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May 31 • Crazy Thinking

Day 692


Am I crazy, or is it just me?


A few years ago, before I had acted out sexually but following the suicide of a high school friend, I was sure I had gone over the edge of sanity. I literally looked up 'psychiatrist' on my smartphone and drove to the closest one. I had never before seen a shrink, but as I told the doc, I was desperate. He invited me into his office, where I noticed all his books and personal effects were in freshly taped boxes. He explained that he was moving his practice to Montana and had just finished packing when I walked in.


I felt a moment of divine intervention in having this guy still in his office and available just when I needed him. I doubted that that was the right way to start the conversation questioning my mental state. But then he offered the same thought out loud and asked what he could do for me.


After stumbling through a few facts of life, I just blurted out,

"Doc, I think I've lost my mind, gone crazy, had a psychotic break, or whatever the proper term is."

He asked about meds, and I admitted that I had not been taking my DHPs (damn happy pills). We talked a few more minutes until he told me, based on what I told him about my history, that I wasn't crazy. He said that people who have gone over the line rarely recognize it, so he was encouraged that I thought I was nutz. He did tell me that I needed to get back on my prescription and stop looking for excuses to stop taking the pills.


As I think about the times I was deep in acting out and justifying my behaviors (a few years later and again off my meds), I don't think I ever considered that I might be a little short of sanity. It probably crossed my mind, but I would have quickly brushed it aside, believing I had finally found the real me.


The first time I specifically wondered if I was experiencing some sort of mental defect (when I was acting out) led to the first time I searched the internet for 'sex addiction.' The first thing that came up was a schedule of local 12-Step meetings, and there was one starting in forty-five minutes just 30-minutes away. I got there just as guys started showing up.


I did not stop acting out for several more months, but that was the pivot point for me between a season of being insane, and spending as much time looking for help as I did refusing it.


I still do not know the technical answers to whether I was crazy, but I know my brain was not working the way I wanted it to, much less in a healthy way for my life, my family, or my work, and I couldn't stop. I could not stop.


That does not seem possible; of course I could stop, I did it dozens of times. Except I really couldn't. It is still hard to admit, but I know it was true. I needed help staying stopped.


I have stayed stopped for nearly two years now, thanks to what I've learned and the people that have helped me learn. Recovery is a team sport, as crazy as that may sound.


–JR

 

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