Chaos demands to be recognized and experienced before letting itself be converted into a new order.
-Herman Hesse

The addicted life is often one of chaos. The stronger the ties to the addiction, the deeper the chaos will be. Chaos is defined as lack of order or organization, and a life built around addiction is just this, a life that, to some degree, cannot support order or organization. As one becomes addicted to a substance or a behavior, there begins to be a trade off. As the addiction deepens, as the relationship to the substance or behavior becomes more important, there will have to be changes made in life to accommodate the growing importance of that to which one is addicted. Even if involuntary, as the addiction becomes more important, more time and energy in a person’s life will be required to satisfy the addiction. As the need becomes greater, and more and more energy is required, life becomes less a series of conscious choices and more desperate and reactionary. This inevitably leads to more disorganization and chaos. Unfortunately, as the inevitable stress created by a life punctuated by the deepening chaos increases, so too does the need for the addictive substance or behavior. An important part of recovery, then, is to discover a “new order.” Often, early recovery is installed around the inherent structure created by 12-step involvement and an emphasis on regular tasks like making one’s bed every morning. These are important ways that order begins to take over for the chaos that was such an overriding aspect of life for so long. Slowly, the external structure can give way to or make room for internal order to develop. As chaos is slowly converted into order, life becomes naturally less stressful and there is much less need to escape through our addictions.

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