Addiction is the only prison where the locks are on the inside.
Despite the American ethos that constantly tells us we must make it on our own, being alone has long been viewed as a terrible thing. Even American transcendentalists espousing the virtues of solitude seemed to understand this. Consider Henry David Thoreau. Despite what Thoreau’s writings might suggest, in the two years he spent at Walden Pond he was hardly isolated. His cabin, sitting on land owned by his closest friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, was a thirty-minute walk to the town of Concord, and he traveled there frequently, usually to spend time at the local pub. Addicts don’t seem to get this need for intimacy. We choose to live in emotional exile, and we do not break this exile even if we visit the local pub like Thoreau. Many of us say we actually feel most alone when we’re in the company of other people. And yes, ‘other people’ includes spouses and other loved ones.
Task for Today
Ask yourself: When is the last time I felt truly comfortable with and accepted by others?