“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
While this quote can be attributed to Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, or Benjamin Franklin, it really doesn’t matter when it comes to addiction–because the quote clearly and adequately describes substance and behavioral addiction.
If you know anyone who is a hardcore drug user or addicted to any form of substance or behavior, you may think, “Why can’t they just stop?” “They’re crazy!” and many other things. This is because in our clear minds, it’s hard to see why a normal person can just suddenly choose a different path of using a drug, drinking alcohol, or watching too much porn over and over again even while his life crumbles right before his very eyes.
Over and Over and Over and…
Addiction is a habitual, ever-increasing, and ever-present dependence (even desire) to escape. While this can be clear to other people, it isn’t to the user. Though it’s largely well-known that addiction will bring about the same results such as gradual breakdown of physical and mental health, destruction of relationships, financial problems, loss of control and one’s sense of self, the addict will always think otherwise.
Whether they are just in denial, ignorant, or they just don’t want to face the truth, the insanity of addiction will make the user believe that each high, each shot, is going to be different.
But of course, it isn’t. It never will be. Often, many users don’t see this until they reach their rock bottom.
In a Limbo of Addiction
Over time, the user’s life will revolve around the same things: the haze of cravings and giving in, finding ways to obtain and use, the short-lived and futile guilt in the aftermath, and even the hope for a possible change that never comes. That is, until they seek help.
Amidst this insane cycle of addiction, there is a way out, a way to sanity. It is when the addicts realize that the addiction has gotten them nowhere, only down. It is by seeing that no matter what they do or believe in, the result will always be the same: self-destruction.
So if insanity is doing the same things over and over while each time expecting different results, then sanity is realizing that this should stop.
If you have a friend, partner or family member who is struggling with the grip of addiction, feel free to contact us through our confidential help lines.