One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time
-Andre Gide

Our addictions serve very important purposes. They are not undisciplined frivolous indulgences nor are they simply the result of automatic reactions to neural demands or genetic unfolding. Our addictions establish themselves because they act as anchors. As dysfunctional and destructive as they may become, they originate out of a need for stabilization and regulation, serving deep and important purposes. Eventually, the harmful side-effects associated with our addictions start to outweigh whatever benefit they may be providing, and we decide that we must quit. Knowing this is usually easy, following through is usually very difficult. So the problem is not knowing in which direction we want to go, but in letting go of where we are. Even with an honest desire to quit, to enter into recovery means to voluntarily let go of substances or behaviors that have stood to provide vital means of personal security and emotional navigation. This means that we must necessarily go through a time of great personal turmoil and disconnectedness while we learn to navigate life without them. This is what makes recovering so difficult—the period of time where we have let go of our established, albeit destructive, means of emotional navigation, not yet having developed their functional replacements. But only through consenting to this very difficult transition do we stand a chance at discovering the new land of recovery.

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