How it works for me, today.
The books tell us that sanity means soundness of the mind. Sound means –free from injury, damage, defect, disease, etc.; in good condition; healthy; robust: a sound heart; a sound mind. AA’s definition is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
The ultimate insanity for me was trying over and over to drink successfully, despite all I knew about alcoholism and the obvious fact that over time, my drinking got worse, never better. Just like they told me would happen.
Now as far as trying something, I will say I’ve moved a step beyond even the understanding of “if you do what you did you will get what you got.” Not only should I change the things I do in order to get a different result, I should also let go of the results, and not expect anything for certain.
When my mind is sound, and healthy, and I’m mostly sane, I think I have as clear a picture as I can of the world and my place in it. Sanity to me means knowing that no matter what, my gratitude list is far longer than any list of complaints I could assemble.
It involves seeing “my part” as much as I can, and accurately appraising people and situations. It means being humble and “right-sized.”
I don’t know if I ever was “sane” before I started drinking, and returning to sanity may be just trying to get back some of the good sense I was born with. My actively drinking life was total insanity, and I guess I do need to consider that it takes a certain kind of person to do what I did. I hope that the memory of that can make me gentler with others who still suffer.