Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 10.31.22

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic within it.”

“Be brave and create the life of your dreams. Dare to strive for the spectacular.”

Amy Leigh Mercree

#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

Many dreams before sobriety and recovery were all about wanting the anxiety and emotional pain to end. Life did not feel ordinary at all, and forget great, life felt scary and downright unfair. Why did other people seem to have all the luck? As I drank at the imagined unfairness of it all, my brain could not begin to dream of anything but escaping the mental anguish. Sobriety and Statement #6 open a pathway to building aspirations and living a conscious life.

Dreams are important because they give an inside look at what can bring inner joy to life. A dream can be as simple as learning a new skill or visiting a long-awaited place. A dear friend always wanted to visit Disney when she was younger. As an adult, she gave that dream a deadline and took small actions toward her goal. It took time, yet she became the hero of her own story with conscious effort.

Our WFS Program booklet states “Sobriety is a rewarding experience for those who invest in the moments of each day.” Learning to invest or be consciously aware of moments can build a base for dreams to take hold. A useful tool here is visualization: forming a mental image to create a pathway toward a dream, or it can even help move through difficult feelings or situations. Imagining myself on a beach, smelling the salty air, and listening to the ebb and flow of the waves helped me move through intense cravings, plus motivated me to make that dream a reality. How will you practice Statement #6 this week?



Hi 4C Women,

As I read Karen’s thoughts, I wondered how my dreams have changed over the years. I am not sure that I dreamt a lot while drinking for fear of being disappointed. What if I put all that effort into creating a dream I visualized and I failed? Actually, failing felt familiar. I anticipated it. Over time, through the WFS Program, I realized that I learned many life lessons and coping tools in unmet dreams. I began to appreciate the ordinary – being clear-minded to recognize how peaceful life could be without the drama or fear of failing. I realized I was resilient in dealing with unmet dreams. After all, I could dream another dream and that became greatness. I sometimes would change the word dream to goal, desire, vision, or yearning. It’s amazing how they all have a similar meaning yet feel somewhat different.

What I love about the WFS program is that it is a process that gives me the opportunity to learn, and appreciate the joy I had ignored for so long. That awareness took away a lot of my fears, and disappointments, and guided me to be willing to embrace change, to learn, and to be realistic about what I needed and how to survive the outcome, even successful outcomes. Now that may seem odd but when you’re used to failing or being disappointed, it might be uncomfortable or awkward to accept and enjoy a successful outcome. So, now I survive and thrive each outcome. What a huge difference Statement #6 made in my recovery. The awareness, and acceptance that great things, big and small, do and will happen, is a life changer. While life will always present struggles, it also gives joy. I have been blessed to acknowledge the struggles and the joys. It’s made my life more balanced and prepared me to cope without using alcohol to numb, escape or pretend everything is okay. This is the progress of the process I wish for each of you.

How would you describe greatness in your life?

What is your current dream, goal, vision, desire, or yearning?

Do you have a plan/plans to work towards it?

What coping tools do you use when disappointment is the outcome?

Do you feel a balance, understanding that there will always be struggles along with joy?

Are you aware of your joy? How do you celebrate joy?

What is the greatest life lesson you have learned so far?


Bonded in awareness of joy, and learning coping tools as you grow and change, Dee

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 10.24.22

women for sobriety decorative image 4cs

“If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.”
Arianna Huffington

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all of your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
Golda Meir

 “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
Anne Lamott

#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

My mind, thoughts, and life were not anything that I gave attention to before sobriety and recovery. Most of the time, I bounced from one particular drama to another, never really stopping to consider how or why things happened the way they did. Yet Statement #5, the center of the WFS New Life Program opens the door to mind our minds.

Active addiction removes the ability to think clearly and short circuits or hijacks the reward center. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, irritability, and paranoia. Yet the human brain is remarkably resilient, and can create new pathways (neuroplasticity) in sobriety and recovery, and here is where Statement #5 comes in. By taking charge of and managing our thoughts, “We create a new self in our mind first” as our WFS Program booklet states.

I recall feeling overwhelmed when first beginning to recognize my thoughts. It was so LOUD in my head! So many ramblings, and constant conversations about negativity or dread, and fear. LOTS of fear! I felt like I was afraid of everything. I judged myself, then judged the judgments. It felt like I was caught in a loop of meandering wild thoughts. There was no order, only chaos. But through this wild zoo, I became the gatekeeper. Writing down thoughts enabled me to stick them on paper instead of having them fly through my brain. Guided meditation taught me how to lengthen the pause between thoughts, and the women in our WFS face-to-face group and WFS Online Forum shared their techniques for managing their thoughts. Some days are easier to manage, and others more difficult, depending on factors like energy levels or time of year. With continued practice of Statement #5, we are capable, competent, caring, and compassionate women. What is your go-to tool to manage your thoughts?


Hi 4C Women,

I love how Karen gained awareness in understanding that she was the gatekeeper of her thoughts.  Being the gatekeeper is a powerful position and Statement #5 directs us to use that power wisely for our own well-being and personal growth in recovery.  I hid my power because I was afraid of being rejected and ridiculed as was my experience. That history I carried within my thoughts was stronger than my ability to see I was truly in charge of changing history going forward. Becoming sober gave me clarity and when I initially began saying positive words to describe myself, it was a huge challenge.

I remember the first time I asked the group I was facilitating to describe themselves using 50 words. There was laughter and horror being expressed. As I looked around the room, I saw women staring at the blank piece of paper with an incredulous look that I would expect them to have 50 words when they could barely provide 2 or 3. The laughter was the unease of writing any positive words about themselves as that would be considered conceited, something they grew up hearing. When I said they could use authentic words as to how they saw themselves on that day, they seemed relieved. It is amazing how many of us have been taught that saying and believing positive descriptive words was not ladylike! I asked them to date their responses and the next time we did this exercise; they could visually see their personal growth in how they viewed themselves. Today, when I start doubting my belief in myself, I tend to go back to Statement #9 and remind myself I am not the same person, I am a new woman. I have worked hard for positive change and built my self-esteem, self-love, and self-worthiness with all the tools the WFS program has provided. It is a continuing process and knowing that, gives me peace.

I now realize that asking anyone to provide 50 words to describe themselves is daunting. In reflection, I keep asking myself, “What was I thinking?”  So below are questions I feel are more doable.  And remember that this is a process of personal growth and being authentic is a wonderful way to see how we have grown and where we need to focus to keep the process going in a positive direction.

This makes me unique:
I feel strong/empowered when:
I accept myself for:
A quality I am proud of:
Today I am grateful for:
I did my best to overcome:
The most significant positive change I have made:
Date: _________________

Bonded in awareness of becoming your empowered 4C self, Dee

Save the Date: Volunteer Orientation Opportunity!

Date: Tuesday, November 1th 2022 at 8:30 pm US/Eastern

Learn more about the History of WFS, join other 4C women looking to volunteer, and hear about all the wonderful work our current volunteers are doing!

To receive the Zoom meeting information email: [email protected]

Posted on Leave a comment

So you wanna be a OMA/CF?

There are two information sessions scheduled to learn more about becoming an OMA (online meeting assistant) or CF. If you have or are approaching 1 year of continuous sobriety and have ever considered the unique volunteer opportunities within WFS, you can learn all you need to know about the roles, requirements, commitment, support, and application process.

Wednesday, October 19th Meeting (8:00 PM ET)


Saturday, October 22nd Meeting (12:00 PM ET)

Email [email protected] for the Zoom link to either meeting.

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 10.17.22

women for sobriety decorative image problem

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.”

Roger Crawford

“Learn from the stories of people who faced challenges you haven’t yet experienced.”

Joanna Barsh

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.”

Margaret Thatcher

#4 Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.

I now better understand my problems.

I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

Don’t do that! Don’t even try. Why bother?

These were just a few responses my mind went to when facing a problem before my New Life. This led to an increase in problems that I either ignored or blamed on someone else. Denial of my problems was another tactic, yet it took time and awareness to grasp and understand this. Sobriety and Statement #4 in action allow for continued growth and feelings of accomplishment.

In our WFS Program booklet, it states, “The value of this Statement is in learning that we can control our reactions.” This is a powerful response for it places trust within ourselves which is usually absent in active addiction. One of the first places I saw this being modeled was in our WFS Online Forum. Here I found women learning to grow through their experiences, all the while sharing their joys and their sorrows yet continuing to invest in their New Life. This in turn helped me to realize I could do the same.

The first way I put action into Statement #4 was to create a sobriety plan to prevent relapse. Listing five different actions that I could take before turning to alcohol has kept me sober and focused on recovery. Additionally, two of the actions needed to include others, such as calling or texting a 4C sister or getting together with a friend. Journaling and physical activity such as walking or sitting in nature were added along with reading our WFS Program booklet (Number One on the list!) Using this basic framework for maintaining sobriety, we can focus on identifying a problem, creating an action plan, and moving forward. Now I have rephrased those sentences to “Give it a try! I can do it! I am worth it!” This week, identify people in your life who model empowering problem-solving behaviors. What can you learn from them? How can you apply that to areas of your life?



Hi 4C Women,

Creating a plan for times when we are triggered, indecisive, fearful, or disappointed is key to being in charge of our responses/reactions. As I mentioned last Monday, I was so disappointed that my plans to travel home had to be canceled, yet WFS taught me to work through those feelings and have a follow-up plan. That’s exactly what I did.  I was able to put Plan B into the hopeful possibility of traveling in the Spring. If I didn’t, the cancellation would continue to be a problem that kept me in those negative feelings when there is a solution. I am a big proponent of acknowledging all my feelings. However, if they are hurting my well-being, I let them visit but not unpack their bags for a long stay.

I found that in the past I worried about everything, those everyday things so when a real issue appeared that needed a plan, input from those I trusted, and various solutions, I remained stuck. I didn’t trust my instincts and was so afraid of failure that I pretended the issue didn’t exist and went back to the comfort of worrying about everything and accomplishing nothing! It’s wonderful now to have the energy and coping tools to work on the concerns that need my attention. If I make a wrong decision, I have learned to look at it as a life lesson that I can add to my coping toolbox.

Just as I felt fear, I learned to feel confident. I also changed my thought process from what is the worst that could happen to what is the best that could happen. Just changing that one word changed my attitude which changed the way I approached an issue.

Below is a combination of questions I found on Statement #4 regarding concerns/issues that need attention. I found that in looking back at my previous answers to these questions, I have added new coping tools and lessons and areas that still need change. I like to date these types of questions so when I do them again, I can see what growth I have made and where I need to perhaps focus my attention in the present.

1.    What are the consequences of NOT changing this situation or behavior? Sometimes issues get resolved on their own yet if it is affecting our well-being in recovery, knowing the consequences will be a guide in deciding what to do or not do.

2.    How have things resolved themselves in the past? I always looked to my failures as proof that I wasn’t capable of making positive decisions. Now I include my successes as well, otherwise, it would be disrespectful to any growth I have worked hard to attain.

3.    What do I feel I have at stake in this situation? Is it the loss of a relationship, the embarrassment of speaking your voice (I related a lot to this question in the past), or the fear there will be no resolution? The answers will hopefully give you insight as to what matters most, and what you are willing to risk for your well-being, and your recovery.

4.    What’s within my control?

5.    What benefit am I getting out of keeping things the same way? (My previous answer was an eye-opener as I never thought of any benefit I was getting).

6.    Who else can help? Who is part of your support system?

7.    What’s the worse best that could happen?

8.    Do I care more than the other person in this situation? If I do, why?

9.    Do I need to review my boundaries or create boundaries that I can adhere to?  This is the follow-up to question 8 to protect your recovery and well-being.

Bonded in not letting everyday problems overwhelm you and learning to work through issues that need your attention, Dee

Virginia Tech is recruiting adults in recovery from addiction, including alcohol, for a long-term online study to learn about diverse recovery pathways. Participants in this research study (IRB# 21-697) will complete 4 surveys per year over 3 years and will be compensated for their time (up to $1,280 over 3 years). Help us help others (Phone: 540-315-0205 | Email: [email protected])!

Posted on 5 Comments

Paid Long-Term Research Study

Virginia Tech is recruiting adults in recovery from addiction, including alcohol, for a long-term online study to learn about diverse recovery pathways. Participants in this research study (IRB# 21-697) will complete 4 surveys per year over 3 years and will be compensated for their time (up to $1,280 over 3 years). Help us help others (Phone: 540-315-0205 | Email: [email protected])!


Posted on Leave a comment

LGBTQ+ Affinity Group Thursdays

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


Thursdays at 12pm ET

(Ally meeting 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm ET)

Start Date: 9.29.22

Please email [email protected] with questions and to obtain the Zoom link.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to the volunteer Certified Facilitator who has made the commitment to bringing our first affinity group to the community!

If you are feeling inspired to bring WFS to your local community, please review the requirements for becoming a Certified Facilitator at and apply here.

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 10.10.22

“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.”
Ruth Gordo

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.

Madeleine Albright

#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.

Happiness is created, not waited for.

Choice? I have… a…. choice? This was new. For years I was under the assumption that people were born lucky and enjoyed all that there is to life. In my eyes, they seemed to have it all yet the cynicism (and alcohol) within kept me from understanding or seeing the development and progression of true happiness. WFS and Statement #3 in action changed that.

It has taken a long time to understand what “happiness” feels like to me and it continues to evolve. Oftentimes I pursued the happiness of others or what society (or advertisers) said “should make me happy.” This left me feeling unfulfilled. It also felt like happiness was always just out of reach and gone before I could enjoy it. Most often the feeling of happiness was paired with alcohol. Needing to learn how to experience this emotion with a clear mind, discovering happiness became a process of reflection. Statement #3 provides the answer; It’s an inside job.

In our WFS Program booklet, it states, “Our attitudes are the result of our past and present experiences.” How would I be able to create a shift toward happiness? By creating new habits like Statement #3 mentions. One of the first things I learned in sobriety was the ability to say the word NO. I said NO to alcohol every day and now I could use this short word in other areas of my life. It took courage to say it initially, then with practice, it became a habit. Now I was feeling happy because I was sober. It felt fabulous!
I was also learning that the feeling of happiness is as individual as we are and it lies on a spectrum of different emotions from thrilling excitement to inner peace and calm with many things in between. This week, take a few minutes to jot down where you are on the “Feelings Wheel” for greater insight into where you may need to make changes or adjustments toward happiness. Why not make this a habit and watch for or identify patterns in your life?


Hi 4C Women,

I love the feeling wheel and have used it in identifying many of my feelings at a deeper level. When I reflect on fear, anger, and sadness (what I call surface feelings), I see how those deeper feelings expressed on the wheel block my path to personal happiness. Those predominant negative feelings were like a brick wall. I thought I could never be authentically happy if I was sober. Would I even recognize happiness if I felt it? The answer is a resounding yes! The word that helped me on the Happy feeling part of the wheel was “trust.” I began to trust the process and eventually I was laughing out loud, feeling playful and optimistic. It was as though this Statement #3 was meant to follow Statement #2 in recognizing that negative thoughts were destroying my willingness to learn how to create my personal happiness.

Every time I read Statement #3, I think of Jean sharing that happiness comes in moments. We need to be aware of those moments. This for me was part of the process – creating awareness. I was so absorbed in questioning if I had experienced a happy moment that the moment was gone. Now I stop, take in a wonderful feeling and before I know it, I have a big smile across my face.  Jean never meant for us to be happy every moment of every day. That would be impossible and a burden. What I have is a foundation of contentment, hope, and gratitude for what I have learned through the WFS Program Statements.

I was planning a trip up north to see my family and friends as it’s been over 3 years. Unfortunately, I developed severe pain in my back and both legs. The pain has become a lot less in my legs but not much change in my back. I scheduled an appointment for an epidural injection but they can’t see me until Nov. 18. Since it’s a 15-hour drive up north, I had to cancel. To say the least, I was so sad and disappointed. Because of WFS, I realized I needed to make plan B. My hope is to visit in the Spring of 2023 as I don’t want to drive in the winter. Before sobriety, I would not have had that response. I would have soothed my disappointed feelings with alcohol which I know would have only made me sadder and feeling hopeless. I am so grateful to WFS for giving me coping tools, and friends I can share my feelings and receive support and understanding.

I encourage you to take a look at the feeling wheel and uncover what is holding you back, what is moving you forward, and where you are in the process of developing happiness.

Bonded in creating awareness and learning the process to achieve your personal happiness, Dee


Coming your way soon!  The new WFS Online is being prepared for you and will soon be available.  We can’t wait to give you great new features such as fast navigation to your own personal content!

Posted on Leave a comment

Monday Thoughts 10.3.22

“Saying no to others is saying yes to yourself.”

Jack Canfield

“No is necessary magic. No draws a circle around you with chalk and says, ‘I have given enough.”

McKayla Robbin

“No is a complete sentence. It does not require an explanation to follow. You can truly answer someone’s request with a simple No.”

Sharon Rainey

#2 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.

NO is a powerful word with two simple letters, yet the desire to add something afterward can feel like a natural extension. Growing up, I felt the need to validate any NO uttered with something…. anything. The word NO hung in the air, and the silence following it felt distressing. The more I tried to soothe someone else with my NO, a part of myself was lost along with personal boundaries. However, sobriety and Statement #2 in action changes that.

Learning to adjust to a New Life without alcohol or drugs begins with NO. This is a healthy boundary that gets stronger each time it’s used. NO can challenge negative thoughts, reducing anxiety and/or fears. NO announces that you care for yourself. NO begins to feel more comfortable and settles into a routine. NO engages trust in ourselves. In our WFS Program booklet, it states, “Our overcoming is in exact proportion to our becoming.”

Here is a brief excerpt from Dr. Zoe Shaw on boundaries:

“Boundaries are internal—and sometimes external—lines that separate yourself and your will from someone else’s. People with healthy boundaries value themselves as much as they do someone else. People with unhealthy boundaries either undervalue or overvalue themselves in comparison with others.

A physical boundary clearly communicates: This is how close you can get to me, and this is how much of my body I will allow you to engage with.

A professional boundary clearly communicates: This is how I will communicate with you, and these are my lines for connection and negotiation.

An emotional boundary clearly communicates: This is how deeply I will share my world and feelings with you, and this is how much of yours I will entertain.

A personal boundary clearly communicates: These are the actions I will tolerate in my relationships, and these are the ones I will not.

Expect people to impinge on your boundaries. Your self-care goal this month is to learn to better set and communicate your boundaries and to hold strong when others push against them. Although boundaries may feel like a series of noes, every time you say no to something you are really saying a resounding yes to yourself and any opportunities that will better serve you both in the now and in the long run.

A boundary is not a rule that you impose on someone else. It is a line that you draw for yourself.”



Hi 4C Women,

Boundaries – a skill to promote our self-care in a powerful way. I appreciate the descriptions of specific boundaries that Karen shared. It helps to define the goals for a particular situation and guidelines on how setting boundaries impacts relationships once the boundaries are clearly defined.

It was quite difficult to start setting boundaries as I was such a people pleaser. I love how Karen ended her message with what a boundary is and is not! I am going to keep that in mind when I question why boundaries are so challenging to set and keep, to remember that boundaries are a line I draw for myself. It seems the most difficult is with family because there is emotional history and sometimes complicated, conflicting feelings.

I have learned so many life-changing lessons through WFS. I have learned that sometimes boundaries need to be re-established, and reset. I know this when I feel my boundaries have been invalidated by another person’s words or actions. I used alcohol to escape my feelings of inadequacy and believed I was not entitled to set boundaries. I just wanted to keep the peace and that only led to more self-destructive behavior. I forgot what my needs were in this downward spiral and truly lost my voice. WFS provided a way for me to take back my power in small increments until one day I realized that I had not only uncovered my needs, I was able to express them. That was my first adventure into risk-taking and it felt so empowering. I also learned that if I permitted negative thoughts to be the predominant message I spoke to myself, speaking my authentic needs became intimidating and kept me stuck.

WFS helped me discover that I was worthy of meeting my needs and Statement #2 reinforced that negative thoughts about who I am truly hurt me more than anyone. I began to recognize that I had it within me to meet my own needs. It doesn’t mean that I stop expressing my needs. For me, it means that I can move on, and love myself enough to meet my needs as best I can. I am all about healing relationships whenever possible unless the relationship has become so toxic, it is harmful to my well-being. I also realize how important it is to set boundaries that promote healing. So, again, I go back to the most difficult boundary setting for me – family. These are the boundaries I keep revisiting, work on keeping the communication open, and listening to understand how my boundary is being perceived. Nothing changes without being able to communicate our feelings, our needs, and our path to achieve positive change in developing healthy relationships. I feel expressing my needs is how I show self-respect and honor myself.

What is the most challenging boundary you have set?

What was the outcome? How did it change your relationship with that person?

How would you describe a “healthy” relationship when it comes to your boundaries?

Have you been able to identify toxic people causing harm to your well-being? Have you been able to let go of those relationships? If not, why? This is a deeper question for greater introspection.

Are you open to listening to another’s perception of the boundary you set?

Are you willing to revisit or reset a boundary? This question is important, especially if you learn that the boundary you originally set is not clearly understood by the recipient of the boundary.

What have you learned about yourself in setting boundaries?

Bonded in setting boundaries that reduce negativity in our lives, put our well-being first, and create healthier relationships, Dee


Aloha Rock Stars!

We would like to invite you to the third event sponsored by The Creative Crew!

A glorious, autumn showcase of handmade items by our sisters are for sale. There will be knitted items, pine needle baskets, quilted items, a glass piece, greeting cards galore, and other delights.  Buy something for a gift and at the same time support Women For Sobriety, Inc. (WFS)!

Some items will be auctioned and others are offered at “Buy It Now” for a set price. All funds (100%) support WFS.

What you need to do: 
·Register or Sign In to the Holiday Sale Catalog at The Creative Crew Holiday Sale.
TIP:  If you registered for prior events like The Creative Crew Blooming Sale, your login is still active. If you do not remember your password, you can request an email to reset the password.
·You may now preview items online as they are added to the catalog!

The Creative Crew Holiday Sale opens at 11am Eastern US, on Friday, November 4 … and closes with the auction ending at 10 pm Eastern US, on Saturday, November 5.

The Creative Crew
Enthusiastic Creators
Women For Sobriety, Inc.