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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: In early sobriety many people continue to demonstrate behavioral insanity.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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We hear the steps are supposed to restore us to sanity – but if you are early in recovery you might question the idea that you are or were ...
We hear the steps are supposed to restore us to sanity – but if you are early in recovery you might question the idea that you are or were ever insane.  Insanity sounds so extreme and so absolute – it sounds like a place we can’t come back from. We imagine men in little white coats escorting a delusional maniac who believes the government has implanted chips in his brain.
Face it: when we are using drugs and alcohol we act like crazy people – we are, for all intents and purposes, insane.   We do completely self-destructive things over and over.  If the primary directive of being human is to survive, we clearly have lost touch with that most powerful of evolutionary drives.  We do things that could kill us. Over and over.
Imagine how family and friends saw you.  Imagine what it’s like to know the person you love is doing things that are so clearly damaging and even life-threatening, yet they don’t see it.
When we are out their drinking or drugging, we don’t really care about the facts. Our primary concern is changing our feelings.  The facts be damned – I don’t feel right.  Maybe a little of this or a little of that will make me feel right – a little more normal.
If we get in trouble, we blame someone else – my boss is being a tyrant; my wife doesn’t understand me; my business partner cheated me.  A DUI checkpoint in the active alcoholic’s mind is Big Brother harrassing us.  The bad review at work isn’t because we show up half-mast from drinking so much the night before – it’s because the boss is out to get us or just too stupid to understand how difficult our job is.
If that doesn’t sound insane to you, you might still be caught up in the self-deception.
A friend of mine recently told me about working with someone who continually aliented co-workers and friends to the point they practically shoved her out the door yelling “Don’t let it hit you on the ass on the way out.”  She was still convinced everyone else was the problem.  It simply never occurred to her that she was the problem.  Isn’t that insane?
Even in early sobriety many people continue to demonstrate insanity.  We are told we need to avoid people, places, and things.  Some people not only don’t avoid those triggers – they actively seek them out. The odds are against them, but the addict in them say – oh, no big deal. These are your friends! You need them!  You can’t just make all new friends!  Some go so far as to hang out in bars with their old gang while drinking coke or club soda.  How long do you think it will be before something happens that upsets you in life and your “old friends” say – aw, have just one drink.  We’ll make sure you don’t overdo it.  It’s a recipe for disaster. And it’s not a sane choice.
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