The Definition of Insanity is Actually “Mental Illness.”

I’m always hearing people use the saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again expecting different results.” I’ve never identified with this.

For starters, I can’t say I was ever under the disillusion that my self-destructing behavior would suddenly take a positive turn. Way before I came to terms with the fact that my drinking, my anger, my compulsive behaviors and all the lies to cover them up were a major problem, I still was fairly aware that they weren’t good. I just couldn’t stop, nor did I want to. But I never expected these defects to miraculously allow me to carry on a “normal” life.

Samuel_JohnsonBut beyond simply never experiencing the feeling myself, I’m a bit of a stickler for grammar, wording, and the English language. And the majority of my distaste for this phrase comes from a rigid obsession with accuracy. Simply put? This is NOT the definition of insanity. Trust me – I’ve searched long and hard to find a dictionary in existence that backs up this claim. Yes, I’ll go great lengths to both understand or (more often than not) dispute someone else’s point of view. This popular saying is just not true.

So, I regrettably have to admit to tuning out when someone “quotes” this non-quote. It’s the same reaction when someone uses the word that isn’t a word: “Irregardless.” Automatic and irrational rage.

But when my aunt shared this post from Power of Positivity on Facebook recently, it struck me as a similar (yet grammatically accurate!) way of expressing the crux of the so-called “definition” of insanity.

And to boot? I finally can identify.

“Never expect happiness in the same place you lost it.”

Beautiful. Simple. And, hey – even grammatically accurate 😉


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