The “Easy Does It” Mantra

easydoesitThere’s a lot of solid, accumulated wisdom that has come out of AA and other addiction self-help groups. It would be nice to see some of these principles adopted by the larger population of non-addicts. The “Easy Does It” slogan is one of those.

When someone first starts attending meetings – and they’re sober enough, for long enough to see what’s going on – they notice the calm stability of longer term members. The first thought is, “Don’t they realize how horrible my life has become? How can they just brush all the problems off?”

Easy does it.

It’s almost impossible to see that by defusing the daily irritations and slip ups, progress actually comes quicker. After all, aren’t we told over and over in school and by our culture that only those who strive hardest will succeed?

The relaxed demeanor of senior members tells a different tale, and hopefully they demonstrate to new members something worth having. It’s a very potent tool when the newest can come to admire others working the steps consistently and with good results. “I want to be like that person.”

Easy does it.

There’s a nice bronze medallion for sale that has the phrase on one side and the serenity prayer on the other. It’s a good match-up. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

Of course, the essential element isn’t a lack of caring or dealing with your addiction; the key is to avoid the stress and irritation that comes from missing an unrealistic mark. Frustration is just another excuse to drink or drug it up. The ability to distance yourself is an extremely powerful remedy.

Easy does it.

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