Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 3.28.22

women for sobriety decorative image new life

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

“Everything is within your power, and your power is within you.”
Janice Trachtman

“One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through

and it will be someone else’s survival guide.”
Brené Brown


#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!

Hugzzz
Karen


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!

Considerations:
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


The Creative Crew is hosting another sale of handmade items and blooming specials!
Save the date to be able to shop at the Blooming Sale, June 10-11, 2022. 
If you participated in the 2021 Conference Auction or the Creative Crew Holiday Sale in November, your registration is still valid!  More information will be coming out soon!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Why donate to WFS?

decorative image

While we work to raise the much needed funds to sustain WFS, every dollar is important.  If you can afford $13.00, we treasure that donation as much as $1,300.

Please, please consider donating to the Teddy Bear Challenge and support the organization that supports each of us.

Donate to the TBC online

womenforsobriety.org/donatetbc

or download this form to mail in your donation.

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 3.21.22

women for sobriety decorative image responsibility

“You are as amazing as you let yourself be. Let me repeat that. You are as amazing as you let yourself be.” Elizabeth Alraune

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you have power over, instead of craving control over what you don’t.” Steve Maraboli

“Control your thoughts. Decide about that which you will think and concentrate upon. You are in charge of your life to the degree you take charge of your thoughts.” Earl Nightingale


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

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


Practicing Statement #13 is not a one and done but in fact, a life-long commitment to sobriety and recovery. 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.”

Before New Life, I recall feeling completely beat up and used by the world. Life felt painful and unfair. Turning to alcohol for escape, I created more imbalance and uncertainty, as well as physical and emotional turmoil. Something had to change, and it began with me.

With action into Statement #13, I set the tone for each day. Of course, energy levels fluctuate as well as physical abilities but it begins with the mind. When I focus on balancing thoughts and maintaining structure, the day can gently unfold. Even with the difficult world news right now, I am in charge of how I think and react. Every day, I can “look for the helpers,” by that, I mean that in every difficult or challenging situation, there are people who are the helpers. They try to make a small difference in their own way. Just a simple shift of attention to the helpers can move thoughts of fear/worry into a healthier pattern. This week, look for the helpers or be the helper. The world can always use a helping hand.

Hugzzz
Karen


Dear 4C Women,

I have been divorced for 28 years and just saying the number seems unreal to me at times. One of my favorite quotes is one I saw on a calendar many years ago: “Life is change, growth is possible, choose wisely.” That quote was a picture of my life during my separation and divorce. I experienced major changes, ones I had not imagined and I had a choice to grow or remain broken, fearful, and frozen. Fortunately, I had quit drinking before the separation so I was beginning to have clarity yet the fear of being totally responsible for every area of my life was strong. I had to learn vulnerability, to accept that I would make mistakes and survive but also learn if I was willing. My big question became, how am I and my life going to be different? How will my decisions affect me in 10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years? The deceit, the lies no longer served me as I was now committed to my sobriety. Yet, handling so much responsibility after being married for 27 years left me with a lot of uncertainty.

I often say that I am grateful for my addiction as it led me to seek help and the kind of help that lifted me up, changed my way of thinking and responding. Even though I thankfully was in therapy, the WFS program provided a powerful companion guide for lasting change in sobriety. I am a person who disliked change immensely yet here I was with the biggest life change I had ever experienced. Talk about walking away from dependencies – addiction, financial support, and identity – my role as a wife, provider of a safe emotional place for my children, finding a place to live after the house was sold all while working a full-time job and facilitating a WFS meeting. Facilitating a meeting was probably the most rewarding as it was a reminder of the gift of my New Life. I had tremendous support from the women in the group. I made lifelong friends and maintained my sobriety as I worked through my fears. Statement #13 reminded me that I could do this and I did.

I was blessed to have helpers in my life. I learned from each person who held out their hand just what being helped and being a helper for others meant. I was not a person who took risks yet I was thrust into a life of risk-taking. Through all the unknown territories I walked through, I was grateful that I was able to find the lesson. Before, I would focus on the mistake which did nothing for my self-esteem, problem-solving, or decision-making. Statement #13 was my guiding force.

In reflecting on your life today, how do you feel about being vulnerable, willing to take risks, accepting help, giving help, and how your decisions will affect you in 10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years? If you are triggered, your action could have a huge impact on either of the 10s. I thought a lot about that when I was triggered and thankfully, it empowered me, even more, to stand strong, to keep that 4C woman intact, and survive any mistakes I made. It was not an easy journey yet worth every up and down as long as I was willing to learn, grow, be accountable and accept the tremendous support from my 4C sisters.

What one major change are you currently experiencing?

What is the most challenging part of the situation?

What is your reaction to change?

How will you better care for yourself during the course of the change?

What problem solving and decision-making skills are you learning in this situation?

Are you able to be a helper and/or accept help?

Bonded in taking responsibility, learning the lessons, and standing strong, Dee


 

Women for Sobriety Conference Scholarships available

Are you or a WFS sister interested in attending our in-person or the on-demand 2022 WFS Conference in need of financial assistance?

Apply Here!

Posted on Leave a comment

Why donate to WFS?

Quote decorative

The WFS organization needs your donations to continue to operate and offer the programs of services to women in recovery, who are offered support without charge.  Reflect a moment … we each arrived to use a program structured for our needs, were wrapped in kind support, pointed in the right direction for self-work, and were not sent an invoice for services rendered.  Personally, in a word, priceless.  It is with gratitude that I volunteer and donate.

So here is the challenge to you, the community of rock star women…

I challenge the WFS community to donate as much money this year,

as the WFS Angel donated in 2021.  The challenge amount is $50,013  by June 14, 2022.  

Last year, we had this many major donors:

Silver, $500-$999 – 1 donor

Gold, $1000 – $4,999 – 7 donors

Platinum, $5,000+ – 2 donors

If you are financially able, are you willing to be a major donor?  

Have you been helped in building a New Life? 

Have you avoided costs like, therapy sessions at $75 each, in or outpatient treatment for thousands, DUI consequences for thousands? 

Saved or rebuilt a relationship with a loved one?  

While we work to raise much needed funds to sustain WFS, every dollar is important.  If you can afford $13.00, we treasure that donation as much as $1,300.  

Please, please consider donating to the Teddy Bear Challenge and support the organization that supports each of us.

Donate to the TBC online

womenforsobriety.org/donatetbc

or download this form to mail in your donation.

 

Women for Sobriety, Inc (WFS) is a NON-PROFIT 501(C)(3) company operated by a few employees and an army of volunteers.

And yes, along the way, you might win a doll!

Hugs and Aloha,

Bunny

Quote decorative

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 3.14.22

decorative image women for sobriety

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”  Brené Brown

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any other experience that reveals the human spirit.”  E.E. Cummings

“I’ve finally stopped running away from myself.  Who else is there better to be?”  Goldie Hawn


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

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


Sobriety and Statement #12 in action cement continuing self-encouragement and a positive belief in self. In active addiction, it is easy to listen to the repetitive negative self-talk and actually believe the gloom and doom. Yet with the clarity of sobriety, the practice of Statement #12 begins to feel more comfortable.

Over time, my alcohol use had disabled the ability to believe in myself. The guilt and shame that I felt because of my drinking escalated the negativity. In turn, I put others on a pedestal, while pushing myself down even further. This created an unhealthy imbalance and the words “I can’t” had become the norm. Statement #12 in action changes that.

In our WFS Program booklet it states “By releasing the baggage of self-denial about ourselves and our abilities, we can free ourselves from feelings of guilt, despair, and unworthiness. We are competent women, capable of great accomplishment when we nurture a belief in ourselves.” This week, focus on nurturing your whole self. Here are 4 ways to hug your inner self:

  1. Accept where you are right now: Maybe you are one month sober, or maybe 10 years. Celebrate where you are right now by embracing everything about you. Maybe there are things you like and don’t like about yourself right now. You are caring for yourself, the fact that you are reading this email/post/thread says how much you are focused on self-care/growth.
  2. Acknowledge your victories:Every little achievement adds to who and where you are, so acknowledge them no matter the size. Grab a small journal and keep a running list and refer to it when feelings of discouragement appear. Review and add to your list every week.
  3. Balance yourself: Instead of putting others on a pedestal or knocking them in criticism, balance yourself! Elevating/negating others in comparison while elevating/downing yourself can lead to lowered self-esteem/worth or even relapse. You are uniquely you!
  4. Eliminate self-criticism while embracing self-compassion:Listen to how you speak to yourself. Are you encouraging? Is how you talk to yourself taking you deeper into sobriety and recovery or is your self-talk taking your further away? Be gentle with yourself. You deserve to be spoken to with care and love, every day.

Hugzzz

Karen


Dear 4C Women,

It took me a while yet I eventually realized that life is not stagnant and I am ever so grateful for that knowledge. If life remained the same after I quit drinking, if there wasn’t a program with guidelines for a New Life, I don’t think I would ever have been willing or possibly able to accept and practice Statement #12. What a powerful impact this Statement has had in my life, to believe I am a competent woman and have much to give life! I also learned to accept while I may not be competent in all things, it doesn’t take away the truth for me and all of us, that we are indeed competent women. I believe being competent means I am wise enough to ask for help in areas that I need input/assistance and not feel less than. It’s always been hard to ask for help yet I am getting much better at it and while I embrace being responsible for my life, it’s a relief to not have to be all-knowing or think I have to be perfect to make up for my behavior in active addiction. Perfection is an unachievable goal and a roadblock to healing, changing, and moving forward.

The 4 ways that Karen listed to nurture your whole self are practical and doable and fit so well together. I especially appreciate acknowledging our victories. I was brought up in an age when a young girl/woman acknowledging their achievements was considered self-centered or conceited. Thank goodness that has changed and we can cheer and shout about our competency without fear of being judged negatively. And if we are judged, we are competent enough to stand strong and know our truth. We have made many lists in the meetings on this Statement. My favorite is the one that lists all of our positive qualities, achievements, core values on a 3×5 index card. On the other side is the word “Stop.” Sometimes we get caught up in negative self-talk. This list is a reminder to stop and read how much we have changed, achieved, and are still committed to creating this wonderful New Life of competency. I keep it in my purse for those negative self-talk moments.  We all come with a history, a lifetime of diverse experiences.  Redefining our self-concept in practicing Statement #12 when we become sober, can be the beginning in acknowledging and awakening how competent we are, have been and willingly, joyfully share it with the world.

Are you ready to accept yourself where you are right now, create your list of victories, balance yourself with your uniqueness, and embrace self-compassion? If not now, when?

Bonded in competency and worthiness, Dee


Show your WFS pride…spring is on its way…promise!

SHOP NOW!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 3.7.22

Women for Sobriety enthusiasm next exit sign

“I believe, every day, you should have at least one exquisite moment.”    Audrey Hepburn

“When your actions and habits combine with intense effort and are directed by a solid purpose, it is this level of commitment that charges the senses and fuels your enthusiasm for attaining the seemingly impossible.”

Scott Allen

“Enthusiasm rules the world.”    Arthur Balfour


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


Sobriety and Statement #11 in action offer a unique perspective to a New Life. It is the practice of finding moments during the day to embrace and experience gratitude. It is so easy to get caught up in negative thought patterns, especially in active addiction. Yet sobriety and recovery present an opportunity to be involved in life and hold dear its moments.

What does it mean to treasure? According to Dictionary.com, used as a verb as in Statement #11, it is to “regard or treat as precious; cherish. To retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind or to put away for security or future use, such as money.” Before sobriety, my actions showed little to no regard for anything other than feeding the insatiable dragon. Gratefully today, enthusiasm has become part of my daily practice.

Each morning reading the Statements, I am “keeping in store/retaining carefully” the framework to “treasure the moments of my New Life.” In our WFS Program booklet, it states” Enthusiasm gives life a special meaning. To be enthusiastic is to live each day to the fullest.” This week, identify and focus on what gives your life special meaning. Define it, own it, and experience it. It is your beautiful treasure.

Hugzzz

Karen


Dear 4C Women,

Such a powerful question to focus on what gives your life special meaning, especially considering what is happening in the world, our world, and those who are struggling for their lives, their safety. At the beginning of my recovery journey, I told myself I was making a big sacrifice to give up drinking. What I failed to incorporate into my “sacrifice” was the purpose, the reward of this sacrifice. I thought the sole purpose was to not drink, that would make my life perfect. Yet through the WFS program and Statement #11, came a much deeper understanding that led to my discovering the purpose behind it all. I discovered that there were diverse purposes, beginning with creating a New Life, a rewarding life with moments that I cherished.  After facilitating for a year, I recognized there was a profound purpose, the reward of sharing the WFS program, and being privileged to watch the personal and emotional growth of women who were searching for their purpose.  I became a new woman, I loved helping women learn how to create a new life for themselves. I had found my purpose beyond not drinking. Each time a new woman comes to a meeting in person or zoom, my enthusiasm for my purpose is enhanced and my gratitude is beyond measure. I truly believe that having a purpose in recovery creates enthusiasm, awareness, and joyful moments to treasure.

Think about where you are in your recovery and what your purpose is that feeds your enthusiasm, your gratefulness for having such an empowering, self-esteem building program. As change happens, make note of how rewarding it is to know you have created this powerful change. You are the driver of your enthusiasm journey. I feel so strongly that we need to express enthusiasm when it appears, to have the awareness of the moment.
Questions to consider when thinking about enthusiasm, gratitude, and possible changes to create those treasured moments in your life:

What activity makes you lose track of time?
What small act of enthusiasm/positive change do you feel will have a major impact on your life?
What currently is your reward or rewards in creating your New Life?

Have you discovered your purpose in sobriety, recovery? If so, what is it?
Bonded in gratitude for our New Life, the women who support us, and the challenges we have, continue to face, and survive, Dee


The REAL PRIORITY for the Teddy Bear Challenge is to raise money so that Women for Sobriety, Inc. (WFS) will be able to continue to maintain and expand this community for us … and for the women who join AFTER
We pay it forward.  
Posted on 2 Comments

Apply to Lead Informal Conference Activities

decorative image

Let's get social 2022 Bloom Conference Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety, Inc., is seeking volunteers to lead informal activities at our 2022 Annual Weekend Conference. The conference will be held at the Portland State University campus in Portland, OR from June 24 to June 26, 2022, with early arrivals and pre-conference activities starting on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Please review our 2019 conference page at https://womenforsobriety.org/conference2019/#confTab-5 for an idea of the types of activities we had available at our last in-person event. Informal Activities should enhance the conference and complement the formal keynotes, general sessions, and workshops.

*Thursday and Friday icebreakers should be fun opportunities to give early arrivals an opportunity to build connections.

*Morning activities should help get early risers ready for a day of learning and engagement.

*Evening activities should help night owls wind down from the stimulation of the day and prepare for a rejuvenating, restful sleep.

This year’s theme is Bloom! This relates to WFS Level of Recovery 6: Recognizing life’s priorities: emotional and spiritual growth, self-responsibility. This level includes Acceptance Statements 8 and 13. (#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth. Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities. # 13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions. I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.)

Informal Activity leaders should be women using the New Life Program for their personal recovery who are already planning to attend the event. If you are a current Certified Facilitator and wish to lead a WFS meeting at the event, please email [email protected] Call 215-536-8026 or email [email protected] with questions.

Apply here: https://womenforsobriety.org/confiap