What Is Sanity Anyway?

3 Jan

First of all let’s define sanity. That’s a perfect starting point.

San⋅i⋅ty–noun

1. the state of being sane;soundness of mind.
2. soundness of judgment.

Synonyms:
reason, rationality, sensibleness, reasonableness.

The definition implies that in order to be considered sane, one must have soundness of mind and judgment. When looking at the synonyms, it suggests further that one must employ reason, rational thinking, and common sense.

For the average alcoholic who is newly recovering, it is fairly easy to identify the insane behavior induced by an alcoholic binge. Those kinds of insane behaviors typically carry with them fairly serious consequences and the average alcoholic will most likely have a multitude of people pointing out the insanity in effort to help straighten them out.

What about the individual who has been sober for many years or the person who doesn’t have any addictions to speak of? What about your average man or woman? Is it still so easy to identify the insane behavior? I think, not always.

The best definition I have ever heard of insanity is: “Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” Now with that definition, I think we all would be able to identify some insanity in our lives. It could be as simple as procrastination; A woman who repeatedly puts off paying the household bills so long that the late fees put her in over her head. It could manifest in the form of forgetfulness; a man who requires medication for depression but “forgets” to take it and constantly has huge mood swings that negatively affect his life. It could be a driver with a lead foot that refuses to drive the speed limit and always gets tickets, and in order to pay the tickets must choose a bill to not pay, or pays the bill and not the ticket and ends up in jail. Another great example, is the one of the jaywalker starting at the bottom of page 37 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Whatever the issue, we all seem to suffer from at least momentary bouts of insane behavior at some point in our lives, though we may have stretches of time where we perform quite well. With this realization, we are then faced with what to do about it. This is where step two comes in.

The key to step two for me is a combination of the beliefs that:

1. There is a Power greater than me.
2. That that Power COULD restore me to sanity.
3. That that Power WOULD restore me to sanity.

For the average alcoholic, the feeling runs deep that neither God nor anyone else couldn’t possibly still love us or still care. We have usually caused so much damage that by the time we make it to the doors of any recovery program we feel like there is no one or nothing that can or will help us. We will have tried numerous methods to change the crazy behavior, always coming up short. Is it that way for non-alcoholic types too?

When I arrived at my first meeting, I was absolutely and utterly opposed to the idea of anything of a spiritual nature. As a young child and on up through my early teen years I was forced to attend a Baptist church. I hated going to that church, because what I saw was a lot of hypocritical behavior. There were a lot of people demanding that I behave one way and then living completely differently themselves. The preacher once told my long haired guy friend he was welcome to come back when his hair was cut and he was dressed more appropriately. That broke my heart.

When I lived with my father from 14-15 years old, he practiced satanic ritual on our dining room table and forced his wife and I to participate. I had a couple of bad dreams that appeared to happen in reality only days after waking from them. I saw evidence of successful rituals on more than one occasion. The final straw was being witness to the horrific deaths of three teen girls from my school as part of a satanic ritual through a “reformed” high-priest from Germany that sought refuge at an Oklahoma City Church I had attended while living with my dad.

The first time anyone suggested that I needed a higher power, the best I could manage was the idea that my 12 step meeting members were a collective power greater than I was all alone. I heavily relied on my group to work through this and the following steps. It wasn’t until I had been sober nearly 10 12/2 years that I finally came to believe in any sort of God and another 5 years before I believed in and put my faith and trust in Jesus.

The truth for me, is that until I was able to find GOD and completely surrender control, I remained an insane sober woman. I was suicidal, had no level of moral conscious, and felt hopeless and helpless.

Today I know that the answer to ALL of my problems is GOD. He is enough. He is all I need. When I turn to Him and ask for help, He ALWAYS answers and provides a way for me.

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