typical day-to-day activity, but it is an activity I believe we often overcomplicate and overthink. I am sure this may not sit well with some of you, but I hope you will at least give me the benefit of the doubt and hear me out. Even complex math equations can be considered simple from the right perspective. Yep, once again, perspective and perception will come into play as I talk through why I believe sobriety, like many things, can be simple, too.
If we tell ourselves something is going to be hard, we will unconsciously
go out of our way to make it hard.
Let's look at the dictionary definition of simple to get started. Simple - adj. easily understood and done; presenting little or no difficulty. Hmmm, if this has not been our experience, we are definitely not going to agree with the idea of simple sobriety. Regardless if we agree or not, the question is not whether or not we feel our sobriety is simple. The question is, can sobriety be simple? I undoubtedly believe the answer to this question is yes. Let's look back at the definition. In order for sobriety to be simple, it only needs to be understood, and not difficult. Is this possible? I can speak from experience, sobriety can be both understood and not difficult. As you know, I have gone so far as to say my experience with sobriety was easy. I defined my sobriety as simple because I both understood my journey and I actively engaged in practices to ensure it was not difficult, either.
Since I mentioned it, let's look at the definition of the word easy too. Easy - adj. achieved without great effort or difficulty. Okay, now, you may be picking up on what I am trying to do here. I am, dare I say, attempting to trick you. Yes, easy and simple are pretty much the same thing. Why would I continue to try and convince us to believe sobriety and other things in life can, in fact, be easy or simple? Well, ironically, the answer is simple too; I want us to use the power of our minds and positive thinking to influence how we experience the world and especially sobriety. I have said this many times, but I'll go ahead and say it again. If we tell ourselves something is going to be hard, we will unconsciously go out of our way to make it hard. In contrast, if we tell ourselves something is going to be easy, we will unconsciously go out of our way to make it easy. With that said, if simple is easier for us to digest than easy, then I am okay with that sentiment, too.
Alcohol is not the problem. It became a problem,
but it is not the problem.
Okay, so, how do we go about understanding sobriety? The key here is to not try and understand sobriety, itself. We have to instead try and understand our connection or relationship with sobriety. This, of course, begins with our understanding of our relationship with alcohol. I wrote about finding our why's in a blog, not too long ago. The idea is to figure out why we both drink alcohol, and why we want to quit drinking alcohol. Ironically, if our answers to either of these questions have anything to do with alcohol, then we are not on the right track. I am going to take this a step further. If we try to quit drinking by not drinking, our experience in sobriety is going to be anything but simple or easy. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it's really not. We don't start drinking alcohol for the "calming" effect, or the "ego' boost. No, we perceived drinking alcohol as helping us with a deeper underlying condition. We found it helped us escape from something or feel numb to something else. We drank alcohol to try and deal with something we could not deal with on our own. Alcohol is not the problem. It became a problem, but it is not the problem.
To truly understand our sobriety, we have to understand, accept, and be open to changing our relationship with alcohol. Until then, I'm sorry to say, we may just continue to spin our wheels never really gaining traction in sobriety. When we understand our why's we can then truly begin to uncover the truth behind why we feel the need to drink. It is in this awareness we can actualize positive growth toward the understanding of our sobriety. Let's revisit the idea of complex math equations. If we do not understand the concepts behind the equations, we have little chance of ever solving them. The same is true in sobriety. Once we understand our why's and consequently our relationship with alcohol, we can then take positive and effective steps onto our sober path.
The biggest hindrance to simple or easy sobriety lies in the
depth of our own psyche
The theory of Occam's Razor may be relevant to this conversation. The theory loosely states, all things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one. I am not saying this theory is relevant because simple or easy sobriety is the simplest explanation for addiction. I am saying, however, our belief in the simplest explanation holds enormous power. Given a choice, how would you choose your sobriety experience to occur? Would you choose a horrendous struggle and lifelong attachment to the addict and recovery label? Or, would you choose a joyful journey of self-discovery where you emerge free from labels and stigmas? Regardless of which scenario is in fact, simpler, you give power to the scenario you choose, by believing it to be true. This, in turn, makes it the simpler explanation. I believe in easy sobriety, therefore my sobriety has been easy.
Our beliefs, choices, and actions directly affect the outcome
of our sobriety.
Thinking about what inspired this blog post, the acronym K.I.S.S. really can apply to sobriety. I will add, however, simple does not necessarily equate to a lack of work. Remember, we have to spend some time finding our why's about drinking and desires to quit drinking. We have to understand drinking is not the problem, even though it became a problem. We have to concede to the fact we have choices available to us every day that dictate the level of discomfort we experience on our journey. Our beliefs, choices, and actions directly affect the outcome of our sobriety. If given a choice to choose the outcome of our lives, what would we choose? Would we choose a life of struggle, chaos, and turmoil? Or, would we choose a life of peace, growth, and abundance? Is there really a choice? No.
Why then, would we choose differently in our sobriety? We wouldn't, or should I say, we shouldn't.