For me, the real question is – How much has it already cost and how much more will it cost if I don’t change. Deciding to invest money to retrain myself instead of my horse was a hard choice at first. I loved my horse and was willing to spend lots of money (over and over) trying to fix him, only to have him go bad once he got back with me. Hmm, how interesting. Finally, after he had had it with me and proved it by kicking me in the ribs – I decided my ways were just not working. Duh? 🙂 I either had to get rid of him or search for a new way. I loved him and did not want to lose him so I prayed for an answer. Be careful what you pray for! I discovered the horse whispering approach and saw the miracle results it brought to troubled horses. The bad news was that to heal my horse, I had to completely change me! I learned I was a big part of the problem! After all my loving, good intentions – that was quite a shock and took a while to digest.
The same miracles can happen with alcoholic/addict whispering. Troubled addicts can be transformed, but we must change us to help them. We must be the one willing to step up and admit our part in the demise of the relationship and take the time to learn the addict’s psychology. Then we must learn how to give them what they actually want (respect) instead of what we think they need (control).
Although the book learning aspect of whispering was simple, I found I needed a lot of help actually applying the information with my horse. Learning from a professional horse whisperer showed me a thousand ways I was unknowingly irritating the crap out of my horse and driving him crazy. (Of course she didn’t say it like that.) Geez, it was humbling and embarrassing to realize how harmful I had been to my horse when I had meant so well. The whisperer encouraged me by reminding me that I didn’t have the knowledge that I had now. The important thing was that I was now willing to do whatever it took to do the right thing for my horse.
Retraining ME was awkward, difficult and fraught with many errors – not fun for a person who previously thought they had it all together! Although it had been easy to spend thousands of dollars retraining my horse, I found it difficult to invest relatively small amounts to help myself. It was simply too uncomfortable to see myself from my horses point of view.
I finally decided it would be much cheaper in the long run, to spend money hiring a horse whisperer to train me how to whisper my horse than to continue paying horse trainers over and over to temporarily “fix” my horse until I messed him up again. I also saved myself much pain and suffering and medical bills from injuries caused from trying to unsuccessfully force my horse to behave. But even more important than monetary savings, by changing me, our relationship was saved! My horse started to greet me at the gate instead of heading across the pasture!
Just pause for a moment and (honestly) imagine where your addict/family is headed in 5 years if you continue doing what you are doing. Please ask yourself – have your ideas/methods ever improved an addict’s behavior? Aren’t things only getting worse? How long are you willing to continue doing the same things over and over, expecting a different result? I promise – it never gets better unless someone changes something.
Here’s something even more difficult to ponder. If we are not willing to look at or change our negative thinking/behaviors, why is that? After learning that our horse/addict is getting worse due to our training methods – why wouldn’t we stop that behavior immediately? The answer is that we are codependent, which is our addiction to an alcoholic/addict. This is our role in the addiction system. We can’t just stop! It is too terrifying to let go of our control of an addict. And just like an addict, we have to be completely sick and tired of OUR own behavior/life before we are willing to change (some of us never change). Life has to hurt a whole lot for a long time before the addiction system can begin to be cracked. We are both unconsciously reinforcing the addictive system by trying to force each other to change instead of taking care of ourselves. The Good News is that we don’t have to go all the way to hell and lose everything, especially the relationship – we can get out of the addiction system quicksand now. When we are tired of trying to force solutions, recovery principles give us new ideas and skills which really work to absolutely transform our life!
How costly will it become emotionally, financially and physically if we continue to refuse to look at OUR role in the addiction system. How many more years are we willing to waste – throwing money, anger and hurt at “THEM” in order to avoid looking at our own pain. An untreated addiction system only gets worse over time – never better.
Learning how to Whisper an addict will not only save tons of wasted money, it will save years of heartache and emotional destruction and quite possibly even an addict’s life. Learning how to lovingly let go and give an addict the dignity and respect to pay for and learn from their own consequences – Priceless!
The Alcoholic Whisperer Program offers 2 Levels of Family Assistance.**
**Update: Although I have retired from professional coaching I still enjoy chatting with families (and addicts) and sharing my experience, strength and hope. There is no charge or obligation for the call. I also share the horse whispering principles with groups as requested.
PS. I also offer an Alcoholic Whispering 101 e-booklet which contains the literature used in the 4 week workshop and a couple of bonus articles. There is no charge for the booklet, simply click the link below.
If you would like to support my volunteer efforts with a donation, it will be welcomed! Contributions are used to offset travel and literature donations. Absolutely no obligation of course!
You can either call or email me to schedule a time to chat. Phone: 512-964-3808 and Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Level 1: Alcoholic Whispering 101 (Retired)
Option 1. Addiction System Overview, Single Tele Class: – XX.00 for an action packed 1 hr class for 1 to 2 people
– Confused by all this addiction/codependency stuff? This personalized class covers the basics of an addiction system and is designed to help answer your specific questions. Betty is an addict and she shares the addict’s best kept secrets with you.
Option 2. Addiction System Overview, Multiple Tele Classes:
xxx.00 for 4 weeks (hourly) for 1 to 2 people
– Betty loves to share her horse/addict whispering strategies with families and addicts. This series of tele classes will teach your group or family the basic operating principles of an addiction system so you can better understand and relate to your alcoholic/addict loved one. Topics covered are: The Addiction System Overview, Boundaries For Safety and Respect, Co-dependency is Co-addiction, and From Enabling to Empowering. The class is personalized to help answer your specific questions.
Level 113: One to One Coaching, 12 weeks, by quote only UPDATE: this option is also retired.
* The Fine Print: Cut-to-the-Chase’s coaching mission is to inspire, empower and educate families of addicts. It is not affiliated with any other program or treatment facility and is not to be considered counseling or therapy. Working with alcoholic/addicts is potentially dangerous. Always use your own judgment and/or get the advice of professionals to find the right strategies for your life.
Sending you and your family a big hug and a prayer.