Day 200: Bit By Bit, Sock By Sock

They say that your living space reflects your mind space.

I’d say that’s pretty accurate. And, after 4th Steppin’ for a few days straight, it’s safe to say that the little bits of my mind that appear to be splattered all over the walls and across the floor go very well with the various bills, books, clothing, and general filth that are strewn over the floors, tables, and couches of my apartment.

With Easter Sunday coming up in just a few days, and, the party that I have planned in the back of my mind, I realize that a clean-up is in order. In all respects.

For me, the ceremonial house cleaning is also great way to purge my soul of it’s dusty specks. And, as I picked up my clothing, sock by sock, it felt as though I was picking up the little bits of my broken mind and battered, guilty soul. There’s something about sitting on the couch in a totally clean living room that is so fulfilling. The sense of accomplishment, peace, and comfort. The feeling that in this space, there is room. Room to breathe, live, and create.

I think of how in just a few short days my friends will be sitting around in here, enjoying each other (hopefully!). How, most likely, they will hardly notice the fact that it’s been picked over, dusted, and vacuumed. But, I will know. And, it will give me pleasure. It takes me back to my first days in sobriety. Waking up to a total and complete mess. How it took days, literally, to wade through the mess I’d created in the preceding months, and, how good it felt to clear away those cobwebs and start anew.

I don’t think it’s a far cry to compare 4th Step to a major interior clean-up. It’s a house cleaning for sure. One can distract you from the other. And, despite the overwhelming mess, piece by piece, it’s possible to clear things away.

It seems to me to be an emerging theme in my recovery, this concept of bit-by-bit. So many times in the past I gave up when I couldn’t accomplish my goal in one foul swoop. It was reason to beat myself up. But, today, there’s this acceptance that things don’t have to happen all at once, in fact, it’s not really realistic that everything be repaired quickly. Slow and steady results in long lasting changes. Lessons learned piece by piece. Knowledge ingested, bite by bite.

So, as I sit in my living room, lavender scented, tidy and glorious, I pull out my AA journal and start writing more of my forth step. Because, cleaning up one mess can inspire you to clean up another.

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