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“When you quit drinking you stop waiting.” ~~Caroline Knapp
“Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles and you have to change it.” ~~Jamie Lee Curtis
“There are women succeeding beyond their wildest dreams because of their sobriety.” ~~Mary Karr
#1 I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being.
I accept the responsibility.
This week marks the start of a brand-new year filled with dreams, hopes and possibilities. The WFS New Life Program and the 13 WFS Statements of Acceptance can guide and support sobriety and recovery no matter if this is your first day sober or your tenth year in recovery. These Statements are the cornerstone of a continuing balanced and beautiful New Life free from alcohol or drugs.
If you are new here, welcome! Women for Sobriety is an organization of women for women. We encourage, connect, and believe in you. We also affectionately call ourselves “4C” women, which stands for being “Capable, Competent, Caring and Compassionate.” Our website is filled with information that can aid you on your journey and offer ways to connect with other women on the same path. For an introduction to WFS and to read helpful articles written by our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., click here. If you would like information on the WFS Community including information on connecting with other women online, click here. Remember, you are not alone.
Beginning the year with Statement #1 is an empowering way to cement your recovery and focus on continued growth. What would you like to accomplish this year? Leave a trauma behind? Find a new hobby? Learn a new language? Connect with someone? This week write down a set of goals for yourself and reflect on how far you have come from the previous year. For many, 2020 has been a significantly difficult year filled with uncertainty but there were areas where your strength shown through so embrace that part of yourself. After all, you are a strong, beautiful 4C woman!
Hi 4C Women,
Even with the ups and downs of 2020, I have seen so much resiliency among 4C women. The old adage that it’s not that you fall down, but it’s how you get up that matters, has certainly been seen over and over again this year. I have been privileged to witness women dealing with sometimes extreme isolation and loneliness still having the courage to seek help, to keep moving forward when standing still may seem like the only thing a woman feels able to do at any given moment. Obtaining and maintaining sobriety can be challenging during typical times but during a time of uncertainty, loss and isolation, it certainly makes it even more challenging. However, it is absolutely possible, yes doable, with the encouraging and supportive WFS program and the 4C women involved. What Karen said about not being alone on this journey, this path, is why building a strong support system and sharing coping tools with each other is so crucial and invaluable. I have found that it also reinforces my desire, my need, to remain sober. It reminds me of how much better my New Life is and what matters the most to me. Sometimes we take for granted that we know what matters yet I am always grateful for this push to remember to keep my core values at the forefront.
As we work towards sobriety and maintaining our recovery, it is important to know what our triggers are. Knowing them helps us to put plans into action before the thoughts of drinking or taking drugs becomes the action. I found a list of things that may cause or trigger slips/relapses.
- Becoming overwhelmed by feelings and emotions; this can happen in therapy as well when uncovering core issues
- Loss of a family member, friend, co-worker, a casual acquaintance or seeing the numbers rise this year from COVID
- Marital and family problems
- Feelings of loneliness, shame, guilt, anger and abandonment
- People’s reactions to changes you are making in your life
- Fear of change and/or living without alcohol/drugs
- Habits – automatic reaction, responding
What would you add to this list?
How would or do you cope with any of the above?
You may wonder why even bring up situations/people that may cause or trigger relapse/slips when Statement #1 clearly states we are in charge of our lives and well-being, that we had a problem that once had us. I believe this year has made me take a deeper look at how women, including myself, are handling difficult feelings and situations. As I said, it’s important to know what triggers you so that you have a plan, even several plans. Nancy Cross once wrote, “You don’t recover from an addiction by stopping using. You recover by creating a New Life where it is easier to not use. Your addiction has given you the opportunity to change your life. Take advantage of this opportunity and use it to improve your life.” Think of the positives that take place when you create this New Life in recovery. This is what I kept in mind when I first became sober. This year, I again needed that awareness more than ever.
- Remembering what you said, what you did, how you got somewhere
- Waking up without a hangover or having to make excuses for your absence at work or any event
- Freedom – for me, this meant I was available at a moment’s notice to drive, to listen to someone in need, to say yes to a spontaneous invitation if I chose to
- Saving money – this is huge. Some women even decided to put the money they would have used for alcohol or drugs into a jar and then donate it to WFS.
- Reputation – repairing and rebuilding
- No legal consequences
- Spending time doing things that are fun, creative, rewarding, you are passionate about
- Being a positive role model
- Living by your values, setting healthy boundaries and learning that no is a complete sentence
- Building authentic, healthy relationships
- Making your own choices and trusting your instincts
- Knowing your hard work has created the 4C woman you always were
What would you add to this list?
Bonded in taking charge of our lives and our well-being with intention, Dee