I venture to guess that each of us knows a narcissist, someone who twists blame back to us at every opportunity, as they are never, ever wrong or at fault. That person who leaves us wondering “huh, what just happened??!” as we try to pick ourselves up and brush ourselves off. That “power” (controlling!) personality that always makes us feel small, less than, devalued, unworthy, inferior. The perspective that we will never be number one in their life because they have already put themselves at the number one spot. The narcissist has no real space for us in their mind or heart because all their energy is focused on how to build themselves up, like a puffer fish, to look much larger, scarier, more fierce than they really are – making themselves larger than life. The narcissist has thin skin underneath their tough outer appearance, a facade, an inferiority complex covered in a mask.
I was thinking this morning, as I reflected on my somewhat recent relationships, about how much it hurts to feel like I am being put last. Maybe not last, but definitely not first, perhaps not even second. My opinion of commitment in a truly loving relationship means that the other person’s happiness and well being is a priority – never at the expense of my own, of course, because it is essential that I take care of my own happiness first, as we all must do if we are to be healthy and happy and whole. I believe devotion in a relationship means that I treat that person as someone special, someone I will make time for, someone important enough to me that I want to show up for them, reach out to them, handle them with care. I want to be with someone I believe deserves that from me. Someone with whom I really want to be all there, fully present, my best self. As my thoughts flowed on this subject, I went straight to the relationship between booze and those of us who become addicted to her.
The Booze Bitch is THE GREAT NARCISSIST. She takes over our lives in such sly ways we don’t see it coming. In the beginning she is dressed in beautiful outer coverings, with a sparkling personality, completely irresistible. She seduces us with her sensuality, her beauty, her finesse. Maybe she comes with a rich history so intriguing and alluring, we just can’t wait to learn more, to delve in deeper. The Booze Bitch wears a mask of benevolence, fun, social engagement, courage, inclusion. She helps us feel like we belong, a safe haven, our own little happy club. She is, upon first impression, full of goodness and positivity. She is our friend, our companion, our confidant. She is always there for us, keeping us company when we feel lonely or sad, depressed or anxious, present when we feel joyous and celebratory. What a great friend! Until…
It took so many years for me to see through the smoke screen, the thick fog that the Booze Bitch uses as her disguise. We are all so duped into believing she is The Good Witch Glenda. She is the ultimate Narcissist, destroying us ever so slowly, leading us in the downward spiral of addiction and finding us blaming ourselves, even, God forbid, insisting we call ourselves ALCOHOLICS and go into deep shame about how bad we are, when all the while, from the very beginning, she has been the perpetrator. Addiction happens when a substance that is highly addictive becomes too much to resist, when we become physically and physiologically, mentally, emotionally dependent on said substance. It is out of our control at this point. It’s almost insane really, how this substance called booze, alcohol, that we happily imbibe with laughter and an eagerness bordering on desperation, poisons every cell it affects, which is every cell we have, causing our entire body and brain to go into overdrive to get rid of the toxins, resulting in making us feel miserable mentally and physically. The Booze Bitch takes us down as far as she can take us. Sometimes we recover. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we lose everything and our lives are full of regret. Sometimes we just miss opportunities and let go of cherished dreams. Sometimes we avoid getting important things done because she is in control, and she tells us not to worry about it, we don’t have to do it right now. And “right now” can go on forever. The Booze Bitch is not unlike the worst Narcissists in history who have caused entire genocides. I think it is important that we see her that way, that we admit the power she has while not falling victim to it, important to acknowledge her influence on our culture and our society.
I have a dream, a big, beautiful, precious dream. I dream about all of us, our culture and our world, waking up to the fact that living our lives full of vitality, experiencing supreme health, living a life with boundless energy with a pure and boundless spirit, is our birth right, and certainly a million times better than following the Booze Bitch down the path to a living hell. We can do this! We can slay the Booze Bitch and bury her sorry ass forever.