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Monday Thoughts 9.26.22

“How many times did I ask myself what I found so thrilling about drinking when it only brought unhappiness, loneliness, sickness, depression? I wasn’t ‘living,’ I was only breathing to feed an addiction.”

Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD., Turnabout

“To change requires a decision, a conscious decision to end all the misery you endure and that which you create for others. It is the beginning of accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions. Just thinking about it won’t work.”

Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD., Turnabout

“Exercise your mind and direct your thoughts. The effects will demonstrate to you that your thoughts are responsible for what happens to you.”

Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD., Turnabout

#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.

Just like a garden, Statement #1 is the soft, fertile soil upon which to plant New Life. Yet nothing can grow or bloom from a center of intense drama, emotional turmoil, or regrets…which is the same as addiction. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. cleared the land, prepared the soil, and planted the WFS 13 Statements. Today, each of us can revel in this beautiful garden of life much like the Greek proverb reminds us, “A society grows great when old (wo)men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

If you are new to Women for Sobriety, welcome! We are so happy you are here. Jump right into Statement #1 and plant your recovery. Embrace the Statements and connect with other women on the WFS Online Forum, during video/chat meetings, or in a face-to-face group, and know that you are never alone. Live, grow and seed your garden. Choose from a sturdy variety of trust, acceptance, and balance. Be sure to include lots of love. Pull and discard those pesky weeds each week and watch your garden blossom.

Maybe you aren’t new to recovery but are noticing feelings of disconnection or just ‘blah’ in your garden. It’s been a tough couple of years, and it’s common to hear that women are feeling unmotivated or isolated lately. This week, examine your garden so far. Do some self-comparisons, remember to measure yourself using your own yardstick, not someone else’s. How is your life different in sobriety and recovery? What was the most surprising thing that you have learned about yourself? Do you need to encourage growth in different areas of your garden? Are you seeing any pests? How will you care for your garden this week, this month, and next year? What was the one thing that you learned that made a difference in your garden?



Hi 4C Women,

I love that Karen shared Jean’s quotes in her message. It is a wonderful reminder of how courageous and insightful Jean was at a time when there was such a double standard for women. Rather than remain stuck, she took her life lessons and created a New Life for all of us. She is the master gardener! I am grateful that I am able to keep a close eye on my garden and it is all due to Jean’s vision of encouragement, empowerment, and accepting responsibility for how our garden grows.

This Statement completely changed my attitude and how I viewed myself and my substance abuse. I was more addicted to wanting people to like me than I was to learning to like and eventually love myself. The word “problem” was so profound to me as a problem meant there could be a solution. This is where I learned and understood that coping, problem-solving, and decision-making skills were of utmost importance. This is the answer to the question Karen asked about the one thing I learned that made a difference in my garden. If I wanted a beautiful garden, a New Life, it was my responsibility to learn the tools to do that. The most challenging part was identifying my triggers and having a plan to cope with those feelings. I soon discovered that some of my triggers were attached to not just the person or event that was occurring at that moment but almost like a compilation of anyone who hurt me. This was an eye-opener and helped me to respond when I was ready and not automatically react or completely shut down. I learned to reflect rather than react. I found that when I was in a calmer state of mind, I could think more clearly and have a conversation where I was heard and neither party would become just defensive. If I felt condescended to, I learned a one-word response – Ouch! It’s a universal understanding that what was said or done truly hurt. Without getting into a defensive mode, I made myself understood with just that one word.

Another coping tool was using positive words to define me. Those words led to self-worth, self-love, and self-respect. I have written lists over the years about my positive qualities and when I feel myself going back into negative thinking, wanting to escape, I get those lists out and realize a person who speaks a mean-spirited word or a triggering event has lost its power over me. I am in charge of my well-being and that means being gentle with myself. I encourage you to make a list of your positive qualities and keep it close.

I have shared this many times to write why you want to be sober. We all know why we don’t want to drink or use but knowing why we want a New Life is crucial to practicing Statement #1. Think about what you are doing that supports your well-being, helping you to be in charge of your life. What are new coping skills you have learned?

Remember in anything you do, ask yourself if it is good for your sobriety/recovery. And above all, know that while you are responsible for your life, you are not alone. Reach out for support and give support back when you are able.

Bonded in creating a New Life with coping, problem-solving skills that empower us in self-love, self-respect, and self-worth, Dee

WFS is proud to announce the start of the LGBTQ+ Affinity Group meeting!

Thursday, September 29 at 12pm ET

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

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