Sober since April 6, 2006


Sunday, December 03, 2006

definitions of "restore" and "sanity"

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

As part of working the second step, my sponsor told me to look up the definitions of "restore" and "sanity" in the dictionary. So here they are:


verb 1 return to a former condition, place, or owner. 2 repair or renovate (a building, work of art, etc.). 3 bring back (a previous practice, right, or situation); reinstate.

— DERIVATIVES restorable adjective restorer noun.

— ORIGIN Latin restaurare ‘rebuild, restore’.

noun 1 the condition of being sane. 2 reasonable and rational behaviour.

Ah, reasonable and rational behavior. When I was drinking, my behavior was never reasonable or rational. Sometimes my behavior is not reasonable or rational even now that I'm sober -- but I've learned that if I catch the behavior fast enough, I can give it to God and start over.

The trick is to stop the emotional avalanche before it gains too much momentum. Once that happens, LOOK OUT! Worlds collide, the sky falls, and geologists millions of years from now will discover a curiously anomolous layer in the earth's crust and know instantly, "Oh! This was when she got upset!" ("She" being myself, of course.) At least, that's how important my self-generated crises FEEL when my mind is consumed by them. I often forget that situations viewed through my distorted emotions are actually much less significant than they appear to be.

I found the derivatives of "restore" to be interesting. Am I "restorable"? I believe so. It would be quite egotistical to believe that MY problems are SO big and SO bad that even an omnipotent being (the "restorer") could be crushed by them. But that is what I sometimes want to believe. I have occasionally found a morbid sense of comfort in thinking myself to be hopeless. But as each day passes, I'm learning to find real comfort in knowing that there is no limit to God's ability and willingness to help me -- and finding out that my problems are not so special after all. I experience that help each day when I earnestly seek it and keep doing "the next right thing".

The Big Book of AA says:

"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power," (p. 42).

"Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought," (p.60)


Anonymous said...

Hi nice lady.I dont know if you are even interested in this but I will pass on to you what was passed on too me.The "WE" on the board are the first (About 100)alcoholics that started this fellowship.If we want what they had then we must understand what Bill was writing.Bill did not use the dictionary definition of the word insanity.That definition works with the little J walker story in the book,but that looks at the alkie from a observers point of view.It sees insanity in action.If you look to page 37 up at the top you will see "Whatever the precise definition of the word may be.................."Read down to about the bottom of the page.Bills definition is in there.It takes place right before the first drink.They told me that is was very important to understand this definition.Maybe it is, maybe it is not.Point that out to your sponcer and I bet she will give you a pat on the back.I hope it helps.See ya Gods Kid

tkdjunkie said...

Thanks Anonymous! I see what you mean. The thoughts leading up to and the reasoning behind the first drink -- that's the insanity. Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Yes.I should have pointed out that this definition is given after telling Jims story.The"mix whiskey with milk"idea YUK!.Freds story follows on page 39.I like Freds story because people would(and do) say "we drank to escape the pain".I never felt comfortable with that. I drank if times were good or if times were bad.I had many days when there was not a cloud on the horizon.Pain or no pain I would tell myself some kind of lie and drink.The result was always the same.See ya