This idea of choosing sanity is what we desire. Who would ever choose insanity? But, believe it or not, people choose insanity all the time. You remember the saying, “doing the same thing over and over again is insanity.” If you are honest with yourself, I think you might remember a time when you yourself kept doing something that was assuredly insane. Today, if you can honestly say that you always choose sanity, then my response to you is that is a good thing. I am happy for you.
In our 12 Step program of recovery we learn about the 2nd Step, “Came to believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.” Now for most of us, like it says in the 12 &12 and 12 Traditions, written by Bill W., co-founder of AA, sanity “means soundness of mind.” Now here is the point, when I was in the throes of depression, I was scared and I really did think that I was losing my mind. I could not concentrate. My feelings and emotions were flowing through me like a river overflowing its banks. My thoughts always circled back on themselves, making a tight grip-like on every thought that flowed from my mind. I was in a circular round dance – without a partner. I would try to think my way out of my depression. What was happening to me I thought? The more I thought, the more I got tangled up in my own mental fog. After the mental wrestling which went on in my mind, hour after hour and day after day, I begin to wonder if there was any way out of this labyrinth. The paths led to places which indicated that there was no exit. I began to believe there was no way out and so my daily recourse/solution was to sleep. Sleep was the only thing that would deaden the assault on my mind.
Many times my own mind goes back to the time when as a therapist I tried to help others break down their life choices into small pieces. When I was depressed, all I could think of was a wall, a huge wall that would show up, every time I wanted to go and try to figure out a solution for my problem. And it was here that I would continue the insane banging my head against a wall that would not let me gain entrance. But when I began to break the symptoms of my depression into smaller parts and take a closer look at where the solutions might lie. I discovered a way out of my own prison by this method and it gradually provided hope for me. I discovered that what I needed to do was to utilize some of these ” tools ” as a way out of the prison of depression and gave me a gradual exit out of my prison. Instead of going over and over in my mind on how bad or worthless I was, I began to cut off these self-bashing thoughts with hopeful designs on making a new me. No more was I engaged in that insane circular thinking that provided no solutions, but instead, always sent me right back to square one from where I started. Insanity! It was like a dog chasing its tail. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sorry, it doesn’t happen that way when we are with a group of people at a Depressed Anonymous meeting. We all have experienced the type of thinking that puts us deeper in the lowest mood possible. It is the group experience and the spiritual principles of the Steps that help us to spiral upwards into wholeness and sanity.
One of the great lessons that I have learned over the years is listening to those persons who share their stories of hope. They tell the stories of their own recovery sharing with us how they used all the “tools” at their disposal for their own recovery
.(See Tools of Recovery at our website Menu where you will find a list of many of the effective tools for extricating oneself from depression. You will be able to use ” sane” tools as a means of rejecting the insanity of our own lives and making sense out of how to live a life without depression. A life with hope. It happens.)
Also read the many stories in our Depressed Anonymous “Big Book” Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY). Personal testimonies section.
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