- September 3, 2022


This is normally considered as another AA acronym for “Keep it simple stupid.”  For our purposes in this blog, I am going to refrain from using the term stupid.  We will just stick with “Keep it simple.”  There is a notion also in philosophy known as Occam’s razor.  This basically says that the simplest answer or course of action is usually the best one.

Alcoholics tend to complicate getting a glass of water.  We hum and haw back and forth how we should go about doing this.  Which glass should be used?  Do I want ice water or room temperature water?  Should I fill the glass up all the way or should I just fill it halfway?  Do I need a coaster?  Should I drink it all at one time or just sip on it?  And so on.  By this tie we are so befuddled that we forget what it was that we wanted.  Then we realize that we are thirsty, and the questions begin again.  If we are lucky, we may end up with a glass of water.  

I once had an alcoholic friend who needed to buy one tire.  Yes, one tire!  Don’t ask me why just one.  He gathered all the literature available on all tires.  He must have studied the literature for at least a month before finally settling on which brand of tire to purchase.  I just wanted to scream “buy the frickin tire and be done with it idiot.”  I just didn’t understand why buying one tire required so much effort and research.  Just go to the tire store.  Pick out a Michelin or a Goodyear tire.  We know they are good brands.  Geeze move on in your life!  

All of this indecision can cause extreme anxiety for us.  We have enough of that without our adding to it.  I once went to an AA board meeting.  They must have discussed for over an hour which brand of charcoal to get for the upcoming barbeque.  I couldn’t take it any longer, so I left the meeting.  If you really want to create some havoc in your life, go to an AA board meeting.  I have heard some very outlandish things in these meetings.  At one meeting a person was accused of stealing money from the 7th tradition to buy balloons.  Yes balloons.  May God have mercy on us all.

By keeping things simple we are able to reduce the amount of anxiety we are feeling.  Things get done in a simple ordinary way.  We don’t have to waste time confusing ourselves or others.  Life becomes much smoother.  We are able to stay rational and calm by keeping things simple.  We are not overwhelmed by decisions that need to be made.  This is very important especially in early sobriety to manage our emotions in a calm and peaceful manner.  By keeping things simple you will find that life moves along at a reasonable pace for you.  Using the tools of the program helps us to learn to keep things simple.  We are able to function at a much higher level without mundane decisions dragging us down.  So remember my friend, keep it simple.  

Written by Phillip