I’ve been watching Shameless on Netflix – and it really got me thinking.
The show (which is fantastic) is about a single father of 6 children (ages 1 – 20) and how their street smarts support them in spite of their narcissistic alcoholic father – who has a tendency to binge drink, lie and steal.
This show depicts exactly what we have been socialized to believe: Drinking too much is wrong.
And let’s face it – it certainly isn’t healthy.
However we’ve carried this idea into the belief that alcoholism makes the
alcoholic a “bad” person…and this is where I question the whole idea around judgement of alcoholics as a group.
My grandmother was in alcoholic. As a teen, I saw how my grandmother’s behavior weighed on my mother and I judged my grandmother for it.
When I met other alcoholics in my life I also was quick to judged them – believing that this character flaw meant they were not “perfect”.
Here’s a question: Who is?
Some people are assholes.
Some people are not.
Some alcoholics are assholes.
And some are not.
And here is where spirit comes in.
See, in many magickal traditions, when deities/spirits are called in to make an appearance and “ride” a host, alcohol is consumed first.
At an energetic level, the consumption of alcohol thins our auric field which allows other energies to fly in and take over.
Having a client diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) …(another term for “multiple personalities”), opened me up to learning more about the relationship between “spirits” and alcohol.
I used to believe the “other energies” that took over (or possessed) people were other entities just hanging around bars – waiting to “hitch a ride”.
But my client didn’t need to drink for these energies to emerge. What she needed was help.
In another Netflix show (The United States of Tara), the main character also had DID. For the most part, her personalities would come in to help her when she was overwhelmed.
Wanna hear something pretty cool? My client shared with me that if she didn’t feel like going to work, she would send in one of “her people”.
In short, these “people” helped her when she needed support.
We all have different aspects of ourselves. These “aspects” come up for all of us. Call them what you want: Shadow. Saint. Sinner. Whatever.
For my client, these “aspects” happened to be more visceral. And because of her, I gained very valuable insight:
We all have many aspects. These aspects of ourselves just pop up. Sometimes when we are drunk. And sometimes when we need support.
I’ve also come to believe that the character someone takes on after having too much to drink is definitely something to look at.
For example, if their mean streak (or their loving nature) emerges, it’s a strong indicator of a hidden aspect in them.
Let’s be clear: I am not saying that alcoholism is something that we should strive for.
I am saying that we need to stop judging people for it.
Let’s create a revised paradigm around alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a disease. Having a disease doesn’t make you a bad person.
Let’s evaluate the character of the person who has had way too much to drink, as opposed to placing judgment on the condition itself.
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