Dependence to Independence

Addiction can be understood as being synonymous with dependence. The antidote to dependence is therefore independence. This does not necessarily entail only financial independence, but also a process of maturation. The individual learns how to tolerate the discomforts of life, to delay gratification and deal with disappointment without the use of drugs. Through the recovery process, the individual comes to see that life requires effort and is not meant to be easy, but can be rewarding and filled with happiness despite occasional hardships.

This shift away from an amusement-park mentality unfolds as the addict learns to take responsibility for their emotions and for their own day-to-day functioning. This can begin with seemingly insignificant details of their daily life, from washing a car to attending appointments on time and following through with verbal commitments. This psychic shift is not about externalising or blaming the addict’s dysfunction on factors outside themselves, but is rather focused on methods of finding and maintaining a new and different way of being.

Dealing with life on its own terms is therefore not about remaining stuck in adolescence, but rather promoting a shift from dependence to independence.

Dismantling Denial