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Monday Thoughts 11.28.22

“Love does not need a receipt.”

WFS Sister

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”

Shannon L. Alder

“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

#10 All love given returns.

I am learning to know that I am loved.

Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. gave from her heart. Jean shared her insights, shared her thoughts and she shared her life. Through Jean, Women for Sobriety was first a thought, then a reality and WFS flourished through her love. Jean was a beautiful living example of Statement #10 in action.

As we close out the month of November, it is important to acknowledge Giving Tuesday, which happens to be tomorrow. WFS exists because of donations from you. For the past 45 plus years, we have been self-supporting, meaning having received no grants, large corporate donations, or government support. WFS is here today because of the love from the women who embrace this life-changing and life-saving organization…. All love given returns!

Take a moment to estimate the amount of money you spent on alcohol/drug of choice each week. It can be astonishing to grasp the sum, then shift that to how sobriety and recovery have changed your life. Women for Sobriety is available to all women, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Take a moment to acknowledge the depth of your New Life and put action into Statement #10. Maybe you would like to make a monthly donation, which is one of the ways I love to give back, or maybe you would like to give a single donation. You can also give in honor of someone, or in memory of someone as well. Every little bit helps and keeps this empowering organization available to women just like you.



Hi 4C Women,

I absolutely love how Karen expressed that Jean’s heart gave us the most wonderful opportunity to both create our own New Life and experience authentic love in the process. Try to imagine doing this in 1975 in the midst of the women’s rights movement! Women were struggling for their place in this world and for their rights to be equal. I have a feeling that motivated Jean even more as she understood the unique needs of women in recovery, thus pioneering a recovery program of empowerment through building self-esteem, self-love, self-worth. I recognize now that while I was learning to love myself, I was already loved due to Jean’s devotion and understanding of women’s needs through her own life experiences.  It amazes me and brings me great joy when I think of her determination, resilience, and courage to create such an empowering program so many years ago.

One of my greatest gifts from WFS is compassion. I learned to not judge but to listen, to see the willingness of women to keep moving forward after experiencing great sadness, disappointment, pain, loss, and so much more. While our histories are diverse, our way of coping through alcohol or drugs is the path we chose. Statement #10 is how we bond and support each other in love, caring, and compassion as we seek a New Life. This is why all love given returns is felt deeply and it is the path to knowing we are loved.

Remember to give compassion to yourself as you would a dear friend. Remember to sing your own praises – list the things you like/love about yourself. Nurture yourself and reflect on how it felt. Importantly, there are all kinds of love – hobby love, nature love, team love, bff love, family love, online friend love, pet love, book love, self-love. Can you name a few others?

I encourage you to consider a tax-deductible donation to WFS on Giving Tuesday as Karen suggested. We stand strong when we stand together and this is one way to show that. It is a way of saying thank you to Jean, and to those who continued to make sure WFS was and is still there for any woman seeking a positive approach to recovery.

Bonded in loving, being loved, and compassion for those in need, Dee

At Women for Sobriety, we have a goal to offer lifesaving resources to women overcoming substance use disorders. With your help, we can make this a reality! 

On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, November 29th, you’ll have the chance to:

  • $25 can deliver valuable WFS resources to professional providers to share with their clients
  • $75 can provide at least 3 women the gift of a New Life with free program materials
  • $100 can distribute monthly email newsletters
  • $250 can support the maintenance of WFS Online (reaching more than 4,000 women) per month
  • $360 can cover the WFS office phone service for one year
  • $500 can support the storage, preparation, and shipping of materials to providers and women in need 

Will you help us unlock the gift of a New Life?


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Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, November 29th, you’ll have the chance to:

*join people around the world in giving
*support a cause close to your heart
*help WFS bestow the gift of a New Life to women across the United States and around the world.

In the upcoming year, we have a lot planned to help even more women connect with the WFS community and unlock their New Life

Accepting #GivingTuesday donation NOW!

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Monday Thoughts 11.21.22

women for sobriety decorative image the past is gone forever

“The butterfly does not look back at the caterpillar in shame. Just as you should not look back at your past in shame. Your past was part of your own transformation.”
Anthony Gucciardi

“Do not waste time thinking about what you could have done differently. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and do it differently now.”
Karen Salmansohn

“Whatever you’re feeling, it will eventually pass. You won’t feel sad forever. At some point, you will be happy again. You won’t feel anxious forever. In time, you will feel calm again. You don’t have to fight your feelings or feel guilty for having them. You just have to accept them and be good to yourself while you ride this out. Resisting your emotions and shaming yourself will only cause you more pain, and you don’t deserve that. You deserve your own love, acceptance and compassion.”
Lori Deschene

#9 The past is gone forever.
No longer am I victimized by the past.
I am a new woman.

Guilt and shame were overwhelming emotions for years, yet I was unaware that they had become part of my lifestyle. Focusing on the “what if’s” kept the present locked away and hidden from view. It wasn’t until finding WFS and practicing Statement #9 that I began to understand how I kept getting in my own way.

Sobriety and Statement #9 offer a shift in perspective. In our WFS Reflections for Growth booklet, our founder Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes, “The only thing we can change about those memories that make us feel guilty is the way we think about them. Today I will begin changing my perception of the past and I will overcome the negative feelings.”

Reframing is an excellent tool to move through feelings of guilt or shame. It is a technique that consists of first identifying and then changing the way situations, experiences, emotions, or ideas are viewed. It is a way of challenging a restricted perspective to one that has an alternative, constructive viewpoint. For example, instead of reminding yourself of a mistake you made many years ago, simply agree that it was an error and that you did the best you could with the information that you had. Remind yourself of what you learned from that mistake. Affirm that was then, this is now. When we can learn or grow from a past experience, it allows us to receive value, which enhances our New Life.


Hi 4C Women,

I am grateful for Statement #9. It changed my perspective in reflecting on the past and has become my foundation when guilt and shame start calling my name. I remind myself that I am not the same person, I do not react or respond to life’s challenges in the same way. I do, however, acknowledge that I still make mistakes in my decision-making at times. That’s being human.

Acknowledging is definitely different than living in my mistakes. Thanks to Statement #9, I understand that learning from my mistakes is the path to healing. I CANNOT change the past but I can forgive myself and make healthier decisions from the life lesson of any mistake. In the past, I held myself hostage to my mistakes, victimizing myself for what could not be changed while those who were part of that past aren’t thinking about it or me. So, why am I? This is the message of Statement #9 – Give myself credit for moving forward, forgiving myself, healing, and building a strong coping toolbox for living in the now. It is pure freedom for me. I once wrote that practicing this Statement moves us from victim to victor, survivor to thriver. It released the chains of pain wrapped around my soul and mind. I am creating a new history and I am the author. So are you!

Have you forgiven yourself for a past you cannot change?
If not, what is holding you hostage, preventing self-forgiveness?
What do you say to yourself to help release the past and be in the present?
What coping tools do you use when reacting/responding to a current situation/person?
What life lesson have you learned in your recovery?
As the author of your life today, what would you title the current chapter?
What are the positive parts of your past?

Listing them was helpful to me when I got stuck in the negative past. I realized that I focused way too much on the pain rather than the joy of the past.

Bonded in self-forgiveness, creating a new history, and being a thriver, Dee

Giving Tuesday

We invite you to kick off the holiday season by joining this global day of giving back. #GivingTuesday

On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, November 29th, you’ll have the chance to:

*join people around the world in giving
*support a cause close to your heart
*help WFS bestow the gift of a New Life to women across the United States and around the world.


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First WFS Conference Planning Session – SUNDAY!

The first conference team meeting will be held on Sunday, November 20th at 7:00 PM Eastern.
Sunday night we will decide on a chairwoman and leaders for the different workgroups along with which workgroup you want to help on. Please feel free to share the contact information with others:
We can’t wait to see you all and start planning.  This will be an awesome year I can tell just by the volunteers that have said YES.
Join Zoom Meeting ID: 816 7314 1524
Passcode: 189482

Please note- WFS requires attendance at a volunteer orientation within 3 months of joining a team.
The next one is December 6th at 8:30 pm Eastern:
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Monday Thoughts 11.14.22

“Stepping onto a new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”

Maya Angelou

“A part of me wants to keep my eyes closed and pull the covers over my head, block out the light trying to be turned on in my room….a part of me is so afraid to open my eyes because the very nature of waking up is to be aware, to be accountable, to be responsible for the healing of my life.”

Sarah Blondin

“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.”

Louise Hay

#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.

Sobriety and Statement #8 are a portal for hope and healing. Before New Life, it was difficult to understand how anything could change, and I certainly had no concern about growth. Everything was a reaction to situations and alcohol only fueled the fire of already intense drama.

This Statement lays the foundation for growth, which is what sobriety and recovery are all about. The WFS Levels of recovery can identify movement and progress and can offer direction where development may be needed. It is important to remember that recovery is not necessarily a straight line like in this image, but more often than not it is all over, bouncing from one level to the next.

As your sobriety and recovery journey evolves, note where you are at the moment and embrace your growth. You have worked hard to be where you are. Keep aware of progress, set manageable goals, and set your priorities. Stay flexible and savor your 4C journey!



Hi 4C Women,

Jean Kirkpatrick was so wise in having us identify ourselves as 4C women; that substance abuse was not our identity but how we coped. In recognizing recovery, I have always focused on the positive changes made. This is how I have practiced Statement #8 with sobriety as my priority and working towards emotional and spiritual growth and healing. My first priority was to become a facilitator. It gave me purpose, direction, and meaning. It still does.

After all these years, I am still learning from the women in the meetings and the friends I have made along the way. I think about all the WFS conferences I have attended (28) and the phenomenal information I gathered in helping me to move forward, heal, uncover, and discover my worth. One of the women in the group I facilitate said that she adds “discard” to those two words. And it dawned on me how true that is! I learned to discard the untruths that I formerly used to describe me, let go of the past filled with pain and discarded the blame game in taking responsibility for my mind, thoughts, and life. That’s quite empowering and I hope you each recognize and give yourself credit for the positive changes you are making.

Whether you are sober one day, one year, or several years, I hope you will take the time to consider all the changes you have made, including discarding those that no longer serve your well-being and writing them down.  When you begin to doubt yourself, your changes on that list will be the applause you deserve. As Karen said, “embrace” your growth whether you have one positive change or several on your list. Always remember that it is the change that matters and how it is impacting your life, and your recovery.

To better understand your priorities, how do you define emotional growth, and what that feels like?

How do you define spiritual growth and what that feels like?

Bonded in healing and growth in your emotional and spiritual journey, Dee

WFS Levels of Recovery

Level 1 –
Acceptance of having a substance use disorder, one that requires the cessation of substance abuse.
Statement 1

Level 2 –
Discarding negativity, releasing guilt, and practicing new ways of viewing and solving problems.
Statements 2, 4 & 9

Level 3 –
Creating and practicing a new self-image.
Statements 5 & 12

Level 4 –
Using new attitudes to enforce new behavior patterns.
Statements 3, 6 & 11

Level 5-
Improving relationships as a result of our new feelings about self.
Statements 7 & 10

Level 6 –
Recognition of life’s priorities; emotional and spiritual growth plus self-responsibility.
Statements 8 & 13

Donate While You Shop – At No Cost To You!

Did you know you can donate to worthy causes like Women for Sobriety while you shop for holiday gifts when you use AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmileyou can elect to donate 0.5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice – at no cost to you. This includes WFS!

If you already shop on Amazon, or if you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for your loved one, we invite you to shop at and select Women for Sobriety as your charity of choice.

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Monday Thoughts 11.7.22

“You are not selfish for wanting the same energy and love you give.”


“It’s okay to let go of those who couldn’t love you. Those who didn’t know how to. Those who failed to even try. It’s okay to outgrow them, because that means you filled the empty space in you with self-love instead. You’re outgrowing them because you are growing into you. And that’s more than okay, that’s something to celebrate.”

Angelica Moone

“The people you will always remember are the ones who made you feel loved when you were at your lowest.”

Brigitte Nicole

#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important.

Staying was easier because I didn’t know how to leave. Unaware that I could trust my decisions, or believe in myself, I stayed. Then, somehow, deep down within, love said “Leave. Leave now.” I left. The world as I knew it was shattered and in pieces but I was alive. Love changed the course of my world in an instant.

Sobriety and Statement #7 create a portal for love to expand and grow. Love is always there, sometimes covered up and hidden from years of pain yet that love exists. By practicing the WFS Statements each day, giving special attention to Statement #7, I uncovered and discovered the healing and beauty of love.

Embracing sobriety is an act of love. Affirming self is an act of love. Enforcing boundaries is an act of love. Maybe you are afraid to believe it or trust it, but love makes a difference every day. In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Giving and receiving love can change our world. They change how we feel about ourselves—we feel increasingly alive, appreciated, important, necessary, wanted and worthy. There are no words as therapeutic as ‘I love you.’” You are deserving of love!

Here are 4 ways to begin to love yourself from Maria Stenvinkel from Tiny Buddha

Focus on being someone who loves.

If you’re in a place today where you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to take a quantum leap and become someone who does. Just like when you’re building muscles, self-love takes consistent practice.

Instead of loving yourself, focus on being someone who loves. That is, allow love to flow through you as often as possible. Focus on what you love about the people you meet. Focus on what you appreciate while going to the store, sitting in a meeting, or speaking to someone. Simply, adjust your body to positive emotions by finding as many things to love and appreciate as possible.

2. Tap into what it looks and feels like to be loved.

It’s easy to be loving toward ourselves when things go as planned, when we succeed and people like us. Not so much when stuff falls apart, we screw up, or get rejected. When we struggle the most, that’s also when we tend to be the hardest on ourselves.

In those moments, ask yourself how someone who loves you deeply would act. What would they say? What would they do? How would they behave? Odds are, they wouldn’t criticize, judge, and berate you. They’d offer you kindness, compassion, and acceptance. If you can’t think about a specific person or memory, imagine how the most loving human on this planet would be toward you. Then practice being that toward yourself.

3. Stop comparing yourself.

Comparison is a killer to self-love. And we aren’t usually very nice when it comes to comparisons, right? Instead, we take our greatest flaws and compare them to someone else’s greatest success. In short, you’re doomed to fail.

Instead, realize that you write your story. Realize that you can’t compare your life to someone else’s because no matter how well you know them, you never know how they feel or how they perceive their life. Instead, spend your time and energy nourishing and building your path.

4. Take baby steps to create the life you long for.

Desires are powerful. And so, to take action to turn those dreams into reality is to honor and care for yourself. By taking daily actions, you signal that you’re worthy of living the life you desire.

It doesn’t have to be big action—just small and consistent steps in the direction that stirs joy, care, and excitement. This demonstrates that you care and respect your dreams and thus yourself. Has there ever been a better time to do that than now?



Hi 4C Women,

Powerful, phenomenal message from Karen. Wonderful tips for learning how to begin the journey of self-love and accepting love from others. Living in pain, feeling unworthy, and never feeling that you are enough is more than challenging to overcome yet it is absolutely possible, actually necessary, and deserving. I was so fearful of rejection in giving love yet I was rejecting the most important person in my life – me! It took a while yet I learned to turn off the negative messages from the past. The messages we received growing up and into young adulthood – even adulthood. As empowered women, we now get to choose the words we speak to ourselves. I have an inner critic that I have named who sometimes sits on my shoulder, spewing nasty, old, outdated messages that I no longer accept. So, when he/she appears, I turn my head and flick the critic off as I tell them to shut up and stop lying. I am in control of my thoughts which in turn makes me in charge of my behavior. I will not allow these negative messages to make me question who I am today. I will no longer punish myself by believing even slightly that these are truth-based messages. I will instead continue to work on healing.

I have a 3×5 card in my purse that has STOP on the front as an alert when negative messages start to ramble through my mind. On the back is a listing of positive characteristics, changes I have made, what I value about myself, and whatever challenges I have gone through and stayed sober. I get that card out whenever I question my worth and the negative messages start creeping in. I encourage you to do that as self-love will change the course of your world in amazing ways.  I’ve been blessed to see so many women turn their lives around in self-love when they thought it was impossible. Be courageous – practice self-love every day and see what happens.

I hope you will take the time to reflect on the questions Karen has asked and begin or continue the journey of self-love. You deserve it.

Bonded in learning to love yourself and accept/give love to others, 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])!

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On your marks, get set…Creative Crew Holiday Sale!

The Creative Crew Holiday Sale starts this Friday at 11am! Are you ready? Register now and enter your credit card to “Buy it Now” or to bid on auction items during the event.

There is a new WFS 2023 Wall Calendar available! Be sure to shop early as the limited quantity of 100 is expected to sell out fast!

Each month features a beautiful floral painting by Peg Connery-Boyd, WFS sister, and quotes from our WFS founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. You will also find familiar elements of the New Life Program inside the back cover.

WFS wishes to thank Margaret Connery-Boyd for permitting the reproduction of the digital images of her original art included in this calendar. View more of her art at

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