The Insanity of alcoholism and addiction
“During these fits of absolute unconsciousness I drank, God only knows how often or how much.
As a matter of course my enemies referred the insanity to the drink
rather than the drink to the insanity.”
They said, "You are sicker than you know."
Yes, it's true. Rehab is a State Licensed Mental Hospital!!
When they sent me from detox to rehab, they told my new counselor that I was “bat shit crazy.” If you had asked me at the time, I would’ve said that my thinking was quite normal. It was a long time before I came to realize the truth of their words. They told me I had a damaged thinker, a broken filter, and an overactive forgetter.
The impairment of my thinking had come on slowly without my realizing it, as the degree of my using deepened. A hundred forms of negativity came to dominate my thoughts: fear, low self-esteem, resentments, anger, paranoia, and more. My logic had become completely screwed—of course it was normal to drive down the road with a needle in your arm shooting cocaine, yeah! Hey, forget seeing your kids on the weekend, let’s get high instead! Honest?—of course I’m honest, I only steal as much as I need. And so on.
My brain filters information that hits my senses and decides what to ignore and what to accept. Mostly this occurs unconsciously. As my mental sickness worsens, my brain filters out anything which might interfere with my addiction. I don’t hear the warnings of my friends. I ignore the damage to my body that is occurring. I don’t pay attention to what my conscience is telling me.
Should anything penetrate my filter, I developed an over active forgetter. I can instantly forget the warning the cop just gave me about driving and drinking. I can forget my wife telling me for the last time to quit drinking or she would leave me. I can forget anything which threatens my using.
There are several causes for my mental problems
Every get-high you can name makes you depressed. Sure, you got high, but then you came down, and the down is always lower than where you started out. Over time, you will necessarily encounter the deepest melancholy. Everyone who walks into rehab is clinically depressed.
Everything you used to get wasted—pills, pot, coke, crack, smack, you name it--are all brain poisons. They kill some neurons and make others deathly sick. You can actually see the damage under the microscope. By the time you reach the rooms of AA or NA, your brain is badly toxic. The damage they did will last far longer that it takes for the drugs to leave your system.
This is the big one, the insanity of the drink and the drug, the insanity of addiction itself. We all know now that when we cross over the line into addiction, we can no longer control our using. And with time, the negative consequences of my using—DUIs, lost jobs, wrecked cars and marriages—all began to pile up. Yet in spite of repeatedly bad outcomes, over and over again we would keep picking up that first glass of wine or syringe of coke, thinking that somehow this time it would be different. Yet it never was. Insanity--doing the same thing over and over again, getting a bad result, and somehow thinking it will be different this time.