On Mad TV’s Season 6, in the year 2001, Bob Newhart had a guest appearance acting in the role of a Life Coach, Dr. Switzer, in a skit called “Stop It”. It’s a classic … so very funny. You can search “Stop It” on YouTube and watch it here, too! In this 6 minute video, a counseling session unfolds with an unsuspecting, new client, Catherine Bigman, who struggles with fears, eating disorders and relationship dysfunction. I might add that the new client was a referral!
I have used this video numerous times in recovery meetings and step classes. Because of its sarcasm, it always gets a chuckle, if not a healthy laugh. It also removes the stigma connected with issues, allowing people to open up and truly initiate their pursuit of getting serious help.
The good doctor’s remedy was a simple two words … “STOP IT”! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were that easy? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if hurts, habits and hang-ups could be cured with this simple directive? All of our anger and resentments, addictions and co-dependency, depression and lack of integrity: All of them would simply disappear with a simple “STOP IT!”
If you haven’t had any life struggles, then you are either truly blessed, or in complete denial (Go directly to Step 1 of the 12 Steps!) But for the majority of the human race, there is dysfunction; on top of struggles; on top of character defects; caused by … “God only knows”! Life is very complicated and “Stop It” is not practical advice: Comical, but not practical.
If you had cancer or diabetes, and I told you to “STOP IT”, would you be able? Of course not! You would seek the best doctors, medicines and counseling. No shame, no guilt! You didn’t choose to be sick. You also know you would not be able to “STOP IT” with some plan and a support system.
Addiction is no different and “STOP IT” is not a treatment, rehabilitation, a plan or a support system. I don’t know anyone who chose the disease of addiction. Why is there such shame and guilt? If you don’t understand the disease, then perhaps you have always thought it was a choice. An addict should simply not use drugs. An alcoholic should STOP drinking. Right?
This thinking is as ridiculous as the Bob Newhart skit! It is this attitude that creates the shame and guilt that prevents an addict from their pursuit of getting serious help before it becomes a terminal illness. And, for those who do still have this thinking angle, I’ve got two words for you. Write this down! “STOP IT”!
Judy Walters’ blog at www.Judy-Walters.com, called Contentment In All Circumstances (in Spite of Addiction, Chaos & Drama), draws help from Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church of Philippi. Like Paul, Judy seeks to help others accomplish what she has learned in living and working around addiction and co-dependency … “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11. This is truly the “Peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Judy joined the corporate staff of Faith Farm Ministries in April, 2008. She is responsible for project management, public relations, marketing, event planning, and communications. She serves as Adjunct Faculty at South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary, the Academic Board Secretary, CWT Committee Member and the Faith Farm Alumni Association Registrar & Liaison. She enjoys teaching classes at Faith Farm’s women’s home as well as Celebrate Recovery Step Study Classes. Her career began as a paralegal followed by a span of 28 years as a real estate broker specializing in shopping center management, leasing and marketing. Judy has served on several non-profit Boards. She is currently a Board Member of the local Emmaus community. She is also a Team Member for Celebrate Recovery Boynton Beach. She has extensive experience in teaching and leading small groups, including recovery groups, bible studies, discipleship classes and even girl scouts and boy scouts. Judy grew up Pittsburgh moved to Florida in May of 1977. She and her husband, Larry, have one daughter and son-in-law, three sons and a granddaughter. Judy finds contentment in all circumstances and perceives every day as a victory … every mess as a message … and every test as a testimony. She enjoys reading, writing, social media, campfires, rainbows, butterflies, thunderstorms, baby laughs, and music of nearly all genres, but mostly praise music.
Please contact: JudyWalters12@gmail.com
Feel free to reproduce with the above paragraphs appended.