Grateful Heart Monday

It’s a new week and time for another new Grateful Heart Monday entry. Welcome everyone! Today I’m most grateful for the oddest of things. I say odd because I’m most grateful for a totally sleepless night I had the other night.

I know, I know, how can one be grateful for something like a totally sleepless night when everyone needs their rest? Well, that’s most certainly a good question to ask because indeed getting a good night of sleep is critical for one’s health and healing as we all probably know. But here’s the thing about a totally sleepless night. There are countless things that one can do when they can’t seem to get any shut eye.

Of course, through my years of recovery from addiction, I’ve heard numerous stories of people doing various forms of addictions during sleepless nights that ranged from getting drunk to looking at pornography. For recovering individuals or non-addicts in general, the norm appears to be watching television or a movie, or reading a book. For others, it could be writing or journaling, or working on some other hobby like knitting. But who thinks to clean their entire house during a totally sleepless night? I guess I do and that’s precisely what I did to occupy a time when I just couldn’t fall asleep.

After lying in bed for a few hours utilizing affirmations, prayer, and meditations, and even daydreaming, all in the hopes of falling asleep, I finally came to the acceptance I wasn’t going to be able to. So, I got up and began tackling a project I had put off one too many times. Room by room I went around the house, reorganizing, condensing, decluttering, rearranging, and tossing a number of things away I hadn’t used in years. Closets that had been difficult to get into were now left with decent-sized spaces for storage. Spaces that previously felt confined became more open-feeling. Garbage bags and our garbage cans became filled to the brim and a trip was even made to our storage unit with tons of books I hadn’t read in years and the large bookshelf they once were housed on. Interestingly enough, I became more energized the more I did all this, rather than feeling more exhausted. But the best part that came from this totally sleepless night actually has to do with puzzles.

One of my healthiest recovery habits is working on puzzles. I’ve done at least a dozen 1000+ ones since moving here to Toledo. Unfortunately, due to feeling like there just wasn’t enough space in our house anymore and way too much clutter, my partner Chris and had decided to shelve our puzzle-making projects well over 8 months ago. But after removing that large bookshelf from the office and relocating two other pieces of furniture elsewhere, we were left with a perfect-sized space to permanently place our puzzle table in the office. To celebrate the good news of that, I ordered a limited-edition Iron Man puzzle that I plan on doing for a friend when it arrives.

In the end, my totally sleepless night turned into an extremely productive one. It truly felt freeing and uplifting to declutter, to reorganize, and clean in general. On some level, I compare the experience to the thorough housecleaning practice I did during my 4thStep work of 12 Step recovery. By the time I finished that step, it was as if a weight was lifted off of me, which is precisely how I felt by the time this 24-hour period without sleep ended.

Rather than feeling absolutely drained and depressed, I felt grateful that I had utilized what could have been a very frustrating morning and afternoon in a way that helped not only my energy, but my partners as well, and for that I felt it was best to become the focus of today’s Grateful Heart Monday entry!

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson