Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Crazy On Different Days"

Someone said it last night. I've said it myself. I've heard it said many times by others. "You people are crazy, but you're my kind of crazy."

Just because we get clean and sober doesn't mean we stop being ourselves. We addicts and alcoholics can have the strangest senses of humor. Things that might make normal people fall over in hysterics, we just shrug our shoulders at. Events, circumstances, and comments that normies might blush at, we let out belly laughs and loud gaffaws. Our perspective is very different. What we have been through, what we've seen in our life journeys, gives us a window into the real that so many people can not understand. Is it any wonder that people look at us with arched eyebrows when we chuckle about things that make others weep?

We weep too, of course. Just as we have moments of serenity, we have our moments of sorrow. Some are for obvious reasons. The death of someone close to us is no less hard than for anyone else. Some things we might be particularly sensitive about. Remember that we are not nearly as experienced in dealing with our emotions as our age would indicate. We don't talk about our age being our sobriety time for nothing; in a very real sense, that is the amount of time we have spent being adults. It's the amount of experience we have dealing with life, dealing with ourselves, and dealing with the world we live in. It's a wonder that we don't break down in tears more often. After all, this reality we inhabit was something we've had a hard time understanding and dealing with for as long as most of us can remember.

We do still go crazy from time to time. It's not the uber-insanity of active addiction, but still bonkers enough that if we don't take care of ourselves, we can do all kinds of damage. It's one of the reasons that having friends in the program--being a part of the fellowship--is so crucial. Using the phone list can do more than save our lives. It can be a way for us to avoid acting on self-will. Having the ear of someone else in the program who's impartial and not in the same mental place as we are helps us to keep from making rash decisions. Talking to someone about what we're going through makes it bearable and helps us to act, not just react.

The disease is always lying to us. It's always trying to trick us. It will distort our reality to such a degree that we find ourselves thinking there is no other alternative except to get loaded. It's wrong, of course. There is nothing so terrible, nothing so fantastic, that we need to get loaded--ever. We may be thinking the end of the world is at hand. We may be certain that those we love are plotting against us. An innocent comment can be blown so far out of proportion that entire relationships fall to dust--especially friendships.

Fortunately, we have the program. Some people say the steps are the program. I disagree. The steps are a part of it. So is going to meetings. So is being of service, sponsorship, and the fellowship, too. We work each part in different ways with different focuses depending on what we need at the time. The fellowship is no less crucial than the steps. Having someone to call has kept me from throwing chaos at people I love. It's helped me to better understand myself and the others in my life.

Go to enough meetings and you'll hear it: yep, we're all still crazy over here. But it's on different days. So on the days we're not crazy, we help those who are having a hard time. When we are going bonkers, we let ourselves be helped. And so the cycle of healing continues. We continue to Recover.

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