My experience is what I agree to attend to. -William James
In many ways, active addiction and conscious recovery are dysfunctional and functional means to the same end. The biggest difference between the two is conscious attention. Our addictions usually develop unconsciously as part of a larger pattern of emotional protection and reactivity than we are aware of until their bonds are well established. Recovery is a conscious process, but should ultimately pick up where the addictions left off. Recovery should stand to provide us both with an understanding of what our addictions attempted to promise us, as well as guiding us toward a fulfillment of those unmet needs. In the beginning, it does not feel natural to attend to our recovery. It may not feel natural to take actions that weaken the attachment to our addictions as they often represent desperate attempts at personal security. But our experience is what we are attending to, and only by attending to our recovery from addiction can we eventually experience it.