And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anais Nin
One important root of addiction is the desire for protection. Protection, like addiction, can take many forms. Today’s quotation reminds us of two very important things. First, that protection has the potential to both protect us from pain or to increase it. Second, that it is often pain itself that creates the motivation to make changes. It is often the emotional pain stemming from the consequences of our addictions that initially inspires us to examine them. But since we have been using our addictions as a tool to deal with emotional pain, we may initially find ourselves wanting to stop our addictive behaviors while simultaneously needing them even more. Addressing addiction is a daunting process and can mean making major lifestyle changes. But in this process lies a potential blossoming, an opening to a new and more fulfilling way of experiencing life. Recovery usually means repeating this process of pain-leading-to-the-awareness-of-the-need-to-make-changes again and again. But it is worth every drop of sweat, every bit of energy, as it leads to a life that requires less and less of the protection that our addictions attempt to provide.