We are so accustomed to disguising ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.
-Francois de la Rochefoucauld
The process of active addiction is always a journey away from our true selves. Addiction is the process of distraction and protection from the painful parts of ourselves which we don’t want to experience. Often, this effort will include an attempt to hide those parts from others in order to avoid rejection and abandonment. This always means adopting a disguise, becoming a social chameleon, anything to control the reactions others have of and to us. Recovery, on the other hand, is the process of journeying into ourselves to uncover that from which we are trying to protect ourselves. In our recovery, we must ultimately befriend our woundedness, drop our disguises, and express ourselves fully in the experiences of our lives—even if this means we must risk rejection to do so. Only by taking this risk will we eventually learn not only to have genuine fulfilling relationships in our lives, but also to feel the joy, through reflection by others, of truly being accepted for who we are. When we can accept ourselves the way we are, there is no longer a need to escape through distraction and protection, and addictions are no longer required.