He who dares, loses his footing for a time. He who dares not, loses himself. -Soren Kierkegaard
Our addictions attempt to serve many important emotional purposes. One of these is footing. Often our addictions develop to create an emotional footing when we are otherwise unable to do so unaided. And while it is not necessarily unhealthy to rely some on external sourcing to supplement our inner ability for emotional regulation, if we rely too heavily on these externals, addictions may develop. And if we decide to stop relying on our addictions, we may face another period where we lose our footing again as we learn to navigate our emotional world without them. We may feel ungrounded, unsafe, or even afraid for a time. This is a very tender and tenuous stage of recovery—when we have to develop new emotional skills while simultaneously facing the discomfort of losing the traction that our addictions dysfunctionally provided us. This stage might be catered to using healthy external therapeutic means such as a therapist or support group. But there is likely no way to make this change without moving through this stage. So we may expect to lose ourselves a little in the beginning of our recovery journey before we, once again, regain our footing.