“Sometimes when in a dark place you think you’ve been buried
when actually you’ve been planted.”
“Everything is within your power, and your power is within you.”
“One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through
and it will be someone else’s survival guide.”
#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.
A New Life. What does that mean? Is it really new… or is it the same life? At the beginning of sobriety and recovery, I would have answered that it was the same life and not anything new. After all, I was the same person, with the only difference being that I was sober. But it didn’t feel or look new, it just felt empty. I was needing more, and opened up to learning, absorbing information like a sponge.
Unknowingly, my brain was just beginning to heal. Alcohol negatively affects the body in any number of ways (a quick google search is eye-opening) but it takes a heavy toll on how the brain uses and processes information. Women are more vulnerable than men with regards to Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and can develop cirrhosis, heart damage, or have increased risks of immune problems with fewer years of heavy drinking than men. Still, I didn’t feel any different (denial) but everyone else saw and felt the downhill trend. It was time for a change.
Sobriety and Statement #1 in action create a New Life, and today I feel and know it is a NEW LIFE! My life is beautifully felt, experienced, and lived. Lasting friendships, deeper family relationships with bright days unfold. There is an underlying layer of contentment even during the difficult days. This life is NEW. I feel connected, inspired, and grateful. I feel value, balance, and love. Living…growing…experiencing life…. yes, it is a beautiful NEW 4C life!
Dear 4C Women,
I rebelled at first to take responsibility for my New Life. I eventually retired my “blame everyone else for my life” crown. It was challenging as that crown felt so comfortable on my head. In learning to take responsibility, I felt so empowered, in charge. I wasn’t expecting that. For me to accept responsibility for my choices felt scary. To admit I made mistakes and unhealthy choices meant I really had to accept Statement #1 in totality.
Little did I realize I was exchanging fear for freedom, guilt, and shame to learning major life lessons that helped me create problem-solving skills rather than automatic reactions, life-changing coping skills, and surviving the acceptance of my mistakes. Even now, when I question my decisions, I realize I am in a better space and it’s due to acceptance of Statement #1. I truly did not believe that taking charge of my life would empower me. I am so glad I persevered and learned a whole new perspective of what being in charge meant for me. I have been in recovery for a long time and yet I feel new each day and privileged to even think I might be a part of someone else’s survival guide as quoted by Brené Brown. What’s beautiful about her quote is that as we practice Statement #1, we each become a gift to others.
Writing Monday Thoughts is part of giving back for me. It is letting others know and understand that we are together, we are bonded in helping each other. Perhaps that is part of my empowerment story. It is bringing hope to others that it is possible and it is! The life-threatening problem that once had me has been exchanged for a New Life. Even when I feel unsure at times, I accept that I know it is temporary, that I no longer react impulsively in a way that might harm me but in the assurance that I will survive with the knowledge and support of my 4C sisters. What a gift, what a joy, and what a New Life!
Who is part of your support system?
What are the new coping skills you have acquired?
What is your gift to others?
Do you allow yourself to feel your feelings and learn from them?
What have you learned about yourself as you practice Statement #1?
What are your current struggles in creating your New Life?
What is the best part of your New Life?
I hope these questions will help you work through the challenges and rewards of creating your New Life.
Bonded in empowering change and supporting each other’s recovery journey, Dee