All of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
If active addiction lies on one end of a spectrum, then comfortably sitting quietly in a room alone lies on the other. Today’s quotation speaks very concisely about one of the most basic of human difficulties—that of being without distraction. This potential difficulty exists for all humans in the modern world, but within no population so ferociously as those with a propensity for addiction. Addiction, in its various forms, stands to provide a program of distraction so effective that it risks rendering any attempt at a functional life useless. Recovery, then, must do more than simply keep the recovered away from the substance or behavior to which they have formed addiction. It must provide us with a functional version of what the addiction attempted to provide, dysfunctionally. An effective recovery process must whittle away at this very need for distraction or it may not be effective in the long run. It may need to be a long-term goal, but it is important to develop an experience of being that eventually enables us to sit quietly in a room alone.