What behaviors do I continue, expecting different outcomes?
I keep pushing people away, making them leap hurdles and pass acid tests to get close to me. I want friends, but I don't give them a chance to be my friend. I now see this as a defense mechanism gone astray: if people can't get close to me, they can't run away from me.
I keep procrastinating, expecting to magically come up with the perfect solution for my projects at work. Fear of failure drives perfection. Knowing I cannot be perfect drives procrastination.
I keep trying to "mother" my siblings into perfect human beings, even though they're both grown and going to make their own decisions. I now realize that ignoring my middle sister and pretending like she doesn't exist, only to mourn her bad or "bad" choices, is like my mother running away when we were bad or like Granny ignoring everything that doesn't fit in her perfect world. I still need to avoid and ignore her, but not to punish her. I need to avoid her to get myself healthy.
How do I define sanity?
Sanity is realizing that I can't survive alone in this world. Not just in terms of physical survival, but emotionally. Humans have always lived in social groups, both to make food easier and because humans need to be loved. I can live alone (much as I'd rather not lose my husband and families) physically, but even in my most introverted days, I go stir crazy without some form of human contact, even just saying hello to my neighbor. I need to know I'm not alone. I need to know I haven't been abandoned by everything I ever loved.
Sanity is knowing where to draw the line on what I can change. I can't change that the sun comes up in the east. I can't change that wars are fought over stupid things. I can't change the moon. I can't change my mother. I can't change anyone except myself and my reactions. Someone with schizophrenia once said "I can't change that I hear the voices, but I can change that I listen to them." That's kinda how I see my life. I can't change my past, but I can change the reactions I learned in my past.