Sunday, March 20 was a big day for me, but life is so great these days that I totally forgot to notice it! Things weren’t nearly as fabulous on March 20, 2009, the first day of implementing my decision to live clean, one day at a time.
For those of you who are newer to the blog, you may not realize that “living clean,” to me, has nothing to do with “eating clean.” See my post about living clean without eating clean. I consider the whole idea of “eating clean” to be at best a misleading way of thinking about food and at worst, well, I don’t know…maybe silliness isn’t all that bad but really, you eat “clean”? Even as a metaphor I don’t quite get it.
Maybe that’s because I think of it as a way of life, living without drugs and alcohol (which is a drug anyway), and more importantly, trying to keep in check any of the myriad other ways addiction can take me down. This is a constant process of self-awareness, pattern recognition, letting go of old ideas and behaviours.
Like the other day (I wish I had a picture), I felt myself worrying that I might be close to running out of hangers. Then, I looked up at one three foot section of my closet where there was literally nothing hanging other than hangers. I’m going to say there are at least 75 identical plastic white hangers there. I chuckled to myself and said, “that’s why I keep coming back.” (Meaning: that’s why I continue to attend my 12-step program for dealing with my addictive tendencies)
I won’t debate whether addiction is a disease that kills people (I think it is and I know it does, but if that’s not what you think, fine) or whether 12 step programs are successful, not successful (for the record: I think they’re successful for some, not for others, and could be successful for lots of people for whom they are not if they would let themselves take some direction, but again, if you disagree, fine).
What I do know is that I flew under the radar for many years because I didn’t partake in the stereotypical way that we think of when we think of addiction — I wasn’t shooting IV drugs in a dark alley beside a dumpster or staggering around with a bottle of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other. And keeping up appearances meant that I was slowly dying inside, with few solid coping skills and a lot of self-loathing.
My decision to try a new way of life on March 20, 2009 has taken me in a new, more promising, and most of all, more peaceful and honest direction. I still battle some of the same old demons from time to time (procrastination is the most relentless), but I don’t suffer alone anymore. And I don’t suffer nearly as much. And I realize that when I do, in fact, suffer, it’s often because of my own poor choices (which I realize is not always a popular way to think about life and suffering, but it holds true pretty much every single time I suffer as a result of procrastinating, so there you go).
So why do I blog about this on a fitness blog? Well, for one thing, this blog and the community around it means a lot to me and I like to share milestone. And for another thing, I wouldn’t be doing any of the things I’m doing today in the fitness department if it weren’t for living clean. And finally, this isn’t just any fitness blog, it’s a feminist fitness blog. And when women do awesome things that promote healthy, fit lifestyles, it’s blogworthy.
The life I’ve had the opportunity to live since March 20, 2009 is an awesome thing. Right now, I’m taking a time out from the end of a long winter in Canada, visiting Renald in the Bahamas on our sailboat (where he retired to last May). So you can’t blame me for overlooking one the most important anniversaries in my personal calendar. I haven’t even kept track of what day it is since I got here last week!
Wishing you a very happy 24 hours.