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Monday Thoughts 3.27.23

“Letting go may sound so simple, but rarely is it a one-time thing. Just keep letting go, until one day it’s gone for good.”

Eleanor Brownn

“Don’t rush something you want to last forever. It takes time to build proper foundations, relationships, careers, creative pursuits. Things take time and it’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out just yet. Keep going.

Tim Stuh

“Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Even though you want to run. Even when it’s heavy and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.”

Dr. Rebecca Ray

#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.

Sobriety and Statement #1 work together to create a beautiful New Life. In her book Turnabout, our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes, “The Women for Sobriety program is an affirmation of the value and worth of each woman. It is a program that leads each woman to assert her belief in self, a program that leads to seeing herself in a positive and self-confident image. She will see herself as forceful and compassionate, assertive and warm, capable and caring, resourceful and responsible.”

If you are sober curious or new to sobriety, Women for Sobriety (WFS) is an organization made up of women supporting women. WFS was founded by a woman who realized women have different needs in recovery; the need to overcome loneliness, feelings of excessive guilt, depression, and/or low or no self-esteem. The WFS Acceptance Statements aid in addressing each of these critical needs.

Right here, right now, you have everything within you that you need to succeed. Take a few moments each morning to set the tone for the day by reading the Statements. Choose one to focus on this week, one that feels relatable. Connect with other sober women, either online on our WFS Online Forum, in a chat meeting, or in face-to-face meetings. Learn about where addiction originates, and stay curious. Reach out, ask questions, and write down quotes or comments that speak to you. Your recovery is your own journey. Fill your life with joy, experiences, and adventure. It’s yours to invest in!



Dear 4C Women,

I keep hearing myself say, if not now, then when? That was the thought that finally broke down my denial, fear, and uncertainty that I could do this. Mostly, it answered the question of why and what was I waiting for. What would it take to begin this journey of the unknown? As it turns out, the unknown became the precious realization that I matter and regaining all that self-esteem and self-empowerment Jean talked about in Turnabout. What a beautiful gift she gave to thousands of women who doubted their worth. Grateful is too small a word to acknowledge this courageous woman who understood the needs of women in recovery. Such an empowering way to see ourselves rather than continuing the path of believing we will never be good enough, feeling unlovable, and believing we cannot be forgiven by ourselves or others.

It was challenging to face my authentic feelings, and even harder to believe that I could heal from my hidden pain and start to blossom with joy and peace. I wanted so much to experience the peace of growing emotionally stronger, being available no matter what time of day, and having in-depth conversations with women who understood and encouraged me and I could do the same in return. Taking charge of my life seemed impossible yet I saw others doing it and I wanted the same for myself. I realized that I was holding on to false promises of being comforted when drinking– which while true for the moment, was not an inside life-changing promise that Statement #1 held.  A temporary solution that led me back to emptiness and regret. I said this Statement so much in the beginning and I felt my thoughts change from hopeless to hopeful, from fearful to strong, from feeling lost to having a purpose, and from being reactive to being responsive in a positive way.

If you are struggling with getting started (sober curious), think about answering the question of “if not now, then when?” Hopefully, that answer will help you uncover what is holding you back, and what fears are standing in the way and leading you on an inspiring new path of healing and recovery.

Be kind to yourself while working on recovery. It is truly a journey with twists and turns. However, I believe those twists and turns are life lessons for us to dig deeper, create a better understanding of what our triggers are, and find new coping tools to help us respond to those triggers in a healthier, balanced way. Uncover the triggers, develop new coping tools, and create a New Life. Most of all, know that it is possible and for those who have grown and created a New Life for yourselves, please share, encourage, and support those who are just beginning. It makes a difference.

Bonded in believing we can do this by being in charge and healing on our recovery journey, Dee


Are you excited to attend some of the wonderful workshops we have at the 2023 conference this year?  We are proud to offer a really great lineup of options for all the different things we thought you would enjoy!

Here’s a list of the title’s for each workshop as well as a film short.  We will soon post more information about each person who will be running the workshops and what to expect!

Enjoy the Journey!

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Monday Thoughts 3.20.23

“You have a choice each and every single day. I choose to feel blessed. I choose to feel grateful. I choose to be excited. I choose to be thankful. I choose to be happy.”

Amber Housley

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”


“It’s the small habits. How you spend your mornings. How you talk to yourself. What you read and what you watch. Who you share your energy with. Who has access to you. That will change your life.”

Michael Tonge

#13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.

I am in charge of mind, my thoughts, and my life.

Statement #13, the culmination of the WFS New Life Program and part of Level Six is the recovery chapter of a sober New Life. While sobriety is the beginning of abstinence, one without alcohol or substances, recovery is much more than not drinking or using. Recovery is the healing or process of living better, or in balance emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Statement #13 in action can also be the stop sign before relapse. Being in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life, I am able to examine and manage inner dialogue. If there is internal conflict or friction, it is up to me to disarm it, no one else, it comes from within. Blaming, which is something I did easily before sobriety and recovery, can be a big indicator of imbalance.

In our WFS Beginners Collection booklet, our founder Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes “The entire object of this ‘New Life’ Program is to come to this point: to the maturity of accepting ourselves and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do. By accepting responsibility for who we are and what we do, we have broken away from unhealthy dependencies upon others to see us through life. We have become whole. We make ourselves whole.” This week, examine what sobriety means to you and what recovery means to you. What tools do you use to manage your mind and your thoughts? What is the change that has made the biggest impact in your life?



Dear 4C Women,

I have been thinking about Karen’s question of what change has made the biggest impact on my recovery life. My first thought was “change” period! I changed my whole attitude and outlook in so many ways. I especially related to blaming everyone else for my unhappy life. It took a lot of courage to practice this Statement, to be responsible and in charge when I felt so empty, so lost, and searching for a way to trust myself to change my life in a positive way without alcohol. I decided that in order to accomplish this, I needed to accept this Statement with hope in my heart that I could become a responsible sober woman. I rebelled at first because it did mean I had to give up the blame game and that was pretty scary. To be in charge of my mind, thoughts, and life was quite a challenge, to say the least. I had to look deep into my inner conflict and actually, both believe I could change my negative attitude and the fear of such a momentous change to becoming a 4C woman.  Fear was my stumbling block. Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of being in charge, plain old fear everywhere I looked.

Once the wall of fear started crumbling, I felt free for the first time in my life. I didn’t think that freedom would be the outcome of being in charge of my life. I made mistakes for sure. The difference is that I learned from them, created much better coping tools, made better choices but most of all, I didn’t retreat to old coping methods when I was unsure or made mistakes. Let’s face it, we all continue to make mistakes. That is part of human nature. However, I believe we go from surviving to thriving and that keeps us moving forward. We are also supported and encouraged by so many wonderful 4C women. We are not alone and that is what I love when I get those moments of doubt. I don’t run away; I stop and reflect. I seek input and do my best to keep Statement #13 always in the forefront of my thoughts, reactions, responses, attitude, and recovery because, in the end, I am responsible for my choices. I am learning to respect and trust my instincts as best I can. Life changes and the life lessons continue. As I wrote this, I laughed out loud wishing there weren’t so many lessons sometimes!

What is the change that has made the biggest impact on your recovery life?

How do you handle mistakes? What are your coping tools?

Do you acknowledge your successes or gloss over them?

Are you giving permission for those with dirty feet to walk through your mind? Can you identify them and set healthy boundaries for your well-being?

Do you trust and respect your instincts?

For those struggling in trusting themselves to be in charge of their life, remember it is not the length of the journey but the willingness to take it. And most importantly, this is not a solo journey. Yes, we are responsible for our individual actions/choices, yet there is so much support and encouragement from those who are journeying with us. We are students and teachers at different moments. Whichever you are right now, please trust yourself to be the teacher or the student.

Bonded together on this journey, Dee


Please make a donation to the Teddy Bear Challenge today!!! 
25 winners in the drawing – to be eligible, donate by May 16. 

MAKE A DONATION at or download this form to mail a check to the office.

Contact [email protected] to volunteer your time. Read more about the Teddy Bear Challenge.

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Monday Thoughts 3.13.23

“Today I want you to think about all that you are instead of all that you are not.”


“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but in her own wings. Always believe in yourself.”


“Never hold yourself back from trying something new just because you’re afraid you won’t be good enough. You’ll never get the opportunity to do your best work if you’re not willing to first do your worst and then let yourself learn and grow.”

Lori Deschene

#12 I am a competent woman, and have much to give life.

This is what I am, and I shall know it always.

Feelings of shame over alcohol use canceled my feeling able to manage daily tasks, relationships and simply living a semi-regular life. It happened slowly and over time that I did not even notice that my attitudes and behaviors were changing and not for the better. I had become increasingly negative and quickly lost faith in my abilities. Even those things which I considered a fun activity felt overwhelmingly difficult if not impossible. I felt weaker inside and out but sobriety and Statement #12 in action helped change that.

Statement #12, a part of Level 3 in the WFS New Life Program, offers a way to create and practice a new view of ourselves. Instead of focusing on inabilities or lack, I can adjust my thoughts and reframe any situation. Initially, it was difficult to make this shift, but it was simply a habit that needed changing. Knowing it was nothing more than a habit (which helped me remove judgments about it) I could make different choices. Over time I created healthier habits and proved to myself that YES, I CAN.

Today I embrace my strengths while also being on the lookout for those old habits, which on occasion can make an appearance, especially during times of stress. When self-doubt arises, I check in and see if balance needs to be restored, or identify what other actions can be taken. Comparing myself to myself before sobriety and recovery always works to alleviate self-doubt. After all, I am a 4C woman!



Hi 4C Women,

This Statement is so crucial to moving forward, to believing we are competent women and living the New Life we yearn for and work so hard to achieve. I recently learned that a participant in the group I facilitate has passed away at her own hands. It broke my heart. I sobbed tears of great sadness. I wish she could have believed her life was worth saving, worth living. After all these years, I want so much for every woman who finds WFS to stay the course. Part of that is staying connected by attending meetings, being willing to seek support and encouragement when needed, sharing authentic feelings without fear of judging – which is part of the guidelines of WFS that I love – and being part of the WFS online community which offers phenomenal caring and lots of meetings.

Karen’s last two sentences spoke volumes to me and hopefully to every woman who is questioning her competency. It’s important to not compare ourselves to anyone else’s recovery path. Jean Kirkpatrick spoke about this a lot. We only need to compare ourselves to who we were, who we are becoming to keep our self-doubt at bay. I find that when I feel overwhelmed, I do a check-in as Karen suggested. It usually does mean I am out of balance, doing too much, not reaching out for help, and doubting myself because I think I “should” (my least favorite word) do it all!

Here are some questions to consider in valuing who you are at this very moment:

What positive words do I speak to myself each day? List as many as you can:

I am worthwhile because:

What motivates me to keep trying?

What do I say to myself when self-doubt comes in?

In what ways do you advocate for yourself even when you feel unsure?


Bonded in believing in yourself, your worth, your competency, and knowing you have much to give life, Dee

As I finished writing this, I decided to go outside and sit on the porch to read and observe.  It’s 1:30 p.m. in AL and over 70 degrees.  I noticed how blue the sky was and all of a sudden, I see a bright white half-moon peeking through the sky.  The birds were singing, there was a slight breeze and I found myself enthralled in the beauty of nature that I might have missed completely.  I had my treasured moment for the day!

Visit the event website for more details as they become available.

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Monday Thoughts 3.6.23

teddy bear challenge

“Expect nothing and appreciate everything.”


“Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day.  Adults only laugh 15-100 times a day.  Be six again.”


“Find the time to read, to smell the flowers, to paint your dreams, to have coffee with a friend, to learn a new craft, to write a letter, to bake a surprise cake, to go somewhere special, to really be with the person you love, or even do nothing for a while…”


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.

When young, one of the most favorite things to do was see how high I could swing.  Jumping on the seat, I would pump my legs and try to touch the sky.  With toes pointed upward, I gleefully soared higher and higher until my tummy fluttered.  With hair flailing all over my face, I would feel free and energized in the midst of this forward and backward dance. Yet not once did I ever capture that feeling with alcohol.

Remembering what brought feelings of joy and enthusiasm in the past helps me practice Statement #11 today.  When first becoming sober, I had difficulty feeling anything, much less enthusiasm.  What I found was that it was the little things that helped me to experience and keep enthusiasm.  Nothing major or life-shattering, just simple awareness and appreciation.

In our WFS Program booklet, it states, “Pause at random times throughout the day and identify something to appreciate about that moment.  Learn which things make you smile and excited.  Reflect on your life and find things to be thankful for.” For me, reaching new heights brings out the child in me.  This week, take time to practice expanding your enthusiasm one moment at a time.



Hi 4C Women,

I sometimes struggle with this Statement as finding enthusiasm as my daily exercise can be daunting.  Yet, Jean realized when she created this program that it is the awareness of these moments that can shine a positive light on even the smallest treasured experience.  Just as we cannot be happy all of the time, we can create moments of joy and happiness.  I am learning slowly that feeling enthusiasm is being willing to be vulnerable, to expressing child-like wonder at special moments that I previously didn’t recognize or appreciate.  Moments such as hearing the birds chirping as Spring approaches.  They are searching for places to nest and I am searching for places to feel freedom, joy and healing.  I’ve heard birds chirping for many, many years yet just stopping, pausing and truly listening and watching them was not something I did.  I can be feeling down and yet facilitating a meeting, volunteering, helping others and catching my dog, Molly, doing something silly, can bring out enthusiastic joy in my heart.

This past Saturday, a dear friend, who calls me her 2nd mom since her mom passed, came to my house and helped me decorate for Spring.  We made chicken salad together and created a house filled with bunnies and other treasured Spring decorations.  She said it was the first time she felt like she was having a family time in a long while.  We hugged and said our goodbyes.  As she drove away, I turned around and looked at our beautiful Spring creation and realized that this was a feeling of enthusiasm that I might have missed or overlooked without Statement #11.  I remember going to my nephew’s daughter’s wedding a few years ago (before COVID) and they asked on the reply card, what song would get me up to dance.  This was a question on everybody’s card.  I just knew that my request would probably not be repeated – Sweet Home Alabama!  Well, they played it and I danced with enthusiasm.  I have musical bunnies and my former neighbor’s boys came by one year and played every one of those bunnies, giggling and dancing.  I giggled right along with them.  This Statement is a path to awareness, to be vulnerable to your child-like joys and creating a chest full of wonderful moments to treasure.

I am going to put into practice what Karen has suggested – to pause, reflect, look and listen.  I hope you will do this as well and write your feelings to share with a group, a friend or partner.  Consider the last time you felt enthusiastic and share that as well.

Bonded in awareness and treasuring the moments, Dee

As I finished writing this, I decided to go outside and sit on the porch to read and observe.  It’s 1:30 p.m. in AL and over 70 degrees.  I noticed how blue the sky was and all of a sudden, I see a bright white half-moon peeking through the sky.  The birds were singing, there was a slight breeze and I found myself enthralled in the beauty of nature that I might have missed completely.  I had my treasured moment for the day!

teddy bear challenge

Please make a donation to the Teddy Bear Challenge today!!! This is the largest annual event to raise funds for Women for Sobriety, Inc.  

Pay it forward with a contribution that you can afford. Make it special by flagging a thank you to our volunteers by including a “thirteen” in the amount: $13.00, $50.13, $100.13, 500.13, $1013.00 or $5000.13. A one-time donation or a monthly pledge would be most appreciated.

MAKE A DONATION at or download this form to mail in your check to the office.

Contact [email protected] if you want to volunteer your time.  Read more about the Teddy Bear Challenge.

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Monday Thoughts 2.27.23

“I love peanuts, peaches, dogs, little old ladies, walking along a beach, moonlit June evenings, the first snow, awaking in the early morning and watching dawn and sunrise, working in the garden, walking in the woods, meditating……These loves may seem too unimportant to be considered ‘loves,’ but they are the fabric of greater love each of us is capable of.”
Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

“We were made to love—to give it and receive it.”
Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

“Love is a splendid emotion.  What is more beautiful than the flow of the warm feeling that suffuses us when we experience love of a pet, love of a friend, love of our country, love of family?  Love is warm, positive, enriching.”
Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

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

How beautifully fitting it is that we focus on Statement #10, the second of our “Love Statements” this week. On Thursday, our incredible founder and the very first 4C woman, Jean Kirkpatrick Ph.D., would have turned one hundred years old. As our organization celebrates this special day, Statement #10 can be woven into every day, hour, and minute.

For those unaware, WFS came into existence through Jean’s determination for a new, sober life. Years of substance abuse had taken a toll on her mentally, physically and spiritually. Jean understood that she needed something different. When she could not find it, she created it and Women for Sobriety was born. It was an act of love brought to life.

Women for Sobriety, Inc. exists because of one woman’s love, determination, and conviction. Today, Jean’s love continues to ripple outward; throughout the lives of women everywhere and expands even further to friends and families. She continues to touch lives even after 100 years from her birth. This week, put action into Statement #10 by sending your love outward and remember, every little bit counts. Imagine what you are capable of sharing with your love!
Happy 100th Birthday Jean!


Hi 4C Women,

What a loving gift Jean gave all of us. She felt a purpose, a need to explore and create a program of what women in recovery needed to become empowered, to be in charge of their lives, and to learn to know that as we give love, we are loved in return.

When you say the words out loud that you are learning to know you are loved, what is your first reaction, your first thought? My first reaction was “no way.” My first thought was denial as I was still in the stage of not feeling lovable or worthy. Once I finally started to love myself, I was able to give love with my whole heart and felt a shift in believing I was loved in return.

I began to wonder why it was so difficult to make this transition. Part of it was my history, the rejection, and the hurt I reflected on. As I’ve said many times, it is through WFS that I realized I also had positive, wonderful memories and as I began to focus more on those, I was able to begin the healing process of the painful past and open the door to authentic, loving friendships and relationships. As I healed more each day, I decided to throw open the gate with this Love Statement and soak in the joy of loving and being loved. It is absolutely amazing how that changed my life. Now if someone was/is condescending or mean-spirited to me personally, I no longer look to what I did to cause that, what was so unlovable about me that caused this person to treat me this way. Instead, I realize these people might be hurting and they behaved this way to somehow feel better about themselves. Of course, this is not acceptable behavior yet I learned enough to recognize pain. Fortunately, I also learned to speak my voice and depending on the person and situation, address it with respect. Words are powerful and responding in a similar fashion is not going to change anything or anyone and even with a respectful conversation, it may not change. The change is you, your reaction, your response, and your self-protective boundaries are powerful!

The best part of loving and being loved is that it is not just reserved for romantic relationships as was my initial impression. There are many aspects of love. I love my pet and she loves me. I love volunteering and the people I volunteer for love that I am willing to do it. I love decorating for the holidays and while my house can’t give me a hug back, I feel the love with each memory of the treasures I display. I love being a facilitator for these past 34 years and feel the love in return. I feel grateful and honored to be part of a program Jean Kirkpatrick so determinedly created. Her love and understanding of our needs in recovery will remain a huge part of all of our lives. I so wish I could give her a big hug and thank her right now for what she has given to lead us to become 4C women. I do believe she feels thousands of hugs each time a woman discovers WFS and creates their own New Life through the phenomenal 13 Statements of Acceptance.

What is your initial reaction to this Statement of loving and being loved?
How do you express love?
How do you experience the feeling of being loved?
Have you learned to love and forgive yourself in the process?

Bonded in loving yourself and knowing you are loved, Dee

In honor of Jean, help WFS continue to help women build New Lives!


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Monday Thoughts 2.20.23

women for sobriety decorative image the past is gone forever

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”


“Sometimes you just have to let yourself off the hook. Forget everything you didn’t check off your to-do list, forgive yourself for any mistakes, and stop dwelling on everything you think you could have done better. The past is behind you, and it can only control you if you let it. So let go of what you should have done and focus on the best you can going forward.”

Lori Deschene

“Letting go of the past means that you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”

Don Miguel Ruiz

#9 The past is gone forever.

No longer am I victimized by the past. I am a new woman.

“Release the past, plan for tomorrow, live for today.” These empowering words are the last sentence in our WFS Program booklet. It is a beautiful summation of the entire Women for Sobriety Program and a kick starter for Statement #9. Immediately drawn to this Statement, a feeling of relief ran through me.  Essentially, practicing Statement #9 offered up permission to actually let go which felt like a new concept.

In the WFS “Reflections for Growth” booklet, our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes, “If I were to dwell on the numerous regrets I have from all the years gone by, regret would also be accompanied with bitterness. Growth, rather than regret, is my day’s objective.” By consciously focusing on growth, it decreased – then eliminated a habit of ruminating on the past. This felt incredibly freeing and energizing. The old baggage had been heavy, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

In order to practice Statement #9, I first needed to understand how tightly I was clinging to the past. I also needed to see how regrets drove my behaviors. As I began to understand how clinging to alcohol negatively affected my life, it became easier to reinforce sobriety. I am so grateful for Jean and to WFS for direction, encouragement, and especially the connection to create a New Life to live today. Here are a few ideas to release regret by Beverly D Flaxington:

1.   Own it: Yes, whatever it is that happened, happened. You made the wrong choice, said the wrong thing, went in the wrong direction. Whatever it is, it’s done. And you know what? It’s over. The fact of the human condition is that you won’t always choose wisely, and you won’t choose in your best interests every time.

2.   Learn from it: Try and take an objective view of what happened. Why did you do/decide what you did? This is not an opportunity to bash yourself, but rather to examine the event critically. You can learn a lot about how you make decisions by trying to understand what went awry. Do you need to do a better job next time of gathering information? Do you need more time to think something through? Are you unduly influenced by others? Note what you need to do differently the next time you have a decision to make.

3.   Write out what you would like: If you regret a lost (or found) relationship, a career choice, a financial decision, an educational experience, then instead of focusing on ‘what I had’ focus on ‘what I want.’ You can’t revisit the past, but you can turn your attention to something you want. So, this career isn’t the best one; how do you paint a picture of something you do want? So, the person you let get away got away; how do you create a life you can enjoy as a single person? So, you didn’t go to the school of your dreams; how can you structure a plan to take classes or become involved at the school you did go to? Paint a picture in as much detail as you can about where you’d like to head. This will start turning your attention away from the rear-view mirror and to the windshield looking forward.

4.   Become entranced by today: Turn your attention to senses. Smell, taste, hear and enjoy whatever it is you are doing at a greater level than you have done before. Really engage with your world. Notice things you haven’t noticed before and resolve to be PRESENT with whatever is going on.

5.   Make a plan for something you can do that might help to cancel out what you regret: For example, you didn’t spend enough time with your kids growing up and now they won’t visit you much? How about volunteering or joining an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters? Missed out on the career you always wanted? What about taking up some hobby you are passionate about and pursuing that instead? Life is not linear, nor is it black and white. What shades of grey could you incorporate into your life that wouldn’t necessarily change the regret, but might add something important to the life you are leading today?



Hi 4C Women,

I appreciate these powerful and empowering suggestions for releasing the past.

At the beginning of my sobriety, I was fearful of owning responsibility for my choices as it meant giving up the blame game I had played for a very long time. I drank to silence the negative thoughts, to forget the painful choices I made. I felt there was no escape from those thoughts except to silence them with alcohol. It worked – briefly – but it changed nothing. I continued to live in regret and beat myself up for my choices and then back to the blame game. As long as I blamed others, I didn’t need to take responsibility for anything in my life. While alcohol temporarily blocked out the hurtful feelings, I slowly began to realize I was fooling myself so that I could continue to think and behave this way and achieve the emotional growth that I yearned for. I was wasting precious time clinging to a way of thinking that kept me trapped in self-hate.

Whenever I start to revisit the past and it’s always the painful past, I repeat Statement #9 over and over. Digging deep to understand the why of my choices and forgiving myself, was such a huge life lesson. There are many regrettable choices in my past and even today because as Beverly Flaxington pointed out, it is the human condition. However, once I decided to look honestly at my role in my choices/decisions, it was freeing because I became open to learning and changing.  I have also learned to reflect on the positive moments of my past. That has helped me tremendously and takes away the victimization that I only made harmful choices which continued the self-hate feeling. Now I turn off the negative thoughts of the past that I cannot change. I make different choices based on the lesson learned which I am willing to reflect on. I am a new woman and much more able to handle the mistakes I make and learn from them.

There are great questions throughout the points that Beverly Flaxington shared. I hope you will answer them to share with the WFS group you attend. We are learners if we choose. We are empowered in that learning and sharing are the way we support and encourage each other.

Here are some of the questions included in the message:

Why did you do/decide what you did? This is not an opportunity to bash yourself, but rather to examine the event critically.

Do you need to do a better job next time gathering information?

Do you need more time to think something through?

Are you unduly influenced by others?

What shades of grey could you incorporate into your life that wouldn’t necessarily change the regret, but might add something important to the life you are leading today?

Bonded in releasing the past, learning from it, forgiving ourselves and others, and becoming a new woman, Dee

The Creative Crew will support another sale on May 19 to 20, 2023!  Be part of the fun to raise money for WFS by donating an item!
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Monday Thoughts 2.13.23

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”

Karen Kaiser Clark

“When someone comes looking for the old you, pulling triggers, but cannot find you, that’s healing.” Unknown

“Everything good that has ever happened in your life happened because something changed. So don’t be so fearful of change, ok?”

Karen Salmansohn

#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 paired together offer a path of change and growth. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is simply an acronym: Choose Having A New Growth Experience = CHANGE. Yet before my New Life, growth was unheard of. I felt that was for other people and the only priority was escaping in alcohol.

In our WFS Reflections for Growth booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes “Change is that part of life that sometimes pushes us away from a period of security into a period of insecurity.” Sobriety is an empowering change, although it didn’t feel like it at first. My mind and body screamed at me to go backward but I already knew that pain. It was time to have a new growth experience.

Oftentimes growth ebbs and flows like the tide, sometimes wildly crashing in, and other times slipping in slowly. Whichever way change takes place, the results can be the same; feelings of insecurity unsettle the status quo.

Here are a number of ways to cope with uncertainty by Christine Carter from Greater Good Magazine.

1.   Don’t resist: We are living through challenging times. But resisting this current reality won’t help us recover, learn, grow, or feel better. Ironically, resistance prolongs our pain and difficulty by amplifying the challenging emotions we are feeling.

2.   Invest in yourself: The best resource that you have right now for making a contribution to the world is YOU. When that resource is depleted, your most valuable asset is damaged. Self-care is not selfish.

3.   Find healthy comfort items: One of the most important ways we can invest in ourselves is to comfort ourselves in healthy ways. If we are to stay flexible, we need to feel safe and secure. When we feel uncertain or insecure, our brain tries to rescue us by activating our dopamine systems. This dopamine rush encourages us to seek rewards, making temptations more tempting. Think of this as your brain pushing you toward a comfort item…like a glass of alcohol instead of a reasonable bedtime. Or an entire pan of brownies. Or an extra little something in your Amazon cart. Make a list of healthy ways to comfort yourself. Reflect on what you are grateful for, watch something funny, call a friend.

4.   Pay attention: The opposite of uncertainty is not certainty; it’s presence. Instead of imagining a scary and unknown future, we can bring our attention to our breath. From there, we can check in with ourselves. Notice what emotions you are feeling, and where in your body you feel those emotions. Bring curiosity and acceptance to your experience.

5.   Find meaning in the chaos: Meaning and purpose are wellsprings of hope. When the world feels scary or uncertain, knowing what meaning we have for others and feeling a sense of purpose can ground us better than anything else.



Hi 4C Women,

Absolutely love what Karen has shared. Such great and doable insightful coping tools in how to gain emotional and spiritual growth as written by Christine Carter. At the beginning of my recovery journey, I valued the guidance of each Statement yet wasn’t sure how to actually make it happen. These coping tools provide a clear guide to both start and continue integrating Statement #8. As I read each of these coping tools, I was reminded that growth is a continuum.

Change was one of my greatest fears as I felt any change, even positive, would only validate the negative definition of me that I had created. If I required changing how I viewed myself then I was right about my definition of myself. Looking back, I wonder why I was so fearful of seeing myself in a positive way, and why I would rather continue to see myself as worthless. I believe it goes back to my need for personal spiritual growth. As long as I was unable to forgive myself, how could I value myself through personal growth?  So, I treaded slowly into change and thought, wow, now I’m finished with my personal growth. However, I learned that as life changes, different challenges occur. I must continue to grow and change as well. I am grateful for that life lesson. I also learned another invaluable life lesson in self-forgiveness. While I could not change the past, I could change my behavior and responses to people and situations in the present. It’s actually an empowering feeling which I have always loved about WFS. I am an empowered woman which goes to coping tool #1 – Don’t resist. I related to the prolonging of pain and what a difference it made when I stopped resisting.

Think about what you are resisting and why. If you have stopped resisting, share what that has meant to you. What have you learned about yourself in the process?

I can always tell when I am in chaos by my surroundings. It’s a good thing because I have learned to use my surroundings as a clue to pay attention to my needs. The question is why am I neglecting my needs and what are my plans to change that?  What clues let you know when you are in chaos or heading toward chaos? What self-care plans do you have in place? Sometimes it’s about taking a break. I call it a mental health retreat, giving myself time to reflect and heal.

My spiritual growth has given me hope and my personal growth has given me a purpose. I have also learned that my purpose changes as I change. I am not stuck in a purpose that no longer serves me. There is freedom and joy in that. Think about your purpose. Has it changed? How is it serving your personal or spiritual growth? For those who might fear any change, I hope that those who have welcomed and experienced positive change through the WFS New Life program will share how they became willing to change and how it made a positive difference in their lives.

Bonded in willingness to change, to redefine our personal and spiritual growth as we open up to new opportunities for growth, Dee

The conference planning team is in full gear making preparations for the 2023 WFS virtual conference. Consider volunteering your time and talents to this enthusiastic group and join in making this a memorable experience for all!
There are many ways to be involved, but the team is looking to increase efforts in marketing, social programming, and volunteer coordination.
Interested? Email [email protected]

More Info Here

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Monday Thoughts 2.6.23

“Avoiding certain people to protect your emotional health is not weakness. It is wisdom.”

“You deserve to be loved without having to hide the parts of yourself you think are unlovable.”

“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.”
Angelica Moone

#7 Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.

You deserve love…. period. You deserve love simply because you exist. Sobriety is the warm, cozy blanket that provides the portal for love to surround you, wrap itself around you, and let you know that even deep down inside, you are worthy and deserving of love. The WFS Statements, but especially the “Love” Statements #7 and #10 enable this love to flourish and grow.

Substance Use Disorders prevent your truth from reaching in and loving you. Over time, changes in the brain can take place, altering perceptions. With sobriety and recovery, you are open to love, to give, and to receive. It felt foreign at first, though I kept believing what the other sober women around me kept saying: You are worthy of love. You are absolutely worthy of love.

As a part of Level 5, Statement #7 shifts focus towards relationships. Loving ourselves takes priority and we can begin to fill our needs. Boundaries become an empowering new tool to create well-being and balance. This can feel foreign at first too, initially, it felt wrong, but my brain was still healing. Trusting the process, love changes the course of my world every day in every way. Enjoy the comfort of love!


Hi 4C Women,

I am so blessed beyond words I write here to express my enormous gratitude for the love I have received since becoming a part of WFS. I learned to love myself and receive/give authentic love from/to my WFS sisters. I have truly been changed by love. It encouraged me to face my fears of rejection, to learn self-forgiveness, self-love, and to give purpose and meaning to my New Life in recovery.  I felt a sense of balance and comfort as I broke down the wall of fear.

In the beginning, the most challenging part of practicing Statement #7 was to believe that love could change the course of my world. I had no idea that tearing down my wall of fear and letting in loving relationships would have such a powerful impact. I realized that my fears of not being good enough no longer could hold up the wall I built. It no longer protected me but kept me a prisoner from experiencing the warmth and comfort of positive, caring relationships. I also learned that while I could still be hurt, all relationships could not be based on that possibility. I felt free in my acceptance of love, knowing that caring had to also include myself as well as others. As my world of love expanded, I felt uplifted and even became courageous in setting boundaries which is a much better way to protect myself. The wall blocked everything and therefore would not change anything. Something had to give. This Statement and the practice of it tore down the wall and love came slowly and gratefully back into my life.

Who is part of your caring circle today?
How do you show love to yourself?
How has boundary setting helped you move forward in creating healthy relationships?
How has loved changed the course of your world?

Bonded in trusting the process of practicing Statement #7 and experiencing love changing the course of your world, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 1.30.23

teddy bear challenge

“The most beautiful things in life are not things. They’re people and places and memories and pictures. They’re feelings and moments and smiles and laughter.”


“Sometimes you get what you want. Other times, you get a lesson in patience, empathy, compassion, faith, perseverance, resilience, humility, trust, meaning, awareness, resistance, purpose, clarity, grief, beauty, and life. Either way, you win.”

Brianna West

“Take a little time to be amazed by something you won’t enjoy unless you consciously choose to focus on it. See the things you can’t see when you’re rushing. Hear the things you can’t hear when you’re stressing. Get so caught up in your senses that everything else seems to stop for a moment—because things don’t actually stop. So, we have to be the ones who do it.”

Lori Deschene

#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

For years, one of the places on my bucket list to experience has been Greece. This past fall, thanks to WFS and the 13 Statements I stood in awe of the very first Olympic platform where past athletes had been crowned. As I took in that moment, the awareness of my own gold medal made the circle complete; sobriety and recovery were shining brightly. Statement #6 was interwoven into every moment of that special excursion.

As a part of the New Attitudes with Level 4, action into Statement #6 provides growth and expands gratefulness. In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Although we only get a one-way ticket through life, we speed through our days as if planning to enjoy them at another time. We live as if we have endless tomorrows.” Alcohol removed the ability to fully experience life but embracing moments became a new habit through sobriety.

Learning how to slow down and live life consciously takes investment and time. Some days are easier than others, but actively reminding myself helps me to slow down and savor the ordinary as well as those special moments. Even if I am washing the same bowl for the hundredth time, I have a new opportunity to experience the warmth of the water, the light popping of the soapy bubbles, or the weight of the beautiful vessel. This week, find ways to incorporate slowing down and savoring, making a cup of tea or coffee, taking a quiet bath, or the scent of the winter breeze.



Hi 4C Women,

I love the quotes Karen shared and her awareness of the gold medal she earned in recovery. It is so insightful to realize the rewards of hard work in traveling on this empowering journey. It can be difficult to visualize life as being great when starting to work on our recovery. Emotionally, there are stops and starts yet with perseverance, there is that light at the end of the tunnel. It can be dim yet it is there and will grow as we practice the WFS New Life program. I feel that Statement #6 is all about life lessons in personal growth. I learned patience when the outcome I hoped for didn’t come about. I learned gratefulness for the wonderful things that did happen.

It all goes back to the 2nd quote, “Sometimes you get what you want. Other times, you get a lesson in patience, empathy, compassion, faith, perseverance, resilience, humility, trust, meaning, awareness, resistance, purpose, clarity, grief, beauty, and life. Either way, you win.” ~~Brianna West

Just the idea of learning all those emotional strengths is amazing to me. I appreciate the ordinary when life feels chaotic, I appreciate the extraordinary moments because of the awareness I’ve gained. We get to choose how we define and experience greatness.  It can be those people that brought love and light to our lives and created fond, precious memories. As we practice this Statement, we can be the creators of such joy in our hearts and be that light for others. Most of all, it is so crucial to not judge our lives by others. Our experiences of greatness in the ordinary or greatness in the moments of joy are ours alone to define as we feel it.

I am constantly inspired by the women I have met in WFS. Against extreme challenges and roadblocks, there is that desire to keep going, to find the greatness in the ordinary, the joy in awareness.  Through the years, I have had times when I was really down and because of WFS, I acknowledged those difficult feelings rather than numb or pretend they didn’t exist. It goes the same for acknowledging joyful feelings. To have that awareness embraces the whole you, the you that is working hard and open to positive change.

May you have awareness of the ordinary being great, personal growth taking place, and life lessons being learned. Bonded, Dee

Announcing the launch of our annual Teddy Bear Challenge fundraiser!!! This is one of our largest events to raise funds to sustain the programs and services offered by Women for Sobriety, Inc.  You can help in two ways:

MAKE A DONATION! You can make your donation online here: or download this form to mail in your donation.

ADOPT A BEAR! The Teddy Bear Challenge needs volunteers or groups to stuff the bears, raise awareness in the WFS community, or organize/perform a supporting activity for the event.

This is your opportunity to be creative and embrace Statement 10: “All love given returns.”

Contact [email protected] if you are interested.

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Monday Thoughts 1.23.23

women for sobriety decorative image enthusiasm

“The way you tell your story to yourself matters.”
Amy Cuddy

“Learn to differentiate between the sound of your intuition guiding you and your traumas misleading you.”

“Being optimistic is like a muscle that gets stronger with use…You have to change the way you think in order to change the way you feel.”
Robin Roberts

#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

Sobriety and Statement #5 encourages identifying, adjusting and exercising thoughts. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD realized the importance of managing thoughts as she developed the Women for Sobriety program. In an article Jean wrote about WFS she states, “The philosophy of the Women for Sobriety ‘New Life’ Program is that the image precedes our actions. Whatever we think, we eventually act out. If our thoughts are always negative, our actions will also be negative. If our thoughts are positive, so are our actions. One writer once said a garden of weeds cannot produce a beautiful flower. This is also true of our minds. If we have upsetting thoughts, we cannot have a serene life. We have the power of changing our way of thinking. We live in the atmosphere created by our mind and our thoughts.”

For me, Statement #5 is the glue that bridges all of the other Statements together. It is from this core that a sturdy foundation is cemented. Once I began to grasp my thinking, managing them became an important and healthy new habit. A helpful tool that I use daily is asking myself the question, “Will this line of thinking take me deeper into sobriety and recovery or further away?” Immediately I am able to assess thoughts and make changes as necessary. Oftentimes this one question helps identify anxiety and offers deeper insight.

This week, equip yourself with Statement #5 and challenge any long held belief system.  What limiting story are you telling yourself? When you identify one, switch your story to one of empowerment. For example, with a family member who is a professional artist, for years I felt not good enough creatively. Hiding in the shadows and trying to copy her style left me with deep feelings of inadequacy. Once able to identify this, I reframed my story from one of being less than to one of discovery. Today I have many creative outlets, from acrylics to writing and many things in-between and am happily content.
What will you uncover and discover this week?


Hi 4C Women,

The 2nd quote Karen shared “Learn to differentiate between the sound of your intuition guiding you and your traumas misleading you” immediately spoke to me as I realized years ago that I didn’t trust my instincts at all. I made decisions based on my traumas as I truly believed they were my identity. I was damaged, unworthy and a product of my painful choices. I am beyond grateful for Jean creating this Statement as it became a goal for me to change my definition of me! I started learning from my past rather than beating myself up and making healthier choices based on the ever-changing way I saw myself. I started using positive affirmations and even today, I am learning new ones.

In the past few years, I started telling myself I can do this rather than I can’t when feeling slightly overwhelmed or an old untrue message tried to whisper in my ear how I wasn’t smart or creative enough. Just changing can’t to can helped me feel more confident and definitely becoming more 4C. It is absolutely incredible how powerful the impact of positive, affirming words can change the image of ourselves and fuel our empowered actions to follow. I also gave myself time out, a brief retreat when needed, without criticizing myself as lazy. I began to listen to my intuitions as to what my mind and body needed without judgment. Beautiful feelings that I mattered and it was my responsibility to make sure I took care of myself.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who do I think I am?” The authentic answer to that question is a guide to what work still needs to be done and what work has been done. We are ever evolving and must be willing to seek our truth so we can change our belief in ourselves. This transformation is a process and a rewarding one. In my lifetime, I never thought I would get to the place where I cared more about how I viewed myself than what others thought of me.
Here are 4 questions I have asked over the years around Statement 5. I have 4 response sheets to these questions and since they are dated, I am so fascinated by different answers and yet some similar answers. It is such a mix and I am so glad to look back and acknowledge where I’ve grown and what personal growth stills needs work. It is that authentic look that keeps me focused and growing in my 4Cness.

1.    Capable of:
2.    Competent in:
3.    Caring about:
4.    Compassionate about:

Bonded in creating the most positive, powerful definition of ourselves by practicing Statement 5 with the strong belief in change and personal growth, Dee

WFS Online: Join (if you haven’t already) and visit often!!

The new WFS Online platform is a space to access virtual meetings, make the daily pledge, and give/receive support 24/7!