What to Write?
It’s early Monday morning which is when I usually sit down to write the next Newsletter. Frequently I don’t know what I’m going to write about until I follow Hemingway’s dictum, “Writing is a matter of application. Applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” Having done that, something usually occurs to me.
Not this morning.
That being the case, I’m going to ask you a favor.
Many of you are former clients, many are potential clients. Some of you have been reading this Newsletter for years and others are new subscribers. Many fall in the middle, in that area we refer to as “Contemplation Hell,” that purgatory of indecision where you know it’s time to do something but…..
And yes, I am familiar with that anxiety-ridden state beginning way back in high school and when/how to break up with Nancy Sue, and continuing through vodka, motorcycles, cigarettes, divorce, weight loss, and currently, rehabbing my left leg and finishing a ton of long-deferred writing.
That admitted, how can we motivate you to finally take the leap and address your misuse of alcohol before the holidays? Yes, we are familiar with the annual “after Halloween, after Thanksgiving, after Christmas, after New Year’s, after the Super Bowl, after Ground Hog Day, after, after, after…”
Which brings me back to the favor I mentioned.
What would help you move from contemplation to action?
Write and tell me what you think would help. Or what prompted you to decide to come to see us when you did? Or why you’re glad you did?
Been here, done this? How did that work for you?
Worried it won’t “work”?
Afraid that you’ll have no life, or sex, or friends if you quit? (That one’s actually pretty easy. Most people have more of all three after quitting.)
Or questions. I’d love a few questions. Anything to help me out when I “apply the seat of my pants” next Monday.
Too much to ask? I don’t think so, but if it is, you can let me know that too.
Change involves effort. It’s an effort some of you have made and others are thinking about. Pretend I’m “Dear Abby” or “Dear Ann” and send me a note, question, concern, or critique suggesting how we could be better.
Please don’t leave me sitting here next week “staring at a blank screen until beads of blood form on my forehead,” as the plaque next to my desk defines writing.
E-mails to: DrWilson@non12step.com
Working with Women vs Men
The question often arises in the course of the week’s work with a new client. Is there a difference when we’re working with a woman rather than a man?
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer involves looking at the differences women and men adopt when faced with discomfort.
Typically, women address discomfort by ruminating, either alone, with girl-friends, or a woman therapist. This mulling over can go on for years under the guise of “addressing the problem.”
Guess what? After a bit, it’s not “addressing” or “doing something,” it’s pretending to. It’s much like going to AA or Alanon. It’s avoiding doing something about the actual problems.
Then there are men. Men don’t ruminate. They chase around doing stuff that makes no damn sense. True, this is less depressing than mulling, but no less ineffectual.
Which brings us to couples. If the problem drinker is the husband the wife will say something like, “Can’t we just talk about this?” If the wife is too deep into the Chardonnay, he will say, “Just do something!”
In either case the usual response is a blank look of incomprehension.
So! We work really hard to prod women into “doing something,” and men into sitting down and ruminating long enough to actually figure out what it makes sense to be doing.
Oh, and in either case, “doing” means actually setting objectives that are measurable and quantifiable. As my website stats program admonishes me, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure!”
There. Question answered. Now on to the specifics of your particular situation.
Ready or not.