THE DEPTH OF MY INSANITY
Step Two: Came to believe a Power greater thanmyself could restore me to sanity.
The first time I sought help from a 12 Step program I became acquainted with Step 2. My first reaction was that it did not apply to me. Being a devout atheist I had no reason to succumb to this concept of weakness. Also, I was clearly NOT insane.
Up until this time I had defined Insanity in much the same manner that I’m sure most of us do. By my own definition: which I had come to with my own personal experience with the mentally ill. You know, the folks on the bus talking to themselves. Clearly I was not of this lot.
Like most Drunks I had come to the realization that my drinking was a real problem. I had transcended recreational drinking. I had arrived to the point where every time I drank, I got drunk. Well, not “every time”. But to be honest, in the last five or so years of my drinking, the only times I drank and did not get drunk were because it was impossible; ran out of money, at work etc. I had, on several occasions, drank myself into actual alcohol dependency, whereas I needed medical detox to get off the sauce. In every instance where I was in detox I always drank the day I was released (you know, to celebrate a job well done!)
OK, so maybe I was insane. After all, I did a lot of CRAZY shit when I was drunk: stealing cars, getting into fights with police officers, public nudity etc. Oh yeah, I did drugs! Now I do not consider myself a drug addict, though I have done far more drugs than a lot of people I have met in NA meetings. I believe that my drug usage was a result of my ALCOHOLIC thinking.
Let’s take crack for example. I have smoked a few thousand metric tons of crack. But, not one single time was I ever sober and decided to smoke crack, the thought would never cross my mind. Yet, add some booze to me and the idea of smoking crack seemed like a WONDERFULL idea. Pretty SANE huh?
Modern Psychiatry defines insanity, in a nutshell, as: “The complete inability to know the truth”. Sound familiar?
The last five years of my drinking was an absolute nightmare. I was married with three children and was completely unable to care for my family; booze had rendered me completely un-employable. I could not go to work because when I would woke up (come to) I was stricken with tremors and anxiety attacks that only a few drinks could quell.
Booze is a mysterious thing. It is a vehicle to delusion. My mind was as deeply addicted to delusion as my body was to the alcohol. I was Peter Pan and Vodka was the Pixie Dust that brought me to Neverland. I had come to AA believing I had a drinking problem. I was wrong. Booze was NOT my problem. Booze was my SOLUTION. Booze was the solution to happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, success, failure ad infinitum.
The truth was, every time I took a drink a chain reaction occurred. Every time I took a drink I wanted another, the more I drank, the more I craved. My thirst for alcohol was insatiable. Every time I drank I COULD NOT STOP. Every time I drank I would do absurd and tragic things.
So when drunk, I did insane things. This was NOT the insanity of my alcoholism. The INSANITY of my alcoholism was the fact that prior to drinking I had no idea these things were going to happen, despite the fact that they happened every time I was drunk. (Remember: The complete inability to know the truth)
Today, I know the truth about myself. The first drink gets you drunk. How does that even make sense? Well, let me tell you: if you get hit by a train, it’s not the caboose that kills you. After seven years of sobriety I can clearly see that my behavior could not be described as anything short of mental illness.
I have mastered my drinking problem. By that I mean that the problem of the drink no longer exists for me. I have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. What was it that did this for me? It was a Higher Power. At first, that Higher Power was the meetings themselves. Then it was sponsor. Today, I have a profound relationship with a God of my own understanding. Today, I believe that I was truly insane, lost in a dreamlike existence where I could not cope with reality. Today, I live in reality and have learned to roll with the punches of life. I believe that I have transcended insanity to sanity and it was a power greater than myself that did it.