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Monday Thoughts 12.27.2021

Monday Thoughts

“I chose sober because I wanted a better life.  I stay sober because I got one.”~~Unknown

“Live less out of habit and more out of content.”  ~~Unknown

“Sometimes when in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, when actually you’ve been planted.”  ~~Christine Caine

#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.

It is fitting that we are closing out the year with Statement #1.  The end of the year or New Year’s Eve has historically been a time of drinking and/or overindulgence, but looking closely, it’s just a routine or habit, simple as that.  It is not permanent.  Routines evolve and habits can be changed.  The same is true for drinking or using.  The end is a new beginning thanks to effort and action into Statement #1.

Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. knew that she needed to do something different, and was eager to learn how to change and adapt. Incredibly resilient, Jean took her inklings and intuition and created Women for Sobriety.  It was new and it was different. No one had ever focused on just the needs of women in recovery before.  She had left the place of shame, regret, and guilt behind her and set out on a new adventure, and in the process, continues to help women today embrace a sober New Life.

Welcome if you are new here!  Jump into your New Life and explore.  You will find women who feel just like you, who understand and who care.  You are invited to learn, grow, share, connect….Women for Sobriety is a soft, comfortable landing place. Settle in. This is also a wonderful time to instill a new routine and review your sobriety/recovery and adjust goals and aspirations.  Close this year with a fresh outlook and an open heart and mind!



Dear 4C Women,

Jean was a true pioneer in helping women to heal from guilt and shame.  Over the years I have shared Nancy Cross’s message regarding the Guilt Trip.  While some of you may have traveled already or are at your destination or at home with your thoughts about shame and guilt during this holiday season, Nancy’s words still ring true for many of us, especially during the past couple of years when there has been more isolation and time for reflection.  So here goes –

The Holiday Season usually brings a busy travel season. I do hope none of you have booked (or are planning to book!) this trip.

The Guilt Trip

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”

I got tickets to fly there on “Wish I Had” airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been.
No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the “Regret City” International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town. As I checked into the “Last Resort” Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event, the “Annual Pity Party.” I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the town’s leading citizens would be there.

First, there would be the Done family, you know … Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know old Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterdays. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Then Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It’s Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don’t Blame ME} and I Couldn’t Help It.

Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing’ so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent “pity party” could be canceled by ME! I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging.

Knowing this, I left the “City of Regret” immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them. So, if you’re planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now! Instead, take a trip to a place called “Starting Again.” I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myself’s and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival.

If you can find it, please look me up. I live on “I Can Do It” Street. – Meg Schell – 

Bonded in healing as we take charge of our life and well-being, Dee

Hear more about Statement #1


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Monday Thoughts 12/20/2021

statement 13

Monday Thoughts

 “I am woman phenomenally.  Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”  ~~Maya Angelou

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”  ~~Nora Ephron

“There is no limit to what we, as women can accomplish.”  ~~Michelle Obama

 #13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.

I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.

The WFS New Life program and especially Statement #13 provide a framework for continuing growth and motivation.  This Statement is the crown jewel and offers sustaining sobriety and recovery when put into daily action.  It is meant to create lasting depth and trust in our 4C lives.

Leaving behind the blame game and self-destructive behaviors, we can move forward and stand in our own strength.  In our WFS Program booklet it states “The purpose of the New Life Program is self-acceptance and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do.  By accepting responsibility, we can break away from unhealthy dependencies.” 

As the holidays and final days of the year draw nearer, we can pause and reflect in the knowledge that we are in charge of our mind and our lives.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle, the glow of the season, and for some, the cold, there is an opportunity for underlying ease and contentment.  Recently one 4C woman shared that this is the 11th year that her Christmas tree has stood beautifully decorated, without falling over with her in it.  A wonderful and simple joy indeed.



Hi 4C Women,

Motivation and trust!  I think of how motivated I became once I started practicing this Statement.  I wanted to trust my instincts, to trust I would survive any mistake I made and for it to become a life lesson rather than a reassurance of my negative past thinking.  This Statement brought me freedom.  As I have shared many times, I was the Queen of the Blame Game.  I wore my crown proudly.  As long as that crown was secure on my head, I was not responsible for the outcome of any of the choices or decisions I made.  Once I began trusting myself, I felt so empowered and I wanted more of that feeling. 

Two of Dr. Phil’s life laws are “we teach people how to treat us” and “we can’t change what we won’t acknowledge.”   I realized that I was also teaching myself how to treat me.  I treated myself as though I was unworthy, incompetent, invisible, incapable, inadequate of being in charge of anything, especially my life!  Statement #13 was a life changer indeed.  I began to acknowledge that my negative thoughts were harming me, holding me back and quite honestly, no longer applied to my recovery life if I wanted one.  I held the key to unlock the negative definition of me and my life.  Once I trusted myself, I not only unlocked the door, I threw away the key.  While there have been setbacks, the key I now held in my hands was Statement #13.  It became my mantra and every time I felt fearful of making a decision, I kept telling myself I was in charge and no matter the outcome, I could handle it.   I learned to handle mistakes and celebrate/learn from my successes as well.  I began to acknowledge that focusing solely on my mistakes rather than learning from them, was holding me back, unnecessarily keeping me a prisoner.  I held on tighter to that new key. 

I found a mantra from a calendar years ago and I still use it today.
“Life is change, growth is possible, choose wisely.”  This mantra taught me to pause and consider several possibilities/solutions to an issue.  I chose as wisely as I could with the information I had and no matter what the outcome, growth was possible.  Learning promotes growth.  Constantly berating a mistake promotes a negative self-image and hinders our growth. 

When considering the choice in how we look at our decision making/problem solving, when was the last time you trusted your instincts?  Describe the situation, the people, the outcome.

Do you learn from your mistakes?  Do you acknowledge and celebrate your successes or gloss over them? 

For those struggling in trusting themselves to be in charge of their life, remember it is not the length of the journey, but the willingness to take it.  And most importantly, this is not a solo journey.  Yes, we are responsible for our individual actions, yet there is so much support and encouragement from those who are journeying with us.  We are students and teachers at different moments.  Whichever you are right now, please trust yourself to be the teacher or the student.  We are bonded together on this journey, Dee

Hear more about Statement #13


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New Meeting – Wauwatosa, WI (Mondays)

holding hands

WFS is proud to announce the start of a new  in-person meeting!

Wauwatosa, WI

Mondays  at 6:00 pm

Start Date:  1/13/2021

Please email [email protected] with questions and to obtain the exact location of the meeting.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to the volunteer Certified Facilitator who has made the commitment to bring the New Life Program to her local community!

If you are feeling inspired to bring WFS to your local community, please review the requirements for becoming a Certified Facilitator at and contact the Facilitator Management Team at [email protected] for assistance.

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New Meeting – London, ON (Tuesdays)

holding hands

WFS is proud to announce the start of a new Regional Video Meeting!

London, ON, Canada

Tuesdays 12:00 pm

Start Date: 1/4/2022

Please email [email protected] with questions and to obtain the online details for the meeting.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to the volunteer Certified Facilitator who has made the commitment to bring the New Life Program to her local community!

If you are feeling inspired to bring WFS to your local community, please review the requirements for becoming a Certified Facilitator at and contact the Facilitator Management Team at [email protected] for assistance

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Monday Thoughts 12/13/2021

“Once you’ve released the struggle to prove yourself worthy in someone else’s world, you begin to trust yourself and your instincts.  ~~Wendy Hammond

“I love when I realize I’m handling a situation better than my old self would have.”  ~~Unknown

“You are the best author of your own future.  So, the next time you sit down to write your own story, remember that you are the creator of the chapters.”  ~~Catherine Pulsifer

#12 I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.

This is what I am, and I shall know it always.

Many times, before New Life, I wondered how on earth would I manage without alcohol. I knew drinking was a real problem, but how could being sober be satisfying? Sobriety and the practice of the WFS Statements helped change that.  Especially Statement #12.

Unaware of how little I believed in myself, sobriety and recovery became the opening into self-discovery and awareness.  Statement #12 became a mantra for when feelings of doubt swirled through my mind or when cravings hit hard.  Instantly I reached for those first five words and repeated them again and again………. I am a competent woman…….… I am a competent woman……… I am a competent woman.

Each success is built on the previous success.  No matter how small or insignificant it seemed, it held the history of overcoming which enhanced feelings of competence.  These feelings felt so good; better than alcohol since I had earned them from moving through fears, doubts, and uncertainty.  I was teaching myself that I am worthy and do have much to give life.  One of my most favorite paragraphs from our WFS Program booklet can be found under Statement #12.  It states “Begin each day with an unshakable belief in your own competency.  First the thought, then the reality.  Believing you are a competent woman is giving to life.  Know you are a competent woman.”  You are 4C!



Hi 4C Women,

I came across a paper written by David B. Bohl in which he posed the question, “Why do people change?”  The two main reasons were Desperation and Inspiration. Thinking back to my decision to stop drinking, it definitely was desperation.  I didn’t like who I was, didn’t even really know myself anymore.  I was lost and felt trapped.  I clung to Statement #1 and wondered how in the world would I ever evolve into believing Statement #12?  I now understand why Inspiration was included in why people change.  I was inspired by how much my life, my definition of who I was becoming, would create such an empowering change by following the WFS Statements.  I was also surrounded by women who worked hard for change and they inspired me as well.  I wasn’t alone in wanting change.  It was hard work yet the benefits surpassed anything that I ever dreamed of.  I divorced after 27 years of marriage and thankfully I was sober when that decision was made.  Drinking numbed the pain briefly and I as took responsibility for my life and my actions, I started to believe I was competent.  I gained the courage to end a marriage that left me empty and feeling completely unlovable.  Many marriages survive and thrive through hard work of both partners which I applaud.  For me, we lacked and lost the foundation to rebuild.

I am so grateful for Statement #12.  It provided a path to belief in myself, to face many of my fears and stay strong through my mistakes and appreciate my successes.  I sometimes reflect on the woman I was so many years ago and, in those moments, I hold her tight and praise her for learning how to redefine herself, to keep trying and speak her competent truth!

I hope you will reflect on why and how you have changed or are changing.  Mostly, praise yourself for the willingness to keep learning, encouraging and supporting your personal path and to include other women who are working toward believing they are competent women and have much to give life, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 12/6/2021

“The passion of genuine enthusiasm is an energy you can generate yourself. How?  Simple: by focusing your time, effort and energy on those ideas, activities and pursuits that get you excited.”  ~~Rita Davenport

“Enthusiasm and misplaced belief can take you a long way.”  ~~John Otway

“Enthusiasm does not come easy to everyone; sometimes, it is not for lack of trying, but we simply are not all naturally optimistic people.  However, while negative feelings are as valid as positive ones, they can really take over our lives and harm us, in the long run.”  ~~Lucy Stanmore

#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.

Sometimes Statement #11 can feel difficult to practice especially during the holiday season.  It seems that we are pulled in different directions during this time of year and it can feel natural to put our self-care further down the list.  Yet to maintain our sobriety and recovery it is essential to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, and self-care needs.

Enthusiasm can be simple, appreciating and acknowledging fleeting moments or savoring a cherished holiday tradition.  Embracing each sober day whether it is our first or fiftieth turns the key towards action.  In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Pause at random times throughout the day and identify something to appreciate about that moment.  Learn which things make you smile and feel excited.  Reflect on your life and find things to be thankful for.”

Each day this week look for opportunities to treasure or appreciate something during the day.  Yesterday, as I walked our senior chihuahua the sunrise was absolutely breathtaking.  It lit up the eastern sky with an incredibly vibrant glow that I was able to carry along throughout the day. It felt mesmerizing.  Embrace and illuminate your inner glow today and shine bright!



Hi 4C Women,

Of all the WFS Statements, this has always been the most challenging for me in creating daily enthusiasm.  Yet, like all of the Statements, it needs practice along with patience.  For me, patience is learning that I must not compare myself to others but appreciate and acknowledge the work I am doing. Thankfully WFS has helped me to have a positive attitude (Statement #2) which is extremely helpful in putting this Statement into practice.

While I may struggle with daily enthusiasm, I absolutely have learned to treasure the “moments” of my New Life.  Before WFS, I have to say I neglected and missed many treasured moments.  Right now, the struggle for feeling enthusiastic is mainly because I have been sick with a respiratory infection (not Covid) for almost 3 weeks and having asthma just makes it take longer to recover.  One of the positive outcomes is that it’s given me plenty of time to reflect on treasured moments.  Currently, I do treasure that I have medication to help in healing, can rest as much as I need, can help my daughter who lives with me and unfortunately caught the respiratory infection from me.

Even being sick, I can facilitate my WFS meetings on Zoom, deeply appreciate my wonderful neighbor who has brought groceries for me, my dog, Molly, who brings me joy each day and the warm weather we are having in December!  Mostly, I treasure my sobriety gained through such a life-changing program.  I treasure the women I have met, the friends I have made and how WFS has given me a purpose in life. I treasure that above all.  To have a purpose creates enthusiasm and provides much joy.

How would you describe your enthusiasm?

How do you show your enthusiasm?

What makes you feel enthusiastic?  Be as specific as possible as this will help in answering the next question.

Do you include fun activities or things you love into your day?  Setting time aside each day for joy or the things you love, activities that bring an instant smile to your face, nurtures your well-being.  It is one way of creating a treasured moment along with enthusiasm.  The key is to know where that joyful, fun feeling comes from in order to include it in your daily exercise.

Now this goes to changing our attitude.  I saw a video that asked to me to make a list of things that make me unhappy and decide next time they happen, to approach them with enthusiasm and experience how differently I feel.  Now that’s a different way of creating enthusiasm!  I thought of so many things that don’t necessarily make me unhappy, i.e., laundry, bills, cleaning, but to approach those tasks with enthusiasm would be worth trying.  Are you up to that challenge?  Do you have a specific task or situation in mind?  When you have faced this challenge with a different, enthusiastic attitude, how did you feel afterwards?  Think about writing it down, perhaps sharing the experience with others and then try it again!

We talk a lot about choice and change in WFS.  This Statement exemplifies the willingness to make a major shift in how we define enthusiasm and ways to practice it.  It certainly was a positive change for me even with struggling to practice it on a daily basis.  Yet, I will not judge my path because I’m still on it.  I am not in competition with anyone, not even myself.  I am doing the best I can and as long as I stay on the path, continue to be open to learning, I will count that as a treasured moment!

I encourage you to practice what Karen has suggested in looking for opportunities to treasure or appreciate something each day and remember to include fun and what gives you joy as you practice this Statement.

Bonded in developing enthusiasm and treasuring “moments” of your New Life, Dee

Hear more about Statement #11!

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WFS Town Hall: Online Site Agreements

As we prepare to move to our new platform, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate our OSA’s.

The lawyers are updating the legal Terms of Service, we’ll work together to create a set of more personalized agreements about how we will let our 4C’s shine as we interact in our dynamic support environment.

Come help shape the future of your online community!

WFS Town Hall: Online Site Agreements

Saturday ~ December 11, 2021

1:30 pm US/Eastern

Check your timezone

In the WFS Online Zoom Room

Log in to, click on Meetings, then Go to Zoom Room.

Must be registered site member to attend – site membership is always free.