Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sundance Burke - Awareness Anonymous (AA Meeting ~ Speaking at an Awareness Anonymous meeting)

Hi, my name is Sundance and I am a non-thinker.

I used to over-think unconsciously every day. I was a slave to my mind.

Now that I am conscious and aware, I no longer think.

In fact, it’s been 5 minutes & 32 seconds since I had my last thought.

Today, I stay thought-free, one second at a time.

When I was thinking, I was addicted to the past. For me, one thought simply led to the next. I just couldn’t stop thinking, because I thought I needed it to be who I am. Yet, every time I thought too much, I’d end up suffering. After several years of hard core thinking, I began to hallucinate. I thought that I was seeing separate people, places and things. I felt completely isolated and lonely. I tried to possess and hold onto the images as if they were real. I was constantly paranoid. I felt like everyone was leaving me or after me. I projected the cause for all my problems onto the illusion of others. My vision got blurry and I started seeing double. I would reach out for things that weren’t there. I was constantly dissatisfied and afraid. I began to believe that an imaginary future held my salvation and I lost all contact with the present moment. I felt divided, lost and constantly threatened. I didn’t know it then, but I was about to wake up in a gutter of my own making. Because of this experience, I now realize that I cannot have a single thought without the risk of falling back into my addiction.

By these meetings, I have come to realize that thinking is a dis-ease and so I shouldn’t feel guilty. I now know that I am not responsible for the thoughts that I think. I am merely unconscious when I am thinking, and so, I don’t know what I am thinking or how much.

I used to feel that I couldn’t live without thinking and that I was powerless to stop. The truth is, I used to over-think everyday. I guess you could have labeled me a Maintenance Thinker. I just couldn’t do anything without thinking about it first. I’d think a lot before going to bed at night.  I’d also think in the morning as I was getting ready for work. I’d even think on the job and then I’d bring my thinking home with me. All the while, I didn’t feel like my thinking habit was a problem. I thought that I could think and get away with it. Often, I would hide my thinking from my family and friends. I didn’t want anyone to know how much I was thinking. So I wouldn’t reveal anything I thought. I would just keep my thinking to myself and think alone. You see, I became a closet thinker. However, sometimes a friend would suspect that I was thinking alone and ask, “What are you thinking?” I’d say “nothing,” hoping to hide the fact that I had been thinking all the time. Occasionally, I’d be honest and own up to my thinking and tell them just what I thought. Unconsciously, I probably knew that my thinking was a problem and that I needed help.  

It’s a fact that I experienced a tremendous number of problems while I was still thinking about one thing after another. In the beginning, it seemed that I could think socially. However, I soon found out that 2 thoughts were never enough for me. I just couldn’t stop at “I am.” With me, 2 thoughts became 3 and 3 became 4… “I am…I am so…I am so angry,” I’d think. Next, I’d be pounding down one thought after another until I was completely unconscious and unhappy. “I am so angry… at… you… for…leaving…me… and…running…off…with…my…best…friend.” I’d go on like this until I blacked out and lost all consciousness. My thinking was completely out of control and I hurt myself, my family and friends. I also created a lot of enemies.

I also used to think positive thoughts to get high, but after thinking too many thoughts my thinking would invariably turn negative and then I’d suffer. When I wasn’t thinking anything at all, I felt so bad that I desired to start thinking again, just to get high again. This cycle of up and down thinking would repeat itself endlessly. Eventually, I thought my life was hopeless and I thought about ending my thinking altogether.

Only by grace, I discovered Awareness Anonymous and attended my first meeting. These meetings were dry, and so, no thinking was allowed anywhere in the hall. The anonymity in the group name comes from no thinking. However, each anonymous member of the group used to be an over-thinker just like me. To maintain our anonymity, we hang out with other non-thinkers and try to avoid places where there’s a lot of thinking going on. Someday I hope that I’ll be able to be around thinkers without thinking like they do. Until then, I’ll just stay with the program and not think. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be here anonymously.

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