I guess this is where I tell you about my struggles with addiction. I mean it had to come up sometime right? Sometimes we imagine addicts Trainspotting style...sweaty, shaking for their next whatever, but addiction comes in so many forms. The root of addiction to me is a lack of control over one’s life. It’s when you have no will of your own and do what your addiction has you do. I’ve been addicted to many things in my life...alcohol, shitty relationships, perfectionism. Addiction doesn’t start with addiction though. It’s starts with a choice to abandon all. It’s a choice to surrender to what will entrap us. Each time I became addicted to something, to someone, I felt that small sliver of a moment when I had a choice to get out and I stayed. The Devil is about being stuck, feeling trapped, and not knowing that there is a way out. To me it’s about that small choice though...that sliver of time before you are fully addicted. Once fully addicted and you make a pact with whatever devil you are involved with and it can be very difficult to get out. Studies even tell us that one can literally not help themselves once addicted so it really isn’t that easy to stop behavior.
Oh so yeah...my addictions...sigh. So I grew up with a drunk for a father whom I rarely saw. This is not too uncommon of a story. When we did see him he tried to make it up to us by being goofy. He even wore a gorilla suit home once...maybe that was to protect him against dishes my mom threw at him? We either got that or we got the father who wanted to set himself up as enforcer once again. I swore I would never be like him. These things are genetic though...addictions can be inherited just like bad vision. Ever heard of epigenetics? Some say it’s easy to break these chains, but I would disagree. Anyone who has overcome addiction is a true badass in my opinion. So anyway...never going to be like him, but I inherited it.
I began binge drinking later than most at the age of 19. I drank myself to black out mode most nights after a year or so of drinking just socially. I made many, oh so many mistakes. I started dating people I fell for when drunk who weren’t a good fit for me...who I really barely knew. Then again my life was a drunken blur. I was truly not myself. I found myself with people who wouldn’t leave or I felt I couldn’t leave them. I found myself with a string of abusive people, verbally, physically, emotionally. I would never know how I ended up time and time again with people like this. I didn’t start getting to know myself again truly until my late 20s...almost 30 (hello Saturn Returns). I did a 180 and became strict with my spiritual practice again...something I avoided for good reasons I thought. My eating disorder I had off and on since I was 10 or so also came back really strong when I started trying to get my life together. Perfectionism replaced drunkenness and therefore I became a more acceptable addict.
I really got my drinking under control. I quit for over two years which I never thought possible. I met a legit nice and inspiring person and we have a little family now. I never thought that would be me. I really didn’t. But during those two years of not drinking, I swung around to being so perfect. I feared falling apart. Perfectionism became the roots alcohol once were. I feared losing control more than anything. When I drank heavily I did it to avoid feeling. When I stopped drinking I would get severely depressed so as long as I kept drinking I could survive. Being perfect was the same thing. If my plans failed or my rituals or lists didn’t get done, I would fail. Both addictions grounded me, but on really toxic ground.
I have only been on this journey of letting go of my addiction to perfectionism for 2 years now. I got pregnant and something shifted. I guess maybe it was because he was unplanned. I could not control that...or rather chose not to. Something about my ground shifting released me from my contract with the devil perfectionism. I remember laying in the bath one night and my body image issues just not making sense anymore. I imagined them being washed away. I am thinking now how I was released so I can help others. And the answer was that it has been so subtle that you I could barely see it. It’s like not seeing my son for a whole night when the grandparents take him and noticing that he’s bigger.
I began doing some major work on myself and not the kind of work I was doing before. I let my long ass yoga practice go for a while and picked up a thing I used to do religiously as a kid...journal. I started waking early and asking myself what practice or ritual would be of benefit for me that day. Before I would feel like a failure if I didn’t do at least an hour of yoga each morning. I found freedom in my practices through more play..like i had done as a little witchy kid. I would just do whatever I felt like. I also invested in some energy work and coaching. None of the exercises she gave were difficult, but tiny little things that caused big shifts. Energy work from other healers tends to shift things around without much effort from you. That’s a big reason I started learning about it myself. Tiny things we do everyday loosen the chains bit by bit until before we know it we are free! While the Devil is about control and abandoning our true selves, freedom is about the right kind of control and freedom to be our true selves.
Mantras for the Devil
Notice. Notice. Notice.
One thing that I found when I struggle with addiction is that I numb out. I have heard this from others, so one of the most powerful ways to break it in my opinion is to focus on noticing your body, your thoughts, your emotions. There is a choice (albeit a small sliver of choice in some instances) to be addicted, so there must be a choice to loosen your chains. From there, though, change in my experience cannot be forced. When I finally decided to quit, I just said I quit (after a million tries) and started taking care of myself. The same happened when I became obsessive with my practices, I made a choice and began investing in listening to myself. PS I am not saying that treatment, rehab and therapy can be ignored...not that is absolutely necessary in some cases. What I am saying is that meditative practices, journaling, and energy work can be a great support. Notice by writing everyday without judgement how you feel. I suggest journaling for everything...if you haven't noticed. Do meditation of some kind. This one is one that may help you get more rest while practicing noticing. Lastly, I highly suggest getting energy work from myself or someone else. If you are struggling with addiction and read this, I will do a free 30 minute session with you if you contact me mentioning this blog.
Tarot Spread for The Devil. If you don't have a tarot deck, just journal on these questions:
I am available for Holistic Healing and Guidance in-person, online and through email. Using tarot as an anchor for our session we set goals, do movement to seal in our goals and end with healing Reiki. This is a nurturing, but powerful experience I am excited to be offering. For more information, look HERE!