A lot of us find it very hard to let anyone get close to us. As soon as someone tries, we quickly freeze up. This reaction is caused by an unconscious decision we made a very long time ago. At some point, we felt the harsh sting of emotional pain for the first time. It was probably as the result of some heartbreaking separation or loss. It might have been a death, a divorce, or a parent who could not love us the way we needed them to. That experience was so devastating that we secretly decided, “I will never let myself get hurt like this again.” We learned early on in life that if you don’t want to feel the pain of a broken heart then you couldn’t let yourself get close to anyone. The problem is that if we avoid being hurt, we also lose any hope of experiencing love. We only have two choices: either we love someone and run the risk of being hurt, or we decide to love no one to avoid feeling that pain. The dreadful experience of living a life without love and companionship is akin to drinking and using. Recovery is about living a healthy, full and balanced life. We need to do the work in order to allow ourselves to be genuinely loving human beings. Practicing the steps allows us to heal from heartache and emotional pain of the past.