Lately I have been working on clearing the clutter out of my home. After 35 years and three kids, there sure is a lot of clutter in my house. Smiles. It would be a safe bet to say I have more that I do not need than I do need. I am tackling it box by box, shelf by shelf. Sometimes I open a box and when I see what is inside, I shake my head in disbelief. Why did I think it was necessary to save half a set of dishes, most of which were chipped??? Out they go. Another box of gifts from students ... perfume and soaps and stuff. That box goes off to a women's shelter along with toys that my adult children have long outgrown. A hundred knick-knacks and candle holders and such are being donated to a church's White Elephant sale. Pots and pans and casserole bowls that are still good, but I no longer cook for the crowds I once did... time to send them off to where they can be used for a better purpose in life than clutter.
Every box that is opened and dispersed feels like some sort of small victory to me. I chuckled as I shared my project with my therapist. You know what she said? She said that clearing the clutter out of home is an action that is directly related to clearing the clutter out of my mind. I believe she is right.
Each box that I finish browsing and sorting and cleaning out the contents is making my home a simpler place to live in. Same with my mind's clutter. As I reflect and sort through many years of clutter in my mind, I am clearing it out. I am finding that some of the things I have stored there are nothing but clutter and not worth saving anymore. Little by little, I am throwing out the mental garbage and saving only what is still useful to me. Old grudges, past hurts.... they are not useful to me and no one else wants them either. The good things in my mind? They are worth saving and donating to others as needed.
I think the clutter in my home is about equal to the clutter in my mind. Both have to be cleaned out. Both have taken a lot of years to accumulate and both will take time to sort through. But that is okay as long as I keep making progress in both.
I am discovering that life in recovery, just as in withdrawal, is a series of baby steps that lead to bigger and bigger steps. It took me a couple of hours to sort through the first box. Now I can eye up the contents of a box and make decisions quickly and confidently about what to do with each item. Same with my thoughts. The more I practice, the easier it is to recognize the worthless thoughts and disregard them, get rid of them and move on to something else.
There is a simplicity that is developing in me. I don't know that I ever would have found it had I not gone through all that crummy time in withdrawal and learing all I did during that time. Even in the torment and angst of going through the process of withdrawal, I find that there are many thoughts developed in that time that are not clutter, but valuable lessons that I can use forever more. I hated that year of tapering with a passion, bit in hindsight, I can see that it was a blessing because it has led me to a better place in my mind and being. It is a simpler place, a happier place, with a lot less clutter. It is not a journey that ends, but rather a journey that takes us along new and better roads. I no longer fear each new day or my future, but look forward with interest. The more clutter Iclear away, the more room opens up for discovering what lies ahead.
It must be infectious this cleaning of the clutter business! I have been putting off cleaning one of our outhouses for over a year now, it got so bad that you could barely get to the washing machine. Anyway - long story short - we're having someone come round to fix our boiler/central heating today, so i had to clear the place out so that he has room to do his job. At the back of my mind i think i knew why i never wanted to clean this room. I knew there were a lot of guilty secrets hidden in its depths. It took 3 hours to get to a reasonable state of tidiness. But the reason for the procrastination was the history of my addiction. There it lay under the sink unit, behind the kickboards - an 'orgy' of evidence; used tinfoil (from when i smoked heroin), half a dozen used syringes (from when i resorted to mainlining), 6 empty & 1 half full bottle of illicitly bought methadone (from the times when i tried to taper myself), an envelope containing my 'Loan' approval, my credit card approval (from when my habit outgrew my salary), subsequent letters for the credit card company & loan company foreclosing the agreements due to lack of repayments (from when my habit outgrew the loans).It was almost like a geologist looking through the strata/layers of rock that formed over the ages. I could see my own descent. It was a shock to the system, like i was finding someone elses 'secret'. It was also very sad as i had an insight into what it must've been like for my wife finding these things out, like she did on many occasions (though it mustve been a LOT more traumatic for her, i know). Anyway - today i will take the syringes to be safely disposed of, the methadone bottles to the recycling bin - i have no urge or temptation to take any of the bottle with liquid in it either. The rest of the stuff i shall burn. Hopefully closing a door on that chapter of my life forever. And as i watch it all burn i will try not to dwell on past mistakes, but look forward to the life i have and have always wanted.
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
Last edited by Yossarian22; 05-28-2008 at 03:03 AM.