I had a beautiful conversation with a client, let's call her Jane, about her ability to know that she is in recovery but, that her brain is not seeing life the way a non-alcoholic brain might. Her rootedness in her disease, was actually not only refreshing but downright ethereal. She was so grounded in her healing, that it was spiritually moving.
Healing is always a spiritually moving experience, in my eyes.
So, what is the "brain focus"? It's the "Ism".
The ism's of alcoholism are varied. For some, it is "I, Self, Me" with a focus on some of the narcissism that may accompany your own alcoholism or if you were a child of an alcoholic. It's self-centeredness taken to an extreme, with fear and guilt at the belly of the "ism".
Another "Ism" is "I Sponsor Myself" which might be your need to be strong, to not need support of any kind, which is a form of self-sabotage. Most women can't self-help your way through addiction easily. Why take that risk?
Speaking of self-sabotage, your "Ism" might be "I Sabotage Myself". You may or may not be drinking. Maybe your parents are no longer drinking. But, you still might have the habits, perceptions and characteristics that go with that space in life.
Women in the "ism" might ignore their own needs, but find it tempting to meet men (or women) and want to fix them.
They might be attracted to what they grew up with, be it boundary pushing people or people who do the bare minimum, as examples.
When this happens, they initially feel wanted, needed and enjoy the company. Then, the dysfunction begins to grow; the woman suddenly feels like she needs help from her quest, and the quest isn't stepping up to the responsibility.
She begins to feel unwanted, angry, resentful and fearful; or a host of other emotions.
Bottom line, she's feeling all the feelings she might have, unresolved, but cover up with distraction.
If you are a woman in this place, when you are knee deep in "isms" you might tend to have more hormonal struggles, weight struggles, and have a problem with connecting to others. You might be focused on the "I, Self, Me" and not the "You/Us" in relationships. If you focus on yourself, in spite of thinking "about" them, you will notice you are thinking of how to change them, or how to get what you want; what begins to happen as you are more and more unhappy, you begin to compare. To judge. Judging others. Judging yourself.
Then, you walk in front of a mirror, or catch a glimpse of yourself in a reflection on a city street retail store.
Suddenly, you feel less than.
You see your skin. It looks tired from worry.
Your body looks plump from sometimes, subconscious overeating and lack of motivation to exercise.
You might look too thin, from forgetting to eat, wanting to disappear emotionally.
True recovery is not just about stopping drinking.
It is about letting go of the ISM. The fears that keep the ISM alive.
You can be grounded, and know that you need to keep boundaries, self-respect and self-love. With self-love comes less fear.
As you release fear, you'll release a bit more....
You'll see a beautiful spirit in the mirror.
You'll not see a stupid person who makes poor decisions but a person who has learned from life lessons.
You'll not see someone afraid of taking a chance at self-enrichment.
You'll see someone who welcomes the ups and downs of life, and doesn't feel a "bad moment" like the coffee pot breaking, are defining your day, week or "luck".
You will begin to see yourself as valued, beautiful and filled with light.
When you notice your ISM's creeping up, be humble.
You are not to think less of yourself.
No more "insecure, scared and morose".
Rather, Ingited, Sensational, Magnetic.
I myself do not feel alcoholism is a spiritual bankruptcy, or that you need God. I feel God is within, and your spiritual space is up to you - with or without religion or the idea of God.
I feel that your ISM, the woman-energy in you, is about your ability to create your own vitality, with the energy that you might cast toward worry.
I firmly feel that any woman who is struggling with alcoholism should connect with AA and, a therapist, however, I also feel that a woman needs to connect with herself.
Nourish and cleanse the body with the new habit or ritual, of drinking plenty of water.
Enjoy taking walks.
While you have facets that are defined by alcoholism and ism's, allow yourself to develop facets defined by your character, your old and budding hobbies, your healthy relationships, your sense of self.
Your body is a powerful, yet fragile gift. Take care of it, body, mind and spirit, and be there as a support, for others.
Do not fix the random toxic and dysfunctional people who are attracted to your ism's, but rather, support those who see your ism, and honor it as a transparent facet in need of healing, who are there to help you on that path of self-healing.
You are beautiful, ism's and all.