The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your identity.
These wise words, written by one of the more honest and ornery grandfathers of modern psychotherapy, remind us that contentment comes when we stop blaming others. Blaming others is a way of not taking responsibility for what is happening in our lives. Blame is a handy tool because it removes us from the pressure of responsibility, but it also keeps us in a position of powerlessness over any potential solution. At the root of successful recovery, though, is the proper assignment of what is and what is not actually our responsibility. With practice, we can become very effective at realizing quickly what is and is not our responsibility. With this important awareness comes the ability to apply our energy to life in an effective way. When we can become truly effective in our lives, then we can begin to actually feel less powerless and obviously less ineffective. Finally, as we feel less powerless and ineffective, there becomes less need for the emotional escape that addictions attempt to provide.