It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties. You know, just a little now and then -- to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a 'social thinker'. I began to think alone -- 'to relax', I told myself. But even back then I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and eventually I was thinking all the time. I would get up in the morning and start thinking before breakfast and I would think right up until I passed out at night. That was when things began to go bad at home. One evening, I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She freaked out and spent that night at her mother's.

Then I went to far; I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I would avoid friends and co-workers at lunchtime so I could take off and read Thoreau or Kafka or Payne. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What exactly is it that we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me into his office. "Listen," he said, "I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, I'm going to have to let you go. Now go home and pull yourself together"

Ironically, this gave me a lot to think about.

I went home that day after my conversation with the boss and I could tell my wife knew something was up. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she cried, "You've got the smell of books all over you. I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious." I pleaded with her

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we're going to be broke! I just can't live like this anymore."

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently. She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with her emotional drama."I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door and drove off. I was in the mood for some Nietzsche.

I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors... They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me right then. As I sank to the ground, clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. 'Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?' it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.

I go to meetings regularly and have even taken a service commitment at one. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was 'Porky's.' Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I even have a great sponsor; he is incredibly thoughtless.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seems ... easier... as soon as I stopped thinking. I have come to terms with the fact that recovery is a series of small victories achieved one day at a time. Yesterday, I figured out how to set my DVR so I can record 'Dancing with the Stars'. Today, I registered to vote Republican...

I may never think for myself again.


~ Author Unkown

Eric J. Kiser

Eric J. Kiser

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