Chaos in recovery is much the same as in chaos theory in mathematics. Simply put, a very small change can cause a system to behave quite differently. Here are some thoughts on chaos.
To deal with chaos, we first need to narrow down and define the nature of our chaos. Is it emotional, mental, or environmental? Are we in a constant whirlwind? Do we feel out of control in terms of managing our home life? Is time management instrumental in our chaos? Is chaos an escape from our feelings? Is the escape still serving us?
Once we begin to recognize the source of our chaos we can start to make small changes.
Let’s look at our home life, where we sleep, cook, eat and tend to our family, or ourselves. Name one detail we can change to reduce the chaos in our lives. It can be the smallest action, like keeping our socks together, or emptying the wastebaskets once a week. Make an intention every week to make one small change.
When we focus on one detail at a time, our life can feel more manageable. Consider the grocery store clerks on a Friday afternoon. Shoppers carts are filled to the brim and lined up behind each other. The clerk can only deal with one shopper at a time. That’s all. We can create ideas to reduce chaos, but we have to implement them. Making one change and feeling better because of it can motivate us to take care of something greater, deeper, something at the root of our lives.
We create our own lives and our chaos. We either face our responsibilities, dodge them altogether, or procrastinate. I’ll take care of that tomorrow. We say, “yes” too often. We worry, too much, work too many hours at the office, nothing seems to go right, and we’re upset all the time. The question remains why?
Creating chaos in our lives can be a method for masking emotional pain. We spin to keep from feeling. We drank and took drugs to keep from feeling. Sure, we can focus on physical surroundings, and thereby reduce the chaos, but real change can come from having the courage to look beneath the chaos.
“In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.” Jeanette Winterson
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