Confused thinking is the result of any addiction. Most of us only associate impaired judgement with drinking alcohol or taking drugs. We fail to recognize that our socially acceptable addictions cloud our judgement as well. When we act unconsciously, allowing our behavior to be driven by compulsions rather than rational thought, we start to act insane. Step two of the twelve-step program states, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This step gives us hope that we can break free of the destructive loop we’re in to find clarity once more.
On the topic of confused thinking, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Some of us want to deny what happens to our thinking processes as we become progressively addicted. It is easy for us to see how alcohol and drugs affect our thinking. We are even open to the possibility that nicotine, caffeine, and sugar affect the way we think. But overworking, rushing around, compulsively taking care of others, can these activities really affect the way we think? Yes, they can and do!
In Twelve-Step circles we often hear the words ‘stinkin’ thinkin’’ used to describe the thinking processes of the addict. We lose our ability to make judgements, we become ‘unconscious,’ we obsess, and we become ‘insane.’ We do the same thing again and again, even when it has always failed. This is insanity. Any, I repeat, any addiction can result in insanity, unconsciousness, and lack of judgement.”
Insanity is, by definition, repeating the same behavior over with hopes of a different outcome. When we overwork ourselves, when we rush around franticly trying to do it all and be it all for everyone in our lives, always putting others first, we eventually wear ourselves down. We end up exhausted and miserable, cranky and defeated. Yet we continue to do these things in the hopes that maybe this time we will start to feel better. If we just help people a little more, we will find inner peace and our happiness will be restored once more. We must recognize this for what it is: clouded judgement that is the result of our addiction. It is insane! We can’t make ourselves better if we are unconscious of our behavior and the motivations behind it. Thus, we must turn our lives over to our higher power for help in escaping this confused thinking. Sometimes we rely on others for help, and that is okay. Contrary to what we may think, we can’t do it all.