Life is difficult.
-M. Scott Peck. (Opening of A Road Less Traveled)
Life really is difficult. In so many ways, being human means bearing various amounts of seemingly unbearable feelings intermittently throughout one’s life. And it is in the face of this undeniable difficulty that addictions can sometimes arise. What eventually become our addictions usually start out as moments of relief from the pressure of this underlying hardship. Through our addictions we seem to be promised a reliable avenue of transcendence—a way of circumventing this inconvenient reality. But of course our addictions fall way short of coming through in a functional and sustainable way. So in our recovery from addiction, we must embrace difficulty. We must learn to accept the fact that difficulties and outright pain are a necessary part of the landscape that spreads out before us. We must learn to put life’s inevitable struggles in their proper place, just as we do the parts of life that we look forward to and enjoy. There is no contentment or happiness without love, and there is no love without pain. In our recovery we must learn to welcome and navigate all of our lives, the easy, the difficult, and everything in between, if we are to learn to live comfortably and addiction free.