The Insanity Defense

This is for people who are struggling to get sober, or who keep resetting their clock, AND are against working any type of program. And I mean of loose definition of program, as there are more than I can list. For this purpose TS really isn’t a program.

I’m not asking to be mean, I’m just genuinely curious and maybe this forum as a whole can better help you if we understand where you are coming from.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Is this statement true?

If you already have some sobriety or a program you aren’t necessarily the target audience but I’m sure you will post anyway



You’re making me feel like I’m a teenager over using the word insane to insult a situation, having no basic understanding of mental health.

It’s so misguided your post.

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Lol ok @liv_m


This describes me for my first 2 years at TS. Honestly I’ve come to realize and accept that I just wasn’t ready to quit. I was so mad at everyone who suggested that, but they were right!! I wanted to be sober but I wasn’t ready. When you’re ready you’ll do anything anyone suggests.

I remember an interview with Rob Lowe where he said “if someone told me that naked headstands should get me sober I’d do naked headstands”. (or something to that effect). I’m not sure I’m quite ready for THAT but I did come to realize that I couldn’t get sober doing what I had been doing.


In hindsight I am pretty much the same way. I knew after my first rehab that I wasn’t done, so I didn’t invest much in getting sober. After my second rehab I was ready to be done, but I just wasn’t ready to live sober (I’m guessing people understand that) so I was stuck in this limbo where I basically just wanted to sit in my shit and have a pity party. After my third rehab I was ready for naked jumping jacks


Just so I understand for context as I read, for the purposes of this thread, what is it that makes something a program or not a program? People have pretty diverse definitions of what a program is.


I think that you raise an interesting point that weaves desire, resolve and maturity into the sobriety equation. I knew for years that I drank too much but never took real action to stop.


I intentionally left it wide open. But it can be an organized support group, therapy, sobriety coach, counseling, IOP, CBT. Something that you do in real life.

I love TS, obviously, but I don’t consider this to be a program. It’s just a collection of cool sober people where we hang out online. And I feel this place is beneficial to sobriety. And should be included in a program.


Ah ok. I think I understand better what you mean now. As you were. :slight_smile:


I’m caught in a weird gray area where my drinking is a problem but not enough of a problem to scare me into quitting for good.

I can’t quite relate to what I saw at AA and honestly it made me feel more like I was okay carrying on. But I also can’t relate to casual drinkers contemplating that third glass of wine.

My drinking is also seriously intertwined with depression. My ‘program’ is trying to find another psychiatrist, another medication, better therapy.

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That said I know deep down I’ve got alcoholic tendencies and multiple alcoholics in my family. I’ve been in dangerous situations. It’s hard being a young urban Midwesterner to avoid the sentiment that alcohol is normal and really expected behavior.

I do use pot to dampen depression and would take it over being drunk any day of the week.


Kinda like a meeting, a support group, and a social circle, all rolled into one, maybe?

In and of itself, coming here is not a “program” anymore than some cereal dumped in a bowl with nothing else is a “balanced breakfast”. But, TS can be a component of a program, either formal, like AA or Smart, or informal, like mine.


This is a thinking-trap, my once sober-twin. Age and location used as a potential enabler for continuing addiction. I know, because I once used similar justifications:

“I’m a grown-assed man, who served his country in wartime. I sacrificed my freedom to protect the freedom of others. I EARNED my right to drink. I’m Irish-American from Boston. Drinking is part of my culture.”

And it was this bullshit thinking that helped me justify my drinking, and counting the costs.


I haven’t reset my clock yet(hope i never do) but I’m not in a support program yet i don’t know if i will get in one. I’m just realizing i have a problem when for years its been normalized in a way. People assume i don’t have a problem so i always get the oh you can have a free day to do what you want and so on. Just one won’t hurt you, come on let’s go out have a drink.
I see the resetting the clock of how it can happen and understand. I think the people around me don’t want me to admit i have a problem because they will have to take a deep look on that mirror at themselves. So they try to get me to reset my clock. I’d that makes sense


Go to a meeting get on a program and if you decide you dont need them then i wish you well keep on trucking

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It’s part of my program for sure as a good place to kill time at the very least, but it lacks the structure that is very beneficial to recovery. Meetings have set times and basic rules. Therapy/counseling/etc are run by professionals. I think it’s important for people like us to have structure in their lives because for years we were undisciplined beings. Then there’s the action stage. AA has the steps, SMART has the 4 principles (or something similar). Other types of meetings have literature and sponsorship and the like. Here is great, but it doesn’t seem to fit the bill for a program unto itself.


TS was instrumental in me not picking up again in my early days which I tended to do as and when I got paid and had cash spare which was nowhere near as when I was using at my heaviest but using nonetheless as it not only illustrated that I didn’t have to use but I saw people that had been using the same substances and were successfully staying clean.
I had been to NA before but never really invested enough in to it however I would not be clean today had I not got back in those rooms.
I get that some people can get and stay clean/sober without working a programme of some description but my drug use was so ingrained that I could not do this without NA. Not only that but the only people I knew or hung around with were users who’s only interest would be to keep me using, I now not only have sober contacts but genuine clean and sober friends who actually want to spend time with me with no ulterior motives. I will happily work this programme for the rest of my days and if there’s a part of it I don’t agree with I will just take and put back in what I need.
I will not stop going because my religious beliefs do not fit in with what I perceive the programmes beliefs to be, it’s bs like that that stops these things saving lives :+1::slightly_smiling_face:


I have no idea is that even relates to your original question let alone answers it though :joy::joy:


There are those who we encounter in our day to day that just aren’t ready. Imagine knowing that winter’s coming and you need to build a house before the snow flies. Problem is, you’ve never built a house and you don’t have any tools. The wind is blowing cold and you’re stumbling and scared and lost.

You went through (state provided?) rehab 3 times where they informed you how to build that house and they laid the tools in your lap. Those first two times you chose to live in a cardboard box because it’s what you knew. Some of us don’t have the same resources. Some of us have mental health issues.

Some days the vibe you give off is that guy who drives past the job site telling someone they’re stupid for trying to cobble something, anything, together just get out of the cold. As misguided as they are, you were there too once.

I think the grief that others express toward you is not so much about whether you’re right or wrong. It’s about that desire for righteousness. Rather than giggling and pointing at the DIY pallet house they’re building as you cruise past. Get out of you’re vehicle, light a fire and provide a little warmth from the cold. I, for one, would be more prone to listen to that person. Tough love is a useful tool, but it’s not the tool for every job. Besides, if nothing that was said to you at rehab the first 2 times pushed you in he right direction, what makes you think your harshness will jar anyone from a sleep they’re not ready to wake from yet? Yeah, maybe their cardboard box does suck, but we never know what they went through to duct tape that bad boy together.


This is the answer I was finally looking for. I think not being ready is probably one of the reasons people choose not to work a program. Regarding your tool analogy. Now imagine that someone has offered to teach you how to build the house. Why would you not want to learn? It’s not like the help isn’t available, in fact it’s readily accessible. The instructions to build the house are simple. They just require hard work. I think not being ready to put in the work is probably the biggest reason why people choose not to get help.

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