NLP Learning Systems Corporation
PO Box 261907
Plano, TX 75026
Recently you asked if I would share with you my story of how NLP has helped me with my substance abuse problem. That story follows below.
I experimented with drugs for the first time in the seventh grade. All through both junior and senior high school I used marijuana, and, to a lesser extent, various pills and hallucinogens. Approximately half way through college, I stopped smoking pot, and would only occasionally use amphetamines. After graduating from college in December, 1980, I accepted a job with a major oil company in Corpus Christi, and, primarily because of new social circumstances, my drug use almost completely stopped.
A more sinister problem began to manifest itself while I lived in Corpus, 'I had fairly poor social skills, and suddenly found myself with mostly married friends in a new town. My sexual encounters were infrequent, and mostly unsatisfying. I became more isolated, and more acutely aware of my social shortcomings.
I left Corpus after about a year and a half, and joined my family's small manufacturing company as an engineering assistant to the Vice President of Engineering and Supply. The environment was incredibly stressful, as my duties, responsibilities, and authority were left mostly undefined. Additionally, my own beliefs about what my abilities should have been were much higher, indeed they were unrealistically high, than my abilities actually were. Still unable to easily make new friends, I rejoined my now amphetamine-snorting friends from high school.
Quickly our weekend-long speed binges became my only source of real social contact. I believed that the few women that I knew from this group, indeed most of the group itself, were unfit as long term companions, and I remained somewhat aloof from them. Sex remained infrequent, and by now was an impulse-driven activity that almost always resulted in pain, guilt, and unhappiness. While work also became increasing painful, I did manage to take control of the Engineering Department, a position for which I simply did not have the qualifications; my disillusionment with myself and my abilities grew astronomically. These patterns continued for several years.
One Sunday night, I acquired a relatively large amount of speed, and became consciously aware that I rounded the corner from being a "weekend warrior" to having a much more serious level of drug abuse. Indeed, within a month or two, I was using on a daily basis. I distanced myself further and further from my group of speed-snorting friends, as I was afraid I'd have to share my usually plentiful supply with them. Before long, almost my entire social life centered on acquiring drugs from an increasingly shady group of suppliers.
I had been using drugs on an all-day, every-day basis for about two years. My involvement with women had dropped to near zero, and enjoyable sexual experiences were only a dim memory. I finally realized that in order to have a life worth living, things had to change. I quit using speed completely, cold turkey. Some months later, I quit a nineteen year smoking habit. I gained a lot of weight after quitting both the speed and the smoking, fifty pounds of which I later lost as part of a diet program. Still, my life was empty, devoid now of almost any friends at all.
Nine months passed since I quit speed. Hungry for friendship, I began socializing more frequently with my original group of drug-using friends. While their support of my abstinence was genuine, even loving, mine was not. Before long, I started using again on weekends; within a month, I was abusing amphetamines again on a daily basis.
At this point, I was very aware of the fact that I did not enjoy the effects of the drugs, and really hadn't for a long time. Still, I used them compulsively, not really knowing what else to do.
One day a lady who I had met several years earlier on a skiing trip called, and told me about NLP. One point really appealed to me: you could work on a problem without revealing to anyone the content of that problem. I went to an introductory lecture, and signed up on the spot.
I went through a basic course, and focused on my problems with sex and relationships. To me, the problem of drug abuse was secondary. As the program was repeatable to graduates free of charge, I came back for a second pass through the basic course. I got in a conversation with the lady who had first told me about the course, and soon realized that she was doing with me a process called a reframe. Without telling her the subject, I turned my attention to my difficulties with women. Several confusing and amusing hours later, she declared the process done.
I went home that night, and, as usual, snorted a line of speed. Somehow, something seemed to be different about the experience. Most surprisingly, though, Is that within two days, all desire for the drug had left! I gave away about half of the supply that I had, and consumed the remainder in small amounts over the next several days to get myself physically acclimated to the absence of the drug from my system. Startled by the power of NLP, I vowed to continue to study.
Drug use had been my cover for failing at relationships. While it took longer to resolve most of the difficulties I had with relationships, I have not again used speed in the approximately eighteen months since I did this reframe. I have had many opportunities to use again, but turned them down because I now know the real cost. I'd be a liar if I said speed never again appealed to me, but it just never passed even a cursory cost/benefit analysis.
Malcolm, I share this story with you because I feel I owe it to people with similar problems to tell them how I conquered mine. While I do ask that my name be withheld from relatively casual use of this letter, I volunteer to discuss any of this one-on-one with anyone you believe would benefit from such a discussion.
Very sincerely yours,
(Name withheld by request)