What is insanity?
The Big Book defines insanity this way:
“He had much knowledge about himself as an alcoholic. Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea that he could take whiskey if only he mixed it with milk! Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, be called anything else?”
How can the Twelve Steps return you to sanity?
In Step One you learned to define the problem of addiction as
- You have a body that can’t handle alcohol or other drugs.
- You have a mind that can’t give them up.
- You have a spiritual condition that can’t do anything about it!
You also learned that the solution to this awful dilemma is that you need the help of a Power greater than yourself to restore you to sanity.
Step One advises us to accept that we are powerless over drugs and alcohol. This is not to put us down. Instead, Step One guides us toward a new way of thinking and gives meaning to our struggle. Once we understand our illness, we’re no longer baffled by the “insanity” of our using. We can become more comfortable with ourselves and with others. We can let go of shame and guilt and start to work toward our ongoing recovery from the disease. When we admit powerlessness, we admit that we can’t control everything in our lives. But we are responsible for the effort we make.
It’s not easy to accept that we are powerless. But it’s the first step to recovery. Once we accept our disease, we can then get down to the work of recovery.