Story is our boat for sailing on the river of time. -Ursula K. Le Guin
The story we tell about our addiction is important. And it should change as our understanding about ourselves changes over time. Often, when we are mired within our active addiction patterns, we can feel locked within what is happening to us in life. Addictive patterns can be very rigid so it makes sense that as it takes more and more of our energy to attend to them, we have less and less left to direct the rest of our lives. Often, this creates an automaticity to the way life is experienced, and we can feel as though life is happening to us—and we become less self-directed. It is very common to adopt the characteristics of victimhood while addicted. So we must face this aspect of our identity should it exist. But this means honestly looking back and taking responsibility for our having traded our autonomy for the rigidity of addiction. In this way we change the story of our past from one of victimhood to one of understanding. We can to honor the attempt we made through our addictive pursuits to meet unmet needs, and determine to meet them assertively.