If a way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst. -Thomas Hardy
Addictions are a reaction to pain. While we usually discuss addictions from the standpoint of their effects on the neural processes they end up creating, addictions are fundamentally a reaction to emotional pain. So once we have broken our physiological connection to these substances and behaviors, we must learn about the nature of our fundamental emotional discomfort. It is vital to discover the story behind this pain and not just focus on the means through which we attempted to cater to it through the mechanics of addiction. In this way, our very recovery becomes a functional response to our addictions. Using this new understanding, we can continue doing the work that our addictions dysfunctionally attempted to do for us. But there is no way to thoroughly tend to our addiction problem without first understanding the underlying discomfort that fueled it. We must get to know the most painful parts of our psyches so that we can best know how to truly heal them. Taking this full look at the worst allows us the best chance at properly tending to it so that we no longer require our addictions to do the job for us.