All of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
-Blaise Pascal

If active addiction lies on one end of a spectrum, then comfortably sitting quietly in a room alone lies on the other. Today’s quote speaks very concisely about one of the most basic of human difficulties—that of being left alone without distraction. This difficulty exists for all humans in the modern world, but within no population so ferociously as within addicts. Addiction, in its various forms, stands to provide a profound program for distraction that can, in many cases, render any attempt at a functional life useless. Recovery, remember, must do more than simply keep the recovered away from the substance or behavior to which they are addicted. It must provide them with a functional version of what the addiction provided through its dysfunctional means. The desire for distraction in the addicted person runs very deep. Often, it may have been with the addict since early life, before it manifested as noticeable addictive behavior. An effective recovery process must whittle away at this very need for distraction or it will not be effective in the long run. It may need to be a long-term goal, but it is important to strive, at least to some degree, to develop a state of being that would enable one to sit quietly in a room alone.

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