I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s.
-William Blake

Our addictions enslave us. The discomfort stemming from our addictions is multifaceted, but much of it is derived from the suffocating rigidity that it creates. Although our addictions start as behaviors that serve us, once they become established, we begin serving them to keep them going—necessarily trading more and more of our time and energy in their service. So this is why, when we seek recovery, it can be helpful to consciously adopt another system capable of overriding the rigid programming that our addictions created. Sometimes this helps dislodge the powerful hold on us that our addictions can have. But even if we do adopt an established program to aid in our recovery, it is important that we stay aware so that we don’t simply find ourselves within a different, albeit more acceptable, pattern of rigidity. It is important that we ultimately face this need for programming so that we can learn to outgrow the very tendency to be enslaved by anything. Though it may take time, we must work toward finding a system for living which truly brings us the freedom and fulfillment that we were looking for when we developed our addictions in the first place.

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