The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.
-Albert Einstein

One of the many ways in which addiction can be viewed is as an attempt to satisfy the self. The ‘self,’ in this case, refers to the part of the human psyche that is incessantly desirous for what it thinks it needs to feel sated at any given moment. The ‘self’ is an important part of the human experience and should not be ignored. In active addiction, however, it becomes a tyrant, constantly demanding that it be catered to at absolutely all costs. A very important part of recovery, then, must be an effort to attain liberation from this tyranny. To accomplish this liberation we must do two things. First, we must learn to listen to what the ‘self’ is craving so that we can identify the underlying deficits that are motivating its dissatisfaction. Only then can we learn to give ourselves healthier more satisfying versions of what is missing. The second thing we must do is develop the more mature parts of our psyche that can stand up to the cries of the immature ‘self,’ gently calming and ultimately holding ourselves until the healing process starts to kick in. This process is difficult and can take a very long time. But if approached in earnest, we can eventually find long-lasting peace instead of settling for the scraps of momentary liberation that active addiction seems to promise.

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