May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey
Recovery does not require perfection. Remember that this thing we call ‘recovery’ is ultimately a learning process and, by definition, the process of learning necessarily means we will fall along the way. Because addictions can be anything from annoying to fatal if we fall back into them, it is a good idea to be careful in the beginning of the process by creating an exaggeratedly structured life so that we can minimize the emotional disruptions that could trigger us back into our addictions. This structure can help create a more predictable set of life circumstances in the outside world while we learn to navigate the emotional idiosyncrasies of our inner emotional world. But there comes a time in every learning process where the students must leave the classroom and apply what they have learned to their lives. In recovery, we should eventually develop the emotional fortitude to navigate life’s inevitable difficulties without having to play it too safely. Life should be adventurous even while our addictions need to be tended to with care. So it is important to find a healthy balance that allows us to stay safely recovered while simultaneously being open to the crooked, winding, lonesome, and even dangerous trails that make life worth living.