Life certainly was made for living on a moment by moment basis. The existential dilemmas we encounter can lead to a nihilistic view or one of true optimism – the difference perhaps is related to genetics, biochemistry, the social and political zeitgeist, luck or lack there of, and myriad other phenomena.
Our experiences in life inevitably lead to a process that is at one introspective yet yearns to be shared with our social network. However, our reluctance to be seen as being different can block this drive – brought on by insecurity as a result of a sense of low self-esteem and low self-efficacy that makes us want to fit in with the rest of society.
If we progress to the “next level” we perhaps will deal with our reluctance to be different by gaining strength through insight and embracing what the French might refer to as “vive la difference” – “long live the difference.”
More times than not, our reluctance wins out and drives us to escape or pushes us towards bolstering our sense of courage through alcohol and/or drugs. Although this is an ego-dystonic process, the clinician must help us to work through our resistance and make self discovery syntonic.
Information gathering through didactics and therapy must result in the knowledge that escaping exploration of the true self through the use of mood-altering substances is at best temporary and at worst leads us down a path of “who are we really,” and the potential for dependency.
The process of introspection paired with the cognitive behavioral tools we need to understand ourselves and create change, can lead to long-lasting sobriety and a sense of true bliss. When the inevitable negative aspects of existence arrive at our “psychic doorstep” we are better prepared to be positive and productive in our actions – resilient in our approach to life.