My four primary healing modalities in moving away from alcoholism are astrology, archetypes, writing and sex. That may seem like a strange combination to some people, but they're perfect for me. If you're attempting to leave an alcohol or drug problem behind, your three or five or four processes may be quite different from mine. Yours could be golf and religion, or Reiki, Gestalt therapy and getting in touch with your inner child, or maybe AA, creating art and volunteering in your community. Whatever they turn out to be the important thing is to discover them for yourself and intentionally begin applying them to create a life that will be much too passionate, fulfilled and large to have time for an addiction problem.
Now, I didn't sit down one day and say, "Ok, these are going to be my healing venues." It's taken years of exploring different things that came into view and caught my enthusiasm and interest. I studied a lot of different pagan religions and went to a few circles, but that didn't turn out to be one of my key processes, even though I thought it would be. I explored every alternative recovery program I could find, but none of them are a main ingredient in my alchemical pot. The important thing is that I never stopped searching. I was stuck in the "abstinence is the only way" mode for so long it probably took me a little longer than it needed to. One of my hopes for writing all of this out here is that others for whom abstinence may not be the answer will save themselves some time.
I began an in-depth exploration into astrology a few years ago. I'd always been interested in it, but now I really dove in and did a lot of reading and research. I also retained a personal astrologer, Anita Doyle, with whom I meet about once a year. My work with Anita has proven more helpful to me than all the many years of therapy I did. Astrology was my initial foray into reframing my experiences on a cosmic scale. I don't approach astrology on a predictive basis but as a language of the psyche, a poetry for the human soul and a magical way to explore what has made me who I am today. You might even say, if you wanted, that the planets, stars and myths of astrology became my higher power because it's freaky how accurate they are. I discovered that my heart much preferred to view my addiction problem as a manifestation of Neptune conjunct my Sun and realize that there is a higher side of that aspect I can move into. Framing it that way is much more palatable to me than determining that I have a life-long sentence that I can never overcome and that will either kill me, send me to jail or land me in an institution. For all its "out there" reputation, astrology has proven to be one of the most practical tools in my arsenal.
More later on archetypes, writing and sex. Have I got your attention?