I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. -Michelangelo
Deep down inside there is a version of ourselves that does not require the mechanics of addiction to thrive. Our addictions, in fact, are an unconscious attempt to uncover this version of us, even though they usually end up having the opposite effect, giving us even more layers to sort through before we can reveal this important essence. So while the process of recovery is one through which we may have to learn certain things about living in the world without merging with our addictions to do so, it is also the process of safely shedding layers of emotional protection so that we can reunite ourselves with our vulnerable centers. This process takes time and commitment and may require that we first learn simply to live abstinent from our addictions. But if we take the time to learn about the nature of our own protection, we can safely confront it and provide ourselves with a safe reawakening to the precious version of ourselves beneath those layers. Luckily, it is already there, we just need to learn to let go in order to access it.