The Meditation Room

I need to retract my comment the other day where I said "I wake up early every day – like, 4am, early".

I slept in until 8:30am today.

I feel as though I time travelled and woke up in some alternate universe where people get a good night's rest, the sun is shining and wake up feeling brand new.

I am not used to this.

The last 24 days have been the fastest, and slowest, 24 days in recent memory. Actually, they're just the clearest days in recent memory...because my memories before going alcohol free are pretty sketchy and foggy to say the least. I've been spending a tonne of time on self-care (reading, writing, relaxing, detoxing and not putting a lot of pressure on myself to be doing anything in particular other than adjusting to this new normal).

Today's goal is to rediscover my meditation and mindfulness practice.

I was doing so good for so long.

My meditation room. Not the best pics, but it's pretty damn zen.

After returning from rehab last spring, I flipped one of our spare bedrooms into a meditation room, and it's still one of my favourite rooms in the house – despite not visiting it very often. Sadly, it's become the room where we "shove the things" when company is coming, or we're too lazy to put them where they actually belong (usually the garbage or the garage).

I think we all have a space like that – within our homes, and within ourselves. 

You know, that place you take for granted. That secret hiding place where you pile up your procrastinations and hide away things you don't really want to deal with just yet.

That piece of furniture that doesn't have a home. The stack of magazines you subscribe to but never read. The feelings of inadequacy and anxiety you promise yourself you're going to deal with.

But, just not today.

A junk drawer for all your ugly emotions.

It's not like I didn't want to spend daily quality time alone with my thoughts (or lack of thoughts) in my Meditation Room. I just couldn't, well, be present when I was 4 bottles of wine in and unsure of what time it was, much less focus on my wine breath going in and going out for 20 minutes without barfing.

Meditation and mindfulness require you to be fully present, so you can clear your mind and observe what's passing by. Sort of like sitting on a park bench and people watching, but instead you're sitting with yourself, and watching all your distractions drift past – and letting them.

It's also fair to say that being drunk is basically the opposite of meditation.

Being drunk allowed me to take a lot for granted: the meditation room, as well as the equally safe, quiet space inside me that I was able to carve out during my 5 months of daily mindfulness practice.

It's amazing how quickly I filled it back up with trash when I started drinking again. I'd just take all my uncomfortable feelings and hide them there behind closed doors.

If meditation is engaging in contemplation or reflection (chilling the hell out), the opposite of meditation is confusion and disorder (freaking the hell out).

What I did externally to my precious meditation room by filling it with garbage, is exactly what I did internally to my clarity of mind and calm when I returned to drinking every day: I filled it with clutter and turmoil, every day shoving more things in that I didn't want – or know how – to deal with. 

And I'd just close the door and walk away.

All the way back to the liquor store.

Once you've tried or done something long enough that really, truly makes you feel good – it's impossible to forget. Once you've had the best pizza of your life – every other pizza you try will just remind you of that time you had an even better pizza.

The Best. Pizza. Ever.

That magical slice will haunt you for the rest of your life.

The same goes for when we do things that make ourselves feel good  – meditation, going to the gym, eating healthy, becoming (and staying) sober. Once you've tried it, and know intrinsically how much better it makes you feel, you'll always think of it when you recognize how good you aren't feeling.

Or when you are feeling good and want to continue feeling better.

Today I'm feeling ready and able to clear out the meditation room - inside, and out.

I'm going to reclaim my safe space.

My quiet place.

My refuge in recovery.

In clearing out the meditation room in my house, I allow myself to begin clearing out the clutter in my mind at the same time. I'm tired of feeling claustrophobic and overwhelmed, sitting alone with my thoughts in a room full of the mental and emotional rubbish I've been hoarding.

It's time to dump the junk drawer on the floor and finally start sorting out what's worth keeping.

Sober, alcohol free recovery blogger.

Photographer. Writer. Ex-Blackout Artist.

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