Life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be experienced.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Addictions seek to solve a problem. Though the particulars may differ from person to person, the existence of addiction signals an attempt to satisfy unmet emotional needs. Addictions arise as a way of trying to create a predictable and controllable emotional experience, one that allows the addicted to avoid some underlying foundational discomfort. In reality, of course, addictions actually provide the opposite of this and eventually deepen our discomfort, seeming to require more of that to which we are addicted. In recovery, after initially separating ourselves from whatever form our addictions take, we must eventually develop the emotional flexibility to move with the inevitable vicissitudes of life without feeling the need to attempt to control them. It is only after we have developed this ability that we will be able to really experience the facets of life that make it feel magical instead of just a potentially painful set of circumstances that must be navigated and controlled as painlessly as possible. Of course life will always present legitimate problems that we will have to solve. But without embracing the mysterious side of life and the healthy transcendence that accompanies it, we will miss out on the very dimensions of living that we sought to explore through our addictions in the first place.

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