Life is Messy |

Life is Messy

Danielle B. Klotzkin
Special to the Sun

Editorand#8217;s note: This is the fourth in a series about addiction. Please visit, search addiction, for previous articles.

In the first three parts of this series, we explored different aspects of addiction. I hope some of the insights and tools I offered are helpful for you or for your loved ones. But every situation is different. There is no rule book that works for every problem. Life is messy, complicated, and confusing. We imagine that other people have it figured out, but really, they donand#8217;t.

There is no life path that avoids pain, fear and loss. No one feels like they are living the life they want all the time. No one feels confident all the time. Everyone is shocked and confounded by death and disease and dying. Everyone has anxiety about money. Everyone has disappointments in relationships. Everyone does things they regret.

Addiction and codependence are ways we try to protect ourselves and others from experiencing the parts of life we do not know how to deal with. But how could we possibly know how to deal with this stuff? We were never taught, we never learned. Mostly weand#8217;ve all had to fake it and act like we are fine, even when we are not fine.

So, how does a person learn how to deal with life? Especially if there is no and#8216;Answerand#8217; or rule-book?

Well, it is your life. This, right now, is Your Life. Figure out what works for you. Explore. Experiment. Try things. See what helps you to be stronger. Talk to people whom you respect and ask what helps them. Recognize your own complexity and#8212; mind, body, and spirit. Throw away the idea that you are missing some and#8216;keyand#8217; to living that other people have. Throw away the fantasy that someone else can give you the Answer.

And, remember, for better and for worse, we are all in this together.

and#8212; Danielle B. Klotzkin, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, provides psychotherapy for clients who are looking for a way to move forward through relationship issues, problems with alcohol, drugs, or managing money, eating and body issues, trauma, grief and loss, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Contact her at (530) 470-2233 or

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