Is It Time to “Pull the Trigger”?
As with any decision, most of us spend a lot of time in “Contemplation Hell.” And it doesn’t matter how distasteful or necessary or desirable the change is. Stop abusing alcohol, lose weight, exercise more, improve or escape a marriage or relationship, find a community, employment, landlord, roommate, or tenant. We all prefer the familiar, if miserable, to the unpredictability of change.
In their classic work, “The Stages of Change,” Prochaska, DiClemente, and Norcross noted that change follows a predictable course:
- Pre-Contemplation – lack of awareness or rejection of the need;
- Contemplation – Awareness that something needs to change;
- Planning – Investigating the possibilities;
- Action – Initiating the process;
- Maintenance – stabilizing the “new normal.”
This first “stage” popularly called “denial,” is one we hear about a lot but which rarely exists within those of you who are abusing alcohol. If it applied, let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this.
That brings us to Stages #2 and #3: Contemplation and Planning.
Here we sit, doing “research,” seeing a therapist, going to meetings, scouring books and websites. Here we dwell in contemplation hell, avoiding moving to the Action Stage.
Mostly we choose to avoid the effort and temporary discomfort that all change entails. Worse, we prefer the predictable to the unknown as in “better the devil you know than the one you don’t.”
But what if the choice isn’t between two evils? What if the other choice is an end to loneliness, boredom, isolation, illness, and whatever you are medicating and avoiding by drinking?
That’s where we come in. When you’re ready to move from obsessive rumination to acting in the best interests of yourself and those you care about, we’re here to help lay out that change.
No groups. No guilt. No cults. No invasion of privacy. No demeaning, degrading, and dehumanizing.
Just an effective, research-based, transition from now to then, from worse to better.
No, we don’t offer magic or effortless change. But we’ll be there with you as you put in those first difficult weeks and months. Then you won’t need us, or the alcohol. That’s called “success.”
And What Happens When You Actually Stop Waiting and Start Acting?
Dr. Wilson & Dr. Barnes,
“I have been wanting to write you and express my gratitude and thanks for the fulfillment and lessons learned from your program. As my problem got to the point in which I needed better guidance than sitting in a room telling a multitude of people my issues I realized that I needed to find “my” specific program to fit the needs to better my life as well as those family and friends around me.
I researched a ton to find a program and the help that would work for me, and to this day I’m blessed and fortunate to have found your program.
My Wife agreed to let me take control of this venture and trusted in me that I had made the right decision. Well as it has turned out she and I made the right decision and I can’t thank you enough.
“Been There, Done That” was in my vocabulary prior to working with you, for a lot of different reasons, but now it sticks to the frame of life I’m in.
I can also “86″ a lot of things that have been weighing on my conscious.
Thanks again for the experience of meeting you two and the wonderful direction you have giving me to pursue in my life.
Hope all is well with you and Happy Valentine’s Day.
To which we gladly replied:
“And thank you, J, for being the smart person we can help muddle through to your own outcome. You took the chance, made the effort, and hung in there long enough to achieve the results you wanted.
It’s been a pleasure to work with you as you found your own definition of success.
Congratulations! And remember, you’re always welcome to call – with or without a reason. Or come by for lunch whenever you happen to find yourself in the neighborhood.
Ed and Mary Ellen
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