1. Is it you? Belle, when I send an email, will I know who is replying to me? If it's not you, that's fine, as long as whoever it is has personal experience that matches yours, because your stuff speaks to me and I feel it's important to be able to build a relationship and trust with whomever is on the other end.
me: My emails come from my email address. If you were emailing my apprentice you'd know because (a) she has a different email address from mine, and (b) you would also have previously agreed to have her email you. It's all very transparent. If you get an email from me, it's from me.
2. How fast? How soon are you (and your team) able to respond to emails? I am scared that if I manage to actually reach out for help that I might have to wait for a response. I know this sounds horribly unreasonable, expecting you to be there whenever I need you, but I need to ask the question because at the moment ... I think there might be times when I am desperate. Also, in time, can we work together to pre-empt this last minute panic and spot the warning signs earlier?
me: I generally answer emails from my penpals within 24 hrs. If I happen to be online when you email, then I respond faster, but generally once a day. Yes, we can work on de-escalating things - and you will also find that just in emailing, you feel better, even if you know I may not respond instantaneously. Your brain is a complicated place. It feels better just by reaching out.
3. Billing? Hi Belle, I would like to have a penpal but I have a joint account ... how would the debit appear on the bank statement?
me: Here’s what I understand: when you purchase something from me through Gumroad, that’s what shows up on your credit card statement (gumroad.com). You might also want to purchase a pre-paid credit card, like a gift card that works for any MasterCard purchase (prepaid gift card). You can buy them with cash (in Canada you get them at the drug store and grocery store at the cash register). Then you can use them like a regular MasterCard but there’s no personal info attached. You being sober is a big deal. you getting support to be sober is a good idea. But I know that keeping your stuff private often makes sense too.