We received the following e-mail and knew that many of you can relate to the problem of being stuck in the “contemplation hell” the writer describes. We thank her for permission to reprint it here.
“Dear Mary Ellen and Ed,
I am finally hitting send on this email I drafted Sunday. I drank two bottles of wine last night, woke up “on time” and could have gotten up but just could not.
Instead I cried and cried. I have had SO much change happen in my life in the last few years and even last few months. I felt miserable. I went into work late today even though I could have made it on time. I needed the time to cry and regroup. Here’s what I drafted earlier this week…
Alright….maybe we should talk.
First of all, it is easier for me to send this email right now than to dial the phone number which is plugged into my phone right now ready to hit “call”. Why? I’ll share a couple of the 5 million conversations that I have had with myself in the last ten minutes of “stalling”.
This Newsletter is great, (November 13th) the Newsletter you sent last week (November 6th) really got me too. I related to the “type” of client you work with…usually smarter than the average bear. This week I relate to both of your points.
So, it got me thinking and asking…”What AM I afraid of?” and, “Why haven’t I actually called?”
I almost did on Thursday. Fear. Fear of what? I think part of me has felt that nothing will work/help and your program seems too good to be true and what if I invest the time and money and it doesn’t work? OR, I am really not ready/able to apply it (been there done that in other areas of life as well as related to alcohol abuse).
And, believe me I have read your website, the testimonials etc. I have even considered asking a good friend for a plane ticket and hotel stay so I can do it…he has myriad miles and points and has offered the use of them anytime-it would just be a matter of asking and I don’t necessarily have to share the reason.
OK, that said…these last two emails have resonated with me on a new level of thinking, “ok, I think they DO get it and maybe they CAN help.” AND, I will be completely honest with myself and with you, I am afraid of making the call because I am afraid of you holding me to following through–which I
clearly have not done on my own, so I am not sure that I can.
Yet, of course I want someone to care enough to do so all at the same time.
Crazy-making, I know.
And, I know that life can be better and fine without alcohol abuse, I have lived that life before…really never drank other than a few times a year until in the last 7 years (I am 37). So, I am surprised that I am in this boat now. But, whatever, I am here now so how do I deal with it? I have looked at many options.
So, I am writing and I am asking to arrange a phone call with you. One of my 5 million conversations with myself had me ask, “So, if/when you call, what are you going to say? what do you need to hear?” This is what also had me divert to writing first…I need to be prepared. This is why I am asking to arrange a time to talk and can you tell me what information I should be prepared to talk about.
This sounds silly as I type it because I am actually extremely outgoing, can speak off the cuff about virtually anything and work in communications–I am rarely at a loss for words. I also realize that I need to really trust you and do not want this conversation to be a sales pitch. Sorry, have to be brutally honest. Like I said, I have looked at your site, read the emails etc. etc. so the next step is a conversation.
I am not sure that you take calls on Sunday, if so, I can talk today or we can plan a time on a weekday.
Thank you for listening.
*gulp* hitting ‘send’ “
So, we arranged the call. And we’re talking and writing. No pressure. No time frame. No sales pitch. And someday, when we’re all ready, well, we’ll see.
The really important part for you, if you know you could have written that letter, is that we mean it when we say that the next step is only a conversation. And that can start with an e-mail or a call. And, yes, you will talk to one of us – no sales department, no ex-clients, no scare tactics, no musts or can’ts.
And yes, we’ve been there too – I with my own drinking problems in my late 30s and early 40s and Mary Ellen with the depressing job of finding real help for a family member.
Why would you – or anyone else for that matter – ever agree to 30, 60, or 90 days of “rehab”?
Yes, we know that this is what “everyone does”. We also know it doesn’t work. Mostly never has, never will. But it sure does make a lot of money for all the wrong people.
Think aboiut, please. Going “off to rehab” is like going to the spa to lose weight. In that environment anyone can lose weight, or stay sober, but eventually you have to go back home and you haven’t acquired a singal tool or insight. Just the label of “diseased and powerless alcoholic” and the admonitions “don’t drink” and “go to AA”.
Is it any wonder that traditional treatment clients have a “failure” rate that exceeds 95%?
Then there are all of the other confidentiality issues:
- How are you going to explain disappearing for 30, 60, or 90 days?
- What about staff (mostly former and failed clients)?
- What about other clients?
- What about you PUBLIC insurance records (no folks, insurance records aren’t confidential and your shiney new “alcoholic” label will follow you for the rest of your life)?
There are plenty of other reasons to avoid residential treatment and AA/12 Step based myths and indoctrination but this should be more than enough to have you looking for real help, not just another “King’s New Clothes” con game.
Real Help? Real Tools? Real Follow-Up? Real Privacy?
Right Here! Right Now!
Links to Success:
Things You Don’t Know About Alcohol #4:
Until 1916 Whiskey and Brandy were listed as scientifically approved medications in the U.S. Pharmacopeia.