I can still remember becoming aware of my insanity in early sobriety – the frustration of growing up in public. I had become so socially stunted through my devotion to my addiction that I had no idea whatsoever how to deal with normal, everyday life. I worked with someone who was limited in his social skills due to congenital health issues. I had witnessed interactions he had with coworkers when he would make some annoying, obvious statements and they tended to be somewhat patronizing in their responses – smile & nod, “You betcha, dude.” One day, I noticed that people were treating ME like this and I was greatly hurt. Did they really see me the same way they saw him? As some simple child to be tolerated and placated?
Uhm… yeah. And for obvious reason. These people knew me when I was completely insane. They saw me going back again and again to the same addictions that were killing me. They witnessed my sometimes completely off-the-wall and unpredictable behavior in pursuit of my aforementioned love affair and didn’t know if or when I was going to snap again and go right back to crazytown. This was a big gut check for me. And I knew I couldn’t be upset about it because I had taught these people that I was an utter emotional, spiritual and psychological cripple. Appendix II talks about the “educational variety” of spiritual experience, where others see our growth before we do. Well, it works both ways. My friends and family saw my insanity long before I ever did. The longer I spend in recovery, the more I realize just how insane I was when I was active in my addiction.
Once I let go of my old way of thought, I realized there was a power greater than me that could restore me to sanity. The only thing I had to do was admit that I wasn’t the boss anymore. For all my logic, justification and rationalization, I wound up completely subservient to people, places and things intent on my destruction. In that way, I was far more qualified for the looney bin than I was to guide my life. If my coworkers decided they needed to talk to me like I was a simpleton, then obviously I didn’t have all the answers anymore. I had to believe there was something out there that would give me a life that made sense.
“When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing. He will declare to his friends, ‘I sinned and twisted the truth, but it was not worth it. God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.’ Yes, God does these things again and again for people. He rescues them from the grave so they may enjoy the light of life.” – Job 33:26-30