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Monday Thoughts 4.24.23

“Don’t believe everything you think.”


“It is incredibly important to differentiate between overthinking and deep thinking. Deep thinking is analyzing information for the purpose of learning and moving forward, building your brain, reaching solutions and understanding difficult concepts. Sometimes, this means that you will need to think deeply about an issue you are facing in order to overcome it, but this is different from worrying about the problem….it’s very deliberate, controlled, intentional, systematic, and rational. It is not emotionally driven, chaotic, illogical, assumptive and it is not driven by a sense of victimization. Deep thinking looks for solution and closure, whereas overthinking is chaotic, with no solution or end in sight.”

Caroline Leaf

“What you tell yourself every day will lift you up or tear you down. Choose wisely.”


#5 I am what I think.

I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

It was not until sobriety and recovery that I became aware of my thinking. Before New Life, I simply reacted (usually strongly) to whatever the circumstance may be. Alcohol interfered with my ability to manage my thoughts and oftentimes escalated my responses. Life felt full of chaos and out of control which created a cycle of reacting, drinking, and reacting again. All of this changed with sobriety and Statement #5 in action.

In our WFS Program booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. asks “Do you know your own mind?” Today I understand my mind better. There are aspects that I am unaware of and aspects that I have been able to move through such as when a craving or trigger appears. WFS has taught me tools to manage thinking and believe in myself. The second part of Statement #5 has become an empowering mantra “I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.”

When I find myself ruminating or repeating a line of thinking that feels distressing, I have discovered it can be a form of avoidance. Statement #5 helps me dive deeper to get to the core thoughts. It helps remove knee-jerk responses and to delay an emotional response that could potentially worsen a situation. Journaling and sharing with other WFS sisters are two favorite ways to combat overthinking while helping me move through challenging thoughts. What tools do you reach for to manage your thoughts? Which mantra/phrase/idea helps you guide your thinking?



Hi 4C Women,

I have never needed this Statement more than in the past few weeks. As I watched my daughter’s health decline, I remind myself that I am a 4C woman and will handle this as best I can. Not easy yet I am sober and I am grateful for that. I need to be strong for my daughter and my granddaughter. I could not do this if I were still drinking. This doesn’t mean I am not in deep pain, feeling angry, sad, and regretful for what I did and didn’t do to communicate how important it was for her to take care of her health. Now she is coming home from the hospital under hospice care. I couldn’t even imagine how I would handle this at all if it wasn’t for WFS and the women who support me with such love and compassion.

I learned a long time ago that it wasn’t just stopping drinking but changing the way I cope. Each Statement is a guide to positive change and while no one is truly prepared to deal with such a devastating loss, I know I will go through this process being able to honor my daughter by staying sober and being here for her in her remaining days. This is not an easy situation to share yet I feel the need to do so as I also learned a lot about being authentic, seeking help for myself and encouraging others at the most difficult, challenging times in their lives. My daughter has lived with me for the last 4 years so she is present in every room in my house. I am grateful for our time together and I hate that this is happening. I have cried a river of tears and have no idea how I will handle it when the time comes to say goodbye. What I do know is that I need to be here for her right now and to remain sober to be the mom she needs and deserves at this very moment. I want to show my daughter and granddaughter that I am a 4C woman even when my heart is breaking. I’m hoping that by sharing this message, that you find hope in knowing it is possible to work through and heal life’s unfair challenges. If I feel myself falling, I will seek the help I need – something I couldn’t do in my drinking days. My support system is the beautiful 4C women I have been blessed to have because of WFS.

Bonded in allowing our 4C selves to give, share and grow in strength through life’s greatest challenges. We are never alone! Dee

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Monday Thoughts 4.17.23

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control how you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.”


“One of the hardest things I’ve had to understand is that closure comes from within. Especially if you have been betrayed by someone you love because you feel like you gotta let them know the pain they caused, but the peace you seek can only be given to you by you.”

Bruna Nessif

“When you find no solution to a problem, it’s probably not a problem to be solved but a truth to be accepted.”


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

I now better understand my problems.

I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

In the past I thought drinking was a normal escape from problems; I actually felt quite adult-like when complaining about whatever the issue was with a drink in hand. This behavior was modeled again and again throughout my life and it felt like a rite of passage. What I could not comprehend at the time though was that nothing was ever solved and looking back, it appears as if it was nothing more than a grown-up type of tantrum.

However, sobriety and Statement #4 in action lead to the opposite results; toward a conclusion, towards understanding, and growth. Instead of drinking at problems, WFS has taught me to examine an issue and to keep trying solutions. Oftentimes in the past, I got stuck going in circles trying to identify where the problem came from but with the practice of Statement #4, I learned this was simply another form of avoidance.

If a problem isn’t solved the first go-round, it’s time to try something different and don’t quit. Like the old adage, “fall down seven, get up eight” which maintains forward motion. Sometimes the problem doesn’t even belong; this can change dramatically when the veil of being the scapegoat is lifted. In our WFS Program booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. affirms this about problem-solving; “The value of this Statement is in learning that we can control our reactions.” Instead of knee-jerk reacting to an issue (which historically did not go well), I continue to learn how to pause, reflect, or ask for help. Asking can be the most difficult, but it opens the door to fresh ideas and instills feelings of trust. Here are some basics for problem-solving:

  1. Refuel with sleep: Just like a car cannot continue on a near-empty tank of fuel, our mind and body must be refueled with sleep each night.
  2. Ask questions: Dive deeper into the issue with questions. Sometimes simple questions can hone into a solution immediately, others can draw out multiple solutions. Writing or journaling can help identify answers, and patterns or offer acceptance.
  3. Pause but don’t procrastinate: Sometimes simply pausing can refresh your outlook but be wary of procrastination. I have been stuck creatively recently and have procrastinated with multiple projects which have created more distress. Give your pause a deadline (note to self!)
  4. Know you are the director of your own movie/life: While you cannot control what happens around you, you are in control of your reactions. Define your story on your terms, not by someone else’s story. Design your set, change the cast of characters as needed, and edit and slice together pieces that work beautifully. Create the masterpiece that is your life.



Dear 4C women,

I like the title of Director of our lives. I also once heard that we are the CEO of our lives. Just as a director, we create the boundaries, and the values that our lives are guided by, being empowered to hire those who add to our lives and fire those that cause harm, finding our purpose, and working on solving problems/concerns that arise. Do you ever wish you could quit that job? Do you wish someone else would come along and solve your life problems? I think that is typical yet I have learned the hard way that it provides little space for growth. I have found that I can handle problems as long as they don’t come all at once or in multiples in a short period of time. I also reflect on what are real concern and just ordinary problem that sometimes resolves themselves.

Concerns usually require a lot more attention. When I feel overwhelmed with a concern, I might cry first, then cry a little bit more, and finally, pause and share with someone I trust about what is happening. I appreciate being heard and gaining insight into different ways of approaching my concern. The final decision is, of course, mine. Yet, just as we do not have to go through our recovery journey alone, we also have 4C women and resources to help ease a burden when it seems so painful and even unsolvable at the time. The important thing is to be heard, not judged or told what to do. Hearing others share similar experiences is a reminder that we have much in common and can learn from others, even find possible solutions that we had not thought of. WFS encourages us to listen and share experiences but not tell someone what to do. The reason behind that is if it doesn’t work out, the woman may become so angry or embarrassed that it didn’t work and not come back to a meeting feeling she failed at what she was told to do. The one thing we don’t want is for a woman to not feel safe in sharing and rather than learning, feeling supported, and encouraged, she feels just the opposite. For me, this is the beauty of how WFS works. We learn, we share, we give lots of support and encouragement and we grow confident in our decision-making/problem-solving skills. This does not mean we always make the right decisions but that’s absolutely ok! It’s part of learning and not beating ourselves up. We build on both our mistakes and our successes which we give back by sharing.

Do you have a safe and encouraging support system?

How have you changed your reaction to problems or concerns?

What are some coping skills you could share with others struggling right now?

What is one of the lessons you have learned from a mistake or success?

Bonded in learning problem-solving skills, supporting each other and sharing our lessons, Dee


Our Keynote Speakers for the 2023 WFS Virtual Conference are all amazing women and renowned authors and each has their own take on self-healing and growth.  Come and join us online June 9th-11th!

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WFS 2023 Conference Workshop: “Gray Area” Film Screening and Q&A


Kelley Kitley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience in the field. She owns Serendipitous Psychotherapy in Chicago. Kitley wanted to make a film with her actor husband, and they hired a production company to tell her story, a story similar to many women’s stories, to provide hope and healing.

Award-winning, short film Gray Area is adapted from her Award-winning Amazon best seller, My Self.

Register Now!

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Support the WFS Teddy Bear Challenge!

We need you! Your support means Women for Sobriety, Inc. (WFS) will continue to deliver meaningful tools, meetings, and programs for women facing the challenges of alcohol and other substance abuse.

  •     Volunteers are working hard to improve our literature offerings, the online platform, and outreach materials.
  •     Teams are busy planning an exciting Virtual Conference for June 9-11, 2023.
  •     Your dollars will fund staff and services to help us reach the woman next door and around the world. 

Your participation in the Teddy Bear Challenge is vital! Please show your gratitude for this life-saving program and make your donation today at Thank you for your support! 

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WFS 2023 Conference Workshop – Home Is Within You

Nadia Davis is the mother of three sons and is a writer, attorney, and kundalini yoga instructor. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in sociology, and Loyola Law School with a Juris Doctor.
She has received numerous awards for her work improving the lives of others, including the John F. Kennedy Jr. Public Service Award, the National Women’s Political Caucus Woman of the Year award.
We are all infinite beings, whole, perfect, and complete in our truest form. Since childhood we have lived in a mode of believing we are just bodies and the thoughts our mind makes. When we remember that our minds are survivalist in nature, we can become more aware of “attack thoughts” on self and others that separate us from that truth, the only truth that matters, as well as each other.
With breath work and simple meditation practices, we can visualize a neutral space where we are better able to calm the body’s somatic responses, observe our thoughts. A home within is a place free of attack thoughts on self and others.

Register Now! 

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Monday Thoughts 4.3.23

“Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.”
Valerie Bertinelli

“If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is…an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness…you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU.”
Mandy Hale

“Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy.”
Hannah Arendt

#2 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

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

Sobriety and Statement #2 in action offer a process toward balance and healing. While active addiction severs the ability to think clearly with distorted and chaotic thoughts, recovery can turn this around. It’s like applying the brakes to an out-of-control vehicle. With steady constraints, balance becomes achievable and the journey becomes enjoyable.

Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes in her book Turnabout, “It would appear logical that we can overcome the negativism only as soon as we are able to make ourselves into someone we might admire. Our overcoming is in exact proportion to our becoming someone worthwhile.” For me, staying sober each day helped me create feelings of accomplishment. Day after day, week after week, I was showing myself that I was worthwhile and that I valued myself. This was quite the U-turn in thinking.

Some days were really tough, so tough that I had only managed the most basic of things but I began to build a sense of identity. Those negative thoughts like “you can’t do it” or you’ll never____” were replaced with “I am doing my best, YES I can, and I am able to ______.” Managing thoughts became easier the more I practiced. Today it is an empowering tool that is used daily in my New Life.

Here is a 4-stage plan to challenge negative thinking:

1.   Awareness: In order to challenge negative thoughts, they first need to be identified. Practice listening to your mind. Take a few moments each morning to get a feel for your thoughts. What are you aware of? Practice mindfulness.

2.   Define: Is there a pattern to your thoughts? Do they serve a healthy purpose or are they limiting you in some way? Sort them out by journaling, meditating, discussing, and diary writing.

3.   Embrace or Replace: Some thoughts are helpful, encourage and strengthen those with repetition or using them as a mantra. Replace limiting thoughts by reframing them in a way that benefits you.

4.   Let go: Release thoughts or patterns that do not serve you. Challenge the “I can’t” by reframing it to “I am or I am getting closer to my goal.” When a negative thought pattern gets louder, use your brakes. Saying STOP out loud helps, or visualize a happy or content scenario. Remember that your ability to manage your thoughts can depend on your level of energy. The more tired, stressed, or physically ill you are, the more challenging it can be. Focus on balance, after all, you are a capable, competent, caring, and compassionate woman!



Dear 4C Women,

This has been a challenging past couple of weeks for me. I have felt sad, angry, frustrated, and lost at times. I recognize these “feeling” triggers and while I acknowledge these feelings, I have learned that giving in to these feeling triggers in an unhealthy way would only make it worse. The feeling that would come after an unhealthy choice would be exactly what Statement #2 says – the self-destruction of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love.  Here’s how I put Statement #2 into practice when negative thoughts creep in and decide they want to take up long-term residence in my mind. I first recognize that I can experience any feeling as there is no right or wrong way to feel. It’s when I start berating myself for negative thoughts, and start judging myself in an extremely emotionally destructive way that I also recognize that I need to take a breath, examine these thoughts to understand where they are originating, and seek clarity. That’s what usually works for me – to know where these negative thoughts are coming from.

Am I overreacting or responding to a situation that is painful, an unexpected disappointment, or feeling helpless? Once I uncover the core of my negative thoughts, I go through the process that Karen so beautifully shared. I know one thing for sure. I will not be held hostage to negative thoughts that would destroy all the work I have done. I am a firm believer in acknowledging feelings. I am also a firm believer in protecting my well-being, and my recovery. When I have my doubts, I reach out and the encouragement and love I receive are a beautiful gift. It truly lifts my spirits and helps me find the balance, the truth I am seeking and need.

As you go through the week, I hope you will practice the guidelines Karen shared. I also hope you will reach out to those you trust and get clarity on your negative thoughts. Protect your well-being, create a positive mantra, and make sure your negative thoughts have a short stay yet acknowledge them and uncover their roots. Statement #2 is a wonderful guide to learning how to reduce negative thoughts, one thought at a time.

Bonded in reducing negative thoughts that harm our recovery and self-worth, Dee