Our working definition of insanity will be that of Alcoholics Anonymous which is “doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” Surely most alcoholics will identify with this definition. In Step two we find the admission that our past actions and thoughts were somewhat insane is necessary.
Our downward spiral into alcoholism could be characterized as an insane journey. We sought and sought to recapture the feeling that came with our first drink or drug. We continue to increase our use of these substances while this initial feeling which we crave is illusive. At the same time, we are building up a physical tolerance of these substances. This requires us to consume increased amounts of the substances. We do this over and over and our life ends up in shambles.
Step two requires us to look at our past behavior and thoughts in order to see the insanity we perpetrated upon ourselves. Our bizarre actions became normal for us. We became increasingly unable to tell the truth from the false. We lived a life of illusory desperation while continuing to consume mass quantities of drugs and alcohol. Truly we were doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Our thinking also became distorted while drinking and using. Even when we were not drinking our thought processes were affected. We became perpetual liars. We would lie even when the truth would better serve us! We created many different personas which helped us to navigate through our day. We somehow intuitively knew that something was not quite right in our lives. We tried to drown these thoughts out of our reality by consuming more alcohol and drugs.
Finally, the day came that we could not silence these thoughts. Alcohol and drugs no longer worked for us. We were at the bottom of the barrel so to speak. Hopefully we were somehow capable of seeking some kind of help or treatment for what had now become our addiction. Some of us drink and use to the point that they are not able to seek help. Hopefully we were not in that category. Friends or loved ones, if we have any left may intervene for us to get help. We know deep down inside that we are down for the count. We know our actions and thoughts have become insane. Hopefully we throw in the towel and embrace the help that is being offered to us.
In grasping this offer of help we find that our lives are truly unmanageable and that we were powerless over our addiction. This is Step 1. We then look at Step 2 which requires an admission that our thoughts and actions have become characterized as insane. Step 2 also requires us to believe in a power greater than ourselves which will solve our addiction problem. We may not believe in God at this point but, we do find it necessary to believe in something outside of ourselves that can help us overcome our addiction.
Step 2 can really show us how warped our lives have become and how desperately we need help. In seeking help we start to find some relief from these intrusive thoughts that cause us to want to drown them out with alcohol and drugs. We begin to see that we may be able to overcome our addiction with the proper help. We also may begin to intuitively sense that there is a power greater than ourselves that is going to help us in this journey. In other words, we begin to have hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel even though it may only be the size of a small pin point at this time. It is at this junction we are able to begin our recovery journey and progress on to Step 3.