The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
-Henry David Thoreau
Much of what changes during the process of recovery from addiction can be described as a change in perspective. Moving away from addiction is a process of internal emotional change as much as it is a process of changing our external circumstances and patterns. Usually, when our addictions are active, we participate in them very intensely by identifying with them. Furthermore, we identify with the emotional baggage that accompanies the addiction. Without even noticing it, we will often see ourselves as being intrinsically lazy, immature, inept, unlovable, unreliable, depressed, or hopelessly distractible, for instance. As we enter into recovery from our addictions, the new emotional patterns that we start to create will inevitably clash with the held beliefs and attitudes we have about ourselves. Often we must consciously change the way we describe ourselves to ourselves or we will fall back into our old patterns as a matter of habit. The best way out of this is to train ourselves to see the changes we are making and see the changed person that we are becoming. It is difficult to let go of our old identities because they often support the very protective patterns that lead to our addictions. But if we are to successfully face and rid ourselves of addiction, we must begin to see ourselves as the changed people we must become.