by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW
Horses have had a major role in my life. When I was 9 years old I experienced my first riding lessons. That was it, I was in, hooked. I didn’t realise until later in life that I had a horse addiction.
I really wanted to get into the horse community so I volunteered at local stables and pretty much did anything in exchange for lessons. My parents would not pay for them so I found a way. As my horse addiction grew, I soon became ‘wanted’ as I was one of the riders who had the guts to ride all the difficult horses that no one else wanted to ride.
I loved it because it made me feel needed. I loved it because when I rode a difficult horse, I was seen and recognised. It didn’t matter to me if I would get thrown off, or the danger I put myself in, what mattered was I was noticed. I was taught to be strong, to dominate as well as be quite unkind to horses, all in the name of training.
MY CAREER WITH HORSES
The more I worked with horses, the more I became addicted. I used to teach riding and would be the one who would stay up all night nursing a sick horse. I would go on 2 or 3 beach rides a day. I was a hard worker, tough and would put up with anything, including my allergy to horses. I made a career out of horses, managed stables, trained horses, competed, and even studied to be an Equine massage therapist.
I identified with being the rider, the instructor, the horse massage therapist… Giving up a career and a hobby that I had identified with so strongly has given me the opportunity to let go and now be so much more.
MY HEALTH ISSUES RELATING TO HORSES
As my horse addiction continued, so did my health issues, including my allergy problems. I went to the doctor about my allergy in the early years and was told that I should not be near horses. To this comment I remember responding clearly; “well, I would rather die than have a life without horses”. So from then on I would just sneeze every time I was around them, take antihistamines and pretend it really wasn’t happening, and it was no big deal. The other issue that I have lived with since I was 9 years old was major dental complications – which started from a horse knocking out my front teeth.
Looking back, I had no idea of the harm I was self-inflicting. I had no love for myself and I was looking for love, comfort and an identity, which I found through horses.
This is why I was with them in the first place…
- Horses were my version of love.
- I gained comfort from horses when I felt sad and lonely.
- Horses gave me a connection to nature and I loved that.
- Horses kept me busy and made me strong and tough so I wouldn’t have to feel how fragile and sensitive I am.
- Horses allowed me to be noticed and be needed as a ‘good rider’.
- I could hide with horses and not be seen or have to deal with the real world. In other words, I just lived ‘horses’ and it was as if life did not exist outside.
THE REALITY AND DREAM OF OWNING MY OWN HORSE
Ever since I was young I had always dreamed of having my own horses, and when I returned to Australia when I turned 30, I made that dream come true. What I realised soon after, was that it was just that… a dream. I enjoyed the experience but I was not attached to it: I learnt from it. I could see how I had attracted a horse into my life (who was abusive even though she was pretty)… a pattern I had experienced before with my choice of boyfriends! Sometimes patterns repeat themselves in many different ways.
I also learnt that in reality I had been allergic for all these years and my body had been screaming at me loud and clear and I had ignored it, numbed it, shut it up over and over. I could now see the self-abuse I had chosen without ever noticing or honouring this in the past.
SELLING MY HORSES AND CHOOSING ME
I sold the horses once I chose to look after ME. No one ever suggested I do, but it is something I came to realise myself. I recognised the crazy amount of money that I was spending on them, which then left me without any money for me. All that extra work I had to do so that I could have them. I saw the amount of ‘toughness’ that I had to put my body in when dealing with carrying bales of hay, buckets of water and fixing and doing all the other horse related chores. I became aware of all the time that I gave to them instead of my daughter and all the other parts of my life – including me.
In letting go of the horses and choosing me, I have given myself permission to love me more than them, which used to be the other way round.
LETTING GO OF MY HORSE ADDICTION
Like a lot of addictions, we are often not aware that the addiction exists. For me, I have realised that in many ways my horse addiction was more detrimental to my wellbeing than actually taking drugs, because it was so hidden. Getting out of the horse industry has been one of the most loving things I have ever done for myself. I don’t miss it; I enjoy looking at horses in a paddock but I no longer want one, and I have no desire to get up close and personal to the point where my body reacts to them. I have found that the thing that I loved about the horses was that it allowed me to be in a rhythm that was close to nature. I would get up early for the horses, and I loved to be outside and I still do, and now I can do that without having to harm my body or treat it in a way that no longer feels okay to me.
The level of self-awareness and self love that I now live came to me from the courses presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and it’s with so much appreciation that I am here today feeling amazing and no longer dependent on a horse or any other addiction to make me feel good.
296 thoughts on “Overcoming my Horse Addiction”
Thank you for your lovely blog, Rosie. Reading it this morning has been such a confirmation for me.
And yes, I have experienced similar in my relationship with my dogs over the years. Burying my denial in their warm fur.
But of course, this emotional crutch is not just related to animals, but our fellow human beings.
How often have we tagged along with someone because by “being with” them, we felt better about ourselves? In fact, this neediness is tantamount to abuse, because we’re using them for our own ends, something about which they are totally unaware.
Possibly hard to square with an animal because we can justify what we’re doing by caring for them, giving them the best we can afford…
Maybe one day we will allow horses to return to being horses, roaming moors and mountains, like the fell ponies in The Lake District, or on Dartmoor.
I was fortunate with my dog in that I learned to let him return to being a a dog, which released us both – and I had no allergies, so was not compromising my health and wellbeing.
Now I have three pet sheep and I am free to love them as sheep and take care of them as sheep, but they are not extensions of me. Yes, I enjoy being around them and watching their characters develop, but they are what they are. Sheep.
“The level of self-awareness and self love that I now live came to me from the courses presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine”, is spot on. Many people who attend his courses or workshops develop this, I know it was the case for me too. No amount of searching and spending money did it, till I met Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
It has now come to a point where the self-awareness and self love is embedded and becoming refined further, and this has never occurred in my previous experiences with other modalities I attended.
I too share the appreciation, for my life is much more different to how it used to be. We just need to give the opportunity for the time, space and all for it to unfold, which some people are not prepared to do so. There’s living proof when we do, you just need to be willing to see it…
I am getting to realise from some of the comments on this thread about how corrupt the whole horse and riding industry really is – the lack of true respect and care for any animal or human is awful to feel but a reality we need to allow ourselves to see and acknowledge as it reflects back to us the low level that we have allowed our relationships to get to.
Henrietta, it saddens the level of corruption that exist in not just the horse and riding industry but in many thousands of industries, including the health care industry. It is appalling that as human beings we allow this and then we either ra ra it when some defies it or annihilate when someone exposes it. Go figure…
I also love the simplicity with which you share and write about your experiences Rosie. There are so many facets of our lives that we have experienced and when we have learned from them and know never to go back to that way of being and living, then we can share these as freely as you have and it comes with a lived learning that has the power to benefit all.
Wow Rosie, this is amazing to read about – I had no idea that the horse world was so involved but I can totally understand how you fell for it and how it became your addiction as I had a similar thing with sports especially tennis. It seems we seek something to focus on so as not to have to deal with real life and what our body is communicating with us!
You say Rosie
“Like a lot of addictions, we are often not aware that the addiction exists. For me, I have realised that in many ways my horse addiction was more detrimental to my wellbeing than actually taking drugs, because it was so hidden.”
Many people are addicted to self bashing negative thoughts they would never consider this an addiction because we have an idea that addictions are something like alcohol or drugs. But we have many addictions that are as you say so well hidden. Is it possible that is because we bring them in from our previous life and so therefore have no recollection of them.
This is true for so many people, they have been able to let go of their addictions, and build a love of self thanks to Serge Benhayon, ‘The level of self-awareness and self love that I now live came to me from the courses presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and it’s with so much appreciation that I am here today feeling amazing and no longer dependent on a horse or any other addiction to make me feel good.’
A member of my family was also addicted to horses for all of their life; Horses were everything to that person. Looking back I can see it was a substitution for a lack of love, care and understanding. We all seem to have addictions that support us to cope with a life that we know doesn’t feel right but we are not sure how to make the changes so that we feel at one with ourselves. Many of us do not even realise we have these addictive distractions that are a vain attempt to quell the discontentment that runs just beneath the surface.
I love your sharing Rosie, the honesty, awareness, and transparency. We can learn so much from another when they share in such a way.
There are so many horsing around jokes, but that is just another addiction hungry spirit who is so divisive that it will hang onto anything. And in doing so we can be distracted from our Truth, which is a True way of living that is shared by our inner-most, esoteric or Soul all one and the same, which feels amazing as we are now feeling the Love rather than the insidious addictive behaviours that distract us from being Soul-full. So eat drink and live to be full of joy and connected to our Soul with our feet planted squarely on the ground and make horsing around a play-full experience that we share with the respect and decency we all deserve.
“I have found that the thing that I loved about the horses was that it allowed me to be in a rhythm that was close to nature” – this really exposes that addiction is not about substance or activity, and it would allow us to see it for what it is if we can be very honest and pinpoint what we are actually getting out of it and why we need that.
“… what mattered was I was noticed” It is quite extraordinary it is the amount of abuse we will accept in order to be seen and recognised – the greater the lack of self-love, self-worth, fear of rejection the greater the abuse we allow.
It is interesting how easy it can be to let go of any addiction once we become aware of the strain it puts on our body and truly don’t want to have that anymore. I let go of horse riding too and I have not missed it since.
That’s true Elizabeth, it is our loving self care that leads the way and begins to highlight what is not part of love.
I also had my first riding lesson at age 9, it wasn’t uncommon for the women around me involved at the horse school to be quite tough physically and rough and abusive with the horses. I found too there was an attitude that if I came off just the horse to get yourself back on and no vulnerability or feeling about the accident, it breed a bit of toughness in us kids and also a daredevil attitude. Much of what you have written I can also relate to keeping pets in general, that emotional comfort and lack of space, time and cash for oneself. I found a lot of my focus was on my animals as I had no idea how to care for me or love me, so my love went into others and animals. I still have pets but I’m not so dependant on them as I’m supporting myself now with my own love and care and they actually thrive when I thrive. Thanks Rosie for your blog as it’s highlighted a lot for me to still be aware of around this, and also much to appreciate in the changes I have made with the support of Universal Medicine.
There are many ways we chose to distract ourselves and your example is beautiful because we can replace the word horses with another word, for example, dogs, cars, computer games, cupcakes, surfing cycling, drinking and most of us will understand that we all do this in one way or another…..great to expose our habits and yes our addictions. Once we let go of one, we begin to understand how we can let go of them all.
Love is so absent in this world as a go-to. We have so many hobbies, interests, etc, as per your list, to keep us distracted from the eternal unsettlement we feel, something that can only be quelled by returning to our innate essence of love. The fact the world is so set up for distractions and addictions says a lot about how far (and for how long) we have stepped away from love.
From one ex-horse-addict to another 🙂 I was talking to a girl yesterday about who has horses and it reminded me how everything, literally everything, in my life revolved around horses, from my time, to my thoughts, to my plans, to my future plans, to fitting my boyfriend around riding my horse, to even my desktop background picture and my toys as a child, and also how easily this life long obsession began to fall away when I started to rediscover who I was and what life was about.
Awesome Meg – sounds like letting go of addictions is a means to rediscover life and relationship with self.
We are beings that constantly strive to return to the same place. Yet, this plane of life offers us a wide selection of places to return to as often as we can. When the chosen place interferes, or stands against, our divine journey, we are witnessing an addiction. The addiction is not just what we choose to interfere with our divine return, but also the fact of the alignment of pranic energy to block it as well. Said differently, we are first addicted to pranic energy and, second, to whatever suits us to play the game of return.
Wow Rosie this is some turn around. Addictions are always there most perilous when we choose to not be aware of the fact that we are addicted.
Yeh it’s the addictions that we use everyday that become normal, like social media, or horses, or animals, or self doubt, or whatever – that can totally control our lives until we wake up to the possibility of a different way of living.
The sheer honesty and awareness in your sharing Rosie is amazing and I can feel will be super supportive for many who have horse addictions or any other animal addictions. Thankyou for sharing.
I rode horses for a time when I was younger, I had quite a few horses bolt on me so it became pretty clear to me that horses were to be admired and appreciated from afar, as they were animals that craved to be free and wild.
I used to be scared of horses and wanted to overcome this and though I never really liked horses or wanted to be around them, I asked one of my friends to help me overcome my fear by riding a horse. She was super understanding and supported me with a few goes on the horse and as soon as I reached my goal to not be afraid to get on a horse and ride then I knew I would not get on another horse again. And I have not looked back since – funny how I did not remember this until after I read this blog by Rosie and also these comments like yours Anna!
A successful, driven career or plunging oneself into one aspect of life at the expense of all others is an addiction, This word needs to be redefined and expanded beyond drugs, alcohol and gambling.
We can turn anything into an addiction when we do not deal with our hurts.
The world is full of addictions, so what does that tell us about people?
Self-care, self-love = the true antidote to addictions and abusive behaviour.
The more we embrace and deepen the love for ourselves any ‘need or ‘addiction’ simply falls away.
I agree – we often do not realise the addiction we have. Many of us talk about our ‘passions’ about something that we cannot get enough of and identify ourselves with, and not daring to see why the attachment, and we often use the word ‘love’ to describe that kind of relationship. Your honesty here is so refreshing and inspiring, Rosie.
So true Fumiyo that we equate love and passion with our addictions – what a paradox. And yes, Rosie’s honesty is both refreshing and inspiring.
I had a passion for yoga and would go daily sometimes twice a day. But truth be told, I was using yoga as a means of escape and not dealing with my stuff – so life did not get better and I did not find the inner peace I thought yoga would provide – because I was avoiding and resisting taking responsibility for my choices – a biggie being my lack of commitment to life!
Among other things, an addiction is simply our favorite way to reduce life to something insignificant.
When you care for another be that a person or animal at the expense of your own health and well-being your care cannot but be compromised for it comes from an emptiness that is devoid of a quality that honours you first.
It does not matter whether our addiction is perceived as a “nice” addiction, like looking after horses or a “bad” addiction like gaming the fact is that it is all addiction and comes from the same ill energy source. Addiction of any kind leaves us imprisoned.
Yes the nice and bad versions of life, stop us from connecting with what is true and not true, which is a completely different way accessing whether something is supportive or not.
So True Elizabeth we need a stable life! One with a Loving rhythm where horsing around is part of the Joy we live every day.
It is quite amazing what we can be addicted to; even more amazing and a true turning point is the realisation that it is an addition and start being honest about what we get out of it. Once this becomes clear, the process of letting go is rather simple.
Yes, once we have awareness and understanding the rest is easy.
That is key, to be aware we have an addiction, and what it is giving us, ‘the realisation that it is an addiction and start being honest about what we get out of it.’
Addictions that we don’t realise are addictions are very addictive. When we let go of the need we offer ourselves the space to discover and be who we truly are.
Talk about space! How about all the time I wasted in my addiction. Once we let go of something that consumes us so much, there is so much more space and time in our lives that we didn’t even realise we were filling in the first place.
Absolute sense, and they are so beautiful to look at.
It’s amazing how much abuse we will tolerate just to feel ourselves close to the rhythm of nature. The crazy thing is that we don’t need a reason eg. getting up to look after horses, to do this. We just need to connect to our bodies and let them guide us for when left to lead the way, the rhythm they restore themselves to is the one of nature, of the universe.
Our abusive behaviours and patterns drop when we care for ourselves. A timely read for myself today. Thank you Rosie.
The more that we fill ourselves up with love and care, the less space is available for abuse and dishonouring.
We can never control addiction we can only move in a way that doesn’t allow the addiction to own our movements.
Its true, for when we are addicted, we don’t seem to have control… and you can find yourself stuffing your face in the fridge, wondering how you got there when you knew you didn’t want to be there.
‘Like a lot of addictions, we are often not aware that the addiction exists’. As so goes the path of illusion we have all fallen for. A path that conveniently blinds us from truth and seeing the grandness of who we are.
All addictions have something in common, they all serve the same purpose of filling out the void within ourselves from not living the truth of who we truly are.
I guess that is why it is so easy to go from one addiction to another…to fill the void.
It is very easy for pets to become a source of our love, they are infinitely understanding and don’t argue with us! But the love we seek is far grander, and we are capable of much more.
True, we are capable of so much more so why keep it limited to and exclusive for our pets!
Knowing you now, post-horse addiction, I would say that you are totally clear of it. Reading this blog, I had no idea this was how you previously lived. This is a great example of how we can clear fully addictions. They are not simply behaviours we need to get under control, we can actually be totally free of them with no residue remaining.
Thanks Nikki, it is true, there is nothing horsey about me anymore yet I used to eat, sleep and drink horse.. well not quite, but you know what I mean.. I even smelt like one! hahaha…
On a more serious note though, I have realised that I have had a few addictions in my time….. and looking back, it is more like it was in another lifetime because they have nothing on me now… I don’t long for them, miss them or even relate to them anymore.
I grew up on a farm where we used horses for farm work and the relationship with the horse is a loving working relationship and we also did pony tracking on the beach. I learned that horses enjoy working as a horse ,ploughing , pulling carts,etc Horses do not like to be ridden it un-nerves them and humiliates them. These spirited animals are not designed to carry humans on their back, I expect the same to be true of elephants .
Thats an interesting way to look at it John, and I was thinking that when working, they had a purpose and yet being ridden there really is no purpose other than entertainment maybe. I totally see from an anatomical point of view how they are not meant to be ridden and it seems cruel to push them to do this, and yes, no wonder they are so nervy. I would be too if you put a bit in my mouth and sat bouncing around on my lower back.
‘In letting go of the horses and choosing me, I have given myself permission to love me more than them, which used to be the other way round.’ Beautiful how you have now put yourself first, giving yourself permission to love yourself for just being you.
It is great to hear how you are bringing all that love to yourself now Rosie, and I’m sure there is more since you have written this blog, instead of seeking it outside of yourself.
I wrote this blog so long ago, and yes there is always more ways of loving myself and others. Always more to unfold.
It’s interesting to note if we are addicted to something it is most likely it will be harmful in relation to where we actually should be i.e. we maybe addicted to the same routine of eating vegetables each week that are considered to be healthy but it may not support our body at that point. So an addiction is just a comfortable point or way of being to not move on.
Horses were a big part of my life, but it wasn’t just the horses it was the nostalgia, the connection to an old way of living, a farmilartity that I felt and wanted to relive, which I did for years. Whilst horses and the life style I lived held aspects that I loved, I also felt an emptiness that nothing could seem to fill. Until I realised I felt empty because I missed myself.
It is very freeing when we realise it is not the horse, the sport, the man or this or that but ourselves that we really miss as then we don’t actually need anyone to fill our cup, for it is ours alone to fill.
What a great sharing Rosie, and revealing how we can be addicted to so many different things when there is a need in us. Over the years I have seen one addiction stop only to be replaced with another, and so on, and it is only by looking at the underlying need and healing that that I have been able to start truly letting the addictions go.
Thank you for sharing your experience Rosie. I too was obsessed with horses and thought they were the only thing in the world I could vent too. And only recently I realised how allergic I was to horses. I would have sores all over my legs and face through all the years I was riding and yet I never wanted to associate it with horses. As soon as I stopped and let go of horses, my skin totally cleared up.
It is amazing what we turn a blind eye to or what we allow when we don’t want to feel or see the bigger picture!
This is a great sharing to broaden our understanding of all the addictive ways we have adopted. As you state in the end addictions are making us feel good, however only temporarily in a form of relief because we need to keep doing them as they do not allow for building a loving foundation with ourselves. So turning towards ourselves and learning to take deep care of ourselves and deal with the hurts and sadness we hold will let us see the addictions we hold.
It’s just come to me that one of my addictions used to be reading. An erudite and noble pastime many might think, but I know I used to read to escape and not feel how miserable I was. Now that I have a life I enjoy, I no longer want to escape so the reasons I choose to read are now very different.
I am not that knowledgeable about horses but I do know they are very large and take a lot of money and work to look after. I can imagine the vets bills for them can run very high. Thank you for being so honest about your horse addiction and how you came to unpick what was really going on for you. I can see how there are many addictions that probably go unnoticed because they come under the category of a hobby or a passion. I am thinking of food, dining out, drinking or exercise to name a few.
Many of us would claim our love of something and from your sharing, Rosie, I can feel how unhealthy it is for anyone to go far to say and mean ‘can’t live without it’ – which we actually hear quite often. You have also clearly exposed the misuse of the word ‘love’ in this sense. We are enough already and it is not true that we cannot live without something because we ‘love’ it so much.
People are used to talking about alcohol, drugs, gambling or work as addictions, but the fact is there are many things that can seem benign that affect us the same way. In fact you could say these are worse as they tend to fly under the radar. Today reading your words Rosie, what I am seeing in my life is that I have been seriously addicted to issues and drama. Like riding a horse who keeps throwing me down to the ground, leaving me wounded and sore – I moan but repetitively keep coming back for more. We are our own worst enemies this way. We are horrified by the threat of terrorists in our world today but sometimes it feels to me that it is us who causes ourselves the greatest harm.
Yes Joseph, we are the ones who cause ourselves the most harm, and looking outside of ourselves at the terrorists for example is just a distraction. Yes we have to be aware of what is going on in the world, but we also need to be aware of what we are doing to ourselves on a daily basis and stop to question it rather than be stuck in the never ending merry go round and then think that it is someone else’s fault, or just is, or c’est la vie!
I very much appreciate the honesty here in your sharing about your relationship with horses Rosie. It’s worth us all looking at any areas of our lives where we may (1) be driven, a bit obsessive even… and (2) constantly over-ride the loud-speaker signals our bodies are giving us. To have continually lived with your allergy and yet persisted really says a lot…
How readily we will neglect our health and well-being, in pursuit of something that gives us everything we are desiring, but perhaps not the actual love we’ve been looking for…
Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, what you are really saying here Rosie is that it doesn’t matter what the addiction, it is in choosing ourselves that is the key ingredient here.
Yes! and the more I unravel one addiction, I seem to find another more hidden one.
Its interesting to ponder on the things that we supposedly love doing that impact on our health or even puts our health or lives as risk. It’s not so much about the activity itself, for it could be anything, but the fact that we choose it initially anyway and it’s more often than not about needing something outside of ourselves to make us feel apart of something.
There are many addictions, it is only that we have labeled some of them as addiction and see them as unhealthy while others we don’t call addiction but things that do us good. But as you show here, an addiction is an addiction and is simply a means for us cope with (or rather avoid life). You give a very practical example of how to allow for an honest look at where we are at with everything we do in life which then enables us to make different choices.
Recognising our addictions and or patterns of behaviour that do not serve our bodies natural flow, marks a major turning point in uncovering the truth of what really makes us tick. Love and deep care is the answer and one that is a series of building blocks that we deepen and appreciate over time and what you have shared here Rosie is so deeply inspiring. Thank you.
Cracking those patterns of behaviour and letting go of what we are used to can be challenging yet so freeing at the same time.
When it comes to horses, just say ‘neigh’.
ha ha, very funny!
I wanted a horse when I was young. I lived on a farm and persistently day in day out asked for one but I never got one. On reflection I can feel how I wanted a horse to escape life, to be in nature and on my own.
I love how you realised that horses gave you an excuse to get up early and to be out in nature. Two things that we really don’t need horses for and can appreciate and make a part of our lives without excuse or justification.
Best part of the day and yes no excuse or justification needed.
It is incredible how much we are willing to harm our bodies to have something that comforts us and gives us recognition – a place in life to fit into.
It is quite shocking all the different things and behaviours we will go into to fit in!
Your story is extraordinary Rosie for even though many people put themselves through great harm for their addictions, few actually come to the awareness you have and choose to let go of it through embracing a level of care previously ignored…. and in doing so learn to enjoy themselves without seemingly needing something else to make them feel good.
Thank you Samantha, its is great to celebrate letting go of addictions and becoming aware of all the small other ones we have picked up along the way.
Only recently I have had contact with horses and they are for sure big imposing but also beautiful animals. But I have also worked with many people who have ridden horses and make them their life and they seem to all have physical ailments and be in some level of pain in their bodies, shoulder pain, neck tension, back ache to name a few. The toll of riding horses is one that many wish to ignore, but the fact is it does seem to be quite hard on the body to look after and ride these animals.
“Like a lot of addictions, we are often not aware that the addiction exists.” Absolutely spot on Rosie. There is no shortage of examples but food and beverages are a good starting point.
Good point, food really is an addiction as why else do we over eat, and stuff ourselves to the point of being bloated and physically uncomfortable. I often do this, eat and eat and eat and then wonder why I did it again. Similar to drinking alcohol, feeling terrible the morning after and yet doing it again and again. Now I have managed to give up the alcohol and many others, but food… now that is another story and I have thought to myself lately, do I seriously want to keep doing this to myself until I get a digestive disorder as a STOP or should I just make some changes now.
Wow I had never considered it was even possible to be addicted to something like horses and yet, of course we can, it is an addiction like any other. A bandaid that fills a gaping hole and need in our lives. What struck me also was how self abusive you got to feed your addiction – ignoring your symptoms, spending all your money to the detriment of both you and your daughter. The pattern is so classic. Thank you for expanding my awareness of addiction in all its colours.
Thanks Lucy, it would be interesting to see what other types of addictions people have as I am sure there are many that we are unaware of as was the case with my horse addiction.
Great blog Rosie. I have noticed, with any addiction be it with horses, other pets, or even gambling, etc. we often use addictions to avoid feeling what is truly going on for us. It is very inspiring how you realised this and more, and chose to let go of your addiction for horses to reconnect with yourself, to care and nurture you first. It takes honesty, awareness, self-love and willingness to be able to let go of addictions and you have shown us that this is definitely possible by making different, more loving choices.
We have very clear ideas of what things can be addictive like drugs, alcohol, gambling etc. however from my experience, we can be addicted to using pretty well anything… nice, drama, sniff out an issue anywhere, relationship issues, and we rarely flutter an eyelid. Like you Rosie, it’s looking at how what we are choosing is affecting our bodies, lives, relationships and everything we do and start to be honest with what we need to give to ourselves that is true.
Ahhhh Aimee, you just made me realise how I just may have a little addiction to complication. It is as if as soon as things in my life are going smoothly, I seem to find something else that makes things complicated. Will have to ponder on this!
We can pour what we think is love into something and all the while pretending it is something it is not. The wake up can be harsh and so it is much easier to keep pretending. Great that you were able to wake up to the reality of your addiction and move on.
That’s a side that I have not heard before Rosie. Like so many things we do, only in hindsight do we see how destructive they are. It’s awesome to now be learning to see these thing before we sign a contract with them.
Interesting how you have used the word contract Kim, because with so many of these things we do, there really is a hidden contract that at times can really hard to break.
I have observed women with horses and it is a very very tough job to tend to them as they are such big and heavy animals. The way horse riders relate to each other, their language and their bodies are very hard, it is like many sports not at all nurturing a woman in her femininity and fragility and therefor interesting that so many young girls are hooked into this, which says a lot about our society and the way we treat and support young girls.
I was chatting to an old friend who used to have horses when I did and it was a cold rainy evening and we were both loving the fact that we didn’t have to go out in the bad weather to carry feed buckets and bails of hay. Like many things, when you are in it, you get numb to it and don’t realise and it is not until it is not a part of your every day that you can see it all clearly.
It is great that you were able to stop, feel and allow yourself to see your addiction with such clarity and love. It inspires us to also be honesty, reflect and ponder on our choices too, and also perhaps asks ourselves are all our choices truly loving and supportive?
I like that too Rosie. I have been horse riding in the past as well and enjoyed doing the tough jobs and that I had to go out in the rain to do the work, or at least I thought I was enjoying that at the time! It makes me only now realised how it was never a loving thing to do but that it gave me a place to fit into society: being a horse lover.
I can also now remember that I would get recognition from doing the tough or dirty jobs. I thought I was strong and championed the fact that I was not a “barbie doll” and could do anything…. all at the cost of my body!!!
Thanks for sharing the depth of your horse addiction with such truth , honesty and love .Its interesting to read as so many young girls go horse mad and bury themselves in horses , and fall in love with horses and to hear how and why it played out for you makes so much sense .A great lesson in human psychology .
As you mention we often are unaware that we are addicted to something, because it seems ‘normal’ to us – and to society. “In letting go of the horses and choosing me, I have given myself permission to love me more than them, which used to be the other way round.” Beautiful.