Wherever you go, there you are.
-Jon Kabat-Zinn

At their most basic level, addictions are based on dependence upon external sources to relieve internal emotional discomfort. Over time, these dependencies often become obsessions with particular substances or behaviors, sometimes complicated by physiological dependence, but they remain, at their core, an attempt at internal regulation. This is why, beyond the initial phase of recovery when we may need to discard the substance or behavior through which our addictions manifest themselves, we will need to go further and change deeper parts of ourselves. Since addiction is based around external regulation and dependence, to truly overcome them means tending to the self—learning to cater to our emotional needs internally so that we are no longer as dependent externally. We can’t escape this truth any more than we can escape ourselves, though our addictive pursuits are an attempt to do just this. So recovery requires that we learn to stop, allowing the parts of ourselves that we are attempting to outrun to catch up with us so that we can honor and heal them. Once we do this, we may still not be perfect, but we will have answered the call that we previously and unconsciously answered through our addictions. When this happens we will no longer require addictive patterns to do what we have learned to do for ourselves and we will be safe—wherever we go.

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