Here I sit, in a small cabin located up in a low mountain, settled in for a winter season of change. This season alone, as my husband is in British Columbia taking care of personal business, I have the solitude for reflection before embarking on a new chapter in our lives. This new chapter begins in the season of spring of building our dream home and developing our lakefront property.
With this freedom, my wild side has stepped up front and centre to be heard.
My wild side has struggled with alcohol addiction for many years.
My struggles with alcohol can be read in these blogs:
Therefore, with over 30 bottles of homemade wine sitting on the floor here in this little cabin, I was like “WOO HOO, let’s party!!” My partying was with no one in particular, just me, myself and I with the freedom to drink whenever I wanted, without any guilt or shame whatsoever.
So I thought.
Honesty & Acceptance
My first week alone was an afterwork binge. Then by the start of the second week, I started to tire of it, but my cravings, desire for the habit and its effects wouldn’t go away. Included in this was an honest discussion with my husband of how much I was drinking. This opened up more honest communication between husband and wife, with a plan in place to help guide me.
There was a shift. I didn’t feel shame and guilt with my husband. I felt supported and loved. The shift was that my husband realized how much of a trigger alcohol is for him and how much he hates it. His shift from judgement to acceptance changed everything.
The wild side in me no longer felt rejected by her husband. She felt embraced but needed to settle down a bit because too much drinking wasn’t good for her.
Here is that moment when someone else’s love and acceptance helped me to see that I was worth loving myself enough to become my best self.
Because I felt that my husband, the one person I love like no other, accepted and embraced all parts of me, including the parts that are more challenging. I was no longer fueled by resentment and anger because my wild side felt repressed. This loving act by my husband to embrace my wild side, helped me to embrace her too and realize it was time to shed my skin and evolve. Too much drinking wasn’t helping me, it was hurting me.
But, I’ve always known that. I’m not saying that the reason I drink too much, am an all-or-nothing kinda gal is because of my husband or anyone else’s judgement of my drinking. There is a shame that comes from the label of someone who drinks “too much”, has issues with alcohol, is an “alcoholic”. Somehow, this translates into: I am flawed, bad, weak. My biological father lost everything because of his drinking habits. Even his health. Is he flawed, a bad person and weak? Or, maybe he is someone who cultivated an addictive habit early on in his life, a destructive habit that made him feel good because he didn’t feel good about himself. Perhaps, he didn’t inherently believe he was worth enough to love himself enough to become the best person he can be.
Never underestimate the power of emotional support.
Never underestimate the power of addiction and shame and how they perpetuate each other.
Addiction or a Bad Habit?
Such a messy subject to write about, because there are SO many varied views on addiction. Is it an inherited trait? Are you born with a gene that makes you have an addictive personality? Or is addiction just a bad habit that is hard to break? Does addiction only happen to those with low self-esteem who use addictive substances or activities to an addictive level to make themselves feel better? I’m not a believer that addiction can happen to those with high self-worth, self-esteem and are spiritually evolved. It goes against the nature of wanting to be your authentic best self because an addiction, or bad habit eventually hurts you in some way.
If addiction happens to someone who appears to have it all, I’m thinking they were hiding something that they couldn’t get honest with. Remember addiction spans more than alcohol and drugs. Money, shopping, cigarettes, relationships, vaping, exercise, eating, work, gambling can be addictive. Anything external – outside of yourself – that you use to make yourself feel better, but is hurting you in some way, is an addiction. You do this because you don’t authentically love yourself enough to become the best person you can be. It is so tricky, because there is the spiritual aspect as well. We are spiritual beings in a physical body. 12-Step rooms use a Higher Power for support on their healing path. What I don’t like is that you have to introduce yourself as an alcoholic, or addict. The label is so shaming. I had 5 years without drinking using a 12-Step program, along with talk-therapy. The emotional support and camaraderie within the 12-step rooms does work. But, I never agreed with how we had to introduce ourselves as an addict when we shared. I also don’t believe in once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. I don’t agree with that fixed mindset.
As I just mentioned, I’ve had times in the past where I’ve gone months, even years without drinking. But, those times I stopped drinking were motivated because of an external influence. This is even trickier to explain because of where I was in my life, and who was in it. My goal was to be my best self, yet at times, I was trying for the wrong reasons. Complex and tricky this is to try and explain.
What I can articulate is that now I have my basic needs met. I’ve traveled the world. I’ve seen and experienced so much potential in life. Most importantly, I have a husband who loves me, accepts all of me…even when the going gets tough. I am transitioning from the fixed mindset that once an alcoholic always an alcoholic to the growth mindset of breaking a bad habit that will take some time to overcome.
What does the wild woman in me think? She is tired of bad habits, but isn’t quite ready to fully let go. She is however, willing to evolve to become the wildest, happiest, most authentic woman she can be. Her best self, in a healthy way!
The Transformative Healing of Reiki
Energy work, Reiki is helping her, me get there. As well as daily exercise, healthy eating choices, creative outlets, uplifting time with family and friends and participating in actives other than drinking to become my best self. All with my supportive husband, Michael by my side.
My time of solitude up here in this isolated little cabin allows space for Reiki and making it a part of my everyday life with the eventual goal of having my own practice. I started receiving weekly energy work to bring energy work back into my life. The nearby town of Windsor is a hub of holistic healers. I tried a few different energy workers, and found one woman, a Reiki Master, who is a good fit. She’s a powerful healer who is also a wild woman struggling along her spiritual path. We’re a perfect fit!
Her powerful insight, without my even saying a word, led her to lay her hands specifically on my liver as she channeled Reiki into me. Since I’ve started regular Reiki sessions with her, that also include other types of energy healing, my body has become more of a voice to lessen my drinking. To take better care of my physical self, to help it continue with its miracle of health.
The more Reiki I am receiving, the more I notice my own supply of Reiki increasing. The more Reiki I am channeling into myself, the less I want to drink wine, my cravings decreasing. The more I practice Reiki on others, the more I find my own creative style of practice. The more I study Reiki, and deepen my understanding of how to use it while writing my Reiki Level I blog series, the better qualified I feel as a Reiki Master Teacher. Each step is leading me forward to becoming a Reiki Master Teacher with professional integrity.
What does the wild woman within me think? She learning there is a time and a place for her now. That she has been fully embraced, she no longer feels repressed and rejected; that she wants to model that it is possible to be a wild woman walking the spiritual path. She can change her drinking habits. She can transition from an all-or-nothing kinda gal to finding a happy medium.
What do I think? I think this miracle of authentic, slow transformation is happening because of the emotional acceptance, support of my husband, actively participating in Reiki and how good I feel each time I make a choice to replace drinking with something I enjoy doing. Part of this joy is rediscovering what I truly enjoy; that I’m feeling happier when I’m not drinking, rather then when I am.
With love and light,