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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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Chapter 12 True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

Chapter 12 Alcohol or His Life?

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

A month after he left for Florida, he returned to Dallas. It was August again. Upon his return he had become very depressed and went on a drinking binge that lasted weeks. He called me one day and told me about the binge and that he had been in jail for fightin.’

“Well Sal that was your choice.”

“Yeah and now my choice is to have you come over so I can relieve this hard dick I have.”

Those comments once turned me on, but today I was turned off.

“Sal, I’m seeing someone else.” He hung up.

A few days later, he called and asked for help, said he was ready to die. This is from a man that never actually talked on the phone, but sent text messages, or called but didn’t leave a message, so for him to leave a message was unusual. It got my attention, but the timing was not good. I had just parked my car and was scheduled to give a talk at a women’s group. I called him back I told him I loved him and that I would come over after my talk.

I took a deep breath to switch roles, smiled, put my shoulders back and head up. Then surrounding myself with a golden light entered the restaurant to be directed to a small room in the back where the ladies were gathering.

I was given a gift card for food or beverage and went up to the line where I noticed they served wine. Considering my talk was on stress management, I asked the wine to be put in a paper coffee cup with lid.

“No problem,” the guy with the matching cap and apron said, “We do it all the time.” Really?

Anyway the wine helped because, honestly I wasn’t comfortable in this group, but I smiled and hung back observing my audience, watching their body language, which spoke volumes, seemed all of them were confident and enthusiastic, which triggered my discomfort. Because rather then being happy for them I felt a little jealous.

The presentation started out strong, but in the middle, I got a little emotional so I shared with the group that I had gotten a disturbing bit of news just as I was walking into the meeting, “My dear friend is in a bad place tonight, I think he is ready to end his life, slow death by whiskey. I’m going to leave here and go and see him.”

An older woman motioned me over, she said she had a prayer cloth with the mark of healing or something on it and wanted to give it to me to take to him. As she pressed it into my palm, she smiled, closed her eyes and whispered something. I got a chill.

Then she said, “Go to him child; he needs you and give him this cloth.” Those were not the words I needed though, ‘Go to him, he needs you.’ But I considered it to be divine intervention.

I guess the prayer cloth worked because by the time I got there, he decided to order a pizza. Suicidal people don’t order pizza.

He was in the worse shape that I’d seen him, puffy face, left eye bruised from a fight, blackened nails from misaligned hammer and nail hits. As I looked around, I noticed he had attempted to hang a framed print that was until then leaning up against the wall behind a door. Suicidal people also don’t hang up pictures. Did he trick me again?

He did look pretty bad. There was also no food or money, so I convinced him to come stay with me for a few days. I felt again that I needed to save this man and no one else was there to do that, and because of the drinking binge he was beyond helping himself this time.

But I hated myself for bringing him to my place where I felt I had to be quiet as to not disturb him. Every ten minutes he said, “Val, Val ‘come over’, that was his way of saying, ‘come here.’ And I would, and he would be lying in my bed with his dick erect.“Just give it a kiss. He is sad.” Being uptight and feeling like I always had to be doing something, I would reject him and go back to work, laundry, dishes or whatever.  Sometimes I would give in, agreeing with him and his favorite line, “Life’s too short.” So I would leave the Saturday chores and climb in bed with him.

I later called Mike to let him know I had reconnected with my ex. He said he sensed I was not ready for another relationship. Relationship? What’s that I wondered as I hung up.

I thought if I could just get him into the sun for a dose of Vitamin D it would awaken his spirit, and I knew that would help him out of his depression. So I planned a trip to the water park.   That morning he was so disagreeable though, wanting to sleep in, everything was a struggle.

He drank a six-pack for breakfast and bought another one for the park. When we finally arrived I began to see the transformation, that little boy spirit coming out on that first water slide.  It was wonderful to see his child-like smile. We went down the water slide again and again, racing each other up the steps and then freely flowing down the slide each in our own rows. It was refreshing and a little unbelievable, as it was the first outing that we didn’t fight.

However those moments were interrupted with the reality that he was more interested in the cold beer in my car, so he made several trips out of the park for his medication while I waited alone in the sun on my over-sized blue and white stripped beach towel.

The next day it was the neighborhood park. He pushed me on the swing and after a barefoot walk around the park while watching the ducks and birds with the wonder of a child, he took a dip in the park’s fake waterfall, and then he just lay there on the cement staring up at the sky; he didn’t give a damn what people thought. I joined him. It was an incredibly freeing experience. This man, that was addicted to alcohol and because he was fearful and now depressed, was teaching me how to slow down and relax and to be more self-referred, to do what was best for me without worrying if others would be okay with it.

Since running is my favorite weekend ritual, I have always had a fantasy about running with him so that the park regulars could see I had someone too, since I was always there alone. The next day he said yes to going with me, a huge rush for me. I was beyond thrilled; however, he is out of shape and couldn’t run at all. But he happily took my iPod and walked a bit listening to Kid Rock sing ‘Born Free’. He so looked happy, that great smile greeting the park’s runners and walkers, and I looked on adoringly. Yep that is my man.

Maybe he was going to be okay.


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Chapter 11 True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

Chapter 11 Florida Break For Two

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

A true story about alcohol addiction and hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium

Something had to change. I felt like a character in a relationship themed Groundhog Day. But in spite of my patterns, very positive things were happening, things that made me feel special, selected, and purposeful. There were those ‘Aha’ moments with clients when they realized the source of their obstacle. There were beautiful friendships and family gatherings and my solo hikes where nature seemed to jump out on the path and get my attention with a connection or insight. All of these events kept me on a sort of golden path. Then there were the free trips.

“Hey sexy, my best friend Diane invited me to join her, all expenses paid, so we’re heading to Destin in a few days.” I remembered being in a very strong and confident place that day. He asked me to come over before I left, and I said no, and it felt good. Later that day as I started to realize I really did want to see him before I left, I called. No answer.

He called back about an hour later and said he was coming to see me. Excitement hit, then reality took over (there were already several times he promised to come see me and then didn’t). I told him I would believe it when I saw it, he assured me he was on his way and that he missed his princess. Deep down I really wanted him to come, but beginning to recognize his patterns I knew he loved to disappoint me.   He said he was un-spoiling me from all those years with my previous boyfriend. He never showed.

The next morning I called, “What in the hell are you doing?” He replied, “Sittin’ in the Atlanta airport,” I closed my eyes even though I was driving, my heart pounding. And all I could say was, “I’m getting off the heroin and hung up.” So rather than coming to see me, he caught a flight and was heading to Florida too. But he was heading back to Ft Lauderdale and I to Destin. Later that week, we exchanged phone pics of the places we were staying and then didn’t communicate.

There were moments in Florida even in a house on the beach with four other women around that I felt lost without him. Why? I have no fucking idea. Just couldn’t stand not knowing where he was or whether he was okay. This was a peaceful scene with loving women with stories to share, where was the chaos? I missed the chaos. I had lost my addictive substance, so I drank, a lot, but not so much that I couldn’t run an hour on the beach each morning.

When I ran it was a powerful connection to my true strength; the fog lifted. I like to smile when I run because all the other runners look so miserable. And it feels good. It is one of my natural expressions plus running makes me feel free, and that makes me smile even more. But my smile stopped as I ran by the strange combination of shells, sand, water, plastic bottles, beer cans and a lone flip flop. Garbage dirties the natural beauty in a way like my trashy thoughts dirty my true nature. I really want to stop this crazy thinking that Salvador and I belong together, that I can heal him.

I recalled Diane saying, “How fucked up is that?”   And that made me smile again as I become stronger, running faster, getting clearer, running away from the trash and into the water as it broke around my feet, faster and faster, REM in my ears, loud, I’m a machine, running away from the garage in my life, the trash in my head, water splashing me, refreshing me, running towards clarity.

Back at the beach house, recovering on the porch with a bowl of fruit and yogurt, I realized I don’t really like Hispanic men even though it seems that is all I attract.

In the beginning the ones I pick are charming, like Banderas, when they are romancing you, but with deep-seeded problems that are lifelong in the background, buried so you can’t see it. And problems are fine I guess because we all have them. But my guys seem to be raised and taught not to recognize or even to deal with them, and this is why they drink, whore around, live in complete denial and are incapable of having a healthy relationship. And that is why they are so alluring because they are unattainable, just like my Dad. (Oh, wow Valerie there it is).

But just then, Diane appeared, with her bright smile and alluring blue eyes. “Hey Valerie, you look exhausted, HA! So let’s go. We are going for lunch. I’m buying. I want to get some things from the gift shop too.”

I was exhausted, “Sounds good give me a minute.” I washed my face and used my wet hands to ‘fix’ my hair. Beach life is so easy.

During our lunch I announced I had decided to start dating a man named Mike when I returned to Dallas. He was an older, wealthy guy with a convertible. Yes, all the stuff, but he was also very respectful of me and very seemed very generous with his time.

She listened carefully and asked, “So you’re done with Salvador?”

“Yep I’m done! It is time for a change, and this trip has shown me that.” She smiled wanting to be supportive, but also knowing she had heard my declarations before.



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Chapter 10 True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis

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

Chapter 10 Being Vulnerable

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction written by a hypnotist

Available on Amazon and Medium

He mumbled over the sound of the red-neck alligator hunting reality show, “I just have to get it out,” then he paused, eyes fixed on two men in a metal fishing boat, cruising in a swamp, then he continued, “I’m tired, I can’t hold it in any longer. Please don’t judge me. I’m afraid of the dark, and I’m also afraid of the person I’ve become.”

What did he just say? I put my drink down so I could listen.

He was crying, “I’m tired, I can’t do this anymore,” he wiped tears away with the back of his hand. I moved closer and turned the volume down and took the beer from his hand. He joked for a quick second, “I’m not tired of that, give that back.” I did. He continued, “People were jealous of me. In my heart I was a helper and did so much for others, but I was always misinterpreted as being cocky. I just kept to myself. I don’t need anyone then or now.”

I realized, So his self-centered attitude was just a way of protecting himself?

He continued, through the sobs, “I’m a bad seed, a bad kid. My dad told me I was. He taught me bad seeds had to fight. I’ve become used to fightin’. And that fightin’ creates problems. I get thrown in jail, fired from my job, and probably loosing you.

“Dad wired me to never back down. He beat me when I didn’t win—so I’m afraid to loose, but now I’m tired. I’m so tired,” and he buried his head in my chest to rest a bit before he told a story that created a clear path to my really understanding what this man had been through and why he drank so much.

“As a kid I loved baseball and once when I was twelve, I rode my bike over to watch a game. While I was coaching the game from behind the fence, I always had better strategies then those fucked up fat coaches,” he said with a slight change in his voice. “But then a gang of boys started harassing me and wanted to fight. I refused and broke away and rode toward home through a field of high weeds. I was so scared and so relieved to get home.

“Dad was on the porch with a beer, a six pack of empties were here and there, some in the tall grass barely visible. My heart stopped.

I told him what I was running from, but the look on his face told me I was going back to face those boys. I was terrified. I just wanted to be home with mama and feel safe. But I went back and faced those boys. They ganged up on me and beat me real bad. I was just a little kid.

“He’s been like that my whole life. I had to win. I had to play perfect ball. I was so little, and he insisted I do it right and would beat me if I didn’t hit the ball far enough or fast enough or make the home run. I learned I had to be perfect and was terrified when I wasn’t. It was a lot of pressure, and it hasn’t stopped. I’m just so tired. I’m afraid to rest and to sleep. And, I’m afraid of the dark.”

He sobbed for nearly ten minutes in my arms until he fell asleep.

As I watched him exhausted like an infant that had cried himself to sleep. I felt compassion for him as I reflected on the compassion I was starting to have for myself.

Through sharing his experiences I was able to recall similar events in my life that shaped my current behavior, though not as traumatic, none-the-less, greatly effected me as his did him.

My dad had wanted a son, he told me that, but he had three girls. He didn’t teach us to fight but that we would have ‘a fight on our hands’ being women in a ‘man’s world’ (he was referring to the work world). This idea was woven throughout my upbringing: women were the underdogs; we had to work harder. And we needed a man to survive. That created a self-defeating belief that made it difficult for me to desire more, to desire better. And because I believed I was the weaker of the two to also avoid conflict.

Subconsciously I was screwed as far as being a success in business and in life independent of a man. And so I picked them, man after man, all like dad, all drinkers. Having a man didn’t make it easier as dad suggested, but I was still driven to find the right one. And that is why I drank, because it was hard and I was tired.

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True Story About Alcohol Dependence and Hypnosis Part 9

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

Chapter 9 Florida Break (Up)

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction written by a hypnotist

Available on Amazon and Medium

When family expectations of you are to be perfect all the time and you have hit bottom, it is hard to have your family see you that way. That’s why Florida is such an attraction.

No one knew him there and he could be in his natural element, the ocean. I think Sal was a dolphin in a past life.

He stayed with a friend in an apartment in Ft Lauderdale. He had to sleep on the couch but having the freedom of the ocean balanced that out. He loved to fish. Growing up in Tampa, minutes from the Gulf Coast the beach was his respite. I was happy for him to be able to get away.

Away from the physical contact with me, he was able to see how much I cared for him. I saw his faults and loved him in spite of them and his financial situation. He also wondered why it was so hard to just let me love him, to open up and relax into us. It was in Florida that Salvador did let go of a little of his stubborn nature. He decided that even if he never saw me again, he could feel the love I had for him. And knew that he was lovable. That comforted him in a new way.

I missed him but focused on a goal to increase my running speed and I did, also took much pleasure in eating the vegetables from my garden. My hypnosis practice was doing better, and I was creating new boundaries for myself. Perhaps I was strengthening for his return.

He was gone a month then called to see if I could pick him up at Love Field Airport. I wanted to see him so I agreed. My heart quickened as I pulled into the passenger pick up lane.

There he was in his ‘sexy planned attire’ plaid shorts, white v-neck tee, flip flops and a backward cap plus that sexy crooked smile. I jumped out of my car and ran toward him. He picked me up and kissed me hard and said, “Let’s go to Gloria’s, princess. I’ll buy you dinner,” as he flashed a wad of cash. I smiled.

At the restaurant he talked about getting well and looking for work again, he was speaking clearly and was interested in what I was doing with my clients and my practice. We ordered two meals, two beers plus a shot of Tequila for him and while we were waiting on the food he ordered another one. The meals came, and then the shift occurred as he turned to the next table and said, “Keep it down, we are trying to have a quiet dinner here.”

He banged his fist on the table for emphasis and knocked his beer over into his tamales.

I wanted to slide out of the chair and under the table. The restaurant was so noisy, no one seemed to notice, except for the table he was addressing. I made eye contact with him and I guess he realized he needed to calm down or I was leaving. He apologized to the table, ordered another beer as the waiter cleared his beer-drenched plate away. I finished my meal and we left. On the way to his apartment, a two-minute drive, I started in on him, “Sal, I can’t believe I went out in public with you again. I can’t depend on you to be normal and just enjoy a meal and conversation.”

He quickly shot back, “Well I can’t depend on you. I don’t trust you. You keep leaving me.” He continued to make it my fault, “I’ve been gone a month and was ready for you to be my girl. I took you to dinner and paid for it and now you are mad at me.”

“I’m mad at you because you nearly got into another fight in public. It is embarrassing to me.”

He whined, “Well that man needs to respect me and not talk so damned loud.”

He never takes responsibility, I thought, as I pulled up front and opened my trunk so he could get his luggage. I really didn’t want to leave, but I knew I needed to send him the message that I wasn’t going to reward his behavior. I pulled away leaving him on the front step of his apartment. Observing him in the rearview mirror just standing there, head down, my heart sinking.

He called me on the way home, “Princess, I want you to understand that I am beginning to feel comfortable with you, but it isn’t really comforting. So I stir things up. That is what I’m familiar with. Nobody cares, nobody is there for me, people are always turning on me.”

“Sal, I love you in spite of your behavior.”

“But you turn on me. You leave me.”

“I am just protecting myself. I hated leaving you there.”

“Then why did you? You don’t love me. Come back and show me you care.”

“I’ve got to go; Diane is calling.”

I explained what just happened, “I know I love him with all his faults, but getting clearer on how important my mental health is. I needed to leave to protect me, but I get that guilt shit from him for doing it.”

Diane listened patiently and then said, “Let’s have lunch next week and we can talk about it.”

I couldn’t wait to get home and open that bottle of wine. I needed to escape.




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Chapter 8 True Story of Alcohol Addiction and Hypnosis

Excerpt from Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade by Valerie Grimes

A book on alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction written by a hypnotist

Available on Amazon and Medium

Chapter 8 A Visit to the Suburbs
Getting over someone is always a process, like drug detoxing. The mental, emotional and physical aspects rarely align themselves quickly. Mentally I knew I wanted to start to spend more time in my own world; emotionally I was lacking in attention and affection, and physically I was experiencing the effects of the internal conflict in the form of some digestive issues. But rather than ending the relationship like most people encouraged me to do, I kept trying new things. I thought that if I could bring him to my home I could get the emotional needs met while stabilizing myself mentally.

However, I wasn’t sure how to present the idea to him, as he rarely consented to anything that was different. I needed to say to him: I want to be in my home where I am comfortable, so if you want to see me, that is where I’ll be. But instead I gave him an ultimatum. I would argue, “You never put an effort into us,” rather than, “This is best for me and my well-being.” And I also didn’t want to run the risk that he would say, “Fine then you be there and I’ll be here.” So I opted for blaming him for not putting effort into our relationship. It worked. He said, “Yes I’ll go.”

I was getting more confident about what I wanted and asking for it, even if it was in a-round-about way. However, I gave in slightly when he refused to drive himself to my house. The only effort he put in was coming downstairs to my waiting car. At least he was willing to go into an unknown place, which was scary for him.

At my place I got to see this scared side of him in full view, when we walked in to my home and announced, “I don’t like it here.” He was clearly uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. He needed to feel safe and he didn’t anywhere but on his couch.

As usual I did my best to create a ‘normal’ experience, we went for walks, did yard work, went to the park where he pushed me on the swing, we danced, cooked out and then climbed up on the roof and ate dinner. Normal enough?

In an effort to disrupt the weekend so I would get to my breaking point and he could go home, he became disagreeable, unrealistic, and demanding. We made three trips to buy alcohol in two days and he demanded my constant attention.

That breaking point came when we were both sleeping. I heard a scream accompanied with extreme pain in my thigh. The scream was his; the pain was from his fist. In one of his nightmares, he drew his fist down onto my leg. I screamed at him, which scared him more. He cried and curled up like a little boy. I consoled him as I began to get oriented. I realized he didn’t mean to hurt me, but shit, this guy was dangerous.

The next day I was up at six AM to walk my dog, trying to be quiet and not disturb the sleeping bear. I tip-toed around, but it was hard to be that quiet when there were things I wanted to do, like use my bathroom, get my clothes out of the closet, brush my teeth. He kept tossing in bed, groaning and putting the pillow over his head, mumbling about how in the hell was he supposed to get any sleep.

At 11 he was still in bed. I left for the gym, and when I returned he was up drinking beer and cooking tacos. He looked so proud of himself, but it went down hill. After he made the food, he didn’t want to eat, needed more beer, and when I refused to pay for it, he got a little scary. So I suggested it was time for him to leave. Of course that meant I had to drive him home. We argued unproductively the entire way mostly blaming each other.

Later that evening he called and said we could make it work and that he did feel safe with me, but uncomfortable not being in control, and he promised he would be more aware of my needs. So, I tested him and asked him to meet me for a hike, he declined said he was busy with laundry. I hung up on him.

He left for Austin two days later, and I didn’t talk to him for a week. Then I got a message: “I love you please come back to me.”

I responded, “We don’t get along.”

“Life sucks without you.”

“Maybe your life sucks with or without me.”

I was so conflicted, I felt terrible saying that to him and so before bed I called a left him a sweet message to clear my conscience. Besides, he was out of town I didn’t have any control over him and didn’t want him to have a reason to meet someone to take my place. I was possessive of him and still very much wanted us to be together permanently when he was better. If he could just allow me to help him release the fear like I did for my clients. Each week I would always share stories of the successes my clients were experiencing in the hope that he would ask me to do the same.

One day he did consent to hypnosis but couldn’t stay focused as he said my voice was too soothing and turned him on. I ended the induction and walked out of the room, “You’re impossible Sal.”

He called after me, “Is that what you would say to a client?”

“Of course not, they are paying me and they are serious about getting help so they wouldn’t say that in the first place. You clearly are not ready for my help.”

He admitted, “I’m not, I just did it for you.”


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Licking Honey Off A Razor Blade

Chapter 7 True Story Alcohol Addiction and Hypnosis

Excerpt from Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade by Valerie Grimes

True Story About Alcohol Addiction and Hypnosis

Available on Amazon and Medium
Chapter 7 Santa Sal
“Hi Valerie, did you get your invitation to the annual company holiday party? We need your rsvp today.” Cindy was on the line from the corporate office.

“Yes, I did. I was waiting to hear back from my date to see if he was available. I’ll just say yes we’ll be there. Add us to the list.”

Surely Sal will want to go, I reasoned. After all, there was free booze and craps tables to entertain him.

He agreed.

On the day of the party, I packed the sexier of my two black cocktail dresses, open toed, four-inch black heels, make up (including false eyelashes), and jewelry and headed in the opposite direction of the party to go dress at his place and then drive us in his truck to the party, which was about one hour west. I always went out of my way for him.

I was overwhelmed with excitement, mainly because I was going to show off my guy to my co-workers. He was in an unusually good mood when I arrived and even more so when I pulled a bottle of Jack out of my bag. He immediately said, “Let’s do a shot!” We did, I kissed him and then I headed toward his bathroom to get ready, it was 5:30. The party started at 7:00.

“What’s your hurry princess? Come over, I need you to kiss him before we go.” I turned to put up a fight, but there he was on the couch, his jeans unzipped, our eyes met and I knew we were going to be late. When we were connected like that it was the affirmation I needed to know he loved me.

On the way to the party, we drove through Irving, “Get off at the next exit. Let’s do a shot a Los Lupus!” I was intoxicated but probably could have been even without the booze, I was so happy because I was anticipating showing off this great looking man to my co-workers. We looked high class and acted it as well, did our shots, he threw cash on the bar (too much) and then we slipped out drunk in the moment.

By the time we arrived everyone was already in the very elegant dinner buffet line, so we just slipped in unnoticed, but not before we went to the bar for the free stuff. I began to see signs he was very uncomfortable: his social anxiety attacks make him sweat. I did my best to comfort him, but since it was a company party, my tipsy coworkers pulled me away several times to meet their dates or spouses. He, of course, chose to stay at the dinner table in our assigned seats. When I went back I saw that he was really drunk and having a conversation with one of the doctors…oh dear, my reputation I thought.

I knew we needed to go before he started messing with someone. Just then my boss walked up and thanked me for being there and said it was time for the annual awards and to be sure to pay attention. She did this to me a lot, would also pull me in without really saying why and without question, I would comply. She was giving me the chance (in her mind) to really grow my hypnosis practice at her medical office where I worked two days a week. So I did most of what she said. I needed to stay and to also separate myself from him, to please both of them.

The party was a casino night theme so I encouraged him to go shoot craps. He grabbed his beer and headed out of the dining room. Relief. There was actually some dead time before the presentation so I went to check on him just as he knocked his beer over on the craps table.

Licking Honey Off A Razor BladeWhy did I bring him? “Remember,” I murmured to myself, “you wanted to show him off, and he is performing a very memorable show.” I needed to get him home. I found my boss and lied about something to get me out of the rest of the evening, but getting him away from the table was a different issue. Fortunately, they closed the tables for the presentation, so we were free to go, as soon as he got outside in the cool night air he was okay.

I drove us back to his place where we both slept soundly until the next morning. I woke up early and went to the store for breakfast stuff, and when I got back he was up, drinking a beer and watching TV. After breakfast tacos (made the way his mom did), he asked me to stay all day and lie on the couch and watch TV. I felt I needed to go, he was disappointed but didn’t say, just nodded one of those ‘just leave me like everyone else does’ nods as he continued to stare at the screen.

“I love you,” I said, as I gathered my things.

“No you don’t. If you did you would stay with me. You are always running off.”

I argued, “If we lived together that would be different Sal. I have a separate place to take care of. This is my day off I have a lot—”

He cut me off, “Whatever!” I tried to kiss him, but he turned his head. Crap. I knew it would a week before he missed me and called again.



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