Fathers and teachers, I ponder the question, ‘what is hell?’ I maintain it is the suffering of being unable to love.
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The pursuit of any addiction is, at its core, a pursuit of fulfillment. It is easy to get caught up in that to which one is addicted, especially when physical dependence is part of the problem. Often there will be so much emphasis put on the substance itself that the bigger picture is forgotten. In the beginning of recovery, this can be useful, but in the long run it is very important to remember that the bigger picture must be attended to if recovery is to be successful. The bigger picture can be looked at from many angles, but one of the most important is to develop the ability to partake in the process of love. Anyone who truly participates in the process of healthy loving will have little or no need for addictive behaviors. Often it is the emptiness that derives from the inability to participate in the process of loving and being loved that creates the need for addictions and then keeps the addicted all the further from it. And upon entering recovery, learning to love properly can take years, especially romantic love, which can so easily masquerade as just another high. Successful recovery, then, must contain within its acquisition the development of healthy love. However it is achieved, though, we must learn to take part in the healthy expression of loving if we are to stop the suffering that creates the need for addictions.

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