Black Box of my Mind – My Internal Thoughts Haunt Me

As I’ve gone about my daily life these past 38 (even though I still feel 27) years there’s been something going on I wasn’t aware of, an undercurrent within my own life which I didn’t feel pulling me down.
Sure when I read all the self-help books in my “Get Enlightened” stage in my early 20’s this mystifying situation was written about. I read about it, eagerly practiced methods to battle it and as life went on my focus became other worldly things.
In my experience I’m a Soda Pop kinda girl.
What I mean is that I have a tendency to focus upon something, get all shaken up about it, full of the energy which comes from knowledge and the challenge.
 Then as time slowly goes on and my focus is upon something else I go flat, the energy and focus of the information leaves me.
I did fads well.
Soda Pop Girl is now determined to be Slow Boil Woman.
The way I see it is that if I continue this Slow Boil the results will be much more satisfying, more flavourful and full than the flat taste I’ve been left with in the past.
Back to the subject: I’ve always believed that our actions are direct results to the internal thoughts in our heads. Eye on the prize and all that.

I can remember working on changing my internal thoughts back in my early 20’s when I began a new diet fad, convincing myself that I wasn’t hungry that I was just thirsty and wanted water.

This actually worked for a short time but honestly who can live on 900 calories a day of frozen prepackaged foods that taste like cardboard??
Poor choice of diets but the positive thought process was successful, I actually got used to the low calorie eating and didn’t feel hungry.
But slowly the weight creeped back onto my body when I went off the strict diet.

Purging Negative Internal Thoughts

Why did this happen?
I didn’t deal with the core issues which caused me to gain weight so it stayed in the black box.

Within my mind there is a section which gets very little conscious attention from me, let’s call it the black box. I was born with this black box and over time and experience it’s gotten filled with these negative internal thoughts about myself. I’ve been unaware of these negative thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings, theories and wants but each day when faced with a choice they influence the outcome.For example during stressful or emotional times I was drawn to alcohol to help “deal”. We all see this everyday, just watch a TV show and you’ll see a character who says “I need a drink” in exasperation.

Each day we are met with temptation in our daily lives. For me these generally appear in the areas of money, materialism, judgements of myself, to hide from my emotions and the stressors of life…there’s so many to list but they are temptation indeed.

Each time I’m faced with temptation there is something that happens within my mind.Negative statements are whispered out of that black box, pulling my perspective to the negative end of the scale.

On the day when I found out that my Father had prostate cancer and 12 other serious health issues my first thought was to open a bottle.
It was completely acceptable to me, of course I needed this fortification, who wouldn’t? It wasn’t a consious though, it was a gut reaction.
I was angry, sad, mad and scared.

What was actually happening in my subconsious thought was a battle, one part of me wanted to pray, to grab onto my faith and scream my anger at God….to look for direction and hold strong in my faith.
The other part of me in the black box screamed how I couldn’t live without my Daddy, that my Daddy was dying, that my life was going to change, that I might never get the chance to prove myself to my Daddy, that a blackness of dispair was coming.

And the black box won.

My Actions were Determined by my Internal Thoughts.

Now that I am aware of this black box within myself I am working to correct this defect. I am building up my positive thought base by being rigorously honest with myself. I have identified my weaknesses and character defects and in doing so I am lightening up the black box. I’m cleaning it out and replacing the contents with positive messages which will enhance my life and strengthen my armour.

Prayer, faith, willingness and knowledge of God’s word are my tools for these efforts.

Someone in my 12 Step Program gave me great advice within my first few weeks in the program, he said “Don’t trust your own mind for the first year, consider it broken from the drink”
My priorities were skewed from years of listening to the black box.

Now there’s light in my mind I rely upon God to direct my mind and choices. I do this through reading the Bible, prayer, meditation, worship and spending time learning as much as I can through the experience of others.

God will never allow me any temptation for which I don’t have the ability to resist.
That in itself is freeing.

1 Corinthians 10:13
 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

AA’s Tweleve and Tweleve page 98:
Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. Yet it is only a step. We will want to go further.
We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow. But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun.

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11 Responses

  1. Brilliant,as always.I received that same advice early on, " don't hang out in your head, especially alone!"In retrospect, I used to make EVERY decision based upon emotion, how I was "feeling". You can image the wreckage I left strewn about my path In this ethics course I am taking, we're discussing a great deal about critical thinking. It is exciting for me to realize I've been sharpening those skills by virtue of my 12-step work.So, your life is at a "simmer" today! Or, what did you say? "slow boil" , , yes, much more conducive to critical thinking!!!Cheers!~dPS Within one year my own Father was dx with Prostate cx and he suffered a heart attack.Um,, at that time, all I knew wasto drink

  2. Wow!! I think we are the same person!! I hear all that you are saying. I am a soda girl!! You put this all in writing, it all makes so much. Sense!!!I am trying to be slower, learn more, and keep consistent, it's all part of AA & I am so glad I found my fellowship & all my online friends. I see a little of myself in all of you and it makes me feel like I've found a home!!Take care

  3. Great post and great saying from Dawn…"don't hang out in your head, especially alone"Love that! Something I just learned at church on Sunday while studying James is that God never tempts you, because He is only good. Temptation always comes from the world. Our pastor said, How you view God (only good and always loving) will directly affect how you deal with temptation. It was an eye opening sermon. Thanks for sharing this post! :)

  4. LOVE This post! Slow boil woman :)Right when I read that I was thinking of the SNL skit with Cheri Oteri… "simma down now"So now every time you have one of those moments when the boil gets to be a little over rambuncious ….Who da queen of disco?Donna SummerHow she listed in the phone book?Summer, DonnaNow stretch it out… Do… .do..nadas right, Simma down now!:) i have no idea why that stuff comes into my head (I'm certifiable) :)

  5. hahahaha love that Jess, SNL was my treat when I was youner…it meant alot to stay up and watch it so I often quote it and Mad TV. Whole 'Nuther Lebel.Again thanks friends for the replies ;) I have to admit that I love comments that let me know the views of others.Robin, I dig that, God is only Good

  6. I'm a soda pop girl, somedays a flat champagne. Never quite the same. You spoke to all of us in this post. We are all in that black box with you girl. I never had an ounce of self esteem until just last year. My sponsor early on in my program taught me this :"only you can make yourself feel anything". So if you feel less than adequate around someone it's because you have bought into their agenda. You have the power to feel. Happy, sad, angry, lovely, smart, charming etc…I never got that. I finally do. God is our rock. Shrink wrap yourself around him as needed. His goal is to get us to the other side. But being slow, taking time, not racing through life takes time. I must remind myself to stop and smell the roses at least six times a day (and that's a good day) "Be still and know that I am God" is easier said than done. But like our book states "progress not perfection" just one 24 hours at a time. You are awesome! have a great weekend…..

  7. Your posts remind me so much of me when I was in early recovery, I love it. They bring me back. I also love the way you write – so poignant and honest. It makes me a little envious! (Hey, honesty, right?)I was over 3 years into sobriety before I dealt with the weight issue – yes, it took me THAT long to even want to face much else. Or feel that I was capable.I finally decided dieting was never going to be for me. I tried many and I hated them all. The only thing that ever rang true for me was when people would say "I had to change my thinking." I knew that was what I had to do.When my sister finally dropping pounds, I knew it was time. I didn't decide to do any diets – I decided to listen to the people that made sense. I cut out fast food and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I stopped eating when I wasn't hungry. Period.It's not the fastest way to lose weight – but in a year, I finally dropped 35 pounds. I'd like to drop 10 more, but I'm so happy with where I'm at, I don't stress about it. Ever. And, eating like that takes NO effort to keep said weight off. I mean, it's sounds so easy and logical, but it took me a long time to "change my thinking" about food. Now, it's something I do to survive – I have no other unhealthy connections with food – I eat to live. And it works. Thanks for another great post!

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