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How can I heal the grief and pain of the past so that I do not need to take alcohol anymore?

heart to heart Question
Hello and thank you for your time in answering my question. I am a 31 year old married female with no children yet. I have earned a Master's Degree, and am on my way to establishing a career. I have a wonderful, loving husband, and supportive friends. I am grateful for many gifts I have been given. Although I am fortunate in some regards, over the last five years, I have had to face considerable pain and change. I have lost my mother, a best friend, and an uncle. Losing my mom was a living nightmare. I don't know if I am out of it yet. My heart is not yet healed.

I use alcohol to ease my pain. I go overboard. My question is this: How can I heal and feel confident and complete so that I choose to remain sober always? I do not want to drink alcohol anymore. I grew up around alcohol, and began experimenting with it and other drugs from the age of 14. Presently, all of my friends drink a lot, and frequently participate in binge drinking. I only have one friend who does! not drink. Getting drunk is a big part of the culture where I live.

When I drink, I do not like who I become. I used to be a fun drunk, but now, I go too far. I am embarrassed by my behavior when I drink. I have evolved consciously, and feel better when I am sober. However, old habits die hard. I need to love myself enough to give myself the gift of sobriety. I need to obtain new, healthy habits. I need a creative outlet. I know all of this, yet do not change. My friends already consider me "weird" due to my spiritual growth. Maybe I am not being true to myself because I don't want to be dissed by my friends. How can I obtain the courage to live a sober life? Thanks.

Reply by Coach Phil Evans Phil Evans
As I read your story I could completely connect with it, and resonate with the feelings going on for you at this time, and in your teenage years as well.

Please let me firstly explain what the alcohol consumption is all about. Over-comsumption of alcohol is all about a combination of anger and self pity. One drink's too many; and a hundred's not enough!

I have researched Alcoholism and associated dysfunctional behaviors which I also lived through and acted out in the most extreme ways in my own life. I actually spent 12 years doing my research, and did so around 30 years ago: nothing has changed since then (only the price!).

Even though recent losses (over the last 5-6 years) have seemingly made your drinking more acute in nature and more obvious to you, I do believe that the reasons for your pain and grief go way back to your childhood. These more recent events of losing close loved-ones have just triggered the pain and grief to re-surface!

One very important thing to be aware of is that one of the biggest parts of grief is actually anger. Yes, anger. And we so often can't connect with it as anger because why would that be? Why would I be feeling anger right now? The truth is that we can actually feel angry towards the person or persons who deserted us - left us to suffer. Does that make sense to you? Can you resonate with this? I do hope so.

So, my advice to you is to do some deep soul-searching around who or what may have created this pain for you earlier in life, and/or just deal with these more recent losses as being your trigger towards the alcohol over-consumption. I suggest that some forgiveness may be in order; and some letting go of the pain and anger associated with the losses. Specially the sad loss of your mother.

Sent with love from my heart to yours, Phil Evans

P.S. Yes, you abusing your mind and body through the over-use of alcohol, is NOT being true to yourself at all.

Further response from the questioner
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and speedy reply. Your answer does resonate and make sense. When I was a child (5yrs), an uncle molested me twice. Luckily, it wasn't as severe as some poor children receive. I never told my mother. When I was 19, I ended up telling my dad's side of the family - due to my uncle being present at Christmas time - and the negative effect his presence had on my emotional state. They never did anything about it. It was like the family's dirty little secret. I am angry that my family didn't protect me when I was young, and I am angry at the perpetrator for hurting me.

My father left us when I was 8. He married a mean, alcoholic woman. She was emotionally abusive towards me. He always took her side, and put her before my brother and me. He didn't pay child support and left us in bad shape financially. However, his desertion was the biggest gift he could have given us. Although times were very hard, my mom went on to earn her degree, and make a career for herself. She taught me how to be strong and independent. My mother too enjoyed her cocktails, and also remarried a functioning alcoholic. My step-dad took care of our basic needs, but was emotionally unavailable. My younger brother and I witnessed a lot of verbal fighting and screaming between my mom and step-dad. It is amazing that I choose to drink alcohol, after experiencing first hand how destructive it is.

I haven't really thought about my childhood in a while. There were some good parts about it as well. I am willing and ready to forgive my mom, step-dad, father, uncle, family, etc. But I'm not sure how to do this exactly. How can I heal this pain from my past? I understand that my uncle has a mental illness - anyone who molests children does. My mom, dad, step-dad, and family were/are all broken and in their own pain and darkness. I believe they did the best they could with what they had in those situations. I don't want to hold this against them. I want to take full responsibility for my well-being now.

What can I do to release this pain and anger? How do I heal and forgive? I can tell myself, I forgive them... but I feel the same inside.

If anger is just fear in disguise, what is it I am afraid of?

I need to let this go, so I can be at peace. I want to be a mother someday myself, and must break this cycle now, before I bring a new life to the world.

Thank you so much for being here for me, now, when I truly need it. Your insight and perspective are penetrating - like a spotlight, illuminating wounds that need attention.

Reply by Coach Phil Evans
I am so pleased to receive this wonderfully positive response from you - thank you !!! Positive in the way you've received and embraced my guidance - not in the content of your life's dramas.

The best answer to your major question now (about healing) is this... I would recommend that you try the old Hawaiian Healing Modality of Ho'oponopono (informative Wiki link) and also would recommend Jo Vitale's latest book -Zero Limits - which has been co-written with Dr Hew Len as the source of the amazing information regarding Ho'oponopono.

I have been personally using Ho'op for about 3 months now – and the quantity and quality of the healing which is apparent in my life - and in the lives of my clients (globally) and my own family - are nothing short of miracles! Literally! The essence of the methods and principles of Ho'op is that we are all responsible. That's it, full stop! In other words, it is the absolute opposite of playing "the blame game." If I can own my life and what's in it, then I can heal my life and what's in it! And what's more, I can heal those around me by working on the aspects of me that I see in them. I will leave it at that - and trust in your own ability to do any further research necessary for your own needs and healing!

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Thomas comments, July 2010:
I would disagree with your assessment about what this person's drinking is about. At base, it's about finding a way to lower resistant thought. She's using the substance to melt away the negative thoughts so that she can feel better. In a sense, this is natural. We all innately know we're supposed to feel good, so some of us use artificial ways to reach this state. In a way, the impulse is actually a good thing. Of course, there are better and healthier ways to lower resistance, but I would argue consuming alcohol isn't a terrible tack.

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