Nowhere can a man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than his own soul. -Marcus Aurelius
Addictions potentially serve to soothe the emotional edges created by a consistently agitating experience of life. Usually we are not aware of these underlying truths as we simply become obsessed with that to which we are addicted. Our recovery, then, must be the process of learning to change our internal experience until it ceases to rely on external sources of support. Ultimately, as today’s quotation suggests, we want to reach an emotional state where being alone with ourselves feels like a retreat instead of a “rough neighborhood.” I am not speaking of isolation, which can serve as just another avoidance behavior, but peaceful solitude, the conscious ability to be comfortably without distraction, where the mind is experienced as a helpful tool instead of a caustic tyrant. Eventually, for our recovery to be sustainable and enjoyable, we can learn to be our own best ally, and we can learn to be our own untroubled retreat.