Thinking First

No one has ever summed up my level of thinking prior to, throughout, and sometimes still, the way a comedian has with his branded statement, “First Thought Wrong.” I have always loved comedy, I mean who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh (even if only for a temporary distraction) every now and then. Had I never experienced addiction, I may never have given this particular comedian a chance. I was actually working in a treatment center when I first opted to watch the comedian do his “thing.” As much as I was into my addiction, working in treatment was a real “switching the pitch,” deal. I was a group facilitator and I had one of those days where I wanted to do something different and lighten the moment for the patients I worked with. When I first watched one of his stand up shows, I was awed with joy! He was talking about me and it was funny because it was so true.

In my days of running around in the “world,” looking for myself, I was not the best at decision making. I didn’t think before I spoke, unless it was going to jeopardize the benefit. I didn’t always think about that first thought or, whether or not I should go with it. I usually just went with what came up. Not good. Whatever came up, came out. I would say, I had no filter. I used filters and tried my hardest to think right when I was in a state of manipulation. During those days, my first thought always left me with regret.

While working as the facilitator, I often thought a lot about how I would be able to encourage the patients to think about what they were doing versus what they wanted to be doing. It took obviously a vast amount of self searching, learning, acceptance, and willingness on my own behalf to see the reason to think about my thoughts, let alone, motivate someone else to do that. So after showing them the videos of this awesome comedian, we discussed the whole theme of learning how to think first, dwell on a thought a little while and make sure that it sits well. The conversation was good, but that’s what it turned out to be.

Recovery is a process that works from the inside to the out. It’s not typical for people to buy into their possibilities with a little guidance from others’ suggestions. I won’t forget the best thing that helped me through my behaviors that kept me where I was. It was to think first. That is a real anecdote for a person that had my coping skills. Of course, when your mind is clear, you have the ability to think better. Mental health plays it’s own role in our thinking. Putting balance in oneself with level headed thinking, maintaining good mental and physical health, and intentional soul searching, are all a good set of practices to enter into a journey of recovery. At the end of the day, with a clear and balance mode, I can decipher whether or not my first thought is wrong, or if I need to let myself think a little further to act or speak. The journey isn’t over yet.

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