Make Your Bed

The path towards recovery.

Posted Apr 18, 2018

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

It may seem like a simple task. Wake up and make your bed. But how many addicts do this? The truth is, addicts are the least likely to make their bed.

Why is this simple act such a difficult task? Part of it is that an addict’s life is simply out of control. With this lack of manageability comes with it a desire to continue to chase the high, whatever the craving(s) might be. In doing so, a person’s desire to care for self and his surroundings may take a low priority. That is why in addiction recovery, making your bed can be a vital first step (in addition to therapy, group support, etc.).

But making your bed can’t be done begrudgingly. It can’t be done just because someone is asking or telling you to do so. No, to truly transcend the obligatory routine of making your bed and elevate it to the level of a “spiritual awakening”, you must surrender to the process.  

Surrendering means learning to make the bed not because you’re hearing childhood echoes of your parents beseeching you to do so. It means you have let go of the past and are doing it for the present. The present moment I’m referring to is one where you can slow yourself down deliberately enough for this short but deeply meditative moment to say, my bed matters not because it looks neater and tidier (though that is a side benefit) but because I care enough about myself to not be ruled by the rush of the upcoming day. Whether they are school or work responsibilities, the emotional or relational concerns you might be carrying, the deadlines you’re trying to meet, making your bed is a statement to the world and to yourself that all of that can wait.

And especially for addicts in recovery, if this ritual is done daily and consistently over time, with a spirit of humility and conscious awareness towards slowing down, the benefits will be two-fold. The addict will recognize one is not ruled by the demands of this world, nor is he/she ruled by the need for addiction.