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“There are women succeeding beyond their wildest dreams because of their sobriety.”
“It’s a beautiful day to be sober.”
“Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles, and you have to change it.”
Jamie Lee Curtis
#1 I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being.
I accept the responsibility.
Before sobriety and recovery, I knew my life was in chaos but had a hard time equating it with alcohol. I thought maybe that life was unfair or that the universe was picking on me. The word addiction was frightening and I had long-held beliefs about what it meant. WFS and Statement #1 in action changed that.
Substance Use Disorder is a recognized chronic disorder of the brain, specifically the midbrain or the reward center. It was originally thought of as a moral failing, but now that we know more scientifically, that is an outdated thought process. Statement #1 helped to put this into perspective and gave me something to do: take charge of my life and well-being and accept responsibility.
This meant learning how alcohol affected my life and my thought process. I dove into learning as much as I could about this disease. The utter feelings of failure began to dissipate and my outlook became brighter. I found supportive and compassionate women on the WFS Online Forum whose knowledge and perspectives were both enlightening and hysterically funny. I felt like a sponge, absorbing information while taking charge. Feeling a new level of hope, I understand and believe what our founder Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. states in our WFS Program booklet “I have a life-threatening problem, but it no longer has me. It no longer controls me. I am the master of my actions, and I am the master of myself.”
Dear 4C Women,
Accepting responsibility takes a lot of courage and willingness to change. There was a time that I disliked change a lot! Practicing the WFS Statements eventually helped me to learn to embrace change. Embrace is a word I never thought I would use when it came to change. I actually began to see change as a new beginning to being an empowered woman. No more feeling hopeless or helpless all of the time. I believe I disliked change because I was fearful of being in charge of my life. As long as I held onto my fears, as unhealthy as that was, I didn’t have to be responsible for any outcomes or consequences. If I accepted responsibility that meant I actually had to cope with my feelings, take charge and think/behave differently. In retrospect, I realize not taking responsibility did not serve me well.
There are still moments when I have those feelings of hopelessness yet I also know it’s temporary, not a forever feeling. Since my daughter’s passing, I have also realized that temporary is as long as temporary needs to be especially when it comes to grief. As for negative feelings, I always say I let them visit but I don’t allow them to stay – no unpacking of their bags. I see negativity as a teacher to dig deep and find solutions when we give ourselves the time and patience to work through those feelings. Grief is a bit different. Yet as I now face the biggest change in my life, I am so grateful for Statement 1. I can express my feelings with the knowledge and acceptance that I have support, learned new ways of coping, and most of all, that I will not jeopardize my hard work in recovery, disappointing both myself and my daughter. That’s powerful for me. I also have a purpose that I have had for over 30 years and that is to support, help and encourage other women in need of a New Life. It is what has kept me going, learning, and feeling grateful.
I must say that the last couple of months has presented triggers. I found a handout that our group did a while back. I so wish I had dated it as it would help me see if I had made changes, used the coping skills I listed, and what I still need to learn to further build that solid foundation in recovery.
These are the questions: On the left, list each situation that may cause you to relapse and, on the right, list a healthier way of dealing/coping with it. You may list more than one way to cope with each situation. I value this handout because it provides each woman with identifying their own unique situation, and what they have learned in coping or would like to incorporate in handling/responding to a situation that they have listed as a trigger. If shared within the group, the answers to this handout can provide an opportunity to learn from each other. There may be something you didn’t think of and vice versa – helping each other. The gift is to listen and not to take it as a direction to do the same. Just take it in as “you” are in charge of your life and well-being. I would like to encourage you to think about what your purpose is and how that purpose helps your sobriety, and your recovery.
Bonded in becoming empowered, in charge, and protecting your well-being, Dee
We have extended access to the conference recorded sessions!!!
You have until July 5th at midnight to register for ($75) and view keynotes and workshops from EnJoy the Journey.
Thank you for your support of the 2023 WFS Annual Virtual Conference!!