My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Recovery from addiction is much bigger than simple abstinence. Abstinence, in fact, can only create a space in which we are more easily able to undergo an evolution in our ability to navigate life. This evolution should reliably affect our emotional experience in much the same direction that our addictive patterns were attempting to take us. But our actions directly influence our emotional experience. When we are debilitated by rigid addictive patterns, we are not able to act spontaneously in life. And the more rigid our addictions, the more our actions must revolve around the incessant demands that they place upon us. As we begin to recover, what we ‘recover’ is largely the ability to take actions that are less automatically tied to our addictions and to catering to their demands. While we will always be influenced by biological drives beneath our conscious awareness, the more we rid ourselves of our addictions, the closer we become to availing ourselves to conscious action—and, thus, conscious consequences.