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Conference Lodging Portal Now Open!

women for sobriety conference early registration now open save $50 before 4/22

Portland State University has opened the lodging portal for the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2022! Select your stay, meal, and parking options for the weekend.

Get registered ($50 early registration discount available until 4/22):  https://www.eventsquid.com/event.cfm?event_id=16125

Portland State University Portal:                                                                                                                                    https://housingportal.pdx.edu/StarRezPortalConference/Go/Conferences/465

women for sobriety conference early registration now open save $50 before 4/22

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Monday Thoughts 4.4.22

women for sobriety woman thinking with journal decorative image

“Relationships with negative people are simply tedious encounters with porcupines. You don’t have the remote knowledge how to be close to them without quills being shot in your direction.”

Shannon L. Alder

“Your thoughts become your desires; your desires lead to your actions; your actions change your life.”
Bodhi Sanders

“Change your attitude and you change your life. You cannot control what happens to you in your life, but you can always control how you respond to it. The way you choose to respond is a reflection of your attitude. By changing your attitude, you also change your perspective and change your life.”

Roy Bennet


#2 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

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


What does it feel like to be around someone who is constantly negative? Does it feel light and airy? Do you want to spend more time with them or do you feel drained, knowing those sharp porcupine quills are heading in your direction? Take a moment to reflect on the energy you bring into a room, into a relationship, into an experience. Is there anything that you need to let go of? Statement #2 in action helps to identify, manage, and release negativity.

In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Our overcoming is in exact proportion to our becoming. Negative thoughts can destroy us in many ways. An important aspect of negative thoughts is that such thoughts often precede using or drinking. A state of ‘what’s the use?’ or ‘who cares?’ can initiate an attempt to escape from reality.” Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. knew how important it was to reduce negativity and created this Statement to follow directly after taking charge of our lives. 

This week, pay attention to your thoughts. Jot some down in a journal or list a few with bullet points. Do you see any patterns arising? Are you able to embrace how far you have come already? What kind of energy do you bring when you walk in the door? Can you find the value or lesson within a negative situation? How does it feel looking within yourself? At the end of the week, save what you’ve learned and check back often to review. Maybe you have overcome something you thought would never leave. Receive your accomplishments and stay on the lookout for those pesky quills!

Hugzzz

Karen


Dear 4C Women,

Dr. Phil has asked many times on his show, “how much fun are you to be around?” Before recovery, I would say not much unless I was under the influence. I thought I was a lot of fun then. The first time I experienced fun sober, I was completely taken by surprise. It was one of those aha moments filled with hope and the possibility for authentic joy in the future – as a sober woman! It dawned upon me that I had such negative self-talk, negative feelings about who I was, and just feeling empty and sad especially when I was alone and letting the wall of pretense down. From my life experience, I understand negative thoughts and negative patterns. Sometimes when I reflect on my childhood, I wonder if some of my experiences led me to be fearful of fully expressing myself. I recall one time when I was around 12 and expressed anger. My mom and sister burst out laughing because I never expressed anger so this was comical to them. I was always the “good” girl who quietly behaved, not causing any trouble. That experience taught me that my authentic feelings wouldn’t be taken seriously and to hold those feelings close to my chest. So, pretending became my way of fitting in. Through WFS, I have learned to express myself, share my feelings without fear, I could feel joy sober, and even be funny at times! I feel true to myself.

I have also learned to take responsibility for my part in a negative reaction – not guilt or shame for my reaction. Unhealthy guilt and shame are blockers to learning.  Healthy guilt is acknowledging we may have harmed or hurt someone with our words or actions and we take responsibility. In fact, I have learned a lot about my capabilities in handling negativity, whether it is mine in thinking reactively or it is coming from another person or situation. In the past, I would not have been open to exploring any of this. It was either all of my fault or theirs. As I mentioned last week, I wore my blame crown proudly in order to not take responsibility for my part which left a void for learning. WFS is all about change and this is one of many changes I will be forever grateful for. I consider myself a seeker of information and within that seeking, I am also a discoverer of the lesson. 

Nancy Cross talked about button-pushers as teachers. That was a concept I had not thought of until she wrote about it. Button pushers as teachers? And that’s when another aha moment came to light. Those button-pushers taught me to let go or stand up to a principle if my heart says it is worth it. And to do so as calmly and respectfully as possible. I have learned that if the relationship is important enough, I will share my thoughts. If not, I hit the delete button on the button pusher. I choose not to waste my time and effort with those who are not open to listening or the possibility of understanding my point of view. This is a process as every once in a while, I feel the instant reaction start. I try to understand that person’s point of view as I want them to hear and understand mine. It’s a two-way street yet in the end, it is our choice to let negativity be the only response or reflection, growing, understanding, listening, and learning to be the response. 

How much fun are you to be around?

How do you currently respond to button-pushers?

What is the lesson you are learning about yourself as you pay attention to your thoughts, and your reactions to negativity?

Bonded in reducing negativity, being open to finding the lesson, releasing the porcupine, and loving yourself through it all, Dee


WFS Annual Weekend Conference Registration OPEN!
Save $50 with an “early girl” discount before 4/22!

women for sobriety annual conference early registration open
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Apply to Lead Informal Conference Activities

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Let's get social 2022 Bloom Conference Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety, Inc., is seeking volunteers to lead informal activities at our 2022 Annual Weekend Conference. The conference will be held at the Portland State University campus in Portland, OR from June 24 to June 26, 2022, with early arrivals and pre-conference activities starting on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Please review our 2019 conference page at https://womenforsobriety.org/conference2019/#confTab-5 for an idea of the types of activities we had available at our last in-person event. Informal Activities should enhance the conference and complement the formal keynotes, general sessions, and workshops.

*Thursday and Friday icebreakers should be fun opportunities to give early arrivals an opportunity to build connections.

*Morning activities should help get early risers ready for a day of learning and engagement.

*Evening activities should help night owls wind down from the stimulation of the day and prepare for a rejuvenating, restful sleep.

This year’s theme is Bloom! This relates to WFS Level of Recovery 6: Recognizing life’s priorities: emotional and spiritual growth, self-responsibility. This level includes Acceptance Statements 8 and 13. (#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. # 13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions. I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.)

Informal Activity leaders should be women using the New Life Program for their personal recovery who are already planning to attend the event. If you are a current Certified Facilitator and wish to lead a WFS meeting at the event, please email [email protected] Call 215-536-8026 or email [email protected] with questions.

Apply here: https://womenforsobriety.org/confiap

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WFS Winter Update

February 2020

Special Event: Chat with Laura McKowen

On February 23, 2020 WFS Online hosted a chat with Laura McKowen, author of We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life

One of the latest recovery books to hit bookstore shelves is We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life, written by Laura McKowen, and the women of WFS are discussing it! The book immediately found its place among the top hardcover books sold and was hailed as one of the year’s most courageous and candid memoirs.

Laura’s story accurately captures the shame and confusion of addiction, before and during sobriety, but her words also carry hope. She honestly describes her own struggles, but goes beyond her desire to drink, into a powerful analysis of how we grow and relate to others, and ultimately to ourselves, once we choose recovery. So much of her story aligned with the WFS Acceptance Statements that it seemed worthy of a group read and online discussion.

The WFS response to Laura’s text has been overwhelming. Women from the program served as online facilitators for discussion on several chapters each week. By responding to, and reflecting on the questions posed, women explored different aspects of their own sobriety. This encouraged them to relate to the author’s journey, while also making connections to the WFS New Life Program. To demonstrate the magnitude of this book study, one recent prompt garnered 43 replies and 525 views, clearly showing that the discussion is timely and worthwhile. It was great having the opportunity to chat with Laura, with 55 women attending!

WFS Annual Conference

Registration Opens March 1st

Thanks to a diversity of housing options at Hamline University, we were able to lower our most economical registration rate by $25! Register before March 31st to save even more with our Early Bird Discount of $20.

                                              2 nights               3 nights
Resident Hall Lodging
Double room                            $275                     $325
Single room                              $350                     $420
Apartment Lodging
Double Room                           $350                     $420
Single Room                             $430                     $520
Day Pass (No Lodging)          $200                     $220

Work scholarships are available!
Application period begins March 1st.

Workshops Announced

We had so many great applications, we had to open up an additional breakout period on Saturday afternoon! In addition to 3 large group sessions, dive deeper into personal growth through your choice of 4 smaller group workshops.

Teddy Bear Challenge

A few years ago, a loved member and chat leader, TeddyBear Cuddle (TBC) started the Teddy Bear Challenge. Leading up to the WFS Annual Conference, through her generosity, she donated $1,000 and challenged the membership to dig deep and help WFS by donating as well. And those $5, $10, and $20 donations from the membership added up. In 2019, the Teddy Bear Challenge raised $15,739 from 140 donors, including 6 generous donations of $1,000!

Let’s hit $16,000 this year!

A Teddy Bear to hug and love… and in honor of our amazing volunteer BunnyH, who has taken over running the Challenge, we are adding bunnies to the Class of 2020!

Donors to the Teddy Bear Challenge are eligible for a drawing of the teddy bears and bunnies!* The first drawing will come from the donors who are recorded by Sunday, June 7, 2020. Donors who also attend the Conference on June 12 – 14, 2020, in St Paul, MN, will have a second chance in a drawing of the last 3 stuffed animals.

Donate to the Teddy Bear Challenge Now!

There are many ways to volunteer your time in the campaign… you can stuff an animal, help us with communications, spread the word by being part of our cheer squad, or help setup at conference. Contact BunnyH on the WFS Forum or [email protected] if you are enthusiastically ready to be a volunteer!  Detailed instructions will be provided!

*No donation necessary to win. For complete drawing rules, go to the TBC donation page.

Save the Date

SoberSoul Recovery Podcast
March 16th, 2020
Listen in as Adrienne Miller, WFS President/CEO, and Lynn Matti, SoberSoul Recovery Podcast host, chat about the New Life Program and the upcoming Annual Weekend Conference. Lynn is one of this year’s Featured Presenters at the conference and will be giving the keynote address on Saturday morning.

Cigna Substance Use Disorders Series
Self-Imaging in Recovery with Adrienne Miller, WFS President/CEO
March 18th, 2020 at 1:00 – 2:00 pm EST
Who am I now that I’m sober? Due to the impact of addiction on multiple areas of life, many people with a substance use disorder feel a strong loss of identity when they try to make changes to their substance use. We will explore why this is so, and share some simple methods to help the recovering person redefine their self-image to one of an empowered, capable, and sober individual.

Personal Stories

from the WFS Blog

Today Though
This is HUGE for me – putting myself out here!  One thing you need to know is that I’m a secret addict. My husband knows, my mom knows and my dealer knows.  That’s about the extent of it. I was in control until I wasn’t. It’s been all downhill from there…
Read More

This Could Have Been Me

…Liquor and lipstick – the middle class career woman’s essential purse items. Binge drinking by women is on the rise. However, if you were to query a woman’s family or friends about her habits, many would not even know she has a problem. That’s because women are more likely to drink alone and keep it hidden…
Read More
Interested in sharing your story? Email your submission to [email protected].

New Meetings

Jacksonville, FL: Tuesdays – 7 pm, [email protected]

Williamsport, PA: Wednesdays – 5:30 pm, [email protected]

London, ON: Saturdays – 10:00 am, [email protected]