You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
At their center, all addictions are an attempt to control our emotional experience. They are always a misguided way of trying to ensure that life unfolds in an emotionally comfortable way. The irony, of course, is that addictions usually create much more discomfort than had we let life unfold on its own. But we aren’t conscious of the fact that we are making these attempts to temper reality until the addictive behaviors are too deeply embedded to simply stop. So as we enter into a life without addiction, it is very important to learn to allow life to unfold as we gain the tools to unfold with it instead of continuously living in fear that it will not be as we wish. This does not mean, of course, that we should not make plans and goals, or that we shouldn’t work hard to see them to fruition. It means only that it is as important to learn to be flexible when the inevitable twists and turns arise before us and we encounter the many aspects of life that happen around and between our plans and goals. Through this flexibility we learn to trust the process of life as well as our own abilities to respond to it with aptitude, integrity, and fortitude. And as we learn this valuable lesson, we experience less emotional discomfort, and, of course, require less distraction from it.