Our society has become obsessed with overusing words to the point where they lose all meaning. Example, the incorrect definition of “literally” is now in the dictionary. One of the terms that’s lost all meaning for me is “crazy” – or any similar definition.
My family tends to refer to the addicts in our family as crazy – they destroy their bodies, their relationships, and those around them for what appears to be momentary bliss in the form of drugs and alcohol. Yet, whenever they slip up, the inevitable “Hail Mary” pass ensues.
You know what I mean – the intervention…the confrontation. We sit them down at a table and beg them to stop using. We ask them things like “Don’t you see what you’re doing yourself?” or “Is this the kind of example you want to set for your children?”. We get angry and demand to know “Why do you keep doing this?” or “Is this for attention?”. We beg and plead with them to see the light, to change the error of their ways. We tell them where they’ve gone wrong and what they need to do to make everything okay again.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results…and he was a fucking genious.
So, maybe we’re all insane? Maybe it’s the addicts and the alcoholics who have it right – and maybe all of us, putting our hands on their shoulders, trying to shake them onto the path of righteousness are the loons because no matter what, we know how it’s all going to end.
The one we love will be all right for a few days, maybe a week or two…but sure enough, they’ll succumb to their bliss and we’ll be at the kitchen table having that same conversation we had weeks before? Could it be that we are the truly insane?
And, what’s more is that I don’t blame the addict for never changing – why should they? There is something selfish about wanting another person to stop using. Because I think if we’re being honest, we need that other person to be a train wreck. We need the validation that we are not only better than they are, but that we are morally superior. Furthermore, isn’t the only reason we beg the addict to cease and desist so that we can, in good conscience, say “we did everything we could”, “we tried everything”, “there was nothing more that could be done”?
Deep down, all we want to know is that it’s not our fault…that we’re not to blame for how the other person is…that we have no control. Now, who’s more insane?