Hello, Sanity.


Sanity. Let’s face it. We lost it.

“We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

–Step 2: The Twelve Steps

sanityIt seems reasonable to assume that the phrase, “restore us to sanity” implies something we didn’t want to admit while stuck in active addiction: Alcohol went in, sanity went out. It’s one thing to admit that we did some pretty unconscionable things. But to imply insanity?

The old Latin proverb, “in vino veritas” means, “In wine there is truth.” It’s easy to understand what that can mean: As inhibition is lowered, secrets come out. The Babylonian Talmud says: “Wine enters, secrets exit…” It continues: “In three things a man is revealed: in his wine glass, in his wallet, and in his wrath.” The point? These are things that expose the true you.

Drugs and booze exposed the truth about our condition at that time. Our hiding was futile. Obviously, we didn’t tell the truth, but the truth was made clear, at least to everyone else: We lost all connection with sound thinking, wisdom, love, honesty, and truth to self. “To thine own self be true” was a maxim we could not keep. Let’s face it: We lost our sanity.

I was listening to an attorney make a defense for his client in court for DUI. He said, “Your Honor, alcohol went in, and logic went out, as it does with anyone who drinks too much.” Things like legal problems, losing friends, jobs, respect, trust, and the like, are all signs that a person is “losing it.”

It’s easy for many people to forget the rest of the Latin proverb. The phrase is often continued thus: “In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas“, meaning, “In wine there is truth, in water there is health.” Maybe the second half of the proverb isn’t quoted as much because wine will always seem sexier than water. But water is essential to health. 70% of your body agrees. The greatness of recovery is that it’s healthy for anyone regardless of their background.

The restoration of our sanity means that we get to regroup, recoup, and realize our real potential. But this requires “a Power greater than ourselves.” Many of us have balked at this notion. But our best thinking in active addiction got us in the mess we found ourselves in. There a higher way and a power greater than ourselves. We’ll talk more about that in the next post. Stay tuned.

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