drinking problems

Chapter 21 True Story of Hypnosis and Alcohol Addiction

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium

Chapter 21

New Teacher, Lesson One

Marco showed up in my life in an unusual way. I was attending a meeting in Irving on the environment, and just as I was wondering what I was doing there at this meeting—as I glanced around the room at the people who were much older, overweight and seemed to have nothing in common with me—my gaze stopped on this really cool and artistic older man. He was thin, shaved head, glasses and looked like a history professor. Wow, did he live in Irving? He’s probably gay. But I refocused my attention on the meeting because I really didn’t want allow those old ‘there is another man for me,’ thoughts to seep in.

After the meeting, he was waiting in his car and drove up to me as I walked to mine. “A hybrid,” I whispered, “Hmmmm.” We talked and exchanged email addresses.

One week later (after only email communication) he invited me to the lake.

“Valerie, You’re welcome to go camping with Alexandra (my little girl, she is four) and me Saturday night.  I promised her I would take her for a night at the lake.

It is meditative, always a bit adventurous, could be spiritually shifting, but certainly an atmospheric shift.  We usually leave in the late afternoon—on the lake by 6ish and head back to Dallas around noon the next day. We take dinner and breakfast you can bring whatever music and you like and your drink. May be good medicine. Marco”

So, there I was driving out to the lake with a man I didn’t know, with a curious four-year-old in the back planning her strategy on how she would test the latest woman to enter her dad’s life.

Turns out he is a photographer and fascinating to be with. I felt safe and comfortable with him. He was different from the men I usually dated, and I assumed it was proof that I had undergone more of a transformation than I had thought. It was a beautiful night on the water, and I held my own with the kid, as I was enjoying releasing my natural nurturing inner mom.

This guy seemed different, but I still approached with caution. I didn’t want to make the same mistake again.

After we were together a few months, he sent a message; it was the first time anyone had observed and expressed my qualities. I felt like he really knew me, but what he didn’t know was that he didn’t really know me, my fears, my triggers, those things that turned me into a frightened little girl with the emotional maturity of his four-year-old.


I like your spirit, your entrepreneurial sense, your positive sense of self, your reverence for your body and spiritual connection.  I also appreciate your openness that allows for my openness. I like your willingness to experience and engage in dialogue, of all matters, which does not seem to intimidate you.   I don’t feel like I have to put on airs, which I don’t do too often anyway.  I like that our bodies are agreeable.  I like it that you are confronting  (taking ownership) of your maturity in a rightful, reflective, progressive, healthy way. I am having to do so myself so I know somewhat what that is like.  I am looking at one side of the coin for now as I do not know you too well nor you me.  But I like what I see.  You are very intuitively intelligent.  Anyway I am sure time will reveal more to one another. Enjoy this beautiful morning. i enjoyed last night. Marco”

We dated for several more months, then he became preoccupied with his work, and I, not feeling totally secure in myself, took it personally. I had pushed him a bit in the area of commitment. There was something that kept him distant from me; from my perspective he didn’t seem that into me (his messages sounded it, but actions where what I was looking for). So I asked him about a committed relationship, he didn’t respond well.

After I gathered my thoughts, which was unusual, as I normally just shoot back something.

“Marco, You continue to fascinate me. i love reading your words and the way they convey your innermost thoughts.

“i love it that you are committed to yourself first (I wouldn’t like you if you weren’t) and with the self comes your work, your daughter, your health, and your passion. I get that.

“when i talked of commitment, i was speaking more about just being with one partner sexually and was thinking more long-term. There is something in the combination of you and Alexandra that got me thinking I could commit as I realized that I have a lot of motherly nurture left in me.

“To me, a committed relationship doesn’t mean having to call every day or see each other every day, but I do want to feel special.  And usually I feel like I’m just an afterthought to you.

“So I’m backing off, giving you space.  call if you want to get together sometime. Valerie”


“Valerie, thanks for your patience with me.  going thru a bit of transformation – i just have a feeling of urgency meets inertia. the lake turning over…I am sure you are frustrated with me as i am not very responsive and you are so generous. i appreciate that – i am trying to find out where i am with myself and get caught up.  is that possible? Marco”

After several weeks we did began to see each other regularly again. Then one evening at his place, the dishes piled high and that night I decided to help out, he was reading to Alexandra. He had plumbing issues that I was not aware of so while prepping the dishes for the dishwasher…he usually just put the dishes in the sink with the food scraps, so it was quite the mess, but I remembered he didn’t use the disposal so I was being very careful to not let scraps go down the drain. Pretty soon water begun seeping onto the floor and since I was barefoot if knew as soon as it happened and turned the water off, I hollered down the hall, “Marc, there is a problem with the sink, could you come check this out.”

He rushed out and asked in a pretty loud voice, “WHAT did you do?”

And then proceeding to move me out of his way so he could figure out what was happening, his comments that followed caused a bad feeling in me and suddenly I was transformed into a bad little girl. I got real quiet and then said I was leaving.

That was one of the first of many triggers I would experience with him over the next year. He would say or do something that made me feel wrong. I would be hurt and leave, or break up with him. The comments on their own weren’t the issue, but the comments and the stern voice piled on top of his tendency to be distant was painful to me.

Each time, I felt rejected, wrong and physically my belly began to warn me by tightening up or getting bloated when I was around him.

So the tightness felt like a familiar feeling, I remember conversations with a past co-worker would create this state, and also with my ex-husband, because they were bringing up a sort of fear, what I later learned was that it was an suppressed emotion from childhood that was being triggered and manifesting in my physical body. Actually it was an opportunity to heal, but mostly I tried to ignore it and push through, thinking mentally I could figure it out.

Cheryl reminded me how to use self-hypnosis and so I could access my subconscious mind for a little self-care. One such personal session connected with the suppressed emotion and I knew 100% the feeling was a perceived fear, the fear of being wrong and not understood, not loved. It seemed so obvious, but when you are in ‘it’, it is hard to see clearly.

Fear had been a reoccurring theme, going back to episodes with dad. As a child, I had the challenge of trying to communicate with a drunken dad (impossible) and when I did, my expressions/actions were always misinterpreted because they were being viewed from the eyes of a man under the influence of alcohol. So I interpreted that as being wrong, or that he didn’t get me and I needed to keep explaining until he could see my point. Which he saw as being a disagreeable child and therefore in need of discipline, which caused me to repress and become very quiet.

The Imago Theory in relationships is the work of Dr. Harville Hendrix and I knew it well, basically I was subconsciously connecting with men that were images of my father so I would ‘make things right’. But when I was in the pain of it, I was overwhelmed with feelings of being unloved so much so that I couldn’t see it. And so there was a long string of men that continued to present this for me. Now it was Marco.

So now with the awareness that I was really fearful, I continued to work through this with self-hypnosis; I went back to an earlier time to find the original source of the fear (the feeling) or the imprint as it is called in my trade. It was when I was five years old and Dad did not understand me so I felt wrong.

He gathered me and my two younger sisters on the eve of Valentine’s Day and had us line up facing him in birth order I remember I was on the left. Then he asked us to hold out our little hands, palms up and then close our eyes. He said not to open them until he said. I remember it being very exciting and the curiosity of what he was going to put in our palms made it very hard to keep my eyes closed.

I felt something light drop into my palm as he moved to my sister and said, “one for you”, “one for you”, etc. Then, “Okay, open your eyes.” In each of our palms was a sugar heart with words on them. I don’t remember what mine said I just popped it in my mouth. (Candy was rare in our house, but highball glasses with scotch weren’t as I noticed one sitting at his feet. I remember our white carpet and thought about how mom might react if he knocked it over.)

Dad continued, “Now close your eyes again,” and so with palms extended he repeated this same candy heart ritual about three times. On the fourth time growing bored with the whole thing, and wondering when the surprise element was going to shift, I said, “Is that all?” I was about five or six years old. He slapped me thinking I was ungrateful. Then made me go to my room while my sisters continued to be the recipients of the monotonous candy delivery. It made me feel like I was wrong, that I had really done something very wrong. Guess that is why I have always hated Valentine’s Day.

But, how could I have been wrong? I was an innocent child attempting to share, express, convey something I was feeling. But I was made to see that it was wrong (children don’t interrupt; they have to be quiet; they are not allowed is disturb). Plus I got slapped in the face (yes, that would make a child feel wrong).

Continuing with the self-hypnosis session, I brought my adult perspective to the child and helped her to see it wasn’t wrong; it was impossible for me to effectively convey my thoughts to my dad. What I was doing wasn’t wrong, but I interpreted it as wrong.

My dad even used to make my sisters watch me get spanked as an example, which reinforced the ‘wrong’ title.

In traditional therapy I have dealt with this issue and I thought the anger towards my dad was healed, but what I realized is that the imprint of not being understood is still connected physically and when I feel I am not understood, the fear is there and says, “get away before you get hurt,” physically my belly was attempting to warn me.

Marco would just say, “You are a 48-year-old woman; just get over it.” That is how he saw it, since he usually stated in his head being a logical thinker. What he revealed later was that he was used to attracting women with dad issues, and I was another one. He wanted me to get over it. He was really beginning to grow close to me and so wished for me to get over this problem. But I didn’t know that until later in our relationship. So to me, it just meant he was another man that could or would not commit to me.

After keeping to myself for a time to sort out the physical manifestations of my emotions and to focus on dualism and how he was seeing me as wrong for getting upset instead of right for leaving him when he gets stern, I wanted to just convey that I was just being neither right or wrong, merely experiencing pain and moving through it

“Marc, In the Bible there is this story about how Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To me that means before then she had no concept of good/bad, right/wrong, things were just as they were, no blame, no shame, etc.

“So when I reassign the feeling/meaning to my early situation and remove the label I GAVE MYSELF of being wrong, I realize I wasn’t wrong, that wasn’t true, and when you dissolve the label of wrong/right it frees the hold.

“And deeper…no one is wrong or right in their actions they are all/we are all operating from old programming and when we respond to someone’s old programming, we are making them right or wrong.

“In the world of non-dualistic thinking (some Eastern religions) things just are and we don’t have to REACT to them, we can see them from a bigger perspective and open our hearts and be free.

“So I am feeling pretty free this morning. Thank you again for playing the role of the man that brought this up again for healing. Valerie”

He called later and asked me to come over for dinner. I did, and our relationship continued to grow and develop.



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Chapter 20 True Story of Alcohol Dependency and Hypnosis

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium

Chapter 20

Which One Does He Chose?

Text message:

“I’m not happy, so depressed, so tired. May just have to drink again”.

In my attempt to teach him what I learned about getting off the booze, I shifted to his teacher, but still with the wrong motivation, wanting to heal him for me. Not for him alone with or without me. I didn’t see that at the time and so was still being disappointed and angry with him most of the time. I think Ann would have called that being conditional. I so wanted him to come back to Dallas so we could talk. So I would feel better.

dependent on wine“Sal, You were kiddin’ about drinking again, right? I don’t think it is something to kid around with. I love you and I want you in my life, whole, happy, healthy. I am willing to help you, but only if you come here, it will be to work on getting you well, and to play and to love and to experience ups & downs, but you must be wanting a new way of life or we won’t work. Please come home so we can talk. Valerie”

“Val, Yes we can plan on talking about a lot of things princess.  I know all you want is a quick weekend trip right now, but my sister is expecting the baby any day, if I left today I would have to turn back around so it just would not make much sense.  As far as the forever stuff, I do know where my heart is and wants to stay.

As far as the drinking, you know that I never ever, ever want to be in that state of mind or in that physical condition again.  But I cannot live scared thinking that if I want a beer or two or a glass of wine sometimes you feel that I am wasting your time cause if so then I am out.  I am only a human.  Love ya too, Sal”

I was slowly beginning to realize that as I became more aware of my true inner self, I could understand pretty clearly there was a good chance he was always going to drink. But I didn’t want to give up on him—or was it more about how I didn’t want to give up on myself? If I help him, I help me in some way. That is what I learned in my sessions with Ann. She calls it a form of projection; you can’t necessarily see your faults but can clearly see them in others and attempt to fix them. Unfortunately, that is what I have done my whole life. But now I am now trying to focus on me. It is just taking some time to turn this ship around. And I wasn’t ready to give up on him, I still can’t walk away from the possibility, but I was closer.

So I decided to continue to send encouraging messages to him and perhaps mirror those positive words back to me.

“Hey Sal, here is something you might find helpful, I did:

“Remembering that the pain, hurt, anger isn’t really you. You were not born that way.

“At one point in your life someone did something and because you were too young to understand, you created a feeling and then when that feeling got out of control, you found ways to numb it or express it in ways that were not truly supportive. Valerie”

Mostly he didn’t reply to my encouraging words. I suppose they weren’t as tantalizing as the previous sexy lures, but when he did it was notes like this, “Thanks Princess, see you soon.” Now, when I read that it made me feel conflicted and nervous. If he did visit, could–would I be able to tolerate him, would I even like him?

Our conversations continued. I asked him what he wanted from life, from me? And could he do that without drinking?

“my princess… I do want a great new life and have been doing all I can to work on me, but that does not mean we cannot enjoy a drink every now and then right?”

“Sal, only once in a while…I have had only 2 glasses of wine in eight weeks …I can take you there too.”

“Take me there too? IDK… have tried most remedies.  I may just have to stick to booze :) I am so tired.”

“If you are tired of what you’ve got there, then come back for a visit?” (I no longer said, ‘come home.’)

“I’ll be there April 1.”

Crap! I really didn’t expect him to set a date. I got nervous again, but by March 30 I had heard nothing. I thought I would feel him out so I sent this message:

“Hey Sal, are you coming by truck or plane? I’m looking forward to seeing your winning smile.”

He responded, “Just Fuck It, Fuck It All!”

Then he went silent. Meaning no text messages and he didn’t answer his phone.

During my daily meditation, I had this thought, ‘I created this illusion of whom I wanted him to be.  And what I realized was that I would probably be disappointed if he ever showed up in person because he would not match the man I have in my mind. That is what I did to comfort myself through our separation.  What is weird now is I don’t really feel like he exists at all. So am I in love with an illusion’? And I really didn’t want to put my energy and focus into something that wasn’t real.

April 1 came and went, and no Sal, but that was okay. I was relieved. However, one day he called to share with me that he had been in a fight, drove drunk and wrecked his truck and his eye is swollen shut from an infection and still not on a regular sleep pattern.

I quipped, “So you are too busy being an out of control asshole to come see me I guess?” He hung up.

Sal had no idea that I really wasn’t interested in being with him, but I felt telling him would take away any positive hope for his future, so I played along. But the way I played was dirty, I found myself still backing him into a corner.

A few days later my Shaman friend Miguel stopped by to help me with some home repairs. He left and so I decided to call Sal to apologize for referring to him as ‘out of control.’ He answered but said he was too busy to talk. To get back at him, I whined, “Well Miguel wasn’t too busy, he stopped by and we enjoyed a great conversation.” So much for apologizing.

Waiting for his reply I was saying to myself, Valerie, why didn’t you just say, ‘Okay I see you are busy; call me later’ and let it go? Remembering this man is not, nor has he ever been, a good communicator, so it isn’t necessary to punish him for not communicating well.

Realizing his recent behavior wasn’t supportive of a person working on recovery and since it was important to me that if I was going to have him in my life he needed to be working on recovery I decided to compose this email message:


“Sal, I see you getting worse, not better. You are only welcome here if you are working on being sober and taking back your life.


“My life is running clean and I want a partner that is too.

Before you can come here, you have to show me you want to be better, not fighting, not drinking and driving. That is not how I want to spend my life. Life’s too short.


“So, I’m going to stop calling you, and I’m going to start living my life at full speed, tired of waiting on something that is obviously not happening. I’m really disappointed in you.”



“Princess, I do not feel that I have to explain myself.  And am getting so tired of hearing how everyone is so disappointed in me for one reason or another, like I am not already disappointed in myself and depressed and suicidal.  People wonder why I do not talk to them and it is because all I get is being put down, I do a good job of that by myself already.


“I am not getting worse and have not been drinking that much.  But it has been a struggle.  And I know what you want.  You know how much I care for you and I know the attention you need Val, but I am focusing the little energy I have right now on myself so I can succeed and make you or someone happy. This shit is hard.  I spend my days and nights alone reading and working out.


“Start living your life full speed princess.  I am just getting into gear and you know that.  And just a few weeks ago I still have the email you preached how you would be patient with me and understood, etc.  I am here because this is my biggest support system.


“It’s killing me to stay but if I took off when I wanted to, I would have fallen right back into the old ways for sure.  It is kinda like doing 90 or 120 days in rehab.  I’m stuck in my room reading, praying, crying, and doing a few meetings.


“I am sorry you are disappointed in me, but I know me and that this painful struggle and sacrifice gives me the better chance of sobriety. S”


It was pretty clear. He said ‘Val,’ go ahead and ‘live your life.’


This was the first time he didn’t mention us as a couple and seemed to refer to me as only an escape for him.


The jig is up.


I was asking the goddesses to help me let him go; and they knew it would be easier for me if he let me go. Thank you mother goddess. I honestly think the thought of him living without booze is too much. So perhaps after all of this, he is still choosing himself for now. That is all I really need to know.


I called Cheryl for another appointment. I was ready to live my life to the fullest, without the thought of him. In that session we figuratively disconnected the ‘power cord’ between us and I imagined reclaiming all the lost energy and power I willingly gave away. Then she gave me a recording of the session that contained positive suggestions about my worth, confidence, self-love and ability to be available and attainable for the ‘just right’ man for me.



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Chapter 19 True Story of Alcohol Dependency and Hypnosis

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium

Chapter 19

Intervention, Round 3?

In early January, six months after his departure, I was startled to receive his text:

“I’m in treatment 4 30 days and can’t use my phone.”

Oh my god the family did an intervention. Maybe this is a sign he can get better. Maybe we can heal together now!

dependent on wineI knew it would never work if we were both drinking, but still thought it could if we were both sober, what I still didn’t realize was that it was the drinking that brought us together, two hurt souls needing to work out their issues and once worked out, booze or no booze we would no longer have a connection.

Excited by the idea and thinking the universe was conspiring in my favor to bring us together I wrote to him.

“Dear Sal,

It just feels good to communicate with you, even if you can’t talk back…but hey, that is pretty much how it has always been with us. LOL

I still have so many HIGH hopes for you and your future and I see you doing what you love with someone that you love.

I saved a voice message you sent me in late November last year, about how sorry you were and that you wished you could hold me…it was one of the only times you said you were sorry…but that is not why I kept the message, but I kept it because the sound of your voice was so authentic, the real you.  And for the first time you seemed to really be showing me that you really cared about me.

So maybe you being in treatment fixes it, IDK…I think I remember your telling me you have been in treatment before.

Let me know how I can help you become the real you so you can move forward with your life. I want to share with you my experiences and my healing.

You are in my heart for always,


Thirty-one days after that message my phone’s voice recognition announces, “call from Hope He is Okay.

“Sal?!” I answered.

“Hey baby. I’m out. Going to grab my gear and do a little fishin’, just be mine, princess; just say you will be mine.”

“Ok. I’m yours, but what does that—”

“I’ll get with you later. I love you.”

“I love you too Sal. Can you come home?” Why did I just say that?

“Let me take care of my family first.”

Good. “Okay, bye baby.”

It’s happening again, isn’t it?

I answered myself, ‘Yes, maybe nothing’s changed.’

I shared with Diane, “So I talked to Sal. He is finally being honest and showing his vulnerability. He is getting better. He is working on his shit.”

Diane responded, “You know it is a lie. He is only saying that because he wants to suck you back in. He is probably sick of his family riding his ass and wants to come back to you and enjoy the freedom you offer.”

Even with the therapy, I still wasn’t strong enough to stop the thoughts of a reunion.

During the next two months he led me to believe he was coming home, I was so eager to share with him what I was experiencing in my hypnosis sessions and because I am a natural healer I wanted to teach him how to do it too.   But, I was getting set up for a huge disappointment, again.


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Chapter 18 True Story of Alcohol Dependency and Hypnosis

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium

Chapter 18
Healing with Hypnosis

Ann and I had made a great deal of progress in my connection to the source of my issue so I decided to continue with my work with her. On the day I was about to call her for another appointment I received an email from a hypnotherapist in California about ‘Relationship Strategies with Hypnosis’. My intuition told me I needed that appointment, but it was two weeks before we could schedule it. I want to be this busy.

It gave me some time to prepare for what I wanted to accomplish and sent this email to her:

dependent on wineI need help letting go of continual thoughts about Salvador. I need direction. I feel I need you to tell me what to do. Even though I had voiced to him it was the end, I am hurting and fantasizing about a future life together even though history proved this to be impossible. I want to be more open and connected to my spiritual side, and to further develop a healing relationship with my child self so I don’t attract another man like this. Also, I am drinking again after not doing so for about six months.

I have been working with a local hypnotist on inner child and self esteem, but I was intrigued by your work in the area of relationships. As I keep picking men that are unavailable to me.

In my phone session Cheryl asked me why it was important for someone else to tell me what to do.

“I have always sought direction from others because on some level I don’t trust my instincts fully,” I confided, “It is like there is a part of me that gets that he is sick and that being with him is destructive to me and to my health and to my business, but there is another part–the part that usually wins–that feels drawn to him, that wants his attention, wants him to be okay, to be normal, to have a life together. I feel like two different people. When I am away from him, I feel independent and when I am with him I feel dependent and uncomfortable.”

She replied, “Tell me about how your other romantic relationships ended?”

“Well, there was Dan. I broke up with him after eight years because he drank too much, but he did treat me like a princess and taught me a lot about my little girl qualities of innocence, beauty, creativity, and fun. He let me get my way though, so where is the challenge in that?”

“Then Richard, we were married for eleven years, he was basically a wounded bird that I nurtured and then became weary; we grew apart; he didn’t like that I was changing so we divorced.”

Before him there was Rob, a drug addict.

“How did those relationships end?”

“When I realized I couldn’t change them, the situation became so unbearable that it had to end. It was always my decision, and it always took me longer to make that decision than I wanted it to, so I would drink so I couldn’t feel, but that just dragged out the process. If I had felt anger I would have used that emotion, that anger as action to create change. But, change was also scary, so I drank more.”

“Yes change can be scary,” Cheryl replied. “Have you ever been alone?”

“No. No, I haven’t. I’ve always had a husband, sometimes a husband and a lover, or a boyfriend, usually two boyfriends. Now that I think about it, I really haven’t been in a monogamous relationship or been without a boyfriend.”

“Even with Salvador?”

“Yes, even with him, there were other lovers during the past two years.”

“What do you gain from all of these men?”

“Attention. I wanted attention. When Sal and I split up or he is ignoring me, I can’t stand it. It happens naturally. I’ll just be at a coffee shop, or a networking event and there he is—a man that is special at least for a little while.”

“Did Salvador know about these men?”

“Yes. Yes, I told him.”

“How did he respond?”

“He said I was cheating, but I reminded him we are not in a committed relationship.”

Cheryl introduced to me the concept of Sexual Suggestibility. She learned this from Dr. John Kappas and suggested I study more about it. Through thirty years of behavioral therapy, he classified two groups, Physical Sexual and Emotional Sexual. I scored 76% physical in the evaluation, and the key point there is that a Physical needs physical proof that they are in good favor or loved by their partner. I have always sought that physical proof to the point of driving my opposite, the Emotional Suggestible away from me. An emotional needs space and I seldom gave that because my need for their attention was immense.

The other important characteristic is that for a Physical, their relationship is the most important thing to them and when things aren’t going well their business or career takes a hit. Learning this gave me so much peace, and I no longer felt I was crazy. And it allowed me to see that the men in my life probably did really love me but didn’t demonstrate it to me in a way that I interpreted. She told me that an Emotional shows love my doing, not saying. Which is fine except there is also the way I take in information which is literally—so the actual words, “Valerie, I care about you” meant more than, “I asked you to go to the movies” or “I called you yesterday to check in” does.

In the hypnosis session, I conducted an internal dialog with the part of me that needed attention. It was very powerful. After that session I felt more confident that I could meet someone and also felt knowledgeable that I would have the tools to work through the relationship so it was mutually beneficial.

For homework she suggested I make a list of what I currently have in a relationship with Salvador and another list about what I really want. In the follow-up session she asked what the experience of the homework was like.

“It angered me, or maybe more of an annoyance to have to do this. I knew you were probably right, but I didn’t want my fantasy to be over, because I wasn’t sure what it would be like to give him up or to give up on him.”

Evaluating Salvador
-no financial stability
-doesn’t deal in reality
-too possessive
-wild, not ready to settle down
-sketchy past, liability
-alcohol dependent

What I WANT in a man

-common interests
-get along well
-spiritual connection

After reviewing the lists, Cheryl asked me what had changed since our session.

My reply surprised me, “I WANT MORE.”

In that session, she connected me with a feeling of deserving more, being open to receive and to have the mental focus and keen intuition to protect myself, and to begin to value myself, to love myself in a new way. And the urge to drink alcohol was tamed.

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Chapter 17 True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

Chapter 17 Flickers of Fantasy.

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium


Freeing myself from the negative aspects of that relationship allowed new positive occurrences to move into my consciousness. People gave me books. I began noticing patterns in nature. I was invited to join a Goddess Path group; new friends appeared, the world looked brighter, sounds were more harmonious. The world was becoming a new place to discover. And then there were the stars, the moon, and the coyotes.

But about three months after he left Dallas, he asked if we could meet at a halfway point. I agreed and suggested a camp out.

On the morning he was to depart, he couldn’t find his keys, reported he had no money for gas and had a headache. “Dammit, he tricked me again,” I said out loud as I hung up the phone. The reality that I was heading to a campsite alone was only slightly disappointing (a good sign). In the back of my mind, I knew he would do this and was prepared, almost relieved that he wasn’t coming. I felt it was time for a spiritual awakening but didn’t realize the spirits were already waiting for me at Mother Neff State Park. As I entered the park, I felt an immense amount of internal energy and power and I couldn’t stop smiling.

It was late in the afternoon so I quickly set up camp next to a group of families wearing, ‘Camp Jesus’ t-shirts. Swell. Wonder what they’ll think of my sage and rattle? It was the only spot left as I arrived on Saturday, while all others had arrived on Friday. My spot was close to the park road but at the end of the park so no one was to the north of my tent, I was the last tent on the road leading to the trails.

I had never camped alone before and made certain it didn’t look that way. Even though I could have turned around and driven back to Dallas, I was feeling very strong about accomplishing this.

I only had a few hours of daylight left, so after the tent was set up, I could have either prepared food or hit the trails. I chose the trails. Exercise was more important than a hot meal, besides, I rationalized, the Cliff bar and banana would be a great dinner.

There were three choices at the trail head, one led to the tower, one to the basin, and the third to the prairie. I chose the upper most one that meandered out to the prairie area of the park. It was open and flat with great views of the surrounding area.

At dusk I returned to my camp and to the sounds of fires crackling and the smells of campfire cooking. The ‘Camp Jesus’ appointed one came over and was clearly worried about me being alone, “Please join us for hot dogs and s’mores.”

“Oh, how kind of you to offer, but I am really tired from my hike (liar) and will probably just get to bed early, but thank you again.”

He wasn’t leaving. “Are you sure you are okay out here all alone?”

Taking the cue from his shirt I said, “Well none of us are really ever alone are we?”

He replied, “No, the Lord is with us.” That statement seemed to be affirming for him as he walked back to his family and the s’mores.

It was 4:30 AM when the storm rolled in, coyotes were gathering, the half empty pint of Jack resting near my head and the rose quartz and leopard skin jasper necklace that the shaman made for me to restore the energy taken from me was around my neck.

I stirred, Whoa something is happening out there! I need to get out of this tent.

I slipped on my pants and shoes, took a swig of Jack, unzipped the tent and stepped out into the dark. There seemed to be millions of stars, and right then a shooting star falls and a minute later another one, my first and second sighting. Something was stirring.

I remembered how mom taught me that the stars were bright, beautiful, and infinite and that compared to them we feel insignificant. What? At that moment I questioned the idea, “You know what stars? I bet you are up there looking down on me saying, ‘Wow what is that bright light down there’?”

“Oh, that is Valerie, a unique and bright spirit; we are in awe of her,” a wise star answered.

I like that version better.

Just then the lightning showed its power to the south in an attempt to match mine, the coyotes responded with their call. I felt strengthened, excited, stirred and compelled to walk up to the tower to watch the sun rise, it was now 5:00 AM. I had an hour. I headed to the trailhead. I walked only by moonlight, feeling totally energized and intrigued; my pace quickened. The sounds of coyote, frogs, crickets, those soothing sounds of a night in nature and the sound of my breath, filled and soothed my ears as I walked quickly up the hill to the tower.

The sun was bright and flooded the tent with light. I opened my eyes and searched for my phone. It was 8:30 AM. I can’t believe I slept so long. I never sleep past 6:30. Wow that is great, but what a strange dream.

I slipped off to the bathhouse, passing other campers with sleepy faces and messy hair, carrying bags containing toothbrushes and what ever else they needed to awaken themselves. In the mirror, with daddy long legs at each of the upper corners, I noticed I looked refreshed; my eyes were brighter, then a feeling of regret. Where is my necklace? I know I had it when I went to sleep. The gemstones were secured on a very sturdy leather rope and ‘bomb proof’; according to its maker, Miguel, it was indestructible. But where was it? Back at the tent I started to look for it, but then noticed bruises on my legs. I thought of the dream again and reached for my journal began to write.

I was walking along a path the moon was bright, and I heard coyotes. Not sure where I was going, but I wasn’t afraid in spite of having no idea where I was going and didn’t have a flashlight. All that was around were trees, stars and the waning moon. Then there was a tower with a circular staircase on the bottom step was a ring, a simple black and white plastic ring, I picked it up and said, ‘thank you spirit for the gift, I will return to you a gift as well’. At the top of the tower there were two Indian guides that greeted me, we talked, it was peaceful, they were giving me important messages, I was once an owl, I could fly, I wanted to fly again and in the dream I tried but couldn’t get off the ground…the bruises?


I wrote faster.

They asked for a gift in exchange for the ring, I gave them my necklace.


I needed to get to the tower, grabbing my pack, a black and white plastic ring fell out. My heart quickened. This time I jogged there. In a trance I passed the site of the Indian burial ground on the way to the tower (okay that makes sense). I couldn’t find the tower. Even though the sign on the trail pointed ‘this way,’ it seemed to be disappear off the trail. Finally, I found it. I wanted to go up to the top to see if my necklace was there, but what if it was? What if it wasn’t? I was frightened. I didn’t want to know. I turned around and ran back to camp.

I was scheduled to stay another night and began to wonder about that decision as I realized it was Sunday and all the other campers were leaving. I moved my site closer to the bathroom, a little out of convenience, but also a little out of fear. I didn’t want to be alone at the edge of the campsite. Why was I staying? I wanted to call the Indian spirits in and find out what happened. At around 4 PM that afternoon the urge for more alcohol came up strong, and I drove thirty miles round trip to buy bad wine. It would take the edge off the thought of spending the night as the solo camper in the park. As I returned, calmness settled over me: two RVs that had arrived. Good, I’m not alone. I realized at that point how frightened I had been.

I had never had a supernatural or natural experience before, and I was both intrigued and frightened. That evening I wanted to understand the meaning to my experience, although I also felt it was unexplainable. I applied some aspects of dream interpretation to the event, and it provided an aspect that made a little more sense.

Being chosen by the Indian spirits to receive a gift gave me the feeling of being important, being chosen. The symbol of the owl was a connection to my wisdom (although mostly detached from it) reminded me it was there to take flight again.

It was also a confirmation that the spirit world exists and that I am not alone, I have guides. I felt spending more time in nature will be the way to connect to more of those messages.

On a late afternoon hike, I saw faces in all the trees; rocks seemed to be breathing; colors were more vibrant as I now saw the natural world in a brand new way. I felt more awake and alive, as if all the cells in my body were joyful.

Many important lessons were presenting themselves to me with him out of the way. My new fantasy could be my new way to ‘be’ in the world. And to fully be there were some old beliefs and habits that I needed to transform.

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New research says you can trick your brain into responding to the intake of nicotine if you were told that the cigarette you were smoking was nicotine free.

Understanding the placebo effect is the basis for this study. But does that concept work at the same level when an addictive substance is introduced into the person’s system when they believed is wasn’t? The answer, according to this research, is a surprising yes.

Xiaosi Gu, PhD and associate professor at University of Texas at Dallas published a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that shows for addictive drugs to have an effect on you, you need to believe that they are going to have that effect. The study was based on this question: In terms of drug abuse, or substance abuse disorder, how much does belief influence the brain’s response to a neuroactive drug?

“This work illuminates the mechanisms whereby belief can influence nonconscious learned association…” The director of National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow, PhD

So if the brain is that suggestible to the point the addictive substance that normally creates a response in the brain does not because of a belief; then it is also possible to create a belief that the person has no desire for the substance in the first place? I think that depends on the motivation.

As a hypnotist, I appreciate the report because it shows the power of belief on responses, however it overlooks a few major considerations, mainly motivation.

  1. The person was not asked to give up smoking, only to participate in a study, not much is on the line and therefore the lack of motivation (or skin the game) may have driven the response.
  2. In a clinical environment subjects tend to have a stronger level of suggestibility due to the perceived authority of the person conducting the test, this influences responses.

Clients at our hypnosis center who have a desire to stop smoking or drinking too much alcohol can do so if the motivation is high, a 7 or higher on the 0-10 scale. Motivation and desire drives a new response. And along with that the belief that they can enjoy life more without those addictive substances is another strong component.

There are six elements required for personal permanent behavior change is at the top of that list are one’s DESIRE AND BELIEF. The others are Self Talk, Association/Identification, Future Memories and Self Sabotage.

So if you have failed in the past and wondering why, this is your answer:

Your subconscious mind was not set up to carry out your conscious mind’s intent due to desire/motivation and your belief.

And now with research that proves what hypnotists have long known, your belief lined up with the proper motivation influences the response or behavior, even the behavior of not smoking.


Valerie A. Grimes is a clinical hypnotist assisting individuals in achieving an optimum level of support through positive thinking and by teaching new habits and forming new beliefs available through the process of hypnosis.


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Chapter 16 True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

Chapter 16

Beating a Dead Horse.

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium

Beating a Dead Horse       

During his last days in Dallas, I recorded a video of the scene of Salvador in the tub and watched it the day after he left. It seemed surreal although there was my backyard, my voice off camera, my nervous laughs in between his discursive statements and the image of a worn-out man, with a little sparkle left in his distant eyes and a smile here and there. He was naked, lying back in the cattle trough. In between gulps of Bud Lite he spoke to the camera I held, “Even though I have a broken bank account and had to leave my place. I have a beautiful girlfriend and I feel fulfilled. I know I had to leave my place—it was going to end—I was going to end if I didn’t get out of there,” takes a long slow drink from the bottle of Bud, “But I’m not ready to end. That water park was too nice,” his voice trailing off on that last part. Camera cuts off.

Over the next several weeks, I watched that segment several times and wondered what it all meant. I could see how disturbed he really was. He seemed really strung out, like he has been on cocaine. I now saw him as others had and it was easier to see now how for the past two years I had been beating a dead horse.

With him gone I was free to focus on the things I’d been neglecting. Me.

The first thing was to finish painting the den. I chose bright yellow and bought other citrus colored access pieces: green and orange pillows, a pink table and a lime green chair. The room became bright and cheerful and made me smile each time I came home. Next, I got a new hairstyle, a totally new look. And my sleep pattern was restored. And the beds in the garden were ready for the fall plants.

Feeling connected to a new sense of power, I wanted to communicate that strength to him.

Dear Sal,

For the past two years I have lived a fantasy life.  I had a vision of how I wanted us to be. It was delusional and it cost me a lot of time and lost focus on my biz. Not sure why I went down that path, but I did.

It was like a light got switched on the other day, and I realized I was beating a dead horse, just like with Dan and my husband before him. Seems I keep picking men that I want to change and that are incapable of changing.

So at this point, don’t change for me, or anyone else, but I hope you change for you and your future health and happiness.

We really are done as a couple (the thought of that now doesn’t make any sense to me). I’ve crossed over to reality.

Thank you for loving me the best you could.



I was great when it came to ‘talking in print,’ but following up my actions in person was hard because of my subconscious urge for his attention. My mind would play tricks on me in the evenings when fantasy took over about how we could be together, and those fantasies would last several more months even though I would soon find someone else to take his place.




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Chapter 15 A True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

Chapter 15


Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium

In the practice of hypnosis there is no such thing as willpower.

Willpower is viewed as function of the conscious mind. The harder one tries to consciously do something that is the function of the subconscious, the more the opposite the effect. Similarly, a person ‘tries’ to remember the name of an actor in a movie and can’t, but when he stops ‘trying’ and changes focus, the answer comes to mind effortlessly, because the subconscious naturally delivers the message without effort.

One’s behavior, and therefore one’s ability to control a behavior, comes naturally by way of the subconscious, so whether you are self-controlled about a particular thing or not is how you are currently wired. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for most people to ‘try’ and change a pattern of behavior by just deciding to do so.

There are some people that can easily stop a pattern, but most people exhaustedly repeat the cycle of failed attempts. There is a subconscious urge that is giving power to a need, and the answer to the need is usually not healthy. So in spite of consciously knowing the behavior has negative consequences, the perceived benefit of the action to the subconscious wins out. It is impossible it seems to control that part of ourselves. And this is usually why one ends up just trying to control others in an attempt to reach balance.

Even when we stop to consider the fact that we have full access to ourselves and not to others, it still seems easier to try to control other’s behaviors.

But this is not how I felt. Getting him to move away helped me control my behavior, but as I cried myself to sleep that night, there was something stirring within. Who would now fill my need for male attention? I was not aware of this, and at this moment I had the opportunity to go down the same path (finding another man just like Salvador), or to stop and give myself the attention and love I needed.

To control my feelings and resulting behaviors—when they were coming from subconscious memories and the emotions attached to them, under my conscious awareness–was why I needed to see a hypnotist. But as with most people, I was used to struggling through something, and comfortable repeating the same patterns. Even after doing so for more then 20 years.

There was an aspect of me that needed a connection to my father who drank most of my childhood. In regression sessions, I recalled he used to take me into bars, even as early as three months old. And of course being a baby in a bar, I received a lot of attention. And now, craving that attention, I was drawn to bars and to men that drank in an attempt to re-gain attention and admiration because ‘being in a bar with men fussing over me was huge rush.’ However, the type of men I found in bars were not my natural opposite so the relationships were always uphill struggles. Because I was used to relationships being a struggle, to me it felt normal.

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Chapter 14 True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

Chapter 14

Best Wet Dream, Worst Nightmare

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium


In spite of Salvador’ transformations, and the healthier I became, it was clearer to me that he had a very long way to go. And that if I was to heal fully it was really time to set him free. Still I felt I couldn’t let him down.

Text Messages 1:30 AM

“what is going to happen to me?”

“you get to decide just think about what you really, really want out of your life”

“i’m too tired”

“then come to me and let me help you some more—you were doing better”

“I’m running out of time”

Was he thinking of ending his life again?

The next day I went to check on him. He answered the door very, very upset. “Why did you fuckin’ wake me up?”

“It’s 11:30, besides I thought you were going down Sal. You sounded suicidal. I wanted to come check on you.”

He was mean, cruel and very ugly. I left and went next door to Panera Bread to pray for guidance and protection from his negative energy and hurtful words.

The next morning during my meditation, I consulted the Rune stones, they said:

Think about your past, all the things that have brought you to this present moment. Then let it go. The future is right in front of you.

I knew I didn’t have all the strength I needed to let him go. But I so much wanted a new life, that future was right in front of me. My therapy was working.

I needed him out of Dallas, so I could truly focus on me.

It was apparent that he was running out of money. In two years he hadn’t worked. He was in no shape to even go on a job interview. He was right he didn’t have time.

So over the next couple of days, I gently helped him to see that it was time to leave and go back to his parents where he might get to the source of his fears.

Luckily, he was pretty clear that he did not want to be a burden to me; he said, “I have my pride.” But he wasn’t a quitter and going home meant to him he quit. It was extremely painful for him. But he finally agreed he needed to go home, reconnect with his family and the ocean. Besides he was viewing this as something temporary, but I wasn’t. I knew I would probably never see him again.

Several days later I went to his place so I could start organizing the packing. He had to be out by the end of the month, less than a week away, and he had not made any plans so I went and bought some boxes and packing tape. Before a luncheon presentation and in high heels and skirt, I carried ten flat large boxes up the outside staircase, down the hall and to his front door. When he saw them he just complained that they were the wrong size.

Looking around I thought, ‘Suicidal is right, drinking himself to death.’ To ease the pain, he said he had not done anything in the past four days but drink, and there was proof to back that up as if his appearance wasn’t enough. There were beer bottles everywhere. He hadn’t eaten or slept much and was also drinking Jack Daniels again. This was the monster that I faced throwing me complaints about the boxes I had just spent my grocery money to buy.

He was critical of my efforts but also incapable of doing anything. I announced, “Okay here are your boxes. Get your clothes packed. My son is coming this afternoon to get your couch and your bed. I’ll be back tomorrow to help with everything else.” I looked sternly into his eyes and held his chin in my right hand, “Sal we only have two days, shake it out, I’ve got to go to a meeting.” He closed his eyes and tried to kiss me, but I turned away.

Saturday bright and early I went to his place. The door was unlocked. He was lying on the floor on his makeshift bed. He is normally very paranoid, and would never leave the door open. ‘Must have passed out,’ I thought as I entered the dark and unfamiliar setting. My heart sank, not only at the sight of him on the floor, but at the realization he was leaving. His couch was gone; his clothes were everywhere. What had I done?

Realizing I needed a drink, I walked over to the fifth of Jack (and surprisingly there was some left) and took a long drink. I didn’t realize he was awake until I heard, “That’s my girl,” Sick yes, but it made me smile it was even a turn on.

We spent the day together, I packing up while he obsessed about all the shoes and hats he had accumulated. He kept coming into the kitchen that I was disassembling and showing me the different ones, modeling them. Sometimes he would appear from around the corner in just his boxers with cowboy boots and hat, another time naked with black dress shoes and Texas Rangers ball cap. I smiled he broke the tension. I softened so that I stopped what I was doing and rested with him.

While I lay on his makeshift bed (blankets and pillows on the floor) with my head in his lap, he told me he was falling in love with me (now he tells me), and I was the only woman he had ever let see him break down and cry. After a short break I went back to work.

Moving was my idea so I assumed the role of doing most of the packing and cleaning. I had already filled my car and his truck with all I could then cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. At the end of the day and deciding he was done was on the floor on a dirty towel looking like he was at the beach on vacation. He asked me to bring him a beer.

Last straw, I lit into him! “All you need to do is load that heavy box in my car and come to my house for the night. Your bed is gone, couch is gone and now all your pillows and blankets are in my car. Get up and get that box in your truck and let’s go. I’m ready to leave. I’m hungry and I need a shower.”

But he resisted, argued that he had worked all day packing and wanted to relax and drink a few beers. He said, “Give me a minute.”

I did. And after 60 seconds I said, “I’m leaving now; it’s been a minute. If you are not coming then I’ll see you in the morning.” He would not cooperate, so I left him there.

Back at my place I unloaded my car, as I needed to make space for tomorrow’s load. I wasn’t that angry, mostly sad as I unloaded bits and pieces of a broken man’s life into my garage.

The next day was Sunday, the last day to be out. When I went back he had tried to sleep on the floor with his ‘beach towel’, no sheets, no nothing. ‘What an ass,’ I thought, ‘what a stubborn ass.’

What I didn’t realize was that he was terrified at the idea of leaving the only thing that was stable in his life, sleeping on the floor of his comfort zone was better to him than sleeping at my house.

He did manage to help with the last of the heavy boxes but put me in charge of moving his college days TV. I said, “How in the hell am I gonna pick this heavy thing up and carry it down the stairs?”

He quipped, “You’re smart. Think of something.”

So in a moment of contempt, I dragged it on that dirty towel by the electric cord to the outside staircase, then I pushed it down the stairs and continued to drag it to the dumpster, he never noticed.

Now with his apartment empty and clean and ready for us to depart, we did a clearing ritual. He said he wanted to remove the negativity. I had been studying the Goddess Path so knew some rituals for clearing and performed one. I was honored that he asked and that he was considerate of the next person entering his old space. Those are his gems I love. He actually told me he wanted to do this so I had my space clearing kit with me.

After the ritual, we left the candle burning in the center of the floor surrounded by black obsidian, then looked around in silence one last time and closed the door. Downstairs he put the rent money for the month that just ended in the landlord’s drop box. ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘he walks away clean.’

Then with both of our vehicles fully loaded, we drove to my house where he spent the rest of the day unloading and repacking like a lost soul. My heart sank to watch him. At the end of the day my garage was full of his boxes and furniture he was planning on leaving with me, the stuff he wanted to take to Florida was in his truck. I was happy to keep his stuff because then I had a connection to him. I had some of his stuff, a part of him.

He was to stay a few days to re-group and re-energize for the two-day drive home.

By Sunday night I was worn out as well and needed to rest for my clients that week. I realized that it would be hard with him here and in another moment of clarity realized we could never live together as my preference for peace was growing stronger and my thoughts clearer and behaviors more healthy.

Monday: Day One of Suburban Sal

Because I helped him pack up his apartment, he insisted on helping me out with a few things like priming my red wall so I could paint it yellow. ‘A nice gesture,’ I thought as I left for work.

But drinking and priming don’t mix, when I got home he had gotten white primer on my concrete floor and futon, and in an attempt to affix an antique metal sign to the brick of my house (I didn’t ask) liquid nails was now a miniature stream on my porch. I could see how he wanted to truly help but he would get drunk and make a bigger mess.

During his stay he continued to be loud, disagreeable and basically detached from the reality of his situation: no home, most of his stuff given away, thrown away or in my garage. But I couldn’t blame him? I tried to let it go and allow him to basically suffer the consequences of his behavior. But also felt like I could protect him from feeling the effects of this experience.

Tuesday: Day Two of Suburban Sal

My son found a watering trough for cattle at a garage sale a few years ago. Sal found it in the back yard that day and filled it with water and sat naked in the tub.

When I got home I was looking for him and found him in the backyard looking like a king.

Pretty irresistible so I got in with him and he talked about his departure, “My mother called and wants me home, but I told my her I’ve got to help you then I’ll come home and help her.” I thought of the mess and thought no, don’t help me any more just go to her.

As I watched him from my end of the tub I was getting more and more clear about how damaged he was. He was no longer the attraction to me he once was, but there was still a connection between us, more heart to heart then the physical attraction that begun our relationship two years earlier. He said he loved me again and that he would be back, but his voice trailed off in the beer bottle, as he said, “I’ve got a few rounds left in me.”

I just looked down at the water and our bare bodies feeling completely numb, knowing I couldn’t handle any more rounds.

Wednesday: Day Three of Suburban Sal

Tonight I refused to get more booze, and after multiple requests, he gave up and went to sleep while I scrubbed primer off my floor.

Thursday: Day Four of Suburban Sal

In spite of my compassion for him and his situation, on the morning of the fourth day, I was exhausted, I didn’t want him in my house any longer and he made no mention of when he was leaving when I asked. So as I left at 6 AM to walk my dog, I let him know it was time for him to go. He was gone when I got back. I had mixed emotions, yes he was physically gone, and I could get on with my recovery, but the hope that I could help turn this man around seemed gone as well.

He later sent me an email.

“I loved those last days in Dallas with you princess”


“And what I thought when you asked me to leave was how can I after losing my place and that you were making a mistake and that you might not ever see me again.  I struggled to leave when you went on the walk with Bonnie, but I did because you asked me to, I didn’t want to stay where I wasn’t wanted. I actually went to my old place and trashed more clothes and stuff in the dumpster so I could be able to look out my rear view mirror. And I saw what you did to my TV.  I felt defeated and alone.” Love ya, Sal

Remembering his social anxiety I realized asking him to leave before he was ready was terrifying to him, but he pushed through it because I asked him to leave.

I replied to the email:

“You called me remember? And I came by. You were drunk, and you gave me more stuff to take back to my house. Remember?

“So I guess the real last time I saw you was by a dumpster.  Sorry about the TV. I was resentful of all the work I did at your place and you seemed, at the time, to not appreciate it.

“I’m really sorry it ended the way it did. I was trying to help. We both did the best we could. We are both bruised and being together it seems we keep re-injuring our wounds. Maybe now we can both heal and come back together soon.” Love, Valerie

I began to settle into the peace of my home, to settle back into my deeper self. As I drank tea with almond milk that evening I recalled a conversation with Ann when she helped me realize Salvador represented an important need, a way to be adored and to be loved. And with him gone I had to now provide that for myself, although I didn’t know how or if that was fully possible.

She also explained that those things could come from within, and that I could easily let him go when I was receiving those things from within.

“Your ego mind tells you it is outside of yourself, but it isn’t,” she explained. “What can you do for yourself each day to show you how loved you are, how you adore you?”

I answered out loud, as if I were responding to her direct question, “I can sit here and enjoy this tea and the peace that I have created, knowing I am free of his negative energy for now.” Then I said a prayer for his safe travel and healing, lit a Mother Mary candle and cried myself to sleep on the soft white sheets he generously gave me.





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Chapter 13 True Story of Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

Chapter 13

The Healer and The Teacher

Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium



When you’ve been an Indian chief, it’s hard to live in the city. Warrior energy must be honored, or you end up in bar fights. I had many dreams about Sal and I living past lives together. In one he was an Indian chief and I a girl that was captured and given to him. I lived with him many years, and we were close. He taught me much about the land and the natural world. Then my people came to get me; we were separated. It was devastating. He turned into a hawk and followed me throughout my lifetime.

It was midnight and a very busy Monday ahead. I was scheduled to conduct a workshop that evening, but my intuition told me to get him to Miguel. “Wake up Sal and get dressed, we are doing for a drive.”

He asked, “Can I bring a beer?”

I handed him a Bud Lite, “Let’s go.”

If was a short drive to the Shaman’s house, and on the way he really didn’t say much, he didn’t even ask where I was taking him. I wasn’t sure he would allow this healing treatment to take place, but I sensed he was at this point willing to do anything.

The house was on a residential street lined with old oaks, last fall’s leaves were still on his walkway and porch. We knocked and about an eternity later, Miguel opened the door. His dark long hair flowed around his neck mingling with his beard and then onto his shoulders. His eyes where narrow like a hawks and smile inviting. He said, “Come in, come in, welcome, welcome,” a greeting for both of us.

We were led through the kitchen and into the garage where we were transported into a spiritual cave, beautiful tapestries hung on all walls. There was a small wooden chair in the center of the room, where Salvador was to sit. The room was dark except for candles and a dimly lit lamp. On the altar were crystals, incense and the written intentions of past clients.   I wondered if he would go for it. He asked, “What do you do here?”

Miguel replied, “We clear the evil spirits.”

Sal added, “Hope you have a way to deal with mine after I release those bastards. Save yourself man.” He sat and closed his eyes. Miguel began to chant and waved the smudge stick all around his body.

Watching him sitting in total trust brought tears to my eyes.

The healer saw his warrior spirit, honored it and began to tame it. Sage smoke filled the air as well as the rhythmic and hypnotic chants mixed with Sal’s deep breathing.

I was surprised at his willingness to participate. He is so used to being in control, proof he was continuing to trust me.

Afterward, Miguel suggested a necklace, healing crystals on a leather rope, I agreed and slipped him $150. Sal never knew. I could have used that money for clothes, better food, or gas, but I felt he deserved to be happier, freer and if this could help heal him the world was a better place.

One evening soon after the healing experience, we built an outside fire under the full moon and sat in stillness with the music low in the background. I felt hopeful that he had turned a corner: he was sleeping better, eating regularly and had given up the bourbon and tequila. He was talking more and smiling. So I felt I could just be me again around him and not worry about disturbing the bear.

“Hey Sal.”

No reply.

“Sal I’m talking to you.”


“Sal!” I pleaded, but he was staring straight ahead, not fully present. He didn’t realize that I had been trying to share that I liked the lyrics from a song.

“Sal,” I tried again to get his much needed attention and then just continued, “Listen to this song. I like it It says, ‘we are all balloons in the air and sometime we are deflated to remind us that the ground is there.’ (One Eskimo)“Isn’t that the way life is?”

Thinking I had his attention, I continued, “We get all puffed up and are riding high and then we hit the ground again.”

“Yeah,” he replied, taking a drink of his beer, but not the way most people drink. He drank without putting his lips to the bottle. Just poured it in, like it was someone else’s beer and he didn’t want to catch their cold.

I sighed and sank back, feeling hurt. He didn’t hear me. The scene seemed like a little girl trying to get her dad’s attention. A scene from long ago, and it was playing at a subconscious level, along with the sad feelings associated with it.

“Daddy, Daddy, look at my picture,” the plea fell of deaf ears as dad stared into his amber colored liquid sharing space in the glass with several ice cubes. At that point I decided to seek therapy.

Sitting there for a few moments the hurt became unbearable. I wanted to get away. I wanted him to go away. However I wasn’t putting it together and expressing my feelings because I had no clue what they were. That wasn’t something that came easily for me.

And so for reasons I didn’t understand, I got up and went in the kitchen and poured a glass of Jack, came back to the fire and did whatever he asked. I felt loved and accepted when I was in his arms or his bed where all the attention was on me. If only I could just get that feeling from him during other times. But now, he could treat me anyway he wanted, I just complied and gave him what he wanted, because it was easier and there wasn’t a fight.

It hurt deeply, those old wounds, but JD soothed them so it faded away along with the hope for a truly loving relationship with him.

Later in my hypnotist Ann’s office, I explained, “Growing up I had to be quiet so Dad wouldn’t get upset and drink. I also had to keep my little sisters quiet.”

Ann said it was like the inner child was still attempting to be heard, to use her voice, to make her voice known, to share her ideas. And why most of the men in my life were difficult to communicate with. I picked them that way.

I realized it was an attempt at healing past wounds. In one of the hypnosis sessions, she led me back to a time when I was excited and wanted to tell my dad something, only this time, rather then getting slapped for interrupting, in my imagination I stood tall and stated that what I had to say was important and that I needed his patience for time to share. That session was a break through for me. And what I realized was that after that session when he wasn’t in listening mode, it didn’t seem to bother me. Actually I found myself desiring to spend even less time with him.

Through my sessions, I began to understand one of the reasons I held on to this man was because he was my teacher. Even though it seemed insane, now I am beginning to learn from the experiences. He mirrored the actions of my father, which helped me to connect with the feeling and see the situation with an adult perspective.


Certain people trigger old feelings and responses in others. When we stick with the feelings and truly allow ourselves to feel, we can follow it back to the first time we felt it and realize that the opinion of our self (I am not important) was based on a drunk man’s response to a five-year-old girl. It made her feel wrong. But how could she be wrong? 40+ years later? She was becoming free of that old imprint that followed her in life. Salvador was her teacher. He played the role of the man that didn’t listen in order for her to get healing. And it worked. Valerie was able to release a little part of him, to thank him, bless him and release him a little more each day. However there were still other things that were not resolved.

After several weeks of staying with me, he went back to his place healthier and happier. He said he was ready to look for a job and build a life with me. Too late I thought, I’m moving away from him, but I just smiled and said I loved him. I wanted him to feel he had my support and my love, something to work for, something to live for.



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