The Road to Insanity–And Back

I love the saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while still expecting different results.” It’s not error itself that defines insanity. It’s denial. It’s evasion. It’s a willful refusal to introspect and look at one’s own actions objectively. It wouldn’t be possible to do the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results, unless you were blocking your willingness to face facts. When this blocking becomes so automatic, so ingrained, so much a part of your personality that it’s ever-more difficult to break the cycle — that’s surely insanity, of a kind. Technically speaking, in the most narrow sense, insanity (or “mental illness”) involves the experience of outright delusions and hallucinations, as with a schizophrenic. However, the operative principle is the same with people who aren’t that far along. We’re all capable of some form, degree or version of insanity. The extent to which we are is the extent to which we pay a price. Because no matter how much you think you’re escaping reality, you’re not. The road to insanity is paved with multiple evasions, become habit. The road back is paved with clarity of thinking, a willingness to face facts, and optimism that reason can solve problems–and beats denial, any day of the week.