Folks mention this a lot at meetings when they’re discussing getting sober. Getting sober is considered a return to sanity, which begs the comment, alcoholism is akin to insanity. But that isn’t e n t i r e l y true… BECAUSE – plenty of sober people have a sincere inability to function in reality. We’ve all met them. We walk away from a conversation or some encounter with one of these folks and the most comforting conclusion we arrive at is to go to bed and stay there while we try to make sense of what we just experienced. Craziness begets crazy.
Do alcoholics do insane things sometimes? Yes. But so do sober people.
Do alcoholics do regrettable things sometimes? Yes. But so do sober people.
Do alcoholics forget important dates, occasions, and things said or done? Yes. But so do sober people.
Do alcoholics lie? Yes. But so do sober people.
Are alcoholics sometimes irresponsible with people, money, things, responsibilities, etc.? Yes. But so are sober people.
Do the above examples define insanity? No. They define intoxication, irresponsibility, and dishonesty.
So what sets alcoholism apart from sobriety? The illness that rides the wave of alcoholism. The compulsion and great urge to drink to move away from the tremendous mental and physical sensations that alcohol brings us in the first place. THAT is the madness. That is the insanity.
We continue to go to alcohol for relief from the very thing alcohol smothers us with. It’s such a tragedy. And in addition – the solution couldn’t be more simple. All we ever have to do to get better is quit swallowing alcohol. That’s it. That’s the answer. And that can be the hardest thing an alcoholic ever has to do. Yeah. I know. It’s weird. It took me 23 years to get it.