Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Step 2-“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could return us to sanity.“
Insanity comes in many forms and the word is defined and used in many ways.
the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness. "he suffered from bouts of insanity"
extreme foolishness or irrationality. "it might be pure insanity to take this loan"
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
As I write this blog the world around me feels out of control, and maybe even insane regarding the fear and chaos created by the coronavirus. It is important to take the precautions seriously that are being suggested in regard to this outbreak, but to remain calm and not fall into a fear cycle. I am not sure where the hoarding of toilet paper became a survival tool, but it certainly feels insane that you can’t seem to find a package of toilet paper on the shelves of any stores.
What I continue to come back to is Step Two of the 12 steps of recovery as a way to return to a grounded space, and remember to stay on my spiritual path- it saved me before and I know it can save me again.
Before this world health crisis, I had a health crisis of my own and the addictive toxin of alcohol controlled my body and made my thinking insane. I did not have the type of drinking where once I started I could not stop, and for that I am grateful. What I did have was this repeated behavior of believing that daily drinking would make me feel better, even when the evidence showed that it was not making anything in my life better. This was the insanity that Albert Einstein is quoted as saying- doing the same thing over and over and and expecting a different result. After years of being a heavy drinker- feeling like hammered shit each morning, forgetting conversations, feeling foggy, feeling bloated and overweight, not sleeping well, having mood swings from elation to anger- I would pour that glass of wine or beer after work every day telling myself that this day would be different. When I look back on this behavior and thinking- I can see it was completely insane. I had real reasons to make changes in my life. My world was out of control, my marriage was falling apart, I was unhappy, my Dr. was becoming very concerned about my health- but I continued to pour that drink after work day after day.
When I entered the rooms of recovery this time, just over 2 years ago the steps had a deeper meaning to me than when I had tried sobriety 9 years earlier. I was finally in a place where I had lost myself to the point where I really wanted a better life and was ready to surrender. The first step was much easier this time- To admit that I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. It was step two that gave me HOPE.
If I was able to believe that a Power Greater than myself could restore me to sanity with my drinking, can I believe that the same Force is at work in my life during this time of viral fear? Yes, I can! There could not be a better opportunity to stay connected to my program and practice these principles in all my affairs.
What does sanity look like for me today in the time of this pandemic? For me it is recognizing facts over feelings, doing the next guided step, not getting overwhelmed with all the ‘what if’s’ and thinking too far ahead of myself. I have stocked up with 2 weeks of food, and have sanitized our home. I am limiting my news intake and social media time. I am taking even more time each morning for prayer and meditation to center myself and send out positive prayers to the world. I believe deeply that I am being held in light and love and want to send that same light out into the world. I am repeating affirmations from my Spiritual Center when I catch myself starting to turn to fear. “I am whole and healthy in body, mind and spirit.” https://www.unity.org/prayer/affirmations I am being mindful to not try to control or judge all that is around me and just do what is mine. I am staying home and doing things that make me happy and feel good. I am creating art, watching uplifting shows, playing music and making good food. I am reaching out to friends to talk on the phone and offer support and stay connected. I am taking time to be thankful for the little things in my life and see the beauty around me. I am being in the moment because I do believe that a Power Greater than myself is at work right now in my life, bringing me this serenity and peace.
There is pain and suffering in this world- that is the truth. Long before these past few weeks everyday there were millions of moments of joy and extreme pain and sadness in the lives of the souls who are on this beautiful blue planet. It is HOPE I feel from knowing that a Power Greater than myself is there for us all no matter what the circumstance. Recovery is not about a new existence that is without pain and suffering- it is the strength to get through it with our eyes and hearts wide open and be fully awake in the process. This too shall pass, and we do not know what learning will come from this. But I do believe that a Power Greater than myself can restore me to sanity. And for that I am grateful.