If it is, in fact, addiction that we are dealing with, in all of its horrific, full-blown ugliness, then in order to break free and move beyond it, we must first face our demons. Before we can face them, however, we must know that they exist. We must know what they are. We must figure out how they got in.
I spent seventeen years of my life trying to put a band aid on a bullet wound because I did not understand these things, and as a result it took experiencing a cataclysmic degree of pain and loss (caused both to myself and to others) before I was able to break free and move forward. I have sometimes thought and wondered about how much better things could have been if I would have really listened to those counselors who tried to coax me into the deep, uncomfortable work of talking about the things that I needed to talk about in order to process through and understand what it was that I was really dealing with.
I mean, I totally never even knew why I was using drugs in the first place. In my obssession with covering up the pain, I’d actually forgotten that there had ever really been any to begin with.
My encouragement is this: if you are fighting the good fight of recovery, don’t skimp on the process. Go hard. Be real. Pursue your healing as though your life depended on it, because it completely and totally does. Whether or not you really live the rest of your life absolutely depends on it.