mine fieldRecovery from addiction requires that we establish a new emotional management system. New ways of dealing with our emotional selves and the feelings that have driven us. Some have been medicationg pain, some escaping from from life, some relieving stress, whatever our dysfuction has been, whatever the dysfuction that brought us to our addictive behaviors, the path away from them is in developing new ways to mange our emotional lives.

It takes a tremendous focus to develop new management techniques.  Not unlike the focus to detail required of a soldier trying to walk through a minefield.

While serving in Viet Nam a Colonol named Norman Schwarzkopf went to the rescue of one of his soldiers injured in the middle of a mine field.  In his autobiography, It Doesn’t Take a Hero he wrote:  I started though the minefield, one slow step at a time, staring at the ground, looking for telltale bumps or little prongs sticking up from the dirt.  My knees were shaking so hard that each time I took a step, I had to grab my leg and steady it with both hands before I could take another…It seemed like a thousand years before I reached the kid.

We must develop that same intense level of mindfulness or emotional awareness to walk out of the minefield of our addiction.  We must constantly be aware of whether we are “in our addiction” or “out of our addiction.”  Any time we find ourselves moving into our addiction we must take avoidance action.

We must master living in the moments of our lives and become the observer or watcher that warns us of the telltale bumps or little prongs sticking up from the dirt announcing our addictive behaviors are near.  We must become expert at reconizing them.