My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most if which never happened to me.
-Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

One of the basic psychological/emotional patterns that seems to plague many with addictions is their propensity to struggle needlessly within the confines of their minds. Often, the addicted life can be difficult and traumatic. Often, there have been years of this trauma, possibly compounded by problematic childhood experiences. And by the time recovery begins, for many, there is a deeply embedded emotional habit to expect and experience discord in life. Even if the danger of active addiction is no longer present, and even if functional and safe life patterns have been well established, this old habit of the mind can still be there, infecting one’s ability to experience the potential serenity that could otherwise result from these changes. It is important to address these old emotional patterns, first, so that they will cease causing discomfort that could lead to relapse, but also so that the most contentment can be experienced in life. It is difficult to challenge the mind’s habits and it takes a deep commitment to the development of self-awareness and consciousness to do so. And if these habits are not changed, we will still continue to experience trauma where it doesn’t actually exist, because the mind and its pathways don’t know the difference between those misfortunes that exist in the real world and those that exist only in one’s mental experience. To the mind, they are one and the same.

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