Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Return to Sanity

A year and a half ago, I'd come home on a Thursday, say, and think to myself, "I'd better have a drink since I don't have to work tomorrow"--meaning that a hangover wouldn't matter. I didn't even necessarily feel like having a drink. No, my reasoning was that since it was a good opportunity to drink, I'd better take it while I could. So I'd drink.

Back then, I didn't see how insane this thinking really was. It seemed perfectly logical and responsible to me. I would've been patting myself on the back for NOT drinking the night before I had to work (although I did plenty of that, too).

And this is what I meant yesterday about the colossal shift I've undergone over the past year and a half. I can see now what a grip alcohol truly had on me.

In rehab, I had trouble with the second step: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." I thought then, "Sanity? I'm not insane." Then my counselor gave me a worksheet that asked me to define "sanity." I scribbled the usual stuff: clear thinking, not delusional, grounded in reality, not self-destructive, makes sense, etc etc.

"Insanity," then, would be the opposite of all this.

Is it sane to drink until you pass out or puke? Are you the sane one when you stand there insisting you have no problem when half of your friends and all of your family are insisting you do? Is it sane to go around stashing empty bottles to throw away later? Is it sane to go into a rage and find yourself apologizing the next morning for a slight that you totally imagined? Is it sane to do this stuff over and over and over again?


Sobriety is a return to sanity.

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