how to stop drinking

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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