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Me - Insane? Never!

If you had outright asked me if I was insane, I would have said no.

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IF you had outright asked me if I was insane, I would have said no. I would have been convincing even. But when I was left alone with the drink, when everything else had been stripped away and I was left with the four horsemen: terror, bewilderment, frustration and despair, I felt pretty insane.  When I told myself I would drink like all my friends, like my family, I’d control myself better this time and be the person I wanted to be. Every time I just couldn’t, I would cross an invisible line and before I knew it, I had another drink in my hand and then (as I know now) the phenomenon of craving would take hold of me and spit me out at the end of the night with less friends, less dignity, more anxiety and more confusion as to how had it happened again?! 

That insanity I had over drinking was something I didn’t recognise in myself until I had it pointed out during AA meetings. When other people shared their stories and I read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, I could see it plain as day. The insanity that, “This time I’ll be better… I won’t be violent or aggressive or ruin the family gathering, or be an embarrassment.” But I always was. I could go from sane to insane in the blink of an eye and I could never tell when it was coming. I was told, in those meetings and through the Big Book, I had been insane in regards to the thinking that preceded picking up the first drink. But that knowledge isn’t helpful by itself. 

I had to then come to believe that a Power greater than me could help me, it could remove that insanity, restore me to sanity. I struggled with that. Even once I could see my own insanity, I wasn’t sure how something was going to help me. I struggled trusting this new Higher Power in my life with something so momentous. So, I used to walk to work and repeat out loud, “I pray you let me trust you.”. It seems almost childish looking back. But I guess I was in my spiritual infancy so kind of makes sense. It didn’t happen overnight for me; it was a bit of a process. But I opened the door to trying to believe in this almighty being and that was all I needed to start. I came to believe more and more the further into the Twelve-Step Programme of recovery I got and the further I moved along in my spiritual journey. The belief came more and more and one day, about a month into my AA journey, I woke up and I just didn’t want to drink, I didn’t want to die, I wanted to be a part of life, and be useful and I was smiling!  A couple of years have passed and those feelings have never wavered - all I needed to access them was a willingness to try and believe that this Power could help me, just like it has for millions of other people across the world

CAITLIN, RTR Plymouth Group