There are years that ask questions and years that answer. -Zora Neale Hurston
In the beginning, before they had developed into painful rigid patterns, our addictions usually answered an inner call. They brought comfort, ease, relief, insight, predictability—or some combination of traits to the parts of us that needed them. But eventually they, themselves, become problems in need of answers. Recovery, then, must provide the answer to the addiction problems as well as to the original questions that motivated them in the first place. We will likely need to start by addressing the addictions, learning to break the bond with the substance or behaviors that have become a problem. But we must use the space provided by whatever form of abstinence we obtain to answer the underlying questions about why those parts of us leaned on addictive patterns to survive. This part of the recovery process will likely be ongoing, requiring us to develop the awareness to know when we are needing answers again. With this awareness, we will continue to meet these needs directly instead of falling back into addictive patterns.