Friday, August 28, 2009

Restore Me To Sanity

What is your definition of “sanity”?

Last night's step study ended before we got to this question in our Celebrate Recovery workbooks. I didn't get to share my answer. So here ya go...

Sanity is stopping this relapse before the demon in my head possessed me again. Thank God I'm not in my addiction today.

Sanity is having friends like you, that I've never met, who encourage me and pour out heartfelt empathy and solid advice when I'm at my worst. I appreciated every one of your comments last week.

Sanity is leaving the most uncomfortable counseling appointment I've ever had, and knowing what to do next. I talked about it with people I trust. He's a therapist, but he's also a human. Some of his advice was good, some of it wasn't.

Sanity is looking at my depression and seeing it for what it is. I don't have to decide whether an upswing in my depression contributed to (not excused!) my relapse, or my relapse agitated my depression. There's a false dichotomy in that chicken-and-egg question. I'll keep working with my (wonderful) rehab psychiatrist on the depression, and I'll keep working my program for my addiction. It's all for the same goal.

Lots and lots of stuff in the last week. My head is spinning. I thought it couldn't get much worse, but yesterday the shit hit the fan at work. We're going through some growing pains, and the pastor and I have hit a pretty fundamental disagreement. But again, here's sanity: I have been (mostly) calm and appropriate, and I know that things will be okay. We respect each other. He's the boss, and while I'm here, I'll work within that framework. Heck, give it a couple days to settle, and I'll work with that framework and whistle while I do it. I just know in my heart that it's time to start looking around. There's probably something else on the horizon for me. Again, that's okay. I find good friends and good advice in the program and in my family, and I haven't really felt tempted to use over this.

I'm beginning to know who I am, and what I have to offer. As I face this dissonance at work, I'm discovering new boundaries that I didn't even know were there. I think that's sanity.

[Photo by Mark Grealish under C.C.License]


  1. I like your definition of sanity and the picture is an exquisite representation of a sane, healthy mind.

    Congratulations on stopping the relapse demon. All rise for a standing ovation for progress, not perfection.

  2. What is sanity to me, is insanity to other.

    It's 24 paws hitting the floor when we wake up, get up, come home or go to bed... and 4 feet touching the floor each morning.

    This is sanity to me because "it" they keep it real for me.

    And.. knowing AA is close when I need them.

  3. This journey is not a call to perfection, but a call to honesty and that my friend, you are walking in. Pretty sane behavior if you ask me.

    Beautiful picture...btw

  4. well i am not one who goes to the second road, but it sounds like you are in a better place now. you have been thought of in our meetings and i think of you during the moment of silence before we pray

  5. I'm glad that you are in a sane place today. Take care of yourself Eli.

  6. Take care of yourself, this is a great place for you where so many do care and are here. What we have been given we much freely give away!

    Wonderful post...thank you!
    many hugs!

  7. My brother Eli,
    you have been on my heart and I wanted you to know that I love you and I pray with you.
    Do not let the enemy keep you down in the blinding darkness of your struggles.
    I myself truly understand and I hope and pray that you will accept His forgiveness AND your own.
    I love you brother, if you ever get the chance and are interested in being a part of the online community that I am building, or should I say that God is building using a sinner like me, it is called the Worship Artists Global Fellowship and can be visited and joined at the following address, I'd love to see you there.
    Your brother in Christ,

  8. the name eli in hebrew means called of God. I love that. Sarah

  9. Sanity is recognizing that we need God's help before we get out of bed. One day at a time.