Spring Cleaning – Inside and Out

Søren Astrup Jørgensen

It’s officially spring! You know what that means. It’s time for some spring cleaning – in your home and in your sobriety.

I enjoy making lists far more than I enjoy actually doing things. Because of this, it took me a few days to finish up my spring cleaning list…mostly because I was procrastinating getting started on the physical work. But after cleaning windows, raking the yard, and flipping my mattress, I breathed a sigh of relief and felt great about what I had accomplished.

I felt the same way about making a list of my character defects. I had no problem writing them all down; my biggest weaknesses were glaringly obvious. It was difficult to start trying to fix those defects, just like it was difficult getting off the couch to mop my floors. I work on it a little every day, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can take stock of my moral inventory and feel proud of the person I am.

You can find my favorite spring cleaning checklist for your home here and a great post on spring cleaning your life here. For those of you in AA, here is the chapter on the 4th step in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

Don’t waste any more time! Do some spring cleaning! Tell me how it went! Ask questions!

Just get started.

Hi, I’m Haylee and I’m more than just an alcoholic.

When I first quit drinking, I had a really hard time defining myself as an alcoholic. I had an even harder time defining myself as sober.

I didn’t want to be that girl who raged against alcohol and put a damper on all the fun. I thought that I would walk into a bar with friends and people would whisper “There she goes…the sober girl.” while they laugh and sip on $18 cocktails. I decided that being sober wouldn’t define me.

How I imagined my future, circa 2 weeks sober:


The real kicker is that I had let drinking define me for so long. Every single part of my life was steeped in alcohol, even my job. I was the “fun” girl. And by fun I mean the girl who was always down to get wasted, no matter the situation. Eventually, I didn’t have anything else left to define me.

As I started to become a real human again (around 4 months into recovery), I desperately looked for other ways to define myself. I started running again, I focused on my relationship with my boyfriend, I threw myself into my work…the list goes on and on. Suddenly, I had all these labels to choose from: fit, hard-working, loving, dog mom. Why was I so afraid to add sober to the list?

One day, as I was dutifully saying “Hi, I’m Haylee and I’m an alcoholic” at an AA meeting, a realization slapped me in the face. I don’t have to let alcohol define me anymore. That means that I also don’t have to let sobriety be the only thing that defines me.

By working towards any other goal in my life, I can acknowledge the paramount importance of my sobriety and recognize that I wouldn’t have anything else without it. For now, I’m going to let all of my accomplishments define me, including staying sober.

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