There will come a time when you believe everything is finished…that will be the beginning.
-Louis L’Amour

Deciding to stop an addictive pattern can seem like an unwanted ending. Often, even when it is wanted, it is only desirous from the standpoint of desperation or necessity. And it can represent an ending of sorts, especially if that to which we are addicted has been an important part of our lives for a long time. Furthermore, the path of recovery will most likely weave through new ways of living and certainly through unfamiliar emotional landscapes. But it is always as much of a beginning as it is an ending. Successful recovery will mean living with less protection and will require that we learn to provide ourselves with the emotional tools that our addictions temporarily allowed us to live without. Logistically, too, freedom from certain addictions will allow us to greatly upgrade our lifestyles and make room for much higher levels of functioning, and a wider range of choice. But at another level, what doesn’t change is that we will learn to provide ourselves with the very same relief that we unconsciously sought through our addictive pursuits. In this way we are actually continuing along the same path seeking, functionally this time, to bring a sense of fulfillment to the parts of ourselves that we attempted to treat through our addictions.

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