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Monday Thoughts 5.29.23

“Forward is not a straight line. It’s much more exciting, complex, difficult, gnarly, and uncharted than that.”
Jeni Britton Bauer

“Wherever you go, leave a heartprint.”

“Don’t shoot for the stars, we already know what’s there.  Shoot for the space in between because that’s where the real mystery lies.”
Vera Rubin

#10 All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved.

While Statement #10 may be the shortest of the WFS Program Acceptance Statements, it unpacks an infinite world within those four simple words. Our insightful founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., understood the importance of love in overcoming addiction and dedicated two powerful Statements to instill and enhance love in our New Lives.

As our WFS Program booklet mentions, “Love is multi-faceted. It can be shared in many ways.” It is not solely focused on one category of love.  We are unique human beings; no two people are exactly alike and it stands to reason that love will be different for each of us. However, the common denominator is that when love is given, love can return in a multitude of ways.

This Statement has taught me that love is not like ping-pong paddle, it doesn’t bounce back in a straight line from where it was launched. It zig-zags through time and space, oftentimes taking an unfamiliar route. Just because love was given in one direction doesn’t mean it will return via the same path much like when we do random acts of kindness. It changes us on the inside, and we learn that we are worthy of giving and receiving love. Love is the wellspring of New Life!


Dear 4C Women,

Before WFS, I sought love to prove I was lovable and as the song goes, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I learned it had to start with feeling worthy of receiving love and to love myself for who I was as I worked on becoming my authentic self. Pretending took a toll on me. As long as I was a people pleaser, I realized I was discounting my own needs. WFS empowered me to prioritize my needs in a compassionate way that opened the door to loving, healthy relationships. I also learned that love was not confined to romantic love. As Karen shared, love comes and returns to us in many diverse ways. I am feeling the love of friendships from the wonderful women I have met in WFS. The love and care I have received and continue to receive since my daughter passed is so connected to Statement #10. I see it as a “love line” that has kept me encouraged, loved, and deeply grateful.

When people would say they love me, I sometimes wondered why. What have I done to deserve such love? It took me a while to understand and accept that I was receiving what I was giving. Years past, I would have thought this was boasting yet the best part is that the giving and receiving of love felt so real, and authentic. I wasn’t people pleasing, I was truly caring about the friendships I was making, the women I met in WFS who were open and willing to create their New Life in recovery. It was the beginning of that love line WFS provided me.

“Who” is part of your love line?
What kind of loves are in your love line?
How do you know when love is being returned? Can you describe the feeling you experience?
How do you give love in actions or words?

Bonded in giving love and knowing you are loved in return, Dee


EnJoy the Journey with us – June 9-11th

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Monday Thoughts 5.22.23

“It’s okay if you fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart, and we still love them.”

“View your life with kindsight. Stop beating yourself up about things from your past. Instead of slapping your forehead and asking, ’What was I thinking,’ breathe and ask yourself the kinder question, ‘What was I learning?”
Karen Salmansohn

“You’re so hard on yourself. But remember, everybody has a chapter they don’t read out loud. Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life; at the mistakes that gave you wisdom, at the suffering that gave you strength. Despite everything, you still move forward, be proud of this. Continue to endure. Continue to persevere. And remember, no matter how dark it gets, the sun will rise again.”

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

Statement #9 has always been a favorite yet through the many discussions on this particular Statement, I learned that it can be the least favorite for many women. In our WFS meetings, there are women who have remarked that this Statement didn’t feel comfortable to them. That it simply wasn’t fair that automatically the past was gone forever. Intrigued to hear this, the conversation became deeper and so did the understanding.

While we do live in the present, our thoughts can certainly gravitate towards the past and mine certainly did. Furthering the discussion, a dear friend explained that she felt that it wasn’t fair that the past was gone or erased. She had felt hurt and needed to have this pain acknowledged. By using this Statement, she felt it dismissed her trauma without any repercussions or responsibility. I understood and related to the depth of her internal wounds.

In the past, I had been a victim of domestic violence. While physical parts healed over time, I held onto fear and rage. I wanted to see consequences but they never came. The longer I held onto that rage and need for revenge, the longer I stayed a victim (and the more I drank). It took time, patience, and practice, but Statement #9 helped me leave the desire for retribution behind. It is because of sobriety and the WFS New Life Program that DV no longer defines me though it is a part of the past. Using Statement #9 does not refute what happened; it simply allows me to process what happened and define it my own way. I am a survivor and a fabulous 4C woman!



Dear 4C Women,

How courageous of Karen to share her history. This is another reason I value the WFS Program. We can discuss our differences without judgment and learn from each other and know we are in a safe place to do so. I am one who loved this Statement from the beginning. For me, it released me from the shame and guilt I clung to and let healing begin. I realized I was continuing to hurt myself while those who hurt me may have completely forgotten about me. It is like forgiveness in a sense. I have forgiven people in my life and it gave me freedom yet there was a feeling of unrelinquished pain that they were not penalized in some way. Releasing the past does not guarantee justice will be the end result. So, in the end, I decided to stop punishing myself and by doing so, began to slowly heal and start my New Life in recovery. When I start reflecting on the past and feel pain, I have learned to tell myself that I can’t change what happened. I can learn from it but I cannot change it. This really snaps me back into the present. I also have learned to reflect on the positive past. Just as we share positives in our meeting, we do have positive past moments before recovery no matter how small it may be. It’s not about erasing the past but learning from it, to make different choices when a red flag comes up, to value the work we’ve done to not let the past hold us hostage. I’d rather feel at peace through healing than keeping myself locked up in a prison whole holding the key. I say unlock the door, throw away the key, and walk into a New Life that you are developing, that you are in charge of. I had an experience with my bio dad that I cannot change but I chose to forgive him, not the behavior or action or to say what he did was okay, but to set myself free from the burden of feeling not worthy, of having him take up space in my head reinforcing my negative thoughts and identity.

I am hopeful I will eventually get to that place in my healing over my daughter’s passing. WFS has taught me that healing takes as much time as needed, hard work, is individual, and in its place is hope and peace. Keeping the painful past in the present takes away important space for peace and hope to reside. It doesn’t support my moving forward. I love feeling connected to the present. When I think of the past is gone forever, I think of letting go of the pain, hurt, and guilt, forgiving myself and others, and mostly gaining freedom. A big lesson I have learned is that forgiveness does not mean reconciliation, forgetting, condoning, or excusing but greater well-being and healthier relationships. The past will always be the past along with its pain and joy. It’s how we choose to work through it to support our recovery, and our emotional health and create a New Life, no more victimizing ourselves over something we can’t change and giving up that rent-free space in our minds to those who have harmed us. This is not easy or quick by any means. For me, it’s choosing between being a victim or a victor over a past I cannot change.

What will help you choose to be the victor when you practice Statement #9?

What do you say to yourself when the past keeps you stuck?

How do you process the feelings that arise when the past stops in for a visit? I say visit because I have learned to not let the past unpack its bags and stay. I reflect, tell myself I cannot change what happened, and reflect on the changes I have made to cope with my feelings.

Bonded in releasing the past, healing, and becoming a 4C “victorious” woman, Dee


The Nancy Cross Distinguished Volunteer Award will be presented during the 4C Spotlight event at the 2023 WFS EnJoy the Journey Conference.

Please take the time to nominate someone you believe goes above and beyond as a volunteer with WFS.

Nominate Here:

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WFS 2023 Conference Workshop – Success Planning

Kelly Pitocco joined WFS in the early 1990s and lives by the Statements in her daily life. She has had the honor of moderating meetings in the past and advocates for gender-responsive options for women in recovery. She has more than 35 years of experience working in treatment programs serving those who have substance use and criminal justice involvement.

This session is designed to help us develop a successful plan for recovery. It involves activities to identify our reasons and vision for recovery, including a values activity and guided imagery.

Participants will complete an individualized survey to identify their risk area(s). The last section of the presentation includes filling those gaps with positive activities and strategies to manage moments of risk.

Register Now!

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WFS 2023 Conference Workshop – Healing our Relationship with Money


Taryn Strong is a founder of SHE RECOVERS® Foundation – a nonprofit that connects, supports and empowers women of all ages(recovering in all areas of their lives) through its virtual platforms and in­ person community networks.

Taryn is also a Recovery Coach, Herbalist and Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher. Taryn’s courageous vulnerability and passion for recovering out loud has made her an influential voice in the global recovery movement. Taryn creates and curates transformational experiences online and in person through her group and private mentorship offerings. As a certified Trauma of Money Facilitator, she currently specializes in financial empowerment & money healing.

Cultivating a relationship with our money is essential… and doing so from a nourished nervous system is key. Regardless of your current financial situation or habits, together we will take the time to look at your money through a compassionate lens – for clarity and awareness. We will begin with a 30-minute Trauma-Informed Yoga Practice followed by Self-reflective Journal Prompts & Actionable Steps toward your financial empowerment.

Register Now!

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Monday Thoughts 5.15.23

“It wasn’t the trauma that made you strong, kinder, and more compassionate. It’s how you handled it. That credit is yours.”


“As we grow older and wiser, we begin to realize what we need and what we need to leave behind. Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need to grow. And sometimes walking away is a step forward.”


“Be like a tree. Stay grounded. Connect with your roots. Turn over a new leaf. Bend before you break. Enjoy your unique natural beauty. Keep growing.”

Joanne Raptis

#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 offer a continuing path toward growth, whether it be emotionally, spiritually or physically, or even mentally. Some very wise 4C women have shared the difference between emotional and mental health; while both are very important in recovery, emotional health refers to the ability to cope with and manage emotions and have positive relationships. Mental health refers to the ability to think clearly (think Statement #5) and make good decisions. Putting actions into Statement #8 can address these areas.

When I first began using this Statement, it felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Before sobriety and recovery, I had felt utterly defeated. Having been taught a certain dogma for how life was supposed to be, I felt like an absolute failure and carried a ‘why bother’ attitude. Alcohol easily fit into this line of thinking and any emotional or spiritual growth stopped altogether.

Today Statement #8 helps identify priorities and find greater balance with an aim toward simple growth. No longer attached to long-standing doctrines or traditions, I am able to evaluate, create and grow into my own core beliefs and stretch outward. This growth tends to ebb and flow as well as have periods of stillness much like the seasons. I am so grateful for WFS and Statement #8, it feels incredibly freeing and connecting.




Dear 4C Women,

I love the quotes and I love Karen’s message, especially sharing the differences between emotional and mental health. I had not thought of those differences in such a way and it provides clarity which is something I need right now. I’ve written Monday Thoughts for years writing from my life experiences.  These past few weeks, I have been focusing on gratefulness and this is due in large part to Statement #8. I have been able to grow both emotionally and spiritually in such a powerful way these many years. It is that growth that is giving me the strength to cope with my daughter’s passing. Healing will take a much longer time yet I am coping in a way that I won’t drink to numb my feelings. In fact, I have found that releasing my pain with tears at any given moment, shouting out loud to no one, and accepting the love I have been shown, is part of knowing my priorities. How freeing to feel safe in expressing my feelings authentically, to set priorities from both love and pain. I never thought these two feelings could survive together yet they are.

For me, spiritual growth has been my faith. It is the path I chose which is what I also love about the WFS program. It is an individual choice, one that supports whichever spiritual path you choose.

As I go through the grieving and healing process, I think back to the beginning of my recovery when I grieved the loss of my coping mechanism, my supposed friend – alcohol. I didn’t think anything could replace it. I am glad to say I was wrong in that assumption. It was replaced by my belief in myself and the loving friendships I developed in WFS.

Questions to consider:

What has your priority been this week?

What has made you feel full/complete?

Who has supported you this week?

Whom have you supported this week?

How has your spiritual path supported you?

What changes have you made in your emotional growth?

Bonded in setting healthy priorities, and seeking emotional and spiritual growth that you have chosen for yourself, Dee

DONATE NOW to help another

* As of May 11, we have raised $27,249. Last year, we collected
$36,770. Can you help match 2022?
* Your donation is vital to keep WFS services available
* Don’t Wait! The deadline is this Tuesday, May 16.


* Beautiful and thoughtful gifts
* Handmade items donated for sale by WFS sisters
* Early registration is recommended for the opening of the sale

Every $$$ supports WFS programs
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Paid Research Study

The team at VT would like to thank the WFS 4C women who are already participating in this study and would like to invite more of you to join. At this point, they are specifically looking for more participants in longer term recovery.

Virginia Tech is seeking adults in long-term recovery from addiction, including alcohol, for
an online research study. Participants in this 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).
Click here


Call the research team at 540-315-0205 to learn more!

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In Memory of WFS sister: Janis Irvine Corbin October 11, 1937 – April 8, 2023

Janis Irvine Corbin was born to George and Verla Irvine on October 11, 1937, in Hutchinson, Kansas. Growing up in the small Kansas farming community of Stafford, this striking dark-haired beauty was an academic force. In speech classes and debates, Janis spoke forthrightly, enunciating each word. She learned the importance of amplifying her voice and empowering other female voices.

In college, Janis joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and was appointed to Phi Kappa Phi Honors for academic excellence. She gave an oration to the student body and produced and directed an award-winning one-act play. In 1959, Janis graduated from her parent’s Alma Mater, Kansas State University.

Janis married Richard Corbin, and together they adopted their three children, David, Alan, and Sharon. This family of five lived in the cities of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Summit, New Jersey; and Houston, Texas. Houston became their home, and Memorial Drive United Methodist became their church.

In 1985 she would be forced to leave behind pieces of the life that once was the dream. And like the Cowardly Lion, she found the courage to embark on a personal journey through change and loss. The trek down the yellow brick road began with a complete lifestyle change. Rising early, traveling 40 miles a day (jamming to Billy Idol), and late nights studying. Pursuing her master’s degree was a triumph of taking the lemon of alcoholism and turning it into a fabulous lemonade. After a year of emotional and spiritual growth, Janis gained confidence with each passing day, and a new sense of self emerged. She discovered a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman equipped with a new purpose after graduating from the University of Houston with a master’s degree in social work. Ms. Janis Corbin, MSW-CSW. Also, as an active member of the American Association of University Women, Janis supported the advocacy for women’s career advancement and pursuit of higher education.

After divorcing, she sipped her Lipton iced tea, cigarette resting on the ashtray, and turned to her cat Tigger and said, “Tigger, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” The winds of change blew again with new roles as a grandmother, mother-in-law, and divorced, independent woman. Janis rose to meet the challenges with the tremendous support and encouragement of the friendships built in Women for Sobriety. Always willing to help one another, bonded together in overcoming alcoholism and addiction, Janis continued the hard work of adjusting to all the changes life brought.

Janis was present for the birth of the first of six grandchildren. Sharing the birth of Rachel with her daughter Sharon, Janis described it as a “peak life experience”. An everlasting bond was formed when cradling the newborn Rachel in her arms. Another granddaughter would soon follow, Kayla, with whom she would share a birthday. Then, there was D.J., the grandson. Grammy would masterfully craft questions that brought out the personality in this reserved young man. Grandson Travis was always the gentleman lending his arm to steady her as we made our way to the Christmas Eve service. Caroline shared her love for reading and her gift for the written word. The youngest of the bunch, Jeremiah, had a mutual love of sweets and always visited Grammy’s famous candy drawer.

A master conversationalist combined with a witty sense of humor, she could speak on any topic and connect with anyone of any age. Her grandchildren in their younger years loved the “toy room” in Grammy’s house. It had a thoughtful curation of toys and an expansive library of children’s books. She worked to instill her love of reading by always reading a book to her grandchildren during visits. It brought her amusement when people inquired about her vastly different collections from her love of the Wizard of Oz, and windmills, to Elvis, pink flamingos, Beanie Babies, snow globes, and artwork of Vincent Van Gogh.

Sobriety and recovery turned her life from black and white to beautiful colors, overcoming fear, taking risks, and facing loneliness. Janis discovered her meaningful purpose was to put her experience, education, talents, knowledge, and wisdom to help others. The inner voice exclaiming, “Lions and Tigers, and Bears! Oh, My,” was now seldom heard. A nurturing voice ushered in a season of peace, serenity, and self-confidence. She learned to depend on herself and ask for help when needed. She recognized herself as a child of the universe worthy of love and loving in return. Janis found her purpose in giving back to the recovery community as a lifelong member of Women for Sobriety serving on its National Board. Her recovery story is shared in Anne M. Fletcher’s book Sober For Good and several other publications. May the story of “Jessica C” continue to inspire others.

During her many years in recovery, Janis’ legacy was helping women overcome addictions with caring and compassion. She deeply understood that the needs of women battling addiction were unique and fostered a program that emphasized sobriety and recovery are strengthened through the connection with others. When she left the hospital late at night in June thirty-eight years ago, the “most likely to succeed” medal was awarded to Janis. This symbol represented that she possessed all the tools needed to take action. The small-town Kansas girl had finally realized that her internal critic was no longer great and powerful. She emerged a confident, competent woman who shared her lessons of sobriety and recovery until the end.

Illness robbed her body, but her mind remained sharp. She will be missed by her iPad word game opponent “Charles”. On Saturday, April 8, Janis Irvine Corbin passed away surrounded by family. She was preceded in death by her mother and father; daughter, Sharon Corbin; and grandson, Travis Corbin.

She is survived by her; son, David and wife, Nadine Corbin; son, Alan and wife, Michelle Corbin; grandchildren, Jeremiah, Kayla, Caroline, and D.J. Corbin, and Rachel and husband Sam Ross; great-grandsons Tyrael-James and Azrael-James Ross; and sister, Joleen Hill.

A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, May 12, in the Memorial Oaks Pecan Chapel, with a visitation at 10:00 a.m. prior to the service at 11:00 a.m.

As Dorthy said, “There’s no place like home”. Janis will return to her birthplace of Kansas and will be interred alongside her mother and father in the Stafford Cemetery.