A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
-Hunter S. Thompson
Recovery is a choice. The patterns that evolve into our addictions, however, usually happen by default. Addictive patterns don’t usually establish themselves through a conscious process of choice, but unfold slowly as we become more and more dependent on that to which we are addicted. It’s usually a very insidious process, representing a loss of autonomous emotional functioning not noticed until it is too late. But recovery must be chosen. We must choose to enter into a learning process, one that begins by separating us from our addictive patterns so that we have the space to figure out how we can provide for ourselves what our addictions were providing us. This is where the difficulty lies. There is nothing about the process of recovery that happens naturally. It often feels as though we are swimming against the current every day, often for a long while. Again and again we must make a choice that seems to go against everything that feels emotionally comforting. Especially at that early point in our recovery, it is much harder to follow the mind’s decisions than to follow our emotional inclinations. But if we don’t choose recovery, again and again, circumstances will inevitably keep us mired in our addictions, making our choice for us.