While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside of us. -Benjamin Franklin
Addictions are an attempt at controlling our inner experience of life. It only bolsters feelings of continuing helplessness if we attempt to apply control where it can’t have any effect—and addictions are a good example of this. Applied where it can have influence, however, control can lead to feelings of competence and confidence, states of being that both greatly reduce the need for addictive behaviors. Of all the areas where control might be effectively applied, learning to navigate our inner world and its emotional reactions are by far the most important. We actively story and experience our lives through what we tell ourselves about what happens to us, not simply by what does happen to us. Often there is little conscious understanding that a difference lies between these two perceptual realities. With effort and practice, however, we can start to make this important distinction and our very experience of life will inevitably seem more manageable. Just as important, with the ability to gain a deeper understanding over these largely automatic reactions, events that may have been seen as problematic can be viewed differently, thus softening the psychological impact they will carry. This will always lead to a decreased need for addictive behaviors.