First off, the title isn’t entirely true: I’m something of a neat freak in certain areas of my life. I defy you to find a more uncluttered office. And my garage is pretty much a shed of right angles, with well thought-out distributions of tools, rags, and bikes, leaving plenty of room for parking as well as personal movement once the vehicle’s inside.

That said, my car’s a constant pit. And there’s a back room in the basement that gets the better of me every few months. All that being said, what’s any of this got to do with my sobriety?

Step Take Your Pick.
How Cleaning the Toilet Keeps Me Clean.

For this alcoholic, time becomes my worst enemy. With sobriety comes many more hours in the day; time that used to be killed with drinking and staring off into space. My disease equates time with boredom. Each tick of the clock serves as another reminder of all the fun I’m missing.

But what fun was that? I was never a bar drinker. It was strict isolation. Self-banishment. Each tick of the clock now reminds me that I could be sitting off by myself somewhere, dulling my brain. Because it’s Thursday. And the longer I go without recognizing the insanity in that thought the stronger it becomes, and the more depressed I get; more passive, as I watch the vines of alcoholism slowly twist and grow up and around my legs.

That’s why I must challenge the alcoholic organization that wants to run my show into the ground. I must get active, and even if that means mowing the lawn followed by doing the dishes followed by some quiet time and a bit of big book reading, all the better. It’s the inertia that feeds my hopelessness. Feeling overwhelmed is very much a liquid emotion, one that can easily knock me off my feet and into the river.

Today: I stay busy, and not just for busy’s sake. For my sobriety. Whereas busy used to be synonymous with frantic, now it’s seen for what it is: work. Simple, honest, healthy work.

I’m glad to have it, and I’m thankful that I can do it right-sized, for today.

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