Inside the Mind of an Overthinker

Inside the Mind of an Overthinker

Inside the Mind of an Overthinker

I came home from my home group last night and spent some time thinking (“Danger Will Robinson, DANGER!! LOL!).  The topic was on the 7th Step which I was so grateful for because I don’t sit in enough meetings about 6 & 7 anymore.  I truly believe at over 3 decades of sobriety that Steps 6 & 7 are the meat and substance of our program.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that all 12 Steps are important, but this alcoholic needs to have a personal relationship with 6 & 7 on the daily or I’m screwed.  Being willing to become entirely ready to have my defects removed in 6, and remembering that I’m not the one carrying the “mallet” in 7 was a great reminder for me.

And as if I don’t already see that “Is it odd or is it God” saying playing out in my life on a daily basis, when I got home, I ran across a video on TikTok that was titled, “Inside the Mind of an Overthinker: Ten Eye Opening Facts” that really got me thinking even more (ironic, eh?).  Bill told us on the top of page 35 in More About Alcoholism, “So we shall describe some of the mental states that precede a relapse into drinking, for obviously this is the crux of the problem.” My poor home group gets so tired of me quoting that sentence, but I will never forget the day that it FINALLY and fully explained to me what my real problem is – and it AIN’T alcohol.  It’s the noise, the thinking, that lives between my left ear and my right ear that tells me a myriad of things like, “This time it will be different,” or “I can drink like a normal person.” There are many places in the Big Book that talk about alcohol being only a symptom of the real problem and now I finally know what the real problem is – MY THINKING!

Now that I’ve got some time under my belt, I see that playing out daily if I’m not spiritually fit. My thinking can get me into a whole lot of trouble still today.  It’s clear to this alcoholic that my defects manifest in my life because they start with me…

  • PRIDE/EGO: Thinking I’m better than…
  • ANGER: Thinking that you did me wrong…
  • GREED: Thinking that I don’t have enough…
  • GLUTTONY: Thinking that I just want more…
  • LUST: Thinking that if I just had “that” I would be ok…
  • SLOTH: Thinking I can just do that later…

That TikTok video inspired me to build the graphic above and to write this post in the hopes that it might create some identification for some of you.  I’m sure your magical mystical mind will want to refute some of this and that’s ok.  Mine did too!  LOL!  But the bottom line here is that I know for me to be able to be of maximum usefulness to those around me, I need to be willing to reflect on MY truth and when I saw that video, I saw ME all over it.

  1. Fact One: Overthinkers have a never ending thought carousel.
    Their minds are like a ferris wheel, constantly spinning with thoughts, worries, and ideas. It’s a wild ride they can’t get off.
  2. Fact Two: They’re experts at finding hidden meanings.
    Overthinkers can spot the tiniest nuances and read between the lines like detectives. No gesture or word goes unnoticed.
  3. Fact Three: Overthinkers are the kings and queens of “what if?”
    They can create an entire alternate reality in their minds exploring every possibility and consequence. It’s like they have a mental time machine.
  4. Fact Four: They’re perfectionism personified.
    Overthinkers strive for excellence in everything they do but can get trapped in an unattainable quest for flawlessness. It’s a constant battle between high standards and self-acceptance.
  5. Fact Five: They’re experts at predicting worst case scenarios.
    Overthinkers have a talent for conjuring up catastrophic outcomes even in the most mundane situations. It’s like their minds are stuck in a never ending disaster movie.
  6. Fact Six: Overthinkers are natural problem solvers.
    They analyze challenges from every angle, seeking the perfect solution. Their analytical skills can be impressive but it can also lead to decision making paralysis.
  7. Fact Seven: They have a PhD in over analyzing past conversations.
    Overthinkers replay conversations in their heads, dissecting every word and gesture looking for hidden messages or signs of approval. It’s like being trapped in a mental loop.
  8. Fact Eight: Overthinkers are masters of should’ve/could’ve.
    They have an uncanny ability to dwell on past mistakes and regret missed opportunities. Learning to let go is a lifelong lesson for them.
  9. Fact Nine: They experience analysis overload.
    Overthinkers can become overwhelmed by their own thoughts leading to mental exhaustion and burnout. It’s like having a crowded party in their head all day every day.
  10. Fact Ten: Overthinkers are deeply empathetic. They have a keen understanding of emotions and can sense when something is off with others. They’re the compassionate friends who are always there to lend an ear.

I hope that you are in a place in your recovery today where you can see yourself in at least some of the things written here.  I know I do, and I pray that God relieves me of the bondage of self enough today so that I can stop thinking and start doing.  Share this within your recovered network and see what kinds of conversation it generates.  May God bless you today as much as I’ve been blessed.

In love and service,

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13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    TF

    Says June 20, 2023 at 10:40 am

    Truth! I too have found Steps 6 and 7 instrumental to revisit in detail. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Rick W.

      Rick W.

      Says June 20, 2023 at 11:17 am

      Right?!?!?! I went for far too long without truly understanding this and suffered the consequences to be sure.

  2. Avatar

    Adina C.

    Says June 21, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I really needed this. Constant battle between my left and right ears. Need to do some more work with my Sponsor. Really have to find the time.

    • Rick W.

      Rick W.

      Says June 21, 2023 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks Adina!!! I could not agree more that I still have work to do as well!!!!

  3. Avatar

    Monie B

    Says October 02, 2023 at 10:02 am

    I don’t know where to begin… (What a shocker! Lol). Between the codependency, addictions, C-PTSD, being an HSP, toxic relationship attractor and ruminating, who has time for overthinking? Bwahaha! Oh, I forgot psychotic episode triggers. I’m a ton of fun!

  4. Avatar

    TW

    Says October 23, 2023 at 2:20 am

    Thank you for giving me something else to overthink about. Heh. I personally think under-thinkers pose the greater problem to themselves and others. They tend to be frivolous, unfiltered, uninformed, and reckless due to not giving enough thought to their own actions and inactions. I’m a lover of the Bible and it tells us what to set our minds on. As an overthinker, my tendency to do that is not bad at all as long as I follow the instructions of Philippians 4:8 which says, “think on things that are True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely and whatever things are of Good Report. If there be Any Virtue or Any Praise, Think On These Things.

    Love, peace, and light to all my fellow overthinkers. Overthink on beautiful things!

  5. Avatar

    TW

    Says October 23, 2023 at 2:21 am

    Thank you for giving me something else to overthink about. Heh. I personally think under-thinkers pose the greater problem to themselves and others. They tend to be frivolous, unfiltered, uninformed, and reckless due to not giving enough thought to their own actions and inactions. I’m a lover of the Bible and it tells us what to set our minds on. As an overthinker, my tendency to do that is not bad at all as long as I follow the instructions of Philippians 4:8 which says, “think on things that are True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely and whatever things are of Good Report. If there be Any Virtue or Any Praise, Think On These Things.”

    Love, peace, and light to all my fellow overthinkers. Overthink on beautiful things!

    • Rick W.

      Rick W.

      Says October 23, 2023 at 8:09 am

      Good morning TW… thank you for your share. I especially appreciate the part where you call out the equally true concern with “under-thinkers.” As a sitting member of the General Service Conference, I can tell you that being un-informed can be a real concern as well (un-informed – therefore under-thinking). It’s been my experience too that when I spend my time focusing (thinking) on “beautiful things,” my day tends to be much better. I must never forget that my actions generate my thinking, not the other way around. So, my takeaway from this is, DO true, honest, just, pure, and lovely things – and my thinking we eventually align with my actions.

  6. Avatar

    Ahaiziah

    Says November 25, 2023 at 3:51 am

    God bless you…I related 100% to all 10

    • Rick W.

      Rick W.

      Says November 25, 2023 at 7:57 am

      Thanks AHAIZIAH! God bless you as well!

  7. Avatar

    Hannah

    Says January 24, 2024 at 4:26 pm

    Any insight for partners? Living with an overthinker can be very destructive, not only for them but definitely for their partner.

    • Rick W.

      Rick W.

      Says January 24, 2024 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Hannah… I am certainly not a medical professional but I can say from my own experience that being able to talk about it with a partner is a great place to start. As we know, recognizing the problem is the first step… All the best to you my friend.

  8. Avatar

    Angela Smith-Tackett

    Says May 12, 2024 at 10:01 pm

    WOW…. I am in recovery… and doing well.. BUT… BUT…. BUT…. The overthinking has not stopped. I have always been this way. I will play out conversations days in advance even if they do not happen…. I need to have something in my holster to use. I have always been this way. I am…. Just tired!!! I am playing out conversations with people from work etc … mostly…. ALWAYS… before the situation arises. I am so F’d up and can not quite my mind. I meditate blah… blah… blah… but my mind is saying… if they say this.. … you are gonna say this … and if they say that… you are gonna say that…. And it has not even happened yet. I AM TIRED…. I am truly screwed up. I am drowning in overthinking… and I do the things but it is a short time thing. Can not get rid of that overthinking monkey on my back!!!

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