Purposefully Insane

By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: July 16, 2012

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What should we call it when we do the same thing over and over again knowing exactly what the outcome will be? This applies to those who relapse, worsening after a period of improvement. We are extremely good at fooling ourselves that ‘this time will be different’. We actively participate in being insane in our thinking patterns in order to behave in ways that we know are unhealthy. Involvement in behaviors that are not in alignment with our recovery program will lead to relapse. We may decide that a little indulgence of drugs is ok, as long as it is not our drug of choice. If I was an alcoholic who decided to take Percocet instead of drinking alcohol, I would be relapsing both in thoughts and behaviors. My style of thinking that taking Percocet is better than using alcohol will lead me down a path of destruction and ultimately back to alcohol again. What do you do when you don’t want to return to drug and alcohol rehab again? The simple answer is to “just say no”, but this is easier said than done. We must actively work at recognizing thoughts and patterns that linger even after we complete drug and alcohol rehab. Unfortunately, it may take the insanity of relapse before we realize that we need to make changes in our thinking and behavioral patterns. Did you relapse before recognizing you needed to change these patterns? Share your story and connect with us on Facebook.