Ultimately it is on our vulnerability that we depend. -Rilke
Addictions arise as an attempt at regulating painful emotional patterns. Once they really take hold they become obsessions, in and of themselves, but they represent a rigid protective layer donned to temper the discomfort that trying to outrun emotional vulnerability inevitably creates. Recovery is the process of healing the underlying need for protection, it represents our learning to shed the protective layers allowing us to become more and more vulnerable. This process of healing is difficult as learning to become open to the entirety of our emotional experiences is the antithesis of our previous attempts to use our addictions to stay invulnerable. Furthermore, there is not one path to this healing, we must figure out the best way for each of us to gain this understanding and then find our way there. But as we do shed these layers of protection and learn to be more vulnerable and open to life, not only do we require less and less dependence on the mechanics of addiction, but we also create a healthy dependence on the power of vulnerability itself.