Leonard Cohen once said, “My mind was always very cluttered, so I took great pains to simplify my environment, because if my environment were half as cluttered as my mind, I wouldn’t be able to make it from room to room.” In early recovery, our minds are often so filled with anxious thoughts, fears, resentments, and quixotic hopes that we find it difficult to think clearly. When we take the time to de-clutter our minds and our environment and make an effort to truly live in the present moment as much as possible, we begin to feel a new sense of peace and serenity. The tendency to unnecessarily complicate things is an almost universal trait of men and women in recovery. In active addiction, we tended to live in a near constant state of fight-or-flight, allowing our fears and anxieties to build up until we began to feel so overwhelmed that we sought solace in a drink or a drug. In sobriety, we may find it helpful to start clearing away the unnecessary mental and environmental stressors in our life. Eileen Flanagan, in her book Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope, explains, “To find freedom in simplicity, I realized, you had to trust that if you only had one pair of jeans, you’d be okay if they got ripped, that if you didn’t stockpile onions, you’d be able to borrow one when you needed to. You had to trust that your worth wasn’t measured by what kind of car you drove or whether you owned the latest computer. Living with that kind of trust seemed harder when you felt like an isolated individual, responsible for meeting your own needs. Feeling connected — to a community or to a Higher Power — helped enormously.” Through personal and spiritual connection, we begin to develop a sense faith and understanding that can be incredibly conducive to our recovery. Rather than depending on unnecessary complications created by mental and environmental clutter, we can simplify our lives and turn our attention toward the internal experiences that really matter. We will find that we are no longer held back by the clutter than once consumed our thoughts, and we begin moving closer toward a state of serenity and happiness in our sobriety.
Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can change your story for the best by making the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to helping you develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777