What a child doesn’t receive, he can later seldom give. -PD James
Recovering from our addictions is a learning process. Many of these lessons will be unique to each person learning to overcome their addictions, based on the development interrupted by the addiction process or the lifestyle deficits associated with the addiction itself. But there is a more fundamental learning that is often necessary if we are to truly outgrow the underlying need for the mechanics of addiction, overall. We must learn to provide ourselves with the ability to experience and contain emotional discomfort. We must ultimately learn to navigate the entire landscape of seemingly negative emotion in functional ways. Usually we learn the foundation for these skills early in life, but if we don’t, or if we once had access to these skills but lose them along the way for some reason, then we must discover them again or for the first time. In no way does this necessarily mean that we didn’t get what we needed from our parents, or that we can blame anyone for our problems. It simply means that for some reason, we find ourselves relying on our addictions instead of relying on our own innate ability to navigate our emotions autonomously. So we must develop and learn these skills so that we may successfully give ourselves what we once could not.