My big spring cleaning

In his first column of the new year, our columnist Mick Boskamp is more candid than ever. Because you know: secrets keep you sick.

On April 28th I will - if all goes well - be clean & sober for 8 years. So far, since that day in 2013, I have not drunk alcohol, snorted cocaine (how disgusting that sounds), I have not smoked a cigarette, I have taken no benzos or XTC and I have not smoked any cigarettes since November 5 of the same year. But the fact that I am an addict in recovery with an emphasis on recovery is absolutely clear.

In the beautiful summer of 2018, I relapsed. Not in use of resources, but spiritually. A emotional recovery, they call it at Castle Craig. And this did not blow over, but became a severe depression, for which I was even admitted to a mental healthcare institution for two months. Have you ever liked the American television program Seconds From Disaster heard? Disasters from modern history are reconstructed. And such a disaster always precedes a series of smaller disasters that together cause a snowball effect. It was the same with my depression. And I could have prevented all those disasters myself if I had really recovered well.

One of them was that I did not have my finances in order. Money is my Achilles heel. I can't deal with it. I don't know what's going on for the simple reason that I don't have an overview. Don't I care about money? Oh, really. But especially when I lack it, it starts to gnaw at me. By then I am so afraid of digging into my administration and coming across dead bodies among the papers that I let that fear fester, with disastrous consequences. And then those other little disasters arrive. Disasters with names like Insecurity, Regret, Shame and even Jealousy. Because there are countless men on earth who are not immature cowards and who have their act together. Men who are a much better match for my loved one. I would lose my girlfriend, my house and my mind. Yes, really: the most dangerous place on earth is between your ears.

That depression gradually dissolved, but I still don't have my finances completely in order. Maybe not at all. And so, after forty years or so, we are finally going to do something about it. Do something about it yourself. And don't leave it to others, because then you will never learn. Simply by taking responsibility yourself. Because that is where the good feeling and the road to adulthood begins. Am I less that I have left things all this time? No. Because I also have good qualities. That's how I do something I never imagined I would do: assist fellows on their way to recovery. They just shouldn't ask me to file their tax returns. Seriously, helping others makes me feel incredibly good. And the power to do what I have to do. Clean house, as it says in the big AA book.

That is why I am heralding this January 2021 as the month in which I - and hopefully a number of fellows with me - will start the big spring cleaning.

Roll up your sleeves, Boskamp! You can do it.