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Organization Update – 2/15/19

Hello Competent Women!

Did you miss me? I sure missed sharing all the exciting stuff that’s going on in the organization with you!  Where to start…

How about Conference? We combed through the workshop applications and set our tentative schedule. I am still following up with the presenters but we were able to offer all of our peer applicants (i.e. 4C women) a slot, which made me incredibly happy. J There will be a great balance of peer presenters and professional presenters again this year, so a little something for everyone. I’m making a new webpage with the full schedule, registration information, travel tips, and answers to all your lingering conference questions – that should be launched next week, with registration opening on March 1st. Lisa, our volunteer coordinator extraordinaire, is busy procuring a small army of additional 4C women to help with specific areas of need, including developing the printed conference program, working the registration tables, coordinating all the fun additional activities, and planning and executing the new Gala dinner on Saturday night.

Our workgroup simply could not decide on a conference logo from amongst the many beautiful logos submitted, but we managed to narrow it down to the 2 above. Which one do you think best embodies this year’s theme of Hello Happiness? Click here to put in your anonymous vote!

Last week I missed my blog post because I was busy in Maryland for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Advisory Council meeting. Dr. Deidra Roach did a compelling presentation called Women and Alcohol about the need for more resources to be directed to researching, preventing, and treating alcohol use disorders in women. Unfortunately, this is one area where the gender gap is closing rapidly, a subject which I am currently researching for my upcoming webinar for the Cigna Behavioral Awareness Series: Coping with Substance Use Disorders on March 20, 2019. I was able to make a personal connection with Dr. Roach and I let her know that WFS is always happy to partner with researchers to strengthen the evidence on self-help options such as the New Life Program. This was followed by a day of self-care with our MD administrative volunteer and CM – we went to a salt cave, bought some shoes, and got massages, followed on Saturday by a fantastic f2f meeting where we geared up for Valentine’s Day by writing ourselves love letters. What a wonderful way to practice Statement #7!

The other Management Teams are moving along nicely. Internet Services launched the new chatroom on February 1st and I have heard nothing but good things. They are also starting to play around with some of the other cool features of the new platform, such as Journals. I’m excited to see how that develops! We received and distributed the new statement and motto posters to all of our face-to-face groups, and plans for the new Moderator’s Support Circle continue to be developed by the Face-to-Face Management Team. The Materials and Literature Team is working on a revamp of the Reflections for Growth series and is starting to brainstorm ideas for a new offering for the bookstore, and we finalized some guidelines about how to help grow this blog and start featuring the most important individuals – the women who are rocking this recovery thing using the New Life Program! The Fundraising Management Team is vetting some important new software to help us organize our fundraising efforts, and as a nice plus, our generous volunteers. We’ve also launched the Teddy Bear Challenge, which is already garnering a lot of enthusiasm. And the Outreach & Events Team had a small (me +1!) meeting discussing strategies to increase the availability of in the U.K.

Thank you to all of the wonderful women reading this – leave me a comment and let me know what you think of all these changes or if you have any questions or want to get more involved. (I changed the settings so you can now leave comments anonymously.) I’m so grateful to be on this journey with you and I would love to hear more about you!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello Competent Women!

I wanted to give a quick shout-out of love to all of our 4C women today! Whether you have a sweetheart or not, I sincerely hope that all of you can take a moment to practice a little self-love and self-appreciation today.

I remember one year, well before I found WFS, that I was feeling very sorry for myself on Valentine’s Day (Statement #2). I was single and I was moping about being without a sweetheart on this day that we set aside to celebrate love. I wandered listlessly into the grocery store during my lunch break to try to find something appealing to eat. Right at the entrance was a large display of Valentine’s candy and gifts, seemingly mocking my loneliness, all 75% off. “Wow,” I thought, “I could buy something for every single one of my friends for that price.”

As the faces of the dear men and women in my life began to play like a slideshow in my mind, it slowly dawned on me that I did, in fact, have a whole lot of love surrounding me (#7). Sure, I wasn’t romantically involved with anyone, but lots of people loved me, and I loved them in myriad ways. I loved the way my best friend always took my side when I was struggling with a difficult situation. I loved that I could go to another one of my friend’s houses any time and just sit on the couch and watch bad t.v. with him when I was bored and feeling alone. I loved that I could get into wacky political debates with another one of my gal pals. And I realized that they probably loved at least a few things about me, too! (#10)

I resolved then and there to change my attitude and not spend a lonely evening feeling sorry myself (#13). I grabbed a basket and filled it to the brim with heart-shaped boxes of cheap confections and cheesy kid’s valentines cards (#6). I spent the afternoon making a mental list of who I wanted to share love with that evening and plotting my driving route (#12). When I got off work, I happily slogged through Seattle rush-hour traffic to make my rounds (#11). I didn’t call ahead of time, I just showed up on people’s doorsteps, silly V-day tchotchkes in hand, surprising my friends with my message of love, receiving a quick hug and maybe sharing a tear or two of surprised joy, and running off to the next house (#3). If they weren’t home, I left them a love-filled surprise and received messages of appreciation later (#10).

Since then, I’ve had many Valentine’s Days when I’ve had sweethearts, and plenty without (#13). I’ve had lonely single V-days, and lonely ones when I’ve been in a relationship, too (#4). One year early in my sobriety, the only living soul I could think of who loved me was my cat! (#10) I’ve isolated and wallowed in my misery some years (#2), and been able to turn myself around in others (#3). This year, I am single but definitely not alone (#5). I have thousands of Sisters worldwide, bonded together in overcoming our addictions, learning to give love, learning to receive love, and supporting each other as we learn to love ourselves a little more (#8).

What’s your favorite Valentine’s story? I invite you to comment below and share with the world! (Blog comments may be left anonymously.)

Much Love,
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.
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Monday Thoughts 2/11/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” ~~Harriet Tubman

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~~Jim Rohn

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~~Leo Buscaglia


Statement #6
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort. 


Recently, I received my DNA history and it’s proving to be a fascinating look back in time. Contemplating the lives my grandparents lived, it is heartwarming to think of how love changed the course of their worlds and subsequently, mine. Who knew Statement #7 could fit so beautifully into a double stranded helix?

On page 22 of our Program Booklet it states, “Love and caring can be difficult for women with drug and alcohol problems. We may close ourselves off from others, physically and emotionally. We are afraid to trust, give or receive love.” With the clarity that sobriety and recovery bring, we can create a sturdy foundation for love to flourish and grow.

Past relatives could not have anticipated life as it is today, yet our keynote speaker from our annual WFS conference a couple years ago enlightened us with the knowledge that our actions today can affect the next seven generations. Incredible. This is a very powerful image which cements how vital love is in our everyday lives. It feels comforting to know the love I give and receive today has far reaching implications. Love does change the course of the world, today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Self-love certainly changed the course of my world. It is amazing to me how I survived with the self-loathing I carried inside. My greatest need was acceptance and my greatest fear was rejection. I felt unworthy, unlovable and inadequate. When I first learned about WFS, I finally understood why I drank to numb those self-inflicting negative thoughts about who I was and what I had to offer the world. I had pretended a lot and that was such a burden. I didn’t realize that until I quit drinking, started practicing the WFS Statements and became my authentic self. Redefining the definition of me, allowed love to fill the emptiness I carried in my soul. It truly was a metamorphosis – the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I was free and the many, many years of hating myself, feeling stupid and accepting whatever I felt I deserved, which was little, I finally experienced the gift of love.

Being a moderator has taught me a lot about caring for others. It has been and continues to be the most rewarding time of my life to be able to give and receive caring, encouraging support from the women I have met through WFS. It has enhanced my recovery in ways I can hardly define with its positive impact on my sobriety. When I feel myself doubting my worth, I reflect on the brave women who have walked through the doors to a meeting or registered online, knowing I have been privileged to share in their decision to change their lives and pay it forward. That is self-love, loving others and showing caring in a powerful way. It lifts my spirit each time. Self care builds self esteem. Self-forgiveness opens he door to receiving love. How do you express your caring for others and for yourself? How has love changed the course of your world? Have you accepted who you are right now, today? What words would you use to describe yourself? Who is part of your caring circle?

Bonded in accepting that love can change the course of our world and caring is all important.
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 2/4/2019

Monday Thoughts“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” ~~Wilma Rudolph

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” ~~Mary Kay Ash

“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” ~~Dorothy Height


Statement #6
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort. 


Sobriety and Statement #6 provide the force for feelings of fullness. Whether reveling in the simplicity of the ordinary, or savoring determination leading into greatness, the contentment Statement #6 assists in creating can firmly cement a beautiful New Life.

“Sobriety is a rewarding experience for those who invest in the moments of each day” our Program booklet states. Some days it can feel difficult to invest in those moments, yet each of us has what we need within us to persevere, to use conscious effort to create the life we desire. An example of this happened this past week. I was getting my computer worked on, and what I was hearing felt conflicting. I kept questioning and made decisions based on my understanding. In the past, it felt impossible to investigate something or to stand up for myself which often resulted in feeling ineffective and invisible, anything but great or ordinary. But this week, I felt the greatness that Jean wrote about. Through sobriety and the WFS New Life Program, each of us are able to stand in our own strengths.

Instead of running away or relying on someone else to rescue, the practice of Statement #6 encourages daily conscious effort which can translate to greatness, even in an ordinary moment like computer repair.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Oh, how I relate to computer problems. It took 3 weeks, many hours of frustration and a lot of support from a generous friend to get most of my email stuff worked out. There are still issues but at least I have my Bellsouth email account up and running. In this age of technology, I have to say it felt overwhelmingly wonderful to regain access to all the phenomenal 4C women who receive the Monday Thoughts. I persevered even when I didn’t understand most of what was being said and done. To me, that is the beauty of facing my fears of asking for help and doing the best I can.

As I mentioned in previous messages, I have started to organize the many years of WFS paperwork. In doing so, I have been reading messages from Nancy Cross, former moderator and board member, who inspired me and hundreds of others with her commitment to WFS. She is sorely missed but her words continue to encourage those working on their New Life in recovery. I consider Karen and Nancy powerhouses in the written word.

When I consider how I envision my life as ordinary and great, I came across an exercise presented by Nancy.

  1. What do you want to keep in your life?
  2. Let’s face it, some things are working and not everything has to be thrown out. I consider this a powerful question which requires total honesty.
  3. What do you want to change?
  4. This goes back to how you answered the first question. Knowing what you want to keep will provide knowledge for what you want to change.
  5. What do you want more of?

Now that you understand what you want to keep and what you want to change, answering this question could be used as a guide to creating plans to achieve what you want more of? Is it fun, more time spent with friends, adventures, alone time, building stronger relationships, volunteering at something that gives you purpose, reading a book that’s sitting on your night stand, go to more movies, learn a new skill, dancing – the list goes on. Now some of these suggestions could also be part of what you want to keep or change because you are doing them already or want to do. The important thing to remember is do you want more of them if that is the case? What can you add to this list of suggestions?

Bonded in making life ordinary or great and appreciating the ordinary moments,
4C WFS Member