Many Brave Fools
A Story of Addiction, Dysfunction, Codependency... and Horses
Codependency, a compulsive behaviour sometimes known as ‘relationship addiction’, is often characterised by a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship that is emotionally destructive— or even abusive.
For years Susan Conley found herself trapped: married to an addict whose health, welfare, and safety she valued far above her own.
Over time she watched as she lost contact with her own needs, desires, and sense of self. But then, at forty-two, after yet another crisis came to an anticlimactic resolution that left nothing healed and little to hope for, she decided, having never so much as touched a horse, to take up riding.
Here, with humour and honesty, Conley chronicles her experiences, sharing how her pledge to rediscover herself following her divorce was all at once aided, abetted, and challenged by the horses in her life. ‘They were as large a part of my recovery as any of the self-help books I read, personal development workshops I did, and 12-step meetings I attended,' she writes. ‘The struggle to heal the wounds of a dysfunctional marriage was actually made easier with the real wounds received from horseback riding.'
Many Brave Fools explores the ways in which horses enriched Conley’s life, and how the process of making herself into a rider also helped her become the person she most wanted to be: not the ‘ex-wife of an addict’, but a responsive, confident courageous woman, entering the prime of her life.
Reviews for Many Brave Fools
This book is beautifully written. I felt I was with Conley every step of the way, experienced her delight at her equestrian achievement and her pride at having rid herself of her co-dependency on her husband. Horses help in so many ways, and that this experience could make such a change in her life is a wonderful testament to both her dedication to riding and to the wonderful horses who continue to fascinate us all.
Grappling with the relationship addiction co-dependency, Susan found that horse riding was her path to self-acceptance and personal growth. This is an insightful look at recovering from a marriage breakdown and learning beyond the classroom.
Irish Country Magazine
An interesting read that really sheds light on co-dependency and how horses can help us to heal.
Woman's Way Ireland