QUESTION: Masters, I am a functioning alcoholic. I believe this has actually served some purpose in getting me to a certain stage in my life. I need to stop now but don’t want to seek professional help; what can I do? ~Sian, UK
ANSWER: Your addiction has been your most important lesson this lifetime. You have gone through all of the layers of grief over your chosen lesson and are now at the final stage of acceptance: congratulations! Having dealt with the initial denial of your condition, you threw off anger at all those who tried to intervene and tell you what you were. Next came the bargaining about it not have an effect upon you since you were able to function despite your condition. Then came the realization of your sense of the loss of control of your life that made you depressed, which took you to your current stage of acceptance.
Your desire to do this withdrawal on your own brings up additional lessons of embarrassment, condemnation, lack of faith in yourself and others. You also find you don’t trust others to handle just your addiction and not mess with the rest of you. Fear abounds.
You must ask yourself: what is the fear? The fear stems from thoughts that there are reasons for your running away and diving into a beverage where you knew you would sink when you got tired of swimming. And there are a number of things lurking in the background that still have to be dealt with, or any run at staying away from booze will end in defeat.
You don’t have to go to a psychiatrist or even a professional, but do spend some time with others who have been successful in turning their lives around. Hear and feel the demons shared by you and many others who have chosen your path.
Until you speak your innermost thoughts they cannot be cleared away. You need help to understand why you are where you are. Running away from help is a denial that you need help. Physical help is the quickest and easiest. Non-physical help, such as your guides, will work if you have the depth of awareness to enter deeply enough inside to reach the triggers for your behavior. If nothing else, seek out a group that can help you get into deep meditation where you may find assistance.