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“Sometimes I wake up and have to remind myself: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME. I have patterns to unlearn, new behaviors to embody, and wounds to heal. But there is nothing wrong with the core of me and who I am. I am unlearning generations of harm and remembering love. That takes time.”
“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.”
“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’re growing into you. And that’s more than okay, that’s something to celebrate.”
#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.
Statement #8 in action offers up a type of insurance policy against relapse. It is the ability to adapt, to learn, and change from one moment to another without fear of going backward. As long as there is an investment in emotional or spiritual growth, a sturdy foundation is being created for which to build a New Life.
Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. states, “Not going forward into a period of self-discovery and self-realization is the difference between just being sober and true recovery. Recovery does not mean that there can be a return to drinking. Recovery means the acceptance of a life of abstinence and the acknowledgment of a need to change, a need to learn self so that first emotional and then spiritual growth can take place.” Recovery is rewarding and worth each investment.
As a part of Level Six, Statement #8 in action can take us to new horizons while helping us plan for the future. Figuring out our goals, evaluating our growth, and placing our priorities helps put this Statement into motion and the end result is self-discovery with a dedication to our well-being. While any or all of this Statement can look on the outside like a chaotic mess, there is an underlying substructure of development that is capable, competent, caring, and compassionate. Truly 4C growth.
Dear 4C Women,
This Statement helped me realize that I needed a purpose in life. With a purpose, I could set my priorities to match my purpose. As former Director of the YW’s Women’s Department in NJ, their mission was the empowerment of women and girls and the elimination of racism wherever it exists. I didn’t know then but after becoming sober, I realized that the YWCA mission was the beginning of providing me with a purpose. As I have mentioned in previous messages, I have always had compassion/caring in my heart yet the other 2Cs (capable, competent) were more challenging! I was still working at the YW when I became sober. Between the YW and WFS, my purpose, my emotional and spiritual growth blossomed. I was drawn to WFS because it matched the YW’s mission of empowerment. WFS was the perfect recovery program I needed to build my self-esteem, confidence, and competence.
You may wonder how I didn’t have the 2Cs as Director of the YW’s Women’s Department. It’s because others believed in me before I believed in myself and gave me a wonderful opportunity to grow both professionally and emotionally. Slowly I began to believe in myself yet my personal life wasn’t matching my work life. While I learned my purpose was in providing programs to help women achieve personal growth and also programs to create racial and social justice, my personal life was a mess. So, I turned to alcohol to help me cope. Then a chance coincidence happened and I was introduced to Jean Kirkpatrick’s book, Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life. I found the piece that was missing in my life – my voice, my courage, and an even bigger purpose – recovery for me and helping women learn to believe in themselves as I was given that chance
Statement 8 helped me to reflect on how I spent my hours each day. I could see if my actions matched my purpose. When I retired, I found that my purpose remained the same with helping others as a facilitator recognize their worth, their strengths, and how emotional and spiritual growth supports their empowerment in recovery. I also had an additional purpose that included my daughter and granddaughter when I moved to Alabama to be much closer to them.
A dear friend once told me that many times we teach what we need to learn ourselves. I felt that so intensely when I became a facilitator. I wanted to share the life lessons I learned through the WFS program with other women looking for a positive approach to recovery.
When you consider your purpose/priorities, are you aware of how you spend your time, energy, and resources?
Does it authentically reflect your purpose/priorities?
How would you define your spiritual growth in recovery? This is a profoundly personal journey for each woman and WFS welcomes whichever path you choose.
As you grow in your emotional and spiritual growth, please remember to show up for yourself, set your priorities to match your purpose, and be an encourager and supporter for other women to do the same, Dee
A sobriety milestone — or what some people call a sobriety birthday — is a celebration of the special days in your recovery from addiction. Remembering these specific milestones can help you look back on the progress you’ve made and encourage you to stay motivated in your sobriety. Overall, your sobriety milestones will remind you that you’re one step closer in your journey toward recovery every day.
How to Throw a Sober Party
If you want to get your loved ones together to have a great time without worrying about alcohol or drugs jeopardizing anyone’s recovery, a sober party is a perfect option. Here are some sobriety party ideas to get you started:
- Consider your guest list: Being the only person at a party who is dedicated to staying sober can feel intimidating. Instead, invite loved ones who have encouraged you on your journey to recovery, as well as new friends you’ve met during treatment. Likewise, avoid inviting old friends who don’t honor your decision to stay sober.
- Focus on food: Instead of focusing on alcohol, wow your guests with an impressive array of food options. Whether you choose to treat yourselves to a night at a fancy restaurant or enjoy a potluck at a local park with plenty of finger foods and main courses, feel free to get creative with your party planning. And don’t forget to include some fun and festive non-alcoholic drinks!
- Prepare some fun activities: When you’re throwing your first sober party, you might be self-conscious or worried your guests aren’t having a good time without alcohol. By planning a themed party with lots of fun activities, you can eliminate this concern. Go for a hike, go bowling, pamper yourselves with a spa day, visit your local amusement park, or just set up some party games in your backyard. All you need is some imagination to turn your sober party into your greatest event yet!
- Avoid concentrating on the lack of alcohol: Your guests came to enjoy your company — not to get drunk. You don’t have to apologize for the lack of alcohol or even think about it throughout your celebration. The best way to make sure your party is a success is to just have fun, be yourself and relax.