My last woman mentor is a truly inspirational story to be shared. Her name remains anonymous for the sake of this blog so we will call her Faith.
Faith came into my life during my pre-teenage years. I remember her as a sweet and gentle soul. I loved her young personality and big heart.
Her story began growing up with an emotionally checked out mother who left her child in Iran with her grandparents to move to England. Her father was taken away from her at age 6 by the Islamic republic of Iran and she didn’t see him again until she was 17 years old. At age 13, she finally moved to the US and lived with her mother who abused her physically and emotionally and chose her needs first.
She continued to work 7 days a week, 10 hours a day, or more for her stepfather so they can make ends meet. Faith was a sensitive and kind child who studied and worked extremely hard. She was confused about why her mother chose her last and that her grandparents raised her when she was a child
Faith grew up learning the trade of working hard at the early age of 13. Her father was in line to become the chief ministry of finance for the country and in charge of all the import & export of Iran pre- revolution. Later, the Islamic regime sent him to prison for many years.
She was always working to provide for herself so she could be independent as she had no safety net or family to fall on. She worked full-time and went to school full-time to pay for her education. She started working for a small company in LA and grew the company to eventually become the vice-president.
The long hours and pressure she put on herself started to take a major toll on her body and mind. She started drinking alcohol for the first time at the age of 21 and found immediate relief. After she finished her MBA, her drinking took more serious proportions. She used it to fill the gaping hole in her heart and soul that couldn’t be filled with education, money, or power.
She had hidden emotional pain that she had shoved down. Not just the pain of her current life, but her painful past of being neglected by her mother and not having a defense mechanism. She dated and married her first official boyfriend who had a party lifestyle that would lead to a very dysfunctional relationship. She is still married to that person today.
All of the turmoil in her life pulled her into a dark place and she started to lose herself in the alcohol. She still worked hard and showed up to work but would numb out the pain when she got home and lost control of the amount that she drank.
She thought she had earned the right to drink. Her so-called functional alcoholism did her a lot of disservices and kept her out of recovery. As an alcoholic, she knew that alcohol was killing her mind, body, and relationships but the sensation from alcohol was so elusive.
Although injurious, addicts can’t differentiate the truth from the lies of the active addiction. Eventually, her aunt, husband, and cousin did an intervention to help her fight this disease. The intervention worked for a short period of time, but she didn’t achieve long term sobriety until she reached rock bottom a few years later, and walked into the rooms of AA one morning.
Faith was able to finally heal and face her deep pain of the past after thoroughly working the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous and finding a higher power. She realized that God has always loved her and looked out for her. That is why she was able to change her life, get sober and find a way of life that is infinitely better than anything she has ever known. Her sobriety has also helped her become emotionally clear.
Now that she has been sober for eight years strong, Faith has mentored hundreds of women in AA and feels her life purpose is to help other women heal, rise above the darkness and to have loving support. Her primary purpose is to remain sober and help other women achieve physical and emotional sobriety. To guide them in finding a God of their own understanding in healing alcoholism and navigate other problems in their life.
A God big enough to take care of everything.
Currently, her husband continues to drink, and she lives in a home full of alcohol. She has found a place of neutrality inside, safe, and protected. She has no desire to drink and that is a MIRACLE. Today she uses her past pain and experiences (good and bad) to help others. Her pain has been her biggest asset. Good thoughts, good deeds, and good actions are what she tries to live by.
Faith has been an important mentor for me. She has taught me that despite the circumstances that are given to you as a child or being raised in a broken home, it does NOT define who you are or your soul purpose. You can choose to change your story. And I have witnessed her do this time and time again during difficult challenges. She chooses to keep her side of the road “clean” and creates sacred safe space for her healing.
Faith also showed me what it means to truly forgive someone who once created so much pain in her life.
She taught me how to CHOOSE forgiveness towards myself and others. That forgiveness was the gateway to HER inner peace. The profound change that I witnessed in Faith showed me the POWER of forgiveness and God’s unconditional love. That is one of the most powerful lessons I am still learning and strive to reach daily.
I am incredibly inspired by Faith’s amazing life and have grown to also inspire other women because of her story.