Freedom of choice is one of the greatest gifts of a healthy body, mind and spirit. Addiction to substances and behaviors are by definition the loss of the power of choice or the inability to discontinue the addiction despite negative consequences. The trickiest piece is often not revealed until the person has a "moment of clarity", "bottom" or forced abstinence from the addiction, when they realize they really do care about those negative circumstances.
The lessening or absence of caring about friends, family, self, life, might have even been what the addict was trying to do in the first place because of difficulty coping with intense emotion about a particular issue. But, addiction is an iceberg, a non-strategic cold sinking of everything. The drowning of caring about one thing or another is effective but as the ship goes down, light dims on even wanted, loved pleasures and people who were special, and eventually sinks the person too. Unless they grab a raft or other floating thing, to return to stable,
Recovery brings awareness of caring back and after a longtime numbness, it can be overwhelming. The feelings that come can be flowing and rapidly changing as the brain and body come into alignment and the new relationship with the world settles into a flexible and "right-sized" interplay.
The exploration and journey of self-discovery is a wild and rewarding life-long adventure which humans are designed to share with others at a level of depth and weight. For people recovering from an addiction, these experiences are often had initially with others who have gone through the same harrowing and choice-less existence and recovered too. Support groups like 12 step programs are beneficial in many layers and ways, and their authentic bonding experiences are a strong cement for their foundation of sobriety. The founding 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous describes this phenomena in it's basic text; "We are passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from a shipwreck, when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain's table". With the support of these understanding friends, the responsibility of making strategic choices makes their newfound freedom a welcomed adventure.