Happy 2018, everyone. Can you believe that it’s 2018? I’m excited to be sharing more great content with everyone who has blessed me with comments, criticism and encouragement. I want to thank my friend Pam Polani, Audra Simovitch, who I work with, and my mom and sister who conspired yesterday to throw me a surprise birthday party. On Sunday, I’ll be 51. Last year, we didn’t get to celebrate my 50th because my dad was so sick. They really did a good number on me. Thank you. It was great to be in a room full of loving friends and close family. It was an amazing evening.
I am excited for the families that we’re going to help this year. This week was a little strange. I had two families that called me panicked. That’s typically how it goes. I get a call from a mom or dad panicked about their child who has relapsed, won’t go into treatment or won’t stay in treatment.
Two of the families that called me, after retaining me, decided that they didn’t want to do it anymore. They weren’t going to proceed with the Marchman Act. I always hope that clients will be candid with me. It’s an enormous source of frustration for me, not just from a business perspective, but from a personal level.
I am personally involved in these cases. I take this seriously. It’s what gets me up in the morning. It’s why I don’t sleep at night and why I take calls at 2:00 in the morning, as I routinely do. Trying to find out what’s really going on is important to me. I want to understand the psychology of the decision that a family makes when they say, “I’m not going to go ahead.”
Sometimes that decision is based on the fact that their child has voluntarily agreed to go into treatment. At that point, I say to the family, “You have to understand that this disease only gets worse over time. As long as they’re in treatment, there is a good chance of success.” You need that safety net, especially when you’re dealing with a child who has previously fallen off the wagon. If something happens, we have some recourse there. We can go back to a judge. We can do something to try and keep them in recovery as opposed to letting them fall through the cracks.
Occasionally, the family balks at the idea of spending money to retain a lawyer to file a Marchman Act. I had to talk to one mother this evening. I said, “I buried my father last year. I hadn’t planned for that. I didn’t have the ‘bury my father’ savings account. I know that families don’t have a Marchman Act savings account in the bank. It cost me five times more money to bury my father than it does for a family to have me file a Marchman Act.”
I find that a source of frustration. I understand the financial aspect of this, but we’re talking about saving a child’s life. I work with families as best I can from a financial perspective. I hope that families won’t look at this as a financial decision. We’re talking about saving someone’s son or daughter. I hope that’s not what’s going on here. If it is, I want the families to tell me that. I will see what I can do to help them. I have financial responsibilities, not just to my business, but to my family. While I do this with a passion, I hope that families aren’t looking at this as a purely financial decision.
We are going to help a ton more people this year. We have a brand-new website about to come online and new marketing stuff. We’re always thinking of ways that we can help families, not just today and tomorrow, but months and years from now. This is a disease that doesn’t go away. For families that are dealing with this, they will tell you how it impacts them. It has such a dramatic effect on the entire family.
Have a great 2018. I’m looking forward to sharing more thoughts and stories with you.