Over the years of working with women who have had a battle with alcohol dependence and habit, it has become more and more clear to me that although all different, unique, we share several common threads.
One that glares through more than any other is our survival tactics, how we functioned so incredibly well through the darkest of times never dropping our guard, defensive often, in the quest to be able to sneak in that bottle or three, without the world seeing us beaten, shamed, injured and yes dying in some cases, in slow motion.
The enemy svelte, dressed in the best marketing armour wine, was both our enemy and our salvation, or so it seemed. Gradually using tactics that are meanly entrancing, it could then ramp up taking us to skirmishes with something a little more main line, Vodka, transparent, almost clean looking, we could transform it instantly into a hidden state via empty energy drink bottles, teacups or if fired up, boldly swig it straight from the bottle without dilution.
The women I see have seen, never played victims, they were and are warriors, survivours. Entrapped by one of the deadliest enemies on the planet, alcohol on a rocky ridge, insidiously and gleefully trying to disarm us all.
What it doesn’t expect is that now many have realised what a cowardly war it has played on them, using those other common threads we share of extremism, perfectionism, people pleasing, anxiety caused by all the armoury we have built up, and then fell into it’s trap, we can and have changed tack, and understand that we were never born to be fighting a losing battle, that is somehow mentally disabled to resist this drug, the reverse, working together come to understand that we ended up down this rotten hole because of being duped. Alcohol is not the enemy if we see it as not worth fighting for.
Many people see us as weak, pity us, pray for us, which is nice, thank you, become exacerbated by us, exhausted, we are not. We are the opposite, only needing to find a lead to flick the switch that turns all that hell we went through into the most spectacular victory ever.
I have so much admiration for The Sanctuary squad, who have turned their lives around, perhaps I have shown them a different way to pick who they battle with, but sincerely hope that soon many many more, both men and women, come out of the shadowy darkness and shine, be proud to say that yep, I didn’t think I would ever of signed up to the barmy army of habitual drinking, but it happened, another notch on lifes belt, but I fixed it, move on, nothing to see here, rather than keep carrying a huge burden of guilt on their shoulders, secretive and feeling unworthy of having the salutations they truly deserve. They are absolutely remarkable Warrior Women.