Dear Michelle: A Man Without a Plan

Man Without a Plan Cover2

Dear Michelle,

Hello! I am writing to you to see if you can help me read between the lines. I am 43 years old and am currently in jail. I’ve been coming here quite often over the past several years. I have a drug problem.

Another problem I have is that I can’t find anyone to love. I have not been in a relationship in over 2 years.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sincerely, Mark from Greensburg, PA

Dear Mark,

It’s hard to have a good relationship with someone when you find yourself in and out of jail…unless …your true love happens to be a big hairy guy named “Bubba.” Let’s read between the lines of your script for some clues that might help you stay out of trouble…and get yourself clean.

Think of a page of writing paper as a map of a person’s life. In our alphabet, we start on the left side of the page and move towards the right side of the page. Therefore, the left side of the page represents where we came from (our past), while the right side represents where we’re going (our future). One way to gauge a person’s drive is to look at their t-bar crossings.

Strong t-bar crossings (made with a left to right motion) show that the writer is putting energy into reaching his goals for the future. Weak t-bar crossings show that the writer has trouble moving forward and needs a push. Would you say your t-bars are strong or weak? I’d say your t-bar crossings are a little faint and puny. You try not to think about the future, let alone plan for it.

Now, your t-bars are light, but your punctuation marks are heavy. Your strong, circular periods show that you tend to become obsessive about things and want to have them…NOW!

Your goal is to plan a better future. Decide what you really want in life and what you need to do to get it. Make clear, firm goals and strong t-bar crossings. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. As soon as you get out of jail, get yourself in a rehab center or support group. You can call The Alcohol and Drug Help Line at 1-800-562-1240. Remember, the most important person to have a good relationship with is…yourself!

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