This is Manjusri, the Bodhiisattva with the Sword of Discriminating Wisdom. She sits on my mantel and I will be invoking her presence and guidance often in the coming weeks.
I know a woman who is healed of alcoholism. She once identified as an alcoholic and spent many years in AA. She no longer has an alcohol problem. She drinks on occasion and it does not affect her life either negatively or positively. She once told me that if I really wanted to recover from the problem to let her know. So I did.
I am beginning a process with her similar in some ways to the 4th Step in Alcoholics Anonymous which states: "We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." I will be starting by examining all the beliefs of my southern culture, the tribe I was born to. All the beliefs - whether I feel they personally affect me or not. I will meet with her on a weekly basis to do energy work and begin to explore how these beliefs have manifested in my life.
One belief I hold that is not of my culture is that people can recover from alcoholism without abstaining forever. I'm sure this is why I've had ongoing issues with relapse. I have the belief, but have not had the courage of my convictions or the intent to make that my goal. I tried to remain in the prevailing paradigm because it's so fixed in our society. But it is incogruent with my belief. She did not ask me to commit to remaining sober through this process, but I have made that commitment to myself. I don't see how it will work otherwise. I have no idea how long it will take or what else will be involved, but I'm in for the long haul.
I have some fear and trepidation, but this feels so much more sincere to me than anything I've done in decades around this issue that I know I will walk through it. I will, of course, be letting you know how it goes.