From alcohol and marijuana to embracing our sensitivity

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From alcohol and marijuana to embracing our sensitivity

My relationship with alcohol was probably no different to a lot of people. It started as a child with a slurp of it in my lemonade as a treat.

At age 12 I was drinking beer or wine coolers and hiding the bottles in my friend’s garden. And by age 15 I was binge drinking to excess at parties. Strangely enough, I didn’t actually like the taste or the effects of alcohol but I did it regardless, because it helped distract away from how horrible I was feeling about myself and about my life.

When I drank alcohol I could become the party girl and let go of all my inhibitions OR I would become very depressed. I never really knew which way it would go and always hoped for the former although, by the end of evening, I would probably end up the latter.

My body would often reject the alcohol and I would find myself half unconscious hugging the toilet bowl. This never stopped me doing it all over again the next week.

Terrible things happened to me when I drank. There were times when men took advantage of my inability to care for myself. This surprised me and increased my despair about life. I began to drink even more and the more I drank, the more I hated life and myself.

I took so many risks, drinking overseas in countries where I didn’t know where I was and could not even speak the language. In fact, whenever I was drinking whilst holidaying overseas I really let my hair down. My friends and I would dance on the tables – something I would never have done without the alcohol – and we were proud to tell these stories.

In my 20s and now in paid employment, I noticed that my friends would look forward to going home after work and having a drink. There was often talk about having a wine or a beer. I decided I would start to do this too, and reasoned that it might help me cope with life – just ‘take the edge off’ like they said that it would. Still I didn’t like the taste or effects of alcohol, and eventually I came to know that it just wasn’t going to work for me.

Looking to expand my options, sometimes I would add in marijuana use as well and in many ways, it became the preferred way for me to numb myself. Smoking had an instant effect that suited me well for when I needed a quick fix.

Marijuana use also made me sleep, so I could check out from the world even more. I smoked from a bong until the age of 20 and from then on I would just roll a joint. I didn’t need alcohol so much anymore.

At about age 28 something shifted within and I knew that I did not want to do this to myself anymore. So, I stopped – it was as simple as that. I realised it was time to start dealing with my hurts and although I still didn’t feel great, I did feel more clarity and insight from not using alcohol and marijuana.

By my 30s I had given up on life completely, not ever feeling I would be able to stop the emotional pain that tormented my daily life. I had thoughts of suicide often and barely was able to cope with life at all. Going clean helped me feel more rational, but there was still a lot of sadness to contend with. In fact, becoming a parent was the inspiration I needed to become more responsible, and not long after having my first child I began the work with Universal Medicine, where I was introduced to a world of love that had been absent from my life for a very long time.

There have been random times since giving up alcohol and marijuana when fleeting thoughts to take them again have come to my mind, but I know now they are just thoughts passing through and are not what I truly need. When I have these thoughts, I will ponder more on what hurt I might be feeling or wanting to avoid at the time, and I ask myself a few questions to get to the root of what is happening in my life. I know better now than to entertain those thoughts and to try and numb myself from feeling what I can never not feel.

Marijuana and alcohol offered me no healing whatsoever. There is definitely no healing in that.

The whole time I drank alcohol and smoked marijuana I was really just trying to stop feeling the emptiness within and the abrasiveness of people in the world.

I was very sensitive and found it difficult to live in amongst it all. I would have argued that these substances were an escape, but they were not an escape at all.

When I used these substances, I became part of the mess that I was trying to avoid.

For the time that I drank alcohol or smoked marijuana I was able to shut down my sensitivity but it was there again as soon as the substance was cleared from my body. I may have believed that I was escaping from life, but what it did to me was far more harmful than facing up to the problems in my life.

When we learn to build love for ourselves, we can then begin to stay steady to what life presents and to honour our sensitivity rather than override or squash it.

We can’t stop being as sensitive as we are as human beings, but we can begin to see this sensitivity as a gift or at least something that is innately part of us all.

Neither can we make the outside world be a certain way for us to feel OK, but we can begin to change our inner world so that the outside world doesn’t affect us as much as it does.

I wouldn’t touch alcohol or marijuana now no matter what. It doesn’t mean that I no longer feel hurt and emotional pain as sometimes I do feel this, although never ever to the extreme that it once was.

By allowing myself to feel the truth of what alcohol and marijuana actually did to me and those around me, clocking the change in mood and thoughts, then I really began to understand that it’s not just a harmless party substance like we may believe.

It can turn a loving and sensitive being into someone who can behave differently to their natural essence, in ways that are just not in line with who we know them to be.

Universal Medicine has shown me that my sensitivity is to be embraced. It is a powerful gift that I am coming to understand and appreciate, and I am making choices to not avoid or squash it down.

It may feel at times that there is not a lot in life to like, but there is a way to hold the gorgeousness of our essence amongst it all by embracing our sensitivity rather than rejecting it. Without alcohol and marijuana in our bodies causing more distress, we have every chance to find out who we really are and to read and respond to the world as it truly is, and other people as they truly are.

Filed under

HealingEmotionsLoveAbuseEssenceHurtAlcoholDrugs

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    Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.