"I CHOOSE SANITY" by Sam Pav
Insanity, delusion, chaos, demoralization, hopelessness… these are all words we can use to describe a person in active addiction. My life suddenly became completely and utterly dysfunctional. I had no idea when it stopped being fun. What started out as “just a weekend thing” spiraled into a “multiple times a day thing”. The line between un-manageability and rock bottom grew into a black hole in which I lived miserably. It became a means of survival for me. I needed a substance in my body to do normal, everyday things. Abnormal became totally normal for me. Non addicts may see this insane behavior as selfish and that addiction can be solely beat on willpower. In my honest opinion, addiction is a disease. It possesses the two characteristics needed. It’s progressive and it’s fatal. This is not something we can wish away, or rehabs and programs wouldn't exist.
Anywho, back to insanity. “Doing the same things over and over again, but expecting different results.” For me, the real definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, knowing what the outcome will be, but continuing to do it anyway. I knew what was behind that drink or drug every time, but still wondered why my life was in shambles. I pretty much accepted the fact that if I was going to drink and drug the way that I wanted to, I would have to pay the price, literally and figuratively. It was not cheap. I constantly put drugs and alcohol in front of my job, family and friends. I did horrible things to get what I needed and when I needed it. My twisted brain justified these actions. Sometimes I did expect different results. This is where the delusion comes in. I refused to admit that I had a problem or was willing to stop. Even if a small part of me recognized things might be a little out of control, my delusional thought process told me "if I really wanna stop, I'll stop." This is not a demon we can overcome on our own.
It did not help that fear and anxiety have ruled my life from a very young age. I had extremely outlandish and irrational fears as a kid. Although I have been prescribed medication to help these thoughts and feelings, mixing it with alcohol and hard drugs pretty much defeated its purpose. Not to mention, I kept forgetting to take it on a daily basis and had no idea why I felt like a complete basketcase. Off to the doctor I went to up my strength, thinking this would be the solution. Not only was my life completely out of whack, my work performance had plummeted. Imagine that! An addiction affecting our mind and the ability to function as an employee?! I STILL didn't put it together. Sometimes I honestly felt like I belonged in a state run mental hospital. The mental breakdowns and panic attacks randomly throughout the day truly made me wonder what the hell was wrong with me. The insanity going on inside of my head mixed with the delusion that I didn't have a problem was eating me alive.
Luckily for us, there is a solution. We don't have to fight this monster on our own. I believe there are many different ways to get and stay clean and sober. I personally have chosen AA to help me change my life. Some people get super involved with church and strengthening their faith. There are other programs too that help. However, with no permanent change, there is no permanent sobriety. We have to completely change the way we think and act. Also, if we don't believe in something greater than us to restore us to sanity, we won't get there. Whether that is the rooms of AA, God, or another program, we have to find what works for us. We all didn't have the same addiction so we may not all have the same solution. The point is, we don't have to live this insanity anymore. It's an awful way to go through life. I definitely do still get nuts sometimes, but that's when I get caught up and life gets lifey. Plus, I'm only human. I may try to control things I can't control. When I realize I don't run the show though and not try to take back my will, my peace returns. I know with certainty that if I didn't decide to make this change I would 100% be in a straight jacket and a padded room, if not dead. Today, I have found a solution and continue to share my journey.