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Grazi's Story: Recovery as Reconstruction

Hi! I am Grazi, a woman in undergoing reconstruction/recovery who has not consumed alcoholic beverages for over 13 years and who is now president of Associação Alcoolismo Feminino, here in Brazil. I am passionate about helping women break free not only from alcoholism, but from everything that makes them unhappy, to become what they want to be. As a survivor of all forms of violence, especially sexual and physical violence while under alcohol, I fight not only for the end of the social stigma that plagues us for being alcoholics, I also fight for gender equality and respect.

For me, there are 3 main aspects to maintaining our recovery:

1. Free ourselves from self-condemnation and self-flagellation for not being able to fit into a box of unattainable standards that this sexist and patriarchal society created for us to live a blind and painful existence of conditioning for their happiness and not ours.

2. Learn to forgive ourselves for our attitudes while we were extremely ill and to understand that our alcoholism does not define us. We are much bigger and more powerful than our disease.

3. Learning to have self-esteem and self-love, becoming the most important person in our lives.

Our alcoholism is not only due to a genetic predisposition, but mainly due to a family and social history of abuse. More than 80% of women who come to our Association say they have specifically suffered sexual and/or physical violence throughout their lives. Therefore, our mission is to help them not only to stop drinking, but to give new meaning to their lives, contributing to the search for self-knowledge and changes in habits in all areas of their lives, seeking healthy solutions to face and manage problems and in the development of social skills, starting with alcohol abstinence.

In two years of existence, we have welcomed more than a thousand women from all over the country, Brazilians residing abroad and today we also reach women from Portugal and Mozambique.

We carry out pioneering work, 100% virtual and free of charge, in a safe and welcoming environment, without judgment or prejudice.

We have external partnerships and a team of more than 50 volunteers, including women health professionals and women in recovery through our methodology. Finally, we offer our women, in addition to liberation from alcohol dependence, liberation from their suffering human condition. We offer our women the possibility of rebuilding their lives, on a journey, often painful, but rewarding, to a healthy and happy life.

Although not mandatory, we currently have 30 non-anonymous women, active in our social networks, fighting for the end of social stigma and prejudice, and providing quality information, not only about female alcoholism, but about the harm caused by alcohol consumption in the world. We need more informed, empowered and lucid women, advocating and fighting. We need more women at events like this, fighting together. We need to remember that, in addition to the social stigma that affects us so much in relation to our problem, there are still many other issues to be resolved, such as violence against women and girls, femicide, the legalization of abortion, wage inequality, of work. Finally, I want to reinforce that today is a day of political struggle. They will never silence us again.

Learn more about Associação Alcoolismo Feminino based in Brazil.

Want to share your bright story of recovery and resilience? Check out the submission guidelines.

Looking for support? Find it in the private Women's Global Recovery Network Facebook Group.


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