I want to look back on my life and be giddy with joy knowing that I was the one who got to live it.
-Andrea de Michaelis
Addictions arise as a potent form of protection. When we look at them properly, we can see that they serve us in an attempt to buffer an otherwise prickly emotional experience of life. But when our addictions become extreme enough that we want to stop using them, it is because they have taken so much of our focus that other aspects of our lives fall into disarray as we can no longer tend to them with so much of our energy involuntarily centered around this dubious pattern of protection. And a life that is spent primarily in protection is not a life lived fully. When our focus is emotional protection, when we are ultimately committed to creating a predictable emotional experience of life, we inevitably trade in our ability to reach out and feel the joy that comes with embracing the vulnerability required to connect to life in the most meaningful way. We are either more committed to our protection or to our vulnerability, but only through vulnerability will we learn to be giddy about this one life we have to live.