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“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” ~~Lily Tomlin
“You’re only human. You don’t have to have it together every minute of every day.” ~~Anne Hathaway
“It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” ~~Mandy Hale
Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.
I now better understand my problems. I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.
Lately, life has felt overwhelming and uncertain. Fear of the unknown and personal expectations have ruled daily thoughts. Facing uncertainty is not easy but opening about struggles brings understanding and deep connection; exactly what Statement #4 is all about.
The WFS New Life Program and Statement #4 in action prevent relapse and cement recovery. Needing to add action to this Statement, reaching out has become a top priority. Isolation is detrimental to sobriety. Additionally, doing the following exercise from page 23 of the WFS Beginner’s Collection aids in shifting focus from worry and doubt to overcoming and confidence.
Exercise: Write about specific problems that once worried you, how they were solved, and if they were solved in the way your worrying about them indicate. Reflect on some of your current problems, then brainstorm possible solutions for your problems. Finally, reflect on if/how your worrying has ever solved your problems.
Hi 4C Women,
There are problems/constant worrying and then there are concerns. For me, problems/constant worrying became a distraction so I didn’t have to make decisions or problem-solve authentic issues in my life. It was more about my fear of the unknown, wanting to control the outcome when I never considered possible solutions. Just wringing my hands, venting constantly and carrying around a cloud of darkness. I was always making the proverbial molehill into a mountain, a giant boulder! When I did that, I made sure there was no time to handle a real issue. Before WFS, I used alcohol to handle it all and then not only did I still have the concern, the problems that required no problem-solving, were still there in my mind, taking up unnecessary space.
When I first started moderating, I felt it was my responsibility to solve everyone’s life problems – again, still distancing myself from learning how to problem-solve my own life issues. This is why I am so grateful to WFS for teaching me ways to disseminate the difference between my chronic worrying and concerns that needed my attention. I learned to reach out by sharing my concerns in a safe environment, seeking input, creating a pros and cons list to help me in my decision-making.
What I have learned is that with sobriety, I can be available to support others, to give my input as I, too, need input. It’s a beautiful balance of support, caring and learning how to make healthier decisions. I still use distractions when I feel overwhelmed but usually it’s organizing something I’ve been putting off. Sometimes that distraction alone gives my mind a much-needed break. It’s all a process and being patient with ourselves is the compassionate way to handle it.
When considering the differences between worry and concern, consider these distinctions by Dr. Hallowell:
- Worry distracts us; Concern focuses us
- Worry disables planning; Concern helps up plan
- Worry blurs our vision; Concern clarifies our purpose
- Worry tens to give up; Concern perseveres
- Worry exaggerates; Concern pinpoints problems
Bonded in learning not to let problems overwhelm us and learning how to make healthier decision-making, problem-solving solutions in a safe place with our WFS sisters,
your 4C sister