Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power. -Rene Descartes
Our addictions attempt to temper our inner world. Especially when we find ourselves in an addictive relationship to substances, we are drawn to experiences that seem to blanket our mental and emotional journey through life—often at the direct expense of the external structures that keep our lives running smoothly. So recovery must address our inner life. More than any other influence over that inner life are our thoughts. And while we can’t ever know what thought might enter our minds, we can learn to have a lot of influence over whether those thoughts stay with us. Our general thought patterns are largely conditioned but are ultimately available to be reconditioned if we decide to dedicate ourselves to the process. If we can learn to understand the default trajectory of our thinking, we can develop the capacity to examine, challenge, and change these automatic patterns. Through this process, we can learn to greatly influence the way that our lives feel. And when life feels right, the need for our addictions inevitably diminishes.